Do you ever feel like there is so much happening in life that it is difficult to stay calm and know exactly what you need to do next?
School, work, family and friends all have an effect on how we feel; and how we balance our time and energy says a lot about us. Do you spend your time rushing from event to event? Are you always late? Do you constantly feel like there’s something you forgot to do? Well my friend, it is time for us all to get a little more organized. Here are 4 simple ways that have helped me to get organized with my busy schedule/commitments (keep in mind, I am still a work in progress too lol):
- My Priorities: in order for us to accurately prioritize our time and energy we have to think about what parts of our life are most important.
> Example: for me, my priorities are my public speaking, AYO! ( Aboriginal Youth Opportunities) work and working with systems to improve conditions for families in the North End. If there are events or activities that fall out of that priority, I have to make a touch choice (and also See #3).
- Time Management: My friend Lisa taught me the importance of managing my time. Everyone needs a process when they are committing to meetings or other adventures so you can walk away from every interaction feeling organized and confident about what is happening next
> Example: for me, I have a paper agenda book that I carry around with me. You can FB, text or otherwise digitally invite me to lots of things, but please know I will always have to consult with my paper agenda before I can confirm!
- Saying NO: This is the one I struggle with the most, but when people are requesting of your time and energy to something that doesn’t fit your life priorities (including self care) you have to learn how to say NO. I am not saying to be harsh and self serving in the way you refuse engagements, but communicate with people what your priorities are and that you have to work within your means.
> Example: Whenever I am unable to say YES to an engagement, I will take a look at the youth and helpers in my circle and ask myself if one of them may be interested or capable of fulfilling the request. I will then say “NO I cannot come, but I am connecting you with so-and-so who I firmly believe can help your group!”
- Self Care: When you’re on an airplane, the staff people will do a demonstration about air pressure changing and the importance of ‘securing your own mask before assisting other passengers’ and I think the same applies to working in community. We have to make sure our own emotional, spiritual, physical and mental needs are met so that we can continue to lead by example and do the work for the long term that is needed for the coming generations.
> Example: For me, it is hard to recognize I need help, it is hard to ask for help and it is hard to accept help — but all 3 of those steps are important to achieve a good level of self care. You also have to be kind to yourself when you are resting, and tell yourself that you deserve sleep, food and fun just like those we are trying to help
Do you have any other ways that help you get organized? Any tips or tricks for community or youth so that they can get a better grasp on their priorities and commitments? Please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comment or share them with me on social media!