Reflections on a year in lockdown
What five areas that have had a noticeable effect through a year of lockdowns on you personally and professionally. Mine are all different and each has had a very distinct impact on my life and those around me. The areas are relationships, the need to reboot, consumption, productivity and writing my next book – Mental Wealth.
Many relationships have changed over the past year. Certain people have really stepped up and friendships have been cemented. There have been phone calls taking place in both directions with the simple agenda of listening and understanding what is going on, hearing how each other is coping and where additional support can be given. There are those who have needed a lot of assistance, be that for their health, wealth or their sanity and many communities have really stepped up in creating ways to help and support. For some this has literally been a matter of life and death.
Then there is the other group of people – those that have been missing in action M.I.A., they have just disappeared. For whatever reason, they’ve been dealing with lockdown life in their own way, have not matched the expectations you had for them or they didn’t place you as a key connection to nurture and look out for. That is OK – because of that, the friendships have moved on and so should you, there is now space for new relationships better suited for your path ahead. The circle of life continues.
Reboot with challenges
Working in isolation does not work for me as an individual. I get bored, easily distracted and I need constant motivation towards goals. This often comes in the form of fitness and physical challenges. During the different stages of lockdown I have set myself various monthly fitness challenges and experimentation, some of which have been very enlightening.
I have completed the skipping, the chin up and the press up challenges and I have just finished a RED month of riding my bike every day. These strange challenges are not new to me, they are part of the way I choose to reboot and switch off, others have included run every day, run 5km every day, swim 2km every day. These are varying little disciplines that work for me; what are the equivalent techniques that have worked for you during this past year? In the months when I have not had one of thesemental, personal or physical games going on I felt a bit lost, with no escape or variety in the Groundhog Day temporary norm. You could say I have an addiction to activity and the need for oxytocin or endorphins, this may well be true and it works for me.
Only drinking alcohol at the weekend and generally keeping a close eye on what I eat balanced with my exercise is normal for me – it has been anything but normal during lockdown. OK, I am guilty of drinking during the week quite a bit but the volume has probably gone down overall. It has become more regular rather than volume for the sake of it – I can live with that.
The food diary has been an insightful journey at different times – we started so well with each member of the family cooking a meal every week. And believe me there were some lovely dishes created, sadly it just petered out and people got bored. A real highlight is that all the teenagers and young adults in my house can now cook well, they don’t rely on me.
I have also experimented with the removal of certain items out of my diet at different times. This is personal research to see what impact different food types have on me. We discovered one of my daughters has a degree of lactose intolerance, so, there has been experimenting with different milks and milk substitutes to find out what works for her, she likes the oat milks best. As a result of these sporadic removals of a food type I’ve lost a bit of weight, lacked in energy, gained lots of energy, suffered headaches and spent lots of time visiting the loo. Overall, I have learned more about what food types and combinations work for me, and I will continue with those for as long as they appear to be beneficial.
As so many people have, my office has been changed round, cleaned up, tided and filing cabinets have been cleared of any unnecessary hoarding. Fortunately during lockdown my work has increased, and I put this directly down to my increased productivity. I have always been somebody who does not do rush hour commuting, wasting hours upon hours of time in endless traffic jams for no clear reason. I would arrive at my destination before or after rush hour. I adjusted my working hours to start at 7.30am with the ability to finish any time from 3pm so I could do my exercise or enjoy family time – this has worked well for me.
Over the years I have had various sales teams, where they had targets of 15 appointments every week, three appointments per day. All face to face including travel, plus research, pre work, client review, setting the appointments, follow ups and everything else including troubleshooting. Rarely did any one of my team achieve a regular average of more than ten per week. When reviewing my personal performance over the last few months, and I am averaging 20 to 25 appointments a week, be that one-to-one coaching, workshops with clients, networking meetings or prospects. My productivity has gone up hugely, more than double the previous averages I have been used to. This reason alone has had a striking impact on my business.
Writing a book
Prior to the first lockdown I was mulling over the idea of writing a new book, although was unsure of the content or target reader. I set myself the goal and shared it with my support network stating, “wouldn’t it be great at the end of lockdown to have completed a new book?” That was a dangerous thing to do – it worked! Mental Wealth, Unlock your Potential, Enrich your Life will be published in June. The book focuses on having the right mental wealth team around you, to prevent the problems associated with isolation, and the need to have the right people supporting you both personally and professionally. This has been an immense journey which I believe has created a book that has the potential to change lives and maybe even save a life. Happy days.
Take five minutes now to sit down and consider five takeaways from the past year in lockdown for you – the learning, the discoveries, the new friendships, hobbies and career paths. Once you have written them down share them with your network, friends and family, you’ll be amazed by what you discover and the common ground and experiences you all have.