Had a good conversation yesterday that made me kind of verbalize what I’ve been feeling and shifting towards in terms of my default mindset.
Your value is measurable in many ways. Many people (and companies) get caught up looking at value in a way that is heavily weighted by how much time you’re putting in.
When you combine that with high expectations for quality and impact, you’re bound to set yourself (or your team) on a path to frustration, anxiety, burnout, and turnover.
If you can allow yourself to think about your value in terms of impact, you can start permitting yourself to recover. Recover from exhausting work sessions where you may have completed several days’ worth of work in a few hours. Recover from exhausting negotiations that required creative diplomacy to land on the right solution but drained you mentally and emotionally. Recover from being able to process and analyze information in a way that others couldn’t or haven’t to devise a strategy that will work.
To get to the point of being able to give yourself a pass to rest and recover, you need to take some time to reflect. Evaluate your work in terms of potential impact and actual impact. Analyze the results you were able to produce and celebrate accordingly. When you can’t draw a direct line to key metrics, evaluate the complexity of the problem you were able to solve. How long has it been a problem? How many people have tried to solve it? Who and what will benefit from the solution?
We’re not always going to win, so just as it’s important to know when to celebrate, rest, and recover, it’s important to know when to lean in and grind.
It takes time to find a good balance with this stuff and many reminders to keep that balance, but it’s worth it.