Engage your ‘Crisis Mode’

These last few weeks haven’t been pleasant. I’ve been ill, Mrs Cutlery has been ill and so have the two boys.

A poorly household is not a productive household and it’s been a real challenge making priority calls on a day-to-day basis based on how everyone has been feeling.

It strikes me as one of those occasions where you need the ability to hit a kind of temporary ‘reset’ button, putting your normal tools and techniques to one side and taking a different approach.

"You need the ability to hit a kind of temporary ‘reset’ button."

Crisis Mode

It’s what I would call ‘crisis mode’ and for me it’s about being able to take a more dynamic, instinctive approach when the situation demands.

Imagine the following scenario: Your house is on fire, your family is inside and your challenge is to get everyone out safely. Is this a good time to be adopting do/defer/delegate? No. Is this the right time to be processing your next actions? Of course not.

It’s a clumsy metaphor but the principle remains the same for less dramatic scenarios; you need to put aside ‘productive mode’ and enter ‘crisis mode’ until you can get back on track.

In my case this has meant suspending my day-to-day routine and goal-oriented tasks. Not going to the gym each day has really hit my fitness goal but I needed to recognise that I wasn’t up to it.

Similarly my ‘next actions’ list has been put to one side as I’ve focused on pitching in wherever possible by looking after the kids and helping my wife to get some extra down time.

‘Crisis mode’ means batoning down the hatches and doing only what’s most important. It means setting task management to one side and relying more heavily on instinct and gut feel. It’s about recognising basic needs and catering to those above all else.

I’ve been in crisis mode for going on two weeks now and I’m optimistic that I can go back to normal operations in the next few days as we all recover.

As I do so the challenge will be to take stock of my lists and open loops, to revisit my goals and to re-establish my positive momentum in getting where I want to be.

Do you have a ‘crisis mode’? How do you deal with crisis situations?