Archive for At the Office
I went away for a week-long business trip in mid-October and stand here today scratching my head at how I can still behind in work and life! Typically, business trips don’t wreak quite so much havoc! Since being back, I haven’t worked out, haven’t made the myriad of appointments I need to, not to mention the other items on the never-ending list. Hmmm, what’s going on?
I love the popular idea of blocking time for different activities, and keeping that time sacred, but I don’t think it’s realistic for most of us in corporate America. Do you? Even for those of us at the highest levels, with an admin standing guard over the calendar, there are still the unexpected meetings, revised deadlines, and new projects popping up every day.
So today I’ve been shifting my priorities around, and also blocked off a nice chunk of time to focus on the items that never seem to come off the list, even though they must get done. These are the things that are important, but not urgent. The things that actually need and deserve more attention, but are only dependant on me. They are not things that, if not done, would disappoint a manager, spouse, a child, or whoever. Just me. So, today is a good day. I’m regaining control over what I choose to tackle and by doing so, finishing the tasks that have been weighing on the back of my mind. By clearing that space, I’m feeling happier and more energetic to finish the rest of the list, and just get present to what’s really going on around me.
I know I’m not alone in this situation. What are your best time management techniques? How do you manage the never-ending to-do list?
I read an interesting article, and slew of comments today, on workitmom.com (great site, BTW) regarding Dr. Laura’s new book, In Praise of Stay at Home Moms. At first, I felt all riled up. Another attack on Working Moms!! Can’t people leave these wonderful women in peace?!?!?! Then I viewed the Today Show interview where Dr. Laura talks about the book and read her book excerpt. Did that change my mind? No. But I did start to noticed how tired I felt. How it was hard to keep my attention from wandering. That’s when I realized that generating a huge outrage against Dr. Laura does nothing more than sell more copies of her book (and frankly, I’d rather just sell more copies of mine!). Further, if there was any piece of advice working moms could take away from Dr. Laura’s book – I haven’t read it, so I don’t know – they won’t. They won’t even buy the book, just like I don’t plan to buy it.
My biggest rule of thumb is that it’s senseless to talk if no one is listening. So shhhhh…… let’s just enjoy the silence for a moment, and then go back to our busy days wherever they are – at home or at the office.
I want to make sure all my readers are aware of an excellent site for women travelers, www.smartwomentravelers.com. As a result of my children’s book, My Mommy’s on a Business Trip, I often speak to women about the hidden silver linings of business travel, like a good night’s sleep, time for self, time to catch up with old friends, reading a book, etc. Instead of sitting around the hotel worried about what’s going on at home or at the office, I strongly recommend everyone take this time and make it really work for YOU. You’ll come back more rejuevenated and refreshed vs. even more stressed and tired than when you left! On the site is a great article on how to give yourself a facial with simple items you’ll find in the hotel – what a great idea!
So I’m mobile. I’m global. I’m virtual, to say the least. I can work from anywhere, at anytime. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? It definitely has it’s pros and cons. While being virtual has allowed me and my family to take some fabulous vacactions this year and spend extended time with family in other states, I must say that gone is the refreshed feeling from a proper vacation. Always having the laptop and checking emails leaves a heavy cloak around my shoulders, even if I’m wearing my bikini and laying on the beach.
It wasn’t any different when I worked at a Fortune 50 company and felt compelled to constantly check-in. Actually, it’s worse. Now it’s more self-imposed than ever, without the voice inside me telling me to stop working so hard for “the man”. Now, I’m the man (so to speak)! If it’s my business, and my lack of paycheck (for the moment) that’s in question, of course I’m going to concentrate on it, no matter where I am or who I’m with. BUT…. the engine needs to be cooled every once in awhile or creativity and productivity will suffer. How do the self-employed avoid burnout, especially during start-up mode?
For me, it’s the pajamas. Ugh! What about you?
Angela Ploetz, professional organizer and owner of PoshSpace, will be speaking to members of the DolceVita Woman Forum on how to pack for a trip and arrive with your suit, heels, workout wear and everything else you need – wrinkle-free and with just one carry-on bag. A dream come true, even for the most seasoned traveler!
Post your questions for Angela here and we’ll be sure to incorporate them into the discussion. All commentors will get complimentary access to the call. Don’t forget to tell us what you typically forget!