What Does Your Column Look Like?

So, if you are a regular to our blog you know that our weekly Support Team Meetings on Monday’s open with the facilitator providing a mini-presentation on a topic that is particularly pertinent to our work at VM or simply just a useful resource that will somehow help us perform better at work. For my presentation this past Monday, I chose the latter.

My presentation provided tips on stress management and personal development. I think these two things are extremely important and impact the productivity one has at work and also the quality of the work one produces. There has been a lot going on in “VM World” between Site Visits, Destination AmeriCorps planning and the near-conclusion of another service year. I figured a presentation on managing your stress level and focusing on self-care would be relevant and useful for the Support Team.

It’s weird how everything just seems to fall into place isn’t it? For quite a while I myself, was stressing over the topic of my presentation. Nothing really came to me and I was concerned that I would never find my muse. Who would have known that picking a random book off the bookshelf at the Randallstown library would turn out to be the  inspiration for my presentation?

I modeled my presentation off of some of the tips included in Kimberly Wilson’s book entitled “Tranquilista” Mastering the Art of Enlightened Work and Mindful Play”. After briefly viewing the cover and skimming through some of the pages, my initial thought was that this would be a mindless read. However, I was pleasantly surprised! Wilson’s book offers a lot of useful advice on maintaining a healthy mental, emotional, physical and spiritual balance and how doing so will have a positive effect in your professional life.

I found it difficult to condense all the material covered in the book into a brief fifteen minute presentation. However, I did my best to narrow everything down to a few key points- goal-setting and reflection, creating space in your life, finding your source of peace and comfort and retreating to this “place” as often as possible, and making it a point to have a morning routine.

At the beginning of my presentation I opened with an activity taken directly from the book and I would strongly encourage you to give it a try. Take out a blank piece of paper and pen and separate your piece of paper by marking two columns. In the left column write down the top ten things that take up your time in an average week. Then, in the right column write down the top ten things that you wished would take up your time. When you have completed this, rate each item in the left column from 1-5 (1 being not satisfied and 5 being very satisfied) based on how satisfied you are with the amount of time this item is taking up. Ideally, your left column would include a good number of items from your right list. If it doesn’t, try and find ways to replace items in your left column with items from your right. This is what Wilson referred to as “Lifestyle Reflection”. So, go on! Start reflecting and hopefully you will be on your way to living a more well-balanced life 🙂


2 thoughts on “What Does Your Column Look Like?

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