Friday, May 4, 2012

16 Ways to Master Your Derby-Life Balance
 set some boundaries

First of all, the first dangerous precedent that I don't want to set is to ever refer to sex as "sexy time." I will never be able to take sex seriously again. I'm having trouble enough as it is. I can't help it, I laugh at everything.

4. Set Some Boundaries

“Calm down. It’s 11 p.m. You’re not going to lose that client if you wait until tomorrow to respond to his request for a project estimate. Set work hours for yourself and stick to them. If you make yourself available at all hours—while out to dinner, while on vacation, during “sexy time”—you set a dangerous precedent!” -Steph Auteri, Word Nerd Pro

Okay so, second, I've been advocating don't let derby overrun your life for the past few posts. So let me devil's advocate, just for fun. No, wait. What I really want to say is, saying "set some boundaries" is kind of like saying "don't eat so many potato chips." By which I mean when you're trying to manage a very full schedule, partitives and comparatives aren't necessarily the most helpful. It takes a hell ton of work to run a roller derby league, everybody has to pitch in. And everybody has a life and can only afford to pitch in so much, or else unhappiness ensues. And possibly a hell ton is more than the sum of what everybody can afford to pitch in. So if you say "everybody has to pitch in" or "everybody has to do their [sic] share," everybody calculates how much that is per her existing disposition, result being that the ones who are already doing more than their share do more, and the ones who already have a healthy sense of boundaries batten down the hatches more.

So, specifics. Everybody feels like you can't spell mandatory without mean with an E left over, but I honestly think it's nicer and here's why. It is, a) more work for leadership at the outset, true, but b) less work overall, because it takes away those small amounts of decision and guilt multiplied by however many league members there are at any given time. If you lay it out:

  • three onskates practices per week
  • one offskates practice per week
  • two volunteer hours per month
  • one street teaming shift per bout
  • one fan zone shift per bout that you're not playing
  • three track duty shifts per season
...then every person can just check off her list and when it's done, it's done. Instead of everybody individually calculating how much is enough, am I doing enough, I feel guilty because I'm not doing enough but I haven't done laundry in a month.

By the same token, now you have something to measure and if it adds up to every league member has to contribute 500 hours per month, you have something solid to scale back from.

And the point, by the way, is not to measure everything. It is to measure the things that it's useful to measure, so you can have sex, you know, whenever you feel like it—