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Work-life and tech-life balance: Are you struggling with collaboration overload?
Episode 6826th September 2022 • Connected Philanthropy • Foundant Technologies
00:00:00 00:37:38

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A former software developer, now Founder and CEO of Mindful Techie, shares how to live a more balanced life in a digital world.

Meico Marquette Whitlock | Founder and CEO, Mindful Techie

Meico helps changemakers create work-life and tech-life balance so they can do their best work better while living their best lives. He is the founder and CEO of Mindful Techie, author of the Intention Planner, and a certified trauma-informed mindfulness teacher.

Through speaking, training, and coaching, he facilitates transformative experiences that foster wellbeing in a hyperconnected and distracted world.

He has worked with organizations such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cigna, and Greenpeace, and has been a featured speaker on ABC News, Fox 5, and Radio One. He’s a former triathlete, loves salsa dancing, and makes the world’s best vegan chili!

He holds an M.S. in Information Science from the University of Michigan and a B.A. Political Science and Spanish from Morehouse College.

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Connect with other members of the philanthropic community at Community.foundant.com

Transcripts

Tammy Tilzey:

Hello and welcome to our Found and Connected Philanthropy podcast. We are privileged to have Niko Marquardt Whitlock, founder and CEO of Mindful Techie, as our guest today, and we will be talking about work life and tech life balance for nonprofit professionals. Miko is a digital wellness coach and brings a wealth of knowledge in your personal experience to this topic.

Tammy Tilzey:

These help nonprofit Changemakers find work life and tech life balance in today's digital world and helping teams break free from the distractions. Getting in the way, freeing them to do their best work is his passion. Thank you so much for joining us today.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

Thank you for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Tammy Tilzey:

Great. Will I have some questions for you? So many. So let's just dove right in. I'd like to start out with setting the table and having you tell our listeners a little about yourself and your journey to get to where you are today.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

Absolutely. I've worked all of my professional career in the nonprofit and government sector, and I've always had a passion for for giving back. And it really dates back to one of my earliest experience in childhood, being allowed to kick in from the age of five years old. I had a dorky and I don't know if any of you who are listening, you have a small, small child or you've been a caregiver for a small child, but five years old is very young.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

To give the responsibility of having a door key to it, to a child, at least in today's day and age. And part of the reason that was the case for me is that at that particular time was raised primarily by my my mom, single mom. And, you know, childcare was challenging as a single mom, you know, working to make ends meet.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

And so one of my responsibilities at that very young age was to make sure I had that door key. And every day after school, I was to pick up my younger brother from kindergarten and make sure we got on the school bus and that we got home and that we were safe and sound to our mother was able to come home and we had neighbors looking out for us to make sure that we were okay during that time period.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

But when I think about that time period and I think about the premise that I've had in terms of how my life and education has evolved during that time, I've always wanted to give back in and really be of service to make the life of folks that were similarly situated that much better. And so I made a decision very early on in my schooling, a professional career, that I wanted to dedicate my life to being a service to the nonprofit and the government sector.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

And that led me to taking on a number of different roles, primarily in the area of technology communication. That was something that I was very interested in and still remain very interested in to this day. So I've done web development, I've done software engineering, I've done technical project management in my last role before doing the work I'm doing now.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

I worked on both the association side and also at the federal government level doing work related to public health, specifically communications, public health related work connected to HIV and hepatitis. And so I'm very passionate about giving back. I'm very passionate about leveraging technology and communication tools to really make a difference in the lives of under-resourced and underserved communities.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

And so one of the things that I recognize, though, along this journey is that many of us that are working in the social change sector, we're very passionate about the work that we do. And sometimes so much so that we sacrifice our own personal well-being, our own personal relationships, our own personal lives for the sake of the mission of the folks that we're serving, for the sake of the the the mission that we're advancing and moving forward in our organizations and over the long term, that is detrimental.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

Right. And so I saw this perpetual cycle as I was working in the change making sector. And I even experience, as you know myself, I had my my own challenge with this where I realized that I reached a point where I was so overworked, I was so overwhelmed with the work that I was doing, particularly in my last role as communications director for this large association, focused on anything at doing hepatitis.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

And I reached a point where I, I was severely overweight, I was depressed. I was sort of losing motivation for the primary reason that drove me to do the work to begin with. And I hit a brick wall and I realized that I could literally drop dead from doing this work. Right. And I would have done that in service of the mission.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

But at the end of the day, the work would keep moving forward. Right. So, you know, colleagues would have nice things to say about me and my memorial service, hopefully. Right. But they would just hire somebody else at some point to pick up where I left off. Right. To pick up on those emails, to pick up on the projects that were that were left unfinished.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

And it was when I had that realization, I realized, in the words of Wayne Dyer, who passed away some years ago, I didn't want to die with my music still inside of me, that I still have more that I wanted to give to the world in terms of personally and professionally and that there had to be a more sustainable way to do good work in the world without sacrificing yourself.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

Because if there wasn't a more sustainable way, then there wouldn't be anybody in the sector to do the work right? And so I had that realization and I started on this path of really merging my personal spiritual development along with some professional development, and started along the story, I started to share the story. I started to examine the sphere of influence at that time in my organization, which was myself and the team that I was managing.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

And I gave a talk at a conference maybe about almost ten years ago, and the result of that experience was a very short five minute, like Ted Tete like talk. And I talked about this journey. I talked about this challenge. I talked about what I was doing with my team and for myself. And the response was so overwhelming in an unexpected and beautiful way.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

And I realized a few things as a result of that conversation or those conversations that I had with folks after that talk, which was one I wasn't alone in having this challenge. Number two, people want to help with addressing the challenge. And then number three, people wanted to pay me to help them do it. And so when I had that realization, that was sort of the start of this journey that I've been on, I think, you know, since since 2017, to create a culture of well-being for change makers all around the world so that we can do the good work that we're doing.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

We can do it better, but we can do it also while living full and robust lives outside of just our professional work and our professional missions and calling.

Tammy Tilzey:

Oh, wow. That's a that's a powerful story. Thank you so much for for sharing that. And and you do you you that's we need hope because you're right. It does get overwhelming. And as I looked at what you what you do and what you specialize in, that that phrase of work life and work life balance came came out and the technology could be real powerful.

Tammy Tilzey:

And I have a tech background as well. So I've heard this work life balance before, but this term of tech life balance, it sounds like there might be a secret in there that can could be helpful. What is it and how do you see it impacting specifically those who work in the nonprofit sector?

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

Absolutely. So that the tech life balance piece, really and this is not unique to me, I'm sure that there are other folks that are that are using this term and have been using it before. But for me, how I came to use that is that, you know, I was doing a lot of work around work life balance and I'm known as the mindful techie.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

So I also do a lot of work specifically around how do we effectively use technology, how do we use it in an intentional way, in a way that it actually adds value to our life and work as opposed to taking away value. And so to your point, technology can have that double edged sword. And we recognize over time that the role that technology plays in our life and in our work has increased dramatically.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

And if nothing else, we have the example of the last seven years on the pandemic, where we have used technology tools to stay connected, to stay productive, to stay engaged not only at work, but what we're doing and still doing, even with things changing with the pandemic, you know, you know, virtual homegoing services and funerals, you know, people are getting married over, over.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

So birthday parties, happy hours, things of that nature. And so with that increase in screen time, with that increase in reliance on the technology and within an acknowledgment that not every company that is producing a tool, a platform, necessarily has an altruistic motive. Right. In terms of your health and wellbeing, we have to be mindful of those things and we have to be putting in place practices and strategies for ourselves and especially for our younger folks, for our little ones, and for our teenagers that are still developing and growing and might necessarily have a sort of mature to a point where they're able to make some of those decisions in a way that we might

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

make from an adult framework. So from all of that, really, when I think about the work life balance working and I think about the technology piece of this thing to me, like a natural connection to call it tech life balance as well, because we're not saying technology's bad, we're just simply saying how do we use it in the balance and then since don't way.

Tammy Tilzey:

Right and I love as a as a tech vendor working for a tech vendor myself I love making sure everybody's aware and that sometimes it can add value and and sometimes just being sure that you're using the technology in a way that that can add value and doesn't ultimately take away from your wish. What as you as you meet with people and I've talked with the people that may have come up like after your your first speaking opportunity or since then and have been working with folks.

Tammy Tilzey:

What do you what technology or what challenges do you see people struggling the most with to balance or what are what what might be one common one.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

Because we rely on it so much to get work done and also because of the pandemic to stay connected to one another personally, professionally. What we're experiencing right now, I think, is something that some folks call collaboration overload, right. Where we are simultaneously spending more time than ever before connected through meetings, for example, virtual meetings through chat tools like Slack or through the Microsoft teams chat, for example.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

And then we have more tools and ever that we are relying on simultaneously, right? So we have collaborative platforms like the Google, Google Docs and the Office 65. You know, we have the project management tools and we have CRMs and all of these things that are happening. And so we have more than enough to stay connected. We have more than enough to be productive.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

But one of the things that I'm seeing is that people are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of tools that we're having to utilize to stay connected and to stay productive. And also by the amount of coordination that that actually requires by way of even if it's communication via chat or via email or the fact that we're spending more time than ever actually in meetings, whether they're in-person hybrid or remote.

Tammy Tilzey:

Yeah. Yeah. So it's it's the volume and the the amount of I could I could see every every tool. You mentioned that sometimes I, I think back to what did we do before that. Right. And so so now the capabilities of them are are really positive. But when, when you get through three days in a row of straight meetings back to back.

Tammy Tilzey:

Yeah. You feel exhausted. Not energized, right? Yes. So what are some of the first steps or parts of getting aware of and sort of admitting you have a problem or the problem I guess might be the first step?

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

Well, I think the first step is really just acknowledging the new reality, acknowledging just taking a step back and acknowledging the larger context that the world has changed the way that we live and work, has changed the way that we connect to change. And even if you don't have answers or you don't have all the answers, there is power in simply acknowledging that, particularly at a team level, if you are a leader in an organization or you are supervising or managing a team, whether it's team of volunteers, a team of fundraisers, maybe you're managing a team overall in terms of your your nonprofit organization.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

There is power in acknowledge and acknowledgment. And one of the things that we know from the research around acknowledgment is that that actually creates psychological safety. And psychological safety is one of the things that we need in order to have better connections human to human right. And in a team setting, we know that teams where there is a high level of psychological safety teams are they have stronger relationships and they're going to be more productive and more effective.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

And so one of the best things that we can do is simply acknowledge that things have changed and that simply acknowledging the impacts of COVID on us and the specific impact of technology, you know, simply acknowledging that that is where we are, is one of the first places I think that we can we can start. And in doing that without judgment, because this isn't about blame or shame for ourselves or for other people, and it's about simply making that acknowledgment.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

And once we have made that acknowledgment, one of the things that I think is really powerful is actually giving ourselves a bit of grace. Right. We're all struggling. We are. We're dealing with in many ways unacknowledged trauma and unacknowledged mental health crisis. Right. That we're dealing with collectively that has a barely been addressed in a systematic way. And so we have to acknowledge that we are simultaneously grieving losses, losses of routine, losses of loved ones, losses of the way things were before with our little ones, loss of a type of bonding and socialization that you can't replace by screen to screen interaction.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

And so we're simultaneously dealing with that in the background, and we're trying to show up and pretend like everything is okay, you know, with, with, with the on zoom and in, in slack and in email and trying to keep the trains moving. And so, again, one of the more powerful things we can do is simply acknowledge that, okay, we're not okay if we're not okay, that we may be on a roller coaster of emotions.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

And then to give ourselves grace, to experience whatever it is that we're experiencing, that's going to be sort of the foundation for any type of healing or or or a trance from our transformation as a next step.

Tammy Tilzey:

I like that I, I could see that and I could see where that, that isn't intuitive to me because like you said, you know, I'm missing connections, but I'm seeing people on Zoom. So I feel that I shouldn't be feeling this way. And yeah, but just taking a step back and allowing you to feel the way you feel that like you said, the world is changed and taking a break from from it, I know has helped in the past.

Tammy Tilzey:

But are there other potential areas that someone might find, you know, an answer for how to move forward or how to change the cycle? Because I, I have to admit, as much as I read the next productivity book or how to keep up with my emails, I, you know, or I'm just like, once I get caught up, then I'll figure out how to stay calm.

Tammy Tilzey:

It just doesn't work. So what? What, what? Yeah, yeah. What else should I do to break the cycle?

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

Yeah. So that there are a few things. So first is part of the acknowledgment is just understanding that what many of us are experiencing is what I call IED or intention deficit disorder. And so this is what we're moving through our day to day. And we're so busy that we wake up first thing in the morning for many of us, and we're grabbing our devices, we're turning on the TV.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

You know, we are responding to text messages or scrolling social media. We're looking at the news, we're looking at email. We're going through our checklist of things that we have to get done. And we're doing all of that before we greet our loved ones right. And so we are we spend our entire day sort of in this in this place of busyness and rushing from one thing to the next.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

So you have back to back meetings and then you come home and maybe you have more work to do in between dinner and walking the dog and take care of the kids. And then you sort of collapse of exhaustion and then you repeat the process over and over and over again. And so one of the things I encourage people to do is to if you don't have a start and a stop routine to start your day and to enjoy, or particularly when it comes to your work day, I am.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

And I'm inviting people to create that routine. Right, and to create that separation between life and everything else. And really, this is an opportunity for you to nourish yourself. This is an opportunity for you to pour into yourself. And if you feel like you're listening to this and you feel like, okay, I can't add one more thing to my list, you're just giving me one more thing to my list.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

My intention for you to start with. 5 minutes. I think we can all find 5 minutes. You can find 5 minutes that you can carve out for yourself, making an appointment on your calendar at both the start and the end of your day. And that can be something as simple as doing some breathing, listening to a guided meditation.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

You know, maybe that's time you swim with your dog on the couch. Maybe that's time when you're drinking your tea or coffee, whatever it is. And if you have more time, then obviously I invite you to expand that. The amount of time that you're able to have for yourself to pour into yourself, and that is going to create space for you to get clearer about what actually is important, what your intention is for particular day, for a particular week or particular season of your life that you're in.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

And if you are clear about your intention, then it becomes easier to figure out of all the things you have on your plate, what are the things that are actually important for you to do? And you can begin to set boundaries and you can begin to say no or not. Right now, you can begin to delegate a bit more effectively.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

So that is one of the first places to start. And you allow space for you mentioned you reading these productivity books and you read the articles and so on and so forth. That is also the space where you're able to connect the dots between the things that actually work for you, because not every strategist for everyone. Right? And so you have to find what works for you.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

But if you're not if you're not giving yourself space to do that, then you just sort of going through the motions. You're not really allowing it to sink in. You're not really allowing yourself to practice in a in a deep way to see what actually works and what doesn't work. And so this is part of allowing you to have that that spaciousness so that they'll be the first place to start.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

And in terms of practical, more practical strategies, I want to share two more things with you, if that's okay. You mentioned earlier we don't do things the way we used to do them and we don't we're not using technology the way we used to use them before. So one of the cool things about the opportunity that we have moving forward is that we still have phones, right?

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

We still have conference calling services. And I remember before the pandemic, before zoom before you go to meeting, you know, I manage teams and contractors, people that I actually never met because we just have conference calls. We have old fashioned phone calls. Right. And I encourage people to tap into that spirit again. And the research actually backs up, particularly when it comes to Zoom meetings and other types of video media platforms.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

We know that Zoom exhaustion is real. We know that we require a bit more emotional and cognitive engagement in order to be in back to back video media meetings, because we are having to bridge the gap between queues and and and other types of behaviors that we're we it doesn't require such much energy, of course, to pick up on what we're actually meeting face to face or when we're actually in-person.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

Right. And so that is one aspect of that. We're not used to seeing our souls reflected back to us. Right. And so that's another aspect of that. And we're not used to to seeing so many different people all at once. Right. On a on a screen. Right. It's an unnatural form of human communication. And the research shows us that one of the ways that we can offset that is that being intentional about whether we actually require cameras on or off for those video mediated interactions.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

Many of us think that it actually increases engagement, but the research shows that it actually decreases engagement because it requires more load cognitively and emotionally, and it puts you in a position where you're more exhausted. So if you're having back to back meetings, then you're required to be on camera. Then you are actually you have less to give in terms of actually being engaged, right?

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

Whereas allow people to offer to turn off the camera again. If this makes sense based on the intention for the meeting, then that you are allowing a bit, you are allowing that flexibility and you're allowing people to actually they so to have more in their tank to be a bit more engaged with you with with the meeting. One last point.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

I'll make about this is that the research also shows that the impact is even greater for women. Right? Because we have unconscious biases and we have expectations about the appearance of women. Right. And how they should show up. Or so we internalize that men and women and we sort of just we don't talk about the fact that it might take a little bit more effort for someone to do their hair a certain way or to put on makeup or to wear something that we would deem to be workplace appropriate for a woman.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

Right. And so those are other things that we have to be mindful of when we are requiring folks to to be on camera as to really think about what is the intention behind this and to understand what the potential impact is of that. If we're making those those requirements. So I pause there. I have one more thing, but I want to pause.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

I see you're shaking your head and I want to see if there's anything you want to say.

Tammy Tilzey:

I wish I'd seen what I you know, in listening to what you're talking about, it's causing you memorialization of things that you would think would make it easier, may actually overall add to add to the weight that you're carrying and the exhaustion. Yeah, I guess so. Thank you.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

Yes. Yes. And so again, and this this is not an absolute position, but just really an invitation for folks to be mindful of whether or not you actually need cameras on or off and to think about the intention and what you want to accomplish and based on where you land, if it's part of the meeting and there's a purpose, why you want people to have the cameras on, including the information on the agenda or in the calendar invite so people can prepare appropriately.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

They know that it's cameras on those cameras optional or is cameras off? We're going to do an old school conference call, whatever it is, so people can prepare ahead of time. But the last thing I want to share on this point is something that I call establishing your rules of engagement. And so before I talked about it and that that nonstop busyness that many of us that cycle, that hamster wheel that many of us find ourselves on.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

And one of the ways that we can break that, particularly in a hybrid workplace, is by establishing a rules of engagement. And your rules of engagement are essentially a series of questions that you're discussing as a team on an ongoing basis. And you can do this at work with your team. You can also do this as a family as well.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

And this includes things like what are your hours of availability? So we're not guessing what people are available. We're not frustrated when they're not available, and we know how to get things done when they're not available right. And so having explicit conversations about hours of availability, expectations when you're available and because we're talking about hybrid workplace, you know, when are you actually going to be in the office versus working remote?

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

Right. Because that impacts the type of collaboration that you can engage in when you're have colleagues that are working from different spaces that have different work arrangements. Right. So that's one aspect of it when you're carving out focused time, right? So we have we're really good about putting those meetings on our calendars, but where's the time to do the work that's generated by all the meetings?

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

Where's the time to focus on writing that report? Right? Where is the time to focus on following up with potential leads or donors? Right? Where's the time to to follow up and to review analytics of your last campaign? Where are those things on your calendar? Right. If I were to ask you about your meetings, any of us would probably point to, Oh, I have 17 meetings this week and here, here, here they are and they're on my calendar.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

Okay. So what are the the key to your focus on this week and where are those on your calendar? Making sure that we're putting those things on your calendar, identifying what's urgent versus non urgent and outlining, you know, if something is urgent, what is the best way for me to contact Tammy? Right? Should I email Tammy? Should I send her a teen's message?

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

Should I pick up the phone and call her? What's the best way to do that? And what actually constitutes urgency? Right. What is urgent versus important? So I know which method of communication to use. And I also know, like if if your hours are available to the say that you're out in office today and I have something not urgent, then I can wait until you're back in the office.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

I don't have to call you on vacation about something that was inconsequential. Right. And then the last thing is what I expectations in terms of response times, based on the method of communication and based on the level of urgency and importance, oftentimes, what happens is we assume that everything is urgent, everything is important, everything requires an immediate response.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

So many of us, we are stressed out in part because we feel like, okay, it's like a race, but you have to respond as quickly as possible. So that email that comes in to that, that chat comes in to that calendar request that was unsolicited, that comes in right. And we make assumptions that that level of urgency is required for every single thing, as opposed to pressing the pause button and actually having an explicit conversation about, hey, actually, could I you know, I noticed you didn't indicate when you needed this will be okay if I got this back to you by the end of the week, would that be okay with you right.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

As opposed to assuming that this person needs that thing right away. One simple thing, having those explicit conversations in an ongoing way, because your rules of engagement might change based on the season of life of work you find yourself in. And many of us, if you're in a fundraising organization, you know, we're moving into that busy season of the year for many organizations, and having those explicit conversations can be one simple thing that we can all do to create clearer communication.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

I mean, raise some of those assumptions and lower our collective stress and anxiety levels.

Tammy Tilzey:

Focusing and spending your energy in the in the areas in there, probably much fewer than you assume, like you said, that really are that urgent. Yes. Yeah. I had a recent, you know, family situation that came up that disrupted everything. And I was really surprised that there was room to, you know, and the team supported each other. And, you know, the world didn't stop, but surprised.

Tammy Tilzey:

No. Yeah. And it really it did give you me insight into how much I had just been doing what you were saying, assuming that all this needs to be done right away or our those default assumptions.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

Absolutely.

Tammy Tilzey:

Yeah. I, I really think that there's so much room here and importance to, to figuring this out because I love my work and even my whole career like you, as, as your story has been, when people ask what my hobbies are and I think of, oh, well, I, I really enjoy figuring out problems at work or, you know, know if I get a choice to go to lunch with someone and talk about ideas, I generally always get, you know, so, so realizing that there may be a time in season where, where you are in your career to you.

Tammy Tilzey:

But I really feel as we think about the nonprofit sector and to your point that you made when you mentioned your story of how important it is to protect the people that are making a difference and and protect yourself there so that you can you know, I hope the mission for for a longer time, so that you can teach others how so you can support that that type of environment and break the cycle not escalated another level.

Tammy Tilzey:

Yeah.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

Yes, absolutely.

Tammy Tilzey:

Well, all of this you've you've given us so much already to think about. And the thing I love is it's not just talking. And I mean the acknowledgment knowing that you're not the only one. Those are big. Those things are big. But knowing and seeing from your website and with I, I looked it at what you offer to offer the community there and not what you've been doing.

Tammy Tilzey:

There are some real steps, advice, training, coaching that that you have and I so appreciate that. Can you provide our listeners with a summary of, of what you do and where they could go to learn more? This is something that they find themselves looking for.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

Absolutely. So I, I work exclusively with change makers and change making organizations and teams. And my intention when I work with you is to support you in doing the great work that you're doing. Even better. So I want you to be able to make space to take care of yourself and to live a robust personal life, but also to be able to give your all to your mission and to advancing that mission.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

And just as with what we talked about today, I provide a little bit of framing, but I don't spend a lot of time going into the theoretical and the abstract. I'm really focused on giving people practical strategies that they can put in place right away. And so I hope that people coming out of this conversation were able to take away at least one thing that's very practical, very tangible that they can start to put into practice almost immediately.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

And if folks want to learn more, they can go to my website, Mindful Telecom that is in the actual t h I'd dot com and I would encourage you to sign up for the email list. And when you do that, you're going to get a free copy of the work life balance assessment. You know, Tami, one of the questions you asked me is like, where do you start?

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

And so part of that acknowledgment piece is I have a fun quiz that you can take to get your work life balance and tech life balance score, and that it's going to help you to figure out in terms of acknowledgment where you're starting from in this season of your life and work. And that might change on seasons. So you can take the quiz over and over again and you can share it with your team.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

But the idea is you can see where you are without judgment, without shame. Give yourself some grace and then figure out based on what your score is, how you want to move forward. And so that that workbook walks you through reflecting on where you are, where you want to go, what are the resources that you have available to you?

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

Obviously, I'm a resource to folks who want to engage with me on this information about how to engage with me as well. But if folks want to stay connected again, going to the website, signing up for the email list, you get this free workbook that's going to walk you through this process of assessing where you are and identifying next steps to hopefully make you situated, where you're where you're better off.

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

You're able to do that work and to do it without burnout and to do it without being overwhelmed.

Tammy Tilzey:

Thank you. Thank you so much. We will include all those links that Michael mentioned in our show notes. And as you mentioned, what's at least the one takeaway I want? Yeah, I could fit in that start and stop routine, you know, to start my day and stop it with intention. And that way I can capture the excitement of what I'm doing, but the intention I have of the balance.

Tammy Tilzey:

So that's my takeaway. I hope everyone else is as taking away that or and if you've learned something from today's Connected Philanthropy podcast, please share it with others who might also enjoy it and benefit from it. And we look forward to connecting with with our listeners and RICO, maybe even in future webinars, podcast or our community discussion. So Mico, do you have any last advice or comments you'd like to leave our listeners with?

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

Absolutely. You know, I think that there is nothing more important than identifying and living out your life's intention. We all have a reason or why that connects us to the service that we're engaged in. I shared a little bit of my story at the beginning and I hope that folks can take this as an opportunity to slow down on the the treadmill, a little bit of the busyness, and to build in whether it's a start and stop routine or something else, some space to be intentional and to reflect on what's really important for you while you're doing the work that you're doing, and how can you do it in a more sustainable way so that

Meico Marquette Whitlock:

you can have an even greater impact and you can serve even more people, but you can also be available for your friends, your family, your colleagues, and most importantly, for your for yourself.