This month I took some time to slow down. The last couple of weeks have been quite intense with a number of speaking engagements, and when I went to the Chiropractor for my normal appointment my pelvis was out of tilt. He sent me off with a flea in my ear, and instructions to slow down and take some rest.
Isn’t it ironic: at the time that I am looking at how I can help my clients understand that it is possible to thrive in a (business) environment – to be super professional and successful – without killing themselves through burnout, the universe starts screaming at me.
“Hey, smart a$$: you think you are so clever, spreading this message of looking after yourself. What about you? when you going to take time for yourself??”
So, that’s what I have been doing – spending ten days to slow down, sleep, and then when I have been working, be super intentional about it. Come to the piece of work one thing at a time (rather than thinking about a bunch of different things at once).
And I felt much better …
So then I thought it would be a great idea to then spend two nights up to 2 am working on my accounts …. oooh, that’s intelligent.
Bad move, and boy did it hurt. I was in real pain.
And I was torn in different directions:
- “Gawd, can this just stop hurting?”
- “Stop being a dork and a weakling! You have gone at work harder and longer in the past – this is only two days! you are such a drama queen!”, and
- “Wow, so this is what its like when you can feel your body and hear what it is telling you. I didn’t know that. I spent nearly 20 years blocking my head off to what my body was screaming out. Oh, I wonder if that contributed to the burnout …. oh, you reckon?? d’oh!”
That’s a strange feeling for me – to feel every creak and groan, to stop and slow down. I have spent so long over the years pushing on through … that now I feel guilty for not doing so again … and yet it feels liberating to learn new patterns.
For slowing down is ok – slowing down as in being intentional, working less than 10 hours per day. When I slow down and get really intentional, I am able to do things one at a time, and do them well in a fraction of the time.
And its teaching me:
- there is a different way of working that is even more efficient
- I now know that spending a week slowing down and looking after myself does not automatically mean that I will then have to move out of my apartment and move into a cardboard box under the Red Bridge.
- that the time to work on the strategy of my business is when I have the bandwidth to think, not when I am so tired that things are shooting at me from all directions.
So, onwards and upwards, with some baby steps and new patterns.
PS: the photo is from a place called Bourscheid Plage where I went for 24 hours to resource and find some down time