After 14 years of coaching independent and small business owners, here’s what I discovered. No matter what techniques we design so that they can be more effective with the time they have available for work, if they don’t address the pressures that arise from within – and without – they often end up back where the started, overworked and frustrated.
I understand. Motivated by fear and competition, our minds often push us to be & do things that are not healthy or correct for us. This makes it hard to relax in the face of the natural ebb and flow of life. Yet, if you can’t relax about the ups and downs the whole thing is over. Back to mad habits you go.
I used to plan my life, and help my clients do the same. Now I wait (as much as I can) to see what life brings to me and generally move when and if I have the energy for something. It does make my mind a bit crazy at times but I’m learning to trust that what I need will come to me. It often feels like flying without a net. Some days I am giddy with delight and other days I feel absolutely insane. Yet I wouldn’t trade it for anything and besides, I can’t go back.
I invite you to consider the “Anti-Productivity” Approach. Yes, I know is sounds backwards and counterproductive. A lifetime of training says there is only one pathway to success … work hard, play hard, and all that good stuff. If you loosen your grip on the reins you’re sunk. But are you?
I’m inviting you to step OUT of the rat-race and see what happens when you put your body’s intelligence in the driver’s seat of your actions and business decisions. Once you do that, whichever tools and approaches you develop to do what you are called to do are simply supportive structures in the game of your business.
Joan, I love this message! I see so many of my clients practically kill themselves trying to fulfill their SHOULDS of productivity. Yes, we should do what we can, but we also need to recognize when we truly can’t. As you said, this is not just when we are ill, but also when we are tired, have lost our enthusiasm, or are just plain not having a good time. ~ C.J. Hayden, author of Get Clients Now!
The Anti-Productivity Credos
- If you don’t have the energy to do something, wait until you do
- There is no such thing as behind
- Naps are perfectly productive
- Plans are just that, plans!
- Doing something for FUN is good for business
- To stop working when you run out of energy is wise
- There is right timing for just about everything
I won’t be surprised if you love this initiative, and reject it, too, certain that if you stop striving to make things happen that you’ll “lose everything.” That’s how the mind works. In truth, I don’t know what will or won’t happen when you relax your grip on the steering wheel. That’s the point. Neither do YOU!
Joan, I just LOVE this! So often, especially at the beginning of my illness I’ve fought to be “productive” and paid for it on the other end. It’s just like you said, I was rating my day according to the work I was able to do & ended up pushing myself too hard. I’ve since learned & adopted some of the same principles in your Initiative. ~ Norene El, founder of Inspiring Women’s Global Network