Today, I want to talk to you about nothing. Nothing is on my mind because lately I’ve felt like that is what I accomplish at the end of the day. Not a thing. Do you ever have those days, weeks, or months? I’m talking about the exhausted reflection at the end of the day where you feel like the day didn’t have a single noteworthy achievement despite your best intentions. I hate this feeling. I find it overwhelming and discouraging. I gave it my all today. Why did I accomplish nothing?
We’ve been talking a lot lately about stress and mental health during our staff development times at our EcSell team meetings. One concept an outside speaker, Dr. Edan Jorgensen, recently shared with us is the idea that our actions and behaviors take two main paths: active engagement/thought and “everything else.” Our “everything else” includes things that we usually don’t need much brain effort to complete. Examples might include solving easy math problems (1+1=2), automatically turning your blinker on for a turn when we’re driving, or any other action that we can do without much thought or complex thinking. The “everything else” usually doesn’t cause us much stress or provide us opportunities for growth. We’re coasting. Does this make these actions bad? Nope. They may not be the most exciting, but they are often necessities that need to be accomplished.
As I take a second look at my day thinking about this idea of active thinking versus “everything else,” the zero tally – the nothing - evaporates. I have a long list of “everything else” that I completed. I made my kids healthy lunches for school. I cleaned out my cluttered email inbox. I helped my husband celebrate his birthday over lunch. I administered Through the Eyes of the Rep surveys. I crunched some basic data. I chauffeured to soccer practice. I participated in a staff meeting. I checked math homework. This list could go on and on, but I think you get my point. Were any of these examples earth shattering? Nah. But does that make them any less important? Most definitely not. Mount Everest may not have been climbed, but completing those “everything else” are a necessary part of being a successful team member at work and successful parent/spouse at home.
Are you ready for the take-away? When assessing the win-loss percentage for our day, we shouldn’t forget about some of the “nothings.” Don’t let yourself feel less accomplished simply because many of your actions fell into the “everything else” category.
At the same time, having growth opportunities and experiences that help you feel accomplished are important. Carving out time to try something new, investing in personal or career development, or tackling something that makes us struggle (ie. gives a sense of accomplishment at completion) is important. Some days or weeks may be cluttered with “everything else.” But, when you can, make sure to fit some complexity into your life. Wanna head start? Check out this past blog, this one, or this one to fuel some active thought.
For even more opportunities to add some quick and easy active thought fuel to your daily life, join us one LinkedIn.