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Just Ask Jan: Last Man Standing

Posted By Amanda Parsons, Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Updated: Friday, April 3, 2020

Dear Jan, 

Our agency (like everyone else) has shut down facilities.  While I've been lucky not to be laid off or furloughed, I'm having to take on the work of everyone else on our team whom we've lost or let go.  Programs may be on hold, but it doesn't mean we can just stop... we still need to work for the future.  However, talk about coronavirus has taken over everything and I'm feeling overwhelmed.  I have so much work to do, but can't seem to focus on any of it.  Help!


Last Man Standing


Dear Last Man Standing,

My heart goes out to you and I am grateful to you for sending this question.  There will be many Parks & Rec pros that feel your same distress with the current abnormal situation.  Even though things seem to change every day and there's new information to absorb, I think we all feel a similar grief about our losses. 

During this season of serious COVID concerns, it's so important to put your priorities in order, and the number one priority is YOU!  Use all the resources you know of to take care of your needs.  You can't help anyone or with anything if you aren't feeling well physically or emotionally and there's never been a more important time for self-care.  If all the COVID chatter at work makes you anxious, step away from it or limit your engagement time.  Can you work remotely or partially remotely?  If no, then take some quiet time to breathe and calm yourself during your workday and home life.  

The second tip I'd like to share is to revisit your favorite way to organize and sort the stuff!  Sometimes a familiar and orderly process helps you feel like you're in control and then you can make some progress and feel better about the work happening now and in the future.  Through your organizational process, you can identify the volume, categorize and prioritize the tasks that you've inherited, and put together your plan of attack.  You may discover some tasks that someone else might be able to take on and some tasks that you can perform more efficiently if you bundle and integrate them with your current tasks and some tasks that just won't get accomplished.  Hi Boss, can you help me???

These times won't last forever and it's good that you reached out.  We're in this together and We Are ORPA!





Jan Wirtz is the Recreation Superintendent at Lake Oswego Parks & Recreation.  With her years of history comes sage career advice for park and recreation professionals at any level in their career.

Submit a question to Just Ask Jan to be answered in an upcoming newsletter.

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