LeanIn Canada, Toronto chapter, had it’s 2020 post-COVID kick-off event ‘Reboot Your 2020 Goals by Optimizing Your Capacity’ this evening with Melanie Sodtka, a truly inspirational speaker, creator and capacity creator who helps transform high achieving individuals from over-commitment and overwhelm to thrive in their current environments.
Getting back to the topic of capacity management, Melanie began the session with a simple thought..
How many times have we seen this one-liner on social media —
and thought to ourselves — I feel inadequate, am I doing enough? am I utilizing my time properly?
Obviously social media doesn’t say that Beyonce has her entire retinue to help her with the routine run-of-the-mill tasks, which allows her to concentrate on her amazing body of work.
This entire concept of Time shaming makes women (and men) feel more stressed at home than they do at work. The 24 hour onslaught of social media adds to that feeling of stress and inadequacy.
Parents are feeling stressed during COVID and the number one reason to that is —
Lack of boundaries between work & home.
Office hours merge into family time, leaving us feeling exhausted with a diminished level of well-being.
burns us, reducing our IQs and making us less optimal.
When we say Yes to something, we’re saying No to something else. Hence we tend to take on much more than we can handle, basically saying yes to everything that comes along our way, leading to overcommitment and punctuality issues. We try to overcompensate when we see our family suffering because of our ‘productive’ behaviour, however don’t let things go, resulting in alienation of our near and dear ones.
Ultimately, the quality of capacity that we allow into our lives dictates the success of that commitment.
The state of your capacity will determine the success of your commitments.
There are some tools that you can use to create capacity in your personal and professional lives —
Tool#1 — Assessment
Melanie has a capacity assessment tool on her website that helps you identify your current capacity state.
There are four capacity states —
Indulgent — highly indulgent, addiction to adrenaline, saying yes to everyone, missing deadlines, misusing energy, overwhelmed, overcommitted
Fatigued — reboot is in order, immobilized, low energy, burnout
Reserved — restorative state (you include a healthy dose of hobbies and vacation into your lives)
Maximized capacity — respectful of capacity, confident, strong, discerning of our time, the “why” is clear. This is ideally where you want to be.
I’ll be self-auditing my capacity state on this tool tonight for sure!
Tool# 2 — CCO
And then we have the concept of a —
Chieff Capacity Officer
Career — what steps can you take toward your goals and priorities, towards your professional development; what have you done to learn something new?
What can you do outside your toolbox to create hockey-stick growth, to advance your career?
Health — what are you doing on a daily basis to optimize your physical health?
Eating while working, multi-tasking and chronic late working is definitely not a good sign. It’s advisable to relish your meal in peace and take 5 min breaks every hour.
if you collect enough tomorrows, you’ll find a lot of empty yesterdays.
Intellectual — distraction is rampant in our lives and is the biggest threat to our intellectual capacity.
Nir Eyal’s book Indistractable provides an indepth look towards the hidden psychology of distraction.
What can you do daily to increase your intellectual capacity?
Emotional capacity — what can you do to care for your emotional well-being?
Getting dirty and messy with painting, gardening or taking some time off with music, reading, writing, playing with pets, traveling & practicing gratitude everyday helps reduce blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and improves wellbeing & peace.
Financial — are you spending consciously? are you keeping track of your finances to reach your personal goals?
Fun — Are you having fun in your personal and professional lives?
Tool #3 — Cake
Stages of focussing and redeploying our energies looks something like this —
Options — we have too many options in abundance in our lives that lead to stagnation, us becoming immobilized and over-indulging.
Distraction — there is death of productivity due to addiction to notifications; our attention-span is eroded due to the ‘anxiety economy’ making us FOMO all the time.
Resignation — we then tend to boldly resign on a few items to create capacity for something that we love.
Awareness — with this new found acute awareness in place, we focus our attention to something that we love and are passionate about.
We’ve a new perspective and a newfound sense of confidence behind the commitments that we make.
Commitment — we say yes to things we want to say yes to, and no to the ones that we don’t prioritize.
I’ve filled my resignation in the template below — you can too!
Thanks a lot Melania Sodka for an amazing talk — you gave us something to think about!