When I became aware of COVID, even before really understanding how this was going to affect the business world, I became familiar with a whole new set of phrases. Such as “Flattening the Curve”, “Social Distancing” and epidemic vs pandemic and many others. Also, for the first time since college, I used the terms “Literally” and “Exponentially” correctly. Literally. After seven (7) weeks of working from home and being isolated things have begun to get more serious. People are stressed, and many are worried about losing their job or have lost a job. People are asking what government(s) and corporations can or should do to alleviate the pain and to mitigate the risk. These are big and important questions, and we’ll be able to look back in the future and evaluate if enough was done and at the right time. These things are largely out of our control. What I want to talk about is not what government or big corporations can do for you, but what you can do for you in order to provide some margin in your life during this time to help you be a productive and impactful as possible. I want to discuss what you can control. I’ve laid out four “pointers”.
Number 1 – Too much information
Limit your consumption of news and social media. In fact, social media is not a good place to get your news (Pro tip: this is true even when we’re not in a pandemic). It is important to stay informed but choose reputable sources for a few minutes each day and move on.
Number 2 – Routine
Wake up at the same time as you normally would. Incorporate some sort of exercise routine. Eat healthy. Shower, shave, put on proper clothes. Changing from pajamas to work clothes back to pajamas will help break your day up in a way that it was when you were commuting to work. The exercise piece is no-brainer; it helps with stress and is a natural mood enhancer.
Number 3 – Reset goals
Business will probably be off from what is what or what could be. A re-setting of expectations may be in order. Lengthen your timeline. Let the work you do today bear fruit in the future. For instance, I’m making calls today which I hope could lead to something later in the year, or even next year. When I do make a live connection, I stop selling. I just want to connect with someone and have a conversation. I have redefined what success looks like daily, on a micro level.
Number 4 – Remember to stay connected
This is big. Isolation can be brutal and being deprived from our network or circle of friends can be depressing. Use the software tools that are out there and embrace the video calls. If someone from work organizes a “virtual happy hour” see it as an opportunity to talk to co-workers in a non-work environment. Trust me, they are feeling many of the same things. Besides, if you pay attention to Number 2, you’ll look great during these virtual calls!
Lastly, remember that this too shall pass but it may be our “new normal” for quite a while longer. Try to embrace it and hopefully these suggestions will make it more bearable.
Written By John Kehoe, Sr. Executive Recruiter- Specialty Chemicals and Distribution Recruiting