Life beyond the pandemic: why not thinking too far ahead can help prepare us for it
How are you doing at the moment? Do you feel frazzled, a little hopeless and like you would rather be Bill Murray in Groundhog day than in the life that you are currently living? Sorry is that just me? While everything you are feeling right now is ok, there is a risk that if we don't remain mindful that we will return to a life beyond the pandemic and take none of what we learned during the pandemic with us. There's also the risk that our extreme longing for what we currently can't have overshadows the perspective we've gained on maintaining better balance in our lives. After all the majority of us don't want to return to the exact same routine we had before.
So, here are my tips for remaining centered in the next few months. Let's give ourselves the best chance at feeling energized and renewed when we get to return to elements of our old life. Maybe, even a chance to re-shape the way we work and live post-pandemic.
because no one else can, because you are important, and just because you need to, more than ever right now.
- Plan in a moment of self-care every day whether it's a short walk, run or stretch
- Plan in time for self reflection every day - your best work is done when you give yourself time to internally review and reflect
- Plan time to slow down and do nothing every day – at least 10-20 mins of intentional nothingness
I'm a huge fan of finding the right environments for the work I need to do. The deep-rooted reason isn't because it brings me serenity (that’s a nice side effect) it's because it makes me more effective, and I LOVE efficiency! Here's my advice on how you can apply the same theory even when you have no or very little ability to change your environment
- Bucket your tasks into activity types:
- Process - can be done with some disturbance
- Deep Focus - requires calm and undisturbed environment
- Team Calls
- Client Calls
- Think about the best space and time to do these in - can any of them be done away from the desk (walking meetings are a new joy of mine). Plan your calendar around the best moments to do your focus work.
- Consciously transition from one activity to another (even if it's the same activity type). Stand up, stretch, take some deep breaths and move away from your desk (go for a 5min wander if possible) before re-engaging.
Engage your compassionate intent
- Make time to have virtual meetings that aren't just about 'getting things done'
- Take care of each other by taking an interest in the situations your peers are in at home
- Book meetings that do not last the full hour so that there is time for everyone to 'transition'
- Ask yourself what your intent is whenever you are engaging with someone else. Is your motive compassionate or is it competitive. If you don't know how these different intents might look consider our world leaders, Trump - competitive, Biden-compassionate. Engaging your compassionate motive will enable more holistic, considered and authentic decision-making and action taking
And finally, if you don't already, practice mindfulness. Your mind needs as much training as your body. Here, a bonus tip from me to you for one of my favorite mindfulness training: Balanced Minds
See you on the other side,