It’s hard to convey how magical it’s been playing ‘switching states’ these last couple of days. I have used my (thinking ‘new’ brain) imagination to put myself in the state of this array of wonderful roles and characters, just lightly and playfully as I go about the weekend. All of them soothe and ease and reassure the old, feeling brain. It’s amazing how pliable the mind is when you set a fun imaginary framework for it to expand in to.
G and I were out walking on Saturday and we came across a family at a footpath crossroads. The young son exemplified this capacity delightfully:
Boy (c8yo): Let’s take that path down the hill!
Parents: No, we’ll keep to the top path for now.
Boy (grumpily): Awwww, I wanted to go down the hill….
Also boy, 20 seconds later to his sister, animatedly: Yessss! We’re mountaineers on top of the mountain. Let’s go!!
That instant state switch, with imagination as the catapult forward.
So, here are some of the characters whose cloak I put on playfully, for 10 seconds to 4 minutes each, I’d say:
- The girls who knows what to do
- The relieved relative
- The intrepid explorer
- The brave ally
- The good daughter
- The girls who dances the tango
- The queen of all she surveys
- The warrior queen / king (playing with the masculine is fun too)
- The noble leader
- The medicine women in the jungle
- The singer in the arena stadium
- The principal ballerina
What does the state-switching achieve?
- No rumination. At all. The mind is otherwise occupied. The imagination is redirected, deflected and repurposed.
- A constant up-shifting of the feeling state. It really is about trying on the next good-feeling or fun-seeming cloak
- The dawning realisation we can pick our state at any blinking second of any blinking day. We need not be swept along by apparent external conditions
- We can choose states which activate and encourage and ameliorate the Soothing-Affiliative-Calming system… at any time.
So what next? I need, right now, today… (breathe…) to apply these insights to my work life. It’s Monday. I woke up with complete adrenal fry about the week ahead. How have I got back to this?!?! I am developing such good MEDS protocols… and yet I continue to puff up with cortisol weight. I think it’s down to work. So, that the next focus in this wellbeing project.
It’s one thing to play ‘switching state’ when out and about doing fun weekendy things. But what about in the 9-5 of the Monday to Friday (Fry-day)? Out on the savanna with the lions and zebras? Socorro!
‘Socorro’? Are you the drowning person, or the lifeguard?
Good call. Very good call. It’s my choice, innit? That said, I don’t want to be either victim or rescuer in some inner drama triangle…
Oh lordy, I’m overwhelmed by ‘to do’ items for work. Why did I let myself get so bombarded? Some of it is still pro bono… and I’m jazzhanding again….
Slow right down. Here’s the learning.
- TIME. You have limited time for work: time is finite, but also your body has finite capacity. And on top of this, research (as you’ve been reading in The Joy of Work) shows that after peak work hours, your return on investment of time worked in is minimal or even negative (especially if you’re running towards burnout) .
- WORK. Work is about ‘earning money’ here, not about leisure, socialising, social-climbing, gaining admiration, making friends, attaining status – which are separate activities. And ‘earning money’ is purely about ‘adding value’ and ‘giving service’. That is what people pay money for.
So what is your personal equation for Minimum Time / Maximum Service?
Woah… Interesting. I like this. Following this would force me to make some decisions about what I do and how I use my time…
In ‘The Joy of Work’ Bruce Daisley suggests that 40 hours output per week is the maximum for productivity.
“A useful thought exercise is to treat work as forty one-hour blocks spread across a week. You might choose to use up a couple of those blocks on a Saturday morning working on something that’s been hanging over you for a while. The quid pro quo for that might be to leave the office early on Wednesday to see the matinee of a movie.” (The Joy of Work p56)
I’ve been looking at 12 – 6pm working hours for a while.
That’s still 30 hours a week. We’re sorry to let you know: that’s too much for your energy and health levels at the moment. At least, it is while your work still looks like 70% hustling / 30% service delivery.
Ooh! Biting stuff… But true.
Here’s a thought experiment. What would change about your work for it to become 30% hustling / 70% service delivery?
Across how many hours?
Ok. So, 6 hours admin and marketing and busdev. And 14 hours paid client work. Earning?
ABC per week.
Aha. So, £XX per hour x 14 hours of client work. Or charging £YY ph, but giving 30 mins before and after an hour session.
That’s 7 sessions a week at £YY per session. At 2pm and 4pm. Remotely.
You can add training days if you want… Or just stop that now. If anything, ONE training offering only, at a good price.
The key difference between this and the past is one thing: MARKETING YOUR 1:1 SERVICE.
Ok. I really hear this. Thank you so much. I gtg, so can we just take the phrase for the day, to do with switching state workwise?
Yes. Certainly. Get ready. It’s this: ‘I am switching state workwise.’
Haha. Funny. 🙂 Thank you. Ok. Let’s go!
I am switching state workwise.
PS. Remember this?:
Morning writing, afternoon remote casework.
And thus, being able to work from anywhere in the world.
Oh yes! Good. Ha. Well. Then we’re all agreed.
(from DoDs 01jun19)