man sitting in dark with hands folded wondering where to focus during a pandemic
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

I’m seeing a lot of emails and webinars on how to stay productive, how to focus, and how to set up your desktop space to maximize productivity during the COVID pandemic. I’m not sure that they all address an underlying root issue, though: where to focus during a pandemic.

I’m not saying they’re bad, I actually wrote one or two or those kinds of posts, myself.

But there’s an important focus that is being ignored during this crazy time.

We’re all stuck in our homes.

Some of us were laid off.

Some of us are scared to go to the grocery store.

Some of us are the ones picking up groceries for others.

Some of us are unaffected and bored (for now).

Some of us are on the front lines and watching their friends get sick.

How do I focus on what’s important during a pandemic?

Yes, we should be productive.

Yes, we should be helpful.

Yes, we should do our part.

But even more important, during a time like this, is relationships.

With a little extra time on our hands, checking in with the people we love in our lives is even more important.

Isolation exacerbates fears and anxieties. It also can make you just plain crazy.

I don’t know about you, but when I have extra time to think and work, it can make me overthink and overwork.

Anxiety, fear, and overthinking can make you lash out and be defensive. It can make you fight with the people who are on your own team.

Instead of indulging in excess Instagram, excess work, excess frozen pizza, or excess whatever you indulge in . . .

Try connecting with your family and friends to check-in.

When all of this is over, you will remember the fight and those who helped you through it.

Feeling motivated by a community is much more helpful than setting up your desk with just the right wood and just the right monitor and just the right headphones.

When the dust settles, the people around you will remember how you handled this stress and pressure–not that you used the pomodoro technique or even how much work you actually accomplished .

So, when we think about how this applies to our day-to-day, consider how it feels to have interacted with you.

This is a leadership opportunity.

The more we empathize and connect with each other, the more likely we are to trust one another.

The more we trust one another, the more we’ll be able to rebuild our communities and world.

2 Minute Action:

Text a friend.

Leave a thank you note for your partner in the kitchen.

I guarantee that it can only take 2 minutes or less to make a difference to someone.

Say thank you.

And mean it.

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