Defeating Corona Virus Lockdown Anxiety And Gaining Productivity And Joy – A Guide For Entrepreneurs And Creatives

Are you scared of the implications of the corona virus on your financial wellbeing?

I am shit scared too. But panic does not help. I thought I share some old basic steps that have been relevant in many cases before.

The steps are relevant even in this pandemic.

Entrepreneurs are majorly affected by the COVID-19 lockdown. Most of us do have large cash reserves to ride out the idle time in our businesses.

South Africa (my country) is on a 21 days lockdown. All none essential businesses are closed.

To give a personal example, one of my businesses is a publishing company and our sales are largely from print books (ebooks are still at infancy in SA). We will have no print sales as bookstores are closed.

This post is not about what each business can do tactically but about the basic principled steps that can be taken to reduce the anxiety.

The steps are taken from my fifth book ‘The Anxious Entrepreneur.’

[By the way, THE ANXIOUS ENTREPRENEUR book is on a $0.99 sale on Amazon for the duration of the lockdown – including all my other 4 books]


The subtitle of ‘The Anxious Entrepreneur’ book is ‘Anxiety Defeats Creativity – Creativity Defeats Anxiety.’

It means that we cannot be creative and anxious at the same time.

Anxiety and creativity do not reside in the same zone. You cannot be anxious and creative at the same time.

You have to let the one go, and you know which one that is.

WHY? When you are overly anxious, you become a nuisance and spam to potential clients. You are frustrated. You are not thinking straight. You haven’t thoughtfully considered what the value to the other person is.


The mind is a muscle and a tool. If it ponders in the direction of anxiety, it will get stronger in that direction. So, stop it before it goes further.

**Don’t try to be creative or productive. Relax

If you are anxious right now, go sleep.  Watch a movie. Well in South Africa you cannot take a walk. The lockdown regulations prohibit it. Pace around your yard. Listen to music.

Don’t do anything creative or productive. Be entertained. Sleep is entertaining. Sleep. Read a book.

Watch even a boring movie.

Lose fucken control.

** Start the day with personal fulfilment tasks

Start the day with tasks that personally fulfil you. Mine is writing. Writing and patching this article up is doing exactly that.

The task does not have to be related to your work.

Produce something that fulfils you. If it is writing music, then write music. Is it DJ’ing? Then DJ. Exercising? Exercise.

Why? Such tasks signal your subconscious that you have fulfilled a part of you. Throughout the day it somehow makes you robust against knocks.

** Work on ‘business potential’ tasks early on and for a fixed time

Before you sleep, you must have two or more important things that you must and can do before 8 AM.

They must be things that have the potential to bring you business.

During the day the thought that you were productive in the morning will comfort and motivate you.

** Ohh, start earliest

If by 8 AM you have covered your personal fulfilment tasks and ticked off at least two business items, my dear brothers and sisters, that is a winning spirit.

The day can take its own direction because we are not always in control.

Start at 5 AM or before.

Plus this quarantine can make you lazy. There are family and your spouse around. Do you think they want you to work when they are with you? No.

** Throughout the day

This setup above alleviates your mind of the guilt you will feel if you indeed don’t work during the day.

Achieving this setup invites creativity. Throughout the day your mind will be free and that is when creativity roams in. You are less anxious akere.

This is when your mind will be calm and fluid enough to connect the dots and solve problems.

You can even think about other business ideas or more ways to improve your existing business.

Good luck!

N.B. All my books are on a lockdown special sale of $0.99

  • The Anxious Entrepreneur
  • Forget the Business Plan Use this Short Model
  • Tales of an African Entrepreneur
  • Township Biz Fastrack
  • Township Biz Adjacent


  1. Entrepreneurs’ Immediate Anxiety Cheat Sheet
  2. Where to Get Help for Anxiety, Depression and Suicide
  3. The Other Source of Depression
  4. [My] 7 Top Articles Helpful to Entrepreneurs in Admitting and Dealing With Anxiety and Depression
  5. Get this book for free. ‘The Entrepreneur’s Emotional Toolbox’ by David Chislett
  6. You Might Be Preparing to Get Overly Anxious When You Are in Old Age
  7. Tiisetso Maloma interview on Baby Got Booked Podcast – How to Stop Anxiety from Holding You Back
  8. 10 Quotes to Help You Deal with Worry and Anxiety
  9. The Man who Fed his Child with the Face of the Mother, A Metaphor for Creativity
  10. 4 Ways for Entrepreneurs to Defuse Anxiety


It was at about 3:35 pm. I felt I was about to faint or have a panic attack. The day was not going well. Over and above, I was overly tired.

It had been weeks since I had any ‘win’. Therefore I needed to hustle people on the phone even if it was 4:00 pm. I was desperate. For goodness’ sake, that time is around knock off time. A business pitch is the last thing they would want to hear.

An earlier rejection email had heightened the panic. All these triggered my mind to think I have no hope: immediately, I time travelled to the past and the future. I saw no advantage of what my past has brought to today and I saw no light in my future. 

Anxiety invades our productivity and therefore our goals. All it takes is to not see progress in a day, then a week or a month. The next thing you know, you are standing at the peak of the highest anxiety hill, depressingly recalling your record of failures and doubting your future.

I went to sleep. I played the movie 300 so it can get me to doze off. I am a comedy guy and action movies usually make me sleep. I tend to use them as sleeping pills.

When I woke up, I was feeling better. I even played Donny Hathaway’s rendition of ‘To Be Young, Gifted and Black’. It always soothes me. Always! Later on, I checked my emails and I had new business…