In the past when speaking of creativity and innovation, common advice was to think outside the box. Well now, you are way outside the box. As disorienting as these times may be, they do present opportunities. All you may have to do to find those opportunities is look around .
A way of coping with these times is to recognize that the “normal” that was is pretty much gone. You have a choice to reach back for something that is no longer there, freak out at the change or gradually reorient yourself to a new reality. Within this new reality, you may find ways to pursue your dreams, release things that no longer serve you and take advantage of the open space you have. Things could start looking pretty good to you as you stand outside the box!
photo: Alexas_Fotos, pixabay.com
What is your perspective on structure? Do you see it as necessary or confining? Some level of structure, no matter how you view it, can be very helpful in these times. Many structures we once knew are no longer available now – common workspaces, means of transportation, human interactions, brick and mortar stores. Major adjustments are being asked of you.
Structure provides balance and stability in times like these. It can be flexible or rigid or in-between. It’s up to you. With some structure you can thrive in any environment. Create a structure that gets you through your work and life. Address time, project demands, things that may hamper what you can get done and the resources available to you. Let structure be part of your success!
photo: malgorzata frej, unsplash.com
Sometimes, before you know it, things are running at high speed and you don’t know how they got that fast. It may be that something you are associated with took off in a direction you did not anticipate and is well along now. Or, you yourself have gotten into a situation emotionally or otherwise and you don’t know how it got where it is. Or, a situation you were once committed to took another direction and you don’t think you can go along.
You are not subject to whatever is happening. You can regain control for yourself. First, get a perspective on what is actually happening. Then, center and figure out what is best for you. From there you may not be able to stop what has happened, but you can refigure your involvement. If something is running at high speed, it does not mean that you have to. You can always stop yourself.
photo: Sheri Hooley, unsplash.com
Email started out as a communication improvement – instantaneous and convenient. Now, it is often a cross to bear – cumbersome and endless. Writing takes time and sometimes your emails are not even read – holding up projects and causing frustrations and inefficiencies.
A recent New York Times article, Your Colleagues Don’t Read Anything You Write. Here Are 8 Ways to Change That by Aaron Orendorff focuses on how you write emails and offers some worthwhile tips to keep them short and get them read.
• Write less often
• Use fewer words
• Put action words in your subject line
• Listen more, “talk” less
• Don’t answer, ask
• Invert the order; lead with the need
• Write a people proof TL;DR
• Don’t make it about you or “them”
If you find the suggestions in the article useful, give yourself a challenge. Follow them for a week and see if your email burden is lighter and your communications improve.
photo: MuhammedRibkhan, pixabay.com
Every once in a while, you gotta do it – lighten your load by saying “no”. When your time and attention are maxed, there is no room for anything new. In addition, too much to do and focus on scatters your energy and resources.
So, what is one thing you can say “no” to today? Pick something related to your work that is taking up your time and space needlessly or is an energy drain. What you say “no” to can be a way of being or doing. You could say “no” to being inefficient or “no” to doing that extra task you are not required to do.
Go ahead – say “no”. Do you feel any lighter?
photo: james homans, unsplash.com
Deliberate chaos is an interesting thing to look at. Do you see others creating or do you yourself create chaos? Chaos is confusion, extreme drama, disorder and even mayhem. People deliberately create chaos for many reasons – to maintain control by unsettling those around them, to avoid having to deal with something, to create energy that they can use for themselves or to cover up something they do not want others to see. They may do this consciously or unconsciously, but the effects on themselves and others are the same.
Take a look at creating chaos relating to yourself and observe those around you. What do you see?
photo: peter mason, unsplash.com
Sometimes, things drag on much longer than necessary, causing needless delay, missed opportunities and other complications. Is there something, right now, that it is time for you to deal with? Take some action and get it out of the way. You’ll lighten your load and make room for the next exciting thing.
photo: age barros, unsplash.com
Overwhelm gets you off track. It can be a dangerous place to be in terms of your stress level, making mistakes or messing up. There is energy expended in your overwhelm that can be transformed into productive energy. If you find yourself in overwhelm, try these five things to prevent crashing and to get back on a productive track.
1. Stop and bring yourself fully to the present moment.
2. Observe what has happened and center yourself.
3. Find a way to release the emotions and stress you are feeling.
4. Reorient yourself, identify what you can get done and set priorities.
5. Start working again, fully present to what you are doing.
photo: Wikiimages, pixabay.com
Periodically, you can face setbacks and changes in your career. Some of these experiences involve loss, as well as endings. What can you do in the face of them? You can continue.
Often, these experiences leave you in a new place. Start by looking around at your new environment. Then, proceed to continue productively. That way, you take the best of you along.
The next time you experience a major change or setback, commit to continuing productively from old to new, with all of you.
photo: ooceey, pixabay.com
Lull: a temporary interval of quiet or lack of activity.
How do you respond when a lull shows up? Do you get uncomfortable with the lack of activity, embrace it, use it productively or enjoy it?
How many lulls have you experienced recently? In our sped-up world they are rare. A lull may show up because of a deadline pushed forward, an easing in the flow of work or in a transition that hasn’t completed yet.
When a lull shows up, you have options on how to use it. Here are a few ideas:
• rebalance your life and work
• use the open space to rekindle your creativity
• catch up on things that were not getting done before
• observe your reaction to the quiet and what it says about your pace before the lull
• enjoy it
Lulls are precious- use them to your advantage.
photo: ivan bandura, unsplash.com