Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Brendan Sheehan - Busy

Brendan Sheehan is a recovering Busyaholic. He thought life had more meaning when he was racing from one event or meeting to the next, not realizing that in the process of trying to be a modern-day Superman, he was actually alienating friends, family and community leaders at the same time.

He's still a busy guy. But now he's a busy guy with priorities. He's a student at the University of Waterloo with many more years of school to complete before he becomes an emergency room physician. He's the manager of Strategic Operations at the Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation (a very worthy local organization, check it out!), he is on the Board of Directors and is the Fundraising Chair for the HopeSpring Cancer Support Centre  and in his "spare" time last year managed the vendors and grounds exhibits for the Waterloo Air Show.

Wow. Even for me, that's a lot. 

But he used to do more. Ask Brendan to be on a committee? Sure! How about running an information booth? Of course! Make 3000 paper cranes for a fundraising event centrepiece? He'd probably even do that.

And then he realized that he was late to committee meetings, his information booth was probably missing some key info and those paper cranes looked more like hedgehogs.


He noted, as many of us have experienced, that turning down an opportunity seems crazy. If you have the skills you ought to be using them to help others!

Many of us learn this valuable lesson, although often at a much older age than Brendan's. We work and work and work and the buildup overtakes us and then POOF. Nothing. An underwhelming event takes place. It's at that point we realize we're burnt out and that's when we take a step back.

Brendan tells us that we're not getting away with it. We think we have a higher capacity for work? No. You're just putting things on the backburner to complete something else. Your friends are starting to dislike you because you always flake at the last minute, your family thinks your laptop is more important than them, your toilet has some funky green stuff growing in it because hey, you're out saving the world, you don't have time to clean the bathroom.

Sit down and make a list of your priorities. There are some incredible organizations out there and giving one of them 5 hours of your time is probably much more beneficial that giving 5 different organizations 1 hour of your time.

You deserve to pare down your commitments. You get to know yourself, your friends and worthwhile organizations better. - Brendan Sheehan

**Author's note: I do not, in fact, know if Brendan has ever been asked to make thousands of paper cranes for an event or even if he know how to do origami (although one can guess that with his many other talents, he probably does). Being my blog, I take extreme liberties with illustrations and do not wish to be cited as a source that Brendan does have funky green stuff growing in his toilet or that he can make hedgehog-looking paper cranes. Why not contact him on twitter and ask for yourself @B_Sheehan.

*This is part 7 in a series of 15 blogs detailing the amazing projects presented in the world's first ever Ignite Charity: Waterloo. For more info on Ignite Charity visit and follow the conversation on twitter @IgniteCharity.

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