Updated: Feb 22
Adaptability - being able to pivot according to external circumstances
Uncertainty has been rife for a couple of months now. With travel suspended, lockdowns being enforced and remote working gaining traction, the way we live our life has changed forever. With so much going on, it's imperative to cultivate adaptability in order to not only survive the next few months but also thrive.
Humans are creatures of habit which means that we like to know how our day is going to play out. We like this because it makes us feel safe. Knowing is better than not knowing. Right? Yes definitely but, we're all now living through a situation which is unlike any situation we've ever experienced. It's very very difficult to know when travel will resume and what that's going to look like. It's equally difficult to know whether lockdowns will continue, as different countries go through different waves, and whether remote working will now be the way forward. The truth is, some people miss travel, and others don't. Some people have made the most of the lockdown because they've been able to focus on areas of their life that they had previously neglected, while others have struggled with mental and physical well-being. Similarly, some people really enjoy working remotely because they feel that they're more productive, they get to spend more time with their families and they get to stay on top of other areas of their life, while other people can't wait to go back to the office. Whichever way we look at it, some people prefer certain changes that have come about due to the global pandemic while others don't, and that's fine.
The point of this post is to remind us all that unprecedented times require new perspectives, new ways of working, and new approaches to dealing with different areas of our life. It helps to be open-minded and to understand that the pandemic is affecting the entire world, not just us. By taking a step back, it becomes an issue that we as a collective must work towards improving (or resolving) as opposed to it being about each individual. I for one, miss travel immensely, but my need to travel isn't more important than another person's need to avoid travelling because of the pandemic, for example. Similarly, I've dug deep to find a routine that works well for me and makes me feel that I'm maximizing my productivity in all the areas which are most relevant to my personal development plan, but that doesn't mean everybody can or wants to spend their time in a similar way. For some, lockdown is demoralizing and demotivating. The same applies to working remotely. The company I work for pioneered a remote working model way before the rest of the world was forced to adapt to one and it definitely suits my working style. This doesn't mean that remote working is as effective for other people. The point is, we have to take the situations we are presented with and find ways to optimize our routine in order to not only survive but also thrive.
How can we do that? First of all, we have to tune in to how we are feeling. Our emotions (and feelings) are a reflection of our internal and external environments. Secondly, we have to acknowledge our emotions (and feelings). It's completely fine to feel the way we do. Lastly, we have to go to the drawing board to come up with tangible actions that can help alleviate any of the negative emotions (and feelings). If we're missing travel for example, is there a way we can explore our neighbourhood, city, or country in a way that keeps us safe but also provides us with an opportunity to mimic travel (to a certain degree)? How about a staycation, a hike, or a day at the beach? Alternatively, planning our next trip or watching a documentary on our next travel destination can help us shake off those travel blues. The above applies if the lockdown is affecting our mental and physical well-being. Can we add a bit of exercise during the day to help us get some fresh air and to keep our bodies active? Is there a walking trail near the house? Can we reach out to people we haven't spoken to in a while and arrange a phone call or video call on Zoom? If remote working isn't working for us, is there a way to arrange more contact time in person or virtually with the rest of the team? Is there a way to exercise during our lunch break in order to break up our day? Can we wake up earlier in order to tick off all the activities we want to tick off in order to feel good about our day before we even have to officially start it?
Whatever isn't working can be improved if we first identify the areas that need improvement. Whatever is working can be enhanced in order to increase overall effectiveness.
1. Commit to tuning in to your emotions (and feelings)
2. Understand that you must acknowledge your emotions (and feelings)
3. Ask yourself how you can improve your overall mental and physical well-being
4. Focus on monitoring your productivity and state of mind, and make adjustments to step 3