We all have different ways to deal with change.
We all have different preferences in how we like to do change. I talk about this in all my programs and services. The last several weeks have been a bit of change overload, even for the small group of us that get really excited about change.
Change is hard. Yes, we know. But it's hard for different reasons for different people. And even for people who say they don’t like change, or even the ones who say they don’t DO change…. there are ways to structure change to their preferences that make it a whole lot easier and enjoyable. But I digress…
We all have had a little too much change. Sudden work from home, all social engagements cancelled, usual routines of running errands stopped or now drive through, schools closed- kids are home, spouses are home, and SO MUCH MORE.
So as humans, in response to overloaded change we create new routines to help up cope. Right? What’s yours look like? Mine looks likes staying up way too late because I need some quiet brain space and precious ALONE TIME. Then I’m tired in the mornings and immediately ensure that the kids are attending virtual morning announcements for school and that they have their morning plan for attending virtual classes and classwork. Then I get sucked into work that bleeds into the evenings. I’m getting a lot accomplished but feel the need to be responsive to any leaders that are experiencing high stress at this time so I’m also taking lots of unexpected calls.
At some point around 7:30 I go for my obligatory walk each evening and check in on each kid and the husband too, only, peeking at my inbox a few times before switching gears fully around 10 pm. What? No wonder I’m tired, no wonder I’m not taking weekend breaks, no wonder in the last week I have felt “off”. My work and personal life have gotten a little too intertwined. And my back was feeling stiff and I was just achy. And what happened to exercise? One of my teens has recently mastered French and Italian pastry making in the afternoons. Goodness Gracious!
I took a hard look at my new “routine” and decided to overhaul it in a jumpstart way. Up early, new more intense fitness routine, wrote myself a daily agenda with flexibility built in for urgent matters. I now ignore responding to texts until I hit a preplanned break period. And guess what- SO MUCH BETTER. I feel 100 times better.
WHAT ROUTINES HAVE YOU BEEN DEVELOPING?
So- what routines have started to naturally emerge in your new coronavirus era life? If they aren’t working for you- how can you change them up to jolt your ability to think creatively? Most of us don’t even realize that we have created these new routines because they just sort of happened in response to a changing context. But we actually can control how we structure our lives.
Leaders need to be incredibly aware of their mental, emotional and physical state through this period because the stakes are higher for you. Usually when I ask leaders how are you I get….. I’m good, I’m good. And then I ask, really, how ARE you? I often still get an… I’m good. I get it. You have to project stability for others- and that is super important.
But- I thought I was doing great. Anyone who asked I was rocking this coronavirus period, minus the constant anxiety for the people I serve across the country and the health and well being of my loved ones. And then I realized I had gotten myself into a routine that was a reaction to change and I hadn’t done enough work to intentionally design one that would work better for me. So how is your routine setting you up for extraordinary thinking and working right now? Doing a little self-audit might just give you new energy and perspective to move through some tough challenges ahead.