Who recently motored through all five seasons of Breaking Bad in a sleepless haze of pajamas, Nutella and per episode potty breaks?
I’m talkin’ to you. Yeah, you.
Netflix’s instant streaming service has redefined popular notions of the binge, shifting its context from the kitchen to the screen. As many of us can attest, a good NB (Netflix Binge) is comprised of a few stages: the thrill of anticipation as we wait for a new season to become available, the exhilaration and high of watching back-to-back episodes sans commercials, and of course, the lows of withdrawal as we mourn the finale of yet another “once-in-a-lifetime series.”
Interestingly, the life trajectory of the Netflix Binge rather closely resembles the trajectory of any project or program-oriented company, HCA included. We have long stretches of expectations and preparation as we make ready for upcoming programs and events followed by brief but intoxicating moments of joy during their culmination. Last but not least, we too face the threat of the post-project doldrums as we come down from our successes and return to the drawing board.
This “winter of in-between” can be a tough time for any professional, but certainly not insurmountable. Moreover, the downtime between projects and programs can be some of the most exciting and impactful periods for your company, if given the right perspective. Fortunately for you, that perspective employs a lot of the same recovery techniques that sociologists ‘round the world might recommend to avid Netflixers:
1. Stay opeN
Similar to Netflix Binges, fabulous projects sometimes leave you asking yourself, how will anything or anyone else ever measure up? Ironically, this is exactly the attitudinal pit- fall that can bring this fear to fruition. This is why it’s essential to reward yourself for a job well done, without labeling it as a professional peak. Bigger, better ideas come to those who view themselves and their environments in a constant state of progress. Spend less time setting limits and more time eliminating them with an open mind.
2. Stay inspired
This goes hand in hand with the recommendation to stay open. When you feel trapped in the graveyard of great ideas from projects past, put aside some time to read an inspiring book. Watch the latest video trending on TED Talks. Go see a movie, take a day o#, walk on the beach — do whatever you need to do to shake up your routine and shake o# the post-project blues. People say they get their best ideas in the shower for a reason…
3. Stay social
Great friends don’t just get together at birthdays, weddings and other “milestone” moments. They also catch up over a casual cup of chai, a last minute jaunt around the neighborhood or a free concert in the park. These anticlimactic “in-between” moments aren’t just the stuff of bosom friends (thank you, Anne Shirley), they form the cornerstone of epic professional teams! You don’t need to be in the middle of an adrenaline-pumping project to justify a lunch or coffee meeting, a call or an email. In fact, your ability to carry through on a social agenda beyond production deadlines will speak volumes about your authenticity and the kind of team/company that you run. Ultimately, you want all your colleagues to work alongside you in your goals to stay open, inspired and social.
What practices do you incorporate into your project pipeline to keep your staff fresh and motivated?