January 26, 2022

When Do We Do Our Most Profitable Work?

We’ve all been doing it, haven’t we?
Doing it…
because this is what we’ve been taught to do.

In this hunker-down-in-our-cosy-home-offices month
In this gloomy Waiting-Room-of-The-World time that typifies our frosty, bone-numbing English Winter.

“Look back and tell us what you learned.” They encourage.
“Look forward to believe in what you really, really want.” They exhort.

So, we do.
With hope in our hearts.

Hope that we really did take note of the rough, tough lessons Life taught us last year.
Hope that “Tomorrow” really is “Another Day”.
A day with cause to rejoice and be grateful.

Well, believe me, I did learn some rough-and-tough – yeah, brutal – lessons last year.

Lessons etched deep into my psyche. Carved deep into my heart.
Lessons that put me in bed with exhaustion. Feeling so very sorry for myself.
Lessons which have already shaped my January behaviour.
(“But why do these lessons need to be so brutal?” you whisper)

And – corny as it might seem – that learning has instilled me with hope, gratitude and cause to rejoice.

I’ve learned (for the umpteenth time, ‘cos I’m that slow)…

What pushes me to the edge of Burnout.
And what changes I must make to rise to more Effortless Accomplishment.
To My Most Profitable Work
(in the fullest sense of that word).

And it starts with this one simple fact:

I’m energised to be at my best…
When the work that I do has the most impact.

Too simple for words, isn’t it?

Note that I didn’t say “… Has the most impact on our bottom line.”
That’s useful.
But far too narrow a view.

I’m talking about work that I feel has Impact on The World Around Me.
Work that exhilarates me.
Where the joy is in the doing… as much as in the outcome.
Work that challenges me to learn what I wish I’d taken time to discover long before.

Is that the kind of work that has filled the first 28 days of this year for you?
No. Really?

Ah! But I’d be unkind if I let you leave, thinking that was it. The One Tough Lesson.

So, I’d better let you glimpse Phase 2 of this brutal-yet-hope-inducing learning.

I’ve had to let go.
Just like the ‘Frozen’ song that we pretend to hate, but still sing anyway.

I’ve not only let go of potential relationships which would have filled my purse, but not my heart.

I’ve also let go of habits.
Habits like having to “Just finish this task before I close for the day.”

In fact, I’ve put a limit on how much I will do each day.
And for how long.

For example…
I’ve decided to walk out of my office at 5:00 pm
No matter what is left undone.

That’s it!
5:00 pm.
I’m out of here!

Because of that, I’ve quickly surprised myself at how disciplined I’ve become at spotting the difference between:

  • A Strategic Priority… and
  • Someone Else’s Sense of Panic and Urgency.

And I now find that I’ve energy to spare at the end of the day.
I’m no longer too brain-smashed to talk to Wendy, my wife.

I can hardly put into words how liberating this is!

Yep, there’s so much I’ve learned recently that I’d love to share with you.

Learnings that are freeing me to do my Most Inspired Work.
Learnings that have rapidly reduced my levels of exhaustion… so that I feel inspired to do that work!
Learnings that leave me energy enough for my most important relationships.

I’d love to share them all with you.
And will do. I promise.

Just not in this Winter month.