During my time executive coaching, the number one attribute that set aside the most successful leaders from the rest was their ability to cope and manage through ambiguity. And this is exactly where we find ourselves right now.
At a time where we thought we’d be coming out of the pandemic, there’s seems to be even more confusion. When we had clear rules about no one leaving the house, it felt easier. Now with different states in the same country and different countries having different rules, the general what-to-do and how-to-act seems muddied.
Over the last couple of weeks even greeting people feels bizarre, the pretend hug from a distance or an elbow tap feels so counter intuitive that the next couple of minutes of chat tends to revolve around it.
As with most things, acknowledging our emotions generally sets us up for better mental processing and health. Because of this, it’s time to acknowledge that most areas of our lives are feeling pretty weird right now.
Let’s have a look at the weirdness spreading into the various pockets of life and what to do about it:
Friends & Family: Setting Clear Guidelines for Each Other
Boundary creation is a vital part of healthy relationships. When it’s unclear about what is or isn’t okay to ask of another, talk about or joke about, misunderstandings tend to occur. It takes a courageous voice to draw a line between okay and not-okay behaviour, but if you stay strong it’ll benefit the relationship in the long run.
Application to COVID – Before catching up with someone, let them know what you are and aren’t comfortable with such as elbow bumping or going to a café.
Work: Acknowledge what is and isn’t working
Floating through the day to day can be really easy to do. If you are still working or running your business, going along with the everyday responsibilities can become so second nature that stopping to take stock of what you are and aren’t enjoying can be easily forgotten. In contrast, choosing to reflect on how things are doing is vital to moving you towards your ideal career outcome. Setting a reoccurring reminder in your calendar to reflect on your role or business is always a good idea, fortnightly or monthly would be a good starting point.
Application to COVID – To borrow a concept from the Lean Startup book, each time the calendar reminder pops up, go through your project list and decide on whether each item goes in the ‘persevere’ or the ‘pivot’ category, that is, what things will you continue with and what things you will change the way you do them.
Home: Clean it Up and Make it a Haven
I’ve long admired minimalists but never entirely made it work in my own life. What I have come to terms with is aiming for a relatively clutter free space most of the time. We know that when our surroundings are messy it can clog up our mind and have negative consequences on our mental health. There’s a reason why we feel so great walking into a hotel room, it’s tidy. If you haven’t already, setting aside a few hours a week to declutter and tidy up might just make the difference you’re looking for.
Application to COVID – Write a list of all the areas that could use a reorganization or cull and then commit to tackling one per week.
Self Care: Maintaining Healthy Rituals
How we treat ourselves tends to have a ripple effect out to all the other areas that make up our life. If we respect our ideas, others tend to as well. If we value our health, our calendars tend to reflect that. Loads of us started beautiful, healthy rituals during the first wave of corona virus and even though so many of us are feeling fatigued and worn down by the length of time it’s hanging around, if we can keep them going the better we’ll feel.
Application to COVID – Habits take 66 days on average to really lock into place, so if you use a daily habit tracker and give yourself a reward at the end, the habit is more likely to stick, you can find a downloadable Habit Tracker here.
Above all, acknowledging where you’re at, how you’re feeling and reaching out for support when you need it is the golden rule right now.