“Your mind should be in this room with you right now,” my yoga instructor reminded me (and others) in my most recent class.
She was right – my mind should be in the room. But it wasn’t.
I was thinking about my work to-do list, my sons’ weekend plans, the letter I just received from school alerting that there was a COVID case in the building, that there were no groceries in the house, and about the texts from yesterday that I still needed to respond to. And, then, of course I started thinking about the consequences of my mind not being in class … did the practice still count?
I’ve talked to so many of you this past week who’ve been feeling just as scattered as I’ve been.
- Our attention spans are shorter than before
- Our windows to relax and refresh are smaller than ever
- The amount of “stuff” coming at us is greater than it’s ever been
- The people who depend upon us really need us right now
My challenge in this moment is both embracing and acting on a contradiction that I know leads to balance – slowing down to speed up.
It’s hard, though, isn’t it to shift down when we feel like moving faster will allow us to keep up? Yet, shifting down will allow us to reclaim one of the most critical components to the value we bring to our work and life: our brain.
As leaders, we need to be thoughtful, considerate, present, and engaged. We can’t do this at a breakneck pace.
So, in addition to yoga (and other self-experiments), here’s what I’m committing to this week to do a mental reboot:
- Creating “air” in my schedule – 15 minutes of unscheduled activity between calls/meetings to catch my breath
- Initiating dial-down time – carving out 20 minutes between work and life where I can transition so I can be present
- Setting the mood – playing soothing music at work that mellows out my mind
- Being more intentional with what I say “yes” to*
- Being more deliberate with what I say “no” to
- Conducting my own, personal, start/stop/continue audit to ensure my time is best spent
I’d love to hear what practices you’re implementing.
*I recently said “no” to coaching my son’s basketball team at the Y. I really wanted to say yes, but just decided I didn’t have the time to squeeze it in.