03 May Plan your transition
It looks like our Covid-19 confinement time is coming to an end. We have been adjusting to the situation, living and working at home for the past weeks. And now we will soon get back to normal. What is ‘normal’ though? Have you asked yourself the question? Does it mean going back to exactly the same life than you had before? Or is there a new normal – a happier, more fulfilled normal?
Most of my friends and family somehow say they enjoyed part or even all of the Corona quarantine. If you are honest with yourself, can you say that for yourself as well?
Now, why did we enjoy this time? Because we were forced to abruptly change and slow down our habits and routines. Because we had no more FOMO, as everyone seemed to do the same. Because we had enough time to overcome the deception and incomprehension phase and plunge into the letting go and relaxing phase. And this enabled us to naturally take a step back and enjoy the little things in life we had forgotten about. Going for a run, laughing with the kids, calling grand-parents, watching flowers bloom, talking to neighbors, doing nothing.
Is there a way to capture those instants and take them with us? To keep the good aspects of our flexible work hours, quality time, acts of empathy and mutual support, happiness with us into our new normal? To put in place some little or major changes in our lives? To do things that would have appeared crazy and impossible before the virus? Nothing is impossible, so YES!
But…yes, there is a ‘but’…we are only humans, and it is very easy to dive back into our previous good old habits without even noticing it. We can read a lot of articles speculating about what this crisis will really change in the world. Here is my answer: it is entirely up to each one of us. Nothing will change automatically, you will have to make it happen and maintain over time. Here is my advice: prepare and plan your transition. There is no better time, you might not get another opportunity like this.
Here a couple of suggestions:
- Take a step back: Be honest and ask yourself what you enjoyed during the time at home. What are the things that you took for granted and you actually missed a lot? Going out with friends, buying fresh flowers, reading more books to your kids? What did you not miss at all? What areas of your life did you have more time for, what will you need to put back in place? Which behaviors do you want to keep in your life, maybe calling your mom more often? Which activities were not satisfying, could it be the cooking? Write down all the things that truly sparked joy for you and your family, and those that did not. Those that you missed, and those you didn’t. That is an introspection that you will only rarely have the occasion to do, as we rarely stay at home with our family for two months in a row.
- Review your objectives: Now, take your reflection and try to formulate your new 2020 and beyond objectives. Try to be specific, and write down all the things that you want to be, do, accomplish, learn, put in place, visit, share….
- Write an ideal agenda: Take the routines and habits that suit you best – it can be old or new ones- and write down your ideal weekly agenda. When is the best time to wake up, how often do you plan in some exercise, when do you want to leave the office, how many lunches will you schedule each week? Will you continue preparing menus in advance? Will you plan in for 30 minutes’ quality time with your children each evening? Will you schedule 2 days of home office per week?
- Write a project plan: Now that you know what makes you happy, that you are clear on your objectives and that you know how your ideal week looks like, you need to plan how to implement all this in the long run. What resources do you need to make it happen (e.g. you need a personal gym coach), what do you need to ask for (e.g. your boss needs to validate the home office), who will you need to influence (e.g. your partner or boss), what will you need to learn (e.g. better delegate some tasks at work)? Also, think about your weaknesses that you need to watch out for. Maybe you are a perfectionist and know that you easily fall in the trap of working overtime. How could this be avoided?
I wish you a good transition into your new normal, and hope that you will be able to keep the positive lessons you learned during your quarantine and turn them into a virtuous cycle!
Photo by Damon Hall on Unsplash