A businesswoman’s first clue she’s leading an unbalanced life? She regularly winds up throwing herself on the bed at midnight, so stressed out that even her clothes hurt.
Eileen McDargh, keynote speaker for The Women’s Forum this weekend at Templin’s Resort in Post Falls, has the cure.
“You have to be aware of what’s important to you,” McDargh said in a recent telephone interview.
McDargh has devised a system for helping women diagnose their work/ life balance. She calls it a CAT scan, which stands for: Check What Claims Your Time, Assess Your Values and Take Action.
The first step is keeping track of your time in 15-minute increments for a week.
When McDargh completed this exercise, she found she spent way too much time on work-related trivia and projects for a professional organization. She came up short on time for top business priorities and for her relationship with her youngest daughter.
The second step requires assessing your values in five areas:
The intellectual, which includes work, reading, community and church activities and school.
The physical, which includes all the ways you maintain your body such as sleep, nutrition and exercise.
The emotional, which includes the important people in your life.
The spiritual, which means how you take time to pay attention to the part of the universe that is greater than all of us.
The material, which includes all of the possessions you own or hope to own which claim your time, money or energy.
The third step is setting small, attainable goals in each of the five areas. McDargh recommends that women evaluate their progress once a month to help stay focused.
In her life, she found that rewarding her new exercise plan with colorful stickers in her calendar kept her motivated.
“In my Franklin planner, I’ve got purple sheep, I’ve got red hearts, I’ve got gold bees,” she said. “Now I’m exercising five, even seven times a week. I still go back and buy those stupid stickers. I don’t need them anymore. I just like to see them there.”
McDargh promises her system pays off.
“You get a sense life is not just passing you by, you are actively involved with it,” McDargh says.
The Women’s Forum will be from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, and 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
McDargh will give keynote speeches both days at 8 a.m. She’ll talk about “Living & Working Well in Changing Times” on Friday, and “Surviving and Thriving with Difficult People” on Saturday.
The event will also offer a choice of 15 workshops on topics ranging from developing leadership skills to running a home business.
The registration fee for both days is $105. For more information, call (208) 664-9534.