CIOs Need More Energy To Make It Through The Pandemic

CIOs need to find ways to get more energy
CIOs need to find ways to get more energy
Image Credit: Eelke

Guess what: CIOs are humans also. Just like everyone else we have grown tired of living in a world that is trying to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. We miss the way that the world used to be: the routines, the people, the interactions, the dealing the importance of information technology. It’s entirely possible that as the months have dragged on you have become worn down. The good news is that you are not alone – everyone else is feeling the same way. What we all need are ways to get our second wind. How can we get the energy that we’re going to need in order to get through this thing?

Where Has Our Energy Gone?

For many of the people with the CIO job a deep sense of weariness is setting in, caused by months of pent-up stress and the dread that winter and rising cases of COVID-19 will bring more disruption. Frustration and anxiety are coming from many sources, including conflicting attitudes toward social distancing, economic hardship, and mask-wearing, difficulty balancing work and online schooling, breaks in rituals and traditions, and uncertainty over when a sense of normalcy will return. All of these things are contributing to mounting CIO fatigue that makes recovery particularly difficult.

What we need to realize as the person in the CIO position we can’t count on surging all the time, we’re eventually going to be depleted. The term “surge capacity” refers to the mental and physical resources that humans draw on to survive acutely stressful situations, like natural disasters. This surge capacity works well in short-term emergencies, but to manage the drawn-out, indefinite span of a pandemic, renewing these protective systems is going to be critical for our well-being. CIOs all have to be aware of how depleted we are and what the signs of depletion are—it may be trouble sleeping, tiredness, or a low mood. When you feel this way you need to focus on whatever you need to do to replenish.

How Can CIOs Get A Second Wave?

The first thing that CIOs need to do is to recognize it’s OK to not be OK. Even though we are all months into our pandemic lifestyles, it can still all of a sudden feel difficult. Missing a long stretch of rituals like vacations, birthdays, concerts, school events, and sporting events has a cumulative, tiring effect. CIOs have underestimated how draining this is, but it’s starting to sink in and that’s part of the weariness.

One way that a CIO can break out of a slump is to challenge yourself to do a physical activity every day. The idea is that it’s not to start something that you ‘should’ be doing, it’s taking something that you love to do and pushing it just a little bit.

To feel better right now imagine your life in two years. What CIOs need to realize is that this pandemic isn’t a lifelong pandemic, it’s a moment in time. One way to start planning for the future is to imagine yourself in the future, after the pandemic is over. Ask yourself what will you be doing? What have you taken for granted in the past that you will be so excited to get back to? Focus on that—it’s the littlest things and it brings you hope and that’s what you need right now.

I think that we can all remember a time when video conferencing was a unique experience that we may have even looked forward to. With today’s non-stop video conferences this feeling has worn away. The benefits of regularly interacting with other people offers an energizing boost and can far outweigh the annoyance of speaking to a screen. In the vocabulary of a CIO, “Zoom” has become a four-letter word. However, it’s never been truer that you get through things together and build resilience together. We need to remember that you can’t do it alone.

What All Of This Means For You

CIOs are starting to get tired of this pandemic stuff. We remember the way that life used to be and we miss it. We have grown weary of the way that things are now and we are discovering that we really don’t have the energy to keep on going on the way that we have been lately. What we need to do is to find a way to catch a second wind.

When the Covid-19 pandemic started, everything was new and we all found the energy to deal with the changes that it was causing. However, we can’t rely on that surge of energy to get us through the pandemic. We need to understand that it’s ok to not be happy with the way that things currently are. If we want to break out of the slump that we find ourselves in we need to challenge ourselves. One way to go about doing this is to create a daily physical challenge for ourselves to attempt. We can also feel better by imagining what the future will look like. Video conferencing may not be something that we look forward to any longer, but we need to treat it as a way to connect with others.

What CIOs need to realize is that we will make it through this pandemic. Yes, it has been going on for too long and we would all like it to be over. However, we don’t control when that will happen and so we need to find ways that will allow us to catch our second wind. If we can do this, then we’ll be able to make it through the pandemic in one piece and we’ll be ready to pick up our lives once this is all over.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Department Leadership Skills™

Question For You: How do you think that CIOs could work with others to get a second wind?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Although every CIO loves new technology, we also understand that the company that we work for only has so much money to spend. What this means for us is that one of our most critical jobs is to find a way to use information technology to save the company money. Some enterprising CIOs understand that the cost of maintaining large warehouses can be a very expensive proposition for many firms. They believe that they may have found a way to allow the company to shrink down the size of the warehouses that they need to maintain. What’s their secret you ask? It’s simple – robots.