We cruise through our daily motions whining about how much we could have accomplished if only we had the time on our hands. We dream our days away wishing things could be different.
Well! The time is here.
As we continue to battle the global pandemic Co-vid19 and try to come to terms with such an unprecedented event, it has also given us an opportunity to step back and reflect our life-path.
With global markets nosediving each day, businesses slowing down, organisations declaring virtual operations, health ambassadors spreading safety precautions, governments imposing travel ban and encouraging social distancing, the time has come for some reflection.
“Never waste a good crisis.”
A crisis situation offers two options :
- Sit back and wait for the tides to turn
- Strategise and lay the groundwork for better times to come
Which one would you choose?
Well, I choose to lay the groundwork. I value this time to be a great opportunity to explore possibilities and understand my potential beyond the obvious. Here are my “priceless investments” during the slump that could possibly help you re-visit your personal strategies.
1. Invest in continuing education
This is a potent time to gauge your career compass and the destination you intend to reach. Time invested in evaluating your current trajectory and the road ahead pays huge returns in the long run. This is a great time to pursue opportunities in progressive learning and prep-up for challenging roles in the future. If your virtual job offers you the scope to invest in expanding your academic exposure then look out for virtual learning programs that provide courses related to your line of work or diversify your learnings. I recommend programs on LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, Edx, Udacity, Udemy that offer thousands of courses to further your education aspirations. My experience in completing a certificate program on Positive Psychology through the University of Pennsylvania on Coursera has been rewarding. Diversifying your capabilities allows you to become an employee of choice for cross-functional opportunities that may arise within your organisation. It also increases the talent pool for employers outside the organisation seeking fresh talent. So, if you are considering a move, you never know, your might just get noticed. Another aspect of this may be to revisit your LinkedIn profile and review the way you’d like to be seen to your industry peers, current and/or potential employers.
2. Invest in health programs
Spend some time creating a mind, body, spirit connection. Consciously examine your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual faculties and assess your resilience capabilities. Invest in pertinent health programs that boost immunity and strength. I am highly committed to creating a balance in these areas that allow me to think and act mindfully in all circumstances. I ensure to get adequate 8 hours of sleep. My 60-minute workout regime includes strength and functional program for my physical well-being. Social distancing these days has made me consciously invest in practicing “Shambhavi Mahamudra”, a yogic practice I was initiated into through the Inner Engineering program from the Isha Foundation. My emotional well-being is the core of my existence and along with other yogic practices, I meditate regularly and listen to some inspiring TED Talks too. Psychologist and Author, Guy Winch in his talk on “Why we all need to practice emotional first aid?” says “It is time we closed the gap between our physical and our psychological health. It’s time we made them more equal, more like twins.” This slowdown is, therefore, a sign for you to take some time to start a regime that builds your resilience for stressful times to come.
3. Invest in diversifying income streams
Marketing and Strategy Consultant, Author and Keynote Speaker Dorie Clark in her book “Entrepreneurial You” shares insights on how to create multiple income streams in addition to your day job. The need for diversified income streams is more apparent in times like these when our identity and survival are tied to our full-time roles. Think of ways you could invest by starting small. Evaluate your current investment strategies and see where you could make alterations, start a blog (which may not give you immediate returns), build your social media profile and meaningful connections online so people can reach out to you with opportunities for independent gigs. I personally make the time for these activities that allow me to plant some seeds for a great harvest in the future. By creating a safety net, you will be able to stay afloat when one income stream is affected.
4. Invest in relationships
Our daily rigmaroles barely give us the time to connect with our loved ones consciously. Meaningful relationships help build emotional resilience. Use the slowdown to consciously participate and invest in strengthening familial foundations. Catch-up on things that need to be said but you never had the opportunity, make amends, spend time with the elderly, play with children, engage in virtual volunteering, enjoy gadget-free family meals. Practice “virtual bonding” with friends and people in the community. As a ritual, I play a game of “Ludo” with my mother in the evenings. It is a wonderful getaway for us and strengthens our bond through a funny banter. Make time for relationships and strengthen your emotional foundations. You’ll know who to turn to when life gets demanding.
5. Invest in books
Reading expands cognitive capacities. Create a ritual to read articles, books, audiobooks, podcasts and learn from some of the world’s greatest thought leaders. In the article, Bill Gates Reads 50 Books A Year, you’ll read how some of the world’s successful CEOs have invested their time reading and expanding their exposure. Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Medium, Entrepreneur, Thrive Global, Inc, Fast Company, have some of the greatest minds contributing their perspectives. So, catch up on some reading and make the most of this slump!
Co-vid19 is a global pandemic and measures to deal with it are underway. But as we cope with vulnerabilities and slowdowns in some key areas, there are opportunities to progress mindfully in others too. Do make it a point to identify and strategise your priceless investments and when things go back to normal, you will have begun with renewed enthusiasm.
As they say, “Necessity is the mother of invention”.
Lay the groundwork now for better times to come!
And yes, do wash your hands regularly.
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