We have been catapulted out of our comfort zones; thrust into an unknown world and for many of us it is taking every moment of each day to process this new way of living and adjust to the constant changes. We all have worries, and we are all dealing with these in our own unique ways. Many of us are overwhelmed, and anxious.
But we will get through if we pull together.
Whilst setting up a business my mantra has always been Focus on the Essential, Eliminate the Rest and I continue to believe this to be good advice.
18th March 2020 was the day I had scheduled to launch my Straight Forward Funding Membership Programme. I can hardly believe that on the 21st March 2020 – I am writing this blog post!
I’d spent months planning a big, fancy, official online launch; writing and scheduling emails and social media posts. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone to do Facebook Lives… None of it matters.
I have cancelled the big fancy launch – as of today, the membership will stay open permanently as a resource for those of you that want, or need to learn how to navigate the grant funding world (which is also having to respond to an unprecedented need.)
You can find out more at https://straightforwardfunding.com/membership
I need to focus on the essential now – we all do. This is my plan – how could you adapt it to work for you?
I have identified my priorities as: My family, my elderly neighbours, my clients, my existing members and my job. (My job – I am still privileged in that I am employed a few hours a week as a Community Hub Coordinator for a group of schools. This role needs my energy right now.)
It still, at times feels too much. So, I will, drill down further, and look at the specific tasks I need to do each day.
Each day I will identify 3 key things, or tasks that need to be done – that may be contacting my mortgage provider, my bank, or work/business-related tasks – or taking some time out. There will be some days when I may only feel I can focus and achieve one. And that is perfectly okay.
At the end of each day, I will do a quick review. I will celebrate my achievements, no matter how small. I will look for something good that happened in the day.
- A neighbour I have spoken to for the first time.
- A moment feeling the sunshine on my face.
- Watching a butterfly land on the garden fence.
Some tasks may not have been completed – was this due to circumstances outside my control?
If yes, I will forgive myself, reassess my priorities and move on. If no, I will have the opportunity to work out why and be more aware of myself.
I will be kind to myself and others. I will recognise how grateful I am to those people who are in jobs that are having to go above and beyond. Daily. From transport workers, supermarket staff and the emergency services.
In a few days, I will start to look at weekly goals again – for now, I am keeping it simple. Taking back some control, wherever, and whenever I can.
I can control:
- How often, and how well I wash my hands
- How creative I can be at staying physically distanced, yet still connected to my family, and the communities around me.
- I can check in regularly with my neighbours by developing a routine, and a schedule of phone calls, text messages and video calls.
- I can turn off the news when I am at home.
- I can be kind to the people around me.
- I can find a way to exercise at home.
- I can identify a few specific ways to really help other people.
We all need to reset our goals and our vision for the future – and it is so important that we do. We cannot control what is going on in the wider world – but we can control our own actions.
What 3 essential things can you do today, that will help you stabilise, be productive, support others – and keep you calm?
That comfort zone reference at the beginning. Many of us are used to pushing ourselves outside our comfort zones (perhaps familiar zone is a better description), stretching and testing ourselves to our personal limits. We usually have the option to retreat into our comfort zone if it all becomes too much. That isn’t really possible at the moment, so we need to find ways to stop ourselves from launching straight into Panic Zone. Taking a minute out for some controlled breaths might be one way – but we need to find a way that works for us personally. Taking back even a tiny bit of control over your life can help enormously.
We also need to remember that comfort, stretch and panic zones are different for every single person.
In time, our comfort zones will grow – for many, that has already begun to happen. Every day we are becoming stronger, and more resilient. We are discovering how much we are capable of. We are adapting quickly, and we also know this will pass. Yes, I agree, not soon enough.
I truly believe the world will change forever. And that could be a wonderful thing.