- Active Learning
My preschooler charged breathlessly into my office with a sense of purpose. She had made a startling revelation. (Risking a slight misquote) “Daddy, did you know you can wear jamas all day and then when you go to bed you don’t even have to change because you are already in jamas, because you don’t have to change jamas because no one will know and no one will see you did you know that did you know that did you know that?”
With a combination of admiration for her astute ingenuity and sanguine deflation at her accuracy, I had no choice but to agree. Yes sweetie, we could in fact wear jamas all day. (that’s Payton for “pajamas” JUST in case you’ve never been around a preschooler and speak only regular English.)
But just because we can do something doesn’t always mean we should.
We adorn the ‘jamas’ or robes (or disrobe altogether – I’m not here to judge, do your thing) before bed for a reason; because it is time for bed. We are done for the day, time to shut down the mental computer and reboot the system. If we don’t jolt the system in the morning, isn’t ‘sleep mode’ consistently engaged?
I earn much of my living on stage and am staring at 26 ‘postponed’ speaking engagements and counting with a hopeful June 11th return to the mic. Like many of you, I have earned a Jamas’ Day. Hopefully, like many of you, I wisely refuse.
If we don’t jolt the system in the morning, isn’t ‘sleep mode’ consistently engaged?
Four Ways to Stay on Point
Dress the Part – I choose to get dressed for business every morning. Shirts with collars, pants that require a belt. I prefer bright colors because, well, the world could use a little splash of color right now. Not only do I feel more ready for business and more mentally-sharp, I also stand a greatly increased success rate in flirting with my only coworker. And since she is my wife, I get the added bonus of dodging an awkward HR situation.
Find a Challenge – I have joked with 100’s of audiences that “hope is not a business strategy.” Time to heed my own advice. Will the world return to normal sometime soon? All but certainly. Does that mean we should wait around idly in the erstwhile? Heck, no! Read a book you’ve been putting off. WRITE one (I am!) Learn a new skill. Take a challenging online course. Work on your presentation skills remotely with a world-class presentation expert (beyond shameless plug!) Challenges engage the mind and ignite our passion. They give us a reason to shed the jamas by creating a sense of purpose (and eventual accomplishment) Get after it!
Be Mindful of What You Look For – No matter what we look for in life, we generally find it. Seeking reasons to be scared, sad, regretful, angry, and frustrated? There’s no short supply right now. I guarantee you will be successful in your search. Prefer reasons to be grateful, excited, optimistic, happy and fortunate? They are EVERYWHERE. I guarantee at no point in your life will you look back on this weird month and think, “man I really regret the time I spent creating/bettering myself/learning/connecting with my family/etc.” We are in the midst of an unprecedented time of opportunity for growth and connection. Choose to embrace it eagerly.
Balance the Force – I’ve always bemoaned needing more ‘time’ to create. Now? Infinite time. Nothing but time. Endless, open-ended, sometimes-terrifying stretches of TIME… And if you are hardwired like me, you already know entrepreneurs and successful people can ALWAYS think of one more possible task. Without the time constraint, it can be really hard to just…STOP.
Build better work-life balance by setting parameters and creating a daily/weekly/monthly goals. Build a “Big Board” that identifies WHY all the smaller goals exist and what the reward is at the end of the rainbow. Cross each accomplishment off the list and celebrate. Before bed (after you get on your jamas, of course) make a quick list of the things you will tackle tomorrow. Then make like Elsa, and simply Let it Go (perhaps I do need out of this house…)
Chris Scheeren has spent the bulk of his adult life empowering people to be the best versions of themselves every time they speak in public. He has reached over half a million people across the globe, from Fortune 500 leaders to professional sports teams and the United States Army War College. He is a way better parent than this article’s pictures indicate. For more info about Chris & Empowering Voices learning programs, visit here.