Adriana Carrano: Working Mom Finds Work/Life Balance

A Personal Agility System Case Study

Adriana Carrano is an experienced HR Operations and a talented multilingual professional working full-time in a large tech organization. She is the single mother of an 8-year-old boy and has been living in Switzerland for over 10 years.

She discovered the Personal Agility System, through which, she was able to discover her inner power to thrive personally and professionally. Her career and life coach, Adelina Stefan, spoke with her about her journey.

The Challenge

Adelina: What was the challenge you were facing?

Adriana: “I am a people person; my biggest talent gift is my altruistic heart that guides me. I love what I do not only as a working professional, but also as an individual. I always want to make sure that everybody around me has all they need, but that leaves me with no energy or time for myself. 

“Life is full of unexpected situations, distractions that can be fun or full of stress. So much to do, and there you go… none of my well-planned tasks seem to get 100% resolved. All the books that tell me how important I am never get opened. I would finish each day exhausted, yet thinking ‘I haven’t done anything today’”.

“I believe I have a blessed full life. I have an amazing 8-year-old son and a full time job that I absolutely adore. And I have the CHAOS that governs all of this!”

“I felt like I was out of control. So many things were running together! I was losing sight of urgent topics, and I was even putting off joyful things “for later.” I wanted clarity. I wanted to be sure that I got important things done and I wanted to have time for the joyful things in my life.” 

Desired Outcome

Adelina: What did you want to change? And what did you like about the Personal Agility System?

Adriana: “I really like the metaphor of the boat journey on the ocean of life. I wanted to take charge of my life, get to my destinations and manage the distractions and headwinds in my life.”

“I have always admired people that seem to have it all under control, whose work hours are productive and whose families get the time they need.”

“I started the PAS program wanting to have more quality time for myself and my son and to make better use of my work day. I wanted to lose the stress of unfinished emails at 11pm or waking up at 6 in the morning with my head already full of the unfinished tasks that have been taunting me for a few days.”  

Actual result

Adelina: Now that you have been applying PAS to your life, how is your situation different?”

Adriana: “The Personal Agility Systems helped me align my daily activities with my projections in time, so I could dance through all the challenges that come along.”

“The greatest outcome was realizing I can live my love for people, respond to the needs of others, and pursue my own needs. I can balance my full-time job with my family time. 

“I learned to have patience with myself, to celebrate my accomplishments, and to never let a day finish without telling myself ‘you did your best!’  It makes me the happiest when I look behind and I see the changes in my schedule, in my own way of handling different tasks and applying what I learned to prioritize. Small steps and patience are vital and lead us to great results, but it takes time to get there.”

“As I am a visual person, Personal Agility helped me immensely to see everything in front of me. I connect the different colors  to specific areas in my life.”

“My ideal day does not follow a fixed recipe; rather, I need to be flexible to accommodate the needs and schedules of people at home, in the office and in our locations around the world.

“Now I get my most rewarding feelings when I see what I have accomplished at the end of the day. At the end of each week I see that I have found the right balance between work and family. And I have time for myself! I didn’t realize this before,  but doing things that make me happy is really important — the most important! — even with everything I have to do for work and family.”

Path to Success

Adelina: How did you achieve all this? 

Adriana: “I discovered the Personal Agility System while working with you!”

“Initially I was very shy about using the Priorities Map, but after a week it became a habit. It was so helpful to see my tasks aligned daily and to check all my accomplishments at the end of the week. The best thing was to see the different colours on cards and be able to check the balance of work and personal tasks at a glance.”

Taking it to the next level

Adelina: After you achieved your work/life balance, what happened next? 

Adriana: “After using the Priorities Map every day for over two months, and seeing how beneficial this is, I set up a  simplified version for my son. Of course, he got to make his own choices about what really matters.”

Creating the priorities map

Customized Priorities Map

“Although he is only 8 years old, he discovered the importance of planning, and how knowing what really matters can influence his life. He also learned about realistic planning by seeing how many things he can get done by the end of the day. We celebrate and choose daily, and every Sunday we go to the cinema, to reward us both for the work we have done! 😊”

Creating the Priorities Map

I have started talking with other colleagues about The Personal Agility System and they were curious to see my planning board, to learn more about the story behind the colored labels. As I started teaching my son Personal Agility, in a similar way, I’ve started to introduce PAS to few colleagues too. It is most rewarding to see how something I was struggling with for so long can be of great help for others. ☺ 

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