A story from the top - small steps

Do you feel overwhelmed? You are not alone. Many executives experience a schedule, workload and demands so full they can’t seem to breathe. In this overloaded work-life, one can often feel like a victim.

In his book Smartcuts Shane Snow writes about the power of the ‘Big Mo’ (momentum) in getting out of a rut. “Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile has found that the answer is simply progress. A sense of forward motion. Regardless how small. Amabile found that minor victories at work were nearly as psychologically powerful as major breakthroughs. And momentum isn’t just a powerful ingredient of success. It’s also a powerful predictor of success.”

I was working with a Project Manager who was about to quit her consulting career due to a heavy work-life imbalance; long hours, work on weekends, constant travel, etc. She felt her schedule was dictated by her Partners, the clients, her team and even her family.

After some discussion, we identified a major issue causing her stress was having to travel on Sunday night in order to be at the client site at 9am Monday morning. After more discussion, she decided to talk to her client about instead arriving on Monday at noon and make up for the lost hours throughout the week. The client agreed. The Partner-in-charge agreed and of course her family loved it.

Although this did not solve her work-life balance completely, it did have a significant impact. Not only did it make a difference, she felt as if she had more control than she initially thought.

She is still a consultant and now feels in better control over her schedule and is continuing to take small steps to gain more control. She’s enjoying the process more.

Remember, happiness is a choice. Taking small steps now is a choice. Choosing to be happy, involves

  1. identifying the multiple things we want/need in our life to be happy and fulfilled
  2. developing the discipline to taking the small steps we need to take right now to get those things into our day-to-day life
  3. understanding it’s a life-long process and learn to enjoy and celebrate the small steps and accomplishments along the way