I have been frantically trying to come up with something meaningful to write for this blog post, and one fact keeps hitting me in the face. It’s summer. In my library, summer is HARD. I don’t have time to read some piece to develop myself professionally right now — between summer reading, hiring, budget prep, and the other million items on my to do list, I am just trying to survive! So — here are a few ways that I’m trying to not only survive, but thrive in this most busy season of the year.
1.) Stay organized. Easier said than done, right? But, making daily task lists, whether on paper or online, that you can realistically accomplish is one of the best ways to maintain your sanity during busy times. Even if you need to take a few hours to lay it all out — it is absolutely worth the time. Make sure to include time in your schedule to actually get your work done (I like to book blocks in my calendar that say “get things done” so that I don’t overschedule myself), and, of course, to fit in summer fun, as well!
2.) Keep a “warm fuzzies” file. Whenever I am feeling particularly over-stressed and am questioning why I’m in this line of work, I look through my email folder where I store heart-warming library stories. Remembering the time we helped a family find housing or reading an appreciative email from a patron puts everything in perspective and inspires me to keep going and striving to be better.
3.) Look for inspiration. Along the lines of the “warm fuzzies” file, keeping sources of inspiration visible in your work place is important. I had a high school math teacher who said his inspiration was the retirement countdown he kept on the back chalkboard (he had a good 15 years to go). Personally, I keep photos of my kids and thank you notes from community members to inspire me.
4.) Try something new. This one might seem counter intuitive, but trying something new, whether it’s a new recipe or a new summer activity, can help our brains not only relax but work in a different way. New experiences can help us look at problems from a different angle and come up with solutions that maybe we couldn’t see before. It doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment — maybe it’s just taking a different route home from work — but it can help shift our perspective just enough to make us more productive and innovative.
5.) Have fun. When all else fails, remember to have fun. This season will pass, and while we may be exhausted come late August, if we’ve had some fun along the way, it will all be worth it.
Today’s blog post was written by Krissy Wick, Director of Public Services at the Madison Public Library in Madison, Wisconsin, on behalf of the ALSC Managing Children’s Services Committee.
Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.