I’ve been hearing about the impacts of the last two years, mostly from educators—the exhaustion, lowered expectations, and mental health of students and teachers. Basic structures we took for granted have been impacted. There is reduced initiative, motivation, and engagement. How we talk with each other and what we know about each other has changed. There’s significant reduction in exam scores, performance times, and people showing up. Deadlines have become permeable, which changes the very nature of a deadline.

Sound familiar? While I don’t find it super reassuring that we share so many difficulties and outcomes, a sense of shared experience deepens our humanity and compassion. That’s an outcome I’ll accept.

We have to look at what we can recalibrate and create. Outdated structures must be replaced with other structures. When something important breaks, we fix or replace it, like your car, a bridge, a relationship, or a worldview. The fix for many of our perspectives, approaches, procedures, and systems is to find new ones.

Here are some tricks on restructuring we’ve brainstormed in coaching calls lately.

  • Don’t let one thing take you down. Is this the hill I want to die on today?
  • Get used to adjusting. Then get over it.
  • Invest in the ounce of prevention.
  • Adjust based on each separate situation rather than a one-size-fits-all structure.
  • Be really clear and honest with people.
  • More structure might be better than less right now.
  • Practice unattachment and….Adjust.
  • Follow up a little more than usual.
  • Invest minimal effort when you can. See: Adjusting.

We can see all this as a problem, or we can see it as opportunity. You know where I lean, which is one well-worn perspective that I’ll keep. See: Stoics.

The trick list is on-going—if you have one, send it along!