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Life's Rhythm

I'm a percussionist, so I'm somewhat biased in my love of rhythm. Rhythm is often defined as a musical pattern in time, but my sense is that rhythm is not solely the domain of music – it applies to all areas of life.

Rhythms exist at multiple levels in our lives, and it's worth looking into these to see if the rhythms you have in your life are serving you. The most useful lens seems to be the analysis of daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual rhythms.

So what do I mean by rhythm if we're not talking about music?

If rhythms are patterns in time, then you can step back from any aspect of your life, and analyse the patterns to see if they serve you or not. For example, my wife Ash and I are both pretty busy. It's easy to get to the end of the week, only to realise that we haven't spent enough quality time together to nurture our relationship. In other words, through the lens of our relationship, our weekly rhythms, if left to their own devices, tend not to foster a more connected and intimate relationship for us.

Our relationship is a priority, so about 18 months ago we started a new rhythm – we meet every Sunday before dinner, and plan our the upcoming week together. On one calendar, we can see our separate and joint commitments, and schedule in (i.e. prioritise) quality time with each. Quality time for us might be walking the dogs together, a date night, or a sneaky lunch together when time permits. The important part is that we actually schedule this time into our calendars, and then follow through.

We also have an annual calendar, which we use to plan holidays, work trips and friends/family coming to stay with us. In terms of the annual rhythm, we try to space these sorts of activities out so that the patterns of the year are reasonably balanced.

As an aside, one of the cool things we do during our Sunday meetings is to ask each other the question, "how can I love you better this week?" It's a powerful question, and it puts a weekly rhythm in our lives which forces us to request one practical thing from each other that we can do to improve our relationship. Importantly, we write this practical request down so that when we get to the next Sunday meeting, we can hold ourselves accountable.

What are the rhythms in your life? Are you being swept around by the seasons set by someone else, or are you intentionally setting your course? As a general rule of thumb, it seems to be that if you don't take control of the rhythms in your life, they will take control of you.

In business, our rhythms are very important. Daily standups, weekly meetings, quarterly reviews, annual budget confirmation, etc. These rhythms are the backbone of a high-functioning organisation, and the same principles can be applied in other areas of your life.

My encouragement to everyone this week is to look carefully at the rhythms in all aspects of your life, and look for three things that you can implement this week to make your life more awesome. As a team member at Valenture, our remote first culture gives you a lot more control of your rhythms than a traditional work environment. Don't waste this opportunity.


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