How to Win Right Now!
One of the direct effects of Corona Virus COVID-19 is tremendous uncertainty at all levels of our global structure. With this volatility comes difficulty in understanding what the coming months, weeks, and days will look like. Being unsure of what the future holds can make it difficult to measure productivity, determine effective time management, and whether or not we are truly winning the day.
Prior to this pandemic (whether we were aware of it or not) each of us had a unique routine designed around personal short and long-term goals, our days were prioritized based on what mattered most, and we knew with a high degree of certainty what tomorrow would bring.
Tennis can be used as an analogy to demonstrate how the introduction of this virus produces misdirection, and personal feelings of nonfulfillment in members of society. When playing a tennis match, the rules are clearly defined, the opponent is obvious, and the result depends on who hits harder and misses less. Similarly, our days were routine and clearly defined, we went to school or did our job, and whether or not it was a good day was a result of how we performed on our tests or in the workplace.
As this virus runs its course throughout the world, there is no longer a guaranteed routine, the majority of people don’t go into class or into work (and if they do it is from a very unfamiliar setting), and for many the result is an inability to feel fulfilled or productive. If the equivalent occurred in a tennis match, it would be like playing with rules that changed every other game, against an invisible opponent, and with no clear way of knowing when the match started or finished.
So how do we find fulfillment, win the day, and ensure the 24 hours we are given are used to move forward in a positive direction with an ever-changing world? It all comes down to how well we identify opportunities and execute appropriately.
Two acronyms help guide the answer:
The first acronym, WIN, focuses on living in the moment and identifying the task or objective that matters most in the present. Often, many of life’s greatest successes come from the ability to stay in the moment and focus on the task at hand. There is no better opportunity to develop this skill than under the circumstances of this virus. Asking the simple question, “What’s important now?” provides direction and clarity in a continually changing environment.
The second acronym, NOW, serves as a continual reminder to actively seek new opportunities for growth or areas of impact. When tragedy hits, people will naturally panic or completely shut down. This is a result of our innate fight or flight instincts. With social distancing and sheltering in-place, this acronym increases awareness of the environment and identifies opportunities to help somebody excel, to take action on a project or goal, or to learn something new. With the amount of opportunities around us, there is no reason to ever be bored.
This virus has definitely caused a change of pace in everybody’s lives, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. With the additional down time, consider using these two acronyms (WIN & NOW) to help set and accomplish goals, learn new things, and make the most of the quarantine.
Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of the United States Air Force Academy, The United States Air Force, or the Department of Defense. Please seek permission from the author prior to reproducing this information.