calm mind

The critical step before re-imagining your business

A deluge of articles, videos and webinars have inundated us.  Most telling us how to get business back on track in these post-Covid times. The common advice among all that content is some variation of “Relook your business model”. And that’s important advice. Covid-19 has changed things quickly and irreversibly. Not relooking your business model in the face of this revolution is risky, at best.

Yet, rethinking business models can be intense work. Building strategy requires creativity. Creativity requires a calm mind.  And calm minds are in short supply currently! It’s been a period filled with uncertainty. Add social isolation and a sea change in how we work to the mixture. It’s all enough to stress out even the calmest person. While life is limping back to normal, anxiety levels remain elevated. So, before re-imagining your business you need to do one critical thing.  To control your anxiety and calm down. This article gives you some tips to do just that.

Tip 1: Stop the news

Our information consumption has increased exponentially during the pandemic. We’ve been busy flipping TV channels and scrounging through news apps and websites. Then there’s been WhatsApp University and the Facebook Polytechnic. They kept us well informed about the smallest mutation in the virus genetic sequence. Trouble is that a lot of it was disinformation, fake news, or plain sensationalism.

Stop the news.  Instead, choose a few reputed information sources. Pick a couple of times a day for consumption. And stick to that schedule. Nothing more than that. The first step to decreasing anxiety is to stop over-consuming news. And don’t use WhatsApp or social media as a news source.

Tip 2: Get into a routine

Our daily schedules had transformed. Now that things are more in control, it’s time to get back into a routine. Schedule your day and allot time for each of the activities you want to do. Put it into an online calendar or a dairy. Setting a routine gets things done. And puts you in control of your time. While calendaring, remember to allot time to think about the future of your business. Else, it’s easy to fill your calendar with fire-fighting activities. And have no time for the deep-thinking stuff.

Tip 3: Don’t be hard on yourself

Be kind on yourself and others. The aim shouldn’t be to make up all the time and business lost during the lockdown. That won’t happen. So, don’t cram your calendar with too many things to do. And don’t beat yourself up if it’s difficult to get back to the speed you were pre-lockdown. Instead, aim to get back to the same pre-lockdown mental state. And try to facilitate the same for your employees.

Tip 4: Realize that we’re lucky

The pandemic has affected everyone.  Nobody’s been spared.  Yet, if we compare ourselves to some others, we’ve come out relatively unscathed. Look at the plight of the millions of migrants, many of whom are having a harrowing time getting home. And it’s a very uncertain future for those who have reached home.

The luxury of flexible and remote working is also not available to a huge chunk of the workforce. For instance, for domestic helps work-from-home translates to no-work and no-pay. Yes, we are the fortunate minority. And realizing we’re fortunate is a good way to relieve stress.

Tip 5: Talk to people

It’s a new situation. You never know what someone might say which triggers new ideas for your business. The greater the variety of people you speak with, the more perspectives you gain. The other advantage is that its therapeutic. We are social animals.

Be careful to stay away from the negative ones though. The ones who tell you that the world is coming to an end. Or if they run out of corona statistics to inform you about, find something else to sustain the current negative news environment.

Tip 6: Exercise and self-care

Whether it’s stretching at home, going for a walk or run, yoga or meditation, be sure to get some exercise into your schedule.  We’ve been at home for a long time. We need to work ourselves back into fitness. A healthy mind stays in a healthy body.

Closing thoughts

In the current uncertain environment, there are an unlimited number of stressors. Getting rid of them is like playing a game of whack-a-mole. They’ll keep popping up no matter how many times you try to get rid of them. We need to learn to live with these new stressors. They’re going to be a part of our life for the foreseeable future. So, accept them and calm down. Before you start the important task of re-imagining your business.     

How are you coping with this new world? Comment below or call me and let’s chat!


  • CA Ajit Mahabal says:

    Nice Read Sunil.
    Keep it up…

  • Rajeev Rao says:

    Social media can be distracting. You said it well when you said the people should stay away from WhatsApp. I would go a step further and advise everyone to get out of whatsapp groups. It is a major waste of time and not suitable for those in charge of business. Every other point mentioned in the article is very general in nature and would apply to all situations and not to the present situation alone. For instance, taking time out to call your friends, maintaining a routine or do yoga and meditation, we did not need Covid19 to remind us. Yet, all these good activities have come to the fore due to Covid19. Sunil, you would advise us about other technical issues and not about life skills, had it not been for Covid19!

    • Sunil Dias says:

      Yes Rajeev, whatsapp groups can be a time sink.
      Covid19 has made critical a lot of the stuff we need to do anyway. In all spheres of life. Are they obvious? Yes. Should we keep trying to reinforce the need to do them especially when they could really help? I think so. 🙂
      Thanks for commenting, Rajeev.

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