In a recent blog I talked about my experience slowing things down, getting more intentional, and basically stopping to get off the world for five minutes.
Because I firmly believe that it doesn’t matter how well you position yourself as a leader in your field, if you are so exhausted that you can’t actually deliver, you are no good to anyone.
Without fail the feedback I received was along the lines of – “Oh god yes, if only”.
Sounds like I am not the only one out there to feel like I never worked as hard as since I started my own business.
But what I am also hearing is that you would love to take some time to slow down, but quite frankly you don’t have the time – at least not until the next time holiday comes around. And in reality, the next holiday might be some time off, particularly among you entrepreneurs – because, lets face it, if you don’t work, you don’t get paid – and that’s not a good thing.
So, I got thinking
- We can’t be awesome (as a leader, as an entrepreneur) if we are exhausted;
- But sometimes the idea of taking time off feels even more overwhelming – the idea of having to get things organised to be out of the office for three weeks in one go;
- So, what if we didn’t need to take three weeks holiday to start to breathe – but we could simply do it for five minutes a day?
So, I got thinking some more – what are some small things we can do for five minutes a day, to just stop the world and get off?
Small things to help you take the time to breathe for five minutes
Over the last couple of months I have been doing some reading and learning about positive psychology – a research based field that aims to “understand, test, discover and promote the factors that allow individuals and communities to thrive”. This is going to really help me work with my clients to help them position themselves as leaders in their field through speaking and their work, while still looking after themselves and thriving.
One of the things we have been looking at is the idea of positive interventions: intentional activities that if done over time contribute to improving our well being.
The following are three activities that have been identified on the basis of research as things that can improve overall well being if done on a regular and intentional basis. And I wanted to share them with you, my tribe, as things that might be fun to try if you want to take some time for yourself.
Not everything will suit everybody, so just have a play around and see what works. There are lots of different kinds of activity, and if you are interested I can give you more info, but I just wanted to start with something.
- A gratitude practice In the evening, (i) write down three things that you are grateful for from the day (could be something small like the other driver who let you out in the traffic, or something major like your 6 year old eating all her dinner without throwing a hissy fit) and then (ii) write down why that thing happened (and how you contributed to it happening). That exercise comes from Martin Seligmann, the person regarded as being responsible for the positive psychology movement.
- Practice a random act of kindness, like opening the door for someone, or paying for the Starbucks for the guy behind you. Research shows that performing acts of kindness can lift your happiness level, and produce a kind of “pay forward” idea.
- Do an activity like colouring in a picture that allows you to be completely present and in flow, in the moment for five minutes. When you can be completely absorbed in something for even five minutes, this leads to a feeling of energised focus.
What about you? What are the things that you do to take five minutes for yourself? I would love to hear about them – so feel free to comment below and let me know ?