It's wild how fast life can change. Our sense of normal vanished in just a matter of a week (maybe less) with the outbreak of COVID-19.
Some of us are working from home, others are going into an almost vacant office and then immediately back home, and many of us are looking for new career opportunities after furloughs, layoffs, and businesses closing due to effects of the stay-at-home quarantine.
Our sense of normalcy has gone up in smoke, and for almost all of us, our routine is off-kilter, which is making it very difficult right now to create any type of forward progress.
Between grieving the loss of “normal,” searching for new job opportunities, or trying to get through one Zoom call without your kids yelling at you from the next room, productivity has taken a backseat to pure survival on any given day.
So how can we get back on track?
By getting on track only one hour at a time.
The “normal” we had most likely is never coming back – but that doesn’t mean we can’t take advantage of today’s current landscape in order to reset and the intentionally redefine what routine we want.
Despite the challenges of working from (a chaotic) home, changing careers, and being stuck indoors all day, we can still build a foundation to get back on track to chasing our goals, helping others, and competing for what matters.
- Invest 10 minutes at the end of today’s work day to outline what your ideal schedule would be tomorrow. Set a wakeup time 10 minutes earlier than normal (keep reading to see why), and outline every hour of the day until bedtime. Save space for meals, family time, and breaks periodically throughout your day. The breaks also work if you get interrupted or sidetracked to give you the necessary space to get back on track.
- Set a goal of (only) 3 target steps you need to achieve during the day to consider that day a “Win.” Here’s a link to a podcast I did on why this “3” is key.
- Wake up 10 minutes earlier than you would on a “normal” day, especially if like me, you’ve been struggling lately to even get out of bed at that time. Force your feet to get on the floor and your body to MOVE. It can be a walk outside, pushups in your living room, or stretching in your garage, but do something active to get your blood flowing at this earlier hour.
- Once you finish the 3 targets from step #2, reward yourself. Build in a half hour time slot during your day for this reward. Watch part of Ozark on Netflix, read one chapter of a book, or scroll your Instagram feed (by the way, are you following me yet?). Do something to reward yourself for getting the “W” for today and achieving your three targets.
- Repeat the process tomorrow.
The best way for you to get back “on track” when our normal routine has disappeared is by planning how you’re going to get a “win” for today. Plan out every hour of your day, commit to holding yourself to that schedule, and get to work.
Forget “normal” so you can focus on how you’re going to win today, one hour at a time.