Archive for Work/life balance

I think it’s time to slow things down…

So, at the convention over the weekend, I missed an awesome thing called a “re-entry plan,” which is basically a week-long taper from an event.

I’ve experienced this with work- and non-work-related events: a kind of let-down after meeting a ton of cool people with the same interests and different ideas, hanging out into the wee hours (srsly, I am too old for this), and learning about a month’s worth of stuff in a couple of days.

I am going to share the highlights of my current re-entry plan from last weekend:

  1. a lot of personal growth work: calling support people; meeting with people for fellowship; going to meetings; etc.
  2. working shorter hours, because, honestly, I need to assimilate what I learned; this also involved prioritizing, which is great practice for me– what am I cutting out if I work five hours instead of seven? Is that stuff I really need to do?
  3. drumming, yoga, dancing, Rock Band (II!), swimming, farmer’s market, going outside, etc.– to get into my physical body
  4. relatedly, really paying attention to my physical needs for water, naps, food, etc.– staying up late and working longer hours during a conference makes me really susceptible to illness and allergies, so I redouble my self-care efforts
  5. cutting back on the social media, particularly late at night– I don’t know why this makes me tired, but it does, and I respect that
  6. less less less — when in doubt, I reschedule instead of trying to add in “one more thing”

Slow and low....

Slow and low....

There’s other stuff, too, just doing things that bring me joy, whatever they are. (Like right now, “Root Down” by Beastie Boys.) And recognizing that at some point soon I’m going to be back up to speed.


Why I Run, Why I Drum, and What It Has to Do With Work

As I write this, the crowd is still cheering for me. ‘Cause I just killed “Drain You” (Nirvana) and “Girl’s Not Grey” (AFI, who are noisy, so, warning). On Rock Band (2!!) During the workday.

Of course, as one who is currently looking for a job “workday” = flexible, but I try to keep my work limited to the 8 to 5 hours, as much as possible. I like that I can go for a run or play the drums during the middle of the day with no real fuss. It keeps me sane.

Yes, I said that. I need Rock Band (warning: audio), drum lessons, running, and their ilk to keep me sane, just in general. Right now, though, I need them to keep me sane during the workday. I had the privilege of working in a place where I could run during my lunch hours (which is one of my top lines around my next job), and it kept me sane then too, but right now, in this stressful situation, it is crucial that I a) stop what I am doing and do something completely different, b) do something physical, and c) have real fun (as opposed to reading something fun, which is also awesome but not what I am talking about here.)

a) All right, stop what you’re doing!

Cause I seriously am about to ruin the image and the style that you’re used to. I am a seriously hard worker, and my tendency is to keep on going “until I’m done” or to do “just one more thing.” And it is pretty neverending. There will always be one more thing to do, until, you know, I die. (Sorry to get morbid there, but it is true.) (Oh, hey, maybe I should turn off the AFI?) (Apparently not.)

I know this about myself: unchecked, I will work until I cannot do another thing, and then I will be ruined for the day or I will get sick or my body will somehow, lovingly, force me slow down. You know, like when you (I) get (got) sick for a week (and a half)? It is so much better when I stop myself before I get that far, and it is easiest for me to stop if I actually like what I am stopping for.

b) Man In Motion

(Jacob mentioned this song in a recap I read today, and I was like, OH GOD I LOVE THAT SONG in all caps and everything. In my head. Sigh.)

I think differently when I am flailing about. And when the scenery is changing. When I am doing something routine and physical at a steady beat. Don’t know why this is. Scientists do. I just know it works.

I can be freaking out because Yahoo thinks I’m a spammer ’cause I can’t read their damn squigglies and I can’t send off the resume I just fixed for the hundredth time and I don’t even know if it is a good resume at all anymore and imagine that in all-caps, because I don’t want to scream at you (again.) But when I put on my shoes and my feet hit the pavement, I start to think different things, even if they are like, Hey, is that group of high schoolers going to run me off the sidewalk? or, Wasn’t there a mailbox here last month? Eventually it turns into Yay, a dog! or, OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS SONG (if wearing iPod Shuffle). And for some reason, when I turn around to head home, I am always thinking something completely different and awesome than when I went out.

(With the drums, this tends to be: if Rock Band, I AM AWESOME! if drum lessons, OH MY GOD THIS IS THE GREATEST!) (Apologies.)

c) [I can’t think of a “fun” song]

Reading is really fun. As is watching TV. And reading internet. Facebook. This is a list of things that are not quite enough for me, in the course of a day, to actually relax and get out of my head. I have to be doing something with my body that is so totally unlike work I cannot possibly confuse it with work.

Like, if I were a bike messenger, watching TV would be very different from my job, so it would be a fine break. But going for a bike ride mightn’t work as well for me.

Watching TV is like watching computer screen. Reading is reading, for whatever its purpose. So, if I start flailing my limbs about, my body is like, OH! Not Work! I remember this! Sometimes it doesn’t start out being fun for me. Sometimes I have to kind of push myself and be like, Self, is trying to navigate the Missoni site enjoyable to you, or would you rather change into a Life Is Good shirt and be among your peers on the sidewalks.

I vote for peers!