7 Tips for Making the Best of a Challenging Situation

By Fran Cherny | Mar 17, 2020

In recent weeks we have found ourselves in situations unlike anything we have ever experienced. It’s difficult to know what to do, how to act, or what advice to follow, but one thing is clear, our world has changed and continues to change on a daily, if not hourly, basis. For that, we crave some kind of stability and a way to understand this new world we find ourselves in. I would like to share some of the best ways I have found to deal with our new reality and make the best of it.

1. Choose how to respond!

Many of us feel like we are stuck at home. Events are being postponed, people are being asked to work from home, and there is a need to change consumption habits and more.
Now the question is, how will each of us respond to this situation? How fast can we adapt and learn new ways of engaging? How can we adjust to working from home? And what if our families are also requested to stay at home? How do we deal with that complexity? How can we still deliver the content needed for people who were attending an event that has been postponed or cancelled?
Small but important adjustments in our ways of thinking and acting can create a huge impact.

2. Acceptance and next steps…

Let’s make a bold and smart move: accept that this is happening.
Once we have accepted our new reality, we are able to assess whether we need to change anything or ask for support to be as productive as possible in this new situation.
Last week when I realized I would be working from home, I took the opportunity to reorganize my home office.
Do you have everything you need to create an “office at home”? What can you do to make it work best for you? Can you ask your company for anything that would make it easier for you to be productive?

3. Home office: Setting boundaries: speak up and share

Many issues can and will arise with this new situation; and these are things that we all need to learn how to respond to.
Kids at home? Sharing a room to work in? Are there people around who are not clear about your availability? Colleagues who don’t know your situation?
Here are some ideas on how to deal with this and still be productive.

4. Generate connection while working virtually

What can you do to stay connected to your colleagues and clients, and increase effectiveness while working in a virtual environment?

  • For meetings, having your camera on, and asking others to do so too, can help everyone feel more connected and present.
  • “Checking-in” at the start of meetings with how we are doing and what we are expecting from the meeting not only makes sure there is alignment on the intention, but can also be used to open up a space for a quick personal connection.
  • How about instituting a once a week sharing of “best practices” with your team about this topic? This can help you connect as a team while at the same time increase your effectiveness and productivity.

5. Get moving!

Considering the limitations of our new situation, I think it’s important to do all we can to stay fit and healthy, both physically and mentally. The way to do it might vary for each of us based on what we like and the restrictions we have, but the need to do something to take care of ourselves remains.
The other day I went for a run outside and realized how much I needed it. There are alternative ways to stay active (and avoid the gym or crowded public places). Here I’m sharing some links to activities that I enjoy and find boost my productivity (and can be done from home!).
Quick yoga to give you a boost:

Stretching at your desk:

6. Take time to calm your mind and release tension

What is happening, is happening. Let’s just accept it. Even unconsciously, the constant stream of news and messages are increasing and generating fear and paranoia which blocks our ability to be rational and effective.
How can we connect to our best selves under the current circumstances, lower our anxiety and connect to great positive energy?
Perhaps you could stop looking at your cell phone and news so frequently? Why not put all our attention on reading a book? Or a movie we can debate afterwards? Fixing that thing at home that has been broken for a while now? Practice meditation and breathing to free up our minds? And what about seeing what you can cook with what you have available?
What we focus on expands and can completely change our mood and energy.
Let´s try to connect 100% with things that help us stay grounded, a few times every day!

7. Let’s focus on the opportunities

How can we make the most of these times where many of us are working from home? One thing that we gain is no commuting time!
This could mean more time to sleep or starting work earlier. Or this could be an opportunity to leverage the time to be with your family, meditate or do some exercise. Whatever you choose, is up to you, but the most important thing is to realize that we do have a choice.
What are you going to choose to do this week during your “commute”? What can you choose to do that takes care of your physical or mental health, and helps you to say grounded?

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