A little over a year ago, I landed my dreamjob. I work on this thing called Trailhead. It’s the fun way to learn Salesforce.
Trailhead helps people do their jobs better. It also helps people explore new fields, including career changers or students looking to get into tech. Specifically, it’s online learning that teaches you how to be an admin or developer. It’s also for people (read: Salesforce users) who use Salesforce on a daily basis to do their jobs, and need training.
Did I mention it’s free? Open to anyone? Totally gamified? And written in a fun, conversational way?
In my current job, I feel like this:
That’s pretty rad.
But what no one tells you is, when you get in the red dot, you might start overworking yourself, because you’re just so excited about everything you’re doing and you’re so good at it and you’re so happy when you’re doing it and the next thing you know, you’re all out of whack.
I don’t want to be out of whack
The main reason is right here.
That’s my family. We have a lot of fun together. Over the holidays we spent a ton of time together and it was pretty much like this nonstop.
I’m also really in love with my spouse. I say that with no embarrassment or shyness. I would shout it if I could. Wait a second, I can shout it. I LOVE MY SPOUSE HE’S THE FUNNIEST NICEST GUY EVER. That felt good.
He makes me happy every day. We laugh so much.
The other day I was running late and he dropped me at the ferry. This was our text exchange right afterward. Prepare yourself for the barf factor.
Did I mention we’ve been together 21 years? Many of our friends are either ending their relationships or already on their second ones. Not that that’s a bad thing. It’s OK to change and I support getting out of a bad situation. I just cherish that ours is still so great.
And then there’s me. I don’t want to be too tired to work out or call my mom or my best friend. But right now, I am. I’m forgetting to meditate some days and I can’t seem to consistently get to spin class, even though I really try and it makes me happy to go. I’m also going to be 40 in a minute and I want to feel awesome when that happens.
So I gotta make some changes. Here’s what I’m doing.
I made a list and checked it twice
I picked 3 priorities for the year.
- My family
- My local community
Once I settled on those priorities, I came up with a couple of strategies to help me simplify and focus. Here they are.
I’m pulling a Matilda Kahl
In figuring out how to simplify, I realized my closet was a source of stress for me. Just look at it.
I read this article a while ago and I was inspired by it. I thought, what a great idea to have a standard uniform. So I decided, I’m going to wear the same outfit for the next 90 days.
To fully commit to the plan, I packed away all of my other clothes and shoes. And now my closet looks like this.
So I’ve got one outfit for work, and one for the weekends. The rules are, I’m allowed to wear something different if I have a special occasion, and of course, I can wear different stuff for working out and sleeping and stuff.
To answer your questions, yes, I bought 7 of the same outfit, and yes, I’ll be doing laundry, and yes, I’ll be varying my shoes a little bit, but they’re all New Balance (my fav sneakers).
I took the Twitter app off my phone
I am spending too much time on my favorite social platform. I love it, I really do. It’s where I learn from all kinds of leaders, and I love the diversity of my feed. But I have to focus.
So I’m still tweeting from my laptop. But not from my phone for the next 90 days.
I’m saying no to everything not related to my 3 priorities
If you’re reading this, I might have said no to you recently. Now you know why! I still love you. I just gotta focus.
My focus will be on spending more time with my amazing family, more time getting exercise and practicing meditation, and more time volunteering locally. And for me, my local priority is Oakland. Hells yeah.
I’m excited and energized by the atmosphere at Impact Hub Oakland. If you’re not a member, you should join, or you should volunteer for an upcoming event. I also support Black Girls Code. They’re doing incredible work to bring young girls of color into STEM. Join me in volunteering or make a donation today on their website today.
Finally, I’m drastically reducing “the third shift”
In the past few months, I’ve developed this really bad habit of getting my kid to bed and going back to work. I read this interview with tristan walker (you should follow him on Twitter if you’re not already) where he talks about “the third shift” — where working parents go back to work after their kids go to sleep. I’ve got to cut this out.
The only problem is, I do some of my best writing at night. But if I’m keeping it real with myself, most of my late nights lately, I’m answering emails, not creatively writing the next awesome Trailhead module. So that’s why I’m reducing it, but not eliminating it altogether. And I’m committing to myself that if I’m pulling a third shift, it’s to write. Nothing else.
Here’s how you can be supportive
Wait until I leave the room to make jokes about my outfit.
If you get an email from me after hours, respond with a link to this blog.
If I say no to you and tell you I’m trying to achieve better work-life integrity (HT Ayori Selassie), it would be cool of you to say, “That’s rad. I support you.”