Seasons greetings! We are on the cusp of ushering in the New Year. I hope you’re finding some time to take a breath, chillax and slow the chaotic pace of the holiday season. Speaking of changing pace and not racing so much, my guest this week, Jennifer Farmer, shares her experience with setting a work pace that is sustainable, practicing grace while redefining her flow, and so much more.
Jennifer is an author and leading professional in communications strategy, an industry known for moving at breakneck speeds. Jennifer’s debut book, "Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide" was released June 2017. She is the managing director of communications for PICO National Network, and the founder of Spotlight PR LLC, a boutique communications consultancy which provides strategic communications counsel and public relations coaching. She is one hard-working woman.
Not only do we talk about work pace, we talk about her work at PICO National Network, a faith-based community organization, and how she transitioned from working in politics to communications. She also talks about PICO’s Live Free Campaign, which addresses gun violence and mass incarceration in many cities across the United States.
Because much of what Jennifer does is mission-focused, advocative and so very humanizing, she always feels drawn to do more. When she was heading straight towards a major burnout, she had to assess what was happening and to turn everything around. Jennifer and I cover so much ground about what it’s like to achieve without overworking. I truly hope that you come away from this podcast with some clarity, inspiration, calm or a combo platter of all three.
The episode is ready for your listening pleasure. Grab a cup of hot tea (or your favorite beverage of choice), get cozy, and press play.
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All of this wisdom is from Jennifer herself (with some minor edits for readability).
[00:15:43] I try to start most mornings with the practice that really helps to center me. The first thing that I do is I give myself permission to do what I need to do to take care of myself.
[00:17:12] I try to give myself permission to do what it is that I need to do. And on the mornings when I'm really exhausted, I'm rushing, and I don't have time to go through my entire practice; I give myself grace. Let's say it's a morning where I don't have time to listen to a 30-minute motivational talk. I think about it, I acknowledge it, and I say, “Well, that's OK. Maybe today you needed to sleep a little bit longer, and that's what you needed for today.” I give myself permission, and I try to be gentle with myself.
[00:20:07] My pace of work may not be your pace of work, and I have to be okay with that. The best thing that I can do is to work at a place that is comfortable, as well as sustainable, for me.
[00:22:24] I want to contribute over the long haul. Because of that I need to think of my work as being a marathon and not a sprint.
[00:24:41] The Dean at University of Rochester said to me, “Jennifer, you do what you love and the money will follow.” And, that has been my story.
[00:27:51] I think what kept me going in the moment was just thinking. Even though this is not where I want to be this is an opportunity to learn something. So, “What can I learn?”
[00:28:20] The other thing that kept me going, quite honestly, was just having somewhat of a discontentment in my spirit. That was because I was not doing what I wanted to do. I was appreciative of the opportunity. I was appreciative of what I was learning but I knew that that was not the end of the road.
[00:33:17] It allowed me to feel like I had some control over the situation. Rather than being a victim to the situation, I felt like I was empowered because I was on a mission, and I knew what I had to do. I also recognize that there were areas that I needed to grow.
[00:42:30] Regardless of how great we are, we're not great in every area. We can always be greater. There's always a lesson to be learned.
[00:50:14] Because I am trained to think in terms of deadlines in order to make it real, I attach different deadlines and that's how I prioritize my time. Right now, what I've learned about myself over the course of my career is that I have to be fulfilled in the personal as well as the professional realm.
[00:58:47] We've been trained to please people, and we've been trained to put the needs of others ahead of our own. When we step outside of that, it feels uncomfortable until we start doing it enough.
[01:01:09] I was just so burned out, that I had to stop. I had to push the reset button.
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