Balancing Act: The Newsletter

(Special Edition - March 20, 2020)

This is only the second special edition in the history of Balancing Act, over 20 years. The first was in the aftermath of 9/11. I wanted to share this with you now, today, to focus on our current situation in terms of your own morale.

Techniques For Balance

Maintaining Your Mojo In Crisis Times

In these times we have to rely on ourselves to create high energy and momentum so that we can help others do the same—family, friends, community, clients.

Working as a solo consultant for as long as I have, here are the techniques that not only work for me but that I’ve seen others use successfully. Surely some will work for you.

• Take stock of your finances, current business, and future business and determine exactly what you’re facing. Deal with the current reality and not “what if?”

• Utilize a support system. Talk candidly with your spouse or partner about your personal and business situation. If you don’t have family—or your family members aren’t supportive, which can happen—find like-minded colleagues and friends. I have an online Forum where people who share my values are chatting 24/7 and exchange best practices, failures, and victories. You can find like groups online.

• Don’t work eight hours a day (or worse). Four hours of quality output beats eight hours of procrastination any day. Don’t beat yourself up by looking at the clock. Focus on achieving a few top priority results daily. Hard work doesn’t solve problems, smart work does.

• Engage in your hobbies. Don’t feel guilty. Arrange your work so that you also have legitimate “down time.” If you don’t have engaging hobbies, develop some. Haven’t you wanted to learn about music, or play chess, or paint, or take photographs? (Or haven’t you always wanted to reorganize your photos or clean out the garage?)

• If you must, listen to the news in the morning (what happened overnight) and in the evening (what happened during the day) but not continually or even sporadically. The media just keeps reporting the same dismal news and you don’t want to inundate yourself with negativism.

• If you have kids, spend creative time with them. If you have pets, spend some time with them (which is why I’ve always favored dogs over goldfish, but that’s me). Over the years I was virtually unbeaten in monopoly and hearts.

• Count your blessings. I know that can sound trite, but if you and your loved ones are not sick (and that applies to the overwhelming part of the population), and you have a business that has been successful, and you have talents that you can apply, and you have family, friends, business colleagues you can rely on—then you have a good life. You’re alive and you have options.

• Listen to humor. Watch a movie, listen to a recording, play a comedy special on cable. We need perspective. We need to laugh. Laughing mitigates stress and creates a better mood for your next call, project, or effort of any kind.

• We’re talking probably months here, and then who knows how long in recovery, but the quickest recovery will be among those who have the most energy and resilience.

• Keep perspective: The Viet Nam war lasted for 20 years with about 58,000 US military deaths, 250,000 South Vietnamese military deaths, and over a million deaths in North Viet Nam. The American Civil War killed about 800,000 people in about four years. The Spanish Flu infected about 500 million people and probably killed about 50 million globally in a world of about 1.5 billion or so. About 38 million people globally are now living with AIDS or HIV.

• Consider who you can safely help. You can support and coach others by phone, Zoom, Skype, etc. You can support your local restaurants if they’re closed by ordering take-out or delivery. You can contribute to charities which had to cancel fund raisers and arts groups that had to cancel performances. When you help others you feel even better than helping yourself (which you are concurrently doing).

• Most of all, stop being afraid and stop feeling guilty. This, too, shall pass. We will resume our lives and businesses, hopefully somewhat wiser and kinder. The question is never about what’s happened to us.

• The question is always about what we’re going to do about it.

Alan Weiss’s Balancing Act® Newsletter is a registered trademark of Alan Weiss and Summit Consulting Group, Inc.
© Alan Weiss 2020

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