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I need to confess that I’m a procrastinator. I have always been a procrastinator, dependent on bursts of energy and productivity to compensate for my weakness. I have managed to make procrastination work for me. I believe that many people see me as a highly productive and successful person, and I probably am, but I need an impending deadline to focus myself and do my best work. I have also been wasting a lot more time recently while self-isolating at home. I have found a million reasons not to attend to what I know needs doing, especially now. I have drifted off to play Death Stranding, the new PlayStation 4 game, watching CNN or Netflix, and drinking too much wine. I feel fine, but I have also come to the realization that this crisis has caused me to be distressed, depressed and disorganized.

Fortunately, I found that I am not alone, and I have decided that it is OK go through a period of disorientation and adjustment to a new reality. However, while it’s important to let this type of “grief” play itself out, it is equally important to snap out of it at some point. So, go ahead and waste some time. You may need that time to recover your bearings, but also remember that at some point you need to get up and get going again.  I have reached that point. I am back up and running and making plans and goals again. I also believe that it’s OK to waste some time just musing, thinking, or doing nothing, as a healthy part of being highly productive. I don’t recommend procrastination to everyone, but if it is your strategy for productivity, make sure that you are exceling at it.

About setting goals and working to them, it is a fact that companies that have a long-term vision and plan, and stay focused on those goals, have a greater likelihood of surviving a crisis like this. The same is true for you and me. But how do you do that when everything has changed?  Even when things begin to recover, it’s going to be at least somewhat different than before, but this situation is so new and unique that no one can say exactly what will happen.

In my earlier posts on strategic planning I emphasized looking at higher level economic projections. That is not possible in this situation, so I am going to recommend the opposite, ignore projections. During the Great Depression of the 1930s. the American writer Will Rogers said that if you “placed all the economists in a line, they would all point in a different direction.” That is what the coronavirus has caused.  You are going to need to be your own compass.

So that makes your task a bit simpler. The world is absurd, so you need to reach deep inside yourself and define your own world.  This is a historically important time, so literally write down your thoughts and experiences and live it. It is a French existentialist concept. The world has gone insane. Nothing is making sense. There is no clear path. This is where personal character kicks in.  Define your own reality and purpose and stay focused on it. It’s a very powerful idea that can help us all through this.

David Mayes

I would like to hear your feedback on my thoughts. I am available via contact us on this website, or by scheduling a time to chat by clicking here: Livestorm Meet.

Post Author: David Mayes

Founder, Mayo615 Technology Partners Ltd., UBC adjunct faculty, Intel alumnus, technology assessment, international business, cleantech, fly fisherman, native Californian and citizen of France, who has been very fortunate to have traveled, lived and worked all over the globe. My wonderful wife, Isabelle has reintroduced me to my French Provençal heritage.

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