“Having it all” has never made sense to me. I can see a path forward to having it all. I can’t have milkshakes every day because, being lactose-intolerant, I would spend my life being very uncomfortable. All kidding aside, the idea of “having it all” seems like a great way to set myself up for failure. There would always be one more thing.
In the past few weeks, I’ve experienced burnout. The start-up I work for is growing at a faster pace and the stakes are increasing daily. We are poised to explode; it’s a really fun time of growth and change. With success also comes pressure. These increased work and expectations have impacted other parts of my life. I’m working out less, struggling to balance family time, and this week, I have a cold to end all colds. Due to illness, I’ve been forced to slow down and have made the choice to reflect.
The crux of having it all is time. How does one allocate time and energy to all of the things that matter? I decide to think about the guidelines that would help me answer this question and move away from the “having it all” conversation. Here’s what I came up with:
Am I spending my time in ways that give me purpose? Lately, I spent a lot of balance conference call with potty training cleanups. Being an agent of change in the addiction treatment space is something that I care deeply about. Dealing with the minutiae of running a company is a means to an end. As my boss often reminds me, the proverbial trains need to run on time for us to make an impact. The same can be same said of my mommy world. On the days that work is particularly hard, I remember that if nothing else, working helps me to provide for my family. At the end of the day, that an extraordinarily important purpose. Taking the time to support my little one in learning how to “human” is highly purpose driven. It’s not glamorous, but it’s important.
Am I spending my time in ways that keep me healthy? As a highly purpose driven purpose, I need a balance to keep my workaholic tendencies in check. Engaging in work that gives me purpose cannot be at the expense of my mental, emotional, or physical health. It is a requirement to spend time and energy on eating well, moving my body, and resting my mind.
Am I spending my time in ways that align with my values? I need to do a gut check every so often to make sure my actions are in line with my core beliefs. When I feel off, sometimes it’s because I’m taking part in something doesn’t quite fit. It’s easy to drift without realizing it when trying to keep other with others. Time for reflection and course correction can help make sure your energy is focused and makes you feel like you’re on your right path.