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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:

• 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

Provocative Questions to Get You Moving

What would make you pause and think about what’s really important?

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Suppose I asked you four questions to make you pause, think about what’s really important, perhaps take some action steps, and get you moving in a positive direction. What might I ask?

Here are four such questions:

* What would you do if you truly only had six months to live?

* What would you read if you could only pick six books for the rest of your life?

* If you could return to any age what would it be?

* If you could live anywhere other than here, where would it be?

 

By way of example, here is each question with my own answers to help stimulate your thinking:

What would I do if I truly only had six months to live? I would visit everyone who ever mattered to me one more time; visit all my childhood haunts; visit three or four tourist destinations in the world that I’ve wanted to see; eat like an incredible pig; parcel out my assets carefully and accordingly, safeguard my daughter’s financial future and well-being to the best of my abilities; and donate many items to charity.

If I could only read six books for the rest of my life, they would probably be The Timetables of History, Childhood’s End, The Call of the Wild, The One Hundred, From Dawn to Decadence, and The Culture of Celebrity. Runners-up would be The Demon-Haunted World, Crime and Punishment, Moby Dick, MacBeth, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, and The World of Our Fathers

If I could be any age what would I be: 38, because at that age I had the optimal mix of capabilities and faculties, unbounded potential, and unbridled enthusiasm. My career as an author was beginning to bloom and amazingly I hadn’t yet been on my first of 45 cruises.

If I could live anywhere other than here, where would it be and why aren’t I there? The places I could settle include Asheville, NC; Austin, TX; Monterrey, CA; Sausalito, CA; Tucson, AZ; Las Vegas, NV; Vancouver, British Columbia; London, England; Paris, France; Vevey, Switzerland; Montreux, Switzerland; Bruges, Belgium; Helsinki, Finland; Gothenburg, Sweden; Stockholm, Sweden, and any place where it is spring, birds are chirping, and large lakes invite you to swim.

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Life

21 Ways That People with Work-life Balance Are Different from Others (Part 3)

Even in our fast-paced society, slowing down is continually attainable

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Here is the final set of seven ways the people who have attained work-life balance set themselves apart from the rest:

15) The typical person is easily distracted by daily noise and interruptions. Those with work-life balance monitor and manage their personal space to minimize distractions.
* carry ear plugs
* sound proof your workspace
* find alternative work locations and spaces, such as a picnic table or park bench * visit www.yogasleep.com

16) The typical person focuses on finishing the workday in order to drop back and relax. Those with work-life balance are productive at work and have a life for the rest of the day after work.
* leave work at a reasonable hour
* reduce TV watching and web surfing
* employ your den as a mini-gym
* engage in invigorating leisure

17) The typical person engages in inactive leisure, i.e. watching TV, web surfing. Those with work-life balance employ leisure for novel experiences, learning, and physical activity.
* live closer, not farther from work
* rediscover hobbies
* join group activities
* peruse local event notices and attend

18) The typical person intermittently invests in his or her own well-being. Those with work-life balance strategically purchase goods and services that support their well-being.
* buy in multiples when all supplies will eventually be used up
* make strategic purchases…
* if it saves one hour a week
* if it takes up little space, is portable, expandable, flexible, can be traded in

19) The typical person longs for the good old days when the pace of life was slower. Those with work-life balance recognize that even in our fast-paced society, slowing down is continually attainable.
* acknowledge and accept the world as it is
* seek to change aspects of your personal environment over which you have control
* consider the 80-20 rule and ignore low-payoff tasks and activities
* emulate the role models in your industry, organization, or profession

20) The typical person over-collects work-life balance tips hoping that such information will rub off on them. Those who have work-life balance ingest the insights of others, and ultimately follow the beat of their own drum.
* put what you learn into motion
* adopt new behaviors until they become habits
* establish new personal systems
* develop rewarding rituals

21) The typical parent passes their hectic lifestyle on to their children. Those who have it teach their children what is needed to continually experience work-life balance
* remember: children learn most from observation
* exhibit behaviors that you want them to emulate
* include them in activities, ask for their opinion
* act accordingly: actions speak louder than words

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