The 3 Most Important Things to Focus on in These Times

We all have a multitude of issues to deal with from a personal and business standpoint due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Ground yourself by focusing on these 3 things.

Don’t Panic – Times like these bring out our emotional reactions. This is natural and human. Recognize these feelings in yourself and others, then take a deep breath before acting. Empathy is critical and can be accompanied by rational thought. In normal times it is important to not “judge your insides by someone else’s outsides.” In these times, we must not let other people’s outsides (panic such as hoarding) drive us to imitate their behavior.

Plan for the Worst – Rationally planning for a worst-case scenario is not panic. No one knows what the ultimate health and economic impact will be. This is just the type of situation where a single point forecast will get us in trouble. Effectiveness trumps efficiency. Survival is more important than searching for the optimum. Don’t compound risk by taking on even more when the environment itself has such incredible risk.

Guess and Experiment Rather Than Decide and Act – This is an approach that we should always use but its value is greatest in times of uncertainty like we find ourselves in today. As businesspeople we usually need to act decisively. Doing so often commits us to sticking with a decision until we can prove it right. The greater the uncertainty, the more quickly we need to be able to change course as new information is acquired. Recognize that the decisions you are making day-to-day are your current best guesses. The actions you take are experiments which will provide you feedback to make improved guesses as things progress.