How to "do it all"
As a YP involved in a number of different things (a few boards in addition to YPC, some committees and sub-committees) outside of work, it becomes even more important to have a healthy life balance. I work at least 60 hours a week, so getting everything done can be difficult. In addition, I have a young son who I spend as much time with as possible. Luckily, I work in a profession where I make my own schedule, so it’s fairly easy for me to work things into the calendar, especially when I’m pulled in multiple directions. With all of that going on, I’m busy all of the time, but I still feel comfortable with my stress level and my health.
The number one thing everyone should do is keep a calendar and put everything on it, no matter how mundane. Every Sunday, make a list of everything you want to get done for the coming week and put each thing on your calendar at set times. For things you do every day, set them up as recurring calendar events at the same time every day, and don’t let anything stop you from doing that. For instance, if you work out at 5:30pm every day, put it on your calendar – and never miss it. I specifically mention working out because a healthy body will do so much for you, especially when you’re going 100 miles an hour, seven days a week.
Schedule your lunches outside of the office, if you can, and get away from your desk. Put every event you’re interested in going to on your calendar, and RSVP when applicable – and if you RSVP, show up.
In addition to keeping a calendar, learn to say ‘no’ to people when they ask you do to something. Everyone needs time to himself or herself to reflect and decompress, and if you say yes and go to every single event you’re invited to, or volunteer to do something every time you’re asked, you’ll get burned out very quickly. People understand that everyone’s busy, so there’s no need to feel bad about skipping an event. If you volunteer to do something, only do it if you have time to do it right.
Turn off your phone at least once a month, and take a break from your email or Facebook page or Twitter. Disconnect from everything and just take a day to yourself to relax. Read a book, play video games, sleep all day – whatever it is you need to do, do it. Tell people what you’re doing. I try to do this every month (it doesn’t always work), and it’s a great way to hit the reset button and go into the next week refreshed. I prefer to do this on a Saturday.
Make time for your close friends. Pick a night every week and do something with them. A few close friends and I are trying to play board games every week. Nerdy? Yes. Refreshing and friggin’ awesome? Definitely. Do the same for family – stay in touch with your parents, your siblings, and so on. I’m not the best at this, but I know it’s important (in my defense, my brother lives in London and my parents talk too much...).
The moral of the story: keep a calendar, know your limits, and don’t take on too much. Exercise as much as you can, and spend time with your friends and family as much as humanly possible. Most importantly, take time for yourself and make sure you disconnect from our connected world. I don’t always follow my own advice (see the last two months), but most of the time, I do.
-Shane Hefty, YPC Impact Downtown Chair