I wrote the following piece three weeks ago. It feels especially important right now.
Right now, all of our existence is fully integrated between work and life. In the next room over, I have two girls doing school work and I am trying to help them. In another room, my three year old is watching what we call a learning show. It can be especially hard right now to create space for your work, so give yourself some grace. Take things a little at a time.
Here is the post that was scheduled:
I have a question for you. Do you have the ability to think about the next task or meeting before you go into it? It seems like a silly question, but the reason I ask is an important one. This past week, I had several meetings, important ones. I noticed that I had time to think about my desires for the meetings, what I hoped to accomplish, and the information I needed from the other person. This feels rare for our day and age. But it also felt whole, balanced, meaningful, and centered.
In our digital age where everything is moving so fast and we can request a meeting with someone in minutes, and keep project management documents that immediately update to someone else’s computer while we’re working on them, it seems all the more important to consider if we are being present to the next thing in front of us.
Right now, I can be present in a meeting to the conversation that is happening without thinking of the next ten things piling up. I do not feel the need to multi task in my work. You know, the kind of multi tasking where you’re “listening” in a meeting while making your next to-do list.
I have worked in the way where I was so busy that I was literally just arriving at the next meeting, the next task, and each one brought a new list of follow up items. I loved it. The hum, the buzz, the adrenaline, the feeling of being necessary. I even touted it as proof of success and wore it like a badge of honor.
The thing I learned is this: there are seasons where we can push and drive to meet a big demand or respond to crisis. But we cannot maintain this forever. There must be ebb and flow.
In a never ending season of flow, everything lost its hum. Everything became dull and meaningless.
Those meetings I scheduled, the tasks on my to do list…they are meaningful to me and I like having the opportunity to be present and attentive to them. A major part of our well-being is our sense of purpose. In the words of the wise Kim Baker, Director of Wellness at Northern Kentucky University, “When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority.”