We make more of a difference at work when we show up fully, when we're in flow.
We engage so deeply that we lose track of time and don't notice that we're solving complex problems and making big decisions. Stuff just gets done.
And then it doesn't.
Something happens and we get overwhelmed and in spite of our busyness everything slows down.
We engage in huge amounts of thinking and analysis about what we should do and how we should be, always striving to be better, better, better.
We may be there physically but we stop showing up at work, we're lost under the weight of our thinking.
So what do we do?
We try to change our thinking, to manage it.
We replace 'negative' thinking with 'positive' thinking. And we fill up our heads with even more thinking!
We practice mindfulness. We mediate. We do yoga. We take a holiday.
Sometimes this works beautifully. And sometimes it doesn't, as our attempts to escape our thinking bind us to it even more strongly.
So what then?
Perhaps it's time to allow thinking to flow, to let it come and go, as it does naturally when we don't have too tight a grip on it.
Perhaps it's time to understand and align with the nature of thought, rather than trying to manage or control it.
Thought flows, naturally. It rises and falls away and we're not in control of it, no matter how hard we might try to be.
When we're in flow at work, we're not striving or resisting, we're available. Available to new opportunities and ideas coming into our awareness.
So how can we experience flow more frequently? How can we stop over-thinking?
Try writing with no intent, ideally for half an hour at the start of each day before you do anything else.
Don't write to solve a problem or to feel less overwhelmed or to clear your mind. Just write. Allow thoughts to come up and be expressed on the page. Don't analyse them, get out of the way and let your thinking move by itself.
Sometimes you'll end up writing a to do list. Sometimes you'll solve a problem. Sometimes you'll meander through scattered, unrelated thoughts.
Sometimes a fresh, new perspective on a seemingly persistent issue will emerge and a solution will become obvious or the issue will just fall away.
Sometimes you'll sit there in frustration, wondering why the hell you're doing this!
Just write whatever comes up. Get lost in it.
Stop trying to manage it all.
I know this may sound counter-intuitive. We like to be in control but we're not in control when we're in flow.
And when we're in flow, great things happen.