Let’s Reframe Challenges to Cope with Uncertainty…

We are all dealing with unprecedented — and seemingly endless — uncertainty right now.

While we may not have as much clarity as we like, we can avoid feeling disoriented by developing an “uncertainty capability” and reframing our outlook on the unknown.

Some common reframes include:

Learning. Let’s ask ourselves what we can learn from the situation rather than automatically viewing it as a setback.

Games. Remember that we win some and lose some.

Gratitude. Recognize what we already have and be thankful for it.

Randomness. A lot of life is random. What happens isn’t always our doing.

Without a clear end to the pandemic in sight, it’s important that we develop and sustain a healthy relationship with the things we don’t know and can’t control.

These shifts in what we think about uncertainty will help us build resilience and a positive outlook.

Let Daily Chores be Engaging when WFH…

When you’re working from home, you may find yourself feeling distracted by your looming personal responsibilities. You don’t have to push aside nagging thoughts such as, “I really should put in a load of laundry,” or, “Isn’t it time to do exercise?” — you can use these impulses to your advantage.

Physical chores may provide welcome relief after hours of video conferences and calls, thought work, and you can build them into your schedule. For example, if you’re having trouble starting a slide deck, decide ahead of time that you’ll walk the dog as soon as you get the first three slides done.

Weaving the daily responsibilities into your workday can help you feel more productive both personally and professionally, leaving you feeling more refreshed and energized for the days ahead.

Waiting and worrying…

It’s easy for us to worry. The world is upside down, the tough period continues, a tragedy unevenly but widely distributed.

Worry takes a lot of effort. And worry, unlike learning or action, accomplishes nothing of value.

And, at the same time, due to the time-horizon of the pandemic, it’s also tempting for us to wait. To wait for things to get back to normal. But all the time we’re spending waiting (for a normal that is unlikely to be just like it was) is time we’re not spending learning, leading or connecting.

If we decided to simply reduce our waiting and worrying, just imagine how much we could discover, how many skills we could learn, how dramatically attitudes could shift.

We can still wait (even though time will pass either way). And we can still worry (even though it doesn’t do any good). But perhaps we can figure out how to do it less.

I’m bored…

If you are feeling bored. “That’s on you.”

As soon as you’re tired of being bored at work, at home, on lockdown, wherever you’ll go find a challenge. You don’t have to quit your day job to be challenged, but you do have to be willing to leap, to take some responsibility, to find something that might not work.

Being challenged at work is a privilege. It means that you have a chance, on someone else’s nickel, to grow. It means you can choose to matter.

Be glad you’re feeling bored, and now be excited to plan what you’re going to go do about it.

Way Forward…

Our experience of time always goes in one direction – Forward.

It might seem to speed up or slow down, but the outside world conspires to keep things moving from today to tomorrow.

Given that nothing is ever going to be the same, and that backward isn’t an option, our only choice is forward.
That’s always been true. As soon as we encounter something, anything, it will never be as it was.

Fortunately, we have a chance to make things better going forward. Every day, the next day.

A short term or a lasting crisis…

“Wake me when it’s over,” is a natural instinct during a short-term interruption in our usual pattern. A crisis is there to be managed or waited out. The goal of each day is to simply get through it. Until things are back to normal.

But sometimes we’re dealing with a lasting crisis. Where the number of days is not small enough to simply throw them away. In a lasting crisis, the pattern of only getting by undervalues our long days and diminishes our ability to contribute.

In this case, we have a chance to accept a new normal, even if it’s temporary, and to figure out how to make something of it. Of course, you haven’t wished for it, but it’s here. There’s very little value in spending our time nostalgic for normal.

When we get to the other side of the lasting crisis and look back, what will we have contributed, learned & created?