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You’ve run the drill before: the deserted island. Which movies, people, business practices and booze/chocolate treats would you bring with you? It’s a mental exercise to help you whittle down to what is your favorite, necessary or most-addicted-to commodity. The scenario is standard with guidance counselors and social workers – repeated to the point of cliché.

When we are quarantined and socially-distanced, it’s not an exercise anymore.

Most of us are working from home almost all the time, maybe leaving once a day for essential groceries. And essential is the key word; we are living and running our businesses in only the essential ways. Conferences and networking events are canceled, in-person meetings are done through the awkward medium of video conferencing or not at all.

We are on a deserted island, and the most necessary, most important parts of our firm’s life have become apparent. Instead of screaming and cussing, which never does you much good on a remote archipelago, what can we learn? What wisdom will we bring back from the experience of evaluating our financial planning practice?

Make a list of essentials

We are lucky to have some continuity of service. We’re not working at a school, small business or restaurant that closed. When you look over the quarantine days, which will hopefully be in our rearview mirror quickly, where did you spend the most energy and what paid off the best?

Make a list. That’s how my mind works, and it helps do this with the two old-fashioned columns: “Important (desert island)” and “Not Important (left on the ship).” You may be surprised to find out what lands in these two columns.