For those of you who follow my blog you’ll know there was a void these past few weeks…no blogs. I was not following my own advice and allowing time in my day to be curious, objective, to connect or to question how I had prioritized my time. I was so busy “doing” that I forgot to “be” and because of it I quickly lost touch with what to write. It was stunning to me how fast this happened, resulting in my own inability to find intriguing topics, or the time to write about them. In the past I could write a blog in multiple small segments throughout my week; no matter how busy I was I would carve this time out of the margins of my day…but that required me to get inspired by something I wanted to share with you. Without time to explore or be curious there wasn’t much inspiration, hence no blogs.
The lesson here is that when we forget to nourish ourselves, a lot of things we contribute to and do begin to “starve”. My blog was the first casualty, but with it also went some of my well being; I write a blog to share not because I have aspirations to be a writer (that job title is not on my “bucket list” even though I enjoy the process of writing immensely). I blog to connect and share with others, to be of service (in a tangible way); my regular blog contribution is important because it is the manifestation of the attention I pay to what I am learning - it is proof I am “walking the talk” and living my values and beliefs through my work. So when the blogs stopped coming I realized the problem wasn’t writers block, but something deeper. Something that, left unchecked, would be very destructive to my well being and ultimately the enjoyment of my work.
My shift came one frustrating afternoon this week where I couldn’t be productive or get anything going. So I clicked on a link to numb out and watch some coaching videos I subscribe to, and HELLO. I learned from personal branding guru William Arruda that it only takes 9 minutes a day to do something meaningful to keep you moving forward. At first I thought this guy was the President of the Raging Optimist Club. But as it turns out he is right. What can you do in nine minutes a day that is meaningful to you?
I gave myself 9 minutes and I wrote this list. What would happen if you gave yourself 9 minutes a day? What would be on your list? We all have 9 minutes each day we can give to ourselves, when we don’t we are not living or working well. Everyone can use time to take a beautiful deep breath; time to take back the pace of our day. Time to “feed” ourselves, give ourselves some connection and “career fuel”. In fact we know when we don’t do this for ourselves we are less effective, maybe even short tempered, tired and prone to make mistakes or forget important things. For me the lack of inspiration to write was the proverbial ”canary in the coal mine”. When that died it was time to examine what I am NOT attending to in my day and re-balance it before it crept any further into my habits and life (thankfully my e-mail subscription delivered, just in time). As busy professionals and entrepreneurs it’s easy to say “later”, “tomorrow”, etc. Except there is a cost to putting off the things that seem optional, but are in fact really critical items that allow us to be engaged and present for ourselves and others in our day. So do the things that let you be your best self. Leverage your potential by taking time just for you and in so doing love yourself in your work.
Take it from me, 9 minutes can change your quality of life (you are reading proof).