Following My Own Advice

We all love to give advice.

What someone should have worn.
How they should raise their children.
What shows they should watch.
How someone should react in a situation.
Whether they should respond to that email.

and on and on and on.

It’s just part of who we are as leaders.

One piece of advice I talk about quite often now is the importance of investing more time in your friends and family than you do your work. How no matter how good we are at our job, we’re always replaceable. It will always be “just” a job title. We probably won’t ever be remembered for the immeasurable hours we put in.

But when we choose to not be present for our friends and family, they remember. They’re deeply affected. They should matter more.

You may have noticed you haven’t seen a blog post from me in a few weeks. I try to be really on the ball about getting a blog post out each week.

But lately I’ve found myself very busy with my work with TEPSA and a few other things I committed to.

So busy in fact, that when the work day “ends”, I could spend plenty of time continuing to work and still not get it all done. I know YOU know what I’m talking about.

But instead of doing what I normally would have done (working later hours after family has gone to bed, or getting up early to get extra things done) I made a choice and I stuck with it. When a certain time of day hits, I’m done for the day. Period. I go spend that time with my children and my wife.

When the email comes in after a certain time, I refuse to respond. It can wait until tomorrow or after the weekend.

When someone asks if I can get something done over the weekend, I say “I can get that to you on Monday, the weekend time is reserved for my family” and I don’t apologize for it.

It may mean I don’t get to everything I want to (like this weekly email) but what it has done is filled me in unexpected ways and kept me motivated far more than when I was working my fingers to the bone at all hours. I’ve also found myself still accomplishing quite a bit when I know I have focused working hours.

I know you might sit here and think, “well Todd, I have to get it all done”. And what I’ve learned time and time again is that we will never “get it all done”. And I’m tired of my family and my friends getting the scraps of what I have left in me, instead of the best parts of me.

So I wish I could have been sending you a high quality email each week for the past few weeks, but my priority has been elsewhere.

But, I’m back! Energized and ready to go.

I hope this week, even in the midst of all that feels overwhelming, that you find time just to be. Be present for those you love. Spend time alone. Spend time embracing the quiet. Get out of your home. Get out of town. Whatever it is. You’ll find it’ll refuel you in unexpected ways time and time again.

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