Episode #37: Create Clarity
Emotions can distract us from focusing on what we need to do, and distraction is a pretty easy trap to fall into right now. We’ve had a lot change on us in the last few months, so today I want to address how you can create clarity in your life and with your goals, in spite of what’s going on around you.
First of all, for me I had to be realistic about my true time restraints. I was trying to pretend that nothing had changed, but that’s simply not true. Schools are out for the year, and many of us are now balancing working-at-home with children.
I had to admit that things are different. What was important to me before March 13th, isn’t important to me anymore. So I slowed down and asked myself some questions.
Maybe you’re an owner who’s just trying to figure out how social distancing is going to work for your business. Maybe you’re trying to figure out how to keep some of the changes we’ve had to make like having more employees work from home permanently. Maybe you’re trying to balance children at home with your work priorities.
Your Call to Action: Help figure out what’s most important to you by asking yourself these questions:
- What do I really want to create over this time?
- What is most important to me right now?
- What would I love to have created/completed during this crisis to set my business up for success?
Think of this Call to Action as a chance to slow down and consciously plan your direction. When you take the time to slow down, you can prepare to speed up again.
Hello and welcome to episode number thirty-seven of the Strategy Corner, where our goal is to get you to take action. I’m your host, Michel Zink, the owner of Intentional Solutions Corp. On today’s strategy, we’re talking about creating clarity. Right now, as I tape this podcast, it is April 20th. We have been home for the last month, well my family and I have, working from home, doing schooling from home. And it’s been an adjustment. And so I’ve really been thinking about how I could serve you guys over the next four weeks and decided to think about myself and what’s really been helpful for me. Because I realize that if it’s helpful for me, most likely it’s helpful for you. So one of the things I had to do, probably maybe a week or two in, was create some clarity. I don’t know about you, but I was getting really distracted with all the seminars being held, all of the news, things that were going on in the world. And it really created this feeling of I just need to do something. And so in the beginning, I was really just feeling filling my days with to do items, not really slowing down to see if those to-do items aligned with where I wanted to go and with my business. I was really allowing my emotions to get the best of me and to really sink into the feeling of this heaviness, the discomfort of not knowing what’s going to happen and feeling out of control.
And so one day I realized, wait a second, I need to focus on what I can actually focus on and I can actually control and create that clarity. Because right now I am just all over the place. I get up every morning. I’m doing exactly just following the same routine I did for, you know, before this whole crisis. And it wasn’t serving me. And so I realized I needed to do something different because the path I was on was burnout. I was just trying to pretend like everything was going fine. I was trying to pretend that my daughter wasn’t home from school. I was just trying to pretend I still had my eight or nine hours of work during the day. But the reality was that wasn’t the case. The reality is, is that I had my daughter home, I had my husband home, and my day was now different. I now had to help my daughter figure out school plus work. I also needed to figure out all of our meals. Right, because they became the lunch lady as well, making sure that everyone was fed during the daytime, which before I just worried about myself. And so for me to gain clarity, I need to realize that things were different.
So that was my first realization. OK. Things are different. So when things are different, I then gave myself permission to change and decide what was most important for me right now. Because what was important for me before March 13th wasn’t as important to me now. And so I really needed it clear. I needed to focus in I need to get more simplified so that I wasn’t spreading and become more realistic of my time constraints and what time I really had. But before I could do any of that, I needed to figure out what was most important to me. So what I did was I slowed down and I asked myself a few questions and I wanted to share those questions with you because I don’t know where you are in your journey. Maybe you’re still, you know, working in an office space and you’ve just been trying to get by and you’ve been trying to just really do what other people wanted you to do or need you to do. Maybe your boss needs you to do this, this, this during the day. Your employees need this, this and this. And so you’ve been allowing yourself to just be reactive and not actually plan or strategize. And so these questions will help you to figure out what’s most important for you. So at least you can start sprinkling in some things that you need to actually get done during the day and just not be as reactionary. Maybe you’re an owner of an organization where you’ve just really been trying to figure out how to get by over the last four weeks, how to create that social distancing so that your employees are safe. And maybe you’re a business owner at home who like myself, has had to kind of reinvent themselves and figure out what’s most important to be able to not only support herself, but her family during this time.
So here are the questions that I ask myself. Number one, what do I really want to create over this time? So for me, I was doing this about a couple weeks ago as part two or three weeks ago. But even when you’re going to be listening to this on May 7, you have at least another three to four weeks, because I know for myself the schools are closed until the end of the school year. So we’re not going back. So I’ve got until the end of May and then fingers crossed, maybe we’ll have camps. But if not after, figure that out as well. So think about what do you want to create over this time?
Number two, what is most important to me right now? For me, that was realizing that what was most important to me right now was to create my business and focus on certain things that I wanted to like markets figuring out where would I like to put my time when the market is open again from a standpoint that I can go visit people and can go to activities. I’d also like what was most important to me was to also utilize this time with having my daughter at home and doing things with her that I haven’t been able to do before. So making sure that those lunchtimes I am focusing and creating space with her and asking her questions and engaging her, even taking an afternoon off, I took last Friday afternoon off like for two hours and my daughter and I made chocolate chip cookies. So just really realizing what’s most important to me right now, because like I said before, I was just kind of going off of what was important to me before the crisis happened. But things changed. And once I sat down and asked myself what was really most important, there were a few things that I really wanted to focus on. And that’s what I started to schedule and put on my calendar.
Number three, what would I love to have completed created during this crisis to set my business up for success? So you can ask yourself this a couple different ways. If you work for an employer, you could say, what would I love to create or complete during this crisis to set me up for success? Maybe there are some programs or projects that are on the back burner, but maybe you can actually work on them right now and add some additional time to them really giving them some space to cultivate and grow. Maybe you are an employer and you would really love to create a situation where you have a policy now for people to work from home. Maybe that would be helpful for your organization moving forward. Maybe that would really be helpful because you could save money on office space. You have to get creative, right? So what do you really want to create with a new environment, with a new way of doing business? Is there something that you want to complete or create within this time? Things have slowed down for most industries. There’s still a lot of industries that are very busy. So you just need to ask yourself what would I love to complete and create during this crisis?
And for me, I said aside my business up for success and also myself offers up for success. So what could you do to set your business up for success and yourself for success? And then what you do is you write it down. I give myself about an hour or two and I really probably thought about it over a couple days because it had been bothering me. So I gave myself some space one day for an hour and then the next day for an hour to kind of finalize everything. And I wrote everything down. I wrote my answers to the three questions that I asked myself. And then I wrote them the answers actually on my whiteboard. That’s at my office. So that every week when I schedule my to-do items, my calendar, I always look at my whiteboard and see what were those things that I said that were most important to me. And then I schedule those on my calendar. But for you, you can actually just type them up or write them on a piece of paper and put them by your computer so that you can, again, just make sure that you’re focusing and you’re creating that clarity and that you’re doing the things that you said were most important.
So your call to action is a take an hour and get clear. What do you really want to create over this time? What are some things that you really want to focus on? What is most important to you right now? And what would you love to have completed created during this crisis to set your business or yourself up for success? So this is going to take you slowing down, taking space out of your day. But I know that if you slow down to speed up, you’ll be able to create that clarity and actually create and develop and grow during this crisis. And that will set you up for success in the future.
OK. Until next time. Can you please go to iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play and subscribe to the Strategy Corner. You can also go to my website, Intentional Solutions Corp. I’ll say that one more time. I sped through that. Intentionalsolutionscorp.com and sign up to get my weekly blog post, which also has a link to the latest podcast. You can also go on iTunes and leave a review. I would love that to hear what you like, what you don’t like, so that I can make this podcast even better for you. Until next time, remember. Through action and growth, progression happens. Let’s take action together. Thank you so much for listening and create an amazing week.