I’ve been learning to work less.
It seems counter-intuitive. I’m the only employee at my organization. If I don’t do the work, no one will. Everything I know as a person who grew up in a Western, capitalist society and came of age professionally in the nonprofit sector tells me I should be working 18 hour days. Getting it done. Building the business. Supporting my family.
The thing is, though, I remember working 18 hour days. Was I productive? Absolutely. Was I satisfied? Sometimes. It’s hard not to be when your identity is work and work is all you do. Was I energized? Nope. I was exhausted. Which meant I wasn’t terribly happy either. And I’ve learned that the old axiom is true: if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.
So I’m learning, slowly, that taking care of myself really does mean taking care of my business and taking care of my family. I’m learning that I’m not a Type A personality at all. And forcing myself to act as if I am? Downright unhealthy. Turns out that letting myself sleep in occasionally and taking time for yoga practice before sitting down to work is the best way to assure a productive day.
How do you take care of yourself so you can take care of business? What will you do to take care of yourself today?
I'm interested in what keeps us engaged in our work, the world, and each other.