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Life

Slow Down this Day

Most of what you experience each day, in terms of the passage of time, is based on your perception

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Did you do a double-take when you read the title of this article? If so, read on. Most of what you experience each day, in terms of the passage of time, is based on your perception.

You can slow down time if you choose. How? Whenever you feel you’re racing the clock or trying to tackle too much at once, try this exercise:

Close your eyes for a minute. Imagine a pleasant scene. You might be surrounded by trees or with a loved one. It could be something from childhood. Let the emotions of that place and time pervade you. Get into it! Give yourself more than a minute for the visualization to take hold.

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: WOW. Grab the Kleenex and Watch this Girl Sing!

Open your eyes and return to what you’re doing. Whatever care or task you’re working on is not quite so bad and your pace is never quite so feverish.

Pause and Reflect

Imagine you’re flying on an airplane. You have a window seat, and it’s a clear day. As you gaze down to the ground below, what do you see? Life passing by. Cars the size of ants. Miniature baseball diamonds. Rivers the size of streams. There’s something about being at great heights that enables you reflect on your life.

The same phenomenon can take place from the top of a mountain or skyscraper. As often as practical things seem to be racing by too fast, seek higher ground, literally, for a clearer perspective.

If you’re among the lucky, perhaps you regularly allocate time for reflection or meditation. If you don’t, it’s no matter. There are other ways to make it all “slow down.”

After the workday, listen to relaxing music and close your eyes. A half hour of your favorite music with your eyes closed and no disturbances can seem almost endless. When you re-emerge, the rest of the day takes on a different tenor.

An effective method for slowing down time and catching up with today is periodically deleting three items from your “to do list” without doing them at all. Before you shriek, consider that much of what makes your list is arbitrary.

In most cases, eliminating three items won’t impact your career or life, except for freeing up a little time for yourself in the present.

A Change in Medium

I have long used water to reduce stress. For eleven years, I lived in a high-rise condominium in Falls Church, Virginia, complete with its own 25 meter pool. No matter how hard I worked during the day, even if I did a 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. stint, at 6:05 p.m. I was in the pool. After 30 minutes of laps, I had swum out many of the stresses and strains of the day.

Now that I live in North Carolina, more rural by comparison, I have lakes! Here I can swim for a mile in one direction and rarely encounter anyone else. Find the swimming hole nearest you!

In the Animal Kingdom

If you have a dog or cat and do not consider it a drain on your time, here’s a little something about Rover or Mittens that you may not have known. In recent years, as reported by U.S. News & World Report, scientists have found proof for what was only once suspected: Contact with animals has specific and measurable effects on both your body and mind.

The mere presence of animals can increase a sick person’s chances of survival, and has been shown to lower heart rate, calm disturbed children, and induce incommunicative people to initiate conversation!

The exact mechanisms that animals exert to affect your health and well-being are still largely mysterious. Scientists suspect that animal companionship is beneficial because, unlike human interaction (!), it is uncomplicated.

Animals are nonjudgmental, accepting and attentive; they don’t talk back, criticize, or give orders. Animals have a unique capacity to draw people out.

Even if you only have goldfish, sometimes simply staring at them in their silent world can help deaden your hectic pace.

Catching up with Today

1. Constantly read your list of priorities and goals.
2. Challenge and defeat your own ritual behavior.
3. Consider the outcome of not handling something.
4. Convincingly, but politely, say no.
5. Call rather than visit.

6. Clear your desk of all but the task at hand.
7. Clear your files of everything that can be recycled.
8. Cancel something you had already scheduled.
9. Choose from what you already have.
10. Choose to get a good night’s sleep every night.

When you consider all of the ways you add unnecessary pressures to your day, you begin to see many ways to catch up with today or, at least, with this week.

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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:

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: Mental Preparedness!!

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