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The Business Utility Of Walks, Naps, And Taking Time Out

Why you should make time for and protect the peaceful activities that make you run–and make your business succeed.

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I recently returned from an amazing Harvard Business School event called the Dynamic Women in Business Conference.
They have maintained the highest levels of leadership, and dynamic
examples of women leading diverse and wonderfully fruitful lives.

I
was honored to present with other strong women leaders on our panel on
Social Entrepreneurship, which was packed with people who wanted to soak up social entrepreneurship, caring so deeply about
living lives devoted to the good of our community. What an
inspiration.

What I found so amazing was the
diversity of women’s lives. There was Lillian Lincoln, the first African
American woman to graduate from Harvard Business School in 1969. A
53-year-old gay woman from Microsoft, Anna Collins, adopted 13 month old
twins, and balanced motherhood with leading a major department at Microsoft. Single
mom Annette Pelliccio was a pioneer in the organic gardening industry,
while also taking care of her two children. There was the effervescent
Sarah Endline from SweetRiot’s confections, who incorporated community by
sourcing from indigenous people, and featured local artists on the
labels. 

Just reading the above paragraph makes me filled with awe
at the productivity and devotion of such active women. They are doing
so much good for the world, and yet many of them are also maintaining
families. It’s not an easy balance. I think it will be one of the most
challenging questions women face as we strive to lead meaningful lives
at home and with work.

Balancing work and life most certainly came
up. At first there was a groundswell that it wasn’t possible. I had to
venture in here, delicately so, as I am not a mom yet, but do aspire to
be. I can speak about my balance today, but not yet for the future. I
hope I will make peaceful, wise, inspired decisions that bless all the
people in my life, when that time comes.

So for my life today, I had to tell the people at Harvard Business School, “Sometimes, I take naps.” And let me tell you why.

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Every
Sunday I go down to the Peninsula to be with my cherished parents. They
have been together 48 years and are what I would call “best friends
with a spark.” It just works. They are kind and loving and caring,
consistently. I talk with them both most every day, if not multiple
times.

Pamela with Parents

We just, quite simply, enjoy being together.

It’s a profound statement, I believe, not to be overlooked.

I
keep telling myself, precious, precious. That’s what time with my
parents is. Don’t take a moment for granted. Cherish your time.

So
I do. Every Sunday I head down to church to hear my mom read, as she
currently leads the service. It’s very precious to hear her speak about
a spiritual foundation and to be read to by your mother. As adults, we
don’t often get that luxury of a mom reading to you, which is so
precious during childhood.

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Then we come back and we have lunch
together. We may talk outside on the patio in the sun, or, take their
Golden Labrador Daisy for a walk around the block. Or, we might go take
a nap.

If UniversalGiving,
the organization I lead, grows slower because I choose to spend my
weekend with my parents that way, then so be it. I cannot sacrifice
that time together, in the name of our community, in the name of social
entrepreneurship. These are the people I care about most. I love the
most. Who have loved me the most. Who kept me going and inspired during
the most challenging of startup days.

Then we usually have dinner together, and I head back up to the city.

It’s blissful.

It
is exactly right to state that “I am who I am because of my parents.”
And so I am going to take that peaceful time with them as precious, and
guard it like a type of spiritual gold. It’s what “makes me run,” and
it’s what makes UniversalGiving succeed. Protect your time with whoever
is family to you. No email can compete. Don’t let it.

About the author

I'm the founder and CEO of UniversalGiving™. UniversalGiving helps people give and volunteer with the top-performing, vetted organizations all over the world.

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