My bag. It carries everything I need in it to accomplish the tasks at hand that day. My laptop. Bible. Journal. Headphones. Jump drives. Legal pads. And on and on and on! It’s literally my mobile office. And it goes everywhere with me.
Which is a great thing. Whenever I need something. I have access to it. If someone calls and needs information… I can look it up. If I find myself with a few free minutes… I have the opportunity to jump ahead on some work.
But it’s also a horrible thing if not balanced well!
I can find myself at times coming home from work in the afternoon just to continue to work well into the evening. Completely disengaging with my girls. And all because I have convinced myself that everything I am working on is important and needs my attention ASAP.
The truth: Rarely anything is urgent!
Yes… Things are important. But most items can wait until tomorrow when you’re back in the office. What others claim to be urgent… at times are and need to be dealt with immediately. But most of the time they aren’t and can wait another 12 hours so you can have time to relax and be present with your family.
It’s time to put the bag down until tomorrow!
I noticed something while on a Missions trip to North Dakota. We have working to restore a 100 year old building at a small Bible College. I have had the privilege for 3 years to work with great contractors. But at the end of the day… Those guys took their pouches off and didn’t pick them back up until the next morning! They didn’t return to their tools at various times in the evening. They worked hard all day long, but when they were done for the day… They were done!
I love that! Work as hard as you can with the tools God has given you… But when you come home at the end of the day… you put the tools down and relax and enjoy life!
So that’s what I’ve been doing for a while now. When I walk into my house… I lay my bag down in the front room and I do not return to it until morning. It’s been symbolic to me. To have something to lay down every afternoon and remind myself that my work for the day is done.
When I’m tempted to go back. I don’t. When I find myself thinking about work. I remind myself that I laid the bag down and will pick it up again tomorrow.
And if something truly urgent comes up… I will deal with that. The difference now… I get to decide what’s urgent instead of letting others decide for me.
And so far… That’s been freeing!
If you’re struggling to find a work/life balance. I understand. I think all great leaders struggle with this.
But I care more about leading three blonde girls then anything else. And to do that… The bag must be laid down!