Last week was a little strange for me. I didn’t write anything. I don’t mean that I didn’t write a piece for Sound Reason last week; I mean that I didn’t write a piece for any of the places where my work has shown up with high frequency in the last two years. It was extremely strange to hit Thursday and find that I actually didn’t have anything to promote or share or attempt to use to start a conversation about bigger issues online.
Spring has apparently sprung with quite the vengeance for many people that I know. But there are a few lessons that I’ve picked up from feeling stretched like silly putty over the last few weeks.
- You have to find a way to shut off your brain from time to time.
For whatever reason, watching a baseball or basketball game, a movie or a tv show hasn’t been taking me out of my headspace. So I picked up some reading material and haven’t really been able to stop. In fact my list seems to keep growing right now. (For you sci-fi/fantasy folk that also enjoy mystery I do recommend the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher – they aren’t all brilliant, but it’s been about 10 out of 12 for me)
- You don’t have to say no to things that come to you, but if you always say yes you will hit a point where you don’t have a choice.
I’m notorious for saying yes to getting involved with projects. I want to help. I want to be a part of things I believe in and building something bigger. In the last few years I’ve said yes to a lot of things and people. I’ve never regretted saying yes to any of them, but it does keep me busy to the point where other things suffer and you sometimes lose that sense of balance when it comes to things that you want to do versus the things you’ve agreed to do.
- Burnout is a real thing that shows up in different ways for different people.
You have to give yourself a chance to breathe. If you get overwhelmed you will hit a wall and everything you’re working on will eventually suffer. Personally, I hit the wall a few weeks back when I realized that my retention and concentration were slipping to unfamiliar territory. I was constantly struggling to keep up with the myriad of projects that were on my plate from the day job as well as the side things that I had relegated to only weekends. Take the time to put all those things aside and recharge – it might cost you more in the long run.
- Pick your battles.
Controversy is a part of life. Some avoid it like the plague because they don’t like it, while others go charging into it. If you’re fighting every battle that comes up, then how can you put your best effort into the ones that matter most to you? By picking the ones that mean the most you stand a better chance at showing why they matter and influencing the kind of change that you wish to see in those circumstances and the world overall.
We all have a lot going on these days. For me, AVNation is buckling down as we prepare for InfoComm, I’m looking at the bigger picture of some extremely political and complex issues and trying to figure out how to translate an outcome that brings everyone home a winner, plus my own individual InfoComm preparations, and oh yeah, that day job thing too. But there must also be time in there to push that to the side and take a sabbatical – even if it’s just for one to a few hours a day.