Having recently started working at a new institution, I have some new goals in mind for my second full time position out of grad school. Here are some things I have learned and some things that I am pledging to work on in my first year in my new life!
For starters, the biggest goal I had for myself was to better balance my work responsibilities and my personal life. I set a cut off time for when I need to be out of my office each day and I try my best to stick to it. There is always going to be more work to do. I could stay in my office all day and all night, and I still wouldn’t be done with it all. At my old job, I spent so much of my time and energy packing everything I could into each day, and I worked long days. I began to burn out and was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted! I wasn’t being the best version of myself and it was impacting the ways in which I was doing my job, and living my life. I want to be more productive and intentional about the ways in which I am utilizing my time. By getting away from my desk and putting a limit on when I am checking and responding to emails has helped a lot so far!
With that in mind, I TOOK PUSH NOTIFICATIONS OFF MY WORK EMAIL ON MY PHONE! I’m telling you, this has changed my life! I now have to manually refresh my email on my phone to know if I have new messages. When I check them, I am in a good state of mind to respond, compared to when I automatically was having my phone sync all day. I began to resent emails altogether because of that annoying little PING sound and that obnoxious red notification bubble sitting on the top corner of my mail icon. I now check my work emails on my own time when I am in the right head space and have time and energy to respond and don’t have to be thinking about work all the time, even when it’s the weekend or when I’m on a vacation.
Next thing I pledge to do: utilize my vacation days. They are provided for a reason, people! In Student Affairs, we are constantly working nights, long days, weekends, pretty much all the time, especially during our busy seasons. We deserve a little personal time to do some self-care and work on being better versions of ourselves, in whichever way that means to us. I plan to utilize my vacation days as ways to distress, reflect, and do things that make me happy. I plan to enjoy my vacation time, and I encourage others to do the same.
Lastly, I plan to engage myself in my campus community in any way that I can. When opportunities present themselves for groups to get involved with, or to join committees I never even considered were a thing, I want to get involved and learn. We are all lifelong learners, but how do we keep leaning if we never do anything that pushes us outside of our immediate realm of reality? By meeting new people and having conversations about things that are happening on our campuses with others who are invested in the overall student experience, not only am I working to help better the student experience, but I am also working to better my own experience on my campus!
I hope you either gained some ideas for ways to help your new year, or you felt like you could relate on some level to the experiences I am having. Happy new school year to all! If you have other ideas of things you are doing to start your new year of right, feel free to share them with me, tweet me @lizcadwell.