On Monday, March 16, 2020, the world as we knew it came to a screeching halt. It’s like someone pressed a pause button that caused a drastic shift in how we live our lives. We typically stay busy from the time we wake up until the time we go to be. We rarely have enough time to think, let alone to plan, strategies, and implement our longer-term goals. But now, you’ve been given this pause, an opportunity to slow down and consider your development and career. What are you going to do with it?
Here are the top 10 ways I am staying on top of my game during this pause:
- I’m keeping my spirits up. I’m intentionally staying off social media, limiting news exposure, watching movies any on Netflix, related to a pandemic or outbreak. All these outlets do is increase my anxiety. Anything that causes stress is going to distract you from staying focused.
- I’m practicing self-care. I’ve been going for morning walks in my neighborhood to get fresh air and clear my mind. Some afternoons, my daughter, and I have dance parties. She calls it her PE time. Or get out and go for a drive. I’m also watching what we eat and ensuring that we have well-balanced meals. A healthy diet and exercise contribute not only to your physical but also your mental well-being. Above all else, it is more than ok to take care of you first and foremost.
- I’m finding ways to help others. I am intentionally looking for opportunities to be a contribution. I’ve forwarded emails, offered the gas and Starbucks money I’m not spending right now to those who have a need, and I’m encouraging others to do the same. If we all did just a little bit, we can make a significant impact and help those who have less.
- I’m socializing. Although we are physically mandated to distance ourselves, I’m staying social. I’m calling and texting family to see how they’re doing. I’m initiating conference calls with my crew to hang out together on the phone or by video. Last night we got on Zoom and enjoyed happy hour together.
- I’m making sure I laugh. Laughter truly is good medicine. It is a great stress reliever and increases the “feel good” hormones in your system. I make it a point to watch comedies regularly or call one of my silly friends for a good laugh.
The first five tips are how I stay healthy and balanced; the next five help me to prepare and position myself for when this pause is over.
- I’m reviewing my goals and planning. Any time is a perfect time to reevaluate goals and when you have some extra time, even better. I can only watch so much TV. During this pause, I’m exploring how this “new normal” impacts my future. I’m also considering the adjustments I’ll need to make.
- I’m catching up. I have a master to-do list that always seems to grow and never shrink. I am seizing the opportunity to knock some of those to-do tasks off my list and make them to-dones!
- I’m working on projects. I don’t know about you, but I also have a nice long list of professional and personal projects I never get to start or complete. Now’s my chance. Closets are getting cleaned, and articles and workshops are getting written. I’ve gotten very productive.
- I’m learning. Along with a long list of projects and tasks, I also have a long list of recorded webinars, podcasts, emails, articles, books, and videos to review. Since professional and social events are, for now, eliminated, I have more time to watch a webinar or read a chapter of a book.
- I’m staying connected to my network. Because we all seem to keep busy all of the time, I don’t get much opportunity to slow down and have virtual meetings with colleagues. We use our time to support each other in staying focused on our goals.
These tips will not only keep you engaged during this pause, but they are also good habits to work into your weekly, monthly, and yearly schedule to keep you on top of your game. Rest, rejuvenate, and reset, but don’t stop. Embrace this time and be intentional about using it while you have it.
To your success!