As I was working on this month’s blog post I asked the team for suggestions on topics. We tossed a few around and settled on something that seemed appealing. But, when I sat down to start writing the ideas just simply wouldn’t flow.
I finally realized the process was in fact the problem. I write best from a place of personal experience and passion. I’m usually triggered by a recent event, story or situation. For me, pre-deciding the blog topic is counterproductive to facilitating creativity and insightful commentary (although you may consider the adjective insightful to be generous).
Considering this scenario made me think about the age-old question – ‘which comes first, the chicken or the egg‘? I’ll let you decide for yourself but I actually think about a deeper question quite often. I wonder how can we as an organization continue to grow and expand without more capacity? Yet, don’t we need more capacity to grow and expand? For me, the real question is ‘which comes first – growth or capacity’? I suspect this question plagues you as well.
I haven’t settled on the ‘right answer’ yet but I do know that there is a limit to everything. As ‘helping’ professionals we are often diametrically opposed to saying ‘no’. We are rarely comfortable allowing ‘no’ to be a complete sentence. I am happy to share I’ve made some progress on this matter yet there’s always room for improvement. I’ve established some non-negotiable boundaries and while I make exceptions from time to time those who work closely with me know and respect the limits.
I recently read an intriguing article in the April issue of Inc. They tracked the lives of eight ‘super-productive CEO’s for 24-hours. Then they had a productivity expert weigh in on what they were doing well and where there was opportunity for improvement. The perhaps surprising finding – they all seemed to strive for and maintain a work-life balance. There are countless articles and books on the subject. Whether you believe it is an illusive unobtainable concept or a worthwhile life goal I believe it is something worth thinking about.
Here’s what I know to be true: There will never be enough time in the day. There will always be more to do. There will always be somebody that needs you or your attention. None of us have an unlimited supply of capacity. So, a few tips from me to you – set some boundaries, communicate them widely and do something every day that makes you smile. Just in case you’re wondering, here are a few of my boundaries: I don’t start meetings before 9:30 AM, I make time to exercise, study and pray each day and I’m normally in bed by 8:30 PM. I’d love to hear some of yours.