People hate change. Even when change is almost always positive, silver linings and all, people hate change. I’ve decided it really has nothing to do with the actual change in and of itself, but everything to do with transition. We need to stop giving “change” such a bad name and start bashing “transition” for all its overbearing awkwardness and lack of predictability.
I feel like 2016 was a year of transition. The growing pains I experienced as a professional seem like large, crumbling mountains in hindsight. Crumbling because I’ve overcome them. Crumbling because I feel like in many ways I dug through the mountain rather than climbing up it. And that’s not a bad thing. There are certain times in life where a tunnel is better than a hike. There are times where we need access to our former selves long enough to become new again.
Naturally, 2017 is the year of the new. At least, that is what it felt like it was going to be. Instead, I think so many of us – Stark and I mostly – are on the verge of something significant. While change is not planned or foreseen, everything seems to be in constant flux.
Part of that is the nature of being in charge of running a business while, as a woman, I also place myself at the forefront of protecting our ability to disconnect. I say it that way because I want to avoid referring to it as “running our home.” Running our home consists mostly of keeping that sense of “running” out of our home entirely. Home is at the core of our sanity and that desired sense of nothingness because home truly is everything when you are being pulled in so many different directions, travels included.
In the past, I’ve had a pretty distinct set of daily habits that allowed me to put myself first while multi-tasking answering phone calls, emails, chats, and questions for clients and employees. In the last four weeks, that long practiced routine has changed as I now meet with my Australian team at 10am Monday mornings and with my US team at 2am Monday nights/Tuesday mornings.
I start off my week with a straight 15 hour work day, breaking only for dinner. I haven’t yet figured out how to solidify this routine into something that’s truly productive at its core rather than scattered in a productivity attempt. Habits take a long time to form and I worry that by the time I get there, with timezones and Daylight Savings shifts, I’ll be back to the drawing board again. I think anyone that manages International relationships can relate.
The first Monday seemed to be spot on. I started the day out with my usual “me first” routine – work out before work. Even then, the Monday routine seemed to take me out of commission for productive focus on Tuesday and Wednesday where I never even made it to my office because I was immediately “into it” as soon as I woke up and never disconnected.
Over the years I have learned that I can’t go too far down the path of work before anything else in my day because the rest of my day just loses itself. If work happens first, my office time becomes limited and therefore my mental space is immediately off. I never get my work outs in. I have a harder time making healthy choices throughout the day and not ending my day with Take Away. And I look like hell. I don’t get those long showers or that time in front of the mirror to actually care about myself. Everything just goes into “all at once” mode.
I don’t dislike my new Monday routine simply because I get to start off the week immediately on board in communicating with everyone. In a 15 hour work day, I not only get a week’s worth of work done, I get to make sure my team is on-point with priorities and I am awake through every single time zone. Throughout the day I get to talk to everyone – in Australia, in Berlin, in California, in Mexico, in Canada, everywhere! That kind of productivity feels great.
What I need to figure out is how I can have such a powerful Monday without losing my mind for the rest of the week!
Monday night I get very little sleep. For example, this week my meetings went until 4am. I don’t generally do well with hanging up the phone and going straight to bed. At the very least, I have to save all my notes and take a deep breath. I’m wide awake because my brain is so engaged in work mode! I do what I can to fall asleep immediately and generally, I’m fast asleep within the hour. But, Tuesday mornings I have to be awake by 11am. That seems like enough for your average go-getter, but with narcolepsy my sleep efficacy seems to stay around 60%. That means the most actual sleep I get is barely over 4 hours.
Still, I’m not hurting entirely on Tuesday. I start out my day with a lot of coffee. However, my ability to focus is definitely altered. Things simply take longer to get to.
As long as Stark doesn’t have to go into his office, I can at least start my Tuesday off with a yoga class. Getting out the door as soon as I can is definitely key for me to get a move on with the rest of my day. If I don’t get out that door, I don’t end up going anywhere until 4pm Wednesday. And that’s where I currently stand. That’s what I am trying to fix because at this point bolting out of the gates like a race horse on Monday leaves me with only Monday and Thursday being really successful work days for me. And as it stands right now, I haven’t been to my gym since week one of those transition.
*shakes fist at transition*