Stay calm. Stay focused.

The world has never felt so small.

I have been living abroad for the last 15 years. My family is in Germany, Russia and Mexico. I can instantly think of someone in at least 30 countries: China, Australia, France, Italy, Argentina, USA, Poland, UAE, South Africa, Czech Republic - you name it. Consequently, I do have a certain picture of the world: which countries are safer, which have better climate, economy or healthcare.

This month, March 2020, turned everything we know from head to toe. We cannot imagine what to expect. The world feels even smaller than before, while there is not one safe place to be.

But the world has never felt so united either.. All the differences between people seem irrelevant. We are all human beings worried about the well-being of our families and communities… and about economic impacts of the crisis.

Also everyone has an important role to play and knows what he/she should be doing in order to stop the spreading of the virus.

So stay calm, stay focused and stay safe at home.



P.S. In my blog this week I am discussing how to obtain and sustain focus during these difficult times: How to Focus When You Are Worried: Part 2.

P.P.S. If you are reading the web version of this newsletter and aren’t subscribed - please do, it will mean a world to me!

Interesting things on internet

This passage by Steven Kotler had a great impact on me this week:

“Anxiety + Uncertainty = Fear

When we feel anxious, but know exactly why, we get nervous. Think about that feeling you get before giving a talk. You feel anxious, but you know why you’re anxious. This mitigates the anxiety and stops it from becoming fully blown fear.

However, when we get anxious but we have no certainty around what’s to come, we feel afraid. Fear emerges out of this unknown anxiety.

A helpful antidote to fear is separating out anxiety and uncertainty. Becoming explicitly aware that there’s a difference between these two interrelated factors.

When we do that, we can deal with anxiety as one issue, uncertainty as another issue and ideally avoid the emergence of fear entirely.”

Remote work resources: 1. McKinsey, 2. GitLab

The best article I read this week about the remote work is A blueprint for remote working: Lessons from China by McKinsey Digital. Key points:

1. Designing an effective structure

Setting up small, cross-functional teams with clear objectives and a common purpose keeps everyone on the same strategic course.

2. Leading from afar

Determining how you communicate is just as important as what’s being said, and it needs to be done confidently, consistently, and reliably

3.Instilling a caring culture

Connecting on a personal level and instilling empathy within the culture is doubly important when working remotely.

4. Finding a new routine

Establishing robust working norms, workflows, and lines of authority is critical, but all too easy to skimp on.

5. Supercharging ways of communicating

Choosing the right channel is critical to getting it right. If you pull your employees from topic to topic, you’ll interrupt their workflow and drive down productivity.

6. Harnessing the power of technology

Using technology can be vital in keeping everyone on track, but it’s important to get the basics right.

7. Taking security seriously

Make it easy for employees to comply with security requirements while investing in strong safeguards.

8. Adopting a ‘test and learn’ mentality

Being ready to recognize what isn’t working and changing it fast.

Another great source is from GitLab - one of the top names in the remote world:

The Remote Work Report by GitLab: The Future of Work is Remote

If you would like a sneak peek before downloading the report, here is the content:


  • Five first steps for newly-remote leaders

  • Five first steps for newly-remote employees


  • No remote

  • Remote-allowed

  • Hybrid-remote

  • Remote, biased towards one time zone

  • All-remote, asynchronous across time zones


  • Facilitate informal communication

  • Document everything (yes, everything)

  • Have more organized meetings

  • Align values with expectations


  • Create an ergonomic workspace

  • Adopt a self-service and self-learning mentality

  • Make documentation everyone’s responsibility

  • Managing a remote team

  • Tips for hiring new team members


  • Documentation

  • Text-based communication

  • Asynchronous communication

  • Informal communication

  • Tools for effective communication


  • How values contribute to an all-remote environment

  • Sustaining workplace culture in a remote environment

  • Avoiding burnout

  • Lifestyle and avoiding isolation