Do you answer your colleague’s request for a meeting with “Gee, I’m really busy now”.
Over time, this well-worn answer may be simply a reflexive way of thinking about your work. When we’re too busy “doing” and getting off the hamster wheel seems impossible, try these self-leadership tips.
My own self-leadership story has proven to me that it is possible to shift out of busy and focus on your goals that matter. This requires setting aside time for self-reflection and I've taken time for journaling to do so. For you, your newly discovered goals may be getting more engaged donors, finding a more fulfilling job, generating more influence or identifying a crop of new ideal customers. As for me, my goal was to write a guide book for women leaders based on the science of positive psychology and my own experience as a business strategist and life work coach.
1.Self-Reflect, Stop and Start:
Take ten minutes in the morning with your coffee and get your journal and pen. It does take some self-reflection around what’s most important to you. When you know what your purpose is and what’s most important to you in that context (like freedom, security, belonging, leading, etc), then you can actually notice when certain relationships or activities are “energy-draining”. We can’t get rid of mundane tasks, but we can use our time to focus on what is most important for your life’s work. Are you ready to stop doing those misaligned activities to focus on what is going to light you and your life’s work up? My book was a beginning...
2. Write or journal regularly, to release what’s stirring inside you.
For several months last year, and in the midst of caregiving for my parents, I started journaling for ten minutes each day. As I got more involved in caregiving, I looked deeper into what I believed was stirring inside me. I got inspired to help others in the midst of my own challenges.
Yes, a guide book was already blooming in my head. With my women’s self-leadership perspective, this book was writing itself in my head. Journaling really helped to clear out a lot of the “noise” in my mind that was what I call "the inner critic" so I could feel the book emerge as opposed to just thinking about writing a book. This is a mind body tool that I include in my guide book and it is very valuable for women during a life work transition.
3. Re-frame your limiting beliefs
If you find that you are always busy, It could be time for, not just a pause, but a series of experiments that allow you to see what is really possible. Reframing is key throughout our decades long working life – especially when we feel that we are in a rut, and busier than ever. This can happen earlier in careers, too. I am frequently introduced to younger women who want to explore and experiment in order to get out of their comfort zone and aim for what’s possible.
There’s much to be said about designing your next that is about moving towards what inspires you instead of away from fear. This allows you to align with what is most important to you.
I’d love to help you navigate this and make some inspired moves that come from your brave heart and mind. You deserve to see life in ways that are always full of hope, courage and possibility - to benefit yourself and others in ways you might not yet imagine.