Another short episode: In this world where we’re always on, I’m learning that sometimes, we need to take out all the non essentials and start over again – and give ourselves some room to breathe and focus on the things that are most important to us.
Welcome to the Collaboration Superpowers podcast. My name is Lisette and I’m interviewing people and companies doing great things remotely. Welcome to another episode, everyone. Today I’m going to try another short-form version of the podcast, similar to what I did about two weeks ago with the when in doubt, reach out episode. Once again, I want to share with you something that I’ve learned in the process of taking the month of April off to work on the book. I hope you enjoy it. Just like the time I went completely offline for 10 days, doing something a little extreme has given me some unexpected insight. I took the month of April off and decided not to schedule any meetings, interviews, presentations, or workshops. I needed to focus on finishing my book. I said no to everything that didn’t directly relate to writing the book or earning money. And for the things that were in the grey area, I outsourced the decision to my business coach and my boyfriend. And it was hard. I usually have at least three to four hours’ worth of video meetings per day, everything from interviews to webinars to product demos, all kinds of virtual teas, coffees, and other adult beverages. They’re all great networking and knowledge gathering but also very distracting for my supposed number one goal, which is to finish this book. It’s been exactly two weeks now since I have gone meeting-free, and I’ve learned two things. The first, there’s no way I’m going to be able to finish this book in April as originally, delusionally planned. The second thing was that taking everything out of my schedule like that gave me room to breathe. And oh, man, I didn’t expect it to be so good. The first week, it was completely open, no meetings at all, just clear days stretched out in front of me, waiting for me to dive in. And the feeling was good, of course. But I also panicked a few times. I genuinely worried that if I throttle back on all of my marketing and networking, I would lose valuable opportunities. I also felt like I wasn’t doing real work, unless I had a bunch of stuff packed in. That was interesting insight. In the second week, the panic subsides a bit. I remind myself that there’s a constant stream of ideas and opportunities in the world. I can dip back into that stream and grab one at any time. It’s okay to slow down and focus for a while. I must admit, I am more and more attracted to minimalism and living simply. In fact, I live smaller than almost anyone I know. When I moved from the U.S. to the Netherlands six years go, I took one suitcase with me, and I haven’t really collected all that much more since then. But that was all physical stuff. What was actually cluttered was my time. I’m really experiencing the importance of having room to breathe. It’s weird. There seems to be more time somehow. And I’m learning that the real work is the thinking and not just the doing. Don’t get me wrong. It is good to go [inaudible – 03:48] to the wall sometime. It’s totally exhilarating in the right circumstances. The trouble is it’s hard to remember to throttle back again, at least for me. And I suspect it’s the same for many of you too. In this world where we’re always on, I’m learning that sometimes we need to take out all the non-essentials and start over again, give ourselves some room to breathe, and focus on the things that are most important to us.
Thanks for listening, everyone. It would be so great if you could leave us a review on either iTunes or Stitcher. I know it’s a bit of a process, but it really helps us out. If you want to learn more about how you can work from anywhere, visit collaborationsuperpowers.com. Next week we’re back with another great interview with Chris Jankulovski. He’s the CEO and founder of remotestaff.com.au. He’s based in the Philippines and is an outsourcing specialist. So we talk about the benefits of that and what it takes to make it work. So stay tuned for that one. A huge thanks to Nick, the awesome podcast monster for encouraging me to keep this podcast weekly. You can hire him to make you a star at podcastmonster.com. And a huge thanks to you, the listener, for listening because the numbers on the podcast are going up and up and up. And that’s very encouraging, of course. And it keeps this podcast a priority. So until next time, everybody, be powerful.
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