I'm working from a coffee-shop today. For many reasons, this is a big deal for me. I'm sure I'll share some of those reasons in a future post, but for today I want to share this.
Working from a coffee-shop is one of the ways in which I'm changing up my usual way of doing things. While there are many wonderful things about my usual way of working, I also have a distinct feeling that my comfortable ways of operating each day may also be stunting some growth.
So, out the door I go. Off to try a new approach.
Since today is day one of working under new conditions, there's quite a few things to adjust to. The most challenging of which is the noise inside the shop.
Anticipating this would be the case, I came prepared with my headphones and my "thinking cap" (my lululemon slouchy grey and black skull cap that when I place upon my head allows me to more easily transition into work mode.) Yeah, I know. It's kind of a weird little ritual, but when there's something important we're trying to achieve we've got to be willing to experiment with weird little rituals that help us set the conditions to succeed.
With my headphones in place and my thinking cap on, the background noise of the shop was still bothering me. I'm not one of those people who can sit immersed in noise and not be distracted.
I'm staring at my computer screen trying to write notes for a client and it just ain't flowing.
How am I going to help myself here? I thought to myself. I wonder if there's some kind of app or website that will allow me to plug into some white noise so I can focus?
With one swift Google search I found myself on asoftmurmur.com. Ambient sounds to wash away distraction. My new favorite website. As I'm writing this note to you I'm enjoying the sounds of rain, thunder and waves. It's seriously awesome.
I hadn't even planned on writing you this note, but after one small gesture of helping myself, the inspiration presented itself.
If I had sat at that coffee shop frustrated that I was distracted and that my work wasn't flowing; if I had tried to force myself to produce under those circumstances I'm pretty sure the result would have sucked.
Instead, I used my frustration as an opportunity to free myself. We free ourselves not by getting mad at ourselves that we are frustrated or that our work is feeling sub-par. We free ourselves by accepting that we are frustrated and then asking:
What's the most loving gesture I can make from here?
We think the value is in the result, so we pressure ourselves to achieve. This method seldom works. Focus instead on the conditions you need to inspired, energized, plugged in and good. You might be surprised at what happens as a result.
THINK ON THIS:
1. What's one thing you'd like to do differently this week to see what happens as a result?
2. Where are you frustrated, right now, today? Name it specifically. Then ask, "What's the most loving gesture I can make from here?" Sometimes the most loving gesture we make has a lot to do with permission to show up differently.
3. How willing are you to step a bit outside your usual ways?
As always, please don't take my word for any of this; go see for yourself. If you have questions, feel free to ask. This is why I'm here.