It Works: Stories From The Book

Rest for change

Jenny is a change-management coach and facilitator who also teaches leadership development. She first heard about the 1-Day Refund when I spoke at a conference in early 2021, and she immediately began to apply the principles that would enable her to give herself a 15 per cent refund every day.

Initially she aimed to set aside only one hour a month (she called it the one fortieth rule), and while she consistently achieved this, she didn’t notice an overall change in how her world felt or any improvement in her productivity.

She encouraged her clients to do the same, especially those who were busy and were being pulled from pillar to post with no time to shape their work or have the conversations essential to her methodology. She believes change happens one conversation at a time and that leaders need to be conscious of how they are preparing for those conversations.

She began trying the 1-Day Refund system on herself, using the Microsoft function to automatically block out time in her diary to focus. She protected that time vigorously:

‘It was really as simple as that. I feel more relaxed. I feel more in control than I did. I thought that I was pretty good. I'm a very good planner and a really good manager of my diary. I do pause to shape meetings and prepare for conversations, but actually something about that has changed how I feel about my work, and my felt experience is more at ease and more relaxed. I feel like I know I've got the space I need.’

Jenny’s story is about how to build in more adaptive capacity because things do happen and change is often stressful. Those of us who are operating at surge capacity don’t have the space to ask, ‘What's the opportunity here?’ or, ‘This is interesting — I wonder what it means’ or, ‘Let's explore this. I'm curious about the impact.’

Building in a 15 per cent refund of time allows you to respond to people and be available when and where you are needed.

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