On managing the traffic jams in your head

When you want to drive in the fast lane and get into a traffic jam on the German autobahn on a Friday afternoon it can feel like a bonding experience among a nation dedicated to the speed of travel. On the radio, the announcer only always referred to the “long traffic jams”. They did not even have the time to mention the shorter ones. It took me seven hours to get from Frankfurt to Zurich, including a break, and alternative options such as train and airplane seemed to be even more complicated.

I’m telling you this because I felt that driving on the German autobahn is a metaphor for our current lives. We rush everywhere and try to squeeze more into every small hole of time. When we get a chance to have a zip of water or eat a good dinner we are still driving in our heads. We already think about the next meeting, presentation or client.zip of water or eat a good dinner we are still driving in our heads. We already think about the next meeting, presentation or client.

With all of our tools, apps, and navigation devices we give up control over our lives. We put it into the hands of technology and robots, and most of us lost touch with what really matters to us. During the drive, my colleague and I had rain, a huge rainbow, a sunset in France with dark clouds over Germany. We had a productive conversation and solved issues of work and life together, and we laughed about the craziness of our modern life.

I was tired and just wanted to get home. When I finally arrived, I had a good chat with a client, who just had a successful interview and when I hung up, I went to the kitchen, made a cup of tea and thought about this drive. Was it worth the pain? Am I feeling clogged with my overflowing task list and more and more passwords, email accounts, and queries from left and right? What helped and what can I learn from this?

 

Persistent Patience and Weekly Reflections

Right now we all move from Monday to Sunday, achieve our most important priorities at work, waste a lot of time trying to sort out tech and admin and then we rush into a weekend full of plans and ideas, and around 5 pm on a Saturday we just want to open a bottle of wine but we still have to run to the shops, wash our clothes, iron them, cook dinner, buy presents, support our children, see our families and so on..wine but we still have to run to the shops, wash our clothes, iron them, cook dinner, buy presents, support our children, see our families and so on.

We could get exhausted and burn out. Many managers do.

If you shift your attention to the beauty you will notice that at the end of the day what matters are the relationships you build, the humans you spend your offline time with and that you cherish the fact that you are alive. When you take note of the five or six-layered rainbow, the painted sunset and the colors of a canola field, then you gain hope. When you remember to breathe and drink sips of water, then you stay hydrated and fresh. When you intentionally give 1€ because the toilet cleaner is a woman and not a machine and she wishes you a good journey and a wonderful weekend, then your heart might beat a bit faster.

And when you are thankful for snuggling next to your hubby and when you know that you make a small difference in another person’s life, then you know that the ride is worth it.

Kind regards,

Angie



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Some HTML is allowed