Recently I went to visit my family, and I took my 2 year old daughter with me. Like every flight, we listened to the pre-boarding flight rules, were shown the exit rows, instructed how to evacuate in case of an emergency, and were instructed how to properly utilize the gas masks in case we have a decrease in cabin pressure – by putting on our own mask before assisting others with theirs, should they need it.
I got to thinking about this for a while. At first it seemed selfish – the thought of me putting on my own mask before I would help my daughter put her mask on. Then I realized the importance of this seemingly selfish move.
In order to accurately and effectively help others, we must first make sure that we are taken care of.
If I didn’t take the extra time to ensure that my mask was properly situated, it could adversely affect the well being of my kid. I’d never forgive myself if something happened to her if it was directly avoidable if I had taken a minute to secure my mask first.
Then I realized this very same concept can be applied to the client/customer relationship. In order to perform at our best, provide the best services, and give top-notch quality to clients, we have to make sure we’re mentally and physically able to do our best job.
If you’re living with habits that constantly drain you, if you aren’t getting enough rest, if you’re not constantly learning new techniques to improve the quality of your work, your products, services, and clients will suffer.
Sometimes I’ll forget just how important self-care is, and I’ll stay up late working on projects after-hours, or I’ll sacrifice my morning routine of yoga + green juice because it might seem more important for me to start my workday an hour or two earlier in order to get a head-start on the day. After all, we’re human and can easily slip into hold habits.
When I make the time and commitment to take care of myself by following my morning routine, honoring the work rules that I have in place, and I don’t allow myself to fall into the “it’ll be okay to skip just this one time” way of thinking, I’m more focused as I work throughout the day and I’m able to serve my clients with a clear mind and intentional actions.
Are you putting on the proverbial gas mask before you reach out to help others?