Since the lockdown began the number of things we could be doing with our time has gone through the roof – live performances from theatres, workouts with celebrities, free trials with unlimited access.
When you don’t know what will move your needle, overwhelm becomes inevitable. And overwhelm is a fast route to doing nothing. Changing nothing.
I have observed two perspectives from women in my network during this time:
- Cling on for dear life and just get through this before things go “back to normal”.
- Make use of this time to the point of feeling guilty for not having achieved enough
What if this time is a purposeful pattern interruption designed to get us to slow down, reassess and design our future? One in which we can set up meaningful, long term progress, not merely survive the time we’re in.
It can be scary to think about how to change. What will it take?
Women have been coming to me almost ashamed to admit that all of their efforts aren't paying off. The reality is that those efforts were paying off, but it's now time to change things up. The question I like to ask is:
If you cleared the decks completely, what would you put back on, and why?
This is the perfect time to ponder that question. Life won't, or dare I say shouldn't, go back to normal. As tough as this time may have been, the world is becoming a healthier place. All the businesses that thought working from home wasn't viable have been proven wrong. Standard practices may now be genuinely called into question.
What were you doing as standard? Without question? What if you didn't do that anymore?
Now is the rest period before your life takes off. IF you choose to do something differently now.
Do you know what that is for you? If not, here is an exercise that will help:
- Get an A4 sheet of paper and draw a line lengthways down the middle.
- On the left title it: What normal looked like before. List it out.
Get up at 6am
Eat marmalade on toast
Make the packed lunches
Handover to someone
Get on the 7.16 train
Walk to the office via Pret
Sit at desk by 8.45am
6 hours of boring meetings etc.
- On the right side of the page, title it: What has become normal now
Get up at 8am
Breakfast with the family
Set school work
Workout and shower
Meetings start at 10am
- Cross off what you have realised you don’t need to do on the left
- Circle which parts you are loving on the right
- Take a break, and then get a fresh piece of paper and design your day. If, like, me, you like a balance of routine and variation, you may want two options for a weekday and a new sheet for a weekend.
This exercise is really going to illuminate what it is you want your life to look like. When completed, sit with a drink of your choice somewhere quiet and really imagine how this would feel. It is possible. But it is going to require you to:
- Decide what to bring back into your life before “normality” starts to return
- Decide what no longer serves you
- Start making some requests to bring your design to life
You might previously have been trapped in beliefs that didn’t permit you the freedom you crave. The adjustments that have been made during this time prove then when necessary there are other ways to achieve things. Perhaps you believed that you wouldn’t be permitted to work from home. Now you have proof that it does in fact work. You might have told yourself you love that commute time to “get things done”, but perhaps that workout session is what you need more.
What hasn’t been working is going to be clear to you now more than ever before. Any issue that has come up during lockdown was present before, it’s just that covid-19 is a giant magnifying glass. Let’s not waste this time. Don’t allow yourself to be slotted back into others’ agendas. Don’t wait for permission. You are going to be a better employee and will demonstrate greater leadership by taking responsibility for your happiness first.
Start today with the above exercise.
About the Author:
Join Susie Ramroop on 28th May to learn how to Emerge Stronger - be the leader you want to see. This session will include live speed mentoring so bring your burning questions!
Susie Ramroop is a mindset coach, international speaker, and author of Be The Leader You Want To See, now available on Amazon. She coaches women in business privately online, and in small groups at her utterly transformational forest retreats. If you would like to reach out to her for support, you can connect with her here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/susie-ramroop-mindset-coach/. Booking for her September retreat is open now.