It’s that dreaded time of the year for many; crossover season. Long work hours and multiple event days can lead to poor eating and sleep habits while losing focus of why you are here in the first place. What are some of the ways you regroup yourself to make sure that you are doing your best work and living your best life during this hectic time of the year?
This year is unusual for me. I started my new job in January and my sport responsibilities are different than they ever have been before. With women’s basketball season officially behind me and men’s and women’s tennis playing off campus, my crossover season load is the lightest it has ever been.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t need to focus on the same things as others this time of the year, but for me finding the time is a little bit easier.
Here’s a few helpful tidbits I have that some of you can try and incorporate to help alleviate the stress of crossover season.
Take a Break –
Plan for your next day off, even if it is just a day away from the office. Sometimes it helps to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Though, for many of us sports biz professionals, the light might not be in the foreseeable future so that’s when I suggest a “timeout” break. When you get home from work, whenever that may be, take a timeout. I turn my phone on airplane mode for 1-2 hours after I get home from work EVERY DAY. It forces me to have “me time” and unwind. During that time, I play with my dog, cook dinner and sometimes if I feel like it, wash the dishes in my sink, ha! Then, if something comes up for work, I can handle it after my break.
Limit Your Screen Time –
For many of us, this is HARD! But you stare at a screen all day long and some of us actually lose sleep at night because we are fidgeting on our phones or iPad or watching TV. Pick up a book, a magazine or coloring book and find time away from a lit up screen. Plus, reading and coloring stimulates your brain and is actually good for you. Did you know, technology use is linked to higher stress levels?
Health First –
Be more aware of what you are putting into your body. I am being a total hypocrite because I just ate half my body weight in queso at Moe’s, but seriously. It’s easy to load up on pizza and sandwiches in the press box or on the road with your teams. Start making healthier meal choices when you are able to, and keep healthy snacks in your desk and backpack for a quick pick-me-up when you are busy and on the go.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help –
If you feel overwhelmed, ask for help. Chances are there is someone out there who was once in your shoes and would have liked to know someone was there to help them. Now this doesn’t mean delegate all your work to others, but if you have a coworker with a fairly easy workload that day and you are swamped, ask them for some help. But always remember who helps you because you should always return the favor!
Know Your Peek Performance Time –
For me, I can’t focus on work before 10 a.m. So I usually spend the first hour of my work day answering emails and organizing my inbox. Then I build a to-do list for the day/week. I peek twice a day when I am most focused and locked in to my work. From 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and then from 2-4:30 p.m. During those slots of time I focus on my biggest projects of the day and then I fill in the rest of my day with the little things that don’t take as much focus.
Whether it is a morning workout, a walk on your lunch break of a trip to the gym after work. Move your body. Exercise can reduce stress and improves productivity and will make you sleep better at night.
Which leads me to the last point.
GET SOME SLEEP –
If you are well rested, you will be 100% better in every aspect of your life. Go to bed earlier, turn the phone off or leave it out of reach, fall asleep reading a book rather than watching TV or maybe take a 20-minute nap when you first get home from work. If you get home late from a game or road trip, take the extra hour of sleep the next morning, pending you don’t have an important meeting or deadline to make. Speaking of deadlines, those conference nominations that are due Monday mornings – do them Sunday night when you are on your way home from that weekend trip.
Hopefully some of these suggestions will help you during the stressful crossover season. Happy March Madness everyone!