For the first time in what seems like ages, I got on a plane. I traveled. I went out to eat. I visited my parents and siblings. Things are starting to feel a bit more normal. And I want to do all the things I used to take for granted. And do them all at once. So much to do.
I’ve been fighting this instinct with work too. At RevJen, our work never slowed. It accelerated. And we are now staring down the busiest fall we’ve ever had. It would be easy for me to put my head down and drive forward. Just get it done. Focus. Focus. Focus. There is too much work to do to slow down.
But I am learning. Sometimes you have to take a moment.
I am struck with this reality: We are coming out of this pandemic fundamentally different than when we entered it.
The last 18 months have been personally and professionally disruptive for all of us, but each of our experiences is unique. Each of us an experiment of one. It seems like every day there is a new study about the stress and anxiety we are experiencing. Four in ten American adults now report having symptoms of an anxiety disorder – up from one in ten in more normal times. It’s even worse among our kids and amongst many of those our sector serves.
As I’ve watched the nonprofit sector these past months, I never saw things slow down. They just became … different. So much innovation. So many changes. So many people and organizations making a sudden pivot.
It was inspiring to witness so much work getting done. That has been encouraging, remarkable, and ultimately exhausting. So very exhausting. I worry about the sector’s tendency to drive impact, sometimes at the expense of our teams and ourselves. I’ve watched many organizations innovate here as well, finding ways to support their employees and honor their individual paths back to “normal.”
At RevJen, we decided we needed to do this too. Our team has been working hard – innovating, adapting, and building. It’s exciting, but at the same time it’s daunting.
So, RevJen took a moment. All of us, together, took a moment.
We closed our offices for an entire week. No meetings. No emails. No work. Nothing. And guess what? We came back grateful, encouraged, and ready to tackle the next few months. Together.
Whatever it looks like for you, I encourage you to take a moment. Leaders, make it possible for your teams to do this too. If you and your team are exhausted, stressed, anxious, or just slowing down, then your organization and your cause are very likely not getting your best.
This pandemic has been about learning. We all are learning.
Sometimes, you have to take a moment.