As the novelty of being at home 24/7 starts to wear off, you may have noticed feelings of monotony and boredom starting to set in. You may also be more tired than usual given our mental bandwidths are being taken up by the coronavirus. What’s more, your stress may have sky-rocketed as we spend more time worrying about our health, the health of those we love, our jobs, the economy etc.
So it’s important that we build new habits and routines into our lives that will ensure we remain energised, productive, motivated and in control of our wellbeing whilst we endure this difficult time.
The Circles were first introduced to me by Stephen Covey in his hugely popular book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It’s a concept I have written about previously, and have returned to recently to remind myself of where I should and should not focus. I have populated the Circles below to reflect the worries that the majority of us have right now, as well as those things that we have some control over and can influence.
Although you may be concerned by what’s listed in the outer circle (and much more), it’s hard for us to have any control over them. So it makes no sense for us to focus here as it will only waste our time and energy, and contribute further to our levels of stress.
Proactive people tend to work on the things that they have control over and can influence – some of the things listed in the inner circle. By focusing on their Circle of Influence, these people tend to be happier, less stressed, more engaged and energised, and they perform better even when facing challenges.
My intention over the coming weeks is to go through some of the elements outlined in the Circle of Influence, so you know how and where to focus your energy and efforts, which may help you adjust well to this new way of living.
Your mindset is your attitude and way of thinking, and includes the beliefs you have about yourself and your capabilities. According to the psychologist, Carol Dweck, people have two types of mindsets that they navigate their lives with – fixed and growth. The mindset we adopt, plays an important role in determining how we respond to the challenges we face.
People with a fixed mindset believe their basic qualities, such as intelligence, talent and personality, are fixed traits that don’t and can’t change. Those who posses a growth mindset however, believe their basic qualities can be cultivated and developed through dedicated effort.
As an example, consider a difficult task on your current to-do list. And now reflect on your mindset. If you automatically default to a fixed mindset when contemplating the task, try and eliminate this by viewing the challenge as an opportunity to learn something new. If you hear yourself say “I can’t,” add on the word “yet”, and let it remind you that you’re just on a learning curve.
When we adopt a growth mindset, we are more able to overcome challenges like those we are faced with today. And, we are more likely to grow and develop in the process by moving outside of our comfort zone.
Whilst we can’t control what’s happening around us, by being proactive and undertaking positive practices, we will not only handle the current crisis, but we may even come away from this experience stronger, smarter and more resilient than ever before.