It’s a hectic time of year, but it’s also a hectic life.
Training participants are stressed. Managers are in situations requiring skills that are missing among their repertoire. Executives have taken on more than is realistic. And everyone shoulders on.
The desire to attain the fantasy rather than accept reality is a time honored tradition. After all, with a mouse click I can find 1065 quotes about dreams (CLICK HERE) and each one inspires us to keep the dream alive, dream big, and if we do, our dreams can comes true. In fact many WILL come true.
And yet –
Magical thinking doesn’t pan out for most of us. So if you are working 50 or more hours a week and going at 180 mph, hoping that tomorrow will be the day when something has magically changed, I have a suggestion.
S.A. L.A. – Stop And Look Around. Stop doing and get away from the desk, screen and phone. Go out and walk around. Talk to people you see and ask them how things are going. Connect with people in a real-time, in-person way. Listen to the answers you get and then ask a follow up question. Follow up an initial inquiry with the invitation to ‘tell me more about that.’
I know there are lots of things that need to get done waiting for you back at the desk/screen/phone and trust me when I tell you that they will still be waiting for you when you get back to your desk because no one will be doing it for you while you are gone!
However, Looking Around is part of the joy and purpose of working with others. Not connecting in mandatory meetings or the coffee maker – but relating and learning if what you are doing in the MOST important use of your time. Perhaps you can be a resource for someone. Perhaps they can be a resource for you.
Sometimes, just taking a S.A.L.A. break alone can provide food for thought. Asking yourself if the task you are working on is the most important thing that has to get done today and allow for a re-focus of proprieties and an alignment of action with objectives.
It’s ironic how I am often reminded of S.A. L.A. at the times of the year when I am busy, things are hectic, and my clients are operating on their ‘last nerve.’
Make this a daily, weekly, monthly practice and the topic of conversation can change to something more interesting.