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Where are your eyes?

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

If you enjoy your work, congratulations! I’m super happy that you do. I love what I do, too!

Here comes the ‘but’ - But, if you love what you do, your mind could unintentionally keep going and easily move into overworking. When you’re overworking, you’re just on the fringe of being present with people or, in other words, you simply lack being present.

Overworking, over-productive lifestyles can eventually lead to under-present relationships. If that continues long-term into the future, devastating drama can occur. That's where seeds of divorce are planted. It can lead to children not speaking to their parents. Skilled competent employees will leave your organization.

These are real consequences that occur all the time, despite good intentions. No one sets out to have a damaged or unhealthy relationship. It just happens.

People are not machines. Relationships play a key role in satisfying people’s sense of fulfillment and value. That’s why it’s important to understand how to be productive in what you do AND to be present in your relationships - both at home and work.

If you lead people, it’s up to you to model this for your team and family. Healthy connections are crucial in developing influence and rapport with all the people in our lives.

It's also important that you create the time and focus needed to do your work well – to be productive. Your people also need this from you.

That’s why knowing yourself to lead yourself well requires managing your time and energy to balance being productive and present.

There is a saying that I was reminded of last week. Where your eyes go, so goes your mind. I was having a difficult time balancing my work and monitoring my children’s at-home schoolwork. I was not finding success or peace in either space.

I finally gave myself permission to stop my work, close my laptop, and be fully present sitting next to my son while we went through his lessons.

My eyes were on his computer (not mine), so my mind was with his work (not mine). It wasn’t easy to let go of my work, even temporarily, and solely focus on my son, but it was the best thing for both of us.

So where are your eyes when you’re in the presence of other people? If your eyes are looking down at your phone or your mind continues to solve a complex work problem while at home, you aren’t fully present with the people you love the most. If you’re still typing an email when you scheduled a meeting with a colleague, you aren’t fully present with that person.

On a scale of 1-10 (1 = not good, 10 = I’m amazing), how productive are you? How present are you?

If you rated yourself honestly, are you where you’d like to be with both?

Is there something you can do to be more present with people? Maybe…

  • Put your phone in a place where you’re not tempted to check it every few minutes.

  • On your drive home point out a landmark that triggers you to stop thinking about work and begin thinking about your family. I urge you not to make the trigger your driveway – that may not allow enough time to shift.

  • If you work at home, maybe set a time of day or do something physical such as closing your laptop or an office door behind you.

Share with someone what your plan is and give him/her permission to hold you accountable for keeping it. I guarantee if you tell your children or partner what time you are stopping work, they will let you know if you go over. 😏

There are tools that help manage your mindset and provide an objective language so you can bring out the best in yourself and others in every situation. Contact me if I can serve you with taking your presence and productivity to the next level.

"Sustained exhaustion is not a rite of passage; it's a mark of stupidity." Jason Fried

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