Plans change every day… Sometimes you end up in a job that you wouldn’t normally, only to find you love it; or you accidentally meet someone that will change your outlook in life. You might do something outside your comfort zone that you suddenly can’t imagine not doing anymore or you might simply add something new to your life. For me, finding out what I wanted as a career took a bit of time and once it happened, it all became clear – I belong in the charity sector.
When my husband and I made plans for a family, I immediately expected to not be able to focus on my career until my son was off to school but he’s 1 and I landed my dream job when I came back from maternity leave! I’m tremendously lucky to have a great support network that keeps me going in all aspects but enough faffing about. The point of this post is IT’S POSSIBLE!
To win the game just remain in the game.
Don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today.
Stay positive. Work hard. Make it happen.
There is no lift to success. You have to take the stairs.
A lot of the reasoning around it is so cliché that I almost feel that it shouldn’t be mentioned here. Oh, but it should! Just because it’s cliché, it doesn’t mean it’s not true!
“Be happy with what you have” sounds great when you feel that fulfils you but if there is something else in your wish list, I say go for it! Here’s a thought… balance reality and dreams. You should go after that ambitious career. You should be surrounded by positive people. You should do that thing you’ve always wanted to do but never really had the guts for it. You might not have experience yet or perhaps you can’t really fit it in… but trust me, it’s worth blocking out some time and doing some research when the kids are asleep, during that lunch break from work or even in the endless hours in our dear TfL (for those that travel in London)!
If you are struggling for time, I feel you brother/sister! I’m the person that takes a million years to plan and then, when it’s all lovely, organised and colour-coded, I’m happy… until I miss the first task and everything comes crashing down! Same kind of thing for motivation, it’s all great until things don’t go according to plan (either that or I start procrastinating just because I can!).
So, I use lists. My recommendation is to make a list of priorities, things you want from life (with the things you want to achieve first at the top). It may sound a bit daunting and overwhelming but you don’t need to achieve everything right now – and you can certainly change course anytime! Then take one a time and break it down, find manageable tasks you can complete and the time to do it without interruptions. Once I started doing this, my productivity shot up! When I’m at work, I’m focused on work only and I use lunch breaks and commuting time to get other bits done. I do the same at home, using my son’s nap time or the time he’s with my husband (so I can give all my attention to the task at hand). That also means that I can be completely in the zone during my 1-to-1 time with the little one – and all this means exactly what I want it to mean: less stress!
My other suggestion (more like a gentle demand) is: push yourself but also allow yourself the chance to not always get it right! “I have items to photograph today but it’s raining cats and dogs so no natural light then!” or “I was meant to go through 30 things after work but I’m so tired!”… Perfect examples of things that happen to me on a regular basis. I’m learning to tell myself “it’s ok”, because I don’t want to waste time – or headspace – stressing. That time could be put to better use by planning for an alternative – of course, after I have that evening off because I’m so tired from work 🙂 I had a very interesting conversation with my sister yesterday on something that ties up with this quite nicely, I think. It’s essential to take the time to get to know yourself. You will slowly start to identify triggers for specific moods, for example, which will in turn give you a bit more control of your feelings. At the same time, you will be learning to have more realistic expectations of yourself… you are, after all, human!
So you hang in there, keep fighting and forgive yourself. And if this fails… go back to basics (some more wise words I heard yesterday) and when you feel ready, re-start.
See you next time!