Working as a career woman for the last 15+ years of which I’ve been a working mother for over 10 there are a few things that I’ve come to realize.
Managing the juggle of family, friends and business is tough. When you have ambitions and a job where you need to network and build a personal brand it can be challenging to prioritize and balance. You are needed at home, your job takes 10-12 hours a day, you need to be at the events and foster business development, you have friends, you might want to exercise, you have hobbies…. it really is a lot!
There’s no magic answer and as soon as you find one you realize you have to adjust because the demands change – at home, at work or your own expectations! The kids grow up and need something new or it’s a new season and baseball demands time that differs from hockey. You get a new client and it is across town and the main contact loves early morning meetings. Whatever the case as soon as you get it right, it changes.
There is one realization though that can make an impact. If you prioritize it and let go of the guilt you will be one step closer to keeping all the balls in the air.
Connection at the intersection
When you set the priorities keep in mind that connection and deep relationships have been proven to have significant impacts on your health and longevity, on your success and on your happiness. Connection is at the intersection of health, success and happiness and deep relationships are really life’s magic ingredient. So, if you want to be happy prioritize connection. If you want to be healthy and live a long, healthy life – prioritize connection. And if you want your career to be successful, prioritize connection.
Even if you are an introvert or you don’t see relationships as key I’d challenge yourself to find a way to prioritize it. The studies are very clear, and it is about deep connection not big parties and fancy networking so there is a way to make it work for all personality types.
Once you prioritize connection it gives you the freedom to make decisions with it in mind. When you are faced with a chance to go for a walk with another business women over lunch, yet you promised yourself you’d make it to the gym you can use your priorities to help you decide. And maybe the priority of connection gives you permission to help your health (and your success and happiness) with connecting over lunch.
One of my favourite ways of juggling and prioritizing connection is a dedicated girls night. I prioritize it and I have no guilt about it – no matter what game my son has or what my husband might have conflicting. My co-workers and bosses even know that I’ll never make an event or stay late on the first of the month.
Our club is called Fresh Start. We are a group of about 30 members that have calendared a night out on the 1st of every month. We go on the 1st regardless of the day of the week. We don’t book Fresh Start on statutory holidays or long weekends but that is the only exception. The hostess is preassigned (years in advance!) and they generally book a reservation for twelve – it is as simple as that with one call to confirm final numbers! It is a great evening (or brunch) where we network (turns out 85% of us are in accounting), we laugh, we connect.
A simple dedication and pre-booked event like this can make a significant impact towards a goal of connecting. Connecting in a way like this can have a significant impact on your health, success and happiness. This impact will further impact the juggle of balancing family, friends and business. It is simple, and the best answers usually are.