Agility for the Ages — How Systems Help Keep You Going

agility and flexibility
Be flexible to keep going…

Agility isn’t just about physical dexterity.

No, agility is about responsiveness. And, if you think about it, it’s also a key time management skill.

Your agility helps keep you on track no matter what life throws in your direction.

Setting the scene…

Imagine you’re going about your life and then one day, suddenly, you have a car accident.

You’re laid up for 6-weeks, minimum, while you recover. After about a week, you feel ready to start working again. Unfortunately, you can’t get to your office where your computer and all your work files are housed.

Being stuck in bed isn’t a situation where you’d think agility would apply. But where it comes in is in your ability to develop new systems that serve you in your current situation.

Agility 101

So, when sudden change hits, you’re going to be disoriented at first. But as the dust settles, you are in a position to access your capacity to adapt. This is where you tap your organizational and time management skills. And here are three key steps in that process:

  • First, it’s vital that you accept your new reality, whatever it is and however long it will be in play. In the case I’ve cited, you just need to adjust for a few more weeks. In other cases, you may need to make more permanent adjustments. Whatever your situation, acceptance is the first step in positioning yourself for an agile response.
  • Second, survey and prioritize your tasks.
    • Start with your top tasks and identify the tools you’ll need to accomplish them.
    • For example, if your work is mostly appointment-based, is your calendar on a cloud-based platform? If so, it’s still accessible to you no matter where you are. But if it’s all in your appointment book at your office, you’ll need to make arrangements to get it or, perhaps, have it transferred to a platform where it’s accessible.
  • Third, develop new systems. Now that you can see where the changes need to happen, you have the opportunity to put new systems into place. Don’t be afraid to experiment and tweak your adaptations as you go.

Your systems carry you forward.

The systems you develop allow you to be as efficient and effective as possible, no matter what your life situation is. Sometimes the new systems will be temporary, as in the example above. Other times, you’ll be making more permanent changes to your workflow.

For example, the changes you experience as you age will require adaptations that fall into that more permanent category. And interestingly, I find that the process of aging actually asks us to increase our agility as the years go by. While physical flexibility may be decreasing, aging calls upon us to respond to changes with mental/emotional dexterity. It’s a challenge that calls us to continually be deepening our wisdom and honing our life-skills.

And this helps your agility, too…

Do you ever feel like change is coming at you too fast, or like it just arrives, uninvited, out of the blue?

I’ve recently been working with a client who was blind-sided by the sudden passing of a long-time co-worker. It’s turned her work life upside down and has also shaken her on a deep and personal level because this co-worker was the same age and also a good friend.

It’s brought up all kinds of big questions, on top of grief, and new work demands. The stresses and questions are piling up and she is feeling disoriented and anxious.

We’ve been working together on this for several weeks now. And today I shared a new time tool with her. I want to share it with you as well.

It’s titled How to Partner with Change and Aging. And to discover more about it right now, you can click here.

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