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Where is Nemo?

Wednesday, April 15, 2020   (0 Comments)
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Nemo’s world was flipped upside down. He was unable to be with those closest to him. Thrown into a new world where he battled fear, frustration and being confined to four walls — Pixar, how do you always turn my life into a cartoon?!


After two and a half weeks, I’d like to say I’ve got this quarantine life down. Ha! (Insert “meh” emoji face.) Frankly, I hope it doesn’t last long enough for me to say I’ve mastered the life of social distancing. March 12, 2020 was the last day my kids were in school. My office went to a “work from home” policy on the same day. How about you?


Early into this “new norm,” I gave myself a few goals. I want to worry the least amount possible about the things I can’t control. I want to focus on the things I can control. I want to come out of this in the best shape in ten years. I want my faith to be stronger than my fear. I want to grow.


After two and a half weeks, I can say these things are possible. Not without trial and error, but possible. Every minute won’t be a success, which can be tough for me, as a recovering Type A. But here’s the reality: In the most “normal” of times, none of us are a raving success every day. 


Whether you are single or married, have no kids or a full house, let’s not allow excuses to creep in and diminish our capacity to lead well. Here are eight things I’ve found to keep me motivated, clear-minded and forward-looking. This crisis will end. But right now, we all have the same opportunity — TIME. How we use it will make all the difference on who we are when we come out of it.


  1. Punch your “big three” every day. Don’t aim for 20; set three goals each day and stay consistent toward those goals. Stress will consume you if you’re looking to do 20 things. Some people feel overworked. Others feel like they have little to do. Focus first on your big three.

  2. Get moving! Exercise 5-7 days a week. I’m trying for seven, which may feel extreme. Maybe 4-5 is perfect for you. Search the web for “home routines” if you’re just getting started. Set a walking goal, or aim for something extreme if you want to step it up.

  3. Wake up at the same time every day. Routines save us in times of crisis and disruption. Be consistently on time.

  4. Dress for success. I never feel like I’ll do my best work sitting around in my pajama best. You won’t either. Take a shower, fix your hair (because it needs help during this quarantine) and go for it.

  5. Love routine. Write down your routine goal. If you have kids, set their routine and place it in a visible spot. Routine research shows it provides clearer thinking, greater focus and reduced stress. Bonus: If you have elementary age children, you are already exhausted. Walk them through the schedule each morning. Let them choose some of the activities. At my house, we created a template schedule with lots of P.E. time and hands-on learning. And when hard days happen, use them as a time to connect with your kids. They already feel loss and sadness. The same can be applied for coworkers you lead.

  6. Take breathing breaks, along with walks, throughout the day. Set alarms on your phone or watch to trigger reminders.

  7. Turn dead space (nothing to do) into stretch space. If you’re running into dead time throughout the work day, use it to stretch yourself by doing something like:

    • Stretch for 15-20 minutes daily to improve your flexibility

    • Read a book and write/journal anything you want to implement into your life

    • Learn a new skill (language, digital training, etc.) by scheduling daily practice

    • Send 3-4 handwritten personal notes of appreciation to people in your life (neighbors, family, coworkers, friends)

  8. Mind your mind. We can’t control a lot. When we try, it fatigues us and those we are around. Trust me, your family will become more stressed than you! What you and I have complete control of is our ATTITUDE. So, what are you thinking about? Our minds will run toward the area of greatest focus. My goal is to maintain an O.R.O. attitude (Optimistic, Realistic, Opportunistic).

How did Nemo end up? His life was forever changed. He had some “new normals.” And in the process, he saved lives, made new connections, took risks and landed back in the sea. We will too.



Meet The Author


Josh Plumley

Senior Director Development

Children At Heart Ministries

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