From Busy to Going with the FLOW

Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; list lies In the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. 

-FDR

I met a mom of a very cute and very mobile one year old at a holiday party this weekend. After having her son, she moved her husband and new son to live closer to her family in NYC. She left a fast track career to a new, less demanding job. “The job is fine, I have a good schedule with flexibility, but it’s been hard,” she said, “to go from being busy to just being busy. I used to be going, going, going, all the time, excited by my work, always had work projects to look forward to. Now I’m busy with a kid at home, but at work I’m just pushing through, just going through the motions until it’s time to come home to him.”

Just being busy can ultimately feel less than rewarding, both emotionally and financially. When you do as much pivoting and prioritizing as you do at home, it’s hard to stretch and challenge yourself at work.  Feeling that way matters too, both to your advancement and earning as well as your state of mind at home. 

Positive psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, introduced the concept of flow. Flow refers to the times we are happiest because completely immersed in and excited by  what we're doing.  The more often we are able to achieve flow, our work quality improves, our achievements multiply and we develop “emotional, cognitive, and social complexity”. Simply put, when we get back to being that other kind of busy, we get smarter, become happier and better able to support and be supported. Dozens of studies support the idea that it's not about money or status earned, happiness actually comes from earning success. 

When you are constantly switching from one thing to the next, as we working parents do, how do you find the attention or the focus to find flow?  When you need more time to focus away from the kids you hire a babysitter. When you are too tired to make dinner, you order in. When your house is a mess, you hire someone to clean it for you.  When opportunities or challenges come up at work, like asking for a raise, taking on a new project, stepping in to a new more exciting role, or managing a challenging employee, how do you tackle them?

What if you could found an on call service to help you do it all and work better? Someone who could: 

  • Help you create and maintain a schedule in line with your personal priorities?
  • Propose and help you Implement solutions based on best practices in working parenthood? (including academic and field research from parents who are managing it all)
  • Provide the insights of a career and workplace expert who could zero in on your individual strengths and optimal work conditions and help you create flow?
  • Help you get good busy and advance professionally without sacrificing parenting time?

You can do and feel better than just busy. You just need the support to do it.  Start with a Sounding Board session and get on call support

It really works. This week a client told me: "I am so glad to have the support to be able to move through this stressful period at work and with 3 small kids at home. Now I can think about my next career choice based on what I really want for myself, my family and my career."