Tag Archives: multi-tasking

What I’ve Learned About Setting A Healthy Boundary

feb26_2017

Point to Ponder:
Is there an area in your life where you can benefit from adding a healthy boundary?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Several weeks ago I let Martha Lynn Mangum, iGnite member and my professional coach, know that I wanted to take the week of February 20- February 24 off. My children had the week off from school for what’s called Ski Week. No, this isn’t Spring Break, as that’s not until April. Ski Week is just a random week off designed to torture parents. HA! Really, I have no idea why, but my guess is with the President’s Day holiday, families were taking extra long weekends to go to skiing and as a means to avoid losing money (from the state), the district decided it was best to extend the school year and give the students the whole week off.

All that to say, I wanted to commit the entire week to spending time, having fun and fully focusing on Durant and Malaine, something I shamefully don’t allow myself to do or give them, ever. With the exception of a Saturday or major holiday, I am a slave to my email and anything work related takes precedent. If I’m not physically working, my brain is consumed with it. I’m a work-a-holic and am horrible at setting work-related boundaries. The result is that I spend much of my time multi-tasking between the needs of my family, household and work. On the outside looking in, it might appear that I am cool, calm and collected, but on the inside, I’m a mental mess. I, like most women, am a great multi-tasker, which I think is helpful and likely a God-given gift to women. During multi-tasking moments, I often experience an adrenalin high but I also feel like I am in a constant state of intellectual frenzy. Meanwhile, taking legitimate and real time off never occurs to me. Why? Because I don’t know how to.

As I spoke to Martha about what I wanted to do and why I wanted to do it, I expressed that I just wanted to just hang out with the kiddos. I wanted to give them my undivided attention and not put them on hold, like I frequently do. I also wanted to be fun, and not the crazed mom that I often become when I am striving to accomplish too many things at one time. And yet, as I discussed this with Martha, taking a full week off felt daunting because getting behind on emails and work didn’t seem worth it. Furthermore, with family and hard work being two of my core values, taking time off I felt as though I was not being a supportive team/family member to the iGnite team and family and it just feels wrong not to work!

As you are reading, you are likely seeing my own hypocrisy and wanting to shake me while screaming, “Isn’t taking the week off so you can spend time with your children/family in complete alignment with your family core value?” Of course you are right, but my deranged brain couldn’t see that. And, to exploit my hypocrisy even more, Martha reminded me that even though I always support and encourage our amazing iGnite team to take time off, (because I truly believe we all need it and are energized after a good break and extra fun) by not walking my talk I am non-verbally communicating that I really don’t expect them to take time off either. NOOOOO that’s not true, but clearly I’m being a hypocrite!

Realizing that I was being a total phony sealed the deal, so with Martha’s coaching (because I really didn’t know how to take time off), she directed me on the simple steps:
1). communicate my plans to our team, and 2) to set an email vacation reminder so when someone emailed me and I didn’t respond, they’d know that I I wasn’t ignoring them and I’d get back to them after my time off. And so, I followed Martha’s instructions and last Monday morning I began my week off. As a result, here’s what I learned:

I have very unhealthy work boundaries which are all self-induced, and even though I am deeply passionate about iGnite and it feeds every ounce of my body, mind and spirit, it is essential that I step away, just as I would advise our iGnite team and/or any mom to do from her family, despite her intense love for them.

In addition, taking the week off was the single greatest gift I could have given myself and my family–we had a blast! Because I set my email vacation reminder I didn’t feel obligated to check my email, or guilty or irresponsible for not responding. Was I perfect, no, as there were a few times when I needed to check on time-sensitive items, but I felt zero urge to check my email. All in all, I can’t give myself an A+, but I do give myself an A-. Now that I’ve officially taken time off and know how to, I’ll be able to do it better next time and the next time.

What I’ve learned in life is that I’m never alone in anything, and if I have a difficult time setting boundaries, then it’s likely that someone else does too. There’s no doubt that setting healthy boundaries around work can be tricky for anyone, but in particular for women, I think when it comes to our family, friends, volunteering, and just doing and giving to people in general (as I feel in iGnite), keeping healthy boundaries is as tricky as walking a tightrope. Honoring and keeping our personal and family-time separate and sacred, even from things such as social media, technology, television, and the plethora of activities and opportunities that vie for our attention is a real challenge, but its necessary. In the words of Susan Biali, Life Coach and Medical Doctor, she says it best in her article from Psychology Today titled, “7 Ways to Protect Your Energy & Enforce Healthy Boundaries”, you are here for a reason, and we need you to be at your best. We need you to be rested, and to have time available to do what you were put on this earth to do, no matter how big or small. You need time for you and for those you love most, in order for you to be happy and healthy and a blessing to all of us. This is really important, it isn’t selfish. Guard your life energy, it’s the most important currency you have.”


Action Item:
Establish a healthy boundary in an area in your life, and focus on it for a week. If need be, ask for guidance and find an accountability partner. At the end of your week, evaluate your progress and determine what, if anything, changed for you.


 

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‘Enough is Enough!’

iGnite - remove the unnecessary

Photo from this summer’s iGnite Escape in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Point to Ponder:
What have you had “enough” of? What are you wasting your time and life on?
What keeps you running on the treadmill to nowhere and is keeping you from living your life, being fully present and feeling great?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Recently I ran across a motivating radio show series called “Enough is Enough,” and as I listened, I became more inspired to also declare what I had had enough of in my life.

In last week’s journal I shared my realization that my current purpose/mission changed from what I originally thought it would be at this time. Prior to this, I was running myself ragged and trying to live up to the ridiculous expectations I placed on myself, which led me to declaring that ‘enough was enough!’ of letting my ego be my north star. ‘Enough was enough!’ of giving into the lie that my controlling ways were better than turning everything over to God in prayer. ‘Enough was enough!” of screaming at my kids and not being a present mom because I was stressed out of my mind due to believing that I needed to do more and was not enough unless I was multi-tasking and focused on accomplishing a million things.

So, what have you had “enough” of? What types of things are consuming your time and energy? What keeps you running on a treadmill to nowhere and is keeping you from living your best life, being fully present and feeling great? Because women share similar heartbeats and the human experience is not unique, here are some ‘enoughs’ that instantly came to my mind and might resonate with you too:

Do you struggle with living up to the expectations of others and are too hard on yourself? Are the people you are spending the majority of your time with life-suckers rather than life-givers? Do you live on an emotional roller-coaster because you are too involved in your children’s lives, care too much about the opinions of others, make too many assumptions and take everything personally? Have you neglected your needs and are not getting enough sleep, healthy food, adequate hydration and exercise? Have you busied yourself, are completely stressed-out and therefore your words, interactions and body language are negative, cold and argumentative? Do you no longer attend church or have a day off for faith, family and rest because your children’s extra-curricular activities have taken over or you’ve replaced it with more work? Do you wrestle with control and worry too much? Is your financial situation and spending out of balance? Have you placed a higher value on work and outside commitments and as a result neglected the needs of your spouse or the people you love? Have you bought into the lie that God didn’t create you “enough,” and therefore you have low confidence? Do the destructive emotions of shame, fear and doubt control your life? Do you reject the love of others or can’t trust others because someone didn’t love you back or violated your trust? Do you procrastinate or keep putting off what is necessary and important in your life?

With only a little over two months left in 2015 (EEK!), I want us to be intentional with the way we spend the remainder of our year by declaring and writing down the “enoughs” in our lives on this printable worksheet. By doing this, your spirit will give you valuable knowledge and information about what you are willing to accept in your life. This level of awareness and information will minimize the chances of transferring negative actions and emotional garbage into 2016 and will promote healthy progress by adding what’s necessary, rich and wonderful into your new year and life!

Action Item:
Be intentional with the way you spend the remainder of your year by declaring and writing down the ‘enoughs’ in your life on this printable worksheet.

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First, Celebrate!

A Road Map to Your Best Year Yet, Part I

Take the Time to Celebrate Your Accomplishments

Point to Ponder:
Did you take the time to acknowledge and celebrate all that you accomplished in 2014 or did you go straight into thinking about all that you did not accomplish and want to do in 2015?

Fill out your Celebrate 2014 page today!

Fill out your Celebrate 2014 page today!

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

First, Happy New Year! If you’re like me, you always enjoy the new year because you get a do-over, or at least that’s how I feel. The fresh start is….refreshing, and had I not begun receiving professional coaching in late October with iGnite member and consultant/coach extraordinaire Martha Lynn Mangum, I would not have known or even taken the time to celebrate first, and then look at what I want to accomplish in 2015. This activity is called “Cleaning the Slate.”

What Martha has taught me is that all success, the fulfillment of goals and attaining the health, career, relationships, and life we want begins and ends with energy. So, rather than do what most high-strung Americans (like myself) do and start the new year only thinking about where I failed in 2014 and what I want to accomplish in 2015 — that’s just bad energy, the energy I first need to bring into 2015 is the energy of celebration and gratitude.

While it seems simple, the act of celebrating our successes, unexpected wins and accomplishments is not easy (at all) because we are not programmed to celebrate ourselves unless it’s an annual celebration such as a birthday or anniversary. Instead, we are trained to always look ahead, do better and see what and where improvements can be made. Ultimately, we are very rarely satisfied, and I’m speaking for myself when I say that, which has been a disturbing and humbling discovery. In fact, this is likely why I love the new year so much. I really don’t celebrate anything from 2014. Instead I celebrate a do-over. And, it’s because of this internal wiring that Martha had me rely on my 2014 calendar, so that I could actually see my accomplishments, successes and unexpected wins.

Because we all need and want 2015 to be our best year yet, I encourage you to push the pause button on setting all of your goals and first grab your 2014 calendar or photos in your Smart Phone, print the 2014 celebration PDF and begin writing down all that occurred in 2014 that you are grateful for, your accomplishments, unexpected wins and successes (you’ll have this opportunity in your iGnite classes as well). Try not to over-think or go ‘epic’ on your accomplishments. Some of my accomplishments and successes were: remaining healthy, having the resources to pay our bills, remaining married and having healthy children. Hey, whatever way you slice it, a success is a success so do not de-value your amazing life and all that you were able to overcome, coordinate, and make happen in the past year.

Finally, as I continue to read the book The ONE Thing, the one thing I am learning is how unproductive it is to multi-task. Based on studies, the book states, “There is just so much brain capacity at any one time. Divide it up and you’ll pay the price in time and effectiveness. Multi-taskers experience more life-reducing, happiness-squelching stress.” So let’s avoid trying to accomplish too many things in this first week of January and make our ONE thing to focus on our 2014 successes and all that we were grateful for in 2014. The more intentional we can be about the energy we bring into 2015, the more likely we’ll be able to create the year we want and desire!

Action Item:
Push the pause button on setting all of your goals and first grab your 2014 calendar or photos in your Smart Phone, print the 2014 celebration PDF and begin writing down all that occurred in 2014 that you are grateful for, your accomplishments, unexpected wins and successes

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