How Do You Get Results When You're In the Down Zone?
We happily post photos of our holidays, the glorious and proud moments with our children and fun times with friends. Its’ the same with business, we celebrate our wins, post our shiny images and turn on smiling faces at networking events. Let’s call this the joy of sharing and celebrating our time in the UP ZONE but there’s a little bit of life that happens outside those moments.
Although we spend most of our time in the UP Zone we can find ourselves unexpectedly careering into the DOWN ZONE with a business that needs our attention and family that needs our love and nurturing. Unfortunately, this is where I’ve spent most of my time in the past 8 weeks.
For those of you who’ve not read my previous blog, I’m about to embark on a trek in the great Australian outback. I thought the journey would start with my first step on red earth from Alice Springs but it turns out it began with the training.
I launched my training program with the same force I start all things in my life, instead of hoisting an empty backpack for my first few hikes I loaded up with 15kg and injured myself almost immediately so the past couple of months have been coloured by ….
Doctor (alternate and traditional)
Doctor (alternate and traditional)
Oh and more pain
I’ve spent countless hours with doctors or lying in bed, my mind has been hammered by pain, drugs, and mental fatigue and yet I’ve managed to keep my business ticking over. I’ve had to find strategies to work less and be more productive.
So whether we experience physical pain or a different version of the DOWN ZONE the unexpected happens and it’s useful to have a game plan, some quick tips to ensure business, family and our personal life don’t go completely off the rails.
Here’s how I worked it.
IMPORTANT VERSUS URGENT
Keep focused on the activities that move your business forward. I have a long list of all the things I haven’t done and I’m okay with it and will make amends when I’m operating in the UP ZONE again. To be productive I asked myself every day “What is the one task that will move my business forward?” and with a certain ruthless attitude I deleted everything else from my diary.
ENGAGE & INSPIRE YOUR TEAM
Working with your “A” team is always an extraordinary privilege and pleasure and it becomes even more important when you’re in the DOWN ZONE. Communicate with them empower them, give them authority and autonomy and plenty of gratitude. I also found the DOWN ZONE to be a powerful catalyst for change, improvement and getting out of the way.
LET PEOPLE KNOW
I’m a big believer in spilling the beans, let people know you’re in the DOWN ZONE but don’t go overboard. Be responsible for your communication, this is not permission to have a good old’ whinge because that’s boring and time-consuming but be open about what’s going on so people can understand, relate and even HELP!
Many times over the past weeks I felt like I was lowering my standards and accepting behaviour that would normally feel intolerable. I often felt like I was letting others down, so a daily dose of kindness to myself was imperative. People know who I am and what to expect from me. I reminded myself of this daily as a way of keeping my spirits high and a positive mental outlook.
LET GO OF HOW IT LOOKS
I’ve spent hours working from home and from my bed. I’ve worked in PJ’s and uggs. I’ve slept during the day and worked at night. I learned to let go of the usual constructs of business and be open to working in whatever way I could.
It’s now three weeks till I trek, the pain is still there and I continue to see an array of doctors but I’ll get on the plane regardless. My business is thriving, I’ve had the chance to practice ‘acceptance’ and I know I can succeed no matter whether I’m in the UP ZONE or the DOWN ZONE and I take to heart and gain confidence with that knowledge.
I’d love to know what you’ve done when unexpectedly found yourself in the DOWN ZONE. What would you add to the list?