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Sometimes Superwoman

November 2, 2010

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been dealing with the ability to grasp when it’s time to shut off my mind from work and just forget about my workday.  It’s the only way to stay sane.

My personality tells me I have to stay on top of every little thing, and when you’ve got a workload like mine, that’s pretty much impossible. It’s more like making a to-do list, sticking to that list, and focusing on one item at a time.  It’s much easier said than done.  My personality and usual method includes answering every email as soon as it arrives, rather than setting aside time to check it and answer it closely, appropriately and in an effective way.

Maybe it’s my generation, where cell phones and Facebook have completely taken over our lives, and every notification is just as important as any emergency. Dedicating time solely to specific tasks has not only proven more productive, but can help keep your emotional sanity as well. Little by little, I’ve stuck to the to-do list and worked off it item by item until it’s time to go. I’ve gotten good at prioritizing those items to deem what should get attention first, but when it comes time to leave the office, and not continue working when I’m not in the office…well that’s a different obstacle I haven’t quite conquered.

The many times I’ve taken my work home (now that my office supplied me with a handy laptop) has severely outweighed the number of times I’ve just come home and done absolutely nothing. I knew I’d crossed the line when I went to lunch with my boss, and she pointed out that I didn’t have to check my email every five minutes and answer them over my lunch break. Because specifically, it’s a lunch break. A BREAK!

The same day, I was talking with a close friend and she and I decided we should see a movie coming out this weekend, called Morning Glory.  I can’t say I remember the exact quote, but it went something like, “Rachel McAdams in this movie is you.”  

I think a line in the movie also goes something like this, “It’s a job, it isn’t my whole life.” I think I started tearing up, and maybe a tiny bit of sobbing at that point. My inability to prioritize my life  has become abundantly apparent to everyone, except for me.

How true that statement has become for my career.  While I may not be doing something exactly as I wanted, I still enjoy my job, my co-workers, and the vendors I work with everyday. I love that I can joke with my boss, and she can look up derogatory terms on Urban Dictionary and laugh along with us.  But most of all, I love that my co-workers, boss, and those vendors, don’t expect me to work all the time, without hope for a social life.  I should be able to come home, relax, and not think about what 9:00 on Monday morning holds for me.  It is completely appropriate to shut off your mind when you’re at home and have no pressing tasks.

Learning to prioritize means that I’m learning to step back from the hustle and bustle of the job I love, and clients I sometimes dislike intensely, to enjoy the time I have with Jesse, enjoy the time I have with friends, and devote time to things I enjoy to do as much or more than PR. That doesn’t mean I’ll never work from home at night, just that I won’t do it every darn day.

Someday I’ll be the big, bad publicist that I want to be, but I can’t do that until I learn to prioritize my life, including social and intimate time with friends and my boyfriend, rather than being at that hospital bed with my HTC in hand furiously writing emails and responding to angry authors.   It’s just not necessary, and more importantly, no one expects that of me. So the moral of the story is so very clear. Learning to prioritize my life will not only make my workday more productive, but it will make my social life more prominent, happy, and keep in sanity in tact.

I can’t be superwoman… only sometimes.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 2, 2010 10:24 pm

    Amen! No one does expect the kind of time commitment you’ve been giving — and if anyone ever does, you should reconsider where you’re working.

    Remember what they say: No one on their deathbed has ever said, “I wish I had worked more!”

    Enjoy your time off! That’s your real life.

  2. Susan permalink
    November 3, 2010 2:35 pm

    There is connected and then there is CONNECTED. You go girl! You will make a fantastic super publicist one day. Enjoy each day along the way:)

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