Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Redefining what it means to Lean In

My iPhone makes me crazy. For days now it’s been warning me I’m close to full storage. That means going through and sending to the cloud anything I want to keep and deleting anything I don’t want to keep.

I use the Voice Notes app for my research interviews and so it’s an easy clean-out. I upload all the recordings to the Dropbox folder for research and delete the file from the phone. This usually buys me about 1GB of space.

Today I found a recording I made back in August that talks about Leaning In having consequences. We’re not taking up less space, it says, we’re pushing something else out of the way.

When we Lean In, something has to bend.

In 2014 and 2015, while I traveled about 30% of the time, Charlie had to bend. He also had to accept occupancy by alternate caregivers for Hollie.

In late 2015, when I spent a good bit of every day onsite with my major client, my schedule had to bend. Less time in jammies and at the gym and more time in heels and at the office.

That kind of bend might not seem so bad, but while cleaning out the recordings I also found my belief narrative. It’s the two minute recording I made in 2013 when I started my own company. In it, I lay out exactly why I want to be independent.

One word: autonomy.

What a strict contrast with the requirements of Leaning In.

Committing myself to working has never been my problem. I love to work. I love research and writing and interviewing and even transcribing isn’t too bad. Strategy and social media are engaging and fun. Developing and delivering learning content actually entertains me.

So Lean In for me is less about working versus staying home and more about finding the right way to work. It also means having the discipline to actually work and not just fuck off most of the day and call two hours of work a complete day.

So I binge work. 

It’s not too far from my personality to believe that some days I’m all in. Writing, reading, working on those things that get me paid and build my business. Then those days that I play golf with Charlie or go on Hollie’s field trip.

Autonomy doesn’t mean working less, it means working in alternative time blocks. But it’s still work. Forty hours or more spread out over the entire week, not just 8 to 5.

The mantra for 2016 has to be: I’m not afraid of hard work. Do the work.

There’s a lot to do. What are you working on in 2016?

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