There’s an old saying, ‘when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.’

When you feel out of control personally, you’re more likely to project that chaos onto everybody around you.

So if you want to feel more in control start personally not externally.

Like many great practices. This starts with you.

Dr Stephen R. Covey famously introduced us to ‘circles of concern and influence’ in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

The outer circle contains all the issues that cause us to feel concern and the inner circle contains just that which we can influence. It prompts us to consider that, within the many things that cause us concern, there are only some we can actually do something about.

If we consistently focus on areas we cannot change we end up overwhelmed, chaotic, frustrated and powerless and those around us end up feeling overworked, confused, disengaged and looking for the exit.

His recommendation (and mine) – “work on the things you can do something about“.

Right now you can’t control

  • A global pandemic.
  • Where or how you’re working.
  • The work you’re delegated.
  • How others think, feel or respond.
  • The past or the future.

But perhaps you could start with

  • Your mindset, language or self-talk.
  • Your sleep schedule or diet.
  • Setting margins in your calendar.
  • Getting clear on your most important priorities.
  • Implementing task management systems.
  • How you respond.

If everything feels overwhelming – control your controllables.

Here’s a question to reflect on:
“What am I trying to control that is outside of my control right now?”