I don’t know about you, but I’ve been working hard lately. I mean, really hard. Since the sun came out during lockdown, I’ve had the tantalising taste of summer in my mouth (gin cocktails anyone?) and a to-do list as long as my arm.
Covid-19 brought some big changes here at Rising Vibe and I had to furlough most of my team. This hit us all very hard emotionally and meant a significant increase in workload for both myself and my remaining team. We launched a brand new Covid-19 support programme, which involved Zoom calls to many business leaders late into the evenings. Work admin began to pile up and was crammed into every spare moment, often bleeding into the weekends. I’m usually ok with this, from time to time. Whilst I am of course extremely grateful to still be running a business, I’ve realised lately that I’ve been surviving. Just getting through on caffeine, grit and determination.
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 often it’s a real struggle just 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 we’ve fallen into the trap of endurance. We endure situations at work and company practices. We even endure entire company cultures that zap the spirit of ingenuity and accomplishment.
When this happens, we need to slow down to speed up.
Until you can 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. Time to recover. And that time is now.
Traditionally I take August off every year. Up until last week, I really believed that this year would have to be different. Yet just by taking stock of the amount of hard graft we’ve put into the business, as well as the huge toll the pandemic has taken on us personally, it made me realise that my month off this year is as crucial as ever.
In our workshops, people are always telling me how they’d like to take some time out for themselves. It’s always followed by “…but I just don’t have the time.” We all have a choice as to how we spend our time. What needs to change so that you are able to make it happen? Those that do choose to take time out, certainly reap the rewards.
When we speed up again we’re more focused. We’re more productive. We’re more present. Ultimately, we’re more resilient.
I realise now that I’ve been working for too long in endurance. The seismic shift towards the ‘new normal’ has made it far too easy for me to slip into this mindset. You’ll never hear me talk of having it all sussed. Far from it. What is important is that I recognise when I’m working in endurance and can act on it.
Rest and reflection are crucial. As is role modelling. As the business leader at Rising Vibe, it’s vital that I role model the behaviour I expect from my team. Time to practice what I 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 soggy campsite with your nearest and dearest… slow down. It’s an important choice. Because when you speed back up you’ll be a much more focused, energised and productive version of you.