Thursday, May 15, 2008

Movement vs. Momentum

mo•men•tum: the impetus to go forward, develop, or get stronger*

move•ment: the act, process, or an instance of moving*

Lately I’ve been feeling like there’s been a lot of movement, but not necessarily much momentum. I’ve felt busy, but not necessarily like my goals have been moving forward. When this happens, I realize that I feel less productive and present at both work and home. My time is taken up by often small, random tasks (movement) without the intention and focus of really moving my goals forward (momentum).

With the help of my own coach, I’ve started focusing on three High Pay Off Actions per day. These are actions that I determine the night before and list day-by-day for each work day. These are actions that are the smaller steps to my bigger goals.

I’ll admit that it’s felt a bit uncomfortable. Not the concept, because I totally get the process and recommend it to my own clients. Instead, the discomfort has come in the amount of time and energy this has freed up. By focusing on the High Pay Off Actions during my scheduled pockets of time, I find that I am wasting less time “trying” to be productive. So I am spending less time and energy on my work, but the actions I am taking are things that are building momentum, rather then just simply being movement.

Sometimes my High Pay Off Action is just sitting for 10 minutes with my eyes closed connecting to my vision. These ten minutes of visualization does more for me than two hours of pushing papers or responding to emails.

Here’s the analogy: When you are running, you can move your body and expend a certain amount of energy and not really get very far. If you waste a lot of movement in flailing arms or upward motion, you are moving, but not necessarily building momentum to help you move forward. You may finish your run or make it across the finish line, but it’s going to take you longer and you’ll have used a lot more energy.

Compare that to running with a form that supports your intention to move your body forward. You’ll be using yours muscles and movement in a way that builds momentum and with less energy the momentum will propel you forward. You end up finishing at the same place, but in less time and using much less energy.

Are you making choices and taking actions that take your time and energy, but just feel like movement? Or are you making choices and taking action that take your time and energy and which builds momentum to continue to move you forward? It’s your choice!

*Definitions from Collins Essential English Dictionary 2nd Edition 2006 © HarperCollins Publishers 2004, 2006

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