One of the things I have been hearing recently is what it will be like when we get “back to normal.” I am not always sure what is meant by this when I hear it on TV. But when I hear it in my living room and on my coaching calls, I can ask the question. What do you mean “back to normal”? When I ask that, it becomes pretty clear that “back to normal” isn’t coming. When we think about it, we realize we have been changed forever.
Wherever you are in the world reading this now, you have been affected in some way by this pandemic. If you are in the US or Canada, your government has requested (required in many instances) that you stay home.
The way this “shelter in place” (the US term) ends is not entirely clear. Though it does seem the end is in sight. It seems pretty clear there will be no magic screen lifted behind which are the lives we lived before this all happened.
And maybe that’s a good thing. Often it is in times of great upheaval when we discover that which we never thought possible. Sometimes we think a thing is “not possible” because we are too afraid to try it. In many ways that is the point of coaching – to press people to move beyond what they in their minds believe is not possible.
One of my clients recently told me that before the quarantine she had been afraid to go home at a reasonable hour in the evenings lest her practice “fall apart.” And now she is at home with her family, working fewer hours and as she says, “nobody died.” She will transition back to her law practice mindfully with the clear intention that she not work past 4pm in the afternoon. She has become aware recently that she “made up” that she had to work until 5 or 6pm to keep it all going. “But it’s all going, and I am not working the same hours.”
I started thinking about what we as a nation want to keep when I heard about the clean air and water that has come from closing factories and driving less. I started wondering what we can keep when we transition back.
Maybe we are not going “back.” Probably we are going forward. I am suggesting that we do this mindfully. Purposefully. I am suggesting that you make a list of all the practices you put in place that you want to keep when you are allowed more physical freedom. I am suggesting that in addition to the practices, you make a list of what you learned that you want to remember.
To get you started, here is a compilation from my present and past clients:
• I will continue to move without rushing. I will not treat my whole life as urgent. I will not fill my life so full that I have to run to keep up.
• I will continue to look at my books and my business so that I can keep leaner expenses.
• I will continue my accounts receivable practices – consciously collecting on past due accounts rather than being fearful or thinking maybe they are lost or I could do it “later”.
• I will create clear expectations with my clients in regard to their communication with me so that I am not seen as available 24/7.
• I will shelter in place once a week – going home to be with my family and spending quality time, all day, alone with them. (I have also heard this from people who live alone.)
• I will appreciate that I am in control of my life. (This said about feeling there is too much pressure as a law firm owner and then finding I appreciate all that I am responsible for after many of my freedoms were taken away.)
• I will continue the creativity in my office about how to best serve our clients.
• I will continue the time at home with no plans. Just being with the family.
• I will continue working out at home and investigating new ways/videos/classes to do that.
• I will continue Zoom meetings with friends who I don’t see in person that often, even when there is no Shelter.
• I will continue working outside on my patio, enjoying the scenery.
• I will continue offering Zoom and webinar-based trainings in lieu of and as a supplement to my live trainings.
• I will continue seeing what is needed and offering it for free.
Make your list. What will you keep as you mindfully transition?
And speaking of free things, I will offer a second training (supplemental to the Working from Home, A Guide for Attorneys Zoom call I did on April 2) in a couple weeks on Mindfully Transitioning to Your New Normal. I will announce it via my blog post. Or you can email me now to get on a list and I will formally invite you when the time comes.
And my coach and friend, Kelly Mobeck, just launched her new podcast – Let’s be Honest Before we Start Pretending. I would not be where I am today without this woman and her commitment to my success. And that of everyone she meets. So glad there is access to many of her principles for everyone to hear.