A few days ago, I left the house without any of my cables. That means for the entire day I was without any charging capabilities for my phone. It just so happened that the day was full of email, text, and phone conversations. Read: battery drain. What was I going to do when my phone reached its end. The thought began to nag on me when I saw my battery percentage was down to 10%. This could be bad.
It wasn’t. I reached into my bag and found two trusted tools that didn’t rely on batteries. My Moleskine journal and Sharpie fine point pen are staples in my bag. And there they were, like old friends who wait until the time when they’re needed to show the true value of their friendship. I picked them up and began journaling. Jotting ideas down, visualizing relationships between thoughts, and doodling, have all been practices I’ve used in the past to work through questions.
Then I thought about that battery, and how I was rushing to do things on my phone, as the battery drained down to nothing. I began to think about how our behavior changes when the resources we need to function are depleted. How long can we hold on, adapt, or change the way we work, before we are forced to rest, refuel, and recover? It might be different for different people. Unlike the phone I don’t have a battery meter, but I know I have a limit. Also unlike the phone, it seems like I can work well beyond that limit. My functionality is depleted – I begin to make mistakes – and can possibly hurt myself or others on account of a simple lack of attentiveness.
Here’s my note to myself. Before we don’t have enough battery left, stop. Find a place to pause, and recharge. It’s important. For everyone.