1. Get back to work with a clear head and a determined spirit.
I feel like putting in more of myself into the work I’m doing on Wit & Delight these days, so that’s a good sign. My primary objective is to resume my career with the same intensity I had before I had children. This necessitates that I show up for work every day, give my full attention to the most pressing projects (Siti non AAMS), and get rid of anything that isn’t essential.
There is a bit more wiggle room in our schedules when it comes to spending time with the kids, and I have a much clearer idea of what I want from my career. This fall, we’d also like to have an after-school sitter for the kids so that I can get back to a regular 9-to-5 workday.
2. Don’t try to trick me; work with me.
I hope to keep my days structured in accordance with how my mind works best to prevent burnout. I’ve found that the ADHD part of my brain isn’t satisfied by mild or long-term rewards, like crossing items off a list or finishing a big project. It’s always looking for the next distraction to avoid doing the work I should be doing, in the hopes of getting a quick dopamine hit.
Instead of trying to ignore this fact, I’ve been making an effort to design my schedule in a way that still challenges my mind, with plenty of opportunities for novelty and creativity sprinkled throughout the week. Dopamine hits from creative challenges, play, and discovery, all of which are inherent to my job, help. This change is ultimately about shifting my attention from things I can’t control, or “boiling the ocean,” to the simple act of making things, sharing them with others, and finding moments of humour and delight along the way.
3. Plan every cent and minute of your life.
In retrospect over the spending freeze’s first few months, I see that I have a propensity to seek out superficial solutions. My go-to coping mechanisms involve either spending money or filling up my schedule, usually when doing either is unnecessary. Both of these things have a cumulative effect on my life that leads to burnout when done excessively.
See Also: The Area 120 incubator at Google was hit hard by the recent round of layoffs at Alphabet
For me, being intentional with time and money means going slower when it comes to making decisions. This also means that when something is “right” and in line with my values, I can confidently say “yes” to it without feeling any mental weight. As I move forward with this procedure, I anticipate devoting more resources to activities that bring me genuine joy. My ability to determine what matters most to me and what doesn’t is allowing me to appreciate the world around me to its fullest.