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Preparing for insanity

On September first I have the distinct honor of delivering the commencement address at Virginia Intermont College.  Starting from the moment I leave my apartment in DC for that speech, and running through December 3rd when I finish a private workshop on social entrapreneurship, my schedule is going to look like something the Tasmania Devil created.

Professionally there are speeches and workshops across North America, writing projects to complete, and a handful of NGOs to consult for.

Personally there are weddings to attend, poker nights to host, and recurring happy hours with friends.

So the question staring me down is: how the heck do I prepare for three solid months of constant  personal and professional demands so that I can consistantly bring my A-game?

Based on past experience I know that I need to be present (so that I can stay focused and engaged), healthy (so that I don’t have to cancel things), and organized (so that I don’t miss anything).

I want to share how I plan to do each as it may be helpful for you when your schedule goes insane too.

Being Present: I just began re-reading Ekahart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” a book on living in the moment. I’ve also worked in a few yoga classes to make sure that I am meditating and clearing my mind at least once or twice a week.

I know that every few days I need a chunk of time alone and disconnected from technology in order to stay connected to myself.

Health: a few years ago I got into running so I could have an exercise routine to stick to even when I’m on the road. While I’m in DC I’ll continue hitting the gym three times a week; while I’m on the road, I’ll run. To ensure I’m getting enough sleep I’ll start getting up at 7:00am every day and going to bed whenever I feel tired.

I’ve increased vegetables and water and decreased caffeine and alcohal. I’ve  found that minimizing or eliminating caffeine leaves me feeling much more stable and in control than when I’m swilling redbull.

Organized: For Changing the World 101 and all of my professional endeavors I use customer relationship management software. This ensures that all of my contacts, to-dos, calendars, and projects are in one place on my computer. I’m going to make sure that all my obligations are recorded and up to date.

Personally I’m going to carve out time during the weekend to answer all emails, facebook messages, and voicemails.

Despite all of the preparation I know one thing: there will be times in the next couple of months when the insanity catches up to me. In my next post I’ll discuss what to do when the demands on your attention become overwhelming.

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