Dialling down the distractions
Ding, swish, ping and donk... Hello, distraction! These days we are constantly at the beck and call of our mobile phones, iPad, laptops and whatever-else-sucks-at-your-soul-devices and not just during the waking hours, oh no... we're waking up through the effing night when they light up with their fancy ultra bright retina displays.
I was thinking about this earlier in the week when I woke up at some ungodly hour to see my mobile phone blinking away on the other side of the room with some random and unimportant notification (I usually turn it over for the sake of peace when I go to bed) and I lay there thinking... why are we at the beck and call of every notification we receive? Am I soconditioned to respond that its happening when I sleep?
We're working flat out and it's not working. The device, it seems to me, is just symptomatic of something much much more serious to our wellbeing and that is our need to be informed and everywhere, with everyone all of the time.
Let me save you a lot of heartaches my beauty, you can't do it.
Much like you've only got so much wardrobe space (don't I know it) and so much brain bandwidth, similarly, you've only got so much time to do all of the things that you need to do and that includes looking after yourself and your own time.
We're all stuffing SO MUCH onto our already overflowing plates under the banner of 'nurturing' (our family/ business/ colleagues/ insert-your-own-here) but get this, if you want a successful (read, enjoyable and happy) business and some actual real sleep then you have to get logical about your time and your energy. Treat it like an unmoveable house rule, its got to be balanced and fair (to you). You already know what happens when it gets all out of whack, you start showing up late, tired and feeling like a great big hot mess in a constant state of panic. It's no good to you or anyone else around you.
Everything is going to suffer, including you, and your endeavours are going to be less than your best work (to put it mildly).
Now, don't get me wrong, if we've been hanging around together for a while you'll know patience isn't exactly my strong point, slowly does not come easily to me and the thought of stopping everything to 'take time out for me' makes me want to gag quite frankly so what is a girl to do? I am by nature a nurturer just like my mama and her mama. I am basically programmed to take care of those around me and it has been known occasionally to be at my own detriment so I have had to devise a way to work in three companies, use two mobile phones, an iPad and two computers and still take care of my family and myself with the same 24 hours in a day as everyone else.
Stamina for the win.
Not patience. Patience to me requires forced stoppage time and as we know anything that feels forced just isn't going to cut it so I prefer to use the strategy of stamina. Little and often feels so much more manageable to me. I don't have to fly around at 400mph fitting it all in today. I'll chip away at it, I'll create better things over time and do just enough to achieve my objective and retain my sanity at the same time. It won't always be perfect, but I know I can adjust as I go. I can plan ahead (and I do) and on the days where I look at my diary and it's completely packed out, I'm no longer afraid to say no. Maybe it won't be a flat out no either it might just be a 'not right now'. Good work takes time and you owe it to yourself and your business to give it your absolute best.
So that brings me back to where we started. Ding, swish, ping and donk, what are you going to do with all of the notifications in your life?
There are options; you can choose to mute them all and hide under your animal print slanket (yes, I used to own a slanket, may I remind you of our no judgement policy) and yes, we all feel like making a blanket fort sometimes
You can answer every one, send automated, quick, autopilot responses so no-one really ever gets the real you but they all get something
We can take the third option and mute the ones we really don't need or want, keep the ones we do and chip away at offering the best that we can given the time that we've got whilst still giving time to ourselves to allow that space for creativity that I'm always going on about in our little chats. Because in that space, that little bit of time between the pings and the donks, that's where the magic happens.
Your time, your energy, your way.