5 Gears in lock-down

Laura Mears
Laura Mears
An overview of the 5 Gears in lock-down

Here is a summary of the 5 Gears – please read this before you watch the video

As a car needs 5 gears for different speeds of driving, so we need different gears to help us organise our time at home in a way that keeps us and our relationships happy and healthy.  Read the descriptions of the gears below, and consider jotting down some notes in your journal. 

The 5 Gears: Summary

Gear 5: Focused Mode.

Some people have never been in this gear, but for many of us, this is a gear we spend some time in every day.  It is a hyper-focused mode where we don’t want to be interrupted.

Gear 4: Task Mode

Answering an email, making a phone call, cooking dinner, doing housework, gardening or fielding messages whilst attempting to be present. This can perhaps best be understood as a multi-tasking mode! A lot of us are in task mode most of the time.

Gear 3: Social Mode

Talking with others about life, love and the universe! You may shift up to talking about work for a while, or you may go down to sharing on a deeper level.  Our enjoyment of third gear will depend very much on our personality.  Some of us could pitch a tent in 3rd Gear, whilst others may feel happier switching up or down, whenever we can get away with it!

Gear 2: Connect Mode

This is when we talk at a deeper level than just the weather, people, places and things.  Here we are not fixating on a task, but really getting to know another person.  We will need to ask questions, and use our listening skills to make sure another person feels truly heard.

Gear 1: Re-charge Mode

Every one of us recharges differently.  This gear is all about operating in the areas that refuel us, often when we are spending time on our own.  It could be reading, going for a run or walk, playing the piano or just spending time meditating or contemplating.  If you can understand how you recharge you will have more energy.

Reverse: Responsive Mode

I know we said 5 gears! But there is actually a sneaky sixth. This gear is about being responsive, not resistant.  Accepting where we have got something wrong (knowingly or unknowingly), and asking for forgiveness.  This gear grows our influence as we show ourselves to be people who can accept responsibility for our mistakes, and who care about moving the damaged relationship forward.

A healthy life will include some time in each of the gears, and knowing which gear is needed for each circumstance of life. 

Now you are ready to watch the attached video…

Afterwards you might like to ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • In which gears do I spend most of my time? 
  • Which gears do I find hardest? 
  • How can I access the gears in lockdown?
  • Which gears are important to my family members or housemates?  (Consider having a household discussion about which gears are most important to which person. Then you can help each other out when one member is feeling tetchy or sad because they haven’t been prioritising their more energising gears)
  • Map out a typical day, noting which parts of the day are spent in which gears.  You may like to take some different-coloured highlighters (we all love a set of highlighters!), so you can spot which gear is being neglected and in which gear you are spending a lot of your time. 

Now it’s over to you. 

Write down two ‘take home’ goals which will help you to organise your time in a healthier way.  Include who will keep you accountable and when you will start.

For example:

  1. I commit to spending 30 minutes each day in Gear 1.  Starting tomorrow, I will go to the front garden where no-one can find me, and I will listen to the birds, drink coffee and listen to a podcast, or just be.  I will ask my friend Liz to check I am keeping up this ritual!
  • From tonight, I will commit to switching off my phone at 8:30pm every evening so I am not permanently in Task mode, and I can have some Gear 2 time with James.  I will get him to keep me accountable on this.

Thank you for reading this far, and please let us know what you think!

For further reading, we recommend ‘The 5 Gears’ by Jeremie Kubicek & Steve Cockram

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