Let me guess.
You had back to back meetings today followed by a few back to back conference calls. The work plan that once made sense and was really do-able (if you actually had some time at your desk to get the work done) is now looking closer to herculean. You made it home for dinner but your brain was still swirling with work and you missed at least 50% of the conversation but you’re fairly sure nobody noticed because you nodded a lot and smiled between bites. After dinner wasn’t veg time in front of the TV, it was going to be workout time, but only if you didn’t have to fire up your computer to get through the emails that you didn’t get a chance to respond to today because of those back to back meetings…
How did life get this way?
Did you really think that all of those promotions and opportunities would get you here?
Many of my clients, friends and colleagues live this life and it’s one that I too lived for many, many years. It’s not as easy as taking a few days off to relax and recharge to somehow rediscover you. Heck, on a one week vacation, by Wednesday, you’re feeling pretty chill and then it hits you – it’s the halfway point and you start ramping back up into work-stress mode.
Balance is a foreign concept not only to leaders and working adults but also to moms, dads, teens and kids.
I was an alumni interviewer for my university and not one but three of the kids I interviewed were in the top 10 in their class, had a job, held leadership positions in multiple high-school clubs and led fundraising efforts to bring much needed items to an orphanage. Wow. It wasn’t even unique to travel overseas to support an orphanage! The ones that actually got in? They assured me that they thrive on less than five hours of sleep and have been that way for as long as they can remember.
Maybe those teens that don’t sleep were once like my children’s primary school friends. They play tennis, netball, are on the swim team, take ballet and are active in girl scouts. It’s only a minor annoyance that on Tuesdays they have to get picked up from school five minutes early and change in the car and on Thursdays they have to leave netball 30 minutes early to make it to tennis on time… before dinner… and homework.
Busy is not a badge of honor – it’s the path to burnout ~ Alli Polin (Click to Tweet)
Triple booked is not a way to live
You may have learned to always be early to meetings and get incredibly annoyed when others keep you waiting. You may be the one that is always running in the door late, apologizing. The real issue isn’t late or early. The real problem is you’ve got to stop running 1000 miles an hour.
What would life at 75 mph feel like?
Things go past in a blur but you’re getting there fast! No time for details or for that interesting roadside stop after all, you don’t want to be late.
Life at 60 mph?
Really fast but not quite as furious. You can hold a conversation on the way to where you’re going, smile and connect even if it is only for a moment on your way to the bathroom.
Life at 50 mph?
Still on the go but… You’re moving with purpose and you’re tires don’t make an awful screeching noise when you have to make an unexpected left turn.
- Time for you
- Time to meet with your team, colleagues
- Time to trust that others know their stuff and can go to the meeting, conference, call instead of you
- Time to eat dinner and listen and laugh
Life at 40 mph?
- Time to take care of you – exercise, eat right
- Time to breathe
- Time to say yes to that coffee you’ve wanted to grab forever
- Time to take a long weekend and know that the world won’t collapse
Don’t get stressed that this is another post tell you to slow down or pay the price. You don’t need to make the leap from 1000 to 40 to live a life that’s meaningful and fulfilling but you do need to be intentional about your choices and find the mph that works for you, your work, and your life. (Trust me, there is a whole world outside of work!) Week to week, month to month your hours and speed may fluctuate but your commitment to finding balance through intentional choice should not.
How do you get out of the 80, 75 or 60+ hour habit?
As much as it can be addicting to feel important, make the leap by saying no to those things that don’t have to have you in the mix. Empower others to step up and stretch into new skills. Advise as the back of the room expert instead of being the front of the room leader. Brainstorm with a coach or trusted advisor on what steps are most authentic for you as you work to lead with purpose and enjoy life today; not only at some far off time called retirement.
Bragging rights to doing “it all” are not worth the cost. Trust me. I’ve been there. (Click to Tweet)
What if the mph was the number of hours you worked a week? What would that feel like? What’s the right mph for you?
Are you ready to make the leap from busy to leading with more fulfillment, power and purpose? For coaching, consulting or speaking Let’s Connect!