The brilliant Kelle Bryan first introduced me to the term 'Work smarter, not harder' - one that has never been more prevalent since I became a mother.
The truth is I have 'worked hard' all my life.
I pushed myself at school (always the first one to put my hand up to volunteer and generally tried to be a good egg) and did activities almost every night.
A Levels were a slightly different story as I discovered boys and booze (what a beautiful combination) which slightly distracted my focus. But in general 'working hard' is how I have rolled.
Throughout my working life; I have done it all. Early mornings, late nights, night shifts, jobs I loved, jobs I hated, jobs that made me smell of crisps...yes I worked in a crisp factory before I moved to London.
'Work hard and be kind' was always instilled in me from an early age. However I have come to realise this is a very subjective topic and that I don't want to work harder anymore.
Soooo what does this mean in reality:
I have big dreams and I want to fulfil them but on my terms and in a way that feels good.
I only want to focus on opportunities, collaborations and projects that I really want to do. When I do this (or stay in my zone of genius as per the book 'The Big Leap' everyone gains.
I want to work on my terms. @motherpukka is amazing and her continued work for #flexappeal is bringing much needed awareness to the work place and encouraging oodles of conversations of 'Er welll maybe she could work 8am-4pm instead of 9am-5pm...we cooould just move the meeting forward' Boom!
I want to see my family. Yes of course, I could work every evening and get up at 4am buuuut what would I gain?
I can work really efficiently these days...I have small windows of time and now I don't have time to mess about. (watching You Tube videos, scrolling ASOS, seeking out dream holiday destinations that I won't be going to for at least the next 5 years).
I am tired. I haven't slept properly for 2 years and I am not a super woman.
I want to grow our family. This is not going to encourage sleep.
I don't want to make my token response to 'How are you?' to be 'Tired/busy/stressing/working hard'
There is a big, exciting world out there that I want to experience. When I live full out and concentrate on feeling good, the work I do flows better and I get more done in less time. Plus life is precious and short.
I could go in a number of directions but I want to earn well for what I do (incidentally I said to my coach I wanted to earn more in the next five years than I have over the last 15 years... her response 'You don't need that long'). Growth requires my focus so I need to be super strategic.
Fundamentally you don't get any prizes for 'working hard'. No gold stars, no certificates, no pats on the back. Ultimately you only reap the rewards when you get the results; more clients, visibility, money and success on your terms.