Of dodgy phones, laptop heartbreaks and delegation : A lesson in taking a break
I am exhausted. I am sure that you are too. It is the sort of exhaustion that does not go away with extra naps or going offline for a bit. Recently, I explained to a friend that I feel as though I am a phone with a dodgy battery. The type of phone you charge for hours but whose battery life is instantly depleted within minutes just by opening two apps (WhatsApp and Email). To make it worse, the phone is connected to an equally dodgy charging port. The type you must twist or put at an angle with a book placed on top to apply pressure so that it shows you have connected it. Whenever anyone calls you must be in a certain position to maximise the charge, stay connected and not lose the call. Could you buy a new phone? No. Funds are depleted or being used elsewhere. There is always an impending emergency that makes your phone needs dead last or close to it. Could you borrow a phone or charger? Again, No. Because everyone else is in a similar position to you.
However, you know that it is temporary or at least you feel as though it is. So, to make sure you maximise the charger and the phone, you take steps to preserve them both. You clear out all unnecessary pictures, videos, and other junk in your phone. You delete apps or you download an app that will manage what two or three other apps were doing.
For now, your phone and your charger are doing alright. You check every so often to make sure that they are not on their last legs.
That is what it feels like. Although I must say that in recent weeks said actual phone and laptop were on their last legs. My phone forever receiving notifications and downloading a tonne of content has started to say, no ma’am. My laptop, trusty and faithful was unceremoniously dropped by a toddler who was very over not being paid attention to. Every day and hour mummy is on a laptop or phone, even when it was mummy and son time. So it had to happen. Although, we did have a stern talk about damaging property and sharing feels of frustration.
What does that mean in real terms? That means I am delegating more of the work that I know I have no capacity for. I am saying no more. Setting boundaries for my work and family time. The best thing is everyone from friends, family, clients, peers and employees have accepted and supported this.
Right now, Mama Fixer is only working on a case-by-case basis – consultancy projects only. No social media management unless previously agreed upon. If I am honest, burn out led me here but I love it and I should have done it sooner.
If you want to know who can do what I have no capacity to do? Don’t worry I’ll refer a name or two Someone who is perfect for you and can do what I can.
Here is my advice:
- Figure out what remote work or work from home or work from anywhere looks like to you and anyone else that decision will affect. For me that looks like. For me, the people I had to consider were primarily my husband and my son. Then, my family and friends. I don’t work well nor do I live well without interactions with them. So work was important but it was encroaching in spending time with the people that always held me down.
- Are you asking for something reasonable and achievable?