This week on the Higher Purpose Podcast I had the opportunity to speak with Kari Enge, founder of Rank and File Magazine.
When I first met Kari she told me a story that absolutely shocked me. She was once reprimanded in the workplace for using the word “Love” on a card to a colleague.
I’m sure that if you’re reading this post, then you’ll probably agree that is absolutely ridiculous – and for Kari, it sparked a major change, setting her on a path that led to founding a magazine whose core belief is that people are worth serving, and business can create change.
One of the things that we talked about in some detail was how challenging it can be to not be completely overtaken by the work and stresses of running a company. (And if you’re not running a company, then in your job, managing your home, or being very involved in your community – it can ALL get overwhelming!)
When you have many demands on your time, and many people needing things from you all the time – it is so easy to give too much of yourself to fulfilling those needs.
It comes from the best possible place in terms if your intentions. You want to help, you want to be available and you want to be of service. As adults, there are fewer and fewer external rules imposed upon us – we’re free to make our own choices about how we use our time, for the most part, and in our culture there is a real glorification of work that can make us feel guilty for any time we’re NOT working.
But you need to take time for yourself, create boundaries and give yourself the space to think, rest, reflect and just have some fun. When you don’t take that time – when there are no boundaries between what you do for yourself, and the time you spend serving others, then you’re at risk of burning out – and then you won’t be able to accomplish ANY of what you want to.
Some of the ways that Kari gives herself that time is in the form of personal rules that she follows: taking 2 hours for lunch (and using that time to connect with people who might otherwise not make it onto the to-do list!), and stopping work at 7pm.
The kinds of rules that you create yourself can be anything – they’ll be different depending on what it is that takes up the majority of your time – and what rest and relaxation look like to you. Some people turn off their phones in the evening. Others only book certain kinds of work on certain days. Others schedule relaxation nights into family calendars – there is no wrong way to give yourself the space and the time you need to make sure you’re taking care of your WHOLE self. This is a bit easier said than done. If you’re not in the habit of this kind of self-management, then you might want to try actually writing your rules down and keeping them where you can see them, until they become second nature.
That is what I would like you to spend a few minutes thinking about this week. If you feel pulled in too many directions, and like you never have any time just for yourself – what can you change? You may need to speak with your colleagues and family about this – and that can be a powerful and loving conversation. This doesn’t have to be only a solo activity! You can collectively make sure that everyone is supported in the ways that work best for them. It’s also important that you communicate your rules to those who are going to be impacted by them, which can be challenging. As difficult as it may be, it’s an important discussion to have – and if you don’t have it, you run the risk of seeing your boundaries pushed and stretched in ways that can lead to resentment and unhappiness.
Other topics we discussed during the interview were creating symbols to represent our purpose – and the power in doing so, the fact that there is no real difference between famous people and the rest of us, and how love for business can be a powerful force for good!
This week in the Higher Purpose Community on Facebook, we’re going to be discussing they symbols we have in our lives, and what they mean to us. I invite you to join us there, and add your voice to the conversation!