Friday 31 July 2020

Routines are good when they become rituals we love

Listen to the podcast version of this post

In writing my Heart-leadership book this week my attention in part was on a section in the Focus chapter of the book where I explore pre-action rituals. Today’s podcast is part of what I wrote.

Most people working from home are in a routine now. Routines are good when they become rituals we love and that bring us joy. They’re bad when they become ruts we unconsciously fall into.

In all of my work I have pre-action rituals. In the Heart-Leadership book I explore 18 of my regular actions. These are appointments, blogging, helpful conversations, creating online courses, decision-making, eating, emails, Events I’m hosting, Events where I’m a participant, Exercise, Meditation, Podcasting, Researching, Silence, Social media, Videoing, Writing, Publishing.

Some examples of my rituals are:

  • Heart-focused meditation before each action.
  • Deliberately turning my attention to the desires and expectations of the person or people I will be meeting with, sharing, having a conversation, whatever.
  • Taking a moment to be grateful following each action.
  • For major decisions I follow the decision-making process. For every-day decisions warm heart, clear head and a feeling this is the way forward are my criteria. If there is any lack of clarity then I follow the FREEZE-FRAME technique from the people at HeartMath
  • Carol and I shop for locally grown fruit and vegetables together which is another ritual that adds to the overall experience.
  • For Event I lead, I have pre, during and after actions that I know add great value to participants.
  • Exercise. Carol and I walk every day rain, hail or shine.

Below are my broader daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly rituals. Please download as a PDF.

My favourite insight into rituals comes from the 19th century humourist Josh Billings who said “Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability of sticking to one thing until it gets done.”

Of course postage stamps may very soon be a relic of the past, nevertheless the principle of sticking to one thing until it gets done is timeless.

Health challenges have meant having to change my lifestyle and work habits in order to maximise my energy levels.

I have reduced my working hours considerably from 250 hours a month to around 100 hours a month. Not surprisingly to me I have not lost any productivity, am doing my best work, and I am providing better value to my clients. This is possible because of the rituals I follow enable me to maintain my rhythm.

My heart beat is slow. It’s been this way since birth. I do my best work when I am slow and considered. This doesn’t mean that I cannot act fast when needed rather it means that flow happens when I am slow and considered.

Recently I had to have an ultra-sound of my heart done to check on possible side affects from the drugs I have to take to keep my melanoma at bay. It was incredible to watch my own heart beating and the experience gave me a great reminder of my natural rhythm.

What is the pace of your heart beat?
How will you change your rituals to match your circumstances or turn your routines into rituals you love?

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

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