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Does Your Inner Voice Have the Answer?

When you choose based on intuition every shred of intelligence you’ve ever accumulated is brought to bear

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With so many options bombarding us in our over-information society, we often waste time analyzing decisions when our intuition can usually pinpoint the most effective and useful choice.

The most effective decisions made often are the decisions that are made the quickest. The fastest way to make decisions involves using your instincts, or intuition. You’re already pretty good at this, if for no other reason than you’ve come this far in life.

Increase Your Powers

If you want to develop your powers of choosing based on to a finer edge, start a log. Write down your intuitive choice before making any final decision. Then, when enough time has passed to see the results of your more analytical decision, write them down and compare them to the results from your intuitive choice.

Logging choices enables you to track the accuracy of your intuition without forsaking your traditional decision-making procedure. As time passes, you’ll begin to notice how frequently your intuitive choices were good ones, and find yourself relying on your intuition more easily and more often.

Once you get cooking, you can bypass the realms of data and information that previously impeded your ability to choose. You can call upon your still, quiet, faithful, internal guidance system.

Intuition in Action

Do you have a dentist? Sure. How did you select your dentist? Did you visit the internet or open up a phone book and collect the names of twelve dentists near to you, then call each of them, and based on the call decide to visit five to seven, and in visiting their offices, discuss with them their billing procedures, background and expertise, staff competency, office hours, prices, and overall philosophy?

Then, did you whittle down the list to maybe two or three, perhaps call them back or visit on another occasion, do some background checking as to the reputation of the doctor, his or her longevity in the community, and professional standing? Then, and only then, did you decide on dentist A? Or did you choose a dentist based on who your parents or friends see, or where some referral service sent you, or simply the clever ad you saw in the phone book?

You probably used the latter method. You didn’t stop and analyze which dentist would be best for you: You picked a dentist by hook or by crook, and if that particular dentist didn’t work out, you switched once or twice. In short, you used a combination of references and intuitive processes to come up with your dentist. Why then, do you over-complicate so many decisions at work and in the rest of your life?

No Let Up

New information will hit you faster and faster as your life proceeds. You’re only going to be able to absorb and use a fraction of which you’re exposed. Suppose you want to get information on a particular type of product. You’re not going to find five or ten articles. Chances are you can identify dozens of articles or more — more information than you can manage. You’re going to have to trust your instincts.

Suppose you want to make a decision about moving to either town A or town B. What are the factors that you would logically consider?

* housing prices
* taxes, population, and population demographics
* schools
* crime
* community groups

* resources
* lakes, streams, trails, mountains
* the business community
* density
* nearby colleges
* churches, synagogues, mosques

* nearby beaches
* road systems
* shopping
* traffic patterns
* deviant groups!

You guessed it. There are dozens and dozens of factors that you could analyze and compare. In the end, your decision will probably be based on some combination of data (though not too much) and intuition (probably a lot).

Blasting Through Procrastination

When faced with too many decisions, your natural inclination is to procrastinate. Don’t beat yourself up; lots of people face this today. Decisions that would normally roll off your back become more involved when there’s too much on your plate. Here’s a list of ways to creatively break through the procrastination that stops you from effective decision making:

* Face Procrastination Head-On – What is blocking you? What is the real reason you don’t want to choose? Write it down or record it. This exercise alone may dislodge something and help you to decide.

* Choose to Easily Begin – Make a positive affirmation: “I can easily make this decision.” This powerful affirmation is often enough. You can easily maintain a list of daily affirmations that help you make decisions you might otherwise have delayed.

* Find the Easy Entry Points – Ask yourself, “What are three to five things I could do to progress toward the final decision, without actually tackling it head-on?” Then initiate these “easy entry” activities. Often, they are enough to get you fully involved.

* Set Up Your Desk for a Decision – Set up your desk or office to enable you to focus on the decision at hand, and ignore other less important matters. This might involve neatly arranging papers, file folders, reports and other items, while working at a clear desk, with only the issue at hand in front of you.

Move Forward Intuitively

When you choose based on intuition every cell in your body and every shred of intelligence you’ve ever accumulated is summoned and applied to the solutions you develop. Pay attention to your small voice; it will support you, if you listen to it.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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Business

Work-life Balance: The Enduring Quest

Organizations today recognize the importance of supporting employees’ well-being while maintaining productivity

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Thank goodness that organizations today increasingly recognize the importance of supporting employees’ well-being while maintaining productivity. As such, the corporate quest for work-life balance, harmony, and integration has gained great prominence.

Key Aspects

Here are 12 key aspects of this pursuit gleaned from a variety of programs:

1. Offer Flexible Work Arrangements: Offering flexible work schedules, remote work options, and part-time opportunities allows employees to better balance their professional and personal lives.

2. Have Clear Policies: Establishing clear policies and guidelines regarding work hours, overtime, and expectations helps employees manage their time effectively.

3. Support Mental Health: Providing access to mental health resources, counseling, and stress management programs can address employees’ emotional well-being.

4. Give Leave: Offering generous paid time off, including vacation, sick leave, and parental leave, allows employees to address personal and family needs without fear of repercussions.

5. Prevent Burnout: Encouraging employees to disconnect from work-related technology after hours helps prevent burnout and supports work-life separation.

6. Support Workload Management: Ensuring that employees have manageable workloads and realistic deadlines prevents excessive stress and long working hours.

7. Provide Wellness Programs: Implementing wellness initiatives, such as fitness facilities, nutrition programs, and health screenings, promotes a healthier work-life balance.

8. Enable Employee Assistance Programs: Such programs provide confidential counseling and support services for employees facing personal challenges.

9. Promote a Culture of Balance: Company culture plays a significant role in work-life balance. Leaders should model a balanced lifestyle, and the organization should celebrate accomplishments beyond work.

10. Maintain Continuous Communication: Engaging in open dialogues with employees about their needs and concerns regarding work-life balance fosters a supportive and responsive corporate culture.

11. Empower Workers with Training and Education: Providing training on time management, stress reduction, and resilience equips employees with the skills to better balance their lives.

12. Leverage Remote Work Policies: Crafting clear remote work policies and expectations ensures that remote employees have a structured work-life balance.

Bringing in the Hired Gun

As the world’s only holder of the title, “The Work-Life Balance Expert®,” as issued by the USPTO,  I am often summoned by organizations to enhance work-life balance for their troops. In all, I’ve delivered programs and spoken to 960 groups. Below depicts an encounter with a company who shall remain nameless for reasons of confidentiality. See if this squares up with your experience in your organization.

The following responses were derived as a result of my sending a questionnaire to the conference meeting planner where I was to be their keynote speaker. I requested the names of 10 people who would be in the audience. I called each of them to discuss their current challenges. Here are their actual replies to three of my questions:

1) If you could magically resolve a work-life balance issue, what would it be?

* Have more breathing room between high-level projects.
* Accomplish more during the workday and leave mentally free.
* Hire more staff!
* Take vacations and time off with no big pile ups when returning.

* Be allowed to take some Fridays off and catch up on much needed appointments.
* Reduce the number of pop-up requests and questions flying at me all day long so that I could ACTUALLY do what I need to do each day.
* Be approved to work from home or adjust my hours. My personal time isn’t respected.

2) What do you seek to derive from attending a session such as mine?

* Manage my time more effectively.
* Gain tools to embrace life while living it
* Develop stronger skills.
* Make work-life balance a reality in our company’s work-first culture.

* Acquire strategies, tips, or ideas to re-think my approach.
* Learn to change my focus, to be more productive, balanced, and focused.
* Be able to balance the few things that I do control during my day.
* Discover tips for keeping my staff in balance.

* Gain a realistic expectation of what we can achieve or experience.
* Develop a more positive outlook for the group.

3) Are there any observations you could offer?

* Work-life balance is a huge topic organization-wide. We are high performers who want to do a good job. We compromise our personal lives to meet work demands. We have to keep pace with the leaders and teams we support. If we don’t, we’ll be deemed unresponsive.

* A frenetic pace seems to be inherent in this company. Our team does a good job of emphasizing work-life balance; the problem lies with the surrounding divisions that thrive on working all the time, for no good reason. Yes, we are in a global space, working in different time zones, but some of these people are beyond the pale.

* What I love about this organization are the people. They are dedicated to the cause and truly want to deliver reliable, affordable, dynamic, and versatile solutions to our customers. However, our frenetic pace isn’t necessary. Not every project is the most vital. Not every problem is an emergency. Not every request has to be filled now.

* If in charge, I’d implement a more efficient, logical pace organization-wide. If we all took a breath and reevaluated how we work, in a more focused environment, we might find that we could produce better results with less stress.

Resonates Strongly

As you can see, the topic of work-life balance resonates strongly among today’s career professionals. Going forward, may more organization recognize and acknowledge the critical role that employee wellness and work-life balance has on the organization’s overall effectiveness.

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Education

HPU, Harvard Plagiarist University

To be fair, Harvard ought to be inclusive and welcome all plagiarists with open arms

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Peter, from Milton, MA, just outside of Boston and Cambridge, posed the following dilemma:

In keeping Claudine Gay on the faculty at nearly $1m per year, and lauding her, Harvard appears to be announcing to future students and faculty, as well as the world, that every category of plagiarism which she committed is acceptable.

I will defer to others who have so comprehensively catalogued her forms of plagiarism that Harvard deems acceptable.  I am more interested in the application of the Harvard’s plagiarism ideal.

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

To be helpful, I would ask these questions in order to better assure that the guidelines are clear: Is plagiarism good for everybody or only good for blacks, or is it female blacks?

What about the other near endless permutations of sex, sexual preference, race, and ethnicity?  Or is it good for everybody but whites? What is white, however? Are Israelis whiter than Arabs or Persians?  Israelis come from all sorts of races while Arabs do not. Elizabeth Warren self-identified as a native American; could she self-identify as a black and attain plagiarism protection?

Non Malevolent Plagiarism

Are certain whites exempt? President Joe Biden says that his plagiarism in college was okay because it wasn’t malevolent. My bad. I did not know there was a “not malevolent exception.” Is that for all whites, or only progressive whites, or only for progressive whites who become president decades later?

How would we know he would become a progressive white president decades later, particularly when he was a notable southern bigot much of his time in the senate?

The High Achieving Minority

What about Asians?  They are a minority in the U.S. As a group, they consistently achieve on merit, undermining the notion of oppressed minorities. Are they allowed to plagiarize but only in lesser forms, or not nearly as much? Or do they get no pass at all because they have the temerity to achieve?

What about the quality of plagiarism? Should some plagiarism be more appreciated than others? To employ the Boston vernacular, my brain is starting to hurt wicked bad.

Oh hell, Harvard simply ought to be inclusive and welcome all plagiarists with open arms regardless of their background or plagiarist skill set, and maybe make a name change. I suggest Harvard Plagiarist University.

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