A woman I interviewed said this to me and it intrigued me and resonated with a lot of other 40-something women I spoke to.
“People fill up their lives with their ‘To Do’ lists and end up avoiding facing themselves or truly connecting to other people. It’s easy to do with technology. The busier they are, the less intimacy and connection they will have with themselves and with others. People get so intense about getting things done so they don’t have to pay attention to other things. I don’t have time for that. Why not? You have time to go do this. People fill up their lives with all these things instead of fulfilling their lives with a few things that maybe will really give them satisfaction.”
It reminds me of something they used to teach us at work about time management. You have all these different things to fill up your day – some are important and urgent, others are important but not urgent. Then there are then unimportant things. Some urgent, but some are more distractions…answering every email, making your to do list, organizing your files. But the goal if you do want to succeed is to spend more time on the important/ non-urgent things. Preparing a presentation, mentoring a key individual, working on new business. These are the things that are meaningful and career enriching. These are the things that will move you forward. If you end up with too much distraction you probably are just treading water in your career. It’s the same with life.
I think by never connecting to yourself, by constantly distracting, you risk going through life never truly moving forward. So many women talk about the importance of growing as a person. I always ask why just to hear what people have to say. A lot of people say it’s just better. Change is good…it creates new opportunities and you find new things you like, meet new people. You are more interesting and interested. One woman said, “anytime that you learn more about yourself, you’re adding a little gold nugget to your heart”. Others found it’s the key to connecting with others. The women in more fulfilling relationships make the time for quality time – -that quadrant 2 time. It would be easy at the end of the day to check emails, check off your to do list with your partner, compare schedules for the next day and then check out. After all your exhausted. This after you had separate dinners or one of you worked late. Make the time, even it’s just watching a TV show together. It’s important.
Same goes for people not in relationships. You can distract yourself with a lot in this world: dating for dating sake, shopping, emailing, texting, going to the party only to wonder where the next party is, hanging out with friends just to avoid spending time alone. But when you find those things that do fulfill you — taking the time to explore what you like and how you feel — you’ll probably end up happier and you’ll probably connect to others who share your same energy. Try to take some time to make your relationship with yourself and others more enriching and meaningful.