Written by Dave Huguenel, Vice President
It’s 2022, which means campaign season is officially upon us! Across the country, thousands of people, whether they be candidates or campaign staff, are gearing up for what is expected to be one of the most frenetic political cycles in recent memory. So with that in mind, I thought I might devote this email to a few little tips and tricks I use to make sure I don’t get burned out too quickly.
One thing you might have noticed - I used the term “stamina” instead of “ethic” in the title. I like using the term “work stamina” because whether someone works longer hours shouldn’t be a judgment on his or her ethics. Rather, I like to think of it as one might regarding an athlete like an endurance runner. Practice and getting in shape is the key to working for long periods of time without getting burnt out.
And with that, here are a few (five in fact) ways that I make sure I get my work stamina up before Election Day:
Know when you’re at your most efficient.
Everyone's a little different. Some people find themselves the most focused in the mornings before the day really starts, while others are night owls. The goal is to recognize when you do your best work and make sure you keep that time sacred. For me, I tend to find that right after dinner is when I’m at my most focused, so I’ll make sure that time is dedicated to important projects that require a lot of attention (i.e. writing scripts, building budgets, etc).
Assign yourself a weekend work project
Let’s face it, a few short months from now, if you’re working on a campaign, you’ll basically be working seven days a week. One of the ways I prepare myself mentally for that is every weekend I will assign myself one project to complete on Saturday or Sunday. It’s typically an easier project that usually doesn’t take more than an hour or two, but it gets me into the rhythm of working on weekends without completely killing that weekend vibe.
Learn how to create free time
Campaigns have weird schedules. There are lots of early mornings and late nights. But there’s always a little bit of free time you can build for yourself if you know where to look. When things get busy, make sure you afford yourself a good 15-20 minute break in the quiet moments. Take a walk, read a book, do whatever helps you mentally escape the stress of the day.
Set attainable goals for yourself
When setting goals for what to achieve each day, make sure you’re making those goals realistic. An easy way to deflate your motivation is to constantly fall short of your own expectations. No one enjoys feeling like a failure, and don’t worry, the campaign season will throw plenty of heartaches your way – you don’t have to create any extra!
Create your own motivation
There are two types of people in this world: People who say they love 100% of what they do at their job and people that tell the truth. There are always harder parts of a job that are more difficult to enjoy which makes it tougher to get those things done. One mental trick I play on myself for those types of tasks (not going to provide example tasks I hate just in case my CEO is reading this) is I’ll create “fake” motivations for the work. It could be a competition with a work colleague, or it could be to improve upon the product from the last time you did the task. The exact motivation doesn’t matter, it’s just about getting yourself in the mental space where you can enjoy the work more, even if it’s just marginally.
There you have it. Those are my five little secrets to not burning myself out during election cycles. I hope you find at least one of those helpful as your campaign starts to ramp up. Now let’s get out there and win some stuff!