Swimming in the ocean is a delight: the buoyancy of the salt water; the movement of the waves; the limitless expanse. The challenge is managing the transitions: getting in and getting out. And it’s a matter of timing.
The lesson from waves is that timing makes the difference between a resource and a demand.
Resiliency means making the most of the situation. No one has enough energy or power to withstand all the weight of the world. That’s not really the idea with resiliency. You don’t go looking for more burdens to carry or molehills to turn into mountains.
Making the most of any situation requires good timing.
First, know your rhythms. There are times of the day when you are more up for writing a blog, listening to a client, going for a jog, or enjoying a warm drink. Structuring your day to accommodate your rhythms will lighten the load. A given activity will have a flow. Along the same line, you likely have a pattern for dealing with deadlines: some thrive in the low pressure time well ahead of the deadline; others are at their best at the last minute.
Second, know the pace of your work. Demands tend to come in waves. One strategy is building up energy and flexible time to jump on the wave. Another strategy is to repackage a flood of demands into a series of tasks to spread over the following days. Anticipating the flow becomes a valuable skill. That skill grows with experience and it grows more quickly when you pay close attention.
Third, know the pace of the people around you. People are not all that subtle. A bit of careful observation will let you know when others are at their best. There are times when it’s a lot easier to draw others into a conversation and times when it’s a lot easier to convince others to join you for a swim. By reading the rhythm of your workgroup members, you can be a more productive member of a more productive team.
When swimming in the ocean, a wave of modest proportions can knock you over if you approach it the wrong way. But approaching it the right way, the same wave can move you towards the beach or into the water depending on which way you catch it.
Making the most of the rhythms around you is the key to productivity.