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I Should've Added this to my Calendar Sooner...

Meetings, working lunches, more meetings, calendar deadlines, etc... but what about this?

Like most of us, my calendar is constantly booked, with a capital 'B'. Between allllllll the in-person meetings, the deadlines I'm working to hit, every-day-deliverables, phone calls, and Zooms, the list goes on and on! I would make sure to have all of these scheduled out, blocking more than enough time on my calendar to the point where I'd be back-to-back, with little to no room to spare. Is that you? If so... keep reading.

"Figure out what fuels your joy, then do more of that." - Roy Croft

It hit me like a truck. I could suddenly name thousands of moments where I had pushed away joy, and instead marked it in on a calendar for “later”. For example: "I'll be a happy human after I do (fill in the blank)" or "I won't rest until I hit this (fill in the blank) goal". This is tiresome, and will ultimately lead you to burnout. Did you know that the more you speak joy into your life, the more productive you actually are? I highly encourage you to figure out what brings you joy outside of what funds your life, and mix that in at least once per day, and do a mid-day check-in with yourself.

Pictured above: A quote from Nataly Kogan, best-selling author and keynote speaker, at the Nonprofit Leadership Center Conference 2022.

I was fortunate enough to not only listen to Nataly speak, but also meet her (eeep!). Something that really resonated with me while listening to Nataly's speech was "Think of your car... do you let it run out of gas and simply hope it'll keep moving?" Obviously not, although, I am guilty of letting my gas tank get to *almost* empty before re-filling it. I'm also more guilty of trying to make my mind/body/soul function on empty and still try to make it from 'point a' to 'point z'. I learned A LOT at this conference, and even more, I learned that actually scheduling joy into my life isn't just a suggestion, but a must.

I've been in the mental state where guilt would constantly override my happiness or joy, and I know I'm not the only one who has felt like this (it's ok, raise your hand behind your keyboard, no one will see). Here are 3 tips I've chosen to implement into my life, and maybe these will help you, too.

Tip #1 - Schedule it. Like, seriously stick it on the calendar.

Subconsciously, I used to do this. I'd maybe grab a smoothie, or a cup of coffee, but then also down it in the span of 5 minutes to get back to whatever I was doing. But now... I physically have it stuck on my calendar for at least 30 minutes per day, in the middle of the day to check in with myself.

Tip #2 - Step outside, or away from distractions.

One study reports that spending just 29-minutes outside increases productivity by 45 percent. Even more, 63 percent stated that they feel better 'in themselves' after spending time in the fresh air. So do it. Leave your computer and any other distracting devices inside, and enjoy some 'rays. (Also, please wear your SPF).

Tip #3 - Be intentional with your scheduled joy.

Try not to cut it short, and make sure that you're doing something that actively fills your cup, not empties it. Whatever fills your cup, whether that is a walk outside, sticking your toes in the sand (my personal fav), or just meditating, be intentional and enJOY it.

Pictured above: A painting done by, again, Nataly Kogan, best-selling author and keynote speaker, at the Nonprofit Leadership Center Conference 2022.

So, what would happen if you only had 1 petal on this flower? I'm no botanist, but I don't think that flower would thrive for very long. Yes you need to work, have community, spend time with family and friends, be creative in your craft and hobbies, but if you took out the petals that used to make you feel unproductive, you wouldn't grow nor bloom. Burnout is a real thing, and I've spoken on it before. I'm going to be really real with you - did you know that burnout happens both physically and mentally/emotionally? This is where anxiety, fatigue, and feeling uninspired come in. I've been there, and I've felt all of those and more, but I've made the intentional choice to not revert back to that place. So schedule JOY. It's placed on my calendar daily for 30 minutes per day at the same time. If I have a meeting that day, or need to move it, that's ok too. As long as I make time to do something that brings me joy, I'm already 1 step ahead and so are you!

You've got this!


Alyssa Manhattan.jpg

A note from the author:

I'm so glad you're here! Thank you for taking the time to check out this post. I cannot wait to continue to share even more with you!


As always, continue to keep your personal cup just as full as your coffee cup with unlimited refills.

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