Order or Chaos in Quarantine

Some of us are planners, some operate by the fly-by-the-seat of your pants planning system. Over the years, I’ve waffled between both camps. If you want to make an organized person lose their shit, introduce your chaos. Likewise, chaos tends to resist order. Hard. I’ve been known from time to get so overwhelmed that I subscribe to the BURN IT ALL category. I don’t recommend doing this with other people’s stuff. They never appreciate your efforts and things will not end well. Trust me on this one. 

Regardless of whichever camp you may find yourself, you must accept a certain amount of unknown. There will be variables, unforeseen circumstances and emergencies that no one could actually have seen coming.

Trying to get through days filled with unstructured time during the quarantine period in addition to complete uncertainty with many of my regular clients has left me doing random things. Like walking around in circles to get my steps in. Or checking news feeds for updates. Or re-reading old emails (like, why?).

Recently, I’ve begun reading books on the Entrepreneurial Operating System. Of course, like most thought systems, it has its disciples and dissidents. The wondrous variety of life on earth ensures that no one opinion is The Way. 

I found it helpful to recall that if you don’t have a specific destination, how do you know when you’ve arrived (or if you’re even heading in the right direction)? Not a new concept, I know. But I feel a sense of control during this time just by creating a plan. Even if I fall far short of those lofty goals I’ve create for myself, I feel like I’ve done something towards plotting a course. 

Every Sunday, my life partner shares a weekly accountability checklist with his business partner. They hold each other to the professional and personal items on the list. I’ve started my own accountability checklist, but because I need more concrete ways to spend my time, I’ve created an electronic sticky note with items for each day. Of course, the trouble is I want to do #allthethings every damn day. 

Like so many others, I wake up – even under quarantine – brimming with optimism on all the things I’m going to accomplish during the day, only to find my window for actual items on my list shrink each night along with my energy levels and resolve. 

Every day I see new articles bestowing the importance of ‘doing nothing’ or ‘being gentle’ with yourself. Yes, I’m all for balance in life and playing as hard as you work, but it’s too easy to slide into the bum on the couch mode. At least for me.

Doing nothing is not my job. Nor do I intend to make it so. If I don’t feel accomplished at the end of the day, that affects me more than trying to do too much. Does that make me a workaholic? If I’m doing any steps that could get me closer to the goals I’ve created, should this count as being gentle with myself?

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