Have you said these words and then realized another hour or two went by before you were finished? You see the disappointed faces of your family, you order take-out dinner again, and you miss yet another yoga class. Instead of spending time on our family and relationship, we find we spend our time with a laptop in our hands as we “quickly” finish this one thing.
Yet, all along we feel we are not doing enough—that we are not getting to our goal fast enough, that it takes too long, or perhaps that we can’t get there at all. We think we could get there if only we had more time for work, then we would have so much more time for them. Then.
Can you relate? Does this sound like something you have experienced? The first time I paid attention to this was when I was at a conference listening to marketer, Tyler Garns. Tyler said that there was a point when he was working so much that he felt his family was in the way of his work. That was his wake-up call. Hearing him saying so was mine.
I had to take a good hard look at what I was doing—and I didn’t like myself too much for what I saw. And that made me think…
What drives us so hard into a job, a career, or a project that we shut everything else out? Here is what I found:
Let’s differentiate between a career or job and a passion project. Your career may be what you do as your profession, but it also may be ‘only’ your job. This doesn’t mean you don’t do a great job with what you do. You probably do. It just means may not have much of a personal attachment to the work you are doing.
I believe it is much easier to become deeply engaged in passion projects. There are some people, myself included, who immerse themselves in their projects. This can be for a variety of reasons, such as financial necessity or because it is your true passion. If this describes you, the lines of where your job starts and ends can often become blurry.
It can also be easy to become so absorbed in your project that you may spend more time than necessary doing what needs to be accomplished. If you’re having trouble staying focused on your tasks, I provide some tips here that can help you.
If we are running ourselves into the ground, we are no good to anyone and we often end up miserable and stressed out.
That leads to two questions:
1. What makes it so hard to stop?
2. What can we do to find a better balance today and not chase a future that may not yet be clearly identified?
Remember your ego-RHYTHM. We always start by thinking about our Main Focus. Right now, I am definitely in a Career ego-RHYTHM (again) and building The Women’s Code is my Main Focus. Think about your own ego-RHYTHM and Main Focus. If you spent time to build momentum then you should run with it because you know by now that it won’t last forever. But, even if you are 100% submerged in your Main Focus, there are still other vital aspects of your life that need to be aligned so you can function: a good diet and exercise, rest and relaxation, family time, relationship time, and Me time.A powerful tool that The Women’s Code uses is the (Life) Balance Plan. It uses a simple weekly calendar to show you how to make time for what you deem important for this week. You can fill it out together with your family so the needs of every family member are equally considered. The plan and the accompanying free Balance Training is available with the purchase of the book Happy Woman Happy World. Go here for instructions on how to get it.
The key to enjoying your Main Focus is to diligently map out what is important to you, and then schedule all your professional and personal appointments like your hair appointment, family outings, exercise time, soccer practice, etc. into one calendar. If you put it in the calendar, you commit to doing it. Using this method, you ensure all the things that are important to you are getting the attention they deserve—including you!