Too often, this used to be my morning scenario: I’d “commute” from the kitchen into my home office and start work. Before I knew it, I’d realize I hadn’t moved from my laptop in hours and it was already lunchtime! Back in October, I began carving out 20 minutes for a quick walk with my dog Bash around our Dallas neighborhood. I try to not look at emails before this walk and spend the time listening to a podcast. And now, the 20 minutes has become an hour so I can finish the latest episode of "My Favorite Murder!"
It can be easy to look at my calendar and feel overwhelmed. While I had developed the habits of morning walks, I wanted to incorporate more movement throughout my day. So, in January, I started picking at least one meeting on my calendar to turn into a walking meeting. This week, I did a walking 1:1 with Sarah Smith, Thrive's Senior Director of Client Success. Not only did this allow us to get some extra steps in, but we tackled some complex situations with creative thinking. Light movement can also release neurotransmitters that boost energy and focus. Just because we work from home doesn't mean that all meetings need to be via Zoom/Teams and 30 minutes. My next Microstep will be shortening meetings from 30 to 25 minutes (or even 15!).
My favorite company value at Thrive is joy. Something that makes me feel joyful is spending time in the sun with my husband Chris and our mini-goldendoodle Bash. As a former volleyball student-athlete, I enjoy supporting Chris in his role as Commissioner of the Southland Conference. With the SLC composed of ten institutions across Texas and Louisiana, I love visiting new places and eating my way through the region!
Reframing my mindset of work-life balance to work-life alignment has had the biggest impact on my well-being. Despite popular belief, work and life are not on opposite sides, so they actually don’t need to be balanced. They’re on the same side. If you increase one, you increase the other, which is what the science clearly supports. Once I realized this, it was much easier to be ruthless about prioritizing and making time to take breaks and recharge. I love what Ramona Sequeira, Takeda's President, Global Portfolio Division, said to her team during their May Leadership Connect: "Leaders bring the weather." What type of climate am I creating if I am overworked and tired?