Listening to the Radio today the Arcade Fire song “Everything Now” stopped me in my tracks. How many of us are wrapped up in this pressure-laden world of clients needing “everything now”, where we’re on call 24/7 because we’re accessible to them, and the world, anytime, anywhere? All the positives we gain from modern day gadgets and gizmos aside, it still reminded me of times during my career as a barrister when I would get calls from the clerks who managed my diary, bookings and work load at the most inopportune moments – on a long weekend to The Charles Bridge, Prague; just as I checked my baggage on to the airport conveyor belt to start a long haul flight with a plea that I do some urgent work that somebody wanted “yesterday”; the mobile voicemail picked up whilst in my bikini/ sarong on a Thai beach that insinuated the legal world might collapse if I didn’t attend to an inaccessible email due to my remote location and intermittent wi-fi. Really? It was common parlance when making travel/ holiday arrangements, “Yes, Miss, but are you “Away”? or “Away, Away?”. No really, I am AWAY!! Is there no entitlement these days to an uninterrupted break?!
Phone: Friend or Foe?
What about the feeling when you set off in your car, even on a short journey, only to discover you have left your mobile at home, which feels like it might as well be your right arm severed. What will you do if you break down, get a flat tyre, run out of petrol? How will you check those emails, when you eventually reach your destination, to answer those Flagged important messages? How will you manage? How will you cope? Gone are the days of snail mail, a 10p coin in the back pocket and, dare I say it, our own grey cells to recall emergency numbers to phone, in the lucky event you might find a functioning phone box nearby.
And then there is the way we converse with each other these days. The pressure we put ourselves under when expressing normal, everyday civility. “Good Morning!” “Is it?”; “How are you?” “Busy”… We make jokes at our inability to see the positives in the simple, every day, and wear “busy-ness” like a badge of honour for fear that people might somehow think less of us, or we might collapse without a purpose if we take a moment to reflect and go at a slower pace than a bluebottle on speed. Take a moment to try it: improve your self-talk and say out loud “I am very well” instead of “I’m busy”. Can you feel the difference? Simple but effective, I find.
Switch off to Switch on
Putting all of this in to the coaching context, ask yourself, “When did you last, or ever, have the opportunity to switch off the gadgets and devices, and get focused on you – just you, or your business- in an impartial yet challenging support-setting, to think, visualise and gain clarity about what you want as an individual or in business, how you will achieve it, and take positive action steps to do so?” Are you a business professional who would welcome the space to celebrate your strengths, anticipate and overcome obstacles, increase your confidence and motivation to get the desired results, and welcome an increase in productivity and a diminution of stress? Would you welcome a calm, safe “moment” to assist you move in business from where you currently are, to where you want to be, more quickly and effectively than if you act alone? If that is you, or indeed anyone you know, then please get in touch. I look forward to working with you.
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