Sometimes Friday sneaks up on you, and sometimes you crawl your way to it, one miiiiles-long day at a time. By the time that whistle blows at the end of the day, you’re tapped out. Maybe that feels good, like a job well done, or maybe, it just feels tired.
It’s really a question of how you feel about your effort.
Was it well-spent, and productive? Or was the amount of ground you covered not quite aligned with the amount of sweat you spent on it?
Wheel-spinning is exhausting, right? On the other hand, effort that results in something that you wanted to achieve might leave you tired, but also satisfied, which in turn, recharges you a lot faster.
This weekend, your “no-fail” mindfulness challenge is about finding the space to turn inward to be able to notice the distinction. It starts with where you are right now.
As you wrap up your Friday, find a second for yourself. Actually, find a few minutes if you can. Even if your day is slowing, it may be hard to actually stop, but try. Close your eyes, or at least look away from the screen(s). Take a few deep inhales, and exhales. Feel your feet on the floor, and your hands on your lap. Come into the room, and out of your plans for later on. Then, ask yourself a simple question:
“How was your week?”
It’s ok if it takes a minute. At first, you’re probably like, “Fine, thanks.”
But then… “No, really, how. was. your. week?”
You already know the answer. It’s directly related to the answer to “How do you feel right now?”
If you’re drained and you can’t even really figure out why, then you’ve probably been spending energy either inefficiently, or in ways that aren’t aligned with your priorities or values. It might just be one, or the other, or both.
In business terms, you you either have technical issue, or a strategic issue. I mean, I’m personally hoping you’re feeling pretty good right now, so you can ignore this – for now. But, you know, sometimes it’s nice to follow along regardless. You never know when you’re gonna want a little perspective down the road.
Back to the troubleshooting here. If you’re tired because you didn’t use your time well, or got stuck on something you could have let go of, or paused to reframe, then that’s your lesson. Acting on it next time is a whole other decision, but having the awareness is way more than half the battle.
If you’re feeling a bigger misalignment with where and how you’re expending your effort, then your mindfulness challenge has a part two ahead – and maybe more than that. However, you’ve also crossed the hurdle of awareness, and beginning to get real about where you’re stuck. Getting out of it and finding alignment may take time, patience and focus, but if you are willing to stay in the work, and not run away from discomfort, you will find your way to where you need to be.
You are, and will remain, your own biggest challenge, and most rewarding work – if you are willing to take on the project. But if you won’t, who else will?
Photo credit: Jess Watters