A Trick for Getting Things Done in These Difficult Time

Writers Note: I typically write about museum strategy and marketing. As we all deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, I’m going to write more articles specifically about the current struggles we are all facing. Also, I’m offering free phone advice to all museums through May 1, 2020. To set up a phone call, go to the contact page and send me an email with your name, name of your organization, email address, and phone number.   

Every Museum Director is overwhelmed right now. We are thinking about paying the bills, keeping staff employed, and how long we are going to be closed. The human brain does not process crisis well. As we worry, the amygdala area of the brain takes over, and we go into survival mode similar to what our prehistoric ancestors experienced when they ran into a life-threatening animal.

We need to get back to the higher functioning prefrontal cortex to start making logical plans for the future. While this is not easy, I’m going to give you a quick tip that should help you focus and be more productive during these overwhelming times.

Of all the concerns that are currently burdening you, figure out which one is the most important.

Some of you will know instantly. For others, jot down everything that comes to mind and then assign each one a number. The way to get past the overwhelming burden of the dozens of concerns you are harboring is to focus on one single matter and block out all of the others.

You will find that when you focus your brain on one item, solutions come to mind that otherwise would not have because your brain can focus. The principle is simple. To get to quality solutions, you have to first get to one (and only one) question.

Once you figure out which item is most important, do an unedited, free form brainstorm in which you list every possible way you can address the concern. Allow yourself to do this exercise without judging the list.

Just get them all on paper. After you think you have them all, force yourself to come up with five more. When you think you have exhausted this exercise, pick the best three from the list and act on them.

Start your day tomorrow with this simple exercise, and you will be more productive and find new solutions.

Article by Frank Bennett, originally published at www.WorldClassMuseum.com

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