Why the way I swim is similar to the way I work

I love swimming in the mornings. There is something quite meditative about slipping into  beautiful clear water at an obscenely early time and gliding through the liquid.It is also a nice reflective time for me, as I set some intentions and experience gratitude (or have a satisfying rant to the universe if needed :-)).
There are a couple of things about the way I swim which I think are a nifty wee metaphor for how I work.
# 1 - I have found a way to do it better
For years I was a very slow swimmer and never improved my speed. Quite recently I observed my 8 year old swimming, and noticed he took a breath on every four strokes. I always breathed on every second stroke, so I decided to take instruction from Lucas and do it his way. Not only did my speed improve dramatically but it also really helped my breathing management, and I think it really sets me up for the day. So often we just do things the same way, and not think about it, but it really does pay to have the enquiry 'could I do this a better way'?
# 2 - I play hard out, and then pace myself
I will swim quite intensely freestyle for five lengths, and then on the sixth length I use breaststroke. It really helps me to mix it up and I can go hard for those few lengths, knowing I will get a wee bit of respite with my breaststroke length.  This is the way I like to operate in my business.
I now like so many mums and dads carve my year up into terms. My approach is to play full on during the term, then take time off in the school holidays to be with my family. Just like when I am swimming, I can look forward to the slower pace when I am in the more intensive working period.
A wonderful fellow coach, Britta Christiansen and I were talking the other day and she was telling me about her four months on, one month slower approach to work. This resonated with me, and she also feels that you can maintain a busier pace better when you know you have some breathing space coming up.
Can you think of where you might be able to chunk your time so you can handle the pace? It might even come down to your daily or weekly schedule. Recently I made the choice to not work every second Monday. My little guy Cam is about to start school and we have a wonderful playdate together on Mondays ( I am still debating whether I keep that day off when he goes to school, my instinct is saying 'yes please'!)

Posted on May 18, 2015 .