Let's be honest. Whilst we all like to think we can keep adding more and more to our plate and get it all done successfully, the truth is wildly different. There are real limits on what's possible as the resources required to deliver over and over again are finite. Time? Finite. Energy? Finite. Focus? Finite. In fact, many of us start the day with our personal battery already at 90%, or maybe even less. And from the moment you swing your feet off the bed and stand up, the power trickle commences in earnest.
Think about your mobile phone. If you hammer it early in the day, chances are you'll need to plug it in by lunchtime to get you through the rest of the day. But when it comes to our own personal battery, how do we recharge it during the day? Most of us don't. We just keep going until the battery is flat. And then, worst of all, we keep going again. And this is when the bad stuff happens. Poor work quality, poor temperament and then, when you drag yourself home and through the door, you have nothing left for the people that matter most to you.
The personal impact of getting stuck in a short term cycle of this is negative and significant. But over the long term? Devastating. You know this. We all know this. But how many of us doing anything about it? Far too few. Ironically that's because it actually takes more energy to figure out the solution so it's easier to stick with the status quo.
But that's not an option. You have to act and you have to act now. And the answer isn't a personal project of reinvention on a significant scale. That's too hard. Instead the answer is changing one small thing that you can do differently and start tomorrow. And keep doing over time. Let me get you started. This exercise will take you about 5 minutes and will be the start of something meaningful. I promise.
Ok. Close your eyes and think of one thing that means a great deal to you. It could be a person, an activity or a pet. Now think about what it would take to commit to engaging with that one thing in a meaningful way in the next five days. Now take the action required to make is happen.
When I did this exercise first time, here's what I did. I was thinking about my eldest daughter and how she was working really hard on her role as a trumpet player in her school band. Her concert was coming up and I knew how much it would mean to her and me to be there with the rest of the family. The action I needed to take was so simple. Be disciplined in the management of my calendar to be able to leave the office on time that day, get through the commute and home in time for the concert. It was amazing to see her and her pals perform and the post concert ice cream celebration was a chance to catch up with some of the other parents too. It was a small step but one with an incredibly powerful outcome for me.
So, it's important to start getting comfortable with the truth. You can't do it all and expect to win. You have to start making some changes. Let me know what you plan to do first and share the results. A little goes a very, very long way.