Roadtrip…woohoo

Well…not a roadtrip exactly…but a work trip…on a plane!   Here’s a little post I wrote last week , stay tuned for the rest of the story next week!

I’m writing this post on a plane on the way to India.   I’m traveling to India for work to meet up with some of my team and run workshops.   And let me tell you people…I’m excited.

OK, so the lead up to this trip has been highly intense. As well as all my usual work, I’ve been up to the eyeballs with extra work in preparation for the trip.   I also have extra things to do at home, as I try to get things in order at home and make sure nothing significant is missed.

  • My husband is taking time of work to look after the kids. Check.
  • Visa and passport sorted. Check.
  • Re-arranged all the usual meetings and appointments. Check
  • Made a list of things that need to happen while I am gone. Check.
  • Food shopping completed to ensure no one starves in my absence. Check.

I have tried really hard this ti

me, to let go of the reigns a little more than usual.   I need to keep reminding myself that my husband is more than capable of handling things on his own. I suspect he might also be quite pleased to have all the control for a week…watch what he likes on TV and not to have to check in with me on things. Plus, he has taken time off work because his work aren’t quite flexible enough for him to juggling getting kids from school etc. So he’s getting his own mini break really.

But to be fair, I also don’t want to leave him totally high and dry.   I know what it feels like to be juggling things on your own. The novelty wears off pretty quick, so any prep I can help with eases my mother guilt about going away for a week for work.

And so here I am, on the plane.   All the prep work is behind me. I’m exhausted from my 5am wake up call…and I’m not even half way to my destination. I could just shut my eyes and sleep…

But here’s the wonderful part. I CAN! If I want to shut my eyes and sleep, I can.   I’ve just finished watching a movie. Someone just brought me my plastic meal on a tray, and I ate every morsel. I’ve been served a tea which I am sipping, whilst listening to my favourite tunes.

There are several families with children around me. A baby is crying.

And I can’t help feeling slightly smug that I don’t have to deal with it. Woohoo!

There is only me to worry about.   That for this week, I can just focus on one aspect of my life. Work. I might be juggling a whole lot of work priorities, but I won’t be making lunches or dinners, I won’t be washing , I won’t be driving children around to activities. I feel slightly guilty for feeling this way because I adore my children, my husband…,my life.

But I’m also going to appreciate this little mini break away from the usual. Take the opportunity to enjoy my book without interruption. I’m not going to curse at the lack of space, the delays and the waiting (OK, I might a little bit)…

The thought of finishing off exhausting, intense but fruitful and inspiring days at work, followed by bubble baths and early nights…feels….blissful…

Fingers crossed it pans out that way, otherwise my next blog post could be something…well…something entirely different.

Ahh...bliss
Ahh…bliss

claire2

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I am successful BECAUSE I work part-time…not DESPITE it

parttimeAs the end of the year draws near, I’ve been reflecting on my work and pondering whether I should be considering increasing my working hours back to full time next year.  I’m really excited and inspired by all the work I am doing and I would love the opportunity to step up to some more leadership challenges,  to take that next step on the Executive ladder.   And I can’t do that and work part time…can I?

When I think about my full time colleagues,  it seems like perhaps they are more committed to work.  Because they are available Mon-Fri,  doesn’t that make them better candidates for leadership and clearly they can achieve more than me simply because they have more hours to get work done?

When I started to gather together my achievements recently for my annual performance review,  I was pretty proud of some of the things that I have been able to achieve this year.  Despite working part time, I have still delivered some amazing achievements and been able to move the business forward.

But wait a minute,  working part time has allowed me to more effectively juggle all the priorities I have and ensure I’m spending my time doing things that are important to me.  And this commitment, has actually made me uber productive. I know I only have a finite time, so I have become a master of wading through the work to find the big hitters, the things that really matter.   I’ve successfully managed to attend 95% of the critical meetings at work,  but I’ve also been there when my daughter got her merit certificate, I’ve been the driver on the walking School bus twice a week and I’ve carved out time to start doing more writing.

Usually, by the time my “day off” comes around, I’m starting to feel a little wound up and stressed about work,  those work deadlines feel daunting and ominous.   But then I take some time out,  focus on some of the other priorities in my life,  like spending time with the kids,  exercising and writing my blog.  These things inspire and excite me,  so then when I am back at work on Thurs,  I have re-energised, and I have a healthier perspective.  I know that work is important but it’s not everything, which ironically, makes me better at it…because it is easier to keep a calm and clear mind ( I know I know…there are many days which are nowhere near calm,  but just imagine what I would be like if that was my whole world, I would be going bananas)

When I stop and think about it.  My success at work is not DESPITE me being part time,  my success at work is BECAUSE I work part time.  By feeling more in control of where I spend my time and energy,  I’m BETTER and far more productive at work and I have managed to achieve great things.

So now I want to prove to the world (or maybe just myself!) that you can work part time, and be a successful leader in the corporate world.   To break the notion that the ideal worker is someone who works 9-5 Mon- Fri and maybe a couple of weekends and evenings every now and again.   That the ideal worker is 100% committed to work as their top priority above all else.    Maybe at some point in my future,  my priorities will shift and working more hours at my paid job will be the right thing to do.  But right now,  the balance is right,  and just because I have made that choice, doesn’t mean I don’t want to excel or go forward…so watch out work…here I come (except on Wednesdays…ha ha)

claire2