For everything there is a season,
A time for every activity under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1
As a farm girl from Northwest Ohio, I’m deeply attuned to the seasons of planting and harvest. I understand the time needed for a plant to develop the fruit of the harvest.
The concept of seasons was the genesis of this blog series on rhythms of productivity.
Coming Down from Busy
My friend was coming off of a VERY busy season of life. Not only was she busy in her work, but she and her husband were finishing up a remodel of their new home, having moved from their temporary apartment into the house a few weeks earlier.
They’d overseen much work done by the contractor, picked out faucets, paint colors, tile, flooring, bathroom fixtures, kitchen sink….and on and on. Then they’d constantly shifted things in the garage to get to the only working refrigerator! They had boxes in every nook and cranny that wasn’t under construction. Life was Crazy! And on top of this, work was crazy!
We’ve all been there….whether moving, planning a wedding, starting a new business, the crazy level of detail and coordination has consumed us. And then it’s over.
We have celebrated the wedding….the business is up and running….and we’ve settled in after the move or the vacation is over. We go from 100 miles per hour to keep it up to standing still, or so it seems. And we don’t know what to do.
A Mindset Shift
That was the situation my friend found herself in on a late summer Monday morning. As we talked, she realized how busy her life had been and how long she’d kept that very rushed pace. She also realized how unsustainable that pace was for her over time. A season of a few weeks or a few months of this pace is doable, but eventually you have to catch your breath.
Season Shifts are Challenging
Occasionally we get that gradual off ramp from high productivity, but the change of season was abrupt for my friend. There was no gradual transition to a slower pace.
When change happens abruptly, it is jarring. It hits hard. Transitioning your mindset from a season of growth and harvest to a season of fallow is challenging.
As we move into the holiday season of Thanksgiving and Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s, retailers are gearing up for their busiest season of the year. They’ve been planning for this season for months.
All organizations have seasons of some kind. There are busy times and slow times. As a leader, how do you manage the seasons of your work and your personal life?
Anticipating Season Shifts
Have you stopped to consider the season in your life, both professionally and personally? Take time to consider how seasons at work, in your family and individually impact you. It will pay big dividends. It allows you to:
- Manage expectations – yours and those around you.
- Plan ahead so you aren’t overwhelmed in the busy times.
- Leverage your down time for rest and renewal, intentionally slowing down – maybe even taking a vacation or sabbatical before the next busy season arrives.
What season are you in today? How can you use the seasonality of your work to your advantage? Share with us in the comments.
©Rhonda Peterson 2018, All Rights Reserved