As I continue my series on leadership in the age of COVID-19, I’d like to talk to you about ways to keep yourself, your organization and your loved ones strong, healthy and grounded. Feel free to share these tips with employees, customers, suppliers, business partners, whomever may benefit. After all, we are all in the same boat, trying to get to the other side of this pandemic with our physical and emotional health intact, businesses strong, and friends and families knowing we are there for them.
Here are five straightforward ways to stay healthy and balanced at this most difficult time. Simple as they may seem, you will need to pay deliberate attention, carve out time, and encourage those around you to do the same.
- Set your priorities each day. Take a strategic pause each morning to assess: what’s today’s most pressing need, how can I effectively achieve what’s most important, and what has to get set aside for the time being? Given the fluid nature of the pandemic, priorities are going to shift, sometimes with little warning. Be flexible, allow for on-the-spot changes, but don’t lose sight of the big picture.
- Focus on self-care. Even with the daily commute and global travel off your plate, you are probably busier than ever, perhaps feeling stressed or overwhelmed by the demands of leading your organization through crisis, closely attending to the people who work for you, buy from you, and look to you for direction and hope. There is no more important time to “put on your own oxygen mask” first. Get enough sleep, eat well, get outside for some fresh air and a little exercise, and stay in touch with people who help you make solid decisions and perform at your best.
- Give yourself a break. This is the ideal time to embrace a “success over perfection” mindset. Do the best you can in these difficult circumstances. Model this approach and others will take your lead.
- Take deliberate breaks from the intensity. Don’t ceaselessly scan the news, tempting though that may be. Step away from your computer from time to time. None of us operates at our best under a non-stop deluge of worrisome news. Decide what you need to know most immediately. Choose times to check in for updates on the virus and the economy and to review meaningful projections about the future.
- Use video technology to stay in touch. Most people, even the introverts among us, need time with others… we need to see people face to face, read their expressions, share the same physical space. For the time being, that personal contact is almost exclusively virtual. Bear in mind: A video chat is generally better than a call. And a call beats a string of emails. Stay in touch, show your face, and connect with your people wherever they may be.
In the coming days and weeks, I will share additional short pieces to help you survive and even thrive in these unprecedented times. I will continue to help you lead through crisis, face today’s pandemic, and then handle future challenges as they inevitably arise. I am here to field your questions and concerns, to advise and help as you need it.
Please email me any additional topics you’d like me to address. Call anytime you need me. I’d love to hear from you.
To your continued health, wellness, and steadfast leadership.