Stuck? Use Movement to Gain Energy…

Being stuck is no fun. It’s easy to let the day-to-day challenges get you down and sap away your energy.

But it was on a holiday last year that I was reminded that movement creates energy, no matter how small. Any movement is better than nothing whether at home, work or even on holiday. The more movement you create, the more energy is created, which leads to more movement, and on it goes, like a flywheel.

But, if you’re really stuck then all you need to do is to start small… take the single simplest next step.

We were recently on holiday, and one day in particular reminded me of this. We were pottering around without much really to do, and we were gradually getting more irritable. My wife then suggested hiring some bikes, and strapping the kids to the back. This wasn’t the most comfortable route forward, of course, and there was plenty of moaning and whinging from my two young kids to get kitted up, strapped in to the bike seats and on our way. Even then, the bikes were wobbly, hard to control and the route was far from certain.

The initial movement meant it was easily to have the energy to overcome the initial discomfort, wobbliness and uncertainty for the first half hour, and we went on to enjoy a thoroughly brilliant ride.

1. Lean in to the uncertainty to enjoy the rewards

Stepping out of our comfort zone to create some movement in this moment was…

  • Wobbly
  • Slightly daunting as to how the kids would get on
  • Uncomfortable at first
  • Fun and fulfilling by the end

Even this simple family trip out was packed with challenges. For instance, the smallest child bike was still way too big for my daughter, so we had to change the plan and get her a child seat. My wife wasn’t confident riding with a child seat on the back either, and powered through.

Despite all the changes, uncertainty and having to adapt, we had a great time.

2. Create movement in the moment

Relating this back to a work situation, often it can feel overwhelming with the amount of tasks to do, the people to keep happy, and the stresses and demands of running the business. Sometimes I’ll get stuck and flip between things or bury my head in the sand with particular challenges.

The lesson here though is to create some movement. Any time you’re feeling stuck, overwhelmed or in a rut, just do something… anything… and it doesn’t even need to be work related. As a business owner, I find sometimes that sometimes the most productive thing I can do in a given moment is to go for a walk, get some fresh air and clear my head.

Plus, it’s easier to change course if the ship is already moving.

Pick one activity and try to solve it first, everything else can wait. And for me, the big lesson is to try and build more movement into my life each day. Whether that’s heading for a run, swim, or going out somewhere with the kids.

You can think of you’re energy levels like a heavy flywheel. When you’re stuck, it takes a huge amount of effort to get it going again, but the key is starting small.

Aim small, start small, and start creating some gentle forward movement to build on.

3. Keep the flywheel going

After this holiday, I’ll try to keep the flywheel going and build movement into my day as much as I can. It’s tricky when it feels like you have to be at a computer all but perhaps there are a few calls that could be done on the phone walking, rather than chained to Zoom.

Recognising the signs that

  • Switch one or two team calls to walking / phone meetings and lose the video
  • Head out for a lunchtime walk … no matter what…
  • Have one focus task for the day, and do this first…
  • But equally, do any task first if it gets you out of a rut (maybe something easy?)
  • Take time to reflect on the energy you’ve created and be mindful of energy/movement drains

Making movement makes energy, energy makes movement and the flywheel can begin to turn faster.

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