“Focus on what’s important.” I hear this all the time. It’s become a modern-day mantra. But I wonder if it gets repeated so often that the meaning gets lost.
It covers everything from focusing on our families to reminding ourselves to put our phones down to thinking about who we are going to vote for in the upcoming US presidential election, to staying away from social media because it’s driving us crazy.
So…what is important?
My voiceover business and my clients are important. As is connecting with new clients who might need my services. But every afternoon when the school bus comes, or I have to go pick my kids up from their after-school activity, the focus of what is important shifts. I then help my first grader stay organized enough to do her three minutes of homework and practice the ukulele. I make sure my kids are fed, I clean up the containers from their lunch so they are available the next day, because neither kid wants to ever buy lunch. And then have to remind them to get ready for bed, because it’s important that my kids are fed and get enough sleep so that they can focus on what’s important: schoolwork, developing friendships, pushing their own boundaries of what is possible.
It’s also important to spend time with my wife. After she was away all weekend at a trade show, she took a couple of days off from work. So, she and I got to hang out without our children. We went to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, shoe shopping, and had a delicious breakfast out without having to make sure our first grader was entertained. Just a side note: having blank paper and crayons on hand works wonders in keeping your children entertained in a restaurant; it also has the side benefit of fostering their creativity.
And then every Friday, I have lunch with my first-grader and her friends – my daughter’s school allows parents to come have lunch whenever we want. The conversations may not seem important: we discuss the reality of unicorns, how to speak fairy language, and whether the floor is lava. But this time is important. My daughter wants me there…for now, and I know that one day that will change. While that time breaks up my day and takes me away from my voiceover business for a while, it is still important…to me and to her.
And that gives me enough time to manage my voiceover business in the morning, and in the afternoon after I get home…while still being there for the bus in the afternoon.
That, to me, is important.