A De(a)y well spent

Minutes turn to hours and the meetings add up, another week of my life rushes by. This particular week was filled with training workshops. Four of the five days that raced by were dedicated to developing the art and science of storytelling and helping two groups of people navigate the new media environment. What made it special? The satisfying tiredness at the end of a day is a glorious feeling. A day that has drawn the best out of me, leaving me physically drained but emotionally charged. Will I be able to distill this learning? and how can I spend more days and weeks in this energising space? Are some of the questions I ask myself? In doing so, I hope to be able to share with you – How do you find that happy tiredness? 

What can I do, that nobody else can do as well? What is expected of me in my role? Answering these two questions is a great way to identify the kind of ‘busy’ things that I need to be mindful of not filling my days with. Being able to say no is a superpower. Doing it elegantly and with care and compassion is empowering. Once I had committed to the workshops, I found that all the other asks of my time for the week got judiciously managed. The must-do’s got moved to the one free day in my calendar and many nice to-do’s simply got done by others.

Personalised touches, touch hearts and minds. A good training session is built on a solid foundation. The elements that are customised and built for purpose elevate the session and deliver delight. The right choice of people to do the role-play is a small but significant example of how customisation can be a differentiator. One group of people I was training were very focused on analyst communications, so we went in search of colleagues who had been analysts before donning a PR hat. As a result, the role plays were so much more authentic, and the learning was richer.

Spontaneity comes from knowing your stuff. As always technology and murphy’s law shook hands and all kinds of glitches got in the way of an on-time start. Knowing the content in my head and not having to rely on powerpoint slides to make a point, helped me navigate all of this effortlessly. Impromptu role plays, and shifts in the schedule to accommodate the ever-evolving dynamics of a group are all taken in my stride, simply because I know all content that needs to be delivered. This level of knowledge coupled with a commitment to deliver results is all that it takes to find answers along the way. This allows me and the participants to enjoy the various detours and side roads that unplanned changes often throw up. Instead of throwing the learning session off course, these meanders only add more flavour to the session, when all involved are keen to get to the same destination.

My fellow travellers make or break the journey. One of the things that made the preparation for these workshops simply awesome was the professionalism, attention to detail, and work ethic of a colleague. Let’s call her Miss Amazing. She was proactive, responsive, and always solution oriented. I was on a short break in the week running up to the workshops and she made every effort to ensure that I had my down time with minimal engagement. Since I had worked with Miss Amazing before and I know how committed and responsible she is, I did not spend time worrying about all the preparation work or the quality of it. To have a team you trust is a precious gift.

This is my learning for the week gone by. How can you find that happily tired space? The answer is simple, spend energy doing things that you are good at and delivering value, for people who care. This will leave you energised. This happy marriage of doing things I love, for people that value it, with some lovely people, resulted in me being in the happily spent zone. A day well spent is a day that you are invested in. It’s a “hell yes” kind of a day. Go in in search of finding or creating those. Happily-tired is the reward at the end of that rainbow of activity. It is the kind of investment that builds a better you and a better tomorrow.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Nikhil Dey
Nikhil Dey is Executive Director, Adfactors PR.

A trusted coaching and communications professional, Nikhil Dey is a certified life and leadership coach (International Coach Federation - ICF). Nurturing talent and helping clients achieve their goals is what makes him happy. He loves learning from students of communication, teaching courses and guest lecturing at various educational institutions. When he is not working you will find him on the tennis court or out for long walks with his family and four legged friends.

Previously he has held senior leadership positions at Weber Shandwick and Genesis BCW.

He can be reached on twitter @deydreaming

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