Peralta Design was born during the recession of 2008. Our founder, Ramon Peralta, invested his severance pay from being laid off during the economic crisis to kickstart the agency. Truly an opportunity born from misfortune. A total 180 of inertia; turning a low moment into a high one.
Unfortunately, experts believe that a recession is on the horizon. Between the COVID-19 pandemic, oil conflicts, and the incoming election, the economy is looking worse for wear. As of the writing of this entry, the DOW dropped over 2000 points in one day for the first time ever. One can be optimistic about the future, hoping for a quick recovery, but business owners must be realistic.
One question remains above all others: How can we keep our heads down and work through this?
Panic is a terrifying thing; often far more terrifying than what is causing it. In a strange paradox, people tend to slow down during crisis, which is often when we need to hold steady. It is hard to blame them. After all, how can one focus on work when a case of Coronavirus was just confirmed a town over, or their 401k is diving faster than they have ever seen?
An old adage from Winston Churchill rings particularly true here:
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
The reality is, panic is a relic from our ancestors; A sensation to tell us that a situation is going south, and to do whatever it takes to get out of it as soon as possible. In the world of man, however, solutions are never quick or easy. The only way to ensure our survival is to keep going.
However, there is more to it than that. Simply telling someone to keep trudging along might sound motivational and romantic, but in reality it is often self-destructive. People have a lot on their plate, and you cannot expect the same level of commitment and drive without some kind of intervention. How do you keep yourself, and/or your workers, on track during such challenging times? How do you get them to keep going?
In another paradoxical twist, the key is to spend a little more time and money on decompression. Think of it as an investment: panic insurance. It does not need to be a lot, just something to give yourself and your employees a little boost.
At PD, we will occasionally get food ordered in from our favorite restaurant (shoutout to @Bangain!) and participate in a game of cards during an extended lunch break. Some folk might see this as a waste of time, and lost productivity; However, they could not be further from the truth.
Time spent decompressing and being treated well gives us a sense of security. It is a lot easier to focus on work when we are allowed to take a moment to see the world isn’t falling apart. To see that, right here, right now, we are alive and we are okay.
One hour a week spent doing something fun and relaxing can lead to an entire week of high-level productivity.
If you want to prevent slow downs due to panic, then you need to invest in moments of pause. It is better to stop for a short period than slow down over time.