Did you take Spanish or French in high school? Maybe your school had more choices and offered German, Mandarin or other useful languages too; or, depending on where and when you went to school, maybe you sat through years of Latin lessons.  

What you probably didn’t learn in a high school language classroom is Greek. So most of us probably didn’t think much about the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet… until this year. We’ve all become far too familiar with Delta in 2021, thanks to the rise of the Delta variant. Suddenly, Delta is everywhere. 

It’s not like it’s a new word, especially if you pledged a sorority or fraternity or if you ever fly Delta. The word has a lot of uses. In geography, a river delta is a flat area near the mouth of a river that’s created by sediment deposits.  

In math, an uppercase delta denotes a change or difference between two numbers. And in military lingo, “threatcon delta” refers to the highest threat level for terrorism. When a situation is declared delta, an attack may be imminent.   

Those last two feel especially fitting, don’t they? The delta variant  is definitely creating change—and the situation feels critical. It’s really hard to meaningfully plan for the next few months, practice good time management and work productively when so many things are up in the air.    

Time Management In the Age of the Delta Variant  

Want to kill 10 minutes? Head to Twitter and type “my fall plans” to check out the most popular, and depressing, meme of late summer. Users are pairing a picture of something fun or hopeful (labeled “my fall plans”) with a picture of something that inevitably ruins the fun (labeled “the Delta variant”). Most of them use images from pop culture. Think Jack and Rose in the “I’m the king of the world!” pose on the deck of the Titanic, followed by a picture of an iceberg.  

The meme’s popularity reminds me how universal this experience is. A lot of people felt really hopeful when vaccine rollouts began, and as COVID cases started dropping, they were excited to be able to make plans for fall—even if those plans were as simple as “send my kids back to school and finally go back to the office.”  

Now, Everything Feels Unpredictable… Which Itself Feels Strangely Familiar.

We’ve done the end-of-summer, back-to-school thing under a COVID cloud before. Last year, we knew that the fall was going to be bad but weren’t sure how bad. This fall, we know that the Delta variant is going to be bad, but aren’t sure about a lot of things, like how vaccinated people will be affected or whether schools and businesses will close again.  

To continue the Greek letter theme, it kind of feels like we’re beta testing life with the Delta variant. Usually companies use beta testing to let real customers try a new product and discover any bugs or flaws before it’s released to everyone. We’re the first people to live through the Delta variant, and we’re definitely going to run into some hurdles as we navigate this new landscape. 

Meanwhile—you have to keep working. You have to keep moving forward with your long-term goals. You’ve got to keep serving your clients and stay in touch with your team. You have to be able to focus and practice good time management when you’re at your desk so you can work productively, no matter what’s going on in the headlines.  

While a Lot is Unpredictable, You Can Count on a Few Things For Sure This Fall.  You Can Expect:

  • to have a lot of distractions.  
  • that some plans will get changed.  
  • it to be difficult at times, balancing your work life with your personal life and your loved ones’ needs. 
  • that you’ll feel pulled in a lot of different directions. 
  • to have COVID-19 keeping us shifting. 

That’s useful information!  

Here’s my short list of what you will need to handle the uncertainty and keep the delta variant from running you ragged: 

  • A flexible plan that focuses on just the week ahead and pulls it into focus so you know the most important things will get handled. 
  • Backup plans and alternate ideas for things that might get shifted because of the Delta variant.  Ask yourself the question, “If plans have to change how can I accomplish the important things easily anyway?” 
  • A work environment that pulls you into your work and is free of distractions to support good time management habits. This includes planning for working in the office, at home, and/or a hybrid situation. Take a few minutes and think this through. It will prevent those early morning scrambles as you start your work day. 
  • A schedule that gives you at least 24 hours in a row off from work each week, to prevent burnout and overwhelm. You also want to make sure you have some fun planned for yourself each week. This will keep your brain sharp too! 
  • A lot of support! Start to line up your resources now so that when things start shifting, you know where to turn. 

Can I Be One of Your Sources of Support?  

Time Matters Boot Camp 90-Day Virtual Program helps you create the structure you need to make your fall not just manageable, but actually enjoyable—no matter what it holds. Join Time Matters Boot Camp now and get the support you need for the fall you crave.  Click here for more information and to register. We start September 7th! 

Have questions about what my support might mean?  Reach out to us at [email protected] and let us help you!   

Sarah  

Sarah Reiff-Hekking
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