Leverage the Lull
Research conducted at the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, “Exposing Worry’s Deceit: Percentage of Untrue Worries in Generalized Anxiety Disorder,” (Behavior Journal, 17 July 2019) found that, on average, 91.4% of worries among participants never happened. Many other studies support this line of research.
Clearly, this does not diminish the life-saving need for everyone to use wisdom and follow protocol, but it is a reminder that our default tendency is to focus on the wrongs things – especially when stressed or worried.
As schedules change and fundraising tasks move online, here are tips to counter our natural, yet negative inclinations:
- Leverage the lull. This is a good time to assess schedules in light of the classic time management matrix: urgent/important, not urgent/important, urgent/not important, not urgent/not important. Use this season in the same way we do each New Year – to reprioritize, retool and reset things based on where we would like to be in a month… six months… this time next year.
- Stress test systems. Stress testing is commonly performed in construction, technology and other sectors to minimize mistakes and maximize effectiveness. Systems are placed under exaggerated levels of stress to prove their stability and uncover their weaknesses. The goal is not to find fault, but to make improvements. Evaluate what areas – personally and professionally – have been tested during this time, and make positive adjustments.
- Stay in the Growth Zone. Daily, even minute-by-minute, we have opportunities to live in the Fear Zone, the Learning Zone or the Growth Zone.
Fear: “I spread emotions related to fear and anger. I complain frequently. I get mad easily.”
Learning: “I identify my emotions. I become aware of a situation and think how to respond. I recognize that we are all trying our best.”
Growth: “I am empathetic with myself and others. I thank and appreciate others. I practice patience, encourage creativity and nurture relationships.”
Stay safe! Leverage the lull, stress test systems and stay in the Growth Zone.
Denise Rhoades, Vice President of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org
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