Over the last few weeks, in every conversation I have had or webinar I have conducted as a leadership and performance coach, I hear my clients articulate similar challenges. For some there is an element of fatigue that has set in, a lot of stress or overwhelm coming through, for others there’s a feeling of insecurity, for some there is demotivation or fed-up setting in, a feeling of purposelessness that’s gnawing at them, or even a tiredness around being socially isolated.
As we move through different phases of the lockdown or let’s call it our COVID journey, while we attempt to restore some form of “normal” to our lives with each stage of easing up, those hurdles that we thought we had overcome still seem to persist or in some cases even get more pronounced.
Research shows that our ability to concentrate, indulge in complex problem solving, handle difficulty, be productive and even juggle tasks has decreased over the COVID period.
In fact, our lives feel quite sanitised with an overload of routine. We are just going through our tasks across realms—work, home, kids, family, health—with little promise of elements of fun or spontaneity.
It’s no wonder that the recent Netflix show Indian Matchmaking caused a storm across all our homes, as it unmasked that void, while adding a bit of spice that we have been missing these last few months. The prowess of Sima Aunty and the plight of the families looking for a match, made its way to all our living rooms and whatsapp chats, and once again we were energised by some good old fashioned neighbourhood chatter.
The very chat that we would have had over lunch with colleagues or across the water cooler at the office.
They say that champions aren’t made from just hard work, a singularity of purpose, training, agility, talent, determination, but the differentiator is the mindset, and more importantly the ability to recover fast from setbacks. An interesting piece I came across recently urged us to think about how mindset was impacting us at this time and what recovery ritual did we need to inculcate to overcome it?
For a number of my clients caught in limiting mindsets these challenges are far more real and for a lot of us that feeling of being STUCK seems to be all-pervasive. And it appears to impact our ability to step out, make decisions and move towards that state where we feel highly productive, more in control or in FLOW.
So, if you are one of those people feeling caught in your own web at this time, here are some simple steps for you to manage the STUCK and move towards being in the FLOW.
STEP 1: The biggest takeaway for me during COVID has been the importance of constantly CHECKING-IN with ourselves to get more aware of what is impacting us and how we are showing up to the day/situation. Managing your energy is a very important part of feeling productive and in the flow.
STEP 2: The second key point is being able to stay focused and BE PRESENT. When we feel stuck or limited in our thoughts it is easy to get caught in problems that are not necessarily in our control. Finding solutions comes from being present, above all else.
STEP 3: The third aspect is being able to successfully step out to be able to explore other frames of references. When we get stuck to a thought, belief, energy or feeling, we tend to go into all situations with that limiting perspective. Being able to REFRAME YOUR CHALLENGE is a key part of the unstuck process.
STEP 4: Once we have identified our challenge, evaluated the factors that are holding us back, explored different perspectives, it becomes important to drive change by TAKING ACTION. Focusing on aspects that are within our control, being able to identify areas where we may need to upgrade capability or collaborate, becomes equally essential to getting ourselves from stuck to a place where productivity and performance just flows!