Interrupted by a Tropical Storm

Just when it seems that 2020 can’t get any better, a tropical storm blasts through the state, leaving us without power or internet access for nearly a week!  

It’s just another example of how the best plans and expectations get disrupted very quickly with a lasting impact. Once again, one of our neighbors has to deal with recovering from a very large tree falling on their house. Others lost cars or suffered other damage. Luckily we are ok, with only minor damage and we don’t know of anyone that was injured.

And we adapt. Today, 4 days later without power or internet we work from home professionals gather wherever we can find power and wifi to keep our businesses running.

That got me to thinking about interruptions. And how they seem to be more of the norm than the exception. That means that our success will depend on how we recover from the interruptions that we cannot avoid.   

This week has been a stark reminder for me on how distracting it is to lose the things we take for granted – like power and internet connection – and how to recover.  

My strategy for this week has been to:

Accept that this week is disrupted and going to be less productive than I had hoped.  That doesn’t thrill me, but it’s a fact. Getting frustrated about it won’t help.

Remember that the people in your tribe (staff, friends, clients) are probably also disrupted this week. They are probably as frustrated as you are. Check-in on them, make sure they’re ok. Adjust schedules and expectations to something that can be accomplished.

Decide what is most important that must move forward this week.  What will get me to the next mile marker – or for football fans, the next first down?  Breaking bigger projects into smaller parts helps.

Act with intention to complete the things you decided to do. When you’re in the task stay completely in what you’re working on for a defined period of time – up to an hour at a time. 

Care for yourself. The long-term effects of the stress we are experiencing in 2020 are piling up. Even the most powerful and well-adjusted people can crack under pressure. Getting in physical motion, whether it’s a walk or a workout – or cleaning up downed branches – will help burn off some of the excess stress.

Stay well, stay safe.