Photo Credit: Emma Matthews Digital Content Production, Unsplash.com

Written by Lauren LeMunyan
June 12, 2020

The other day I saw a post asking, “What’s your COVID-19 motto?” 

I got to thinking about that–what is a motto, really? 

For me, it’s something that helps me put a framework together. It helps me set my sight and focus on what it is that I want to accomplish and how I want to show up. And what immediately came to mind is what I’ve been working with my clients on.

The R & R.

What does R & R mean? 

Before “Stay at Home” orders and “Self-Isolation,” it meant rest and relaxation. It was a weekend away. It was a spa day. It was time with friends. It was a moment to unplug, to disconnect from the noise, to get back to what’s important. 

In our current reality, we aren’t able to hug people outside of the people we live with, to spend time with friends, to go to a restaurant, to watch a movie, to go on vacation. We can’t meet people the same way we used to or go to the places that used to revive us. 

While a lot of our environment looks the same, so much has changed and that can trigger uncertainty, fear, and frustration. 

But what if we could reframe our environment and what R & R means?

What if we could R & R in our new reality to shape our experience into the lens of our intention? 

What if we didn’t use R & R to escape, but instead used it to focus on what’s realistic and reasonable for our new reality

Our reality is what we see. It’s what we feel. It’s what we think. It’s the people we encounter.

It’s the situations that we navigate and it’s also the way that we see potential opportunities, risks, threats, and challenges. These elements will always be in our environment–in our reality–it’s how energy works and how we interact with energy. 

But the lens that we view these elements through can shape our experience. With a realistic and reasonable lens, we adjust to what’s possible with our current situation–our environment, mindset, tools, and resources. 

Without a reset for our new reality, we may be carrying the same expectations, judgments, and strategies that just don’t work now. Using a reasonable and realistic lens allows us to prioritize what’s most important and objectively look at what’s possible with our potential.  

When we examine what’s a reasonable and realistic outcome or output, there are three driving input factors that influence our productivity potential (how much can we realistically get done with what we have). Those factors include our Energy, Resources, and Availability (our ERA).

The Three Input Factors of Productivity Potentional

Energy 

Our energy’s a renewable resource, but that doesn’t mean we don’t deplete what’s in our tank or reserves. Our energy can change on a certain day, or based on the person we interact with, or the project that we’re working on, or the thought that we have. 

Imagine your energy tank on a scale of zero to 100%. 

Where’s your energy tank now?  

As you go about your day, where does your energy drop or increase?

When you look at your activities and projects, how much energy do you need to accomplish those goals at the level you’d like?

Your energy will shift as your day goes on. You may start your day at 30% after a rough night of sleep or feel at 100% after a deep meditation and yoga session. 

The point isn’t to feel full all the time, but to be aware of where you are and what works for you and what may not be working for you.

Resources 

Our resources include the tools, space, expertise, process, and additional people to help us to bring our ideas into fruition. What do you need in order to achieve your vision of success?

In our new reality, what resources do you have?

What resources have you left untapped?

Think about a project that’s been sitting on your desk craving your attention–what percentage of the resources do you have to complete it? 

Availability 

Our availability relates to the time we have that’s open for us to work on our priorities. If you’re working a full-time job with three kids under the age of seven who need to be homeschooled, fed, and entertained, this window of time may feel like a mirage. 

That’s okay.

When we look at our availability, we want to scan our calendar to look at what’s realistically available. If we have a morning routine from 7:00am–8:30am, we aren’t available during that time. If we sleep from 11:00pm–6:30am, we aren’t available then either.

We want to look at pockets of time that emerge throughout our day and week. How much time isn’t accounted for? 

If the time isn’t blocked off and you know you’re busy during that time, go ahead and note what you’re typically doing. Now count how many minutes or hours you have available.

ERA Equation for Reasonable and Realistic Productivity Potential

Here’s how it all comes together:

  1. Start with your availability (time) and multiply it by your energy (percentage).
    Example: four hours of availability x 50% in the energy tank = two hours
  2. Then take the adjusted time and multiply it by your resources (percentage)
    Example: two hours of adjusted availability x 75% resources = 90 minutes

How can this help you?

  1. Adjust your expectations to your actual adjusted availability
  2. Look for additional resources to support you
  3. Identify higher energy pockets through your day to work on your priorities
  4. Communicate what’s possible for your new reality to others

This will change from day to day, so look at it each day and communicate what you’ve accomplished and achieved.

The more aligned you are with your values and your word, the more energized you’ll feel. You may surprise yourself with what you’re able to do!

Photo Credit: Emma Matthews Digital Content Production, Unsplash.com