I've spent lots of time over the years pushing myself.
that ridiculous "inbox zero" goal...
the perceived need to be the first one in the office and the last to leave...
the email sessions over the weekend to stay on top of every single thing in the universe...
and worst of all, the guilt that comes from actually giving myself some down time.
What is Wrong With Me
Maybe it comes with age...er...not being an up and comer anymore? Maybe it's a new lens that we are blessed with when we cross the halfway mark (yes, I'm over 50). Or, maybe it's just that I'm thinking about my whole self, and how taking care of my whole self actually makes me a better member of my organization?
How is this post any different than the ones that talk about work / life balance and taking care of yourself?
Well, it's not about everyone else like those other posts. This one is about me.
Slowly Figuring It Out
Over the last year or so, I've finally started to distance myself from "work guilt" and have completely moved away from the odd concept of "work / life balance."
First, the guilt.
Understanding that my entire life is not defined by the work I do (although I am extremely proud of what we're doing at Kinetix); and, that the success we are having can not be the only thing that represents who I am.
My family, my faith, my friends and my health are also huge parts of who I am. Recognizing that those pieces also deserve my "time" has been an important and positive shift for me.
Now, that balance fallacy.
For a long time I've struggled to let go of trying to balance my work life and personal life. Not necessarily in the way you might think though. The realization that has finally come is to fully embrace that notion that my life includes both my work and personal lives throughout every day.
I may need to spend a night (or several) working on a proposal, catching up on work tasks or prepping for a busy day. The weekend might provide the only time I can focus on important follow up items.
I also may need to spend part of a day addressing other pressing issues in my life that are not work related...but they are "me" related.
My whole self.
It comes down to balancing my whole life, not trying to compartmentalize the many facets of who I am into nice little buckets and time slots on my calendar.
How About You
Have you gotten caught up in the mindset of hyper-productivity is the only true productivity? I was there for many years. Now, I embrace all of the parts of my life and I feel stronger and more effective than ever. I wish it hadn't taken so long to get here.
I'd love to hear from you.