Like most people writing anything about anything at the moment, I am going to write a little something related to the current state of NZ, and the rest of the world, with C-virus.
If I haven't lost you already, thanks for bearing with me! Unlike other pieces of writing, I am going to try and offer some information to help you pass the time in lock down, whilst setting you up to hit the ground running when the dust settles and we're all allowed back out again.
Yes, I'm keen to try and help you use your time productively.
Yes, I'm keen to give you a little taste of how Professional Coaching actually works.
Yes, I'm keen for you to take this opportunity to consider your current habits and routines, identify what you like and don't like about them, and make some improvements.
The first thing I'm going to say, which is something I say to a lot of my new clients, is that it's unlikely anything I say here is going to be brand new to you. I'm sure you would have heard it before, I'm sure you'd have thought it and known you should be doing it... but you've just never had the time, energy, commitment, or just maybe no one has "given you permission" before. That's right, this is common in coaching! For some reason there is often a light bulb moment when a coach gives the coachee (client) permission to do the things they've been thinking about doing. Of course, they don’t need permission, but sometimes we all just need to be reassured it’s not madness or a silly idea. So “giving permission” is a metaphor for giving support or encouragement, or as coaches often do, just giving a listening ear for the coachee to bounce ideas off; we will question you if we think it is madness!?! 😉
At the moment you do what you do, partly because it gets the job done, and partly because it's a habit. When was the last time you reviewed what you do day to day, and how? What if there was a more interesting, easier, more effective way of doing this? You just don’t know it because you haven’t made the time to investigate it? Or you haven’t had the time to try it and implement it? Whatever the reason is, how will you ever know if you never make the time to get in your metaphorical helicopter, fly up out of your current situation, and look down on it with a critical eye, searching for places you can make changes and improvements?
“Good habits are formed, bad habits we fall in to”
Why not take the opportunity now to consider your standard day and week? What time to you get up, what’s the first thing you do? What time do you get to work, are you usually rushing? What are your work habits like, do you jump to each email that comes in or do you check your emails at times that suit you? Managers and leaders, how often do you get around your teams and check in with them, for no reason, asking how things are going, what’s working well and what do they think needs improved? What time do you finish work, do you do any exercise, what’s your diet like, do you make time for the kids when you get home or do you head for the fridge and then the couch? What time do you normally go to bed and what do you do before you go – watch TV, check social media, or read???
Going back to what I said at the start, I’m sure you all know what the right answers to these questions are, but are you doing them, or have you fallen into bad habits???
Right now, and for the next 3 1/2 weeks, many of us have the opportunity to have a good look at our current habits and routines and make some changes that will help us be more like the person we want to be, living the life we want to lead… are you going to take this opportunity???
I certainly intend to! My number 1 goal is to get more sleep. I love getting up at 5am to walk my dogs and do a workout of some sort; in the winter I also light the fire so the house is nice and warm for the family when they get up at 7. The issue with this early rise is that I have to get to bed so early if I want to get the recommended 8 hours sleep, which I very rarely do, I’m usually in bed by 10pm at best. So, in my review I know I can get to bed half an hour earlier, and I’ll set the alarm to wake up half an hour later – boom!
Now, I’ve mentioned habits and just given an example of one I want to improve, I also mentioned routines. The reason for this, again, is because in this lock down month, it would be so easy to slip in to a routine of going to bed late and drifting out of bed when we wake, having a bit of breakfast, checking the social media, updating on Corona virus and generally letting our days pass us by. All of a sudden 4 weeks will have gone and we’d have wasted our time and opportunity, just because we didn’t make the time to give some thought and set a bit of a routine, all be it a less stringent routine than we have in our normal working life - we have to embrace SOME frivolousness at this time don't we??? It's called relaxing!
For me, I am going to continue getting up early and getting my exercise done, during the week. I am going to work until at least 3pm, yes I am blessed that I can still work with my clients via the phone or internet, I am going to have afternoon tea and then I am going to get in to my projects like cleaning the garage, building a fence, spending some time with my 4 kids, and sharing the cooking duties with my wife!
If you ever wondered, this is the sort of thing you’d discuss with a Professional Coach, in greater detail of course! You’d also come up with time frames and the outcomes you want from each of your goals, like when do I intend to finish my fence, or finish tidying my shed…??? And then your coach will check in on your progress and help you clear any blocks (bad habits) you strike along the way. This independent reviewing and accountability is also why it can be so beneficial for people in business.
So what routines are you going to set yourself for this 4 week period, and what habits would you like to change? Hint: It helps if you can think what it is you'd like to achieve, commonly called a goal, and work back from there. Whatever they are, I wish you good luck with them, and I hope you all stay safe and healthy at home.