Hustle is not the only way to get stuff done
A couple of times over the past few weeks, clients making major changes in their lives and careers have imposed a desperate sense of urgency on themselves.
In both cases they described themselves as lazy because they felt that they should be working at full capacity at all times and not taking breaks. It makes total sense to feel the intense financial pressure when changing the way you work, or to just want t get straight to it. But sometimes it is best to take a step back and make a realistic, workable assessment of the situation.
In both cases, my clients had wildly overestimated the level of urgency their situation warranted. Each was operating as though they had only a week to make huge life changes and decisions. This was causing paralysis and panic. The time that they actually had to make the change, was three and six months respectively.
These time frames offer plenty of space to go through the phases that make change stick, and to take control of the situation by planning strategically. By creating small goals within manageable timeframes, the task becomes less urgent, less onerous, and ultimately more profitable.
It is not lazy to take control of your timeframes, to lay out the steps that you need to take, to plan for lapses, to give yourself a break once in a while.
Hustle has become such a social norm that leaping into action because action is “productive” is something many of us do. But be aware that there is nothing morally or socially unacceptable about pacing yourself and enjoying the ride.
How to plan for change
1. Be realistic about your time frames.
2. Break down the steps you need to take into small, manageable chunks.
3. Plan for lapses – they are not the end of the world (if you watch telly or scroll Instagram for an afternoon, maybe that’s what you needed).
4. Celebrate your successes. (i.e. show yourself some love and give yourself a break).
5. Recognise when you use negative self-talk, and ask yourself “is this the truth or is it an unhelpful social norm that I have internalised?”.
6. Treat yourself kindly. Self-punishment is overrated as a motivator. Self-compassion is underrated.