Get back to business as unusual

How to jumpstart a creative mindset
Business As Unusual

According to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, workers who report that they are stressed incur health care costs that are 46% higher, or an average of $600 more per person, than other employees. Offering stress management programs to your employees is a worthwhile investment on many levels. When events occur in life that are void of options, like the coronavirus pandemic and resulting shutdown, stress is a natural reaction. Whether you are a small business owner or large corporation there is specific protocol in place that you must follow in order to begin to open your doors and get back to business. However, it’s not business as usual but rather business as unusual.

Usual vs. Unusual

People gravitate toward what is familiar. Do you miss your office space? Client meetings at restaurants? Casual conversations with your colleagues throughout the workday? The ability to walk down the hall and check in with team members? Face to face meetings and interactions? You’re not alone. When common occurrences are suddenly taken away, there is a grieving process. However, that comes with an incredible opportunity to practice being adaptable and creative. A person’s stress increases as their available options decrease. Several of my coaching clients have expressed a desire to go back to business as usual. Let’s take a closer look at the word usual. Usual means something that is habitually or typically done. However, usual can get boring as it is void of inspiration and creativity. Healthy habits are important for optimal wellness in life; however, when habits are completed because it’s easier to do them rather than initiate change, we miss opportunities for innovation. And innovation is essential to the creative process for expansion in business and in life. Let’s take a closer look at the definition of unusual: remarkable or interesting because it’s different. What would it take to shift your focus from business as usual (actions that are typically done) to business as unusual (remarkable and interesting)? As a small business owner of 20 years, I have decided, during this time of uncertainty, to shift my mental focus from what’s not working out to what is working out in order to maximize my available resources. Remember, you are the landlord of your thought life. You can give free rent to negative behaviors or you can make the decision to focus on expanding innovation, creating positive behaviors. The choice is yours. Perhaps it’s time to evict a mental position that is keeping you stuck. You feel stress when you give away power to outside circumstances. Instead, define for yourself what you can capable of.

Jumpstart a creative mindset

If there has ever been a time for original and creative thinking in business, now is the time. Below are several coaching questions designed to jumpstart an innovative mindset:

  • What do you want now? State your answer in the positive: “I want to expand targeted marketing efforts in a cost effective way.”
  • What will it do for you specifically?
  • How is your life going to be affected?
  • How will you know when you have it?
  • What will it feel like and sound like and look like? You are making it real.
  • Where, when and with whom do you want this?
  • How will this affect other aspects and people in your life?
  • What prevents you from having this already? This question reveals how you get in your own way.
  • What resources do you already have to obtain your desired outcome?
  • What additional resources do you need to get what you want? This may include physical, mental, emotional or spiritual resources.
  • How are you going to get it? This is the big question that leads to the plan of action and writing down the steps you will take to get to your desired outcome.
  • Is there more than one way to accomplish the desired outcome? This question opens up options, which will boost innovative thinking and decrease stress.

Your perception of the world around you flows directly from your perception of yourself. Do you see the world as safe or unsafe? Do you face challenges with flexibility and curiosity or with assumptions and reactive behavior?

Grab & Go stress relief tip for business as unusual

When you shift your perception of self, your view of reality shifts. To be adaptable during the unusual work environment it is essential to honor the BRAC: The Basic Rest Activity Cycle of the brain. Your brain is high functioning for 90 minutes and then rests for 20. If you want to maximize innovative thinking, take a 20-minute break to rest every 90 minutes in your workday. Take this time to stand up, stretch, walk around, and breathe deeply. Mentally download and lean into a past positive professional experience you had in your life. Remember, whatever you focus on grows bigger.  

Categories: Business Insights, COVID-19, Human Resources