Most people’s experience of the last year and a half has been a whirlwind of ups and downs, a national environment that has been in difficulty and a personal work environment that has been even more fast paced and challenging in its demand for adaptation and change. (And that is discounting any family challenges that some may have had to deal with.) In the need to remain forward looking and future oriented, many have felt that they cannot be present in in their moment’s day to day – either to enjoy them or to solve the difficulties they are presenting.
The onslaught of emails has kept growing as more people have worked from home and it is a measure sometimes of a person’s success that they have doubled or quadrupled over time. Coaching my clients one to one, enables me to help them organise their focus and time differently. Full delegation of responsibilities to others, can cut the flow of emails immediately.
But working from home has meant it is more difficult to delegate, especially things that you most successfully used to do, to be clear to do things you do not know how to do. And doing that – perhaps from home, when you cannot consult with others directly has made it even more difficult. Figuring out who to delegate to, when they have grown in accomplishment during this time requires you to step away from your everyday activities, to see a bigger perspective and time frame.
In the business realms, we are all accustomed to the accounts ‘year-end’ when we look at the profit and loss account and the business balance sheets that reflect on the business we have won and the value we delivered. As we come close to the end of the lockdown and the prospect of a new normal, it is important before we engage, to take time to take stock to perceive the gains and losses of the biggest dislocation of work that has happened in any of our careers.
Life’s challenges are often an exceptionally good thing, in that they call forth our talents and capabilities to meet the exigencies of hard times. They help us improve our skills and generate interest and stimulation and overall make our lives more interesting and fulfilling. But when challenges move into stress and aggravation for which we cannot find solutions, then work becomes unfulfilling and unhealthy. It is often wise to step away from these negative experiences to try and gain a bigger view.
If you were to do a profit and loss statement of your experience during the pandemic, what would you find? One of the ways to do this is to take some time to think, to ask yourself some structured questions, such as:
What occurred in the first lockdown of the pandemic that was significant, important and valuable to me? What did I experience that was useful, that taught me new things and showed me a different way to live?
What occurred in the release from the lockdown that was significant, important and valuable to me? What did I appreciate and value because I wasn’t able to have it in the lockdown?
What occurred in the second lockdown prior to Christmas that was significant, important and valuable to me? What new things did I do or practise that helped me in difficult times? Who did I manage to help or support that showed me I had empathy and good skills?
What occurred in the third lockdown that now feels it has been going on forever, that was significant, important and valuable to me? What has helped me to survive in good spirits and who are the people responsible for my well-being? What do I owe to these people that I can minimally show and give recognition to, as a result?
How has my life been enriched by my experiences, despite how difficult and challenging these times have been?
What were the negative experiences and outcomes in those times, that still need some work from you to resolve? And what information does this provide you about how much more you can grow?
Taking the time to think through these questions will provide you with a wealth of awareness that will enrich your sense of self, your memories and your life. They can also provide you with action points you can take to recognise, reward and celebrate with those people who have been on the same journey as you and from whose life you have benefitted.
7 June 2021