Why your bandwidth matters more than you realize

Aug 16, 2022 | 0 comments

On a scale of 1 to 10, with one being absolutely no bandwidth and 10 being a wide and spacious life with plenty of time to handle all that life has for you and throws at you, where would you put yourself now?

“I am a ________.”

Last year sitting at a conference, I turned and introduced myself to the woman sitting behind me and she said, “I know all about Global Trellis because I’ve noticed that the people in our organization who use your resources have an increased capacity.”

It was one of those times, and I know you’ve had them too, when someone reflects back to you a part of your life or work in a unintentionally helpful way.

That is exactly what Global Trellis wants to do for you. Have you heard of CEUs? Continuing Education Units? Many professions have them.

Would you like to go to a dentist who graduated in 1999 and then said, “I’m good. I don’t need to update my credentials because I already invested six years of my life learning what I needed to know.” Hard pass. HARD PASS.

Or have your taxes prepared by someone who said, “I was up-to-date until 2018 and then life got really busy and I haven’t had time to learn the changes to the laws.” No thank you. I’m sorry life’s been hectic, but a lot has changed since 2018 and your good intentions are not enough.

Why is ongoing growth important?

It’s not simply for the sake of knowing more or being up-to-date. It’s because by slowing down to grow, you actually increase your bandwidth.

Here’s the real problem if you don’t increase your bandwidth:

Researchers have found that when people lack bandwidth they give up trying to solve all of the problems and adopt tunnel vision. “There’s no long-term planning: there’s not strategic prioritization of issues . . . tunneling confines you to short-term, reactive thinking. In the tunnel there’s only forward.” (from Upstream by Dan Heath)

But more than that, and here is what we, as cross-cultural workers, need to hear, “Tunneling can be rewarding—the glory from stopping the big screw-up at the last minute. ‘Saving the day feels pretty good, and heroism is addictive.'”

Ouch.

In Upstream Dan Heath says that the only way to escape the tunnel is to create slack. “Slack in this context means a reserve of time and resources that can be spent on problem solving.”

A couple of years ago, the Global Trellis team asked the question, “How can we encourage slack and bandwidth in people on the field? So that fewer of us are stuck in the tunnel where the only option is to keep moving forward?”

This is why we have the rhythm of Soul Tending Tuesdays and Skill Building Thursdays . . . one without the other will not lead to the space and the equipping you need to creatively face the problems you face.

This is why we have monthly workshops. So that you can set aside one hour a month for a CEU designed specifically for you. Maybe the topic of that month doesn’t directly relate to you, but often something uniquely God ordained happens, your mind starts to make connections to the situations you are facing. One idea from a presenter or slide helps you see something in your life from a different angle.

This is why we have a team of specialists and talk about a variety of subjects. Slack doesn’t come simply from one “magic” change, it comes from a slow steady drip of helpful input.

Returning to the question at the top, where are you now on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of bandwidth?

Whatever the number, we want to help you move a bit to the right. If you’re a 3, wouldn’t a 4 feel better (certainly better than a 2!). If you’re a 7, think of life as you move towards 8. A bit more spacious, right?

We don’t want you to keep tunneling. Global Trellis is here so that if you keep showing up, and

—Read the Soul Tending Tuesday and Skill Building Thursday posts,
—Set aside an hour a month for a workshop, and
—Take the challenges, you too will experience an increased capacity (and joy) in your calling.

Practical ways to increase your capacity today. Choose one:

You can subscribe for Soul Tending Tuesday and Skill Building Thursday here.

If you have aging parents, join the 12 month Aging Parents Cohort that will start in September (registration closes 8/31/22)

If you write newsletters, join the 7 day Newsletter List Maintenance Challenge (read about it here, the challenge closes 8/31/22)

If you provide member care or plan training for your organization, sign up for the webinar Insights on Stress tomorrow! (It will be recorded)

Increasing your capacity is not about one big thing, it truly can be small things over time.


Photo by Kévin JINER on Unsplash

Amy Young

Life enthusiast. Author. Sports lover. Jesus follower. Supporting cross-cultural work.

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