Last week at my local AFP chapter meeting, I had the privilege of hearing Eric Benson speak.

Eric is one of the most positive and energetic people I know and he spoke about achieving life-work balance.

Here’s some of what I took away from the presentation.

We think of work as something negative and play as something positive.  Why can’t work be fun, too? (It is for me!).  ANYTHING can be fun or drudgery.  It’s all in how we think about it.

Everything you do should have a purpose.  Everything. You should have a purpose for reading this blog and I should have one for writing it. Your purpose should be simple, clear, and 7 words or less.  For example, my purpose for writing this blog is “To share information, inspiration, and resources.”

Our purpose is the “what.” How we do things is different.  My purpose for writing is to share.  How I do it determines if it’s fun or work.

Be in the here and now.  If your mind is somewhere else, you should probably start moving your feet toward it.

Stop saying “I have to” and replace it with “I want to.”  Subtle but important difference.

Love the people you’re with. That’s what really matters.

These 5 lessons are certainly applicable to everyone, and particularly to professional Fundraisers. It’s easy to spend ALL your time working, but that will lead to burn out.

Follow these simple ideas and make sure you’re spending enough time recharging yourself so you can be the best you can be.

  1. When you change your perspective about something (e.g. work to fun) it changes everything! I really like the idea of everything having a purpose–and being mindful of what that purpose is. Thanks, Sandy (and Eric)! Now–if I could only get that old song out of my head–about love the one you’re with….

  2. As a fan of both you and the esteemed Mr. Benson, I am also a fan of this post. When asked how he defined “success,”Warren Beatty replied, “at the end of the day, I’m not sure if I’ve been working or playing.

    Sandy, I also appreciate your point about purpose. Thanks for the reminder.

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