Today marks the 5th month since I started writing this business blog on the 17th February 2020. I wanted to thank you all. In 5 months I had some 4,400 views which is extremely encouraging, besides the various people that contacted me, to give me positive feedback. I am truly humbled.

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However I could not think of a better way to thank you all by writing a Blog on YOU. In the past Blogs I have written on strategies, behaviours, actions, plans, cost cutting, communication, quick wins – all things you need to implement to push forward the business you lead in such turbulent times. Beyond all this I believe that YOU, as a business leader, should also be focusing on how you are leading yourself. You’re not going to be a good business leader unless you know how to lead yourself, unless you see that your life is your enterprise and your life is your startup.

Here are some pointers of what you need to consider to achieve this:

Put on your own oxygen mask first
Focus on the here and now. When uncertainty and disappointment morph into fear, people often try to gather information that might help them reduce their risks—including spending hours reading or watching the news. Rather than replaying possible future outcomes in our minds, it’s best to let go of the notion that anyone can completely control the COVID-19 fallout and instead focus on today. Indeed, when we focus our energy on our strengths, we feel more authentic—and that increases resilience and happiness, improves relationships and reduces stress. Rather than fighting for ways to get back to our usual routine or even just waiting for this crisis to end, a better approach is to embrace this time. Tap into your inner spark of curiosity. Curiosity is critical to learning, innovation, and even higher levels of life satisfaction, so getting inquisitive could help us now.

Make work more manageable
Schedule each day. Many parents where caring for their children and guiding their online learning while trying to do their own jobs—and feeling like they’re failing on all fronts. Eventually, thoughts about unfinished work tasks encroach on relaxation time, making people feel as though they’re always working. You need to schedule everything that you need or want to do, whether it’s finishing a presentation or talking a walk. Sticking to the schedule will help restore some work-life balance and reduce the so called “cognitive load” i.e freeing up mental bandwidth to efficiently process all the tasks that you need to accomplish. Make sure to focus on important projects. When people get stressed, they often look to accomplish tasks that are unimportant but feel urgent in the moment. So they spend their days feeling like they’re putting out small fires everywhere by answering emails and crossing relatively menial obligations off the to-do list. To relieve time stress, it would be of great benefit if you set aside blocks of time every day or even just once a week to work on the important heavy-lifting projects they are putting off but are still weighing you down—whether personal or work-related. Moreover, take time off, if you can. No shame in that at all. The demands of work haven’t slowed for many. People who are able to take time off and recharge during this disconcerting period will be more engaged when they return.

Turn your energy outward
Put your family first. People who stake their self-worth on financial success spend less time with family and feel lonelier as a result. We need to remember to set work aside and make time to connect in meaningful ways with family and friends. We should be mindful about how we spend our time—and spending time together is much more precious than a phone call I don’t need to take. Life is inherently unpredictable and uncontrollable, but what we say ‘yes’ too are things we can control. Lean on rituals – rituals can also help you. If you are working from home, add boundaries around your workday. When you used to arrive home from work, you often had a corner where you drop your stuff at home. Now you likely have work related stuff all over the place. Store your laptops and work-related materials in a certain spot to mark the end of the workday.

Hang in there
While life might have seemed simpler and more predictable prior to the coronavirus invading our world, that’s probably an illusion.Don’t romanticize what life was before the coronavirus. Keep focused and rest assured that at some point people will return to work, children will go back to school and the economy will stabilise. You will look back on all this one day and you will be proud that you survived all this both as a person and as a business leader and that you managed to guide the business you lead through the storm to reach calmer waters.

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