There are two blog posts that I recently read that have been swirling around in my head and I keep thinking about them. For me, when something stays top of mind and I can’t shake it, I take it as a sign that I need to address the item or issue. In this case it’s the dizzying pace of work and the physical and digital clutter that’s accumulated as a result of my life that’s all work and little play. Thank goodness I enjoy my work!
But, regardless of how much any of us love or hate our work, being out of balance is not healthy. So today, I re-read both blog posts. One is by Leo Babauta titled The Wastefulness of Decluttering; or How to Make Less Count for More, and the other from Todd Defren titled 5 Steps To Dealing with the Relentless Pace of Marketing, which opened with Defren writing about a 30 year old client who said to him, “I’m exhausted.”
I know what you’re thinking, how can a 30 year old be exhausted?! But in this brave new world of social media marketing where it’s an always-on life of 24/7, 365 days a year of being connected, I can relate to the 30-year old client who’s exhausted.
For the most part, I like working and always being tapped in or I wouldn’t do it. But when it comes at the cost of a messy, cluttered and unbalanced life, it makes me hold up the mirror and admit to myself that I need to adjust the compass a bit.
I made a New Year’s resolution at the start of this year to be committed to clean eating and being the healthiest I can be, which I had been doing fairly well on until a few weeks ago when I went three weeks without working out due to a busy schedule and travel. I’m not one of those people who can travel and squeeze in a workout. When I travel it’s all work and a little sleep and that’s it! (Okay, I sometimes will squeeze in dinner with clients).
But getting back to my point of needing to adjust the compass, this three-week streak of abandoning my 4-5 day a week workout regimen, along with reading these two blog posts, made me realize that my work-life balance is off-balance.
What I loved about both blog posts were the tips and steps that both Defren and Babauta provided. Of course, I haven’t implemented any of them yet. But I’m putting the stake in the ground right now by writing this blog post and declaring to the world (okay, to the handful of family, friends and 1 or 2 strangers who read my blog) that as of today I’m making a change.
I’m setting three goals right now, then breaking them down into small bite-sized tasks and staying the course for the remainder of this year so I meet these three goals:
- To dial down (just a little) my dizzying always-on work pace;
- To de-clutter my digital life and my physical surroundings (mostly my office, which has been one huge weight on my shoulders); and
- To make time for family and friends because sadly they get about one-percent of my time if even that. My dog gets more of my time then my friends and family. Ouch, that’s a hard thing to admit.
My three biggest hurdles in taking the first step will be:
- Being committed to spending at least 60 uninterrupted minutes on the weekend cleaning up my digital clutter, which means closing email, Tweetdeck, IM, Skype, etc.;
- Turning off the computer AND my iPhone (eek, did I just say I’d go off the grid) and spending one or two weekend afternoons a month de-cluttering my environment (I wish I was brave enough to post a picture of my office, but I’m not, maybe someday soon when it’s less scary…haha); and
- Carving out a little time for family and friends and NOT pull out my iPhone to tweet or check email in their presence (okay, I might fail on this last one, but I’ll keep trying and one day I’ll succeed).
The second and third hurdle truly will be the most difficult because I spend the majority of my day either on my computer or on my iPhone, even during my workouts, which makes me realize that I should probably go back to taking regular classes instead of working out on the elliptical trainer or step-climber!
So with that said and the stake in the ground, I’m going to post this blog post, tweet and Facebook it, and then shut off my computer and go enjoy the rest of this beautiful day!