One thing at a time

I’ve been back in the land of Bird for four weeks now, and I’ve noticed a few things about the way I work.

Historically, I have taken a ‘breathing is optional’ approach to work, jumping from one thing to another, trying to action multiple tasks at once, and work reactively. For many years I’ve associated working with being in a high stress mode, it is of course the reason I set up Bird, I could see that approach leads to burn out. I’ve fallen foul of it a few times in my career where I’ve ended up having to step away or leave roles in order to restore a sense of peace inside me. 

Coming back into work in January, I could see and feel that a few of those old habits were still there. I noticed myself working, even typing, really quickly. I could feel my sympathetic/fight or flight nervous system clicking into gear. It felt like I had an army sergeant in the back of my mind, shouting at me to do ‘more, more, more’ as if my survival depended on it. 

Going through cancer and treatment brings you into your body like nothing else, I notice a lot now about how I’m feeling and what’s happening in there, and I have noticed repeatedly this speedy approach to work. And I’ve had to intervene, my inner adult/CEO has had to step in and slow me down. I’ve remembered that working in a considered, slow, one thing at a time way is the ONLY way for me right now. In reality, my survival depends on me working in that way. Working slowly and methodically, taking breaks, responding when I have the time to, scheduling with space around appointments are the ways I stay well whilst I work, they are the ways I work in a sustainable, and ultimately resilient way. 

As I lean into this approach I can feel deep breaths re-enter my body, I have the space and time to really enjoy and feel gratitude that I get to do this awesome work. I feel like I’m making better decisions about the future of Bird. I feel like more creative ideas are coming up. And it feels utterly wonderful. 

Is there a way you can slow down today?

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