Balancing Commitments

How often do you hear people say they are overwhelmed, busy, or don’t have enough time in the day? You most likely can relate. Between a career, family and friends, hobbies, and volunteerism, it can be difficult to balance it all.

We know this is a struggle that many face, especially young professionals, so that’s why we chose “Balancing Commitments” as our recent Speaker Series topic.

Erin Hanna of Bayada Pediatrics (and our 2021 Young Professional of the Year) and Erin Wincek of Drake Well Museum and Park shared their experiences with choosing when and where to get involved, how to say no to things, and how to maintain balance and good time management.

Finding the Right Fit
“Volunteering is vital to being involved in our community and giving back as young professionals. Finding a way to balance that is really exciting to think about,” said Wincek.

Finding that balance starts with figuring out which organizations to give your time to. Think about the organization—does its mission align with your own personal passions and interests? If you’re not certain it’s right for you, start by committing in a small way, like volunteering for one event. Also, do tons of research, like reading the organization’s bylaws and asking questions.

Saying No
One of the most important, and hardest, skills to learn is when to say no. “It’s important to me to give my very best, and when I say yes to too many organizations, I end up not being able to give my best because I’m trying to be too many things to too many people,” said Hanna.

Some ideas they shared for learning when to say no include mapping out how the role would fit in your current schedule, understanding the expected time commitment, and being intentional.

Learning Balance
“I’m still learning how to balance commitments myself,” said Wincek. “It’s an ongoing, lifelong process.”

As you go through the process, be sure to remember what activities are important to you. You can’t give an organization what it needs if you’re not giving yourself what you need, whether that’s exercising, getting outdoors, making art, cooking, etc.

To help balance it all, consider tools like Google Calendar, Google Drive, and Panda Planner.

Remember, too, that there are many ways to get involved and levels of commitment. You can make monetary donations, volunteer, provide subject matter expertise, sit on a board, and more.

“Build relationships and have honest conversations,” said Hanna.

This is just a small part of the presentation provided by Wincek and Hanna at our Speaker Series. We encourage you to watch the recording on our YouTube channel at FLEXYouTube.

This article was published in the Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Exchange’s (FLEX) January 2022 edition of the FLEX Your Ideas (FYI) Newsletter.

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