Freedom From Business as Usual (Part 4)
Maintaining Momentum in the “Real World”
Each time you embark on creating change in your life, you find yourself once again taking the first step of many required to sustain a new reality. One of my favorite quotes comes from the Chinese Philosopher, Lao-tzu: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
As creatures of habit, sometimes we find ourselves taking the same first step again and again and again. During a group coaching call last week, a participant asked the question: “How do I maintain momentum in the ‘real world’ as I transition from the classroom back to my true work environment.
As a group, we spent the next 30 minutes discussing a few options that have worked well for participants who have been successful in creating change in their approach to productivity at work. Below is a recap of some of the actions that our community members are taking to maintain momentum as they ease back into the “real world.” If you are looking to create change in your approach to productivity, jump right into one of the suggestions below:
- Use sensory triggers to help you maintain focus or boundaries in your work environment.
- Leave your phone at your desk if you don’t need to have it with you during a meeting so that you don’t have the vibratory indication that a message is waiting as a distraction.
- Turn off your email notification within Outlook to keep you from being distracted by email during your focused work time.
- Place a favorite lamp on your desk with a warm yellow light to contrast the fluorescent lighting in many offices; turn it on to indicate that you are entering a time of focus with purpose and meaning. (Here a link to the lamp I have on my desk with this beautiful shade. The owl reminds me to be wise in my approach to investing time.)
- Place quotes around your desk that are meaningful to you. Remember to schedule about 30 minutes every 3 months or so to change them out. Over time, they can “fade into the woodwork.”
- Schedule time to recharge. One team member gives herself 30 minutes a day to recharge as needed – that may mean lunch, a call to a family member or a few minutes reading articles that refuel her leadership vision. To make this part of your life consider:
- Asking for support: If others manage your calendar, let them know that if an important business meeting overrides the 30-minute time that is blocked the time should be moved rather than deleted.
- Keeping a “recharge” folder handy: When you come across information that you’d like to read but don’t have time at the moment, place it in a “recharge” folder that you keep nearby so that you always have a plan for your 30-minute time block.
- Remember the golden rule. Take note of the respect that you extend to others in regard to their time – and ask yourself: Am I treating my own time with the same level of respect and importance? If not, consider creating the boundaries required to give yourself and your time the same respect that you regularly extend to others.
If you'd like more, please consider attending ASTD 2013