If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.
I’m excited to share a post by my friend Andrea Sharb, owner of S.O.S.~Sharb Organizing Solutions, LLC, who specializes in helping others overcome overwhelm. Certified in both Professional Organizing and Coaching, her most rewarding work is with disorganized adults who are creative, intelligent and often overwhelmed, especially adults with ADHD. Andrea also serves as an instructor for the Coach Approach for Organizers program and is co-founder of an Adult ADHD Group Coaching Experience called Catalyst for Change.
Follow Andrea on Twitter at @SharbOrganizing, invite her into a circle at Google+, or connect with her at LinkedIn. You can learn more her coaching and organizing practice at www.sossharborganizingsolutionsllc.com.
Thanks so much Andrea for sharing your insights with us! Read on to become inspired!
As a fellow mompreneur, I understand firsthand the challenges inherent in running a business and being available for my family. About 18 months ago I found myself in the most challenging place I’ve been since becoming a Professional Organizer and a Coach. That place was TOTAL OVERWHELM and for a professional whose mission is to help others overcome their overwhelm, it was a bad place to be indeed.
In addition to my key roles of business owner, mother and wife I had accepted a position on the board of a non-profit organization, a commitment that had added hundreds of additional hours to my workload. Though I loved this organization and what it stood for, I found myself resenting it, because of the work and family time I was sacrificing as a result. As my board commitment wound down about a year ago I found myself doing some intense soul searching. I valued being of service, which is why I had originally joined the board. I valued supporting my clients and growing my business and neither of those were happening at the same level as in prior years. I valued my family most of all and I had missed spending too many hours with them because of my board position. As such, I declined an offer to serve another term and began the process of reducing commitments in my life so as to regain business and family time.
Luckily around this time I came across a book I thought might provide some insight into a different path. That book was Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less is essentially about how to live a more purposeful, focused and intentional life. I was intrigued by the idea of essentialism, about which McKeown had this to say:
“the basic value proposition of Essentialism: only once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone, can you make your highest contribution towards the things that really matter.”
He sums this up nicely by stating:
[Tweet “If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will – Greg McKeown. #essentialism #simplelife”]
This book was a quick read, filled with stories, meaningful graphics and examples from the author’s life, but upon completing it I was somewhat at a loss about determining what was essential for me. Defining the essential in my personal life was easy. But defining it for my life as a business owner was more challenging. I returned to the book in search of a formula or list of questions for consideration that would lead me down the path of the essentialist. I didn’t discover any. Instead near the conclusion of each chapter, McKeown highlights the characteristics of an “Essentialist” in comparison to a “Nonessentialist”. The comparisons were interesting, but didn’t provide me with the level of guidance I was looking for in creating my essentialist lifestyle. I needed to dig deeper into this book to find what I was looking for, or did I?
Upon digging deeper, I noted that like many self-help books these days, much of what I deemed essential was outlined in Chapter One. From the first chapter:
“Essentialism is not about how to get things done; it’s about how to get the right things done” and
[Tweet “Essentialism means living by design, not by default.- Greg McKeown. #essentialism #simplelife”]
We find ourselves constantly on the go and busy, busy, busy, but are we accomplishing what matters most to us?
Are you focusing on what is most important to you?
If you’re struggling with too much-ness in your life – You are someone who will benefit from reading this book.
The strength of this book lies in raising awareness about essentialism and its benefits and it’s for this reason I recommend it. This book could have made a cleaner shift from awareness-raising to action-inducing if it had concluded each chapter or each part with a list of action steps or questions. This would have made my process of determining what was essential for me with respect to my business easier. Did I ever find the guidance I was looking for? Yes, it came in a list of three simple questions located in – yes, you guessed it – Chapter One.
Committing to a more essential lifestyle has made a huge difference in my work and family life and I highly recommend it.
Please share your thoughts and comments
If you’ve read this book, I’d love to hear your thoughts. If not, what questions or thoughts does this piece raise for you about living a more essential life?
To contact Andrea directly, you may find her at www.sossharborganizingsolutionsllc.com.