Re-working that work ethic

Change may be the only constant, and this time around I’ve been constantly changing. POLLYANNA LENKIC

Pollyanna Lenkic

By Pollyanna Lenkic

Changing habits becomes essential when your circumstances change. The first step of course is to recognise that there is a need, preferably before you become unhinged.

It’s fair to say in the past month I have been ignoring the signs! It’s time to re-evaluate how I organise my time, and fast.

In the past running a business with no children allowed me to work whenever I wanted, burn the midnight oil without a thought and work away on weekends if I chose to. Mostly I chose to skydive on weekends and work it hard during the week, coming home at whatever time suited me, via a restaurant if that’s what I wanted to do.

Times have certainly changed. With two young children and a relationship that I value I needed to change my usual habitual way of working.

It wasn’t easy at first, as my expectations were set at a schedule that was not sustainable and no longer desirable. I must confess that I still slip back and find it a constant challenge to maintain a sustainable way of working. The difference now is that I recognise the signs, usually before it’s too late and I am very clear about what takes priority for me.

I still have bursts of frantic activity, deadlines and projects that I am passionate about that keep me up way past my day’s sell-by date. The difference is that this is not my default or normal way of being. So what do I do?

  • I focus on what’s important and say no to the rest (I say NO a lot more these days than I ever used to).
  • I have re- evaluated and reset my expectations about what I will achieve (this was the hardest one for me, until it became the easiest. I’ll explain, pacing ahead 10 years into the future and I am looking back at my business, maybe it took me an extra five years to achieve the level I wanted; will I be devastated? NO. Looking back from 10 years into the future and my children don’t want to know me and I am divorced, will I be devastated? YES. I am building something that is important to me and I am passionate about what I do, also, it’s not and never will be more important to me than my family.
  • Organise, organise, organise. This is paramount with children in the equation. (and something I have to constantly work at).
  • I aim to never leave everything until the last minute (yep, working on this one constantly too!) and I have a back-up plan whenever possible. When my children are sick all my well thought out plans are out the window.
  • I regularly sit down with my partner Sean and discuss our week and back-up plans if it goes to hell. Who will be on duty, what have we got on?
  • I have found that I need to be flexible both emotionally and with my time.
  • Prioritise.
  • Take time out to re-charge myself; yes, even if it’s an office day!
  • I ASK for help and more importantly I let people both personally and professionally know how specifically I need their help – it takes the guess work out.
  • I hire in support at work more readily than I used to so that my time is spent more effectively.

I certainly don’t have the answers to working seamlessly while raising a young family, I do however constantly re-evaluate and reassess how I am doing, what’s working for me and what is not. If anyone has any great tips, please send them my way.

Have a great week.


Pollyanna Lenkic is the founder of Perspectives Coaching, an Australian based coaching and training company. She is an experienced facilitator, certified coach and a certified practitioner of NLP. In 1990 she co-founded a specialist IT recruitment consultancy in London, which grew to employ 18 people and turnover £11 million ($27 million). This blog is about the mistakes she made and the lessons she learned building a business the first time round and how to do it better second time round. For more information go to

For more Second Time Around, click here.



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