I have heard many people refer to the current lockdown as a holiday – “after the holidays, we will get back to the project”. Holidays? Holidays??, I do not think that the current lockdowns, curfews and Work from Home regimes that will most likely persist for a few months more, or so, in Nigeria (optimistically) should be construed as a holiday. They are certainly a necessity (although a number of people will argue against this), but certainly we will all agree that it a major disruption to our lives and a major indication that things will no longer be the same again.
Rather than think about the lockdown as a holiday, you should consider it a major game-changer in your life, and perhaps start paying attention to a few important things that you hitherto struggled to pay attention to prior to the lockdown. Here are three things that we often do not do in the daily heat of battle that the lockdown offers us ample opportunity to do, and take advantage of:
We are all faced with an amazing opportunity to do what many will consider the single most important predictor of success – reflective thinking. The time that most of us are spending away from traffic, our desks at work and the daily grind should afford us the opportunity to reflect. Reflective thinking requires you to ask critical questions about various aspects of your life, work, family, career and business; to assess where you are – the good, bad and the ugly; and to think about the opportunities that present themselves.
Most people do the transition from secondary school to a tertiary Institution and to the labour market without really considering who they are, what their talents are and what they want to achieve in life. They jump right in and try to sink or swim through the tides of life. Well, the lockdown affords you the opportunity to reflect, so do so!
The lockdown also affords us the unique opportunity to learn new skills and challenge our creativity and innovation in a way we have never done before. So, based on your reflection, can you identify the most important skills and capabilities that you need to succeed in your work, business and life? If you have then start to look for courses and resources to “up-skill” you in these areas. Thankfully, the internet is awash with webinars, webcasts and E-learning programs in various areas. There are books to be read, documentaries to be watched, and even if you are watching a movie – plenty of life lessons to be learned. (I learned an amazing lesson in “carrying your people along” from an episode of the hit TV series ‘Homeland’ sometime ago – trust me, once you have the learning lens on your eyes, the learning never stops!).
Finally, building on your reflection and learning, you should spend time crafting a new strategic direction for your work, life, family and business that will prepare and position you effectively for life after the lockdown. Come up with a clear plan of action capturing all the innovative things you need to do and start implementing them in a disciplined and focused manner right away!
Post-lockdown, things will certainly change – jobs will be re-designed, careers will change, businesses will be re-aligned, and we will have many “new normals”. The only way you can be on the right side of all this impending change is to be prepared.
So, please stop thinking about the lockdown as a holiday, and start spending valuable time Reflecting, Learning and Strategizing.