Hump Day or Workaholics Day?

Do You know what time it is?  Yes, it is Wednesday, traditionally known as “HUMP DAY” but today probably feels like a Monday since many people had a LONG weekend for the 4th of July.

There are lots of “special days” celebrated for many reasons but this was definitely a new one for me!

rtc_june_5_workaholic_fullAccording to Punchbowl which helps you plan a party from start to finish – July 5th is Workaholics Day!  By definition, a workaholic is a person who is addicted to work.  Generally it implies the person enjoys their work and they feel compelled to do it.  According to an article on Webmd, a workaholic is a life out of balance with key signs to when you are in trouble.  Does this sound like you?

  • Trouble delegating work
  • Neglecting other aspects of your life (family, special events, vacations, etc) to work
  • Incorporating other aspects of your life into work (turning a hobby into a new business)

So, if I have just described you – TODAY is dedicated to you.  It is a time for you to step back and take it easy.  Do some mindless activity you enjoy – read a book for fun, take a nap, take a walk on the beach or spend some time watching YouTube videos.  If you are the friend or family member of a workaholic, CELEBRATE – ENCOURAGE – REWARD them for their accomplishments today.

As for me, I am a struggling recovering workaholic.  Family and friends used to take a back seat to my job – I thought it was my calling or passion.  Now, my passion is owning my own business.   Yes, I always have a catalog with me.  Yes, I am always ready to share about the way Thirty One has changed my life.  Yes, I love every time I go to work – I get to PARTY!  The difference is now i take time to spend with hubby on his days off, or play hookie to hang out with my best friend or spend the day with my mom.  I still slack in the family time area but I am a work in progress.

I challenge you to look at your life and do a double check – do you have a healthy work-life balance?  If not, what are you ready to do about it?  Please share how you will be celebrating today

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How Do You Parent?

hot messWe are almost 3 weeks into a catalog change, about 1 week into an amazing enrollment opportunity and my office (not even just my desk) looks like a “hot mess”.  For those of you who know me, this is not good!  Health challenges, brain fog and “hot messes” don’t mix well.

I know, you are wondering what this has to do with my question, right?

My “time hop” reminded me of a workshop hosted by ETTW (Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Women) where Caryn Chow was the guest speaker.

Caryn shared that we need to “apply the same skills to your business as you did to raising your children”. That got me to thinking that we need to do the same thing in our relationships.

Here is the acronym that she shared with us:

P = Patience
A = A lot of Love
R = Resilience
E = Endurance
N = Nurture
T = Time Out

In direct sales, this makes so much sense. Many of us think of our team as our kids. They need patience, encouragement and nurturing.  Just as my daughter taught me lessons as she was growing up, my team teaches me everyday.  Let’s be honest, these same characteristics are important in our relationships with other people, especially our spouses, right?

The question is,why is it sometimes much harder in our relationships then in our business?  Love is pretty easy.  In our marriage, we love our spouse or we wouldn’t have gotten married right?  Endurance to continue on even despite nah sayers.  Even when there are bumps in the road personally and professionally, we endure.   Nurturing seems to come naturally for most women. I mean, we take care of everyone else and seldom take time for ourselves, right?

Patience, now that can be a little tougher in both aspects of our life.  Why do we tend to lack patience with our spouse or in our business?  We tend to compare where we are in our lives with where others are in their life.  Social media – a love/ hate relationship that keeps us comparing ourselves with others!

The two things that I struggle most with are “time out” and “resilience”. Sounds crazy right considering that I have endured the roller coaster ride of life.  Taking time out for me (or family) is something that I have struggled with my entire  life. Workaholic Wendy steps in sending the message that I am only worth anything at work!  YIKES!! Did I say that?  Yes, I did.  With the help of hubby, I am learning to take time out to enjoy our moments together without work. Not easy but I am trying.

Resilience is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly” or “the ability to spring back into shape“. Yup, that is me!  Bad business month, I spring back kicking it into overdrive.  I have to be careful not to become the “pushy salesperson” and just continue sharing the gift of Thirty One. The recovery process is a lot slower when Negative Nellie and Doubtful Debbie visit mostly in my personal life. The key is that I do snap back.

Here is another fun acronym

T eaching (telling them)
R ight
A ctions and Attitudes.
I nvolvement (showing them)
N urturing (caring for them)

Telling, showing, and caring– this triple helps you have a successful business and a happy marriage!  So, are you ready to be a PARENT and be a TRAIN-er ? I would love to hear others thoughts on this…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Embrace Life

Funny-Friday-quotes

“Work smarter not harder”

Wouldn’t we all like to do that?  Wouldn’t it be great to get to the weekend and just embrace it?  Would’t it be nice not to worry about the work that didn’t get done during the week, or have a list of to do’s a mile long?  I envy people who can shut off work and just embrace the weekend (or their days off).  I figured they were better at time management or had a hidden stash of money so there was no stress in their life.  Crazy right?  Remember I am a struggling, recovering workaholic.

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Over the last few weeks, I learned a little bit about working smarter, not harder.  I found that despite the brain fog as a result of health issues, I have been able to focus more, enjoy time with friends and family, and have some clarity in my work and my life.  For the first time in a LONG time working from home, I have put down the computer (and the phone) to watch a movie, do some household chores and actually read a book.

Did my business fall apart?  NO!  Did customers care that I didn’t answer their emails/messages right away? NO!  The truth is, my business kept moving forward.  The best part was that I didn’t feel burnt out, exhausted or stressed.  Did it happen overnight? NO!  It is still a work in progress?  YES!

It has taken weeks of trial and error, hard work, and paying attention to what feels good and what doesn’t to be able to get to this place.  The best part is that I have been able to change my schedule around so that I get to be present in my life.

Here are some things that have helped in the process

Embrace Three:  I have been working with Desiree Wolfe who routinely reminds me to make a list of 3 things that need to get done each week.  Then break down the tasks so that they are accomplished.  I also read parts of Greg McKeown’s book, Essentialism, which talks about only doing what is most essential.  Of course, there is also the need to get crazy comfortable with the word “no” which is still something that I am working on!

Setting boundaries around my routine: This is a tough one for me.  Protecting my time in the office is key.  I plan out my week based on what I need to get done, then I stick to the plan.  When someone says “what is on your schedule?”, I now gladly share that I’m working from X to X.  By setting up a schedule, I have been able to accomplish more AND break away to embrace life.  I mean wasn’t the whole idea of having your own business to have flexibility.

Building a business that aligns with how I work and live best:  This has been my goal ever since I started my business.  I wanted to find a way to blend my work (my passion) and my life.  With harmony in both, I am able to thrive.  I mean if momma’s not happy, no one is happy, right?

Losing the guilt: WOW!  This one is HUGE for me.  On the days that I do this, I’ve been able to work smarter, not harder.  I’m don’t feel guilty about being in the office for a few hours on hubby’s days off.  I’m don’t feel like I’m being lazy and complacent when I am reading a book or watching a movie. Fighting the inner gremlins of guilt and learning that self-care is important to not only embracing life but also to building my business.

No matter what your journey is, you need to know that it doesn’t always have to feel like an uphill battle.  You have permission to seek out how to work smarter, not harder.  It will take time, BUT the only way to get there is to start shifting your routine, schedule, and mindset.  Even baby steps will lead you to where you really want to be.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How To Have Less Stress

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are” – Theodore Roosevelt

TGIF!  Thank God it’s Friday… that is the chant that I hear far and wide?  This week has been a challenge for me on so many levels.

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I have been stomping on the inner gremlins of fear and doubt all week.  I have been struggling with stepping out of my comfort zone.  I have been worrying about pleasing people around me – doctors, family, friends, my team and my customers. I have had doubt about business decisions.  I have had fear when it comes to finances. Lots of stress.

Since stress is a key trigger in my MS, I am always on the hunt to eliminate it.  The thing is that many times, I don’t know that I am feeling stressed.  You know what I mean, right?  You think the day is going just fine when someone asks “are you okay?” or someone says “you sound annoyed (or snarky or angry)” or better yet they ask “why are you so stressed”?  Or worse, you SNAP at something someone says.  SMACK!!! This is when I know that I’m stressed.

Here are some things that have been helping me to eliminate stress personally and in my business:

  • Honoring my boundaries: Being a recovering people pleaser, setting boundaries in both my work and my life is a big deal.  Then top it off with trying to honor them.  Can you say stressful?  So, I have been planning out my days in my planner and sticking to my schedule.  That even means scheduling time for social media, sleep, office hours and even meals.  Maintaining boundaries and learning to say no relieves stress and the inner gremlin of guilt.
  • Getting outside:   I am so excited about the weather changing so I can go outside for just a few minutes to bask in the beauty of day.  Yes, I love being my own boss and working from home but then I get a little stir crazy.  I need people contact.  I’ve found that getting out plays a huge part in reducing the stress.  I love the idea of working from a local coffee shop or taking a walk around the neighborhood at those key times when people are walking their dogs.  I don’t have a dog to walk but it gives me a chance to engage in conversation with people.  It’s easy for me to stay inside and get lost in my computer but when I break my routine and engage with people,  I am happier, healthier and less stressed.
  • Finding joy, fulfilment, and creativity outside of my work: This is actually tough for me – a struggling workaholic.  I get obsessed with work – or the busyness of work.  This is why setting boundaries are so important.  My diagnosis of MS has been a blessing.  I am forced to STOP and take time for other things.  Why fight it, right?  The truth after a break, when I return to my desk/office, I am more creative and energized.  Scheduling time for lunch with hubby, spending time with friends and family or just working on my puzzle clears the head and brings me joy.  In other words, letting myself be instead of obsessing over work and the responsibilities that come with it is a stress reliever.

As the warmer weather approaches and life changes, stress creeps back into our lives.  I’m sure that I’m not the only one needing less stress and more joy in their life right now.  I am always surprised that as I prioritize  others joy and their wellbeing; I give myself permission to do the same.

What will you do this weekend, to reduce stress while creating more joy in your work and your life?  Share with us your best tips.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

 

Workaholic or Not

How appropriate that on “throwback Thursday”, I talk about being a “workaholic“.  In my previous life (COO for a non-profit, Grants Manager and a social worker), I didn’t know that I was a workaholic.  I thought I was just passionate about my job.  Then we went on a cruise and I had NO communication with the outside world (no cell phone or internet).  SMACK!!!

I got up early, worked late, and obsessed about all things work.  I mean how many people would actually commute 2 hours one way to work, work a 40 hour work week, take work home with them AND be on call 24/7.  Not sure if you are a workaholic – ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you dismiss breaks (hah! – times wasters)
  • Do you work more than your colleagues
  • Are you only passionate about work
  • Are you usually the first one at work, or the last to leave
  • Do you sacrifice time for yourself for work
  • Does your social life revolve around work or do you NOT have a social life

If you answered yes to more than two of these, chances are you are a workaholic.  Here are some ideas courtesy of Chapter Friday on how create more of a work/life balance:

1. Work fewer hours.  Has panic set in hearing those words.  The truth is that your boss and co-wokers will understand that you need a life too.  Scheduled till 5PM, make it a point to leave no later than 5:30PM.  I suggest the half hour grace period because I have been there.  Believe it or not, you might even become more productive by working less, as you’re likely to have more energy, and be more enthusiastic about getting back to work.

2. Leave your work at the office. ACK!!!! Honestly, during the work week, do you really get much work done at home if you are staying at the office hours on end.  Bringing home work is not good, take it from one who did it ALOT.  Take some time after work for you AND your family (or friends).  Live in the moment and you will be surprised at the change it will make in your life.

3. Take a real break – even just a 10 minute one.  Do you eat lunch at your desk? Do you skip getting coffee because you might be away from your desk too long?  Give yourself a real break to go and eat lunch outside the office, or where you go an sit outside during your quick lunch break. Even taking 10 minutes away from your laptop during lunch can make a world of different.  

4. Work smarter.  Lean how to say no (it is NOT a dirty word) to all those extra meetings and ‘quick’ requests that rob your of your precious time. Remember that urgent phone calls and deadlines are a great way to say no too – a simple, ‘Sorry, I have a deadline that needs to be completed first’ will suffice. 😉

5. Avoid becoming an addict.  Yes, being a workaholic is much like being an addict.  Take it from one who knows.  A promotion sounds great – more money, right?  But is it worth it if you have to sacrifice your family and friends.  There’s nothing wrong with hard work, and hey, it’s great if you want to work hard! But when workaholism becomes all consuming, where your life is dependent on your work – you might want to consider if you’re working just a little bit too hard.

The truth is you can be a workaholic whether you work for someone else or if you have your own business.  Do you think you, or a friend, might be a workaholic?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!