A bit later than scheduled…. but we’re back from a weekend at the beach where we’ve been enjoying the sunshine (sun here in the UK believe it or not).  It really was family time at it’s best.  The only thing on the agenda was to just be.  How refreshing!

Have you ever had that feeling where you’re doing one thing and feel guilty that you’re not doing the other?  Feeling like you should be with your family when you’re working and then mentally running through your list of things to do when you’re having some time-off with your nearest and dearest?

Yep, I know that feeling very well.  We’re old friends.  But a new way of looking at it all has shifted the guilt (well, at least some of it) for me.  So, this weekend I was able to enjoy and be present without my mind running ten-to-the-dozen.  (This is a major breakthrough for my Type-A brain!)  Want to know the secret sauce?

There’s a bit of science to it but let me give you the distilled version: create seasons to go after your big goals and to enjoy.

Sometimes, you have to go all out.  You may be going for a promotion, you may be launching a business, or leading a big project.  The thing matters to you – you want to do your very best, and so you’re going to go all in.  Your focus, your energy and time are going to be skewed in it’s favour.  

The toughest part is accepting that, for a defined time, other things will have to take a back seat.  But there’s the magic – it’s for a defined time.  Mentally you know there’s a time when you’re taking your foot of the gas.  You know the seasons will change.

It might be followed by a season where you focus on fun and pleasure and time out.  Your focus, energy and time is used entirely differently.  The pace is slower.  The perspective may be more inward – focusing on replenishing your energy, feeding your soul.

The big red flag here is that it’s not about stopping and starting in areas, it’s just that you can’t do and be everything at once.  It’s a recipe for burnout and guilt in huge doses.  But what you are doing is giving the biggest share of your attention to one area at a time.

And I’ve been trying it out.  You see, I’ve been fighting the losing battle of trying to be supermum and grow a business (and the many other things fighting for my attention) and I felt like I was doing a crap job at all of it.  The proverbial Jack of all trades, master of none.  After a busy 12 months of trying to do it all, more recently I’ve been in a bit of hibernation mode for the “winter” season and taking more care of me, focusing on revitalising my ‘reserves’ and soon I’ll be ready to go again.  (It feels like spring is coming!)

And so this weekend I made my peace with taking time out.  This is exactly where I was meant to be and what I was meant to be doing…. and with the people I care about.

What ‘season’ would you say you’re in at the moment?  And can you see how you could apply this to your life (and take a bit off the pressure off trying to do it all)?