Here in the Netherlands the school holidays have started in part of the country. The start of a relatively quiet time in a lot of organisations. Lot’s of colleagues are on holiday, less meetings, some projects seem to be on hold for a while, customers are on holiday, no lessons or courses at institutions.
What do you do during this quieter period? Finishing some stuff, doing some odd jobs, go on holiday yourself? A great time to slow down and catch your breath after a really busy time at work. It is always a good idea to take time to recover after a really busy time. To switch to a lower gear!
Often these weeks pass by quite uneventful, with doing some clearing out, archiving, read up on some stuff which allows you to slow down and maybe get some much-needed rest. But does it also give you a lot of new energy? Or does it feel more like crashing on the couch and binge watch your favourite tv series: You don’t need any energy for it. It is relaxing. But often it doesn’t bring you new energy.
Taking time to reflect and to consciously nurture yourself will bring you new focus and energy.
And you can totally do this while being in lower gear. It doesn’t mean you cannot slow down for a couple of weeks.
How do I do this?
I take stock and really reflect on the past six months, using these questions below. I block time in my calendar to take stock and reflect on the past six months. To evaluate, to celebrate, to refocus. That is my first step.
These are the questions I use, and you can use as well. Just block an hour in your calendar, take a pen and paper and write down your answers to these questions!
The past 6 months:
- What are you proud of?
- What was your biggest success (according to your own definition of success).
- What gave you the most energy in the past 6 months?
- What went different than planned/ expected/ hoped, but allowed you to learn the most?
To keep & to let go:
- What do you want keep or to do more of?
- What do you want to let go or stop doing?
The next 6 months:
- Imagine it is December 31 2019. You look back on the past months. What do you want to be able to say that has become true for you?
- How do you want to feel in the coming 6 months?
- In what way do you want to make a difference in the coming 6 months? *)
*)This should be about something that you are really enthusiastic about yourself!! Not something your head tells you is REALLY important or sensible to do. It should be something that makes you excited, energized, smile (and maybe makes you feel scared as well). Something that makes you feel that you are really making the contribution you would love to make.
I have already written down a big part of my answers, but I am still letting questions 7,8, and 9 simmer a bit longer. Next week I am meeting my dear business buddy and fellow coach Esther. We will share our answers to these questions. Doing it together will add an extra layer of celebrating the things we are proud of and have learned in the past 6 months. Talking about our plans for the second half of the year will help to sharpen our ideas and plans and will keep us accountable. It will help us to sharpen our plans, or bring additional ideas.
The second thing I do: planning how to consciously nurture myself in my work during the summer.
Summer 2018 for me was about working really focused for a couple of days on creating materials for a course. Writing workbooks, exercises, reflection questions. Really working focused on this for a couple of days was so energizing. In only 4 days I made so much progress on something that really mattered to me and would be of value to my clients.
Making progress on things that really matter to you is a big energy booster! Even if you work on it for just 1 day!
This year my nurturing will look different. It will be mostly focused on consciously taking time and taking action to inspire myself.
- I will read one (maybe more than one) book to bring me further in my own personal development. Which probably will lead to some experimenting, new blog ideas etc.
- I will take time to generate ideas for a new course (generating ideas is really inspiring for me)
- Taking a short-one day online course that will inspire me in my entrepreneurship.
These actions will bring me new ideas, spark my creativity, will satisfy my hunger for learning. It will also allow me to stop and play with the kids, enjoy the sun and work in a slow relaxed way. Really nurturing!
So what are you going to do to nurture yourself during the quieter summer weeks at work?
I would love for you to share your nurturing actions with me! This will inspire me and if I get a lot of ideas could share a list of these actions in a later blog.
As always, I love hearing your reactions, thoughts and ideas!
Wishing you lots of focus and energy for the second half to the year!
P.s. Do you want to use the summer period to think about your next career step? To get clearer on what you would really love to do next? My new video training on the Myths of finding your passion might give you some much needed inspiration for that. Watch the training here.