When we hear the words ‘pandemic’ or ‘COVID-19’ how do we feel? Do we feel disadvantaged, anxious, or scared? The dominant narrative can hardly be considered as positive. We need to understand that our personalities differ, and while some who will continue to feel disenfranchised, others will choose to champion the situation and survive. COVID-19 can be considered as a disruptive force that has impacted our socio-economic lifestyle. It has given the hopeful a challenge and the hopeless a nightmare.
Is there positivity in a pandemic? Yes, there is! It is not the only force that has disrupted our way of life. We survive each force by adapting to its very nature. This is yet another instance, where we must change our behaviour, suffer inconveniences, and create new opportunities for ourselves and those around us. We must assess each situation and determine what actions we must take, to control our lives. As humans, we are habitual creatures, and change can sometimes meet with fear and inquisition.
If you are having difficulties identifying what can be the positive pillars of a pandemic, we are here to help. To identify the sliver lining in grim circumstances you must practice introspection. If you take a closer look at your situation, you can determine what positives you can appreciate. In our experience, when you emphasize on the positive aspects of your life, positivity seems to grow. Take a look at some of the positive pillars that we have identified and if you have not practiced these pillars, it is never too late to start.
If your business or brand is surviving thus far during the pandemic, we would like to tell you congratulations! You need to give yourself credit. Whether you have implemented new management practices, new protocols or moved your business online; you have executed the needful to see this pandemic through. If you are struggling to keep your business afloat, the practices that you have used before may not be the best approach during this time.
There is an increased level of aggression required to land your next client or customer. We must keep in mind that most have been impacted by a complete loss or a reduced form of income during this period. Your target audience may be spending a lot more time at home. As a result, many small-medium businesses have turned their attention to Social Media to advertise their products or services. They have also invested in the development of a website with multi-functional capabilities.
We understand that many businesses have not adopted these modern measures. There are several options available and it is difficult for most to determine which channels might be the best to reach their target audience. It is never too late to learn. However, we must underscore that time is of the essence. The pandemic has produced an extremely volatile and uncertain environment, and change over the last few months has been the only constant. Take the opportunity to innovate your business or brand for success.
If you are working from home, you may have realized that you have better control of your time. We admit the process may have been difficult to readjust to new habits. However, you may have discovered a structure that works for you. You may enjoy an additional hour of sleep that now helps you power through your day. Your level of productivity may increase as it is easier to go the extra mile in the absence of vehicular traffic which has psychological effects on the mind. There is an opportunity to live a life that is balanced under these new circumstances.
If you have experienced the unfortunate circumstance of losing a job or an additional stream of income, we encourage you not to give up hope. Life sometimes throws obstacles your way, to prepare you for bigger challenges to come. You need to view this as an opportunity to start your own business, change your career, or find an employer that truly values you as a professional. You can achieve this by being aggressive, market yourself well, and genuinely connect with others online who may be able to provide an opportunity for you.
To mitigate the risk of spread of COVID-19, there is fundamentally one action that we can take that can solve our problem. This action is to stay home at all times. Unfortunately, because of the society and economy we have created, there is a need to physically move to access essential products and services. Where possible we opt to stay at home and access these needs online. For those who have the luxury of staying at home, they have increased their productivity by making their personal spaces as comfortable as possible. Several individuals have used Stay-at-Home measures as an opportunity to improve their homes and revisit projects that have left incomplete.
Our essential employees who have not been affected by a loss or reduced form of income would realize that their hours of work may have increased. Their colleagues may have been temporarily laid off or retrenched. Witnessing others be placed on the breadline is not the easiest thing to digest. It is also difficult to see a mountain of work that was usually managed by four persons, be handled by a single professional. There have been reports of burnout, stress, and of course the obvious call for better remuneration.
We also need to be honest with ourselves. If the pandemic has not negatively impacted your income there is a high likelihood that you may have had incurred some savings. If you were not able to save, there is also the likelihood that you would have invested in items that are valuable to you. entertainment, bars, and restaurants and other forms of recreation have been forced to limit their activities in 2020. There are little options to spend money as it relates to leisure activities. Instead, we are forced to innovate and create spaces for our form of relaxation.
As the pandemic progresses, there have been instances where gatherings have been limited. We choose to have our closest friends and family at home. We continue to keep safe social distance and our numbers low by following the guidelines provided by our local health authorities. We may have seen how much we save by cooking, hanging out or having a few drinks at home. It seems almost ridiculous that we would pay service tax to others for a few good laughs, great conversation, and good food. Who knew we could have done these activities consistently at home?
Corporate professionals tend to crave structure and being sent home for an extended period is not the ideal situation. There are several distractions, especially if you live with a lot of family members. Someone is always on the phone, watching television or urging you to have a few drinks with them in the afternoon. They may often cite stress and boredom as the reasons why they are distracting you from getting your tasks completed. At this stage of the pandemic, you should have figured out a structure that works best for you.
Finding a sound structure to work from home is no easy task. Your bedroom seems to call you by midday enticing you to take a nap. The first four hours of the day was intense. You had a couple of meetings, responded to emails, and took two calls that lasted over twenty minutes trying to explain the same concept yet again to two different colleagues. The temptation to take frequent naps must be resisted. Working from home requires discipline and you must prove to your clients and supervisors that this is the optimal form of work/life balance.
Those who continue to work from home may have the flexibility of running errands, taking care of the home, or spending more time with their kids. Once you get a good impression of your workload, it is easier to determine how available you should make yourself for each day. You can determine what are your routine tasks and which activities in the coming days may require more of your attention. Working from home is a constant battle, as there is no differentiation between the start and the end of work. No longer do you arrive and leave the office. The office is now virtual.
An arduous task for most is finding the motivation to continue each day under the new circumstances. The world seems to be at a standstill and the thought of self-development is daunting as you are unsure if it’s the right move to make. Do I continue with my academic and professional pursuits against the backdrop of a global pandemic that is affecting how we live and the economy that provides our society with a sense of structure? There is no excuse. You must continue your self-development regardless of the circumstances.
In fact it can be considered as the best choice to continue working on yourself. While others may feel the pinch and lose all motivation to progress, this is your chance to pedal yourself forward and move beyond the competition. COVID-19 would not be here forever. When the virus is completely eradicated you must be poised for what comes next. You must also be prepared. We are all unsure if we might return to our usual lives, or the new normal will continue to persist. Employers may be open to the concept of working from home, as there is now an increased level of productivity and a decrease in operational costs.
There are some practical approaches to ensure that you are motivated every day. The practices may seem simple, but they are very effective. Firstly, ensure that you maintain a balanced diet. Do not fall victim to excessive snacking and fast food. Your health is very important and a strong immune system is what would protect you in the event you contract COVID-19. Secondly, make sure that you get some form of exercise. It does not have to be excessive. It should be made into a routine. Some gyms are moving their classes outdoors or in some cases are hosting classes online. Finally, ensure that you get the rest that you need in comparison to the work that you do each day. A good night’s rest gives you the energy to power through any task.
The most powerful pillar that should be practiced during this pandemic is reassessment. What wisdom can we pass down to future generations to ensure that they are better equipped to handle a pandemic? We attempted to find information as it relates to the Spanish Flu and the impact this pandemic had on Trinidad and Tobago. The results were meagre at best, and not as descriptive as today. Each day we are well aware of the total number infected, the active cases, the number of repeated tests, and how many people are discharged. We can reflect on the national position at any given moment.
If you were to advise an individual in 2099 as a new pandemic takes over the world, what would your advice be? Would you advise them to ensure that they have an essential job? Would you encourage them to save? Will you advise that a storefront is not the way forward, and the career you choose should be flexible enough so that you can work from home? These thoughts that you have must be documented, whether through Social Media or your blog. These records will support and help others in the future.
How will this Pandemic influence your behaviour moving forward? Many of us, because of the practices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, have also prevented the spread of many other viruses that commonly cause us to become ill. Some of our professionals have not experienced any viral symptoms
for the year 2020. The simple actions of observing social distance, wearing masks, washing your hands, sanitizing, and cleaning surfaces have all led us to an environment that discourages the spread of viruses. Are these practices something you are willing to give up when they protect you against illnesses?
There are the positives of this pandemic, however, we must look carefully at the situation and discover them on our own. Do not let the negative narrative that surrounds your particular situation consume you. The Pandemic has adversely impacted some more than others, but regardless of the circumstances, you owe it to yourself to survive! You must be creative, dynamic, and innovative to push yourself ahead of the crowd. You do not want to be left behind. Sulking in your circumstance would only get you further down a rabbit hole of self-doubt. Rise to the occasion and identify the pillars of positivity. Thrive on them, and you would soon see how you can make this unprecedented situation work in your favour.
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