When we face unprecedented change and disruption, it seems easier to succumb to the desire to shut down, withdraw and give up rather than to step up to the challenge or complete your goals. If this describes what you’re feeling right now, rest assured that it’s happening to pretty much everybody.
It’s a natural reaction. After all, our normal flow of work and home life is upended because of the pandemic. It’s important to give yourself time to process, and even mourn.
But it’s also very important to remember that, even though the magnitude of this crisis is great, it’s temporary. Still, we don’t know how long it’s going to last.
So don’t put your life on hold until it’s over.
Instead, muster up the enthusiasm to think positively and constructively about your future. Consider this pause as an opportunity to do some long-term thinking, planning and strategizing.
Your family may be sheltering in place or even locked down at home, but your goals don’t have to be. Here are three ways to make your down time work for your life and your career.
- Take time to think. So many of us are caught up in the daily routine of commuting, making to-do lists and barely taking time to eat that we never make time to simply stop and think. We’ve convinced ourselves that if we’re sitting around doing “nothing,” we’re unproductive or lazy. Nothing could be further from the truth.All of a sudden, you have uninterrupted time to focus on your situation, your goals and what you truly want out of life. Welcome the opportunity. Turn off the TV. Put down your phone. Contemplate your next steps. Come up with new ones. Make plans.
- Listen to your heart. When reviewing your goals and assessing your progress, ask yourself the big question: “Is this what I really want to do?” A big clue: If you’re approaching those goals with a mixture of boredom and dread, they may not be for you after all. If you’re on a road that has taken you too far from your passions, and if your goals aren’t leading you in the right direction, change your plan. Now is the perfect time to hit the brakes, reset and reload.
- Take control of your routine. More time at home puts you in charge of your personal schedule for a change. So build a routine that works for you. – Attend to personal tasks at reasonable points in the day. Approach your workload in manageable chunks. Build in plenty of breaks. And build in some time every day to work toward your new goals. Taking that kind of “me time” isn’t selfish; it’s just self-focused. And focus is what it takes to get where you want to go.
Just because you’re on lockdown does not mean your goals have to be, too. Stay focused, stay positive and keep moving!