No more coffee meetings, wearing heels to work, or making sure to shave correctly. No play dates, work drinks, or your weekly brunch with your best friends. It’s Covid-19 time, and it ain’t fun.
COVID-19 is changing the way we interact with our friends, family, and colleagues. And all the different activities that build our days are now held from home.
As a result, that Mind-Switch cost has grown to be higher than ever: you can no longer switch from one persona to another by staying at the office or deciding to have this meeting or that so-needed work time in a cafe. We now find ourselves in need to switch from one activity to another, consistently, when the only switch is on us, in our minds.
Now, more than ever: we create our reality. Because guess what, your day and settings don’t change a bit, day after day.
This switching cost issue affects your work, family, and social life. But if you happen to be a mentor, it also challenges you when being there for that person you want to be there for.
In this post, we will talk about a few feelings you may feel right now and what are the practical ways to deal with each. Ready? Set? Switch!
I don’t feel like myself anymore.
It all feels like a big mess. How can I be there for someone else now?
#MindfulTip: Let’s start with a reminder — if you were chosen to be a mentor, either on Product League or just by an individual who reached out to you and asked for your advice, it means you got what it needs.
It means we, them, and your inner-you, know that you got what it needed to change someone’s life or career.
And you, are still the same professional you used to be a few weeks ago. You are as talented as insightful and as caring as you were before.
But one thing has changed: you are now even more experienced.
#PracticalTip: Ask your mentee to write down the subject matters they would like to discuss with you on this mentoring adventure (if you are a mentor on Product League, look in your matching announcement email. It’s already written there).
When you look at this short list, you’ll notice just how much you know about each subject and realize you are an expert in at least a few of them.
Guess what? We already know that you are a mentor material, your mentee knows it as well, and it’s now your time to be reminded that you, yes you, have an insightful mind and a warm heart. You are a mentor.
I don’t even know how my life is going to look like in a month. I want to be there for my mentee or anyone who needs me. But I may feel as lost as they are right now.
#MindfulTip: My 7th-grade math teacher used to say that students that tutor their friends get to gain at least as much as their “students” do.
And I can’t agree more.
When you mentor a mentee from your industry, you don’t only help them build their knowledge but also help yourself to regain your strengths. You get to remind yourself of the ins and outs of your profession and the little tricks that you almost had forgotten, you know.
Especially if you are worried about your professional life and don’t know what tomorrow brings, use this time to practice your leadership and management expertise.
#PracticalTip: Seat down in a quiet space, all by yourself for a few minutes and imagine the day after Covid-19.
We can’t yet imagine how this day will look like, but we do know for sure that the world will need mindful leaders to lead us all through.
Imagine yourself seating in a job interview: paint yourself the room, the chairs, and your interviewer. Think of the moments when she is asking you to share with her what did you do on your isolation days and what did you chose to fill your day with. Now imagine your conversation when you share your mentoring experience with her and how it affected you both.
Imagine being recognized as someone that can bring a team to be the best version of themselves at any time. So actually, mentoring may be the best investment you could make right now. Imagine the “day after”, get prepared.
My daily schedule is a mess.
I wish I had the time. I want to have the time. But I don’t know how my tomorrow is going to look like.
#MindfulTip: Time management and work-life balance are issues we all struggle with every day. But having the Covid-19 constraint coming in just made everything more difficult.
Make a table where you include the different activities you now don’t spend time on, like commuting to work or meaningless playdates with your three years old daughter’s friends. Now, after you gained this time “back”, what would you like to invest it in?
Remember, Time is a theoretical element. This what makes it so challenging to use but also so flexible to reframe.
If it’s hard for you to think of an hour to block with your mentee, try to break it down into a 15 minutes chat in a frequent setting. This setting may allow you to cover more subjects or even challenge you to make your calls to be more focused and to nail your discussion points.
You may want to interact with each other in creative ways like sending a piece to read on a daily basis or to start each day with a link to a song that will get you both on the right mindset. Be creative and focus on the why, the how will follow.