From what is expected of me, and what I can give, to setting realistic expectations
Many people email me every day ( I can receive anything up to 100 per day), looking for help or general advice, and I am no longer able to respond.
Some people thought that I should reply to these emails, as I should want to help people; hence this post.
Helping people is my job, but I am not superwoman! There is only one of me, and like you, I like to go for walks, read books and veg out in front of the telly. I would have to give that all up to answer all the questions I get on a daily basis.
Each email I receive can take between 1 and 15 minutes to read and up to one hour to respond to. Some would take a lifetime; often people email me with vague questions about human behaviour, that they would like an answer to, or students ask me a question.
When I say a liftime, I exaggerate a little, but only a little. One of these questions was similar to a question I had myself, and my answer took 3 years of my life, as the answer turned out to be my doctoral thesis!
I also like to practice what I preach. I take time to explain to people that have worked with me, the importance of self care, when and how to take breaks, and the importance and value of free time.
If you have worked with me, you may have heard me telling you to actually schedule ‘free-time’ into your diary. If you are self employed, or manage your own diary, this can be a life saver. Many people have their day jammed packed with meetings, but no space for the time you spend getting coffee, or allowing for a chat with a colleague, or what I call my ‘staring into space’ time.
I have these things scheduled into my days, as I am a realistic person and know that I do not work flat out between the hours of 9 to 5. I do stare into space, chat on the phone, mindfulessly scroll through Facebook. Knowing that I do this, means knowing that it takes time. If it is not scheduled, then I play catch up.
Back to my original point. There is only one of me, and the same hours in my working day as everyone else. Replying to all emails for general advice would not only be hypocritical for me to do, but also logistically impossible.
It is not that I don’t care; it is more about self care, and, available hours in the day!