career, Connexions, Inspiration, Opinion

How do you measure success?

It’s 8:41 am. I’ve taken the time to read. I made a nutritious breakfast. (Not a smoothie bowl. OMG. What a disaster that was yesterday.) And now I’m sitting at the kitchen table writing. I wish I could be sitting in my office upstairs, but the wifi has been wonky for the last week, and I can’t stand it when it cuts in and out. I swear the rain affects the signal or transmitters or whatever connection lasers thingies are flying through the air to connect me to everyone. So, until I can figure out what’s going on, the kitchen table is where I’ll be working.

It’s been one week since my last day at the office, and while this week isn’t a good representation of what my future holds, it’s been a strange and welcomed change. No more are the days of the 9-5 grind, but suddenly, I need to manage my daily schedule with a little more attention. I need to physically look at my calendar to make sure that I’m available when something needs to be pencilled in because now I have shifts and special projects to work around. Meetings are no longer in the conference room, they’re at the coffee shop, in my home, or via Google Hangouts. A morning coffee stop is no longer necessary because if I’m working from home, I can make my coffee. If I’m headed to the bistro, I can have a cup there. These may all sound like ridiculously petty little things, but they are small changes that are making a significant impact on my day. So much, in fact, that yesterday I already began feeling guilty.

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After a slow morning, I made my way to the office to do a bit of training with my replacement. Eventually, I ended up at the bistro to tie up a few things for the Grand-Reopening that is planned for this Saturday. (Did someone say FREE cupcakes? Umm. Yes, please! (You can see the details here.) Anyway, I was home by 3:30 pm. The moment I arrived, I began prepping things for dinner. I played with the dogs for a bit and then took the time to catch up on emails. By 6:30 I had eaten, the dishes were done, and I was ready to get working on a few things for the new blog launch. The guilt started to set in when I realized that while I had a productive day, the luxury of being able to accomplish things on my own time seemed too good to be true. I immediately made a to-do list to accomplish before going to bed. I couldn’t help but feel bad because I had a hair appointment scheduled for today and an afternoon of catching up with a client who is quickly becoming more of a friend. If I wanted to do those things today, it only made sense to be the most productive with my evening, right? Especially after a lovely late afternoon at home with the pups.

The truth is, a big part of my recent change was to prioritize things in my life better. To do more of what makes me happy and slow things down. Guilt has no place here. I’m feeling joy. My plan is coming together, this is good. I’m in charge of my schedule and how I spend my time. It’s okay to do something for myself and meet up with a friend in the middle of the day.  It just means that I may need to complete my work by moonlight while listening to some of my favourite tunes or wake up extra early to make sure I stay on track with my projects. This new mindset is undoubtedly different, and it’s going to take some getting used to for a gal that is accustomed to the daily grind. I’ll need to re-adjust and shift constantly, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think we get caught up believing that a traditional schedule is proof of success and accomplishment, but I’m starting to realize that’s not always the case.  What I do know for sure is that my benchmarks for success are changing. Because after all, shouldn’t happiness be the real measurement of success?

How do you measure success? Do you prefer structure or constant change? I’d love to hear from you!

2 thoughts on “How do you measure success?”

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