This week I’m attending The Resilient Assistant, the 22nd Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence. It’s being held at the Red Rock in Las Vegas and is hosted by the phenomenal Joan Burge and her amazing team at Office Dynamics. This is my third time coming to this conference and the fourth time in six years that I’ve been in Las Vegas to attend a conference.
“Oh, aren’t you lucky? Vegas…Must be nice.” (LOADS OF SARCASM)
I’ve heard this from co-workers, associates and even some family members. Notice I didn’t mention my board of directors. They get it. They understand. A week away from my family, my office and other obligations isn’t a perk. The hotel property is one of the best in Las Vegas, but if I had to choose between a lonely hotel room and hearing my daughters giggling and playing in the next room…you already know what I would chose.
“Why are you complaining? The conference wasn’t mandatory. You asked to go.”
I wish I had $1 for every time I’ve heard that. That’s like telling someone who exercises that they don’t reserve the right to complain about being sore after a good workout. Just like going to the gym, attending conferences strengthens my professional development muscle. The workplace is constantly evolving and if you aren’t learning, you aren’t growing and if you aren’t growing…you are no longer an asset but a liability to your employer and your clients.
One of the things I love about this particular conference is that the valuable information that is shared at these conferences does not always come from the stage. Over the years, I’ve received some amazing ideas and suggestions from other attendees that has helped me successfully move forward with a project at work. But in order to have that type of organic experience, there is a level of expectancy and a willingness to be transparent about what you don’t know but want to learn.
Are you seeking out opportunities for professional development? Find a conference, workshop or seminar that will enhance your skills or teach you something new. Remember, the journey to being extraordinary rarely comes from traveling down the roads of mediocrity.
Whenever a friend is having a day from hell, are you the person that they call when they need either a swift kick in the butt or some inspiring and soothing words? Much the joy and annoyance of my family and friends I happen to provide both types of support. But be clear, I’m a hypocrite because I don’t take one ounce of my own advice.
In one of my blog posts from 2013, I encouraged women to Take The Cape Off. Not only have I not listened to myself, I’ve ignored just about every person who has the audacity to repeat my own words back to me. Oh hush, I know I don’t need to take on anything else. Yeah Yeah, I know I look stressed out but really, I’m okay. Lies, foolishness and shenanigans. Every. Single. Word.
But today, I’m going to listen to myself because what I wrote in 2013 still applies today. My house, family, job, blog or relationships will not fall into ruin if I take some time for myself. I hope you enjoy the post.
Stop ignoring the little birdie. Sit down long enough to hear what it (you) have to have to say.
The purpose of a facet on a gemstone is to reflect light. The angle of each facet plays an integral part in the final result of a gem. And while the facets might appear to be arranged the same on each gem, the angles of each facet has to be adjusted based on the refractive index to maximize the brilliance of each individual gem. The angles used can vary but the minimum angle for the facet to reflect light back into the gemstone is call the critical angle. When a gem is poorly cut, with less facets, the light can strike lower than the optimal angle and the light will leave the gem instead of reflecting through the gem as brilliance. Gemstones with a higher refractive index are more desirable because it allows for a greater internal reflection and the light is less like to escape.
Ayanna, why are you talking about gemstones and facets? Haven’t you figured it out? You, my dear, are the gem. And while you may think that all the different facets of your life conflict with each other or even compete with each other, I’m here to share a different point of view. Your facets…child, spouse, parent, sibling, employee, boss, community volunteer, a member on a board of directors, artist, author, speaker, designer, inventor, etc. all play off of each other. Each reflection shines a light on another facet and so on and so on. The different facets of your life shine on each other and while there will be times you may feel like they are competing for space. It’s not a competition, it’s a collaboration to make you shine. You can have a family and pursue your passion. You can have a 9-to-5 and lay the foundation for your own business. Your different facets give you a broad perspective and allows you to see things differently. No two gems are the same, even when they have the same number of facets. Remember, the reflection of the facets is individual to the gem. Don’t compare your facets to someone else’s. You are just as brilliant as the next person.
Acknowledge and embrace all of your facets…and shine on.
Did you know there are only 168 hours in the week? That’s it. From midnight on Sunday, until Saturday at 11:59PM, you only have 168 hours to get things done. What I’ve discovered is that how you spend your time indicates two things: What is important to you and what is keeping you from doing what is important to you.
Let’s do the math:
- 168 = hours in the week
- 56 = hours of sleep (56 is ideal, but let’s be honest, you aren’t getting that much..another topic for another day)
- 10 = hours of a morning routine (This includes getting everyone, including you showered, dressed, fed and out the door)
- 40 = hours of work (Even more if you work for yourself or have a very demanding career)
- 10 = hours of commuting (Even if your commute is only 15 minutes, this includes the 45 minutes you spend winding down from the day)
- 10 = hours of an evening routine (Cooking dinner, checking homework, getting kids to bed…)
Do you see where I’m going with this? Between sleeping, working and commuting you are left with 42 hours for the week and you haven’t spent any quality time with your family, pursued your passions, indulged in your hobbies, volunteered in the community or just took time for yourself. It doesn’t include extracurricular activities and the mundane tasks like grocery shopping and getting the oil changed .
Once you get past the “shining object” syndrome, what are you doing with your time? One of my clients shared that she wanted to write a book but when we took a look at her 168 chart, she was spending 3 hours a night on social media and looking at TV. Another client want to grow her business but she wasn’t taking advantage of her lunch hour at her “dream funder” to respond to emails or learn more about her industry. If you have a long commute, find a way to make time both productive and beneficial. If you drive, listen to an audio book or call a friend to catch up. Take advantage of your lunch hour run errands that you would typically do on the weekend like picking up the dry cleaning.
I challenge you to track your 168 with this template: WYP What are You Doing with Your 168 to see how you are spending your time. I would love to hear what was revealed to you after a week of tracking.