Today’s much-needed reminder…
I came across this quote on Facebook somewhere quite serendipitously right when I needed to hear it most.
It’s addressed to creatives, but you can swap “artist” for “Administrative Consultant” or “business owner” and the wisdom still applies.
It is one thing after another caring for my dad. Every time I think I will finally get a breather and be able to focus on my life and business, some fresh new rabbit hole opens up and there I go tumbling down.
And a huge part of the problem is me.
For some reason, I have this idea that I can’t rest when it comes to him, that I have to do everything RIGHT. THIS. SECOND.
And some of it is warranted. When you are dealing with a sick family member, there are things you simply have to take care of immediately, not when you feel like it.
But a lot of it is simply because I have allowed a negative mindset to form in my head where I am always waiting for (expecting) the other shoe to drop.
It doesn’t help when there are outside influences and pressures, people who don’t have any of the burden or responsibility, giving you their “helpful” two cents and otherwise second-guessing you constantly.
It takes constant practice for me to let go and remind myself that I can’t do everything for him and I HAVE to take care of ME, too! Because if I don’t, I won’t be any good to him or anyone else at all.
I have far less trouble with these boundaries in my business because I had a lot of years to figure out and erect those boundaries.
However, I’m finding that the bad habits I have developed when it comes to caring for my dad while neglecting myself have trickled into my business in sneaky ways as well.
For example, I am always wanting to get my dad’s stuff taken care of right away because I want to keep clear as much space as I can before something new piles up on my plate.
And because I don’t want my client work to get backed-up when some new unforeseen disaster erupts with my dad down the road, I find myself doing the same thing in my business, to the point that I have actually done work the same day it is received.
And that is sacrilege according to my own rules because it creates an endless cycle of unsustainable pace and expectations in clients.
So I am having to do a lot of self-work these days on not stepping over my own business boundaries and standards.
You can’t have a life if you are constantly responding to clients instantly.
This is why and how I developed my 3/7 Guide that I share in my Power Productivity & Business Management Guide for Administrative Consultants (GDE-41). It’s a system for managing client work that helps preserve your boundaries and sanity in your business while setting and managing client expectations around those standards at the same time.
All of this is a reminder that it takes discipline in honoring our standards and boundaries and constant practice and vigilance.
If you find yourself backsliding into unproductive, unsustainable ways, you have to give yourself a little kick to get back into gear because you and your business (and your clients, ultimately) will pay for it otherwise.