Do you observe the way other people work then compare and despair?
My husband can put his nose in a stack of depositions and not look up until he grows stubble.
I, on the other hand, can draft an onboarding contract, spot a bird at the feeder and suddenly I am refreshing their water, watching them squabble over the middle spot, and looking up the Blue Jay’s totem symbol. FYI they are ever-vigilant investigators and like to dabble in a lot of things, gathering tidbits of information as they go. #relatable
Distractions such as this can be managed by discovering our own unique flow and learning about our natural energy cycles.
1. How Do You Take Action?
Knowing this about yourself is key. The Kolbe A Index* doesn’t measure intelligence or personality but rather, it reveals the ways in which you approach a problem when you are free to do it your own way, i.e., your conative style.
The data determines where you are in the four action modes: fact finder, follow through, quick start and implementor.
I am a natural fact finder which means at the macro level, I am at my best researching and comparing data. That is why digging into a problem for my Friday Stories lights me up. Same with coaching. I am endlessly curious about what makes people tick. Asking powerful questions helps my clients solve their own problems and it’s awesome to witness.
At the micro level, understanding my style has allowed me to structure my day with a mix of coaching, writing and learning.
For both individuals and teams, I highly recommend taking this assessment. It affirmed that I have special gifts to offer the world in my own particular way.
2. Does Your Schedule Maximize Natural Productivity?
In this society, we are conditioned to believe that if we don’t push ourselves to the limit and maybe even past it, we are doomed. The problem with this plan is that we are humans, not robots.
Good news: we can reject this default setting and learn how to follow the body’s natural energy cycles, i.e. our ultradian rhythms. It is like flowing with the river’s current rather than swimming upstream like a very determined salmon. We are not salmon.
What the heck are ultradian rhythms? They are short biological cycles of the human body that occur within a 24-hour period. Research shows that if you spend around 90 minutes focusing deeply on a task and then rest for 20 minutes, you will work more effectively and efficiently.
Free self-assessments are available to help you discover how your own cycles work within that general time-frame.**
Before I knew any of this, I’d multitask the day away. Doing all the things can lower your productivity by as much as 80%.
When I do the 90/20 day, I am able to focus longer because I know I have a break coming. This means less time spent distracted. It is a far more self-compassionate, efficient practice.
3. What’s Fun Got To Do With It?
Ultradian rhythms tell us that humans need periodic breaks. Fitting some regular FUN in there will make time for the magic. Following the natural cycles of work and play, creates space for unexpected synchronicities.
How’s that? In moments of play and fun, you are feeding your SOUL and raising your vibration. This acts as a magnet for all good things. Want some of that? I definitely do.
Like many of us, I got the idea that play and fun were frivolous time wasters. Starting pretty early, academic excellence eclipsed all else. Over time, pursuing goals consumed most of my mental space. I have subconsciously reserved fun for when all the work is done. When I am finally ENOUGH.
The problem with this theory is that we are programmed to think it’s never enough. And if we aren’t practicing joy in ordinary moments, we have a hard time doing it at all, even when we do make the space.
Fun is a practice and the time to master it is NOW.
Also. Humans MUST take breaks regardless of whether we provide for them in our schedules. So instead of fun, we default to distraction (see mindless scrolling).
Is this really what we want from our one wild and precious life?
Just as we stand to gain so much by following our own personal action styles and natural rhythms, we must also honor rituals of rest and joy and reunion. We are heading into the holiday season. It is time to recognize a plateau of production and schedule the enjoyment of life already.
Are you confused about what it means to have fun anymore?
It is a distinctly modern dilemma that many (most?) of us have totally forgotten what fun even is. In our culture, we spend a lot of time thinking about the things that bother us but not much on what brings us joy.
Also valid. We live in the upside down world with a horrendous 24 hour news cycle of which I have opted out for my mental health. My own privileged news diet notwithstanding, I needed a re-education when it comes to fun.
Author Catherine Price has studied FUN and how to recognize it and cultivate it regularly.
According to Price, genuine fun has three key elements: play, connection and flow.
PLAY: you only have fun when you are being playful and lighthearted. When you feel free. Doing it just for doing it and not caring about the outcome. Fun has no sense of obligation.
CONNECTION: fun is a special shared experience, unusually connected to your physical environment like nature, or with the particular activity, or even your own body. You could be connecting with another person. You are joined together but you also feel totally yourself. Laughing with someone else is exactly THIS.
FLOW: you are fully engaged in the present experience. You lose track of time with no self-consciousness or judgment. You get lost but you are grounded in the present moment.
Fun is a life-giving force. It generates energy and that is what we live on, simple as that. A life without fun grinds us into dust.
If trying to figure out how to have fun feels like pressure, a simple, lighter place to begin is delight. Simply finding a moment of delight takes no effort, only attention. Sharing it with someone who gets your joke will tap into playful connected flow.
By doing this, you are training your brain to find it and bring more of it into your life. It’s stoking the fire of high vibes and it works. I think I’m going to call my skating friend and plan a playdate.
What will derail all these wonderful efforts? Allowing ourselves to default into distraction. Instead of blocking off time to cut loose, we waste the time on an energy drain. Let’s not live in default mode. Intentionality is the only thing that gets us to where we want to go.
When we honor our natural gifts and rhythms and make time for joy and fun, we get the sense that it’s all going to be okay.
WRITING PROMPT: What were three experiences from your past that stood out as true fun? What would you LIKE to do for fun now?
Ready to start doing some work on yourself? Email me to schedule a free Discovery Session at firstname.lastname@example.org. Curious about coaching? Learn more at luckybirdcoaching.com. And if you are family or a friend, I have an amazing coaching community ready to partner with you.
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