Greetings and happy almost Spring equinox,
Here in Southwestern Montana, we’ve had a deliciously snowy winter, receiving as much snow by early December as we’d had all of last winter. I celebrated by taking my first-ever solo to a forest service cabin. When the deep darkness of a nearly moonless night fell, I got a serious case of the freak outs, but eventually, I found my way to treasuring the quiet and stillness I’d come seeking.
If you, like many of us, are finding the pace of life escalating quickly, it can be helpful (though seemingly counterintuitive) to schedule a pause.
It’s a solid challenge to avoid getting pulled into the dogged urgency of whatever is yelling loud enough to command our attention. Yet often, it’s the quieter, deeper time to reflect that will set us on the right course. A great framework to support discerning where and how to prioritize time is the Eisenhower matrix.
Categorizing your list of to-dos using this matrix helps reduce the number of decisions you have to make as you revisit topics over and over – a great thing because decision-making tires our brains out so we want to reduce any unnecessary decisions – and helps shift you out of mulling and into action.
As you can see, the suggested action for critical and non-urgent issues is to schedule time to think about them. That’s the way to get them out of your head, taking up valuable space and energy, and into next steps!
Can you block off three hours to address a challenge that’s been sitting in the back of your mind haunting you? How about a day?
As my co-director April Nishimura and I have stepped into our new work together this year, we’ve scheduled time in-person to build connection, tackle some of our stickier questions, and resist turning to the ever-present urgent to-do list. Being together in real life instead of on zoom also bring us a huge burst of joy, a value we’re centering this year at TREC.
If you have time to meet with colleagues in person, focusing on deepening connection is one of the most important things you can do. That’s because the foundation of an impactful team is trust, and trust-building requires connection. Here’s a list of great questions to get to know one another and build trust.
Making time to connect with the world around us – and each other – also stokes our sense of wonder and awe, which are not frivolous things. Dacher Keltner’s new book all about the science of awe offers a fascinating exploration of the health-giving properties of making time for awe. If you’re looking for a quick and captivating burst of wonder, David Whyte’s poem, Everything Is Waiting For You, will not disappoint.
Speaking of wonder, we at TREC are thrilled to introduce you to our two newest colleagues, Nailah Blades and Andrés Esparza, who will be offering our leadership programing. Nailah will also be offering coaching.
Nailah spent the last decade supporting leaders to create vibrant personal and professional lives as well as consulting with organizations on how to create inclusive organizational cultures. Andrés has worked in the conservation and education field for the better part of two decades on public lands throughout the Western US in a variety of roles, always striving to engage diverse and often underrepresented populations.
As TREC continues to build our practices around being a self-managing organization, we look forward to sharing more about our journey with you and partnering with those of you exploring alternate leadership structures. As a reminder, if you are curious about our evolution to becoming self-managing, please check out this webinar and this update from late last year.
Stay tuned for the announcement of our spring webinar offerings, and check out this upcoming webinar hosted by Vanessa Elena López and Cairá Conner-Ware on Intergenerational Communication, which is a topic we get a lot of requests for. [Check out the full list of upcoming webinars.]
Finally, as all of us keep an eye out on the topsy-turvy financial news these days, we wanted to remind you of this fiscal management toolkit, as well our budgeting toolkit.
Wishing you well, Kristi and the whole TREC team