Get in Gear

Merriam-Webster defines the idiom ‘Get in Gear’ as “to start working or doing something in a more energetic and effective way.” Have you ever gone through a day where you feel like you are grinding your metaphorical gears to get work done, maintain relationships, and get some rest? If so, you probably felt irritated, overwhelmed, tired, and under productive. Those around you most likely were impacted as well and may have felt like you were not present and working too hard.

Would you like to learn how to be both present in relationships and productive in your work? We have a GiANT Tool we use called the 5 Gears that helps you to be in the right gear at the right time with yourself and others. It is a metaphor around using a stick shift, every gear has a time and a purpose. Let’s break down the gears then look at some insights for using this tool.

The Five Gears

The Five Gears Tool helps to create the time and focus needed to do your work well. Shifting to and being in the right gear at the right time will allow you to be more productive and at peace with yourself and others. Here are the Five Gears:

  • 1st Gear: Recharge Mode. This is the gear where you rest, recover, and get personally recharged however that looks for you.
  • 2nd Gear: Connect Mode. In this gear, you deepen relationships by connecting with someone.
  • 3rd Gear: Social Mode. Socializing, chit chat, and small talk are all part of this gear.
  • 4th Gear: Task Mode. For this gear you manage your To-Do list and multi-task.
  • 5 Gear: Focus Mode. This gear is for being fully focused and immersed in your work or a project.
  • R: Responsive Mode. We all say or do things occasionally that require us to apologize and make it right, if possible. This gear is for backing up and/or apologizing.
Over Productive and Under Present

Some people enjoy getting lost in their work…until their relationships begin to suffer and they have to manage the fall-out. Other people enjoy being social and staying connected with others…until they are behind on their work and their work product is suffering.

Managing work, tasks, projects, and personal and professional relationships can be easier and balanced if you are intentional. We are not made to work all of the time. Relationships play a key role in satisfying our sense of fulfillment and value along with strategically developing influence and rapport with the people in our lives. Producing good work on time is also important. We must create the time and focus needed to perform well in our jobs. Learning to lead yourself well requires you to manage your energy and time effectively. Using The Five Gears Tool can help you accomplish being both productive in your work and present in your relationships.

Tendencies and Challenges

Which gear do you find yourself in most often? Task Mode? Social Mode?

Not all gears are natural for us. Some people like to stay focused and work all of the time while others prefer to be social butterflies and others find themselves constantly recharging. What are your tendencies and challenges here?

Take a moment to reflect and consider if there is a gear you tend to be in more than others and if there is one you find it challenging to be in. Then consider if there are times when you should be in a different gear. It is important to realize that being in the right gear at the right time is not just for our benefit but for the benefit of others as well. Someone might need to connect with us about something important to them so we would need to shift to the Connect Mode in that moment, if appropriate, or find the next best available time to connect.

Learning to Shift

Intentionality and awareness are necessary for us to bring our best. We would love to talk with you more about The Five Gears Tool and how you can maximize it to manage your time and relationships more effectively. You can even create a common language with your team so everyone knows who is in what gear and how to manage shifting gears. We can help! Contact us today.

-Melissa Spangler

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