Taking Minute Vacations
Last week was a bit challenging when I taught an ITIL v4 Foundations Class to a corporate client. I’ve delivered this class many times over the past decade, but this was a new client, and I wanted to be at my best.
For a few days before the 3-day class began, I committed many hours to reviewing my notes, updating curriculum, and ensuring the online portal was current.
The Day of the Class
The class began on Monday, which is always a tough day to start any training course. The weekend had just ended, and most employees are focused on the key tasks to be completed by Friday.
This class was no exception!
The employees of this company work in a high-pressure environment involved with competitive government contracts. In other words, if they fall short of expectations, their agreements may not be renewed, which can result in immediate layoffs.
Zoom but no Video
Given the company was on the East Coast and I live in Texas, the class was administered via Zoom. Since Covid hit, I’ve taught all my corporate classes using this modality, so I am comfortable with it.
For whatever reason, my clients cannot mandate the students to be on video. When the use of video is optional, 95% of the attendees elect not to use it. In fact, prior to this class, I taught another course with 37 students, and no one used video over the 3-day class.
It’s tough to speak into a computer for 8 hours per day without seeing another person. There are times when students are on other meetings, and I know this because they forget to turn off their microphones. There are also situations when the individuals are away from their computers, which becomes evident when breakout rooms are initiated, and they remain in the Main area.
The Minute Vacation
In the class last week, I had to do something to stay focused and motivated since no one was on video. In my Catholic Book of Prayer, I found a prayer that caught my attention called Prayer to Achieve Inner Peace.
It’s a beautiful short prayer that includes the following passage: “Help me to know the magical, restoring help of sleep. Teach me the art of taking minute vacations—of slowing down to look at a flower, to chat with a friend, to pat a dog, to read a few lines from a good book. Slow me down, Lord.”
I read this prayer each morning before the class started, and it made a positive difference. While the class was challenging to deliver because of the blank screen in front of me, I realized it’s far more important to focus on what matters most to me.
Here are a few minute vacations I took this week:
• Appreciated my daughter performing a dance routine for a Christmas event.
• Shared a laugh with a friend who discussed his recent vacation.
• Asked our 18-year-old son about his recent date with a long-time girlfriend.
• Scrolled through a few pictures of our kids when they were young.
• Accompanied my wife on a shopping trip to the mall on a beautiful, sunny afternoon.
Now that I think about it, the images and memories created by these minute vacations can easily be recalled when I’m delivering a class to a blank screen. They give me the motivation and purpose to press on.
During the next week, here’s your homework inquiry: How will you slow down and enjoy life?