I’ll bet your weekend was busy. I know mine involved several long walks, one concert, an exercise class, plus multiple emails written and sent. The frenetic pace at which we live is nothing unique and we’re betting most of you had weekends that were equally, if differently, full.
Fast forward to the week ahead and things, if anything, are crazier. Between work and life, every day, each one of us receives 100s of emails, phone calls, texts, whatsapps, tweets and more. We are always ON.
Similarly our emotions are heightened by the language we use, amount we share and sheer lack of time. And I am as guilty of this as the next person. When things are going well it’s so exciting and we’re smashing it. Conversely when everything falls down, it’s terrible, horrendous, a shocker.
Expectations are high, the success of others is always visible and you can always do more, live bigger, go harder.
But what if you can’t? What if you are overwhelmed? What if we weren’t designed to live in this relentless way?
To illustrate this, I’d like you to try this exercise. Pick up a pen and piece of paper and draw a grid. On the Y-axis is the amount of energy – low to high. And, on the x-axis, is how that energy feels – positive and negative.
Now fill the quadrants with emotions and feelings. I’ve started you off…
|High Intensity, Negative Emotions
|High Intensity, Positive Emotions
|Low Intensity, Negative Emotions
|Low Intensity, Positive Emotions
Now ask yourself, where are you spending most of your time?
The answer for many of my clients is that whilst they frequently visit 3 of these zones, the bottom right hand area rarely gets a look in. But low intensity, positive emotions are where we recuperate from the pace and intensity of our lives. This is also the space in which creativity flourishes. Like a battery, we need to take time to recharge and that takes place when we are contented, peaceful and calm. If you aren’t taking the time to be in this state, your success at work – as well as your overall wellbeing – will suffer.
So take some time each week and commit, amidst the noise, to just be. Switch off earlier (I turn off my laptop at 9 each night except in exceptional circumstances and no longer take my phone to bed). Practice some form of mindfulness, meditation or low intensity exercise: yet another reason to take a walk. Eat your food slowly. Have a quiet evening at home on the sofa with a (non-work related) book.
Spend a little time recharging each day and you’ll find your performance (and happiness) improves drastically as a result.
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Do you need to spend more time recharging? And have you tried any of these tips? Comment below, I’d love to know.