Ever have someone call you out on your mission and know in your heart that you’re a walking hypocrite?
I have… and it was a big slap in the face, and one that I needed.
In August 2020 I had the pleasure of speaking at DMDU Connect about email engagement. The absolutely lovely and professional MC for the event, Sofie Formica had done her research and discovered I am passionate about work-life balance. As she introduced me, she asked a question about it (to be honest, I don’t remember the question and I can’t bring myself to watch it!). But as soon as she mentioned work-life balance, I knew in my heart that I was not at all practising what I preached and what I believe in.
Here’s the thing, Covid-19 happened.
As many people lost their jobs and the uncertainly crept in, we were one of the fortunate businesses to be able to keep working. We help clients online and I work from home, so it was pretty much business as usual for us thankfully. We had enough work, including several of our clients run live events, that needed to immediately move these events online. This meant working at a high level of intensity whilst also dealing with the stress and uncertainty that everyone in the world was facing.
When we got over the initial urgent work, some businesses came out of the woodwork who have always wanted to automate different processes in their business. And now, because of lockdown, they were at home and actually had time to think about it and start making it happen.
Some of our clients were heavily and are still heavily affected unfortunately, and we lost multiple projects 🙁 Others were flourishing and of course there were other businesses somewhere in between. I was and still am grateful for the businesses that we have been able to support.
During this time, we also had one of the biggest client launches. It was a year in the making, where we built and launched 28 campaigns using 3 different systems in one of the most complex setups we’ve ever built.
It was an intense time to say the least. Working lots of nights and many hours over the weekend just to keep up.
I was also mindful that who knows when and if things would slow down, so best to keep working whilst we can.
The truth was, I was really struggling. I was exhausted. The stress, lack of exercise, working long hours, not eating well, not being able to see my loved ones and friends and blah blah blah… the list goes on.
The thing is though, the more pressing factor here was my general feeling towards my own situation.
I felt incredibly guilty.
So many businesses have had to shut their doors, not knowing when they could serve their customers again. Some people have been separated from their loved ones, others getting sick of course or even worse…
I felt so guilty that it felt wrong to even acknowledge how I was feeling because I really didn’t have anything to complain about in the big scheme of things.
That guilt stopped me from actually addressing another issue though.
I had become a workaholic overnight.
This was my way of coping. Plus, it was my way of making me feel like I was being productive whilst in lockdown.
As restrictions eased here in Queensland, my ability to fill my time with work didn’t stop.
Having spoken to a number of other business owners, it seems like I wasn’t the only one here who had fallen into this trap.
Have you felt the same way?
So, when Sofie reminded me about what I stand for, I knew some things needed to change.
My partner and I were able to have some time off and headed to Cairns (thankfully within Queensland we can still travel within the state). It was just what my mind, body and soul craved. I needed a break. I needed to get back into nature and re-prioritise. I came back feeling refreshed and more importantly clearer.
I realise that not everyone can travel or have a break right now. And yes, there are certain things we all cannot control and of course other things that we can control. But my major takeaways from being away were that I need to take better care of myself, have more down time and get out into nature more (and yes for me that means going for walks in our national park that’s just up the road)!
As Phillip C. McGraw says, “Life is a marathon, not a sprint”.
Even as I write this, I’ll share, I am still focusing on reversing months of bad habits of working too much. I’m focusing on being kind to myself and being grateful for the little actions that I’m taking every day.
This has been a tough time for everyone. There is no doubt about that.
I hope sharing my own experience of operating a business during Covid-19 helps others as well. I hope you can take a moment to ask yourself what you really need right now and how you can make it happen. Even if it’s the smallest of actions, that you know will make a difference.
I hope that you and your family are safe, healthy and creating your own work-life balance in this crazy world we now live in.
Should you have any questions or need additional support getting online or automating your business to save time, go here to book a chat today.