Guest Blog: How to Stay Positive, Productive and Engaged During the Coronavirus Pandemic

By Jade Varley

It seems the coronavirus is going to be with us just that bit longer. Compared to other countries Australia is doing well; infection rates are continuing to decline. The death rate is also relatively low. This is in stark contrast to other countries such as the USA, Italy and Spain. Long may it continue, although it seems we are going to need to be cautious for the next few months at least, or until the virus is eradicated.

This is likely to mean more working from home and a continuation of some restrictions as to what we can and can’t do. I’m speaking to more and more people who are finding working from home very difficult and even more so if they are also home schooling. Juggling different priorities has become much more challenging.

This is the reason I believe knowing your values is going to be more important than ever. Using your values to dictate your priorities will give you a feeling of fulfillment, as well as a clear indication of where you could outsource the best.

Over the last 7 years I have helped hundreds of people in the area of career and business growth. Values come up a lot and I’ve found common patterns as to why people procrastinate, feel demotivated and keep changing their mind, as well as their direction. Values have also helped people who are stressed, overwhelmed and taking too much on.

In 2016, I created the Predictive Career Compass System which encompasses values as well as other indicators as to what makes someone tick. Here is are couple of examples of how it works:

Values to Solve Stress, Overwhelm & Anxiety

Knowing your values can help you to prioritise and reduce stress, overwhelm and anxiety from doing too many things. One of the patterns we are seeing at the moment is people taking too much on. Sometimes they are working longer whilst at home, finding their jobs more demanding and trying to cope with personal demands. During these experiences we recommend that people reduce expectations of themselves and try not to excel in all areas. One or two areas need to take priority. If you can relax one area of your life for a bit, then we suggest this is done.

For example, if you can try to focus more on either work or home but not both to the same extent. Whilst one area is extremely busy, take a break in another area, especially at the moment. Values can you help you to determine this. We also suggest listening to signals from your body and mind. If you body is craving a bath or a walk, you need to listen to it. It’s not about being lazy, it’s about avoiding a potential ‘burn out’ and giving yourself the opportunity to relax. Relaxation for some still involves doing things but different things. Pushing through too much can sometimes be counterproductive and potentially very damaging to your long- term mental health.

Values for Boredom, Procrastination and De-Motivation

On the flip side there are people who are finding themselves either under utilised or in a role they are not suited to. An example is given below:

Marie has strengths in communication and people and loves keeping busy. She has a high value on ‘connection’ but keeps finding work that de-motivates her and she doesn’t know why. She is forever pushing against herself to get stuff done.

In this example there is a disconnect between the nature of Marie’s work and her natural strengths, preferences and values. She needs a job with more people connection and now with a requirement to work from home she is struggling even more. In Marie’s case she needs to design her day around her values, strengths and energy levels in order to feel more engaged and motivated by her work.

We would recommend a Productivity Plan that looks something like this:

  • Variety is going to be fundamental to Marie, given her natural behavioural style. We would advise short bursts of intense work and deadlines to keep her motivated;
  • Mixing up her day with quiet work and connecting with people (calls, video conferencing or even a trip to the supermarket);
  • Help Marie find ways to outsource more detailed tasks;
  • Although Marie may not like to plan, we would devise a more fun and engaging way of planning for Marie; and
  • Help Marie create a career plan that allows her to be more people orientated in the future, if not now.

After a few weeks of trialing this new method Marie would start to feel more motivated and fulfilled and ultimately more in charge of her destiny. Knowing what she wants she would have the ability to negotiate with those around her and explain exactly what she was looking to get from her career. This would help Marie to feel more in control and happy. Just by having a plan it will give Marie the certainty and optimism that things are going to get better.

Overall, you are more likely to succeed when you are naturally inspired, motivated and have energy. Everyone is different and whilst there is a lot of general advice out there, if you can design your day around your natural strengths and values, you’re more likely to succeed and feel inspired in the process.

About Jade Varley

Jade Varley is a Speaker, Trainer and Leadership Coach who has spent the last 7 years helping professionals from all walks of life to take their careers and themselves to the next level. With a background in town planning consulting, she knows what its like to manage large teams and ensure they achieve their deadlines. Jade utilises a wide range of tools including Extended DISC Behavioural Profiling and is a Certified International Emotional Intelligence Coach. She works across countries, in Europe, New Zealand and Australia and feels very lucky to have a business she loves. If you would like to find out more about how you can be at your best at work and in life you can find more from Suited to Business.

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