Self-Improvement: Turn Your Downtime into Uptime

Since mid-March it seems like many of us have been living in a continuing state of groundhog days, or endless days of repetitive calmness (induced “downtime”), unlike most of us have previously experienced.

By Rick Riordan

How we have adjusted to this change from knowing to unknowing what the day, or week may bring, is handled differently by everyone; be it because of additional family commitments, remote working commitments, general concern about the health/well-being of our friends, families, work associates, and/or others we interface with on a daily basis. It has been quite a ride. Throughout the past months I have come to realize that “downtime” could be considered an opportunity to create some “uptime.” In fact, I determined it needed to become “uptime”.

I came to this conclusion rather surprisingly to me, as I profess to being someone that generally knows what I will be doing each day, plans for downtime (vacations, weekends, golf, etc.), and likes to look to the future, so I have an idea of where I am going, and when. Those that know me best know I am a planner, and a rather structured individual, whether at work or in my day-to-day life (hence, a butt of many jokes and comments). My wife, on the other hand, is a great advocate for living in the moment. And, quite honestly, the past few months have allowed me to better appreciate that approach.

Like myself, I am assuming it took others of you a while to adjust to the new normal. At first, I thought I could adjust by cleaning house (so to speak). So, the home, clothes, garage, business files, and photos are all organized better than they have ever been. Then, I realized now is the time to wake up and get better at what I do, so that I am better able to assist clients, customers, and business associates.

With that, I transitioned and focused on additional learning opportunities, both via trade magazines and online learning sessions; be it through continuing education courses, business videos, local offerings from relevant organizations, or via my business magazine subscriptions. All of them were providing opportunities to become better at what I do, which meant I could then be better prepared to help you do what you do. This is not to say that I did not pay attention to these opportunities previously; it was now a more focused approach in specific areas that I needed to know and understand better, to do better. And, not all were directly related to my current areas of expertise. Some were focused on providing better communications tools, or alternative remote meeting venues. Which means, as we continue down this current path, I have found this focus on “uptime” to be very helpful in getting me better prepared to assist you not only today, but also when the new normal returns.

In the end, for the movie buffs out there, the message is this: help me (in some capacity) help you (to be successful).

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Published on June 25, 2020 by

Dick Eassom, CF APMP Fellow