As we enter week four, even my relentless rose-colored glasses are becoming fogged by endless video calls and the cat puzzle I can’t seem to get to. If I want to keep one eye on the future, and I do, I’ve got to carve out intellectual and emotional space to address the immediate challenges and keep some powder dry.
Both of these things are true:
- Today’s challenges take all of our energy, wit, and capacity.
- Preparing for the brighter days ahead, we must take a moment to catch our breath and care for ourselves.
The news this week is covering a lot more than the COVID-19 numbers and stock markets. We are seeing tips and tricks for managing solitude, or, at the other end of the spectrum – managing your previous job and your new homeschooling role. There’s a discussion of growing mental health needs and the potential for significant substance abuse.
And we are all getting real. My boys are playing way too much Xbox. (Although let’s be clear, they tell me that all their friends get to play a lot more!) My ambitious list of projects is getting lonely on a corner of my desk, where it has now been covered by the dust rags I’m not using either. I’m also a tad disoriented – it’s like waking up after a flight halfway around the world where everything has changed and your psyche hasn’t caught up with your body.
Seize One day at a time:
- Be your best you. Everything is hard right now. Here are some quick, implementable suggestions to make sure you are ready to look forward again next week.
- Create some structure (and boundaries) for yourself. Identify some realistic work hours, useful limitations on bunny slippers and comfort food, and, most importantly identify some dedicated down time.
- Set timers to accomplish tasks. It’s both hard to concentrate and difficult to discern what is important. Make a short list of things to accomplish and set timers as you knock out each one. Then go put back on your bunny slippers.
- Set some personal goals for this time. And then let them go for this week.
- Go easy. Sometimes you’re not going to be your best you. I’m taking tomorrow off even though it’s weird to take a vacation from your isolation in your same location.
- Protect your entrepreneurial spirit. I’ve started limiting myself to two news blocks: one 1/2 hour in the morning and one 1/2 hour in the evening. I need to be grounded in reality, but not consumed by it. The rest of the day, I can imagine what the recovery will look like and how I will shape it.
- Overcommunicate with your bosses and teams. If they can’t see you, they have no idea what you are doing. Let them know and ask how they are doing.
- Give the benefit of the doubt. From your kids to your boss, just assume everyone is giving the most they can right now.
- Protecting you is an investment in the future. To keep one eye on the future, we have to have the mental, emotional, and physical capacity to meet the challenges of today with some bandwidth to spare. The only person who can ensure you are ready next week is you.
Next week we will return so social risk – but for now, let me know what I should be streaming this weekend. If this post was forwarded to you, you can subscribe here.