30 April 20 -

Super8: Eight intriguing articles from April.

Well, here we are, at the end of our first full month of isolation and lockdown. We’ve seen so much change over the past month and you’ll find it reflected in this month’s selection of Super8 articles.

In this edition, curated by Daniel Banik, it might not come as a surprise that the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic feature heavily.

Here you’ll find tips on dealing with isolation, using this isolation time to reboot, and how successful companies and national parks are responding to the wide-sweeping changes. Take a break from Tiger King and enjoy some well-deserved self-reflection… if that’s your thing…

1.  Coyotes, bobcats and bears: wildlife is reclaiming Yosemite National Park.

Over the past few weeks, as various economies reduce industrial production in response to the threat of COVID-19, we have been reminded of the impact we have on the cohabitants of this little blue orb.

We’ve observed substantial drops in CO2 emissions and seen improvements to air quality across most affected regions, including Asia and Europe.

It’s comforting to see nature’s ability to restore order, if we let it.

2. ‘Zoom fatigue’ is taxing the brain. Here’s why that happens.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Article by: Julia Sklar.
  • Contributor: James Otter.

Has the past few weeks been getting you down? Feeling more tired than usual? Going to bed earlier? Are you finding it harder to concentrate? Well, you’re not alone. It’s fair to say that most of us have been experiencing cabin fever.

You might have put this down to one or more causes like poor diet, lack of exercise, fresh air, and sunlight.

Ironically, one of the things that you have been using to stay connected and remain sane might be eroding your attention and leaving you feeling like a ‘Zoombie’.

3. Devastating decline of a brilliant young coder.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Article by: Sandra Upson.
  • Contributor: Sergio Moreira.

Although there doesn’t seem to be a universally accepted definition for a knowledge worker, there are few who would dispute the proliferation of professions that ‘think for a living’.

We are increasingly reliant on what we know to earn a living and provide for our loved ones. It is because of this—and for so many more personal reasons—that dementia is such a devastating condition.

The author follows the story of a Silicon Valley wunderkind and how a rare form of neurodegenerative disease changed his life and those close to him, forever.

4. The history of loneliness.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Article by: Jill Lepore.
  • Contributor: Elliott Grigg. 

Finding time for yourself is often considered a modern luxury. Remote, secluded, alone; but still not lonely. The concept of loneliness is a fascinating historical paradox. Our evolution is founded, in part, on the elimination of isolation.

 We are stronger—physically, psychologically, economically, spiritually—as a group and we have become so reliant on having people near us.

That is why we feel restless when separated from our herd. Perhaps this article finally explains why we find social distancing is much less tolerable when it’s forced upon us.

5. Time alone (chosen or not) can be a chance to hit the reset button.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Article by: Thuy-vy Nguyen.
  • Contributor: Rowan Barnes.

Solitude—which is not synonymous with loneliness—isn’t doom and gloom for one and all. There are many of us who do enjoy our alone time.

Whether it be an opportunity to catch-up on some overdue chores, learn a new skill or rediscover an old hobby, time alone provides a window of self-reflection that is often craved, but seldom found.

This article by Thuy-vy Nguyen describes our reaction to isolation and how, with the right mindset, we can use this time to better ourselves in this period of solitude.

6. The best marketers will be upping, not cutting, their budgets.

  • Read the full article here.
  • Article by: Mark Ritson.
  • Contributor: Sarah El-Atm.

Contrary to popular belief—especially among accountants—being a marketer is a difficult role, even at the best of times.

In an economic environment where the demand for your product is plunging and your company is looking to cut costs to save jobs, defending your marketing budget will never be harder.

History suggests that, rather than cowering in the corner, the best defence is a strong, focused offense.

So, get your best linemen in order; it’s time to get in the game.

7. Five innovative ways creative agencies are coping with the lockdown.

  • Read the full article here. 
  • Article by: Jim McCauley.
  • Contributor: Timocles Copland.

We’re all having to find new ways to get stuff done in our professional lives. Contrary to what you might read about proliferation of flexible working arrangements pre-COVID-19, working from home and in isolation from your workmates is difficult, especially for extended periods.

Here we follow five creative business and what they are doing to overcome the obvious (and some less obvious) obstacles and barriers that working apart drops in our way.

8. How to answer an unanswerable question.

  • Read the full article here. 
  • Article by: Ron Carucci.
  • Contributor: Daniel Banik.

As we navigate through these uncertain times, we are going to find ourselves wandering into situations unlike anything we have experience before.

If you’re a leader, your team will be looking to you to guide them through challenges that aren’t likely to be in your company’s user manual.

But how do you give your team what they seek—focus, confidence and reassurance—when they ask a question that has no answer?

Here we find that the answer is less important, it’s more how you respond that matters.