This morning I travelled to Heathrow, leaving for Nepal. I’ve allowed plenty of time – getting the earlier train to allow for any delay. I’m generally calm except for the recurring slight anxiety I get when flying. Once I’m at my destination I’m fine.
But other people …
On the linked air/bus from Reading to Heathrow a couple of passengers were concerned that the bus hadn’t left (it was 10 minutes late departing). They were fretting they may miss the connection. One person would have less than an hour from his anticipated arrival at Heathrow to take off. I don’t think he would make it.
Far better to allow time.
But sometimes things are outside of our control. The taxi doesn’t arrive. There’s an accident. A train is cancelled.
What can we do? Not very much.
We can allow these events to trigger us, or we can stay calm. And Know. Our response will not change the situation.
Let’s stop allowing work to stress us
In most cases, we are not late, we have been delayed. The situation was outside of our control. Change the way you think about things.
When we are late, delayed, another 5 minutes will make little difference. Go to the loo and spend a few minutes on your breathing – make it slower and measured, not shallow. Feel centred. Remind yourself of why you are there. Isn’t that better than rushing in, windswept hair and a feeling of stress. Drink some water, feel grounded, then speak.
Back-to-back meetings don’t help
Online calendars can mean we have back-to-back meetings. But everyone needs time to come out of the head space of one meeting and preparing yourself for the next one. This is why therapists have the ’50-minute hour’. Why not educate the people you work with to go for the same?
And take control … at the start of a meeting tell the other person the time you need to finish and allow 5 minutes within this time to wrap things up. Then you have time to switch out of one topic and person to the next.
I allow at least 15 minutes between client appointments for this reason. I make sure I’m fully grounded, and present for the next person I talk with.
You don’t need to accept every meeting request
Think about saying no first. Especially if a lot of travel is involved. Could the meeting be done virtually using Zoom etc. Are you needed for the full meeting or just a segment?
I wrote an article on self-care recently. Self-care is so important. When we finish a days work, home chroes like paying bills and organising family events is not time for you. Before you sleep each night, what can you do to nurture yourself. It may be worth re-reading about self-care to see what I suggested.
This article was written over a year ago, and only just found, sad and alone in my drafts folder. It is never too late …