I listened to a great podcast the other day. I like listening to podcasts when I’m folding laundry, and I had a lot of kid laundry to fold on Mother’s Day last Sunday.

My go-to is 10% Happier with Dan Harris, recommended by a dear colleague, and I picked the episode featuring Janice Marturano. I love the sound of her east coast crashes the midwest accent, and the calm tone of integrity she carries in her voice, like a cup of brown sugar, firmly packed.

I enjoyed her story about how she came to mindfulness. Two things she talked about at the end stayed with me: free parking, and the influence of leadership. Free parking, like Monopoly. In your calendar, set aside an hour each week (maybe change the cadence to every two weeks if that fits better). You’re reserving that time just for you. Throughout the week, when you notice something, or have an idea about something that interests you in some way, write it down. Compile these thoughts througout the week, and when you land on free parking, this is the time you’ve carved out for yourself to get to those thoughts, ideas, or whatever things you wanted to get to. Making time for yourself makes you better for everyone around you.

The last thing Janice talked about was leadership. You don’t have to have the most seniority or be in role of authority to be a leader. A leader is someone who is able to influence others. A butts in seats checker, a hall monitor, a rules enforcer - that’s a manager. There’s a big difference there. Someone who’s in charge, as the org chart implies, isn’t neccessarily a leader.