COVID-19 has upended normalcy. In times like these, it’s important to distinguish between things we CAN control versus things that are OUTSIDE of our control.
Someone once said, “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”
If you have control, take it. If you don’t, do your best to ‘let go’ and adapt.
Annoyingly simple, right? Simple but certainly NOT easy.
Many people have been asked to stay home from work, or to work from home. Either way, everyone is now forced into a new set of unsettled conditions regarding their professional lives.
Here are some things that you CAN control:
- First and foremost: Follow the recommended guidelines for avoiding illness and the coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Work your regular hours. As tempting as it is to take time to slack off, keep to a disciplined schedule and stay focused. Be particularly careful with your early morning routine. Typically if you win the morning, you’ll win the day.
- If you’re working from home, turn your home office into a productive environment where you love to work. Clean the closets, clear the clutter, organize your desk — for the time being, this is your base camp, and you want to avoid distractions and lack of focus.
- Make more calls. (Repeat: Calls, NOT emails!) Clients and prospects are more likely to answer the phone right now because they’re at home. Offer help, information and support. Make connections now that will pay off later.
- Be ruthless about maintaining your desired levels of quality and professionalism. Ask tough screening questions of prospects and of requests. Don’t focus your working time on low-probability business or low-priority tasks.
- Set up or expand your credit lines and cash reserves. Normally, we are not fans of debt, but we are fans of access to credit, and especially of an emergency fund. Take care of whatever paperwork you need to, in order to expand your business (or personal) line of credit (…just in case).
- Be radically dedicated to the truth. Meaning: Double down on your business’s or personal performance metrics. Be sure you can see your daily numbers in real-time (so you can actually adjust your behavior accordingly). Remember: Measurement equals motivation.
- Respond soberly to the situation … but don’t overreact from fear. A clear mind makes the best decisions.
- Invest time in training and skills-building, to make yourself (and members of your team) better as an entrepreneur, professional, manager, employee, and person.
- Workout / exercise / meditate. This is always good to do at any time but especially now when you need to relieve stress.
- Lastly, take a deep breath. Enjoy your family, your loved ones and the quiet. Play with your cat / dog / pet. Get outside (but maintain your distance!).
At some point, our normal life will come roaring back, to a frenetic pace. We WILL get through this. Working Together. Building Futures.
(written by: Nelson; adapted from a personal message received in March 2020)