Covid-19 has brought havoc and disorder to many lives. Most of us are personally affected by this health crisis whether it be sickness, death of a loved one, change in finances, uproot in children’s schedules, or just all too common anxiety and uncertainty. These challenging times and every challenging time that I have ever faced causes me to reflect and reevaluate priorities in my life.
I want the economy restored. I want myself, my team, and my clients to be able to work at normal capacity and reach our 2020 goals as planned. I want social interaction, face to face communication (I’m sick of Zoom). Yet, although I seek order and a sense of normalcy I do appreciate the sense of stillness that has come from this disruption. Stillness in disruption. Imagine that. Now more than ever all that really matters has been revealed. For me, family is everything! This extra time spent with my son has been priceless!
As professionals, achieving a successful work life integration is always a pressing issue! I can’t deny the blessing that has been found in experiencing time literally slowing down. And before we all get too comfortable with this new normal, we know it will pass in the blink of an eye our days will yet again be filled with meetings, projects, calls, and we will have to return to advocating for balance to have quality time with our loved ones. Before we resume this busy life I have a plan in place to make the most from these moments of stillness and I encourage you to do the same. There is something to be learned here, don't miss your moment!
Actually it can wait!
In stillness it has become clear that we actually can put things on hold in order to prioritize our family or personal needs without consequence. The key word is adaptation. Delay doesn’t mean denial. Pandemic or not I can still order my day and prioritize my responsibilities. When adapting ask yourself:
Does this require my immediate attention?
Can I do this after I spend time with my family?
Can I delegate this task?
This circumstance has taught me that things I thought were super pressing were actually very adaptable and I don’t have to do it all and the things that I do have to do does not have to necessarily come before the responsibilities I have for my family and personal life.
Precaution VS fear
In stillness I have been reminded just how real fear is and how it causes us to rush to judgement and think irrationally. I am concerned about our health as a nation, I believe in the value of social distancing and staying home when possible. But I will not be filled with fear. I won’t lose sleep stressing over what tomorrow will hold. I mentally cannot succumb to worry of the unknown. Faith is important and right now my faith is in overdrive. This will pass. The sky will not fall. This is temporary. I will be cautious, I will be careful, but I will not fear.
A time to lead
I have said it before and I truly mean it; leaders are remembered for how they handle challenging times. A leader who can only make good decisions and maintain morale during happy, easy, and successful times is not much of a leader. Lead your staff, family, and friends by:
Not giving unrealistic expectations
Not prioritizing work or your needs over theirs
Giving your time, conversation, or monetary gifts or bonuses if possible
Exemplifying patience and adaptation
Many of us as professionals and leaders have experienced some level of great crisis before. If not, this global health crisis is a big eye opener to the potential of what happens to a company and life when the economy is shattered and life as we know it is altered. Whether you are well versed in crisis management or still getting over the shock of your first major upset, the question remains the same: how will you handle crises better in the future? Unfortunately, tough times fall on everyone at some point. There is no perfect business or entity. There is not a fail proof plan. In this stillness, pause and reflect on how you can be a better leader and manager of time and resources during the next crisis that comes your way. Hopefully, these harsh times are far and few between but when times of crisis come up again what can you do to be proactive and financially and mentally capable to quickly solve problems and adjust to challenging times? Be ready!
Spend time with your family. Put plans in place for your future. Do something for yourself! Do what matters. Use this time to create peace even in chaos. Peace and stillness will make you a better leader, parent, friend, and colleague. There is a silver lining here and I hope you pause and reflect on what that silver lining is and means to you! This too shall pass!