If you tune into the coverage of the Coronavirus, you might be tempted to think the world is coming to an end.
Perhaps the world as we know it might be – at least for now. Times will probably get tougher before they improve.
While we can’t overlook the challenges posed by the current situation, we need to be aware that it represents an opportunity. An opportunity to do things differently and better than ever before.
Refocus on What Matters Most
During a tough time like the one we find ourselves in, we gain the chance to focus on the things that truly matter to us.
Little concerns and problems you had before will no longer be as sharply in focus.
When danger knocks, our hearts and minds turn to those we love and our ability to care for them.
So how can you apply this chance to refocus on your personal and professional activities?
- Listen to your feelings. Perhaps the area you’re in has been locked down or will be soon. Would you miss being able to travel? To see certain people? To do certain things? Remember these feelings. You can use them to do more of what you love, and feel gratitude in the process.
- Reflect and set goals. When regular life is disrupted you have one of two choices. Either distract yourself until things get back to normal or choose the time to reflect on your progress so far this year. Which goals are going well? Which aren’t? Is the way you’re spending your time still in line with your values?
- Connect with others. While we may be encouraged to isolate physically, we can still most certainly connect mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Open up to the people that are close to you. Give them the space to do the same in return. You might just form an invaluable source of mutual support that outlasts the crisis.
If you’re being kept away from your routine by the coronavirus or might be soon, try not to focus on what you’ll be away from.
Instead, take this opportunity to start redefining and moving towards what you love the most. I’d urge you to not waste the time. Learn something meaningful. Acquire new skills. Why not write the book you’ve always dreamed of?
3 Areas to Refocus On
- Value alignment. Is your work in line with your deeper values? What about your leisure activities and your charitable contributions? Could you realign here?
- Health systems. Have you got your diet and exercise working optimally? Are there ways you could incorporate health into your everyday life, such as by introducing small habits like walking and drinking lots of water?
- Your networks. Could you give your time to organizations that need it? Could you join networks where you can make a positive difference, such as through mentorship?
Improve the Way You Do Things
By refocusing on the things that matter most, you regain a sense of perspective, of the deeper ‘why’ that drives what you do. It’s time to go beyond that.
Next, you’re going to take your sense of why, and turn it into a concrete plan for ‘what and how’.
By taking this step, you make sure that you translate your momentum into real action.
- How you spend your time. So far, a lot of people are realizing they were sort of living on autopilot before the current crisis. A lot of us were wasting too much time on Netflix when we should have been reading better books. While things are disrupted, you have the chance to map out how you were using your time. What will you now change? Are there activities you want to increase, decrease, or even eliminate?
- Results and efficiency. What kind of results are you getting from the activities you carry out? This applies in your personal life, for example, the number of books you manage to read, and also your business life, such as the way you generate leads for your business. Could you carry out processes in a more efficient way? Could the 80/20 principle apply here? Think about the things you do which add value and the things that don’t. Try and tighten up.
- What are you measuring? If you’re going to manage something, you need to measure it. Choose the right metrics, and the means of tracking them, so you can hold yourself accountable to your redefined aims.
Take the time to consciously think about meaningful improvement. You will get the best possible results from your actions in our post-crisis world.
3 Improvements to Make
- Tools. Are you using the best possible organizational apps and systems? Could you be more efficient in this area? How about wearable tech for tracking health?
- Best Practice. When did you last stop and get expert advice on productivity and efficiency? Could you benefit from taking the time to consult current best practice guidelines?
- Bucket list items. Most of us have passion projects we’ve been putting off for a long time. Could you use the current crisis as a chance to commit to doing something really meaningful that you wouldn’t otherwise begin? My hunch is we’ll see a lot of books being written during the Coronavirus!
Show Up for Your People
A meaningful opportunity, such as the coronavirus crisis, shouldn’t be used selfishly.
As leaders, we should be judged on the impact we have on others.
During this tough time, you can be a force for good in the lives of those around you. Your neighbors. Your team. Your family.
A lot of people will be grateful for the attention you pay them and the care you show them. Here’s the best way to go about it.
- Be proactive. As a leader, you should make the first move. Initiate the conversation. Ask people how they’re feeling and how you can help them. This can be worth its weight in gold during a difficult time.
- Sacrifice. One opportunity our current crisis has provided so far is the ability for people to demonstrate sacrifice for those around them. This can be as simple as self-isolating out of love for your community or giving your time and attention to a team member who’s finding things tough.
- Make it last. It’s up to you to carry on the feeling of connection and positive support this crisis is generating for many people. Value and sustain it far into the future for your business and your life.
3 Ways to Show Up for Those Around You
- Your neighborhood. Are there elderly or vulnerable people in your building, street, or community that need some help? Simple things like getting shopping or just offering an ear can make a huge difference.
- Your team. People in your work teams are probably experiencing unique and troubling challenges at this time. Reach out and offer tangible and intangible help in whatever way you can.
- People online. You can help people further afield as well. Check out crowdfunding sites, relevant hashtags and online charities to find and help people in need.
Ultimately, being in a position to be there and show up for others is what matters.
But it’s a little like putting your own oxygen mask on first. By focusing on what means the most to you, and finding the best way to go about it, you’ve put your mask on.
You can now help others navigate this crisis along with you, and seek out opportunity amidst the disruption.