This is an important leadership lesson for both experienced managers and first time managers. Productivity is not king, or rather, it’s not the only thing we should be chasing.

Rechargeable batteries – that’s the “self care” metaphor lately. That we need to recharge.

But even the best battery can’t be infinitely recharged. There comes a point when you can’t recharge it anymore.

And people are the same. We not end up completely useless or physically dead, but that spark in us might die out. You know the one I mean: the one that helps us create energy when we’ve run out of steam. That spark that shines in our eyes (albeit dimly) even when we slither down onto the sofa in a blanketed heap at the end of a hard but satisfying week.

That spark needs taking care of. And it’s biggest threat? That alluring call for perpetual productivity.

And yet, we expend energy, and then we do need to recharge. Self care and preventative maintenance are important.

So here’s a question to create a shift in this dynamic.

When you are recharging – what are you recharging for?

If it’s just to get back to work, then we are no better than hamsters on a wheel.

How about doing things in a way that doesn’t deplete?

We can’t all change what we do. This might sound weird coming from a leadership and life coach – I’m supposed to tell you that anything is possible, and that you can have the perfect life, right?
I do believe that so much more is possible for you than you can imagine. I fully support you: if you can, then change what you do.
But if you aren’t there yet, if you don’t see it, I’m not going to try to persuade you in this post.

This post is about something else: resisting the call to perpetual productivity.

Here’s the focus:

We can all change the way we do things.

This is an example that has dramatically changed my own life.
Walking to catch that train. We can rush to make that walk in 8 mins.
Or we can stroll and do it in 11 mins.
Do you really need to shave off that 3 mins every time?

You can focus on your destination and push to see how fast you can make that distance.
Or you can be tense and thinking about all the stuff you need to do.

You can also take in the scenery, and think about nothing.
Just relax. Enjoy being alive. Notice the colours or that funny patch of grass you’ve never noticed before. You know, let your mind just pootle as your body moves gently.

It will take you pretty much the same amount of time (I’ve timed it). This slow down has a very small change to the travel time, but it creates a transformational shift in your experience of life.

This kind of change in the way we do things doesn’t just recharge our batteries, it can be an activity in our day that doesn’t deplete our energy stores.
Oh we all need more of our daily activities to be things that do not deplete our energy. Can I get an amen? True dat. (or any other affirmation question or statement of your choice ;0)

If we can have more activities that don’t deplete us, then we won’t need to recharge.

Then we won’t hit that recharge limit so fast.

We can keep the spark.

This is part of my Thought Piece Series where I explore topics related to leadership and provide both answers and questions. My intention is to start meaningful conversations that help us move forward. Want to connect? Click here.