Sometimes I have to be really careful when planning my work days. With just three full days available on which to schedule meetings, I have a tendency to over-book them.
Back-to-back meetings were totally do-able (and didn't require a second thought!) before my daughter was born. In the past three years, however, although it is possible for me to make it through a fully-booked day, it can be really dangerous for my physical and mental health.
I end up feeling depleted, have almost nothing left to give to my family in the evening, and there is definitely no room for self-care. Without the energy to bolster myself, this depletion extends into the following work day, making the cycle come full-circle and thus impact both my personal and my professional lives.
Today I didn't realize that I had (once again) booked myself in back-to-back intensive meetings until I was halfway through them. Luckily, I was able to squeeze in 15 minutes between my mid-day and afternoon meetings to breathe deeply and realize what I had done. Then, as soon as my afternoon meeting was complete, I went home, took a bath, and sat on the couch daydreaming for 30 minutes before diving into the piles of paperwork that accumulate after a day of meetings.
Based on these actions, I was able to get a lot of work done in the hour between my daydreams and the excited "MOMMY!" that came from downstairs when my daughter came home. I was able to leave my desk and greet her and my husband with joy and excitement and even, yes, a little bit of energy.
Is this balance? I'm not sure, but it definitely feels better than trying to be Superwoman!