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Posted by on Jun 1, 2010 in Goal Setting, Multitasking, Summer 2010 | 0 comments

A woman of many hats (and a trunk of sparkly dresses!)

Profile: Joanne Atkins – mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend, fundraiser, career woman

A woman of many hats (and a trunk of sparkly dresses!)

By Sarah Yetkiner, Career Services Consultant, triOS College, Kitchener

Those who know Joanne Atkins joke that she has more energy than the Energizer bunny. Joanne is the mom who stays up until 4 a.m. the night before her son’s 6th birthday party turning her back yard into Treasure Island and her deck into a pirate ship and still has a smile on her face at 8 a.m. the next morning. She’s the woman who seems to effortlessly handle the challenge of managing her career, being a devoted mother of two, a fabulous wife, sister, daughter and friend. The woman who inspires those around her to do more and be more than they would otherwise and who still finds time to help out a friend (or a stranger) in need. In a world where so many people struggle to manage the demands of a never-ending to-do list, Joanne seems to have come a long way towards mastering the art of wearing her many hats with a smile on her face and so I invited her out for coffee to discover the secrets of her success.

Joanne Atkins

Joanne Atkins

For Joanne, busyness has always been a fact of life. Born the fifth child of nine, she is a true middle child and growing up in a household with eight siblings and parents who ran their own small business meant that life was always busy. Throughout her childhood, Joanne remembers herself as always being the organizer; if there was a party or outing happening, chances were it was Joanne who took on the responsibility for planning it. Her talents for planning events and her flair for taking a “theme to the extreme” were inherited from her mom and have been showcased through numerous office parties, social events and fundraisers as well as her legendary parties (which often feature a fabulous, oversized cake creation).

Being continually at the centre of things results in many requests for her time or creative input and Joanne believes that knowing where her passions and priorities lie is key to staying in balance and managing the many demands on her time. She remembers very clearly the point where she learned to say “No”; when her five-year-old niece, Hailey, died of cancer in June 2000. “I remember thinking,” she says, “how short is life… don’t waste a moment.” She had always been a devoted mom but following this “aha moment,” Joanne’s focus shifted to ensuring that spending time with her family and creating memories with her sons was always her top priority.

Goal setting has proven to be a technique which helps Joanne greatly, not only in identifying the “must do” items on her to-do list but also in reminding her to carve time out of her schedule for herself.

Making time for coffee with friends, a date with her husband and boys or a home spa treatment are activities which energize her and bring a sense of calm. This leaves her better equipped to handle the day-to-day busyness of life and she endeavours to regularly incorporate these activities into her schedule.

Joanne’s philosophy that “you take your happiness with you wherever you go” has had a huge impact on her ability to handle the demands of daily life. Whether it’s sending motivational quotes to the team at Canaccord Wealth Management where she works as an Executive Assistant or practising Random Acts of Kindness, Joanne is committed to maintaining a positive attitude and to inspiring positivity in others. This allows her to approach each day and each task with a healthy attitude and to quickly overcome the obstacles which stand in her way.

Wearing our many hats may not be easy but by setting priorities, defining our boundaries, creating time for those things which bring us joy and maintaining a positive attitude, we will find it easier to rise to the challenge of multitasking effectively and, like Joanne Atkins, will create for ourselves a sense of achievement, balance and happiness that will positively impact our own lives and the lives of those around us.

Page 12, Summer 2010

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