Monday, June 24, 2013

Five tips to recharge your battery

by David Portney, AVCA Manager of Media Relations & E-commerce 

Because it's the summer, this is an extremely important time to take a few moments to step away from the constants of coaching and volleyball.  I just came back from a ten day vacation in France and Spain, and decided to share five tips on how a workaholic can successfully recharge their battery

1)  Put…the emails…down.   I know you’re addicted to your emails, and frankly, so am I, but you can’t fully recharge until you can temporarily stop checking your email.  When I was in Europe over the last two weeks, I made a compromise with myself:  I’d check my emails for 30 minutes a day and 30 minutes only.  So if there’s an email that requires work outside of the 30 minute allotment, email the person that you will respond as soon as you get back, or send it to someone not on vacation who can promptly respond.  I’d recommend sending an email in addition to your out of office reply, so the recipient knows you have actually seen it.  That was the policy I held abroad and I found I wasn’t spending hours on emails, but at the same time didn’t have the anxiety wondering what’s sitting in my inbox.

2)  Turn your phone off as you go about your day.   I left mine in airplane mode so I could still use the camera function, but generally speaking it’s best to just turn it off.  At first you’ll get nervous, break into a cold sweat, worry, panic, but if you fight off the first few hours you’ll be okay for the remainder of the me.

3)  Tell yourself you have no choice but to detach.  As John Wooden once said:  “Next to love, balance is the most important thing.”  If you aren’t able to separate yourself for at least a few days, it could be doing long term damage to your team, your staff and yourself.  As I said before, you’ll initially have trouble removing yourself for a bit, but it will get better.

4)  Indulge.  Drink that soda you’ve successfully avoided for two months, don’t find a gym to get a session in and feel free to order that brownie sundae after a hearty meal.  Tell yourself once you get back to reality you’ll be good, but for now…enjoy!  I found once I got back I was sick of the indulging, and was looking forward to getting back on the healthy grind.  A word of caution: don’t over-indulge.  Use your best judgment so you don’t cross the line!

5)  Spend some time to reflect and think.  A big problem our society faces today is that we rarely allow time for our minds to wonder.  If we have 10 seconds going up an escalator, we’ll spend it on our smart phones checking Facebook or the latest ESPN headlines.  Instead, use those moments to reflect on yourself and your program on philosophical ways to make everyone better.  Who knows what you’ll come up with when glancing at your phone is not an option!