Feeling like waves of work come at you all the time? Learn to surf through your day with these productivity tips.
This summer felt like the best of two worlds. My work as a Productivity Coach was in high demand. Then a side gig opened up. Gnome Surf needed surf instructors for their program. This organization works with children and adults and teaches them to surf and get out in the water. Their specialty is working with children who are neurodiverse, but they work will all kinds of kids and adults.
The kids I worked with this summer were phenomenal. They had great experiences that I’d love to share because I think they apply to business and work.
Move Beyond Your Fear-Emma* was a shy and quiet 6-year-old. Her Mom was concerned she may not like surfing. Emma was hesitant and first. We both walked into the water and didn’t get past her knees; she wouldn’t go any further. As I rule, I don’t push kids to go far outside their comfort zone into fear, but I did ask her if she could take 3 steps. Just three steps towards the ocean, into the deep. She looked up at me, a little scared. Each time we took a step we counted-one, two, three. After several trips catching waves Emma was waist deep then chest high. She moved beyond her fear, had fun, and giggled her way to shore.
You don’t have to go in over your head but what steps can you take to move out of your comfort zone?
‘Relax, Stay Calm’-Lucas’s mom mentioned to me that he had gotten anxious once school closed because of the lockdown. They hoped that surfing would help with his anxiety. We went out in the water, he listened as I told him to get on the board and lay on his back. This is not normally how you get on a surfboard. To catch waves, you ride in on your stomach and pop up to stand. I held the surfboard and Lucas* got on his back and laid down. Once he positioned himself so that he was balanced we did some deep breathing techniques-deep breath in through the nose, fill up the lungs, and out through mouth making the shape of an ‘O’. When you do this your breathing naturally slows down and helps you relax. Even after breathing Lucas was still stiff on the board. When I asked him why, he said he couldn’t relax, he was afraid a wave would come over him. I told him he had to trust that I would take care of him, that I would watch for the waves and make sure that didn’t happen. All he had to do was relax and breathe. I said ‘Relax, stay calm, trust in me’. And he did, his arms fell to his sides and off the board and began floating in the water. Lucas remained there a few minutes and said he felt calm.
With the days stressors you may need to take a break, relax, and breathe, trust that everything is going to be ok.
Be watchful-With tropical storms coming up the coast we had a few days with some bigger waves than usual. I had a little boy, Jack*, who said the waves were too big and he was afraid. When I was learning to surf, my instructor told me, you SHOULD be afraid of the waves. The ocean is a dangerous place. You have to respect the water. And it’s what I told Jack. If we watch the waves, respect the ocean and be ok with being afraid, we will be safe. I reminded him, I will be there with you, to help you and to make sure you do a great job on the surfboard. Once he got the fundamentals down, Jack was standing up and riding wave after wave.
If you are watching your goals, your business, your finances, it might be scary but with the fundamentals of productivity you can ride the wave of focus, organization, and productivity.
You’ve got a friend in me-Mason started the lesson quiet and polite. Asking him ‘Do you want to get on the surfboard?’ He responded quietly ‘yes, please’. ‘How about we catch this wave?’ His response was ‘yes, please.’ After a few waves, Mason began to open up, spelling his friends names, even my name, smiling and laughing. We were in a lull, when the waves die down and we were waiting to catch the next set. While lying on the board, Mason turned to me and said, ‘you have a friend in me’. It melted my heart. At the end of the surf lesson I mentioned to his Mom that he had said this and we both became teary. She mentioned that she had never heard him say that before. For more pictures, go to this link.
Do you have friends and support in the work that you do? Do you have a tribe of people to help you? Reaching out and asking friends and colleagues for help can transform your business. What can you ask for today that will bring you closer to your goals?
Margo Crawford is a Productivity Coach with Wave Productivity. She works with entrepreneurs, small business owners and business professionals to help them get more focused, organized and productive in their workplace. Schedule a call today to discuss your productivity challenges.
*The names of these children have been changed for confidentiality.