It’s in men’s primitive DNA to channel all our energy and focus into one thing at a time.
Think about what you know of our ancient male counterparts. When it was time to track and hunt, that was precisely what they did. Separated from their families, their one intent was to act as providers and bring home a wild buffalo. When they returned, they stepped into the role of family men. The transition was fluid and effortless and successful.
Today’s men are lost.
We are half in at work, half in at home, and very rarely all in with anything. The cell phone has done little to help with this. Our cell phone is attached to us at the hip, and between it chiming every time a work email comes in or buzzing with every new social media alert, we never stop “working” and never really start engaging.
And then there’s the transition. Most men do a shitty job at transitioning from one role to another. After 8 to 12 hours of working and commuting, we find it difficult to switch over into husband and dad mode. The kids are irritating, your partner seems to be nagging you, and your energy is shot. You quickly become either a short-tempered asshole or a beer-holding slouch in front of the TV.
Any of this sound familiar?
What if I told you there was another way? What if I told you that we could be both providers and exceptional family? What if I told you we could be men who were fit and healthy leaders with deep and valuable connections?
The power to do this lies in what I call The Transition. This is the ability to move from one modality of life to another quickly and efficiently.
But how? And how long does it take? It takes 2 minutes, and all you have to do is breathe.
I know, I know. Stay with me.
The 2-Minute Transition
At ATLAS, we believe that life has 4 main zones. We call this FORM:
- Family (partner, kids, close relatives)
- Occupation (work, career, business)
- Recreation (health, fitness, nutrition, hobbies)
- Mindset (being, spirituality, personal connection)
Prior to entering each zone, take 2 minutes to sit somewhere in silence and just breathe. I find 4-Count Breathing to be the most relaxing and powerful during this transition, but you can also use ascension meditation or guided meditation. (For more information on these types of meditation practices, see the resources at the bottom of the page).
With each exhale, release all that you were thinking about. Let that section of your day go so that you can step into your new section and be Superdad and Helpful Husband, Career Guy, Badass Runner, or Church Servant Minister.
Think of the 2-Minute Transition as a light switch. When you leave one room, you don’t leave the lights on (unless you’re that guy)—you turn them off. It’s a habit that you’ve conditioned your body to do without thinking. You can condition your mind to do the same—to turn off one focus and turn on another.
Consider the transition between work and home. When you pull into your driveway after work, your mind is still racing as you think about the day—the accomplishments, the frustrations, the tasks you didn’t get done, and the tasks you still have to do. Before you open the car door, just sit in your car. Turn off the radio, and for 2 minutes, sit in silence and breath. With each exhale, release all that you were thinking about and slow your mind down. Turn off Work Guy so that you can go be Elite Family Man, the dad your kid looks up to, the dog’s best friend, and the dishes-doing gentleman that turns your partner on.
This is just one example of a transition area that is much needed for most men. Think about your own life, and identify the areas in which you need the 2-Minute Transition:
- after putting the kids to bed
- before stepping into the office from your commute
- before going into a meeting
- before starting your training session
- before going into a church service
Then, think about where you can take those 2 minutes. Remember, they need to be places where you can be in quiet. Even the men’s bathroom will work.
Really? Sit somewhere and breathe? You’re not serious.
I’m dead serious.
Being able to separate each area of our lives allows us to remain present—present on the task, the situation, and (most importantly) the people you’re with. Being present improves your focus and creates structure, which in turns improves your productivity. All of this ultimately brings you freedom. Freedom from the mental chaos and stress we like to create for ourselves.
Control the transition, control the result.
Add the 2-Minute Transition into your daily routine. You’ll be glad you did.