What if you tracked how much time you devote to these four activities? If you scheduled these activities on your calendar and did them, how would your life change?
FUN: We have fun Friday’s once a month at Moser. We get together and talk, play games (board games and video games), have a little Happy Hour, and get to know each other. I also have special friends that I meet with who make my heart sing, both in Indy and out of town. Find people you have fun with.
FRIENDS: Many years ago, a small group of women CIOs in Indy went to dinner together. This evolved into our Wine and Whine group. Now, we invite women we know to meet somewhere for wine and fun. In January, we will be having our annual ReGift part, where you trade gifts that you got for Christmas (the dumber the better). This year we’re encouraging everyone over 50 to bring friends under 30. We’ve been doing this without organizational structure for over 20 years. I love the way women of all ages and jobs meet each other at these events. I am extremely grateful for my dear ‘board’ members who have been on this journey with me. How can you create a Board for yourself?
FAMILY: We have a new mother in the office and I can’t help but think how hard it was to juggle family and work. It’s virtually impossible to keep all the balls in the air, at least at one time. Now that my children are working adults, I’m learning how my new world of quiet works. At every point in our lives, relationships evolve and people come and go. Here’s a snippet from a WebMD interesting article :
Families, almost from their start, face forces that could pull them apart. When a family begins to mature, that potential loss of connection, that feeling of something changing, is difficult to confront.
And it makes communication even more important.
“This idea of feeling connected becomes very reinforcing, to all of us, and it contributes to happiness, it contributes to mental health and it does contribute also to physical health,” says John Northman, a psychologist from Buffalo, NY.
“It’s well known that when people feel better connected, that they feel better physically, they’re certainly less likely to feel depressed — or if they do, they’re in a better position to get out of being depressed.” Overall, it leads to a feeling of a greater degree of support and connection psychologically,” he said.
ReFlect: In the hectic world we live in, being quiet and reflective is difficult. Usually we just grit out teeth, work faster and less effectively. The cycle begins again the next day. My friend Kevin Eikenberry has a great blog post about this and he’s a guy that packs a lot into each day. Here’s how he explains reflecting more effectively:
Make time. Reflection requires effort, thought, and time. We all have the time, regardless of how busy our schedules are. Reflect in the shower. Reflect on the drive to work (turn off your radio or your iPod and think). Reflect in the moments before you go to sleep. Reflect with your family as you eat a meal. Turn off the television. There is time – we just have to carve it out.
Ask questions. Reflection is about thinking, and questions help our brains think. Consider using this list of questions as your “starter set” of reflective questions – the questions to help you think about what happened and what you can learn.
· What worked? Why?
· What didn’t work? Why?
· What does this situation remind you of?
· How can I use this experience? How does this experience relate to other situations I’ve been in? What can I learn from that situation?
· Knowing what I know now, what would I do differently next time?
Think more broadly. Think about what you can take from this experience and apply to other related, or perhaps even unrelated situations. Look for generalizations, patterns, tendencies, and underlying principles. When we think more broadly, we make our reflection time infinitely more beneficial to our lives. As a leader, we need all the learning we can get – and reflection is the most powerful opportunity we have. So, what have you learned today?
Here’s quote from an article from the Kellogg school from Harry Kraemer:
“The reason many, many people have trouble balancing their lives is that they have not been self-reflective enough to figure out what they’re trying to balance.”
Here’s my challenge to you - leverage Harry Kraemer’s questions below and reflect before 2018 for 10 minutes. Do that for five days in a row and see what changes. Feel free to share with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What did I say I was going to do today in all dimensions of my life?
- What did I actually do today?
- What am I proud of?
- What am I not proud of?
- How did I lead people?
- How did I follow people?
- If I lived today over, what would be different?
- If I have tomorrow, what will I do?