Corona made me do it

How many people do you know are doing something now they’ve always said they wanted to do?

Friends of mine, who’ve lived in NYC for the full 10 years I’ve been here, left for Atlanta today. They’d mentioned it before, how they wanted to move. They’d looked at places. But within a week, they told us they’re moving, and now they’re on their way there.

COVID-19 is a forcing function.

It started with remote work. Millions of people forced to work from home. Disruptive at first, but then the benefits started to show. Another friend of mine in finance explained how people have started to realize that deals can still get done from a home setup (with or without a Bloomberg terminal). Now they realize you don’t have to leave home at 4am, to catch a 6am flight to Milan for 9am meetings. You don’t need to visit Zurich and Munich in the same day. Deals can be done from the comfort of your own home.

People, like our friends on the road to Atlanta, who had intentions of one day leaving big cities like NYC and SF for more rural areas, are leaving in droves and not looking back. Migration to rural and suburban areas may place new pressures on these once remote areas, but also free up space in urban areas, which could lower rents.

In our own home, we are connecting with friends and family through video far more than we ever did. How many Facebook posts have you seen of iPad screens dissected into squared-off, smiling faces, often with a caption about how long it’s been since the poster has seen any of these people?

These are all things most rational people would want anyway: to have the flexibility to work from home; to be able to live in nature with more space than a 600 sq. ft. apartment; and to be more connected with friends and family, near and distant.

We've been using our time in isolation to connect more with friends
Photo by Dustin Belt on Unsplash

What was holding us back all this time? Why did we need something like the coronavirus to force us to do these things?

Perhaps we’re too complacent. Too comfortable with the status quo. Too risk-averse to consider change when we’ve got plenty to keep ourselves distracted with.

Perhaps this is a silver lining in the global reset of society we’re all living in.

COVID-19 is a forcing function.

As Victor Frankl said:

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is your power to choose your response. In your response lies your growth and your freedom.”

What’s your response to this global pandemic going to be?

Till next time, stay safe.

Andrew


SOMETHING I’M THINKING ABOUT

The American author and poet, Anne Lamott, on the benefits of rest:

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”

I’m trying not to over-think how productive I can be right now. Sometimes taking care of basic needs is enough.


LONGER FORM ON THE BLOG

I’ve been asked numerous times now: “how do you create good digital training content”? People who facilitated in-person workshops now need to do it over Zoom and are trying to figure it out.

Here is what I’m sending them (please share if you know anyone who needs to create digital training):

  1. 8 principles for managing cognitive load
    1. Multimedia principles for managing cognitive load – I share tons of examples of how to organize text on screen, how to use voice-over effectively, how to chunk your learning content, and more.
  2. How do I teach my people this topic?
    1. Learning design principles explained simply, with a checklist at the end for how to go about your own design.

What questions do you have about digitizing training content?

This email newsletter was originally shared with subscribers on April 2nd, 2020. To receive the latest newsletters twice a month, sign up below!

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