How many tabs have you got open?

How many tabs have you got open today ? 

This wonderfully descriptive metaphor describes someone who told me they felt like a computer screen with loads of tabs along bottom of the screen -know the feeling ? Of course metaphors can be very personal and you probably have your own way to describe this feeling; it’s one of being too busy, overwhelmed almost.  So take a moment to think about how you describe this feeling, what metaphor(s) would you use ? 

Why do this ? Well, if you are feeling overwhelmed, too busy, then you are not going to be working at your best.  We like to think we can multitask but the reality is this isn’t a productive way to live or work.  Where do you start ? Do you do a little bit of this, a little bit of that…. That approach doesn’t encourage you into a state of flow (I’ll write more about that in a future blog)

Take some time to think about this (Kline).  Explore your metaphor, what does it look like to you ? Create your own narrative.  Now think what would you like this to look like ? What would be different ? Too difficult …? Remember it’s ok to daydream, think big, think positive !  

If you did know what to do, what would that look like ? (Kline’s insightful question approach)

If, when you woke up tomorrow morning a miracle had happened overnight, what would this look like ? (Adapted from De Shazer’s miracle question)

Chances are you will ‘see’ a very different picture.  One where you are in control.  How amazing is that !

The next steps are then to explore what you need or could do to make that change happen.  Of course this is where a coach can come in very useful; someone to guide your thoughts, summarise for you, help you focus (so you can decide your priorities) and reach your own decisions about the next steps.  

I see this pressure building in people working in academia and in especially amongst healthcare practitioners.  Coaching is not often considered (in my experience) and yet using coaching to assist in developing happy, in control, more productive staff seems obvious to me.  

So, why have I put a picture of a thread needle butterfly fish here ?  Well, I love floating (with snorkel on!)in a nice warm sea over a reef just watching…. I have only ‘one tab’ open and I am fully present in the moment.  If I wasn’t fully present, if I had too many other tabs open with my mind wandering, I would not truely be noticing what was happening beneath me.  This photo sums this up for me.



 De Shazer (1988) Clues: Investigating Solutions in Brief Therapy. New York, W W. Norton & Company.

Kline N (1999) Time to think. London, Octopus Publishing.



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