Blog – Staying Present During Lockdowns

For those of us living in the South-Eastern states of Australia, recent weeks have seen most of us return to some sort of normality post winter-hibernation and lockdown. The renewed freedoms following an upscale in double vaccination rates means that life is looking more and more like a world pre-pandemic with the return to shopping, dining and eating in public, and most importantly the opportunity to catch up with friends and loved ones.

While our cousins across the pond are still enduring the tail end of some harsher lockdowns, it’s important to remember living with Covid for the foreseeable future also means enduring short, sharp and snap lockdowns when clusters occur locally or strains potentially mutate.

Darren Levy, our Senior Consultant at Human Synergistics across the ditch is the father of 3 and recently spoke with Melanie Carroll from Stuff NZ about what it means to be present, whether it be with your kids and loved ones, work, or for yourself during harsher lockdowns.

You can read the full article below.

Article: Tips for working parents trying to do it all in level 4 lockdown, by Melanie Carroll
Stuff Co NZ, 14:08, Aug 19 2021, Covid-19: Tips for working parents trying to do it all in level 4 lockdown |

A return to level 4 lockdown is a return to juggling work and children at home for some people, not something that brings a smile to everyone’s face.

However, there are ways to make it more bearable, and even bring a little joy into the equation, said Darren Levy, a senior consultant at Human Synergistics and father of three.

“Focus on today, be present whether it be with your kids and loved ones, work, or yourself. Resist the temptation to think too far ahead where we can’t control that,” Levy said.

New Zealand has had a number of COVID-19 alert level changes, but this was only the second level 4 lockdown.

Sometimes we think we’re well practised, but there’s those differences to being in level 4, so it pays to remind ourselves of some of the key lessons that we’ve learned. We think we remember a lot, but we can be a bit goldfish-like in terms of our memories.”

Working from home comes with its challenges.

Here are some tips to ease the pressure for working parents during lockdown.

Sort your routine

One of the big things we like as humans is routine, which is sometimes lost when shifting to lockdown, Levy said. A timetable for each day, where the whole family can see it, can help keep work and schooling on track.

Three Ps

The keys to performing well in any environment are planning, preparation and practice, Levy said.

“We’ve had lots of practice unfortunately over many lockdowns, so we know what to do. We need to have a plan and make sure we’re really well prepped, whether that be for learning for the kids, or dinner.”


Keep to routines and resist the lure of the mobile phone or device. If you are tempted to keep working, or find yourself constantly looking for news about Covid, ask yourself what your priority is at that point in the day and focus on that one, he said.

Get in the work zone

If you’re working from home, create a virtual commute. It could be going for a walk in the neighbourhood and making some work calls or just enjoying the scenery, to transition yourself into work, with a similar routine after work.

Get engaged

It is important at the start of a virtual team meeting to get every single person on the call to talk, not just raise their hand or nod.

“Something simple is to ask an easy or flippant question such as what’s your favourite lockdown treat, or a fact that nobody knows about you, and go around the virtual room and get everyone to talk. The research shows people are more likely to interact and engage across the longer call, so your time on that meeting online is much more productive,” Levy said.

Know your rhythm

We are really only productive for about four hours a day, he said. That productive time should ideally be spent not just on work, but also on family and yourself.

“The research also shows us that when we are working from home especially digitally, we get overly task-focused during that lockdown time. So we really need to make that time to have fun and have some joy in our lives.”

It was easy for people to feel guilty and judge themselves against perfect pictures of what other families were doing, he said. Schools and workplaces, as well as parents themselves, needed to set fair and reasonable expectations.

Everyone’s worried about themselves, so don’t worry about what other people are doing. You’ve got to do what’s right for your context.

”What’s the key thing I need to do for my family and kids today to make sure they are happy, healthy and connected to some form of learning?

“What’s the one thing I can do today that’s going to effectively move things forward at work, whether for myself or my team?

“And what’s the one key thing I can do for myself, so I can support those other areas of my life?”



Carroll, Melanie, “Covid-19: Tips for working parents trying to do it all in level 4 lockdown”, Stuff Co NZ, 14:08, Aug 19 2021, Covid-19: Tips for working parents trying to do it all in level 4 lockdown |



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