We've been tricked.
Crap. I hate when that happens. When you believe so firmly about one thing and then find out that it wasn't true. An image of a jolly bearded man in a red suit comes to mind...
But this isn't about Santa. It's something that, like Santa, is a well-meaning untruth that has sparked a billion-dollar industry, though.
The trick is this: time is the most precious of all commodities.
And you may be thinking, "That's not a trick...we only have a finite time in the day and when it's gone it's gone. I have it written down in my $80 planner."
And yes. that is true. Time is finite (sort of...you should read my blog post about Einstein Time, which is a mind-blowing concept).
That's why so many entrepreneurs slug themselves to near death, working until all hours, sitting at a computer screen getting cross-eyed, feeling overworked, over-stressed, and overwhelmed...they think that more time is what they need.
As a creative and entrepreneur, I can tell you that great work does not come out of a state of stress and overwhelm.
Think of a cup that's full to the brim with water. This is you in an overwhelmed and overstressed state. At capacity.
Then, think of another cup of water that represents inspiration, strategy, a-ha moments, the answers to all your questions. And now, pour that second cup of water into the first.
What happens? A huge mess, that's what.
See, having all the time in the world doesn't mean a thing if you don't have energy. Energy is the key to engagement. And engagement is the key to good work, because it implies focus, attention, and flow.
So...energy is the most precious of all commodities.
But how do you move from overwhelm and stress into a place of energy? So glad you asked. Here are a few tips that work for me:
Take a break.
What?!? A break? From my entrepreneurial journey? Doesn't that make me a slacker? No, it makes you a restorer. Of your mind, and your body.
It doesn't need to be long, but it does need to regular. Every 90 minutes, walk away from what you're doing for five minutes (that's only 300 seconds...piece of cake). Go outside and take a few deep breaths. Stretch a little. Stare off into the distance 20 feet or so. Dance in your kitchen. Do a half tortoise yoga pose.
The idea here is to move your body. Sitting is ironically hard on your body - we were built for movement, not sitting at a computer screen for hours and hours and hours.
The best work is done when you're clear on where you are and where you're going. And to do that, you need to reflect on where you are ad where you're going.
Think about the past month. Where were you most proud? Where were you most at ease? Where you did you feel unease? What worked for you? What didn't? And what would you do differently knowing all these things?
This is the kindest kind of goal setting you can do because it gives you context and purpose, a killer combo for making real progress.
Create a ritual.
To take regular breaks and time for reflection or other things that power your energy (like exercise, eating good food, getting sleep, laughing with your friends) there must be a ritual around it, where you commit to doing it. So your habits change.
You don't need candles or a robe or a chant do create a ritual. You simply need to pick one thing you want to do, and then create a ritual around it. It looks like this:
"I will set a timer every 90 minutes and get up from my desk and dance to the song Wrecking Ball in my kitchen."
"I will take a 45 minute nap at 2 pm every day and put it in my calendar."
"I will walk the dogs with my kids after work."
And then do it. Track it in a tracker app and see your progress build.
I promise you that if you focus on energy over time, you'll start to see changes in your work, your flow, your output, your inspiration, your joy, your success.
And you don't need some fancy $80 planner to make it happen.
Rooting for you!