It’s OK to Take Your Foot Off The Gas for Awhile

It’s OK to Take Your Foot Off The Gas for Awhile

CEO article by Larry Johnson

I am a firm believer in continual improvement for your career and yourself. However, during this time of uncertainty, we need to give ourselves permission to take our foot off the gas for a while.

The urge to overachieve, even in times of global crisis, reflects America’s always-on work culture. In a recent article for The New Republic, journalist Nick Martin writes that: “this mind-set is the natural endpoint of America’s hustle culture — the idea that every nanosecond of our lives must be commodified and pointed toward profit and self-improvement.”

Theoretically, remote work gives us more hours in the day and the natural "hustle" response is to make our business to-do lists longer with additional work to improve our business acumen or our own personal career growth.

But amid a global pandemic that has upended nearly every facet of modern life, the reality is people are finding it harder and harder to get things done. Roll with it, don’t put extra stress on yourself or your family.

Use this time to do some things you want to do and don’t have to do. Catch your breath.  I am not giving you a reason to not do your job, just take this time to focus on your own mental health.

Now is a time to reflect. Instead of trying to do more, maybe count your blessings and have gratitude for the time at home; try to be OK with where you are at this moment. Improvement will come in its own time.

Right now, compassion is the key. Many people are worried about the welfare of family and friends, job security, and their future. Each person will respond to the crisis differently.

Let's have empathy for each other and not add additional stress on our teams. This unsettling time will pass and we will move forward as individuals and companies.