Is it just me or am I picking up that people are really struggling with managing time at the moment? I know that since the summer break I’ve been flat out. I’m also reading articles in the media about people doing 60 hour weeks, not taking breaks, checking emails late at night. What goes with that is an intense interest in productivity hacks such as getting up at 4am, not doing emails until 5pm, swallowing frogs….But wait – isn’t that just getting on to a productivity treadmill, to make you fitter for the other work treadmill to achieve what? What are you really trying to accomplish? Isn’t getting on that treadmill going to lead to burnout?
The problem with all the health and productivity hacks is that they look like shortcuts and could be silver bullets that have worked for other people. Even something valuable like mindfulness (which I’m not good at) can be a sticking plaster. With all of this, we’re merely snatching time for ourselves.
What does your work require and what conditions enable you to be at your best? I would put money on it needing creativity, especially in these uncertain times, leadership as other people look to you for direction, and at the very least, your good mental health. For all of that, you’ve got to
• give yourself time
• allow yourself to step back
• have time to think, go inside yourself to draw on your intuition
• find confidence that actually you do know the answers or can work out where to find them
• that you can draw on all your valuable experience and knowledge.
This is not something I find easy at all. I like fast-paced working environments, getting things done, ticking things off on my to-do list. However, I also know that to be creative, for example, to design a new retreat, I need to step away from my desk, which is what happened yesterday. As I relaxed, I had inspiration for something I had been thinking about and it started to fall into place. We have become conditioned to think that efficiency is the answer to being effective.
We need to become much more thoughtful about what kind of time we need to give to different parts of our jobs. Of course, much of it requires information gathering, analysis, intelligence and impatience, but to be creative, we have to be comfortable with a different approach to time, one which is characterised by patience, holding ourselves back and tapping into our intuition.
Don’t get back on the treadmill.
Keen to regain your time? Let us help you.
Places for our November retreat are limited so book now and allow yourself the freedom of thought and creativity.