The digitally-driven nature of our modern world makes it increasingly more difficult to disconnect and stay focused. It sounds counterintuitive that in order to maintain pace with the “always on” mentality of our society, one must identify how to truly separate (and stick to it). But there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Work-life balance is a code that needs to be cracked by each individual based on their unique needs, both personally and professionally.
The ever-evolving workforce of today demands everyone to adapt to new dynamics. A recent study found 57 percent of employees rarely or never worked from home prior to COVID-19, yet around two years into the pandemic, roughly six-in-ten U.S. workers say their jobs could primarily be done from home. Even with something that disrupted the very foundation of workplace structure, the workforce found ways to create a new norm. It is clear that adaptability is certainly possible, but this does not equate to being easy. Positive agility is being able to embrace change and see every challenge as an opportunity. Embracing a mindset of positive agility allows you to be able to pivot more quickly and adjust your thinking in tough situations.
It’s not always easy to do, but here are three strategies to try.
Adjust your mindset
Change is an inevitable part of life, and this certainly translates to the workplace. The natural response to change and challenge often is that of avoidance, disdain, or even fear. This knee-jerk reaction is one that ultimately brings about negative results and does not allow for stress-management. It is important to adjust your mindset to associate the idea of change and challenge with growth and opportunity—leading towards acceptance. Ask yourself questions. What has resulted from challenges I faced in the past? Did this lead to growing as an individual, personally or professionally? Did facing these challenges ultimately set me back or help propel me forward? Examining your past experiences can help give context for why you should ultimately change your mindset.
Embracing a mindset of positive agility in a disruptive environment eliminates the period of panic that arises when challenges are initially introduced. Feeling prepared to take on whatever challenge arises in the future maximizes your energy so that you can prioritize making actionable decisions. Training yourself to embrace this mindset takes dedication and practice. It is not always painless, but there are ways that you can make the process of acceptance easier.
Promote flexibility in your work/life
Promoting personal and professional flexibility will make it easier to practice acceptance and positive agility. It can be easy to get bogged down with the daily to-do’s and mundane tasks that lead to a negative headspace. Decision fatigue, jaded-perspective, and irritation are all symptoms of an unbalanced life. Change and challenge will feel mountainous or unachievable if you do not allow yourself to take time away from work, and the response to failure can be even more detrimental.
It is vital that each individual finds what works best for them in order to establish optimal personal balance. Setting up a plan that prioritizes flexibility is vital. Whether it be working from home or setting up a hybrid plan that puts you in a position where you feel more productive and less stressed, finding balance and implementing a positive work/life integration so that there is time to prioritize the things that matter most is essential. The ultimate key is balance. Finding this balance means you can fully dedicate yourself to each situation within your work or personal life.
Ultimately, focusing on personal happiness means you are allowing for a mindset that is prepped for positive agility. While taking it upon yourself to prioritize implementing a positive mindset and flexibility is important, there are ways that you can work towards these goals while avoiding feeling overwhelmed.
Collaboration is key
Relying on the companionship of your work family to better achieve your goals is essential. Facing challenges with confidence can seem overwhelming if you feel isolated. Working to evolve with change can be made easier through the art of teamwork. Collecting insight from your team when making decisions or diving into challenges can make the process feel much more manageable. Relying on your team for moral support or constructive criticism amidst failure can be even more rewarding.
Though it can be hard to delegate or ask for help from others, this can ultimately ease the weight of personally responding to change or challenge. There is power in numbers, and those you work with are a great resource that should not be forgotten. It is great to remember that you are never alone, and achieving positive agility is a group effort.
Positive agility is a work-in-progress
Effective adaptability is not something that can be achieved overnight. The process is a unique one that differs from person to person. Training yourself to be able to view challenges and failures as opportunities rather than roadblocks requires hard work and dedication. Ask yourself questions to help discover what things you can do to feel prepared to take on the changes and challenges so often presented in our ever-changing world. Adjusting your mindset, promoting flexibility and seeking collaboration are some important ways to master positive agility. This can require a trial-and-error approach, but so do most things in life that really matter.