What to Do
I’ve hesitated… procrastinated… writing this because, as an Executive Coach and Career Consultant, the issues we’re facing… I’m facing… are exactly the types of things I work with my clients on every day. And I’m struggling with them. Okay, maybe they’re not exactly the same issues, but similar in that regardless of where we are in our career, we need to face what is happening head-on.
And yet, that is easier said than done. I’m trying to keep a normal routine. I get up early in the morning and head to my computer to begin my day with writing. But it’s more of a struggle than usual. I’m distracted, unfocused and challenged to find relevant things to write about that are not trivial compared to the impact the virus is having on the world.
I do find, however, that when I’m having my coaching calls with clients, I am better able to focus and conduct “business as usual”. And that, I believe is one key to being productive during these challenging times… find a specific topic, issue or project and focus on one thing at a time.
There is a lot of proof that “multi-tasking” is a myth. That it really can’t be done by a vast majority of the population, yet we still insist we can. Maybe now, with one major distraction affecting us all, is the time to change our approach to business… to life. The evidence shows that people are more productive and accurate with their work when they focus on one thing at a time. With so many distractions today, productivity and accuracy are being challenged and there is not much room for error since we’re all suffering in these areas already.
So, what to do during these challenging times?
- First and foremost, be smart! Don’t put your physical health at risk by exposing yourself to unnecessary human contact.
- When working, focus on one thing at a time. The reality is that all production has slowed, if not stopped, so you should be able to prioritize to focus on the important versus the urgent.
- If you’re in career transition, focus on one aspect at a time… resume, LinkedIn profile, developing and connecting with your network, etc.
- If you’re currently employed, stay connected and communicate regularly with your team. As a leader, it’s critical to keep people engaged and focused. If you’re an individual contributor, it will give you the support you need.
- Find a release. No, you shouldn’t be out with crowds… if there are any crowds to be out with… but you can still get outside for a walk, run or just fresh air. Of course, you should practice social distancing, but that can be done easier in the outdoors.
It is good to note that, up to this point most people are treating each other with kindness and civility and I hope that continues as things get more difficult. One thing that will contribute to this is reducing our own personal frustration and stress levels. You can do that by being focused on getting one thing at a time done so you feel productive and engaged in something other than the news of how the virus is impacting the world.
How are you handling the current situation? Please respond and share your tips for getting through this time of isolation. What ways are you handling things both personally and professionally?