How do you keep balls in the air when a personal or work crisis demands your immediate and full attention? I had to do this last month. Here's what I found about managing through crisis.
Ruthless Prioritization: The crisis demanded virtually all my attention so I ruthlessly prioritized. What could I drop or postpone? What could I delegate to whom? What did I need to keep doing?
Information and Knowledge: The hardest thing was virtually everything was out of our control. I asked a lot of questions to learn what we could control and influence. What happened? What would happen next? What should we expect? What was needed from us? What were resources were available? We had to learn and accept what we could control, what we could influence, and where we needed to just roll with it.
Functional Support: When the crisis struck, my everyday skills didn’t function optimally, but luckily, I had help. What support systems can you tap into? Who can be your second set of eyes to make sure you aren’t missing important deadlines and information?
Self-care and Emotional Support: I needed support to move forward effectively but didn’t want to overburden anyone. What family members, friends, co-workers or professionals can help you make sense of everything, provide other perspectives and insights, and help you be who you want to be through all of it?
Moving Forward: When the crisis hit, I felt like I was spinning around in the dark. A month later, we have a new normal, and I felt like myself again. I had more knowledge, the shock was virtually gone, and we were doing all that could be done. I’m grateful for the help that got me through it and continues to support me.
My hope for you is that when you encounter something incredibly big, scary and new, that you can create the space and support for you to focus on what you need and the circumstances demand. Know that you can do it and will find a way.
If you’ve lived through an extreme situation, what helped you? If you’re going through one now, how I could support you?