I might have used that question before, now that I think about it. Oh well, this, my friends, is an update episode, and it’s coming at you a little sooner than I’d originally planned. I’m really not due for an update until July, which means I should have a whole ‘nother month to get my eating back under control before I have to tell you I did great for six weeks, then fell hard off the wagon. But, I’ve had some big shifts going on and I wanted to talk about those with you this week.
A few months ago when I did the first quarterly update of the year, I mentioned that I hadn’t planned on doing any serious changes in my work, career, or business bucket, but that some opportunities had come up that changed my mind and shifted my focus. Therefore, I’m working on a new business launch, I think I mentioned that in last week’s episode. I mentioned I was going to have a crazy-intense Teddy-Roosevelt-style planning weekend.
Which I did! I’m on the other side of that experience now and I thought I’d let you know three things: what I learned and a decision that came from it.
First, I learned that three days of non-stop deep work is mentally exhausting! By Monday evening, I was pretty much DONE. And not ready for normal life to start again on Tuesday. At that point, on Monday evening, I was regretting the intensity of the weekend and mourning the loss of a holiday. I was tired and drained. But, now that I’m a few days past the experience, I’m glad I did it that way. I got through everything I needed to…basically every action step in a six-week course completed over 2-1/2 days. Plus, I have a detailed, actionable plan for the next nine months.
I learned it helps to have your space and your tasks well organized. We can spend a lot of time messing around getting to the work…instead of doing the work if we have to figure out what to do next, what we need, where we’re headed or where we left off. Creating a plan helps significantly because you have a path mapped out. But, so does keeping track of what you’ve accomplished. When you’re stopping work for a break, or even choosing to follow a distraction or be interrupted in a normal work environment, writing down two things when you break, will help a lot. Make a note of where you are and what exactly you need to do next. When you come back to it, you’ll be able to step back into the work far more easily.
I learned that mind-absorbing breaks really help restore focus. We talked about this last month, that rest really isn’t doing nothing. And, this is one of those instances where head knowledge has now been replaced by heart knowledge. Saturday after a full day of deep work, we took the evening completely off. What my habit has been in the past is that even during downtime, I’m still thinking about my work. Even if I’m not focusing on it, my mind is still going at it sideways. So, instead of chilling at home surrounded by the work, we switched environments and went to a movie, something that would fully capture my attention and give my mind a break. And it totally worked, I was refreshed and ready to return to it the next day.
That's three tips from my deep work weekend, but we need to talk about something else, too. One of the decisions I had to make in the planning process was about this podcast. This is, unfortunately, going to be the last episode of this show. It has been tremendously fun to do for the past almost two years, but it’s time for me to make some changes in my schedule to make room for other things. Are you familiar with the Jim Collins quote, “Good is the enemy of great”? That’s where I am with this show right now. It’s good - I love doing it, I know it helps people (because y’all tell me it does). But, it has some limitations and I need to set it aside. I’ve been knowing this decision was probably going to shake out this way for about three months and I’ve been in mourning. But, in the last few months we’ve been talking about rest, and the need for space in our lives to do great work and live at our best. So, I’m closing the cover on this show. The episodes won’t go away, you can refer back to them at any time.
I discovered in the last few years that I really enjoy podcasting. I love the process, I love the result, I love that it’s helped people. So, I’m not leaving the podcasting world, but I am switching focus a bit. One of the limitations of this show is that it is not a faith-based show. While it’s not a secret that I’m a Christ-follower, the intent of the show is not to talk about my beliefs. The show is based on the questions I’m working through in my life and when I’m asking hard questions, about things like priorities, or brokenness, or aging…my belief is that the real answers lie in Christ. I’ve never felt that I wasn’t authentic in my episodes, but I do want to be able to explore spiritual truths in a deeper way.
I’ll be launching a new podcast called Words In Action at the end of July for two kinds of people:
We’ll be digging into one or two books a month, and developing a community while we think about and apply wisdom from the books to life in practical ways. I believe that words from wise authors put into action can transform lives. It will actually be very similar to this show, but focused on books rather than my own wandering attention. If you’re interested in that, I’d love for you to check it out. If you’re listening to this episode as it’s released, we’re going to do some pre-launch book reading in the community for the summer so come join me as a pre-launch founding member, I’d love to have you along. You can find that community at wordsinaction.group.
Thank you so much for listening all these months, we’ll wrap up this show with 87 episodes which is kind of astonishing for a girl who struggles with maintaining consistency in most areas of life.
I've been so grateful for your support, your responsiveness, and your willingness to come along on this journey of questions with me.
much love, michelle