I was in a dark place recently and I’m still slowly pulling myself out of the funk. In an effort to find some balance, I’ve been concentrating on working LESS, not more. Rest is a hard concept for so many women.
In my Muay Thai class there are women who, in addition to our very challenging classes (where we sometimes burn as much as 1,400 calories in an hour), they do daily workouts at the gym with trainers, train for marathons and then beat themselves up if they don’t kill it. I found myself doing that exact same thing, metaphorically. I was doing way too much work, and then beating myself up for the work I did do! I soon became dissatisfied, and started to question whether or not I should be doing this at all.
I took a step back and decided to give myself time to rest. I listened to music and danced, watched Archer, and slept. Because of that break, I was able to see that I had been spending a lot of my time and energy on work that did not pay (physically or mentally.)
I decided to focus on my paying gig, and let the volunteer gig go to someone else. It wasn’t easy to let go, especially since I’m a bit of a control freak, but I did let go and someone else was perfectly willing to step in. Letting go gives other people the chance to step up. It’s a win/win really.
Rest is a very important component of learning, ask any teacher. Angela Lussier talks about this, she calls it Respiration. We need to give ourselves time to stop thinking about work so that we have room for an “ah ha!” moment. While I didn’t exactly have any “Ah Ha” moments, I did get enough perspective so that I could write this article which definitely counts for something.
Letting go can be a challenge, but here’s some ideas for generating some perspective.
- Write down all of the projects you manage. Which ones do you like, which ones bum you out? Do you have a trusted underling you could pass a project to?
- Write down your personal life commitments. Are any of these optional? Are there ways you could simplify your schedule or downsize your or your family’s obligations?
- Take a lot unstructured time for yourself. Let yourself get good and bored and see where it leads you.