Here's 3 simple strategies to reduce overwhelm
As things continue to change every day, and more and more people work from home, it's important to recognise the stress and frustration which this virus is causing; but equally, we have to keep working and put some normality (albeit in a different way)m back into people's daily lives as soon as possible.
Whether we like it or not, we have been given the gift of time which I believe we will start to recognise and appreciate more from April. Why April? Because at the moment, all of us are just in triage mode and trying out best to get through each day with some form of sanity in tack.
This means productivity and focus will be down at the moment so let's help each other get that back in 3 simple steps.
Let's not focus initially on all the specific tasks to complete which could be quite overwhelming to people, especially if they're also looking after children now at home, a partner who now may not be working, stressing over finances etc.
Instead, how about getting this commitment from yourself and your team for the next 14 days?
I commit to work on the following 3 things for at least 90 minutes each day, for the next 14 days, and then we'll re-assess priorities together:
1. Catch up
Catch Up: 90 minutes each day
• spend up to an hour brainstorming all the tasks which have fallen behind
• determine how long each should take
• prioritise them in order of importance
• gain agreement about the priority order
• start chipping away and send through updates each time one is completed so everyone can see (and feel) the progress being made by each team member
Consolidate: 90 minutes each day
• spend up to an hour brainstorming all the systems (policies, procedures, templates) relevant to your position
• prioritise them in order of importance ie which ones should be reviewed first
• gain agreement about the priority order
• start chipping away and send through updates each time one is completed
Your aim with any systems improvement process is to delete anything out of date or no longer needed, streamline where possible, and simplify terminology so anyone can pick it up and follow it.
Clutter: 90 minutes each day
Spend 3 x 30 minutes decluttering your email, physical files and electronic files.
Follow the 4Ds Principle:
• Do It
• Diarise It
• Delegate It
• Delete It (though in some cases, this may need to be Archive It)
By gaining this commitment for the next 14 days, you can be assured of getting at least 4.5 hours of productive work which is focused and agreed upon, rather than less hours of work full of distractions and dread.
If you get more than 4.5 hours of work, I view that as a bonus which is to be celebrated.
Again, I'm not saying this productivity rate is to be the normal, but for the next 14 days, if you can get at least 4.5 hours of productive work out of every team member and yourself, your RTO will be well on its way to getting ready for when Australia and our lives are open again for business.
Not only do we need to chunk down our tasks and give ourselves some breathing room so we stay off the Overwhelm Wheel; but staying healthy, in mind and body, is critical to ensuring we come out the other side ready to go.
Exercise has been very low on my list of priorities for quite a while but I've now committed to doing 30 minutes of exercise every single day. It will probably be walking because that also gets me out of the house, away from the desk and computer and out in the sunshine – all of which are great strategies to fight this virus.
So how about you put the challenge out to your team to do the same?
We need to keep checking in with people so you could easily have a list with everyone's mobile number and run it like a chain letter eg person 1 lets person 2 know they've done their walk, and so on until everyone has been checked in on every day. As CEO, you would be the first and last person so you lead by example and get a 'everyone's done it' text to end your day well.
You could easily change the numbers of who texts whom each week so they keep connecting and checking in on different team members eg this week person 5 calls 8, person 2 calls 4 etc.
For a bit of light relief, you could also have everyone add a funny meme or a joke to their daily text.
And here's my final thought:
Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.
Always work with it, not against it.
Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy.
This will miraculously transform your whole life. Eckhart Tolle
Such an apt quote for what we're facing, and as hard as it is, there's so much truth to it.
So what's your strategy to embrace each and every day and the all challenges and changes it will keep presenting to us, rather than fighting it?
I'd love to hear your strategies which are helping you and your team keep physically and mentally safe during this time.
If anyone wants to reach out to me and have a chat about what they should do next, please send me an email or give me a call.
Stay safe and keep your chin up
Dedicated to your success