7 Things to do to stay Motivated during COVID 19

Posted on April 21, 2020

Sometimes the road is long and arduous. Having a set goal and ‘seeing the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ can give us the extra illumination to see our way through the end.

In the middle of a global pandemic like COVID 19, there is no light in sight. Consider this article a prototype torchlight that needs to work for you as much as it needs to work for me.

The good news is, the fundamentals of life have not changed. What we sow we will still reap, so we can rest assured that our chances of not just surviving but thriving during and after this increase exponentially based on what we do right now.

I would like everyone to think of COVID 19 like a road block on the highway forcing us onto a new road. A road we have never been on before nor do we know when the road ends. It is going to be nervous for us completing work without the certainty of results caused by familiarity and experience.

The good news is that every road we have ever travelled was new at some point. In addition to this, the road block does not discriminate so no one will have an unfair ‘immunity’ advantage which levels the playing field.

1. Refresh what your social feed looks like

As most of the population is forced home all over the world we will keep in touch and informed via social media. We spend hours watching our feed but how much time do we spend curating it?

We can use the follow, unfollow, mute and post notification options to create a space where we are notified about positivity and reduce our negative inputs to a need to know basis. Our feeling each day is the sum of our negative and positive thoughts so there is no limit to the benefits of getting inspired every time you open your phone or laptop.

I have discovered some hidden gems on Instagram that motivate me to love our country, love nature and just keep going. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Photographers / Photography Pages

These often take breathtaking photos that are inspiring to look at or put as a desktop background!

Lifestyle Bloggers

Decide on the lifestyle you want and follow someone who blogs about this lifestyle. Fashion? Travel? Being a Rich Mom?

What about industry specific people and magazines?

Personally my life revolves around destinations and luxury. In the future I hope to develop luxury experiences merging these two passions.

2. Find Friends to support this journey.

At the start of the COVID 19 pandemic I felt alone. Physically I could not associate as before and now I would be forced to live and work alone. Initially I expected everyone to get active and adapt to social distancing in the same way as me. After sometime I learnt that while we all can be better in different areas, each of my friends help and support me in different ways. Each perspective has influenced what I do today and I try to inspire them as well.

Let me introduce four of my friends and speak briefly on how each influenced me.

Armani Fernandes

A WhiteOak (Rum) Champion and Palancemaster turned family man. Armani reminds me, indirectly most times to treasure my own family and position myself so I can build my own one day.

Stefan Guevara

Last year this time Stefan joined me in Jamaica and came to a brunch straight from the airport with his gf in tow. This unwavering support and faith in my event and other business designs has helped transform my efforts into tangible results. I recently came up with an idea for a live show based on a rant he made 6 years ago.

Nesta Boxill aka Sekon Sta

At least once week for about 10 years Nesta and I can be found in my home discussing the future, life and relationships. COVID ended this. For the majority of this time, we never officially did business with each other. As such, I am able to get raw, almost detached feedback on everything. I may get a cat because he has one.

Jonathan Morgan.

The inspiration behind my annual Jamaica trip is partially because Jonathan married a Jamaican and now lives and works there as a partner in the prestigious DunnCox Law Firm. After adjusting my brands’ social media to respond to the COVID crisis Jonathan popped up and dropped priceless feedback – immediately seeing the longterm vision for my ‘Post COVID’ post on EEEmpire’s page. These words kept me going.

The support from the above only helped me after I reconsidered the type of support I expected from each person. Other people have inspired me from their own personal progress, such as my friend Daniel Francis who recently wrote a book called the Millennial Mind. Daniel pushed me to complete episode 1 of a documentary series although we could not get any additional content.

The bottom line here is, find your tribe or circle of people who will inspire you directly or indirectly.

3. Be Open to Opportunity

To put this point across more plainly. I am saying that during COVID 19, now is the time to step out of our comfort zone and be open to when people reach out to us. Take note of any interest or conversations even if it comes from a stranger or an ‘enemy’.

Last week Tuesday Lurbz invited me to speak with him on on his LIVE with Lurbz series. Prior to this, while I would see and hail Lurbz for many years, we never interacted on a one on one basis. I was pleasantly surprised by his personality and how fruitful the discussion was.

Internationally – Google and Apple, unlikely partners have put their resources together to assist the government with contact tracing. If large conglomerates could look past years of law suits and work together, I am sure we can look past any disagreement and be open to opportunities.

4. Develop new Traditions and Routines.

Most of the workforce working from home or not at all has some embedded benefits.

  1. Less Traffic – If we are still driving to work, there will be drastically reduced traffic. If we are working from home we save the time it would usually take us to get ready and commute to work.
  2. Getting our work done at the best possible times.
  3. Easy Access to Food. We can save money and time by preparing our meals.
  4. Organizations are converting their systems to work better online.

For the benefits to work for us we must develop a routine for our day as now we will be our own manager. I’ve personally strained with this on some days with irregular sleeping patterns hijacking an otherwise perfectly planned day.

Daytime work items.
Night time work items.

Techniques to increase everyday efficiency

  1. Use different parts in the house for different activities.
  2. Ask friends and family for no disturbance times. Not everyone works at home so we have to find a place to get peace and quiet by any means necessary. Chriselle Lim, blogger and international fashionista gets work done in her shower away from her kids. (pictured below)
  3. Put out food in bowls and fulling snacks so you won’t interrupt your productive time
  4. Have boss days and employee days. This is how I deal with operating as a creative and a strategic person in one. Especially for entrepreneurs and self employed people, life will now entail some of you planning, accounting, researching for the work and some of you actually doing the work. Trying to do both at the same time or even on the same day was an epic fail for me. I am getting better using do not disturb on my iPhone a lot.

5. Limit News Consumption

When COVID 19 started and my country got our first case, I would stop what I was doing to watch every minute of every press conference. I wanted to be the first to know! After doing this consistently, absorbing the comments, the memes and associated conspiracy theories and domesday predictions it was near impossible to get in the mood to be creative after.

Kasey Phillips, an international music producer from Precision Productions forwarded a message in a group that I am in. Part of it read:

  1. Isolate yourself from news about the virus. (Everything we need to know, we already know).
  2. Don’t look out for death toll. It’s not a cricket match to know the latest score. Avoid that.
  3. Don’t look for additional information on the Internet, it would weaken your mental state.
  4. Stay positive. Your positive mood will help protect your immune system.

After that, I realized that preserving my mental health was the key to staying motivated and throwing myself head first at my tasks was not going to help.

No work technique is going to keep you motivated when stress is unmanageable, and there is a lot to be stressed about right now. 

Unknown

Staying solution oriented will help us to create a new economy. The old Oil Rich Trinidad and Tobago economy is gone forever. In the long term, the ways we diversify by our local economy now by force will determine how we live the rest of our lives.

6. Reward Yourself

It is no secret – I love food and inspirational stories. This is why every event I plan has a strong food component. When I finish a project I reward myself with a piece of KFC chicken from my last box of KFC or an hour of my favorite Netflix show. This may just seem like surface pleasures but food actually can cause you to increase serotonin levels naturally. Serotonin regulates anxiety, happiness and mood.

I am accustomed to high output levels so my comparatively sluggish outputs at the start of the countrywide lockdown was alarming for me. Until I remembered that this is a crisis, nothing about this is normal and it is ok for me to get less done given the circumstances. Once I past that hurdle I was able to split up big tasks into smaller tasks and accomplish these one at a time.

7. Stay on the Road

I started driving my own car long after most of my peers. In those many years as a passenger I’d hear them talking about people letting go of the steering wheel in accidents and I’d aways wonder why would you even do this. One day when in Tobago, I was speeding around a corner with my friend Damion Gordon in a rental and I caught a skid and I understood. The easy thing to do is to let go and let ‘GOD’. However if we do this we will have no control and be doomed to the worst case scenario. If we plant no seeds we reap nothing for sure. If we do plant seeds, we have the same possible worst case scenario but a much better best case scenario.

When I skid off the road, I held on to the steering wheel and allowed the momentum of the car to take me back onto the road.

From today I implore all to think in bets. Which would be, understanding that during COVID 19 times, all decisions we make are based not only on skill but also on luck.

Based on this theory, no matter how good our choices are we may still be wrong. We can not control the future, but we can make the odds more in our favor.

Dig deep within and figure out what motivates you personally. It may be Yoga, meditation, a vision board or personal affirmations. For me my personal quick fix is music.

Nothing motivates me like the soothing sounds of my favorite songs. I curated two playlists (listed below) incase this is your style.

[Once you stay on the road] Even through the road is long, no matter what come yes we would make it.

Ella Andall x Ken Sambury

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