I got a text on a Saturday morning: “Are you working today?”
Well, no. I am not working today, because I no longer work on Saturdays. My previous job required Saturdays the first third of the year. It might be a few years before tax season arrives without me being thankful for the less-hectic, no-longer-getting-texts-even-in-those-limited-hours-I-wasn’t-at-work season. But here it was. I felt like I was being pulled back into that always-be-available expectation.
I knew it wasn’t that serious. It reminded me how thankful I am to be in a different situation now.
It also reminded me to be aware of what I expect of others. It’s not my personality to be overly demanding, but I’m not immune. I have experienced the push and pull of others’ demands. You probably have, too. It can be a combination of “be sure you take care of all your responsibilities” while frequently being interrupted to stop everything to take care of something that needs to be done immediately. It’s a dynamic that is going to happen at times. It’s unavoidable. I’m not referring to the regular flow but the constant dual-expectations. Sometimes more than one person is doing the demanding without coordination to stay aware of the process and its ramifications on individuals and teams. Perhaps that’s the core of the problem: people focusing on the results more than the people involved in the process. In the end, lack of care for people erodes the results, too.
It’s balance. We want to motivate people. We want progress. We want growth. But at what cost? How well do we handle other people—and how well do we handle ourselves? How well do we communicate, reflect, evaluate, and take care? Today is a good day to consider what needs to change.