I read the post in the LinkedIn group. It said “How do you all get everything done, I can’t fit it all in. I am trying to work, study, clean the house, get my exercise in and I am exhausted”. I wasn’t surprised to see this kind of post; in fact, I see posts like this all the time. I replied and said
“You can’t do it all. Something has to give – what will you choose to delegate/ditch?”.
The busyness myth
For many of us, we want to have it all, we buy into the idea that we should be able to have it all and that in order to be successful, we must be exhausted and burnt out. This is a complete lie and one that is literally killing people. I hear it in my clients’ stories, in the stories of my family and friends, of people out there on the internet. I saw it when I was employed and I see it now amongst my tribe.
This myth penetrates into every part of our lives, from personal to professional and can bring feelings of resentment, shame, exhaustion to anyone. From stay at home mums to employees and entrepreneurs. We pile on the stress and the guilt and we beat ourselves up for not achieving more.
What if there was another way?
I am an advocate of doing something you love every day – from making time to self-care through to the job that you do. Today I would like to focus on your job/career/business – whatever you call it and whatever you have. It might be a combination of all those things. I want to talk to you about managing your career, rather than letting it manage you. I want to show you that you can develop your career you into one that you love. You can create the life you want to live and find balance. It sounds a lot for a blog post no? Give me five minutes to see if this resonates with you.
Creating a plan to develop your career with balance
The key to developing your career is a plan. I know, I know. I am not going to tell you how to write a plan because you know how to do that already (although if you do feel you need that then please get in touch). Instead, I am going to give you two tips when thinking about creating your career development plan:
Giving your time a purpose
When we think about having a balance between life and work we often think about giving both equal or near equal time to both but the truth is that some things take up more time than others at different times in our life. One way to achieve this feeling of balance is to give your time purpose and, as I would say to my children – put a timer on it…so instead of falling into the black hole of Facebook (ahem…) you use a time management technique which works for you and work with a purpose for a fixed length of time.
Let’s take an example. A recent client of mine was ready to step up in her career. She was working full time, had caring commitments and was committed to a healthy and active lifestyle. She didn’t feel she had the time she needed to develop her career in the direction she wanted.
When we explored this it came down to not really knowing where to start and so she felt like she was floundering and using her time ineffectively. We broke down the stages into smaller, more achievable actions so she could work in 20-30 minute bursts. She looked at ways to close the gaps in her knowledge:
- shadowing others
- talking to people in a similar role
- attending training
- getting a mentor at work
Instead of procrastinating because she didn’t know where to start or getting lost in the sea of information she created a plan which worked for her and within 12 weeks had gained the skills, knowledge and confidence to move up. In this instance, she used the 12 week year by Brian Moran and Michael Lennington but there are other techniques you can use independently or in combination such as:
- Mindmapping (planning tool)
- Vision boards (planning/strategy tool)
- Pomodoro Technique (practical)
- SWOT exercise
Observing your thoughts
Your thinking drives your results; it is your thinking that creates your experiences in life and in the long run your actions are congruent with your underlying thoughts. When you change your actions you might see a shift but when you change your thinking – everything changes.
Now, I believe that our thoughts are just thoughts, we can’t control them specifically but we can observe them. We can get curious about the stories we are telling ourselves e.g. “I am so rubbish at this, I will never get it”. Instead, you might say “This is really hard, I don’t understand this….yet”.
When we are stuck in the spiral of negative thoughts we can do two things….wait for them to pass (and they will) or when can challenge them. Ask yourself if the thoughts you’re having about not being good enough are true? Look for facts and data to back up the truth. An easy way to do this is to think about times you have been successful in similar situations.
Preventing burnout as you develop your career
These two things help prevent burn out because you are only working with purpose on the things that serve you and actively managing your time (which gives you a sense of control). You’re also reflecting on your internal narrative which slows you down. Scheduling in time to spend on you, whether it’s reflecting, celebrating, relaxing or just doing something you love to do is essential. Make it part of your plan to develop yourself as well as your career.
Get in touch:
Are you thinking about how to develop your career this year? Perhaps you are ready to take on a challenge or you might feel you are stagnating in your current role/situation? Maybe you want a plan but don’t know where to start? Get in touch with me to see how I can support you.