REFLECTION & ACTION: In the early years of my business, I worked many weekends and often delivered an all-day seminar followed by an evening presentation. As burnout loomed, I chose a policy of working just one weekend a month, speaking and training no more than three days a week, and presenting in only two out of three time slots on a given day (morning, afternoon, or evening).
My productivity and energy soared. Amazingly, so did my profits. Clearly, taking care of myself was also good for my business.
Community service is another area where overload shifts the experience from blessing to burden. How many community groups can you serve at a time and still feel enthused as you head out the door to another evening meeting?
If you’re frustrated en route, you’ll feel less than enthusiastic at the meeting itself. Rest assured, if you don’t want to be there and can’t wait to get away, you aren’t the ray of sunshine that will brighten the day for others.
Know yourself. Draw your lines in the sand. Stand by your decisions. Set your own sanity policies for paid and volunteer work. Stake your claim. Make time for renewal and relaxation. It’ll help you stay productive and enthused so you can make a positive contribution over the long term.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“If there are one hundred good things to do and you can only do ten of them, you will have to say no ninety times.” – Richard Swenson
“A ‘no’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘yes’ merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“I decided to give up volunteering. It sounds terrible but I’m 34 years old, work part-time, and have two sons who are seven and ten. My children are busy with music and sports and my husband works long hours and coaches in our sons’ hockey organizations. This leaves me to run all aspects of our home life. I felt pressure to volunteer-to do my part. But I didn’t enjoy it. As a result, I didn’t put forward a proper effort or attitude. I decided that my job is raising my two sons to be happy, well-rounded young men. They’ll remember sharing time with their mother who was there when they needed her, not at some meeting. There will be lots of time to volunteer when my sons are grown. I feel positive that I’ve set a good boundary!” – Tiffany J.S.