I don’t know about you, but I’ve been working hard lately. I mean, really hard. Since Easter, I’ve had the tantalising taste of summer in my mouth (gin cocktails anyone?) and a to-do list as long as my arm. So, every day I’ve woken up and given myself a pep talk. ‘You’re nearly there…’ and ‘when this is out of the way, you’ll have the whole summer to relax…’ Work admin has been crammed into every spare moment and bled into evenings and weekends. I’m usually ok with this, from time to time. But lately, I’ve been surviving. Just getting through.
I’ve been working in endurance.
Working in endurance is completely counter productive. You’re still delivering, still achieving, but it’s a false economy. You’re tired, irritable and it’s more effort than usual to get things done. Eventually, you burn out.
Resilience on the other hand, is the ability to bounce back. To thrive in challenging situations, leaping back into the thick of it and beginning again. All too often we think we’re being resilient but really we’ve fallen into the trap of endurance. We endure situations at work and might even endure entire company cultures that zap the spirit of energy, ingenuity and accomplishment.
When this happens, we need to slow down to speed up.
Until you slow down, you can’t be resilient. You can’t bounce back. Slowing down gives us time. Time to breathe. Time to think. Time to reflect. And that time is now. These lovely long days of summer are a time to just…slow…down.
In our workshops, people are always telling us how they would like to take more time out for self-development and learning. It’s usually followed by ‘…but I just don’t have the time’. Make the time. Those that do, reap the rewards. When they speed up again they’re focused and productive. They’re present. They’re resilient.
I recognise now, that I’ve been working for too long in endurance this year. Not having a real break over Easter has made it far too easy to slip into this mindset. You’ll never hear me talk of how I’ve got it all sussed! I don’t pretend to know everything and certainly don’t get it right all of the time. I’m perfectly imperfect.
What is important is that we recognise when we slip into endurance and act on it. Personal development is crucial. Role modelling this is really important, not just for our business but for our own well-being. So, time to practice what we preach. Time to slow down to speed up.
So here’s to the summer! Whether you feel like going on a voyage of self-discovery or just sitting on a beach with your nearest and dearest, slow down. It’s an important choice. Because when you do speed up again you’ll be a much more focused, energised and productive version of you.