In the last couple of weeks, I have taken time to observe my male colleagues and the way they approach their work, family and relationships. I have found that it is quite different from my own regular way and I wonder how my life will be different if I approached my business with the same ethic.
Be a Mommy and Work Like a Man
Here are a few points I noted:
1. Have a life objective. Your life objective should include your professional and personal objectives. Try to put the two most important things of your life in one sentence using joining words such as ‘in order to’, ‘so that’, ‘to ensure’ etc. The list is endless and so are the possibilities. Your LIFE objective can be divided into blocks- your twenties, your thirties, your forties etc. For example: “To build a business empire around my passion for writing so that I may become more independent and leave a financial legacy for my children”.
2. Be deliberate about each second of your life because the smallest unit of measuring your objective is one second. Plan your day-not your life-to the second (or at least to the nearest minute).
3. Be the boss of your life. Own your life! Your employer doesn’t own your life. Your children don’t own your life. Your emotions don’t own your life. You do! Therefore, you determine where you work, what you earn, who you acquaint with, how you spend your time, what you pay your attention to, what affects you spiritually, emotionally etc. Even if there are contracts that are binding – remember that you chose them and you could just as easily (or not) unselect them.
4. Prioritize everything! In order to be deliberate-you need to prioritize your day according to the most important areas of your life. Here are the most common areas: your employment, your career, your relationships (sub-areas are family, friendships, acquaintances, colleagues etc) and your health. Each day, determine the level of importance of each area and rank them accordingly. Obviously, Sundays will be different from Mondays.
5. Let your activities fall into place! Divide your day into more practical and measurable activities which fall into the different areas defined in number 4. These are your targets. Under your employment-put the activities that should be achieved as per your organizational work-plan; your career-send out applications; your family- spend quality time with your child.
6. How much time? You only have 24 hours! Allocate them wisely depending on the effort each activity demands.
7. One friend policy at work or outside of work. Have a friend who has ‘insider advantage’ of your life objectives who you are able to bounce ideas off to see if you can float them at work. This friend can remind you of your purpose now and again should you get side-tracked by office politics. Yes, it may be your husband or your mentor. I don’t really recommend a work-mate as it may seem like gossip if you accidentally provide information that they are not privy to as part of your venting. Husband-eh? Husbands like pragmatic issues-things that need solutions so if you have a case like that-pick up the phone and ask. ‘Everyday friends’ are for social issues not career moves and a call can turn into a venting session and not help you reintegrate into the workplace and reorient yourself. Parents-eh may mollycoddle you and leave you feeling so entitled and resentful. My advice-call your mentor/friend.This is just my opinion though.
8. Speak up, say what is on your mind in meetings-casual or otherwise. Not what is in your ‘feelings’ but in your thoughts. Say that! Then ask what the other person thinks as an ‘after thought’. Have purposive conversations with conclusions and not to leave your thoughts/ideas hanging in the corridor/ opn air somewhere. Push for somthing conclusive-another meeting, a presentation, follow-up call/email, concept note SOMETHING!
8. Respect the list. Honor the list. Rebuke any guilt. Because the return on your life objective is dependent on this list.
9. Share and discuss your daily achievements even if they are few. Talk about yourself and start with your achievments and not all that negative crazy stuff you had to push through. Yes, they happened. Did you learn your lesson? Use that lesson to achieve your next round. Then talk about it.
9. Have a cheat hour to reward yourself of your ‘focus’. How? Do the type of work that you really enjoy. I am not talking about spas etc. If you enjoy writing, reading the paper, following the stock market etc- do that!
10. At night, in the comfort of your home, explore the other ‘shades’ of you. It is important that you leave no stone of your being unturned each day. Your mommyness, your wifeyness and other. Then sleep.
11. Learn not to complain about inadquate sleep. Be grateful for what you got.
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