Languishing

We are fourteen months into a major health crisis.

Again.

We are fourteen months (for some, even fifteen, sixteen, or more) into a major health crisis.

It is ok to feel down. It is ok to struggle to find motivation. It is ok to feel stuck, to have the impression that nothing is worth taking on, to think that this is never going to end, to believe that we will be in the middle for the rest of our days.

This is called languishing.

And a good antidote to it, is to give ourselves uninterrupted periods of doing. An even better antidote to it, is to give ourselves uninterrupted periods of doing something that matches with our broader sense of purpose. Arguably the best antidote to it, is to give ourselves uninterrupted periods of doing something that matches with our broader sense of purpose, and then talk about it with other people who share the same interest, with our loving ones, with the community we belong to.

We might feel like this is never ending, yet it will end.

We might feel like nothing matters anymore, yet most things still do.

We might feel like we are alone, yet we are not.

Here are three links to check out to help us manage languishing.

In parallel

I am old enough to remember the time when multitasking was often a requirement in job ads. Nowadays, I have at least the impression that it is not so much so anymore.

In any case, if you feel like multitasking, you are asked to multitask, you are looking for someone who multitasks, this study is a good reminder of why that is not a good idea.

  • Multitaskers are often people who struggle to block out distraction, and therefore it is very difficult for them to focus and enter in a state of flow.
  • Multitaskers are high sensation seekers, they are impulsive, and do not like to plan.
  • Multitaskers tend to overestimate their capability to multitask.
  • Multitaskers are not among those who are better at multitasking effectively (i.e., if you do not multitask frequently, you have better chances to be effective at multitasking in the occasion that is needed).

Bans and productivity

Is the workplace the best place to discuss societal and political issues? No.

Should societal and political discussions be banned from the workplace? Also, no.

The problem with a ban is that it rarely hits where it aims. You might want to curb animated discussions on your internal tools and you end up making your people feel less comfortable expressing themselves.

We do live in challenging times. Most issues are polarized. Most fail to see the greys. Most feel the only possibility is to be fully in or fully out. And if your people want to talk about a delicate issue, your role as a leader is not to direct the conversation towards the appropriate forums, but rather to sit down with them and provide a safe forum for the discussion to happen.

Even if that means a loss in productivity.

Contagious

When you decide to help someone, it might not go exactly as you anticipated.

They might not get what you wanted to help them achieve.

They might end up worse off.

They might not even use your help and go their own way.

They might take your help and use it with other people.

They might realize your help is not applicable.

They might feel as if they owe you and get stuck.

They might not be grateful.

They might not want help at all.

Yet, just by making the decision to help someone, you have put kindness out there. Kindness is contagious, and it is always worth it.

Concerted

Imagine you meet with some peers. The purpose of the meeting is to decide on changes that will impact many. You keep the meeting secret, and secret are also the follow up conversations that aim at defining the details. You go about it for a while, and then you and your peers go public with a big reveal. Now that the change is public, you go back minding your own business, expecting that everyone else will adapt and adjust accordingly.

I wonder how it would end.

I also wonder how common this situation is in organisations all over the world.

Your effort to promote change is failing because you want change imposed rather than concerted.