Do you have a contingency plan?
Do we need a plan B? Is something I often hear. We go about our daily lives happy with knowing we have work, a job, our business is going well, and a contractor knowing you have contract work. However, I think most of us have now learnt to expect the unexpected. Throughout life we go through so many unexpected and very significant change in our life both personally and professionally. No one is immune, to change, so yes, it is a good idea to have a plan B. This is not something we can formulate overnight, it takes time to think through, discuss and reflect on.
What is in the tank?
Whilst during the last 18 months we have gone through some transition. Many may have either lost their jobs or were furloughed, there are numerous others who have never worked so hard and are suffering or risk suffering from burnout. Or we have wondered how the business can continue, or if you are a freelancer when you will next be commissioned. We feel an obligation to keep going, to keep showing up but the stress will ultimately affect productivity and quality of work, relationships with colleagues and disengagement and ultimately can seriously affect your health. You may feel that you need to go to your plan B for the sake of your wellbeing or wanting to spend more time with things that truly matter to you. It may be that you have never had to consider long-term planning for your future and now the time has come.
Do you have a support structure?
Working for yourself or running a business can be overwhelming and zap all your resources from retaining clients, supporting teams, and creating your own balance. Do consider who is in your network, what is it you need to support you and our business.
The same applies if you are employed, who can support you?
Do you look after your own wellbeing?
You may be at a higher risk of burnout if you don’t look after your own health. It can be tempting never to leave the house if you work at home but a brisk walk or a cycle ride once a day can work wonders and can revitalise you. A change of scenery can give you a boost. Consider switching off work emails when you’ve finished for the day. Use a different phone for work. Make it clear to clients and colleagues when you are and aren’t available. If you are returning back to your working environment, its so easy to slip back to old habits and not taking adequate breaks or working longer, or resuming commuting, all take their toll on your well-being. In whatever circumstances you find yourself – it is timely to remind yourself to stop, review, reflect, where you are and what are you going to do to take care of your wellbeing.
What are you core values and are you sticking to them?
It can be easily to become so absorbed in your work that you can’t see the wood for the trees. It is important to take time to reflect and decide what you really want from your working life before life runs away with you and you begin to regret that you didn’t make changes sooner. Small steps are easy and essential in this instance, even a five-minute break can help, ensuring weekends are taken to spend on other things than work. Breaks and holidays can really help you energise and revaluate your life. Think about whether you are sticking to your personal values or are you selling yourself short. Try to imagine yourself as much older – think back on your life and ask yourself if you would have any regrets.
Be kind to yourself
Don’t feel guilty if you book a holiday or a spa treatment. The batteries need to be recharged. Take time to organise yourself, focus on what you enjoy and focus the mind.
Making plan B can sometimes feel overwhelming and daunting, where do you begin? It’s not always easy to start but I reassure you once you do that’s the biggest step! Be objective think about what it is you want and then what you have to do and not get hijacked by all the obstacles and saboteurs you may encounter whilst creating a route map. Know you are never alone, and you can always seek support and advice, you are not an island. Designing a contingency plan is something we all have to consider not to be put off. Being prepared is taking control of your life and ability to deal with any significant changes, will not phase you as you will be able to navigate yourself through it.
If you are looking to gain strategies for your plan B then do get in touch with me to discuss how I may help.