Time is a commodity – a currency that too many of us squander, give away, or don’t even pay attention to.
When I was up for redundancy, all my time was spent on fighting it (I watch a lot of female revenge horror movies, so I had my battle cries practiced and ready for dispersal). I helped helped fundraise the greatest amount we’d ever raised for our union action, I got interviewed on various news media multiple times, I spoke to our members of Parliament, and made loads of friends along the way.
This fight was not the cause of the burnout I was experiencing, despite all of the achievements we had in the redundancy fight: the gaslighting in academia had already worn me down! I was in survival mode.
When I left academia after winning the fight, I knew I needed to make serious changes to ensure my pivot would be successful, and I’d leave thriving rather than surviving in my life after academia.
First, I needed time to think since I was in REACTING and PANICKING mode for so long…
That taught me that TIME is a gift you need to give yourself.
1. Time to think – We need to pause to notice what is giving us joy and then commit to doing more of that.
2. Time for silence and listening – This is such a great teaching, leadership, and mentoring tool, but it’s also a tool to use with our bodies and minds.
3. Attending to time – what is taking up your time in your day? Attend to the things that are taking the lion’s share. Categorize them. Is it other people? Is it worrying and thinking of the things you need to do? Is it firefighting? Is it emails?
Being out of academia has made me reevaluate what’s important and be able to devote more of my mental energy to them.
I talked to an academic recently who was thinking of leaving her job, and she said she didn’t really have any friends outside of work.
I know that I used to struggle with this too. I’d tell new friends that I was bad at keeping in touch because of my personality.
But now that I’m out of academia, I have MENTAL REAL ESTATE and proper bandwidth. It wasn’t my personality or my ADHD (maybe a little!), but it was having space in my brain.
It was having the ability to pause!
I’m now operating with 5G… All 5 senses can be attuned to what lights me up!
I check up on friends to see what they need
I take time to listen to my child and validate their needs
I have time to support my friends and colleagues
I take time to check in with my body to see if I need to rest
❤️ I take on emotional labor since I don’t feel constantly depleted
With more time off, you find more energy, you’re in better health, you have more time to think! And time to think results in better clarity and a renewed inspiration and motivation.
I use the acronym BOLD a lot! Breathe Observe Listen & Discover. When we pause to breathe, we start to tune inward and observe what are bodies have been trying to tell us. Our bodies hold answers for questions unposed.
We innovate through breath and rest.
“Inspiration” has the root word – to inspire, or inhale – so our imagination and innovation are sparked through breath!
We just need to listen to the stories our bodies hold to find the inspiration to discover our path.
Time audit – what are you spending your time doing and is that what you expected and what fulfils you?? Get my lovely free guide to help you to do just that!
⏰ Take back your time to do the things that will heal you. For me, it was crochet, dancing, picnics with friends, cooking/baking, and doing yoga.
Someone reminded me of a quote by Paolo Coelho in THE ALCHEMIST:
“It’s precisely the possibility of realizing a dream that makes life so interesting.”
As you go on the job market, finding another career, think of how your dreams can be inspiration for your life design work!