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I saw this visual the other day, saying nowadays people take better care of their smartphone than their selves. It made me thinking. To be honest, aren’t we – consciously or unconsciously – almost constantly monitoring the status of our phones’ battery?
Staying connected. Charging timely. Making sure that people can reach us if they need us. To get to read our email on the go. Make some business calls whilst in traffic. Call home we will be early or late. Or track our running activities after work.
I know I do.
It’s as simple as this: we know for a fact we will get in “trouble” if we don’t charge timely. So we take care. We don’t take that energy for granted. We monitor. We act.
My question today: Have you lost something (lately or a longer time ago) that you’ve taken for granted before? Or do you really miss something in your own work or life that seems to come naturally to almost anyone around you? Something you would love to have or find (again)?
Take a minute to reflect. It can be anything
Maybe it is energy indeed? An empty battery. It might also be self-confidence. Or understanding (self or others). Communication. Trust. Peace of mind. Sleep. TIME. Balance (work/life/work-life)?
When our smartphone battery dies, we know what to do: Find an energy source. Plug in (or something like that). Wait. But what if it is trust you have lost? Or balance? Or peace of mind? How do you plug in? Where do you find the source to reload? And what if there is no time to wait?
It’s like being on holidays and having forgotten your adapter at home. There are two options: You just accept and you go on without your phone. Holidays are temporary. Not to mention your traveling companions might even be a lot happier. OR, you buy a new one. Problem solved.
Simply going on might not be the best option when having lost your self-confidence or whatever it is you are seeking for yourself. Although some people do. It’s not impossible. Some people never find peace of mind. Or enough sleep. Or understanding. Some people don’t even have smartphones for all that matters. And in our lives as well we can make drastic changes. Like buying new adapters. Changing jobs. Changing partners. Changing countries. Starting all over again. Often to notice that we are taking the “problem” with us. And to see ourselves encountering the same issues again.
What to do once you know what’s missing? An example
Let’s say you feel overwhelmed and there are not enough hours in a day let along days in a week. You are constantly running behind schedule. Always in a hurry. It is in fact TIME you are missing. Your colleague and even your n+1 seem to handle that just fine but you are not. Time.
1- Find your source of energy. The question behind the question
What do you need to fill the gap? To reload?
This lack of time-example is easy. You simply need more time!! Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Take your schedule and take a look. You need more time? Okay. Time to do what? Work more? See your family? Workout? Relax? And what are you doing today during that time?
The real question is: what is holding you back from doing that today? What do you really need? What is the question behind the question? That is your real source of energy.
Learning how to say NO? Assertiveness? Making different choices? Setting priorities? Better communication? …
2 – Find a way to plug in: What are your options?
Now that you’ve found your real source of energy, you can search for ways to plug in.
Let’s say you need more time by learning how to say NO. What are your options? You can read a book about it. Or articles online. Talk to someone. Hire a coach. Follow a specific training.
3 – WAIT
As in give yourself the time. To make a plan. To make a real change. To practice. To fall and get up again. To reload. To tackle the real issues that are in your way. No more fire-fighting.
Whatever you decide to do or don’t do, take care of yourself. Monitor your battery. Each time you plug that phone to recharge, assess your own status. How are you doing yourself? And whatever happens, I’m wishing you some real ME-time this week!
Should you find it difficult to do the above on your own, schedule a free 30-minute talk with me. I’ll walk you through.
About the author
Sofie Varrewaere is the founder of BigFish4.me and a certified Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coach. After studying a Master in Psychological and Pedagogical Sciences, she ogled into the magical world of Recruitment, Selection and HR Services. Working for the world leader in HR, she has always been in an advisory role in relation to the larger goals of several multinational organizations. In 2013 she started her own company in International executive Coaching. Doing what she is good at, challenging others as well as herself