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Life

How the Rest was Won

Are you consistently getting the rest that you need so that you can keep your well-oiled machine operating at peak efficiency?

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The last 14 months have presented a supreme economic challenge to many people, especially to business owners but certainly to career achievers as well.

Suppose you are a diligent worker, and everybody knows that. As normal schedules resume, you arrive on time, consistently offer your best effort, dawdle very little, often work late, and head home knowing that you gave it your all. Once you arrive home you have other responsibilities, some taking up half or more of the evening.

Here is a basic question: Are you consistently getting needed rest so that you can keep your well-oiled machine operating at peak efficiency? In other words do you:

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• Take pauses throughout the workday to rest and reflect,

• Depart each day at a reasonable hour (at least most days),

• Get a good night’s sleep every night, and

• Have some form of relaxation on Saturday and Sunday?

If you answered no to any of the questions above, it’s probably an area where you need to focus.

Fatigue isn’t Pretty

In the course of a career, as you rise through the ranks, or simply take on more responsibility right where you are, like everyone else in the global workforce, understandably you are subject to fatigue.

You simply cannot be at your best, hour after hour, day after day, and week after week if you don’t take care of yourself, especially focusing on rest and relaxation.

Everything written above has been apparent to you for years if not decades. How often do you pay heed to your internal wisdom, however, about when and where you need to have some timeouts?

If you graduated from college at 21 or 22 and work until age 71 or 72, that is a 50-year career. Who among us can work for 50 years and not expect to have some disruptions along the way? We need to take periodic breaks to attain the periodic rest that we need.

For example, in the course of the workweek, how many times do you give yourself permission to retire to bed early at, say, 8:30-9 p.m.? How many times, in the course of the workweek, do you have a truly leisurely non-hurried lunch where you get to properly chew and digest your food?

A Moment Like This

How many times do you take one minute, the full 60 seconds, to pause what you’re currently doing, stretch, gaze out the window, ruminate and reflect, and then turn back to the task at hand? If you’re like too many professionals today, across the board, I’m guessing that your answers to the questions above are “not often enough.”

You know by now that no one else is coming to help you deal with your personal need for rest and relaxation. Attaining such rest is a do-it-to-yourself proposition. Either you will take charge of the issue, or the issue will take charge of you.

To paraphrase the renown poet, Robert Frost, you’ve got miles to go, and promises to keep. Others are counting on you. Most of all, you need to be able to count on yourself – to be present, to handle the tough challenges, to come back and do it again, and to stay buoyant all the while.

Fortunately, you have what you need to maintain that well-oiled machine, and now, it’s simply a matter of putting what you know into practice.

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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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Life

The Fine Art of Doing Nothing

Sometimes it’s hard to be alone, especially alone with our own thoughts

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“…people never are alone now. We make them hate solitude; and we arrange their lives so that it’s almost impossible for them ever to have it.” ~ Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

In this era, it’s becoming harder to be alone, especially alone with our own thoughts. Dr. Timothy Wilson, a social psychologist at the University of Virginia, along with other researchers conducted an experiment with student volunteers. The students were given two options: For 15 uninterrupted minutes they could do nothing.

Or, they could give themselves a small, electric shock. Roughly 67% of the men and 25% of the women in the experiment chose to give themselves small shocks, even though earlier, many had proclaimed that they would pay money not to endure such a shock.

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Anxious for Anything To Do

Why did they opt for the shock? They became increasingly anxious for anything to do over the course of the 15 minutes. Aha, you say! These were probably millennials for whom a 15-minute stretch of doing nothing is virtually impossible.

As it turns out, the participants consisted of adults recruited from a farmer’s market and from a church. They acted in much the same way that you might expect of millennials. They felt anxious and antsy when left alone for a 15-minute stretch with nothing else to do but be with themselves.

The question  for each of us is why is it becoming so hard to take a few moments throughout the day to simply do nothing? Have we become such a driven populace that we cannot even spare a few minutes for ourselves? Do we not recognize the peace of mind that we can experience when we’re not fully occupied every minute of the day?

Weaning Yourself

If you feel that you are constantly seeking to optimize every minute of the day, and perhaps are oversubscribed, over-informed, and overwhelmed, here are interlaced ideas that you can put into practice:

Start small. Rather than attempt a long stretch of doing simply nothing, see if you can last for 60 seconds or maybe 120 if you’re feeling brave. It’s best to attempt this after you finish a task, and feel good about your accomplishment. Marinade in your positive feelings.

Perhaps before you go to lunch or return from lunch, or before or after taking a break, why not allow yourself a little time to pause and, well, simply do nothing.

If you have a 15 minute break, where is it written that you can’t spend 60 seconds at your desk doing nothing, take a 13 minute break, then spend the last 60 seconds at your desk, again doing nothing.

Expand Your Ability

As you build more and more confidence in your ability to take some time out with no thoughts or activities in mind, strive for three to five minutes. If you arrive at work early, you could spend such time in your car with the radio off, not checking your cell phone, and not doing anything, other than simply sitting there.

At your workplace, maybe you can spend three minutes undetected in a conference room, corporate library, rooftop terrace, or elsewhere.

At home, where you have more flexibility, could you attempt a short weekend session? This should be no problem. During the weekday, it’s understandable that you seek to efficiently commute to and from work, although even on weeknights it might be possible for you to carve out a few minutes. Think of all the times you’ve been online, or you flick through the TV channels, and how aimless that can be.

Reinforce What Works

As time passes, giving yourself some stretches here and there where you don’t have to do anything can become reinforcing. You have the opportunity to take a deep breath. You get a chance to reflect, or to clear your mind. You have time to visualize.

Even if none of these things happen, you still get a chance to slow down. Any way you look at it, it’s a good proposition.

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Faith

WOW. Grab the Kleenex and Watch this Girl Sing!

Simon Cowell gives Nightbirde the Golden Buzzer

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WOW. Grab the Kleenex and Watch this Girl Sing!

Simon Cowell gives Nightbirde the Golden Buzzer after her beautiful performance of “It’s Okay.” Nightbirde chases her dreams and proves that she is so much more than her cancer!

This is a message you will want to share! Watch below:

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