Tag Archives: Scottsdale 20-30

Wake Up and See the Airplanes

By ZACK BARNA, Class 24
Owner, Guidelight Marketing

I love my job.  I love building relationships and connecting people.  I also love my community involvement with Scottsdale Leadership and Scottsdale 20-30.  It seems that the adage, ‘the more you give, the more you receive,’ is constantly at work in my life.  My only problem is stopping long enough to come up for air. But ever since the birth of my now year-old daughter, Camryn Grace, I have a newly realized desire to stop and smell the roses – or, in Camryn’s case, notice the airplanes.

Since her birth, the lessons she has taught me are immeasurable, and many of these lessons happen in the simplest moments. For example, she has an incredible ability to hear airplanes overhead. No matter what she’s doing, whether splashing in the pool or romping around with our bulldog, she never misses an airplane flying through the sky.  She’ll be running and laughing and then, all of a sudden, she’ll freeze and shoot a finger high into the sky, showing all of us the airplane she spotted (which none of us adults had noticed).

So now I pose the question: Are you seeing your airplanes? Or is your Blackberry’s incessant buzz drowning out the cues of life’s simplest pleasures? I’m certain that I missed my share of airplanes over the years, but Camryn’s birth renewed my connection to the things that make me happy and fulfilled, and inspired me to compartmentalize the other areas of my life so they don’t interfere with what really matters.

As business owners, my wife and I constantly strive to achieve that elusive work-life balance. To that end, we have created some household practices that help us establish boundaries between our professional and personal lives, even during the craziest of weeks.

  • We have “technology free” family dinners – no TV in the background, no Blackberries on the table.
  • On the nights that we have to do some work, we wait until our daughter has gone to bed so we can be fully present with her during dinner and bedtime
  • We designate “No Work Nights” each week. That means no laptop, no Blackberry, no tweets, no blog updates
  • We relegated our phones to other end of bedroom instead of our nightstands, so they aren’t the last thing we see at night and the first thing we see in the morning
  • Each day, we nurture ourselves with a little dose of nature, even if it’s watering the outdoor plants together. Not only does the fresh air revitalize us, but the airplane-watching is far better outside… 😉

As technology continues to evolve, I think balance will become even more elusive for all of us, and even more important. So, I challenge you to take a moment to stop to identify your ‘airplanes,’ and spend some time each day looking for them.

In a recent article by Russell Helwig in the Scottsdale Republic he explains that taking breaks is important for leaders.

I want to know- what do you do to take a break?

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