, ,

Routines for extraordinary times



The situation we are currently living is unprecedented.

There is something out there we don’t see, don’t understand much about, and can’t quite grasp, which is killing people. The death toll increases each time we plug ourselves into the news stream.

It is, very understandably, scary.

While fear is a biological necessity, which helps us survive, it doesn’t mix well with uncertainty.


And as a symbol of the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) times we are living, this pandemic is defined by its uncertainty. Many persons who have contracted the virus are asymptomatic, we don’t know what the actual death rate is, we are not sure the people who make decision are making the right ones, we don’t know how long we are going to be obliged to stay at home…

Fear coupled with uncertainty can generate anxiety.

Anxiety, when it becomes frequent, can be overwhelming and generates restlessness, irritability, difficulties to concentrate, among others.

These 3 symptoms are making living with others in close quarters, or working remotely, a difficult experience.

My two-cent advice in order to not become overly anxious: live in the moment!

    • Breathe

    Spend a good five minutes inhaling and exhaling (there are tons of Apps which can help you do that), it helps you see things clearer by making you focus on being yourself, here and now.

    • Tackle the tasks at hand

    Once you are seeing things with clarity, you can decide on what to do now among the immediate actions required of you. Start doing them by thinking about what is going to be their outcome/output and whether you need the support of somebody else. Proceed. And when it’s done, repeat. One task at a time.

    • Focus on the immediate present and stop planning

    It’s much too hard to plan when so many things are unknown. Planning will have to wait, today is the time to adapt. One tip: focus on a shorter timescale, measuring time in half hours will probably feel better than taking a day as reference.

    • Accept that all your tasks are not of the productive kind

    You can micro-nap, listen to music while looking outside through your window, read or watch series… All these are very hygienic, don’t put pressure on yourself.

    And in order to motivate yourself into accepting and implementing such routines, from time to time, dream for a few minutes about one good thing you will for sure do when this is over.



    Par Franck TOURTOIS.   ftourtois@acmentoring.com

1 reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Se focaliser sur l’incertitude actuelle (quelle est la gravité de l’épidémie ? quand sortira-t-on enfin de chez nous ? dans quel état sera l’économie ?) ne fait que rajouter aux questions que l’on se pose lorsque l’on est en transition (quand vais-je retrouver un emploi ? quand mon activité va-t-elle décoller ? …). Ces questions ne portent même pas sur le futur, mais sur le conditionnel, elles ne sont pas particulièrement productives et plutôt anxiogènes. S’ancrer dans ce qui se passe ici et maintenant est peut-être le meilleur moyen de ne pas subir de crise personnelle durant cette crise sanitaire (sur ce sujet vous pouvez lire sur notre blog en anglais l’article « Routines for extraordinary times »). […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply