We teach individuals and organizations how to use design thinking as a means to find consistent innovation, to build environments and cultures where innovation can thrive, and unleash peoples latent abilities to work in new ways.
Sometimes this is teaching.
Sometimes it’s working on projects with organizations.
Sometimes it’s both.
Innovation work is hard. It’s draining and tires me out in ways that being an electrician, barista, or IT dork never did.
Why is that? Is it physically more demanding? Nah.
Does it require more time? Not really.
For me, it’s people. They drain me of my life force. They exhaust me. Like energy vampires, they leave me depleted and trying to recover what I need to survive. And it’s not just them taking…it’s me giving it all away.
Fortunately they don’t do this consciously, or even knowingly.
You see, I’m predominantly an introvert. If you’ve ever met me or seen me work then you’re probably calling “bullshit” right now but it’s true. I know this because working with people (which I love and am grateful to have the opportunity to do) is what depletes my chi. Conversely, being alone and quiet is what nourishes me.
My energy tends to expand through reflection and dwindle during interaction.
The point of this learning for me is that I have to really take care of myself when we are in long sessions, programs, workshops, or projects. I have to make sure there is adequate time for exercise, meditation, sleep, and mental distractions like reading or bad movies.
When traveling I find it valuable to go to my room for 20 minutes of silent sitting mediation before I go out to dinner with colleagues or clients. My mind relaxes, my throat loosens up from all the talking I’ve been doing, and my eyes rest.
I also find it super helpful to eat really well. By that I mean lots of healthy foods. Juices and teas and less sweets and bread-ish foods. Tons of water.
Also, working out tends to release tension and fuels the tank. It also gives me the sensation that some of the day still belongs to me. That I didn’t give it all away. This can be hard because we typically run very long days but we try to schedule in time for evercise so that we may be more useful for the remainder of the day.
So, this is what I do to maintain some endurance and remain in love with the work that we do and the people that we do it with.
What do you do?