Our inner and outer climate is challenged in the pursuit of wanting to accelerate; accelerate industries, technology, and even humans. All of this because we are striving to achieve outer success. On the course, we lost connection to our natural habitat and to ourselves. We lost our grounding as humans and as organizations. We favored rational thinking and shut down intuitive gut feelings and the messages that tugged at our heart. We focused on specifics and forgot that everything is connected. The stress we see today in all systems interrelate and influence each other – political, financial, and social eco-systems. Never have we been as exhausted, stressed, burned out, depressed, and anxious as we are today.
Finding Your Balance
Stress can be your friend. For instance, stress motivates you to complete your goals. To meet challenges and solve tasks efficiently. But the key word is balance; between action and recharge. If you lose the balance, stress becomes your worst enemy. It triggers your warning system and puts your mind and body into fight-or-flight mode.
As a result, you’re more likely to make hasty decisions based on habitual reactive responses rather than proactive and deep thinking – with data, mind & heart.
It’s calling for a shift. To more consciousness. To an inner focus to create balance in all systems. We damage our surroundings and ourselves because we lost connection and purpose. We need to reconnect – to ourselves, and to each other to create a sustainable and balanced life, communities and organizations based on the intelligence of the nature (Giles Hutchins & Laura Storm 2019). The good news in all this is that we can learn to work smarter around the stressors of life.
The Natural Rhythm of Life & Business
To create sustainable ways of leading and living, we could start listening to the ancient wisdom again. We could learn from the seasons, and the days and nights, and start working in a more cyclical manner. It’s simply not possible to constantly bloom and perform, as we currently strive to do. Everybody needs a regenerative night; our winter. We need stillness to secure growth and vitality. This flow will increase effectiveness and creativity and decrease stress and burnout (Giles Hutchins & Laura Storm 2019). And again, just consider how our inner and outer environment affect our decisions as leaders of ourselves and each other.
Try to visualize a project inspired by the cycle of the seasons.
Spring: We plant the seeds - this is a period of development, creativity, innovation.
Fall: Harvest and release.
Winter: Regeneration and reflection.
…and then a new and fresh cycle begins again.
Also, bringing the earth elements into your everyday work life and business might just add to your balance, work satisfaction and success?
Earth: Grounding, balance and logic (walk and talks, plants and natural materials in the office, take of your shoes)
Air: Creativity, learning, and communication (open windows, walks outside, seek heights, aromatic diffusers).
Water: Flow, regeneration, and purification (spending time near the ocean, river or lake, drink water, pampering baths or swimming).
At TimeXtender we strive to build a sustainable company culture with a foundation that is focused on tools and principles that help broaden our mindset and make us more resilient to the changes that life presents to us. We let people regenerate - or recharge, as we call it - in order to work more effectively and become more innovative (and successful!) both as individuals and as part of an organization. We have made room for silence, mindfulness, meditation, and reflection. Over the course of the pandemic, we have started to prioritize more time in nature by encouraging employees to to take their 1:1 meetings as walk and talks, doing small-group outings on Friday mornings with weekly team social walks, and promoting individual breaks to be used as times for reflection in nature.
Research demonstrates that when we spend time in nature without phones and computers our creativity increases by up to 50%, our stress levels decrease dramatically, and doing so enables us to envision the opportunities and problem solutions more clearly with less distractions.
Spending time in nature also boosts our immune system. Studies shows that just being able to see trees and landscape from a hospital window will help patients recover and heal faster (Giles Hutchins & Laura Storm 2019). We're taking this mindset deep into the way we do business - starting with our own team.
Working From Anywhere
In order to create even more room for regenerative self-leadership and increase the number ways of our organization can thrive and grow, we are on a journey of moving our work to wherever our employees work best. The pandemic has accelerated our mission of Working from Anywhere (WFA), making it possible for our employees to align their tasks and projects with working spaces that boost their individual cycles and flow in both their work and personal lives. We lead with results, not hours spent in the office. Approaching work with this organizational mindset also allows us to bring in the best and brightest talent from all over the globe, ensuring that our newest X-People fit our culture and the roles they're hired for in the very best ways possible. It’s new and exciting - and we are learning as we go!