Speculation Fatigue

The future in flux always is.” ~ Yoda

At a recent monthly leadership meeting that I host here in Portland, ME, our topic was “What’s Next?” The idea was to share thoughts and ideas about what’s going to happen as we emerge from lockdowns and experience varying degrees of reopenings. What were we going to focus on in our organizations?

One of our participants leads a major hospitality venue in Portland. His hotel has been closed since mid-March. This weekend is typically the time that he and his team gear up for the summer tourist season — their busiest time. 

Our colleague mentioned that he’s been suffering from “speculation fatigue.” Every day, since the shutdown, he’s been trying to figure out what to do with his properties (he also manages a property on an island off the coast ). When can he open? When should he bring back staff? How many of his staff can he rehire? What do they do about out-of-state guests required to quarantine for two weeks prior to checking in?

The constantly fluid situation was wearing on him. He finally decided he’d stop speculating and decide on specific issues and take them one day at a time.

Being Present in the Present

My wife, Camille, is a drug and alcohol counselor. She’s been asking her patients what they see as the gifts of this time? What’s been positive for them?

“What have you learned that you want to carry forward when we return to fully functional lives? What have you found to be essential that you took for granted in the past? What have you realized is no longer essential?”

These are good questions for all of us. They force us to focus on now, rather than the future. We really can’t predict what the future holds. As the great philosopher, Yoda, noted, “the future in flux always is.” 

We can certainly experience speculation fatigue trying to figure it out. However, as Chris Brogan has noted: “this isn’t a do-nothing time.” considering Camille’s questions help us prepare for the future, regardless of how it unfolds. 

What About You?

So, how would you respond to Camille’s questions? 

What have you found to be essential that you previously took for granted?

What have you realized you can live without?

What has been the gift for you going through this disruption?

What skills did you use to arrive at your answers? Name it. It’s a key skill that you’ll use coming out of this disruption.

Let me know. I’d love to hear your responses.

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Image copyright :  Amikishiyev