I am not Wonder Woman. But I play one virtually. Or try.
In this last week, I was hired for a major freelance assignment. An amazing opportunity. One that I could not say no to. But also? One that had a deadline for part of the work that would keep me up until late hours, away from my family, and shortening my much needed workouts.
Also this week I had to choose between attending an evening function at my school and being able to attend the Toyota Women’s Influencer Network camp in Los Angeles for two days in early June. A decision that eventually came down the fact that I need to looking ahead right now instead of looking back. A decision that after twelve years of being there, one missed school function was not something I should feel guilty about.
There is no doubt about it, these are great dilemmas to have. But I realized that this week that embracing my inner Wonder Woman is not about being able to be ALL things to ALL people. It is not about doing EVERYTHING. It is about prioritizing. Giving myself parameters. Setting realistic goals.
Which I did.
With three easy steps to increase productivity.
My first BIG step was to realize that although I would have liked to submit everything that was due this Friday PLUS some, the quality of my work would suffer. So instead of going above and beyond, submitting what is expected (with above and beyond content) is ok. More than ok, it represents my best effort. Sure, I could have stayed up until three in the morning (ok, actually I am not sure I could have done that) to do the “great” instead of just the good. But the truth is that it would not have been as good.
My second step was to realize that I needed to cut myself off. Not from the world. But from Twitter for one ENTIRE night. And then? From both Twitter AND Facebook for a second night. It is simply impossible to get work done when you see notifications of conversations in your favorite group. So I did what I had to do. I made it go away, until, as a reward for productivity, I let myself interact when my work was done or during a TIMED break.
My third step was to think about the big picture. Of how lucky I am. Of how thankful I am to have the time very soon to hone my passion, to develop a new side of me. Sure this week was hard. Sure I was tired. Sure, working full time at school during the day and then adding in umpteen more hours when I came home made for a very tired me. But…this double duty me is not going to be forever. In just five weeks I will be self employed, probably working even harder to give my GREAT as much as I can. But? The lack of focus that comes from juggling two careers will be over. My time will be MY time. I recently shared the “why” of who I am. My “why” is to tell the story…of living life one moment at a time and of the voices of many as they develop self sufficiency. For the last 12 years I have done that in the classroom, but I am lucky to have a supportive husband who is letting me spread my wings. I realized recently that is what I love about teaching- working with kids and their parents to foster empowerment. Telling the story- and helping others to take steps to grow is the stuff that dreams are made of. The big picture is that NOW, I have that chance.
So yes, juggling all of these responsibilities, having to choose between my current life and my future life, is hard. But, in the end, the only thing we can hope for, is that it is worth it. And it will be. Either that or I might have to find some Wonder Woman Underoos.