Hello and Happy Monday to you! This is the last memo as part of our series that started a couple of weeks ago, Friends. The first post was about creating boundaries and the second was about developing balance. I just read an opinion piece this morning about how working folks are rethinking their jobs. For us women and womxn, we’ve shifted how we approach our work for varying reasons and the complexities may still be there. Generally speaking, we tend to shoulder multiple roles and responsibilities. And it seems a lot of us have been doing some soul searching the last year and a half, and that’s why it felt important to do this mini-series.
As I mentioned last week, boundaries and balance can relate to one another. They shape our personal and professional lives more than we imagine. We may use different words to explain how we feel or what we’re going through, but maybe you can relate to one of these:
- I’ve built up strengths and skills over the years, though I’m doing X?
- My job and organization have parameters and while they’re here for a reason, I feel stifled…
- Ugh, I wish we could be innovative and change X, Y, Z.
- I’ve got this fire and passion in me to try something new, that fits me better. I don’t know where to start.
- There’s no time to dream right now of a new job, I’m trying to keep myself afloat here.
Again, these are just some examples of thoughts or feelings as the seasons change and as we grow in our work. And while this may not be a magical fix, the little formula I mentioned last week may be a useful tool to reflecting on what has been, what is, and what could be:
One Boundary + One Method of Balance + Your “Why” = A Formula for Change and Success
Since I promised to share what I’ll be doing from here on out – and please keep me accountable, too – let’s dive into it.
Holding One Boundary? Why Not More?
Boundaries sometimes take practice, especially when we make new ones, and that’s why I suggest starting with one. Definitely try to make it a “good one,” one that can help your day be more successful and where you can truly make some progress.
My new boundary: checking work email less. My reasoning? I’ve seen over the months how I check email to feel like I’m on it and ready for anything. But sometimes it can be distracting from what I really need to do to keep this business moving forward. Also, an action made out of perfectionism and “FOMO,” or fear of missing out, isn’t a good reason to do something.
Now, will I abstain from emails? Definitely not. I had this lightbulb moment while chatting with a friend who’s a coach, that this angst isn’t the kind of energy I want to use in this work. I’d rather dedicate time, energy, and knowledge, to other areas and to serve better. To hold myself accountable, I’m actually going to put my new boundary at the bottom of my email signature. Shocker, I know, but every time I see it, I’ll be giving myself permission and communicating to the reader effectively. Win-win.
Creating More Balance? There’s No Time…
I’m the worst at this, I’ll admit it. I run around thinking I need to find balance, but “have no time” with 14 things on my to-do list. This style of thinking is on repeat almost daily. So, if Balance isn’t going to come to me, I’ve got to go to it. And I know myself: if I get too many boundaries and ideas to tackle, none of them may get done because I’m split in too many directions. That’s why I’m choosing one that will shift me into a higher gear with more focus.
The new commitment: Deep Work Sessions. This is going to be my new method of finding balance. I’ll reflect on when I do my best work, very specifically, and those hours will be dedicated to my DWS’s. Every day, during this time, I’m committing to shutting the office door (sorry dogs) and leaving my phone in a different room. To prep for this, I’ll find my favorite Pandora or BrainFM music without lyrics (it helps me think better), and maybe I’ll close half my tabs on Chrome. Maybe. Baby steps, right?
Now, just because I’m my own boss doesn’t mean you can’t do the same. I’ve had people in my life communicate with their supervisors and team about setting aside time for deep, focused work. Feel like it’d help you make some strides and make a shift? Never hurts to ask and implement.
Why Does “My Why” Matter Again?
Simply put, keeping Our Why in mind and in our hearts gives us fuel when our tank is running on fumes. Our heart for serving or making change, sharing talents that come naturally, etc., keeps us going if, or when, we feel like quitting. And I don’t necessarily mean when we feel like quitting a job, but when we feel like we don’t have the strength in us to go on.
Our drive to make a difference in what we do, a deep difference, can be a light in hard times. So, holding a boundary around this drive, or our life’s purpose(s), protects it and us. Creating space and a balance for us and our work allows growth to happen. And from this growth, we can expand, our light can expand, and our impact expands, Friends.
I’ll end this here and, as always, you’re welcome to share any thoughts on this. Feel free to leave a comment below or you can contact me 1:1 if you’re just not sure where to start. Want to join the FSW Circle to get more direct communications – sign up here. If you’d rather do your own thing for a bit, here’s the FSW Quiz, and you can follow FSW on Pinterest or Instagram this way. I believe in you Women and Womxn—you’re here for a reason, or many reasons, and it’s in you to grow, pivot, and thrive!