Whether you use an electronic calendar or paper or just your brain to remember what you want and need to do each day is a daunting task for each of us. If you are a mother of toddlers, just getting a shower one day a week may be getting your things done. If you are a new employee right out of college you may not know what is the best solution for you in this dilemma. Perhaps you are an executive who is seasoned and you actually do not even look at your calendar until the night before or the morning of the day. For those who try to remember good luck. Our fast paced world is throwing so many things at us and we get conflicting and different messaging from everywhere as to what to do, when to do it and why it is the “best” or the “worst” and you my friend are the decision maker.
I am not here trying to sway you to any point of view or specific solution. Today, I am here to “Raise Your Awareness” of how certain things in your personal and professional life create “pressure” for you to make the decisions you make. These awareness’s are small almost imperceptible and they make a huge difference in your energy level and attitude about going about your day with a lighter step rather than a thunderous thud.
Awareness Decision #1 – Look at your calendar and if something on it seems to bring a dark cloud over you or it brings on heaviness, that a closer look. Ask yourself what is causing this to trigger the heaviness? Perhaps the heaviness is “FEAR” of the unknown. Perhaps the heaviness is “Measuring Up” to an expectation – real or perceived. How hard would it be to either take this off of your calendar or to reschedule it?
Awareness Decision #2 –Look at your yearly calendar as a whole. Most of us preplan our “knowns” [Those are the things such as special events, date nights and getaways with your spouse, holidays, vacations, school events and sports for our children, and so on. Even things like conferences are known a year in advance.]. If you do not currently put these things on your calendar you are not leaving time to recharge and reconnect with those you love. I encourage you to do this with your family this next weekend. Get everyone involved. Having a big yearly calendar in a place of prominence is a great teaching tool and builds excitement, and it also creates “ACCOUNTABILITY” on all parties to keep these dates as important.
Awareness Decision #3 – Let’s look at your professional calendar for a moment. For those of you who are “road warriors” [AKA – my office is in a jet at 35,000’], you men and women are especially vulnerable to many things that those of us who are earth bound are not. The two biggest issues I deal with when coaching my road warrior clients who fly to another country on the weekend to be in a meeting on Monday.
So, let’s look at this for a moment. How does leaving on a very precious time and relationship wise weekend cost you? I can tell you from experience it costs more than you will ever know because your family will just protest in the beginning, whine about the lost family time, and them start to stuff in down inside emotionally as something they have no ability to change. What does the other side of this look like? The “road warrior” knows the only way to make that Monday meeting is to leave so he/she can get to their destination and just maybe get a few hours of sleep and a shower and change clothes. Who schedules those meetings? This is a place where you can intervene. Or another way is to have a company policy of only flying on company time. Yes, I can hear the protests from here, but there are companies who do this and they have more productive happy employees.
Here is the second issue that I see, coach and have real life family experience from. This is the “Health” of the “Road Warrior” and how it deteriorates and ages the person. I am not here to spout and quote all the studies that are out there in the health world and scientific world around this topic, but rather to give perspective to it. Most of you who travel a great deal have a small “go to bag” of sleep aids, vitamins, cold remedies, upset stomach and intestinal items. You also are keenly aware of having a viral antiseptic gel or wipes in all pockets at all times. You wipe down that tray table and arms of your seat and console areas. Some of you may even carry a mask to wear or one of those “fresh air” producing products you hand around your neck. Is that enough? No, not really. No matter how careful you are, I know you are a walking germ machine. The issue is when we get these viral bugs from recycled airplane air, the environment we are meeting and sleeping in and the transportation vehicles we are in we are subjected to these germs. When coupled with multiple time zone changes [at standard is 1 day to acclimate to every time zone you cross], and less than ideal sleeping conditions and disrupted sleep patterns; we are asking the viruses and germs to “come on in and have a party” in our bodies. So what can you do to combat these issues? It always surprises me how the obvious never occurs to those who travel a lot. Most of them when pressed will tell me that there just are not enough hours in the travel cycle to incorporate much more than sleeping on the plane and drinking lots of water, and wiping down and washing of hands. This is true, and I have been there. I personally cannot be “ON” when I am stressed, tired, and germy and dehydrated no matter where I have traveled to. So do not beat yourself up. You have to budget recovery time at every stop. If your meeting in that other country is for 8 am see if you can push it to a noon lunch meeting. If you are arriving home after a long time away, give yourself the gift of working from home for 1 or 2 days until you acclimate again. You will at least be visible to your family and spouse. Get outside for fresh air and sunshine even if you are on a phone call. Take your call on your deck or patio in the sunshine, it will revive you.
Next month we will explore “Leading”.
If you are interested in being coached or mentored by Janice in 2018, she does have availability beginning in January 2018.
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