We all dread the first day back at the office after a vacation. Your mindset at work following a vacation should be relaxed and focused, yet it rarely works out that way. Upon entry to the office we are bombarded with information and it is difficult to catch up. The only time you don’t feel this way is if you kept up with work while on vacation. I am most definitely the fool who falls victim to both of these situations.
This is when I need to take a close look at all of the roles that I plan and my list of responsibilities. How do I spend my time and what amount of energy does it take? Right now my list is fairly long:
I am a sister, a daughter and an aunt to my family
This is a decent size list for one person to be doing on a regular basis, but it is manageable. Now I just need to focus on my responsibilities and figure out how to meet all of my various goals & deadlines. What are some things I can do?
Make a Vision Board and place it where I can see it everyday
Write down in detail why I have these roles and goals
Get with my business coach or a friend to create a realistic action plan for me to reach my various goals
Use my planner ALL the time
Wake up earlier and better plan for that poorly utlized time, like transit or my morning routine
I love New York City. I don’t like the cold or the noise, but I love the people and the energy. New York is filled with creative and passionate people. It may be because of the abundance of cultures represented or the history of the city, or even the mixture of economic statuses. I believe it is all of these things plus the lights – how can anyone not be inspired by this skyline?
People make a city – the buildings, businesses, art, culture, food, transportation, style. All of this comes from the creative class of people who make a city great. The people of New York City are a unique mixture of styles, interests and passions. While riding the train you can meet a recently relocated South African wearing every color of the rainbow who wants to be a fashion designer; or you may sit next to the 32 year old mother of 2 who donates her few hours of free time to a small neighborhood museum. All of the possibilities are exciting and interesting to me. The energy that these unique people bring to the city is what makes it so magical.
During my little vacation back to the homeland, I met up with old friends, coworkers, my family and even a few awesome strangers. One gentleman told me all about his talented daughter, and asked if I could help her out. She is a composer and performer in Brooklyn who is struggling to get noticed. I met with Dana Carmel at a little coffee shop in Union Square. She gave me some faith – in her, in music, in me, and of course in the future. Hopefully I can help her to make a few changes and get some attention.
As the third month of this year comes to a close, I have looked back on my search and writings. This incredible search for a career, a path, my goals, etc means nothing without the people who I want to help and influence. Rather than trying to search for the perfect dream in a concrete jungle like New York, I want to explore all of my possibilities right here among the Texas hills.
There’s a thin line that we all walk when trying to balance the many pieces of our lives – working, socializing, relationships, hobbies, and other adventures. Finding this balance is not always easy. I have been struggling for many years to live in a place of equilibrium, as have many of my friends.
Living in New York was like being in a state of perpetual imbalance. I lived for work. My life was all about Carnegie Hall and the work I was doing there. The events we had, people I met and concerts we promoted were the center of my everything. Even my social life came in at second best – the relationships in my life should have been higher up.
A big part of my move to Austin was based on the realization that I needed to counteract my over-dedication to work. A big part of Austin is the high importance on one’s personal life, and generally being happy. I constantly find myself checking in on my work-life balance. It is sometimes funny to see me catching myself – sometimes it’s as simple as watching a video on YouTube that will make me laugh or smile.
I’ve learned a few tricks to keeping myself in check:
Outdoor activity – I bike to and from work everyday. It helps me avoid the stress of sitting int traffic. I get in a light workout to start my day. And it wakes me up before starting the work day. For the few days that I cannot bike to work, I make sure to take a 20-30 minute walk outside at some point of the day. I love getting some vitamin D and fresh air.
Music – This is my personalized escape from the chaos. When I listen to music, it always lightens my mood and takes me to a happy place. Thank goodness for Pandora and my iPod.
Friday Nights – I dedicate one night each week to be alone with me. Friday nights work best because I’m usually tired from the week of work and activities.
Water – Getting up and away from my desk every 45 minutes or so is so important. I make sure to drink lots of water, and the time it takes to get up for it helps me remind myself that there is more than just work to do.
It is so easy to stop believing. I had an awful week in February that made me feel like breaking things. I questioned everything, assumed that I would never succeed and stopped wanting to achieve. Being sick that week slowed me down, so I felt very behind on all of my tasks. Then I did some basic financial analysis of my “big business” idea – and I discovered that there’s no money in it. The final straw was on Thursday morning. Upon starting my computer, I had the black screen of death…the hard drive had finally crashed. The entire week was clouded by failures in my mind. I lost the faith for a few days and it wasn’t pretty. Luckily, I am not the star of some overly dramatized reality television show, so very few people know about my mini-breakdown (until now).
At the end of my week from hell I realized that there are some amazing women in my life. These women believe in me. Some of those women are business acquaintances, others still strangers and a couple of good friends. They told me things like, “You have that special something inside you that every entrepreneur needs. I knew that from the moment we met” and “You just connect with people without even trying.” These huge compliments were the boost I needed that week. It made me appreciate the people in my life who I may not give enough credit to – the people who stand by my side even when I don’t realize that they are right there.
This week I am taking a moment to thank the people who are there for me. Thank you all so much for loving me the way I am and supporting my crazy dreams. I hope I can repay the kindness that you have shared.