Mirror, Mirror on the wall…

I seem to have quite a lot going on at the moment.

There is the day job (obvs) which, even though it was half term last week and I snuck in a couple of much needed days off, work has been front and centre in my mind the whole time. New budgets, 31st May deadlines, GDPR, new initiatives, clearing the previous terms chaos build up on my desk and preparing for the new term, all made for a busy week but still a long to-do list for this week.

I’ve also got some exciting speaking events coming up which are keeping my brain whirling. You may have seen me on twitter, trying to  exude confidence but in truth I lurch between “it’ll be fine – you’ve got this” and suppressing the desire to cower in sheer terror under my duvet. I’m pleased to say that most of the time the former attitude wins out.

But it has all got me to thinking about how my time is divided up and, in true SBL style of course, I couldn’t resist a pie chart.

I’m not surprised to see that ‘Working’ and ‘Thinking about Work’ take up approximately one-third of my week but if you add in Work Related Activities such as blogging, Twitter surfing and other SBM writing, I’m edging towards half of my time.

I do feel fortunate to have reached a time in my life when I’m doing something I enjoy and I believe I still have enough energy to immerse myself in it for a few years, perhaps also giving something back if I can.

There’s no doubt that being an SBL takes a lot of energy; physical, mental and emotional. It’s not easy to keep so much information in your head, be ready to run across the site at a moments notice and still smile when you’re asked for about the 50th time that week where the PTA cups live.

Sleeping takes up another third of my time – I’m pleased about this because I have suffered from stress induced insomnia in the past and it shows that my rather boring strict routine is clearly working to ensure that this vital part of my wellbeing is covered and effective.

Other ‘Activities’, known in some circles as cooking/eating/cleaning/ironing/tidying etc. are a necessity (although Barry tells me he was surprised this piece of the pie was so large)! I’ll have him know that this section also includes socialising (of which I clearly don’t do enough)!

But ignoring Barry and his “jokes”, what shocked me the most was that ‘Vegging’ (aka watching the television) was so big and ‘Exercise’ is so small. I’ll need to dig deep down and drag up those last dregs of after-work energy to move about more in the evening so as to make some effort to swap those two around.

Self-reflection is such an important leadership skill and, while this is a light-hearted one, it illustrates how important it is that the SBL regularly takes some time to check that the balance of their own work and life is right for them, at their time of life, in their individual circumstances.

I know that this current balance isn’t going to suit me forever, just like it wouldn’t have suited me ten years ago, but it suits me now and I intend to keep monitoring it so that when the time comes to adapt the balance to (perhaps) include further learning opportunities, a change in career direction, travel, gardening…even (gulp) slowing down, I’ll be ready to accept and make those changes.

What does your pie chart look like and, more importantly, how would you like it to look?

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