“Thoughts come and go. Feelings come and go. Find out what it is that remains.”
I have always loved to journal my thoughts. Not always daily but consistent over the years. There are times when all my writing is about feelings, emotions, or aspirations. Too often I focus on the past or the future. Forgetting the present. Not the present as in today, but that the time is Now and the where is Here.
After reading some of John Muir’s nature writings it hit me. Take some time daily to journal about the moment. What is going on in your own backyard.
I found that taking just 10-20 minutes to immerse myself in my environment brings me clarity. A clarity about how simple life can be, and how easy it is to loss sight of it.
These two words can create anxiety just hearing them. Sort of like morning routines. In reality, you have both even if you don’t control them. Did you drink coffee or tea this morning? What was the first thing you did at the office today and yesterday?
Business processes and morning routines don’t have to be ugly words. We can chose to influence them or they will influence us.
The important thing about business process or morning routine is how they align with your purpose or goals. Do they support why you are here, and do they support where you are going?
We can be very linear in our perception of days. “Well it’s Monday, time to start the week. It’s Wednesday, the weekend is almost here. IT’S Friday!!! Now I can plan what I want to do for myself, around the house, family, friends, and crap it’s Sunday already”. As we begin to digest the things we could or would do, there is an overwhelming anxiety that can set in. “I can never complete all my to do’s in a weekend”, “When do I get to just relax?”
It can be a never ending cycle if we let it. One day as I wrote down my to do’s for around the house, and for my customers a question popped up. Why do all our to do’s have to be done on the weekend or in the evening? Why do we have to give 5 days to others and cram ours in for two days? “Maybe we shouldn’t feel guilty for taking an hour to fix that clogged sink on a Tuesday.”
Then another question came to mind. There are weekdays, there are weekends, and these are titles set to manage relative time for the modern world. The only truth is, we can be here and do now, today. The name of that day is irrelevant.
We need to challenge our beliefs, the beliefs we were taught and those self imposed. Not to cast them off as right or wrong, but to see how they relate to where we are and where we are going.
If we can honestly ask ourselves these questions, we will add value to your personal and business goals.
Often I am asked to observe business processes to find answers to stagnation, redundancy, or chaos. There are many pieces to what makes a process/vision work when technology plays a central part. This isn’t always pleasant nor quick. It takes time to translate vision into functional infrastructure. As a consultant to an organization, I immerse myself in the day to day. To see the vision we must become part of the organization.
I could easily offer a recommendation to cut IT cost within a month, but that is an isolated and temporary fix. What does your organization need? More so, what do your people need to be successful? That is where we must start.
Ask yourself a simple question: Is the environment around your business controlling progress or is your process controlling the reaction to the environment?
What is your offensive position?
What is you defensive position
What is your strategy?
I see too often that leaders spend 2X defending their business. I myself fall prey to this. If you are constantly on the defensive, then who is on the offense and strategizing for the future? I know what my internal dialogue would say if asked this question. “I don’t have time, there are not enough hours in the day, if I don’t handle this no one will.” I get it, I do it, and I have learned to see past it.
This is going to sound strange in regards to this subject, but hear me out. How do you start your day? Do you wake with a purpose or when you decide you have to get up? Do you take time first thing in the morning to wake your body with movement? Do you take time to center yourself? Is your internal dialogue helping you start the day or keeping you comfortable?
In business, I am the most productive when I start with my personal process. That starts with waking my body for a few minutes when I get up, journaling in my notes about my thoughts, taking time to read a book while I drink my coffee, and exercising for an hour before the day demanding my time. I don’t have to do these things, but I know on the days I don’t, my day controls me.
The main area I struggle with is insuring I have 3 hours of focused success. This doesn’t include the countless meetings, reacting to critical situations, or managing my team. My focused success is based on an hour of new client tasks, existing business decisions, and an hour of planning for the future. You heard me right, I take an hour out of my day to let my mind loose, get in front of my skis. The goal here, like my personal process, is to ensure I don’t let the complexity of my business control my day. After these simple things are done, let the chaos begin.
Take a moment to listen to what your internal dialogue is saying and reflect on how it affects your decisions.