Many people refer to our current economy as a “gig economy,” meaning that that they need to cobble together several jobs, or “gigs” which usually have no health or retirement benefits in order to make a living. This differs from the past when many or most people landed jobs with benefits, a set work week, and a predictable trajectory for promotion. Nowadays recent graduates, or people laid off from seemingly stable jobs, may struggle with how to make it in this new “gig” climate. As a one-woman show, I have only known shaping a life around gigging, so I thought I would share some tips on how to adapt to this lifestyle.
One of the tools I have cultivated over time is the ability to shift gears. This can also help if you have a full-time job that requires long hours and then want to be able to shift gears into personal time. Here are some simple steps to make it happen.
1. Take three relaxed breaths. Picture yourself erasing a board with writing on it until it is empty. Then ask yourself, “I’m done with all that, what shall I focus on now?”
2. Ask yourself, “What sort of energy does this new task require?” This is similar to how a car’s engine needs to kick into a higher gear when climbing up a hill, or lower one when it’s decelerating.
3. Set the intention of the result you want by focusing on the task at hand. Sometimes when I am on camera, for example, I find myself wondering about what my daughter, Lily, is doing. At such times, it helps when I create a win-win intention such as: “I am putting my entire focus here, and I know Lily is having great fun playing with her friends right now.” Then I can focus fully on what I’m doing.
4. Shift gears by giving a gentle shake and stretch to your whole body. Then you will be more prepared for a change.
These steps may help you to feel calmer and more focused. Then you are ready to shift gears.