How to make the most of your time during this
season of unpredictability and change due to COVID-19
From schools to sporting events, election rallies to community gatherings, conferences, and travel, COVID-19 is creating a massive wave of change across America and around the world. There are many things we cannot control but we can control how we use our own time during this pandemic.
How many projects have you wanted to tackle but haven’t been able to because you’ve always been too busy? For those who travel for business, how many times have you wished you could work from home for a week instead of schlepping all over the world? Or how many times have you thought, “If only I had the time, I would….”
Well, now you can. We’ve been grounded for the immediate short term.
As my mom would have said, “This too will pass.” Until it does, we’ll need to figure out a different way to do life. Within every challenge is also an opportunity. We’ll also learn things we didn’t know before about ourselves and others. We may even find a silver lining in this cloud.
Here are some ways to make the most of this time:
Write or draft a plan that is scalable in the time you would normally spend with face-to-face appointments, in-person meetings, or traveling. You’re 80 times more likely to accomplish a goal if you write it down. This is your chance! Detailed planning has taken a hit over the last five years. Thoughtful discussion about roadblocks and opportunities has as well. We’re accustomed to getting our news in sound bites but not doing the deeper dive that is often necessary for successful outcomes. This is the season to write a plan, not a PowerPoint. At The Creative Company, we are exploring the idea of starting a podcast, for example. This gap in traveling will provide us more time to develop a well-thought-out strategy, plan guests, and connect with potential sponsors.
Get accustomed to using Zoom or other video conferencing tools to teach, lead, guide, and connect. We work with several leadership teams who have offices all over the country and this is our new normal at the agency in some cases. It definitely saves on travel costs and likely provides more quality of life to our coworkers and colleagues. I firmly believe in the value of being there and that you must be present to win, too. However, for a season, all of us can benefit from a rest from so much activity and use technology to stay connected.
Communicate using video, webinars or the written word more often. If you’re normally connecting in person and at networking events, now is the time to leverage these tools. They work and are more scalable than one-on-one connections.
Stay in your higher brain. Higher brain thinking is all about solutions, being open to new ways of doing things, and keeping your neural pathways in a position where you can think. In all crisis situations, people naturally go into the lower brain. Fight the temptation and stay focused on all of the good that’s in place. Although canceling sporting events, conferences and school is disruptive and disappointing, it’s likely lives will be saved because of those actions. Plus, as I mentioned previously, you will likely have time to plan, create, think and make new things come to life.
In the next article, I’ll give you some tips in terms of how to stay in front of this story and your own plans with your customers and clients.