Your Best is Good Enough
For some of us, maintaining solid self-care habits – much less mastering the art of work-life balance – was a challenge before March 2020, right? There was always more work than time in the day and our phones and laptops made it all too easy to dive back in after returning home.
When shelter-at-home started several weeks ago, I assumed that I’d be able to increase my productivity – both professionally and personally – by leveraging (at the very least) my lack of commute time. All too soon however, the endless Zoom meetings and conference calls seemed to swallow up my days, leaving me with more follow-up emails and writing to do “after work” than before.
So now, not only was I not taking advantage of being at home the way I had envisioned, I was feeling less productive and more stressed. Then, one night, I read something that flipped the switch for me.
This was the start of a friend’s post…
“I’ve been seeing so many people seriously beating themselves up because they aren’t “maximizing” their time in quarantine by organizing their cupboards, repainting, developing a side hustle, becoming a piano virtuoso, exercising themselves into a lucrative career as a swimsuit model, etc. Everybody! Seriously. Stop. And breathe.” (HT, P. Duke)
So, I did. And it made a huge difference. It gave me the chance to pause, reframe my expectations and recalibrate.
I looked for some tips on how to take better control of my work habits and how to take better care of myself. (Two of the articles I found helpful are linked below.)
- I cut myself some slack for maybe not knocking it out of the park every day.
- I recommitted myself to eating healthy, getting enough rest, exercising and to scheduling in breaks to recharge between meetings or projects. (While I usually go for a short walk, one person I read about benefits from taking Nintendo Just Dance breaks!)
- I also found that scheduling a start and end to my workday has offered me a greater sense of control.
I’m not pretending to be an expert here and realize that this is pretty much current conventional wisdom. Nevertheless, amidst so much change and uncertainty for all of us, I just wanted to share my own personal “discovery.”
If you’re feeling like you should be “doing more” or that your days seem to be spent on a never ceasing hamster wheel, I invite you to breathe, acknowledge that you’re doing your best and to know that your best is good enough. If there are steps you can take to make your surroundings or work habits more productive for you, great. If you’re not making time to take the best care of yourself (especially if you are also doing triple duty every day trying to juggle roles as a professional, parent and teacher), please do. IMHO, that’s the most important step of all.
If you’ve discovered a better way to WFH or if you have other strategies that you’ve found helpful, please let me know and we’ll share your ideas in a future post.
Take good care and take it easy on yourself. You’ve got this!
David Gee, Vice President, HPS Chicago
P.S. Here are the articles I mentioned: