Paralysis. This is the word that perfectly defines the current state of mind, for many of us who are not working in sectors such as healthcare or food industry, to just mention some. Some people are working more than ever. Others have already lost their jobs. Most are however facing a slowing down, and are not sure what to do about it.
We took for granted our everyday life, our social contacts, our meetings, workshops and conferences. We were sick of emails and screens, and yet we were glued to them all day. We ran from one place to another, we had no time to respond to the growing demands, and no space to think and do the kind of work we wanted to do.
We took for granted that our kids would be in schools for many hours. That our spouses have their own free time and space. We managed to create, a separation between free time and work, a separation between our roles. One space and role kept invading the others, but we pretended it wasn’t such a big deal. We had it all under control.
But with the current crisis, time is suddenly redefined. Our roles and identities are not the same. We have become more of something, and less of something, at the same time.
Here are some ideas that come to mind fighting in the fight against paralysis, both personally and professionally:
SCHEDULE: be inspired by the monks and their "rule of life". Make a schedule for yourself (and for the kids). Yes, you will cheat the schedule at times, but the schedule won’t mind, as long as you are committed to it and strive to achieve something bigger than yourself.
LEADERSHIP: sometimes it’s you who is in charge, sometimes it is someone else. Take the lead now, wherever you can! Your cooking skills, your positive energy, your creativity, your beliefs, your ideas: let them all free. Don’t wait for your manager, your spouse, and certainly, please, don’t wait for the kids to call the shots. Guide others, in whichever way you can, and make yourself needed.
KEEP TALKING: you may not feel like it. You may prefer to sit behind the screen and consume, and maybe write, but you don’t feel like talking on the phone. But hearing each other’s voices will be the cure to our loneliness and anxiety. Keep the lines open. Find a way, to every day, call those people, be they friends or acquaintances, with whom you haven’t talked to in a long time. This is the best time to listen, and share and make each other laugh.
As for me, I will continue to work as much as I can to contribute with my own expertise on what we can do to communicate better in times like these. More info coming soon!