The day-to-day life of a campus rec director can involve many tasks such as meetings, phone calls and managing staff, to name a few. With such a demanding schedule, it can be difficult to find the right work-life balance, but it can be done.
Skyler Rorabaugh, the director of campus recreation at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, believes work-life balance is what you make of it. “It has a variety of variables that impacts it differently each day, but it should be based on your personal and work priorities and core values,” he said.
Rorabaugh has found a successful way to stay on top of both his work responsibilities and be present in his personal life through an established daily routine. He starts his day at roughly 5 a.m. and begins with turning off airplane mode on his phone for new emails and messages that need direct attention. “I spend about 20 to 30 minutes reading in a couple of devotionals and a little bit in the Bible, then I move on to 20 to 30 minutes of a yoga/core workout while watching the news and mentally preparing for my day,” said Rorabaugh.
Additionally, he might do laundry or change up his exercise in the mornings, but he always makes time for visiting with his kids before school, checking in with his wife for daily plans and spoiling their dog before he heads into work.
Upon arriving at work, Rorabaugh’s scheduled routine continues. “My day usually begins with a review of what my outlook calendar includes for the day to make certain I am prepared for any meetings I have scheduled, communications I need to make, and deadlines I need to meet,” he said. “Oftentimes, I walk around our facilities for a quick review to scope out conditions, projects we are working on, and to touch base with our student staff that are working at that time.”
In an hourly breakdown, Rorabaugh said he spends on average four to five hours a day in meetings. One to two hours are spent discussing items that need his attention with staff, colleagues and administration within the campus community. Finally, two to three hours are allotted to working on information to address business items he is responsible to complete, including email.
Managing email can be a time-consuming task for any professional, and being a campus rec director is no exception. Rorabaugh tries to leave each workday by skimming every email he receives, but he is often held up by other work demands. To help manage this, he gets organized. “I utilize email folders to store emails I may need to refer to at a later date, and keep emails in my inbox that need a response or pertain to an immediate project or task I’m working on during the upcoming weeks,” he said.
Additionally, he incorporates Outlook rules and alerts that filter certain emails to a specific location which denotes a particular response level from him. This tool helps to save him time during his monthly email clean-up where he stores, deletes and responds to emails over the weekend.
Although work is demanding for Rorabaugh and can dip into his personal life, he emphasizes you have to make time for all of your priorities, and family is one of his. “Spending as much quality time with them that I can, especially as my children grow older, is of utmost importance to me,” he said. “ I enjoy keeping busy and involve myself in a variety of service opportunities beyond my work.”
Rorabaugh also uses physical activity as a stress reliever and as a way to get out of the office during the day. “I find this activity provides me with an opportunity to mentally process through some of the more demanding business items I need to address and allows me to essentially develop a plan to address that work in a more productive manner when I get back to the office,” explained Rorabaugh.
Not only does utilizing physical activity into his schedule help with stress, but he also sees it as a chance to model his work intentions. “I believe it is important to model this type of wellness activity to the team I work with to let them know I support them in these types of activities and to take care of their personal wellness,” he said.
As challenging as it is to establish a successful work-life balance as a campus rec director, Rorabaugh has mastered the technique and is able to take pleasure in both. “I enjoy the team that I work with, knowing my day will be different each day with a variety of tasks and challenges to address, the energy from the students we work with and provide high quality programs and services for, and knowing that what you do each day creates positive change and development for those who participate,” he said. “If your current work-life balance isn’t what you want it to be, you are in control of creating change to develop the type of work-life balance you seek.”