As the lockdown begins to ease, we hit a new phase of the Covid Crisis and a new change journey to deal with. Once again the change is being ‘put upon us’ we don’t have a lot of choice about it, it’s happening whether we like it or not, whether we want it or not. It is inevitable, then, that we will again find a ramping up in pressure and stress, on TOP of that which we’d already been feeling and dealing with. It’s been one heck of a series of lessons, has this lockdown period, so what do we take away from it all? Surely there’s got to be some positives to come out of this time. Can we really see this phased return to work and ‘normality’ as an opportunity? At Meta we’d strongly urge you to do precisely that… let me explain why.
Look, this lockdown has been a really strange time for us all. It’s been WEIRD, MESSED UP – let’s face it, it’s been pretty RUBBISH. However there have been some really interesting shifts in our collective behaviour as a result of it. Sure, some of it was enforced (i.e. social distancing and self-isolation, home educating the kids). However some of it evolved naturally over time, as individuals and families got used to being in lockdown – going out into nature, listening to birds, taking time to be together and doing activities together as a family, spending more time virtually with extended family and friends, doing things WITH our neighbours and community, helping others in the community.
All in all, there’s been some really good things that have come out of this extended period in lockdown, some work related, but many about the way we lead our lives. So before we launch ourselves back into the lives we used to have, before we go back to our old patterns of working and busy, busy, busy lifestyles – let’s take time to do a review of what we really want to take forward with us and what we’d really like to leave behind. Then perhaps we can look back on lockdown as the time we really started to LIVE our lives, the way we wanted to, not the way that we felt we HAD to.
There is no doubt that for me and for Meta the Covid-19 pandemic has been tough. Not just because of the experiences we’ve all been sharing, but as I have mentioned before we’ve also had the extra stresses of Di’s house fire (and her consequent living with me for the last three months) and the fact that my wife’s mother died unexpectedly a month or so ago. Combine that with a virtually empty work diary and no income to speak of, oh and the fact that my mum cracked her rib a few weeks back, and all in all it’s been a challenging time! However I’m naturally a positive person, and I’ve always seen everything that comes into my life as an opportunity to learn and grow. Sure sometimes the lessons come thick and fast, and maybe they’re not exactly what I’d have chosen myself (certainly not in the quick succession they’ve been in) but that’s how it is, so you do what you can to deal with it best you can and to use it as an opportunity to reflect, review and learn from it all.
At the end of the day, we all want to feel like we are moving forwards, that we are evolving. Sometimes that comes from carrots (the lovely things) and sometimes it’s with sticks (the not so lovely things).
About two weeks ago I decided it was time to wrestle back control, to reflect on what had been happening and use a review to figure out how I wanted my ‘new normal’ to be. It’s really simple to do, but it’s a really POWERFUL exercise, so I thought that this month I’d share that with you, and perhaps this is something that you can do. It doesn’t take long AND it’s something that you can do as an individual and do with your partner/family.
During the Covid-19 Pandemic period:
- What would you like to leave behind and not take into your ‘new normal’ life?
- What have you learnt about others? – This could be your family, your relationship, friendships, your kids, your fellow workers, your organisation, your community whatever feels appropriate..
- What have you learnt about yourself? – What lessons will you take away from this time?
- What has not been so good for you? – What are the things that have not worked for you?
- What has been good for you? – What are the things you’ve enjoyed?
- What have you enjoyed or found good in the way in which you’ve been working? – Not just during the pandemic, but before the pandemic too
- What have you enjoyed or found good in the way you’ve been living your life? – Not just during the pandemic, but before the pandemic too
- What would you like to take forward into your ‘new normal’ life from the way in which you’ve been working? – What’s been your best practices?
- What would you like to take forward into your ‘new normal’ life from the way in which you’ve been living your life? – What’s important to keep?
- How can you ensure the changes that you want actually happen? – What support and encouragement can you put in place to make your ‘new normal’ a reality?
- What are THREE things that you can do now to make sure this HAPPENS?
This is quite a comprehensive REVIEW. There’s deliberate overlap between the questions, however each is designed to encourage your mind to give extra bits of useful information to create a more complete picture of how you’d like your life to be in ‘the new normal’.
Sure there will be things that are out of our control, of course there will, however because you’ve taken the time to do this REVIEW to really create a vision for how you’d like your life to be, it’s much more likely to happen. It becomes within your control, and when you hit up against something, you then have a choice as to whether this is a part of your ‘new normal’ that you’re prepared to compromise on, or not.
With life and work there are always compromises. However if you have got clear about what you really want, then you can make more informed choices about what your ‘non-negotiable’ boundaries are and your ‘negotiable’ boundaries are.
The review I’ve put forth here, is a starter for ten – it will most certainly give you a good chunk of information to use, but it’s not the be all and end all. It’s the starting point for the bigger conversation – ‘how do I want my work and my life to be going forwards?’
It will, however, ensure that you don’t miss the opportunity that this pandemic has given us to reflect, review, learn and grow. It also reminds you that there is more than we think that is within our control, so why not use today’s blog as a prompt to design how you’d like your ‘new normal’ to be?
Jo Clarkson, Meta CEO