I have just returned from a two-week holiday visiting family in Australia. I love my work, but had been ‘instructed’ by my Mother, Sister and Cousins… that I wasn’t allowed to coach, keynote talk or facilitate while I was visiting them. I was a little irritated at being told what to do, as I am a master of ‘packing it in’. I know that means that I am not always ‘present ‘ and experiencing ‘the moment’. In the end, I therefore chose to surrender, and NOT work (ouch…it wasn’t easy!). Instead, I read A LOT! The two-week downtime certainly gave me time to ‘clear my head’ and time to enjoy ‘soaking up’ great podcasts, good magazines, two books and a few movies.
Enough context…here are a few ‘easy-to implement’ ways to revolutionise your (& my) thinking on return to traffic snarls, deadlines and 15 hour jam-packed work days! The latter puts us into ‘fight or flight’, and triggers adrenalin and cortisol. Too much of this and we’ll not experience Clear head. Calm thinking & more clarity. I am intentionally taking on these two challenges for my ‘re-entry’ into work mode.
Challenge No 1: Reduce multitasking (aka ‘mashing’ in Australia).This doesn’t need explanation of ‘how to’? The reminder to myself is that multitasking is energy depleting and distracts me from ‘clear thinking’. A single task done well, helps clarity and is certainly more fulfilling.
I am happy to be ‘mashing’ in these ways: cooking dinner and listening to a podcast, and showering and playing (on full volume) my favourite music. For the rest as the Zen saying goes ‘When chopping wood, chop wood. When boiling water, boil water’. I am going to ensure that (as much as possible) I am reverent to every task.
Challenge No 2: Eat that frog first thing in the morning. This is also not a rocket -science concept. My normal ‘way of being’ is to respond to quick-fix issues / emails first thing in the morning. This often ‘feels’ good … like geeting ‘quick’ points on the score-board. However, the unintended consequence is that ‘essential’ issues like personal investments or a new strategic business ‘offering’ etc fall off the ‘Research /Get it Done’ list. This often happens week-after-week. Note to self: before the end of each day, I’m going to specify which ‘frogs need to be eaten’ the next morning, and whether it is the whole frog or not? Eating ‘half the frog’ per morning is fine. This prevents the ‘big chunk of time’ mindset ! This always leads to procrastination for me!
Gratitude for a real two week downtime. Now looking forward to an ‘uptime’ of crystal clear ‘Thinking’, followed by relevant ‘Actions’ and ‘Feeling’ fulfilled. In our Emotional Intelligence workshops we often teach TFA* : the intersect between Thinking, Feeling and Actions. Of course this could be AFT or any of the other permutations. *Six Seconds, is the largest Emotional Intelligence Network in the World.