Devon Ingo Marketing Manager, Oliver Manufacturing

You know that all-to-familiar goodbye, be it in email or in person: “Take care” or “take care of yourself.” Most of us don’t think twice about it and just consider it as a polite way to exit or leave a conversation. At the end of last year, I had a business friend close a conversation by telling me to “take care,” and I about flew off my chair. What does that mean anyway?

My list of goals both personally and professionally for the year ahead seemed so far away, and with my list of things that needed immediate attention, it felt like I’d never make headway toward reaching those. And that casual goodbye sent me into a tailspin.

Then, it made me sit back and put an actual plan together for what’s most important and how I’m going to tackle it. I know I’m not alone in having to-do lists for each area of my life and trying to figure out how to check off as many items as fast as possible. I’m coming to learn that my fantasy of gracefully “balancing it all” is unattainable and not practical.

I’m still disconnecting and finding those moments to seek clarity, but I also recognized that I needed to take a farm approach to my work … and start by killing the weeds. If you’re wondering what this means, I’m figuring it out. Essentially, it’s getting rid of tasks, distractions and as many things as possible that take energy away from my goals or where I find my peace.

Next, I need to prepare the land for the crop to be planted, nutrient application. For me, this means taking care of myself. That will look different for everyone, but I love spending time in the barn, reading and exercising. These things make me feel relaxed and in a better state of mind. They help me disconnect and better re-engage.

Finally, it’s time to plant the seeds, and this is making sure I have the right people around me either to help guide and contribute to the success of projects or just to be supportive and listen.

Putting a plan in place that does each of these three actions (kill weeds, applies nutrients and actually plants the seeds) for each of my key goals is helping me to find peace and progress on my journey … and for me, that’s taking care.

Today, I’m grateful for that casual “take care,” because it put me on a new path forward for tackling 2019.