August was one of those months where I had to focus the majority of my time on the details of managing a business. Sitting behind my desk far more than usual, catching up from early month travels and filling in the gap for employees who have needed time away from the office has taught me I long for more variety and connection in my day. Having to say no to engagements far more than yes in August was something I had to do just to make it all balance.
Many experts visualize balance using a pie chart. Neatly color coded compartments for every section of our life: career, relationships, fitness, finance, personal growth, spirituality, etc. However, my reality of balance is visualized more like the classic video game Tetris. People, deadlines, opportunities come floating into our lives and we are tasked with logically looking at them and making them all fit the best to our ability. As deadlines approach and we take on more responsibilities, we can often feel that time is passing faster and faster. Some days we are setting the high score when it comes to time management and still other days we may feel defeated when we reach the end of the day, (game over).
Once I gave up the illusion that all my life categories needed to neatly and evenly be divided into a pie chart it was a game changer. As leaders, and even more as women, it is my perspective that we carry guilt when the day ends and we haven’t gotten it all done. The reality is there are going to be days, sometimes weeks or, yes, even months where one of life’s categories demands more of your attention. The real skill level comes in not letting it consume you to the point where you are wasting time thinking about the things you aren’t going to get done. Prioritize, compartmentalize, be flexible and open minded to changing directions when needed but most of all be confident and happy in your choices. When you are feeling overwhelmed take a step back and view life through a larger lens, refocus and rely on your support system to make it through. (It’s ok if you need to phone a friend.)
For this month I have lots of new priorities on my list that gets me away from my desk and more connected: Football season, a visit from old friends, family birthday parties, charity luncheons and Women’s Network. I hope you find time to join me on September 21 for the Women’s Network Luncheon, carve out some time to attend a committee meeting, or focus on yourself and take the initiative to complete the application for either the Greater Missouri Leadership Challenge Scholarship or the Ron Marley Scholarship for Leadership Columbia Class of 2018. Yes, both of these programs are large time commitments but definitely ones that will up your game.
Make the most of your September and I invite anyone who wants to block out time for a cup of coffee and conversation to simply shoot me an email or give me a call. #WNmakeitcount
All my best,