Sometimes in life, we make breakfast for dinner. We surrender to our hectic lives, and take the easy way out. But guess what? People love breakfast for dinner. Here’s why you should, too.
A few weeks ago, I started to think about this idea on a philosophical level.
Is breakfast for dinner something you usually plan? Maybe, maybe not.
A lot of times, it’s my backup plan for when the fancy, elaborate dinner I had been planning for days doesn’t work out. That’s when I whip out the pancake ingredients and make silver dollar pancakes. They’re my favorite.
And you know what? It ends up being great. Sometimes even better than what I had planned.
In our personal and professional lives, we’re forced to wear so many hats and do so many things during the day. Sometimes, all that pressure and all those expectations come to a head simultaneously. When that happens, we just have to surrender and go a different route.
I like to call it “making breakfast for dinner.”
This act of surrendering is completely okay. In fact, it exemplifies Quontic’s core value, “Progress, Not Perfection.” Sometimes we just have to strive for progress, especially when we only have the energy to make pancakes.
Here’s what my day-to-day looks like: I often have to juggle being the CDFI specialist, then putting on the Chief Empowerment Officer hat. After that, I put on the podcast guest hat, networking expert hat, or former loan officer hat; all that’s on top of trying to do laundry, make myself something to eat, and maintain a social life. Add family into the mix, and there’s another hat I’m wearing—I recently went out to Colorado to visit my brother, and quickly found myself wearing the ‘sister’ hat.
Wearing multiple hats and playing all these different parts can be exhausting. We’re constantly adjusting our personalities throughout the day, and we barely have time to center ourselves. Sometimes I’ll get off a rough call and all I can do is take a deep breath because there are five other things I have to do. But I’ve learned that we have to take that crucial breather and give ourselves some grace. We have to know when to make breakfast for dinner.
So what does making breakfast for dinner look like in practice? I’ll tell you.
Recently, I was networking with a group of women who told me they were having trouble planning ahead of certain meetings. So I told them to make breakfast for dinner—Do what you can do. If it means occasionally heading into meetings with a light agenda? Don’t stress it. Just do it. Give yourself that grace, and don’t feel bad about it. Revel in the relief, and your co-workers will likely do the same.
This is a strategy I use in my one on one and committee meetings, too. Sometimes I have a full agenda; and sometimes, I just ask about people how they’re doing and what’s going on in their lives. I’ve found that a low-pressure approach, firstly, gives my team members space to take a breath. And secondly, it inadvertently creates moments of authenticity that would otherwise be lost to a remote team. I realized just how important those water cooler moments are after recently running into our CEO, Steve Schnall, and talking about snowboarding and skiing with him. It was the first time we’ve had water cooler talk in 15 months, and it felt great! Turns out, making breakfast for dinner can even help team members find a new way to connect in this new normal.
My other goal with making breakfast for dinner is to help set a precedent. When you see leadership always connected, always switching to different hats and never surrendering, it makes other team members feel like they also have to be doing it. But one of the single best things I ever did was delete email off my phone on my days off. It lets me physically leave work behind. And the intention is to set an example for the team to take time to themselves, unplug, and give yourself grace.
If you relate to wearing too many hats in a day, or have trouble finding the time for the little things—like creating agendas—give this strategy a try. My role is all about empowering the people around me, and I’m telling you, this works. Slow down, do things intentionally, and make breakfast for dinner.