Do we over exert ourselves? What Did you Achieve?

Its ten PM. The boss has left and amazingly you’re in the office again. Sound familiar? If you’re a PR business owner like Judette Puglisi or Trinidad Genie , its probably still concerning but a bit more understandable. Yet, so many, like myself, find themselves in this cycle more than occasionally. But ask yourselves (as I am tonight) WHY? Why are ya workin’ so late? Chances are, you’re over exerting yourself.

We know communication must be timely to be effective however, I betcha most of what happens beyond 7pm (unless a crisis) can wait until at least 7:30am to communicate. For example, if these photos I had not just taken an hour to download from my camera and sort before sending out to the media tonight so they get info “real time” – few would notice. Reality check – the newsrooms are closed (for good news anyway) and while Twitter, FB, Stumbled upon and God Bless’em WordPress.com are still open, guess what? You’re readers on the East Coast (of the US – all coasts if in the Caribbean) are a) asleep, b)studying, c) having a life or d) doing something more fun than reading about a Divali celebration on line. So question #2 – if you are over exerting yourself under the assumption that communication must be timely – have you ever taken the time to really evaluate – who are ya communicatin’ with at those crazy hours?

For me, the answer is…myself! Yep. I confess. I am not only a communication enthusiast but also officially closer to verifiably crazy bc right here, in a public space I admit to talking to myself! But honestly, this is a good thing.

Communicators are our own worst enemies and competitors. The best of us strive to be “first to market” with everything that we can that’s positive. Our minds spin with ways to make what we just did better next time and how, after getting feedback of course (YIKES – I forgot to send out a feedback survey – yep that just earned me  another 20 minutes here), we can make the future better for all our internal and external stakeholders.

Reality check – the world gets better after a good night’s sleep, delegation to a competent staff (which I have – they think I’m a little odd with the 10pm and 3:52am email messages too) and, of course, the world is best when we are proud of the work done that day. I am proud of today. Here are a few quick tips on how to remind yourself you are achieving every day and to curb over exertion:

  1. Make a To Do List at the beginning of each day. Make a separate list for personal and professional matters.(I don’t need to explain this one)
  2. Check the list regularly each day, crossing out (physically or on your computer) tasks achieved
  3. At the end of each day (please, make this end no more than 2-3 hours MAX of the time your assistant leaves, street lights come on and happy hours begin!) make a list of achievements. Here’s a sample list of achievements”
  • Empowered my staff to find solution to a challenge I usually solve. I am a better manager;
  • Watched a past team be a success without me. I have a legacy.
  • Enjoyed a glimpse of the sunset. I am inspired to live another day.
  • I prayed. I recognise there are things I cannot control – I have asked for help.
  • I praised someone today. I will have a support system when I screw up tomorrow!
  • I reached out to an old but good friend. I recognize the value of friendship.
  • I laughed with my boss today. I am fortunate – he has a sense of humour.
  • I laughed at myself today. I am human – someone tell my detractors!
  • Held a child in my arms. My heart still beats, I still get fuzzy inside. I am maternal afterall.
  • I achieved 4/12 things on my to do list today. I have reason to come to work tomorrow.

So, its not the typical “Achievement list” – but its one that will inspire me to do better tomorrow. Make yours tonight. Share them in my comment space. Everyday may not be a fantabulous – but everyday can be great if you remember each day, each step takes us on the journey to excellence. Don’t over exert yourself. Take a breath. Get some rest. Be as close to excellent as you can tomorrow.

Hugs! TTYL

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