I’ve been on a bit of a learning curve lately. And it’s a tough one.
When you work alone, as I do, you set the projects and you set the deadlines. And during COVID it’s possible I may have taken on one too many projects. Which means lots of deadlines. That may be a myriad of things from sending out email campaigns, getting a blog or article done, posting on social, recording a podcast or working on a book.
I’m good at deadlines, I’m disciplined from years of this and I drive myself quite hard. Whilst I’m a long way from having an Apple as my preference these are definitely Apple traits. Set the bar high and don’t bloody fail.
Then my normally healthy and active but elderly mum had a fall and was in hospital for 7 weeks. Add a whole bunch of other stuff happening at the same time with my dad (as it must, otherwise Murphy is left without a law) and I find myself driving 6 hour round trips to their home each week for a several days and being full time carer.
This is my choice; I’m cool with it, I convince myself. I can just work early mornings and late nights to meet my deadlines. Except I underestimated how mentally and physically drained I would be. I started missing deadlines. I started feeling ill. People were emailing me and asking me something that took brain power and I couldn’t respond. That cortisol was really starting to pump.
I am blessed to have wonderful friends whom I cherish. And as they all started to check up on me they often shared their stories of looking after children or parents or something else that may have happened to shift their priorities. The advice was same. Look after yourself. Give yourself a break. Family is the priority. Work can wait.
What? Unheard of. Don’t you know I always get everything done no matter the circumstance? I can juggle personal and professional. It’s what I do. Well, apparently not. And yet the Apple in me was refusing to give myself permission to put deadlines on hold. Why was that so hard?
If you’re reading this you probably get my newsletters and may be vaguely aware I have a new book coming out. The official launch was 14 Feb. I was sweating it because of my situation there have been delays right at the critical end point.
Then I realised.
None of you have actually put that date in your diary.
None of you are sitting there saying – I can’t wait for Lynne Schinella (who???) to release her book.
None of you have made this book the highlight of your year.
There’s two things here.
One is that we sometimes think we are way more important than we are. It’s good to give yourself a good slap up the side of the head and remember that you’re not.
Secondly, sometimes it just doesn’t matter. Choose what your priorities are and work from there. At the moment my parents come first. They must. So with that in mind, I can manage and prioritise the rest of my deadlines.
I’m not saying it’s easy. In fact, I’m still working on it. But thanks to some sage advice, I’m getting there.
Cut yourself a break sometimes. Your inner Apple will still be there when you need it.
Find out your preference for Apple, Mango, Lime or Banana, do the short Fruit Quiz
In February (or maybe just a little bit later) a light will be shone upon our personal relationships in Lynne’s new book, Pick Me! Loving and Living with People You Just Don’t Get. Through a series of hilarious, and relatable relationship stories constructed from real life scenarios, Lynne Schinella will share why and how we are different, the impact this has on our personal relationships and how to navigate the frustrating but delightful mess that is living with someone we just don’t get.
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