Work is like laundry, even if you did it 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there’d always be more to do. For your own mental health, the health of your team, and even your marriage and kids, you need to set times where you commit to doing no leadership work at all. That’s easy to do if you don’t like what you do, but what if you love your work?
As a MOPS Leader, I love thinking about MOPS. I’ve described it to others like a hard drive in the back of my brain, constantly running in the background; thinking about MOPS, MOPS Leadership, and MOPS things I could be doing for myself or my team. If I’m not careful, at times my love of all things MOPS has had addiction tendencies. I’ve let my time dedicated to working on MOPS spill over into connection time with friends or my husband, time I should be making dinner for the family, even sleep time. I’ve gotten overly attached to MOPS things I’ve produced, ideas I’ve cultivated, or tasks I’ve wanted done, simply because I’ve spent so much time working on them I couldn’t bear the thought of letting them go. It can be a painful, humbling process to get back to a place of healthy limits.
It’s far easier and healthier, to set good limits before it becomes a problem. While no one else is going to set limits for you, it’s easier to do if you talk about work/life balance as a team. Some Leadership teams decide that unless it’s an emergency, they won’t do any MOPS work, including texts, emails, phone calls or even social media, certain days of the week. They make a team covenant to keep those days sacredly MOPS work free. It’s so much easier to create shared team limits than write new rules for yourself. And when it comes to the summer, don’t be afraid to take a MOPS vacation. There’s still plenty of time to get the work done. Let your entire team relax. Everyone, including yourself, will come back refreshed and energized for a new year. Your family and friends will appreciate that they have your full attention with no work distractions for a period of time. And in the long run, you’ll be a stronger, healthier leader for it.
Stacey Morgan has been a MOPS Member for 14 years, and is currently the Area Coach for South Texas. She is married to a NASA astronaut and together they have four children.