5 Lessons during the pandemic

We are slowly coming out of a pandemic, and for many of us it has been a big lesson, one which could affect many aspects of our lives.

It was on a Monday morning recently, my usual day off, when I was struggling to get my energy levels right. I had been pulled in many directions – from my team at the bakery, commercial decisions for the day, juggling my personal everyday chores.Having parked on Bakery Street (appropriately!) I was sitting in my car in silence. After taking a few deep breaths, I re-centred myself and headed towards the Post office. As I made that short walk, I realised the five lessons I had learnt through thispandemic:

1. Do not let other peoples’ moods affect my performance

Negative energy can adversely impact on ones anxiety and stress levels. Sometimes, its easier said than done to not take on others moods in our environment. But how others feel has nothing to do with me, its about them, until that negative energy is received by me. The decision is how to respond, how best to acknowledge how they are, but not share their worries. I understand many people are very worried about their own situation and uncertain future right now. It is my choice to hear what they have to say, but not let it affect me.

2. Do not answer every message immediately

Messages and emails can easily bombard us, many people wanting our urgent attention. There is very little in this world which is really, truly, urgent. The senders want to take my time, but would not understand, at that point when they send it, is my own work pressures and my own priorities. They should have no direct influence on my decision in how I handle my workflow. There is no compulsion to try to deal with everything immediately. Certainly try to view each message in a reasonable timescale and decide when you will have time to respond, and indeed carefully consider what the best response should be, having given the full and appropriate level of consideration.

3. Some messages may not warrant any response

Just as we have conditioned ourselves to identify and avoid engagement with spam emails, so there are low level engagements, which we can filter out and avoid giving any response. Having spent many years responding to every contact, I now realise this isn’t necessary. It fits well with improving my efficiency, and stress levels, from good time management

4. There are many ways to meditate

We are in a world of constant noise, interruptions, demands on our attention. What we all need is a time of absolute silence, a time for ourselves, to be totally private from the world. The concept of meditation can be daunting, a worry we are not meditating properly. But rest assured, there is no wrong way to meditate. This task is in your hands, stay in privacy and silence for 5 minutes a day, thinking of no-thing, thinking of no-one.

5. Focus within – Reflect

We now live in a very opinionated world, fuelled by social media, which drives many to form quick opinions and join tribes. But it is important to take time out to focus on what is best for you, your business, your family, your world. Do not be driven by others’ opinions, it is only you, who would know what is best for you. People have had various responses to the pandemic, which could be very different from yours, and resultant decisions you make about how you steer your business forward. Do hear others’ opinions, which could be insightful, but continue with what fits your own plans. Follow your own intuition.

I hope these lessons will serve you, not only during pandemic situations, but for the lifetime of your business.They have certainly helped me re-focus my mindset at this time.

Michaela Pontiki