I took some time to think about what is energizing me during this difficult time—and asked the team the same question.
Back in March, when stay-at-home orders were first issued, I knew we were going to need a routine in order to make it through successfully. As part of putting a schedule together to manage work on top of homeschooling my six-year-old twins, I asked myself, “What do I want to accomplish during this time? And how could I use these next few weeks at home to better myself, relationships and/or company?”
Creating a list of things to accomplish was the easy part. I’ve proceeded to do so throughout these first six weeks of quarantine and by prioritizing and focusing on one item at a time, I have managed to complete each task. I accomplished these things while also contemplating the second part of my personal challenge.
Now, this might not be everyone’s approach, but what I know about myself is that I am happier when I have structure and routine and when I am accomplishing things. Which is why I immediately had to create that structure for myself and set those goals. This is what energizes and motivates me.
What I’ve learned as both a leader and a professional during this time is that you really have to be in touch with what energizes you. For me, it’s both the routine and structure, and within that it’s having regular exercise and setting concrete goals both personal and professional for myself. Those tools have helped me make this time productive and useful.
I asked my team the same question. Here’s some of what they said:
Gretchen, like me, thrives on structure: “Creating structure and routine makes me feel mentally grounded, which in turn makes me feel more energized. I accomplish more and stress less. This has always been true, even during normal non-quarantine times, but it has become a real priority now. With all of the worry and uncertainty going on around us, it’s important to find the things that make life feel a little bit more manageable and under control.“ Read more here.
Elaina explains that mixing things up and striving to find things to look forward to keeps her going: “While I am normally someone who loves routine, the lack of variety in my environment has made me crave differentiation. So I am starting to make a concerted effort to mix up my evenings and sometimes my mornings with small things to look forward to in order to feel less stagnant.” Read more here.
For Alex, energy hasn’t really been an issue; transitioning a large client meeting from in-person to all-virtual has kept him plenty busy and alert over the past few weeks. Instead, he’s had to figure out how to maintain his focus: “Managing multiple tasks and projects on a tight timeline is normal when you have a packed schedule. But what is not normal is having this ever-changing and growing to-do list during a pandemic. Lately, I’ve found that my free time outside of work hours is when I am doing much of my best and clearest thinking, organizing and planning. I am finding I do my best thinking when I am being active and, quite honestly, on the water. I’ve been able to clear my mind when I surf.” Read more here.
So, to all those still feeling stuck as well as to those who feel that they’ve gotten a system down, I want to ask you—what energizes you? What is keeping you going?