From the desk of Jackie Sheffer, WBC Chair
About 4 years ago a came up with what I call my life boxes, Family, Building my Business, Sharks and Running. I created these boxes to help me say no to things that were not important to me if they did not fit in one of my boxes. Creating the boxes felt like a big weight had been lifted off my shoulders, this exercise allowed me to remove myself from activities that were causing me stress.
Over the past several years I have revisited my boxes annually to write out goals and have felt pretty strong in some of my boxes. Sharks are in my philanthropy box. My heart belongs to both Sharks and Girls. I have been volunteering with a running group for girls and with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy. Running is in my health box. I started running again and have my personal trainer scheduled on my calendar 3 times per week. I do not cancel my time with her, the time may move from a Monday to a Tuesday, but I see her 3 times per week. Work is always front and center, family, who are they?
I feel that my work box is about to explode and my family box is empty. The first thing that may pop into one’s mind is a work-life balance. I believe in work-life integration and feel I need to take a step back and see where I am spending my time. Over the past weekend, I made a list of all the activities I do outside of my family box, along with the amount of time spent participating in these activities. I then made a spreadsheet of my 4 boxes and listed the activities in the box they represent.
Activities that do not fit in a box will have to go, I will then prioritize the remaining activities in their respective boxes, this may also require letting go of less critical activities.
More important I will review my boxes monthly to assist in maintaining a healthy level of activity in each box. Going forward I will work on taking the following steps when deciding whether to take on a new activity:
- Thank you for asking, can I get back to you tomorrow?
- Which box does this activity fit in?
- Where does this activity fit in the list of priorities currently within that box?
- How much time will this new activity take?
- Send a Thank you but No response as soon as possible.
I am not sure what I am afraid of when it comes to saying no? I believe that it is an honor when someone asks me to participate. Don’t I want to give it my all? Saying no today does not mean I have to say no tomorrow when the time is right and the yes fits into one of my life boxes.