Lights out

Photo by Erunion

photo by Erunion

The power went out at the coffee shop I’m working at. A short while later, the generator kicks in and in dim light, coffee is being made and served. There’s no music, no noise of fancy frothing and blending machines. The manager and his staff needed to quickly prioritize what he would use the limited power for in order to keep things going until the power came back on.  And with a fraction of the electricity available, he managed to run his business at a basic level.

Ever had that happen to you? An experience where your resources were suddenly slashed and you were forced to take a new look at what really matters? For example, you’re all of a sudden one employee short, or a project timeline is moved up, your expected bonus just didn’t happen, or – god forbid – your smartphone dies. You might panic at first (and/or negotiate, plead, swear….) but you ultimately gather your wits about you to examine what is really important, and how you can carry on.It’s a sobering experience when this happens. We live in a world where we can do (or think we can do) a dozen things at once, and then complain about being overwhelmed…run down…burned out…unable to turn off.

I have a challenge for you: Create your own power outage. Go dark for one waking hour of any weekday. Be completely inaccessible and don’t turn on any personal technology. Notice what happens. Notice what you’re missing. Notice what you go back to first. What do you learn about your priorities? Repeat the next day if you think there’s something more to notice and learn….or if it just feels great. 🙂