Breakthrough + Balance: In the Workplace
Yep, it's been a while. Life has been so busy, I think I finally understand why Mariah Carey checked herself into rehab for exhaustion. I'm wondering if the true problem was addiction to busyness. I am all for ending the glorification of busyness so believe me when I say that this is not a "omg I'm so busy with all this amazingness, pity me!" kind of post! I'm writing to continue (and wrap up!) the "Breakthough + Balance" mini-series-- if you haven't read the other two posts, check them out!
For this iteration, I'll be sharing some quick tips on your approach to the workplace. The goal here is not to detract from work but, again, to learn which metaphorical muscles to relax in order to get breakthrough and balance! If you have no idea what that means, I repeat: read my first two posts in this series! On to the tips!
- Rest proportionately to your work. When you've been busting your ass in the office, think about how to balance that time and energy outside of the office. If you've been putting in especially long hours, taking a long lunch probably isn't the appropriate balance. Think about taking a long weekend if/when you can. Get a massage. Do more yoga. SLEEP. That way, you can return to work and continue your butt kicking.
- Don't have MEETINGS. By this, I mean don't have generic meetings for the sake of having a meeting. Think about what you want to get accomplished in your meeting then think of what approach will deliver it. Maybe it's a brainstorming session and you can provide snacks and a relaxed atmosphere and artistic exercises to get the creative juices flowing. Maybe it's a roundtable discussion where each person HAS to share one current challenge and people can share ideas to help. Maybe it's a one-on-one where you go on a walk and have a more intimate conversation in a non-threatening setting. The vibes matter. And if you're not the boss setting the meetings? Make yourself stand out by asking that boss what the goal of the meeting is then step up to help create the right vibe to get there. Breakthrough!
- Learn to, nicely, say no. Here's my go-to approach when I'm asked to take on a task on top of my already heavy workload: respond "I would love to help with that! Just so you know what to expect in terms of timeline, I'm currently working on x, y, and z. Taking this on might mean z gets put off until next week. Let me know if you have any other guidance regarding priorities." This accomplishes three things. First, it tells the boss "yes" without making you crazy. Second, it reminds the boss that you're contributing a lot to the organization. Lastly, it keeps you sane by buying you time and gives you permission to back off one task when you take on another.
- Don't stop working toward your dream job. If you're already in your dream job, congrats and keep it up! If not, there are a few things you can do. Say it out loud or write it out-- materializing your dream in one way can be the start of it materializing in other ways. I recently shared my big scary life dream on an Instagram story! You can also look for free or low-cost online or in-person training courses that can get you another step closer. What would you want to add to your resume to get that dream job? Start taking them on one by one.
- Get yo'self some mentors. Not just one but as many as it takes to meet your professional and personal needs. I have one mentor who is a total go-getter in my current career. That is awesome but it can also be intimidating. So I also have another mentor who has a work-life balance that I desire. She helps me remember the life goals I have, separate from my current job, and holds me accountable to making progress toward them.
Have you tried any of these ideas before? I want to know what you're all doing to get some major breakthrough and find balance in your work-lives. I am always open to new tricks! And here's a dare-- in fact, I double dare you-- post or tell someone important in your life what your big scary life goals are. Put it out to the universe and see how it feels!