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As part of the CRN's Women of the Channel series, Avnet vice president Nicole Enright discusses best practices for balancing work and life. -- Jen Bosavage, editor
I recently wrote a blog about putting oneself first instead of last when juggling the many responsibilities we face as career women. Note to self: be careful what you write about -- someone might ask how you're progressing. So here I am to provide an update on what I've done differently and what I've learned since writing that blog.
Response to the blog was amazing. I received a lot of feedback, some questions and plenty of advice. One of the best suggestions I received was to keep a journal of times when I successfully put myself first instead of last. While I didn't keep a physical journal, I kept a mental one. Here are a few examples of when I succeeded in putting myself first instead of last.
Shortly after the blog published, I found myself faced with a dilemma. A small group of my friends had planned for months to stay overnight at a cabin. I was really looking forward to the trip and quality time with girlfriends, but as the date got closer, doubts crept in.
[Related: Women Of The Channel: Executives I Admire]
The selected weekend was packed with activities, which is true of most weekends. To make the overnight stay, I would need to leave right after my daughter's eighth birthday party. Plus, less than a week later, I would be out of town for six days on business. "Mommy guilt" set in. Now mind you, my daughter never said one word, nor did my husband. This was all "self-talk." I was feeling like a "bad mom" for spending so much time away from my family and I hadn't even left the house. I was worried that my daughter and husband would miss me. I wrestled with the decision the week prior to leaving. I had missed a previous girls' trip and didn't want to miss this one. So I went. Three things happened:
1. My daughter and husband were fine and had a good time together.
2. I had an absolute blast! I don't think I have ever laughed so hard or shared as much as I did that weekend.
3. I returned home recharged at a level that I hadn't felt in a long time.
Although I chose to do what I wanted, I didn't realize until upon my return, that the decision enabled me to be better in all of the roles I play because I was refreshed and renewed.
Weeks later I put myself first again. I had a rare day to work from home and catch up as my workload was particularly high. For some reason, I found myself really struggling to focus. I was worn out and stressed out. I decided to take 30 minutes just for me. I turned the music up (LOUD) in the house and I sang and danced. Afterward, I was in a much better mood and was able to focus. I knocked a week's worth of work out that day after my mini self-indulgent break.
I have learned a lot through this writing exercise. Some are from my own experiences, but most of it is from feedback and conversations initiated by this blog. Here are a few examples: