When I am wearing my Coach and Consulting hat, I often work with passionate youth workers and visionaries who often remind me of myself. As they talk about the issues facing youth today, they feel the same sense of urgency I feel about the work ahead. Whether they are full-time youth leaders or program leaders who are also holding down a full-time job, the thing we can all agree on is that there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish all there is to do.
I recently appeared on a radio show called Bernadette Speaks and the hostess, Bernadette Johnson asked how I am able to balance the many hats I wear as a wife, mother, daughter, author, speaker, coach, youth advocate and Executive Director of Diamond In The Rough.
In response, I mentioned the importance of taking time out for yourself as being an important factor in maintaining work-life balance. One of the things that has made a significant impact on my life is creating and observing a Sabbath day each week and for me, that day is typically Sunday. Since I have implemented a personal observation of the Sabbath, it has resulted in me having more productivity, healthier family relationships, and what I consider to be and improved mental, physical and spiritual well-being. As a woman of faith, I am reminded that even God Himself rested on the seventh day, so who in the world am I to think I can succeed doing anything different.
So, what does observing the Sabbath look like, you ask? For me, it means shutting down everything relating to Diamond In The Rough. This means that all projects, phone calls, and planning relating to Diamond In The Rough are placed on hold for a day. I even make it a point with my team members, to not call or make any inquiries relating to Diamond In The Rough, unless there’s an extreme emergency. I will tell you however, that on the rare occasion when I have to attend a work related event on a Sunday for business purposes, I will select another day during the week to observe the Sabbath.
To be honest, when I first began this routine, it was challenging NOT to turn on my computer, check my emails or take a nice Sunday afternoon to catch up on one of the many tasks on my long to-do list. However, with a little restraint and time, I have come to cherish my down time each week. As a result I have found that, thou it may sound crazy, I feel more productive during the other six days of the week and more importantly, my mind and spirit are clearer to address the endless tasks of the week.
If you are like me, finding yourself overwhelmed by the tasks at hand, I challenge you to try it out. You may ask what kinds of things can you do if you aren’t working? Well, how about read a book, take a walk, socialize with friends and family, watch a good movie or take a nap. You can take that time to reflect, dream again, pamper yourself or do something you enjoy. Try it out and give it a month of two and let me know how you feel.
Nicole Steele is President of GEM Makers, LLC and Executive Director of Diamond In The Rough a faith-based leadership program that provides group mentoring, life skills training and career coaching to girls ages 4-18. For more information on Diamond In The Rough visit www.ditr.org or call (678) 376-9676.
Copyright 2014, Nicole Steele and GEM Makers LLC. Used with permission. Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Through Her Priceless Posts, Nicole Steele shares her Priceless Perspective on real life issues pertaining to women, girls, families and youth workers.