In about a month I will need to be up and dressed because it is the CIPD L&D Show and I am presenting a session with Andy Lancaster on how to run a webinar. Of course, being me it will be an intensely practical session, and being Andy it will be a fast paced, full of fun session. I am looking forward to the session immensely. We will bring something to the L&D Show that has never been seen before. It is exciting and refreshing how far the CIPD have come under Peter Cheese’s leadership.

I am also on the blog squad for the show alongside a mix of very interesting L&Ders. Plus I found out this week I am allegedly on a gurus panel in the Exhibition – clearly getting on Bob Little’s Movers and Shakers list was a valuable thing! So all in the all the L&D Show is shaping up to be an interesting few days of #TimeWellSpent with engaging speakers, valued colleagues, and hopefully lots of new people too. I love meeting new people both online and in real life. Sometimes I think all professionals can get stuck in a bubble. New people offer new insight and challenge which is always good for moving all our stories onward.

But I need to be honest with you. Since accepting a blogsquad spot, I have joined our Slack back channelers back channel, commented a couple of times, but actually barely given the L&D Show any thought. It feels ages away. It can’t feel anywhere near urgent because it is in May, and we’ve only just hit April, haven’t we? Priorities are what needs doing for April, not May. I am sure many of you know what I mean. Doesn’t mindfulness say live in the present? May, Schmay, it is ages away. But you know what I am going to say, don’t you? It isn’t ages away. It is about 5 weeks away. And that will go over in a heartbeat, just like the rest of this year has. Since the start of this year my life has been travelling at the speed of a racehorse in a steeplechase – long days of hurdles and hard work punctuated by sleep, eat and a little wine (OK perhaps more than a little wine). I have several half written blogs and none published since January. That is kinda where I am at right now. I am lucky as a freelancer that I have great clients, fun work, and interesting opportunities for amazing conversations. I absolutely love it, hurtling towards to next thing at speed. All good fun. All unsustainable, unhealthy and unmindful.

I know from Twitter, from Facebook, from conversations that many people feel overwrought and busy. Today I woke to my 40 Acts Lent email entitled ‘Flow’. This grabbed my interest as yesterday’s flow was to be up at 6:45 straight to work in my pyjamas, no breakfast, not a hairbrush in sight straight through to 9pm as I had 4 deadlines to hit. I hit them all. It was a very long, productive, fun day. I felt energised and encouraged all day by my colleagues. (And I guess not getting dressed until noon is perhaps simply part of the freelance way!) My flow yesterday was not what the 40 Acts was talking about, rather this morning I was reminded by the email that being part of others flow is important too.

Act thirty four – Flow

by Rachel Ridler

‘Busy’ is overtaking ‘fine’ as the standard reply to ‘How are you?’ There aren’t enough hours in the day, you’re rushed off your feet, you haven’t the time. Most of us are guilty of making ourselves too busy. It’s possible that the most urgent thing on our agenda should be slowing down and focusing energy on the people and things that matter. So, spend today going with someone else’s flow.

How true this is! I am guilty of making myself busy, of taking on a lot, of volunteering too much, of hiring my new starter for after Easter, not before. But today, when our Back Channelers Back Channel reminded us the show is in a month, I realised I need to slow down to go faster. To enjoy the upcoming show by giving it some thought and making some plans. So I have got up not to do the work I had planned today. I have got up to share in other’s flow. To remind you all that time passes, work passes, opportunities pass. So grab your opportunity to spend time in others’ flow. Tickets for the CIPD L&D Show are selling out fast. Don’t miss out.

Meanwhile, I am going to get dressed and go for a bike ride with my family. Time to shake off the habit of working in my pyjama days and get some better flow.

Tickets for the CIPD L&D Show are available here