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When Opportunity Knocks, Be Ready

In our own careers, sometimes an opportunity comes along disguised as a challenge

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This summer, with more people out and about, new opportunities, professionally and personally will unfold, as well as new challenges.

Based on the challenges that you face, the way to proceed might be to go for the whole shebang in one shot. A Russian proverb states that you can’t cross a chasm in two leaps.

Step Up to the Big Time

Suppose a professional boxer with a fairly good record gets a big break – the promoters decide to give him a shot at the champ. This opportunity might be out of sequence in the boxer’s career, but he takes it. If he loses badly, he might not get another chance. If he handles himself well, he might get a second chance, but who knows when.

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So, his goal becomes clear – to knock out the champ and seek the grandest prize in his weight category: to be the World Boxing Association champion.

The boxer decides to up the ante and go for the gold now, this year, at this impending fight, not later in his career. He’ll invest all his energies into this effort. Never mind the career path; his time to shine is now.

Filling in at Quarterback

The same thing happens when one athlete replaces another after the first sustains an injury. The back-up quarterback in football recognizes he might not get another shot at starting. He’s not content to merely fill in and do well enough to win. Instead, he wants to make a statement.

He wants to show that he is professional league caliber, that he can run the team from start to finish, win the game, then go out on the field and do it again next Sunday.

The phenomenon also occurs when an interim coach takes the place of the ailing regular coach. While everyone hopes for the best, they all know that the regular coach might not return. The interim coach, if he wants to be more than just the substitute, changes his procedures.

He begins working around the clock. He analyzes the team roster. He carefully assesses the team’s strengths and weaknesses and which plays have worked well in the past. He talks to the players one-on-one. He reviews previous game films. In short, he pulls out the stops.

Ultimately, he wants to indicate to the top management that whether the head coach comes back or not, he can do the job. Should the head coach come back, the interim coach wants to demonstrate that he ought to be the next coach when the time comes.

If his organization and owner can’t see it, perhaps another organization and owner will take notice. The interim coach has upped the ante in terms of his own goals.

The Ivy League

Such sudden ascension is not limited to sports. When the president of a university dies, becomes incapacitated, or is otherwise not able to work for some period of time, the Board of Regents appoints an acting president.

During this time, the acting president goes to work immediately to convince the board that he or she is the logical choice for next president of the university.

In our own careers, sometimes an opportunity, disguised as a challenge, leaps in front of us. In that case, career path be darned, we need to pursue the opportunity with vigor in the here and now.

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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

Post Lockdown: Are You Juggling Too Many Tasks?       

Concentration and focus are under rated in our current era of multitasking

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As traffic starts to mount up everywhere, and more people are heading back to office, is the ill-advised practice  of multi-tasking regaining a foothold? Considering all that you need to do personally and professionally, are you attempting to handle too much?

These days, we all seem to be human doings, not human beings. Unfortunately, we give short shrift to concentration and focus. Indeed, concentration and focus are under rated in our current era of multitasking.

Consider this: A magnifying glass held up at the correct angle to the sun will quickly burn a hole through a piece of paper: concentration and focus. Meanwhile, no matter how much sun shines through your office window onto your desk, none of those tedious memos are going to catch on fire.  The lack of combustibility has nothing to do with the way the manufacturer engineered this flat piece of glass.

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Multi-tasking is occasionally helpful and satisfying but, along with the shower of information and communication overload, represents a paradoxical impediment to getting things done. Let’s see why.

Faster and Less Attentive

The term multi-tasking evolved from the computer industry, the early mainframe computers designed with parallel processes is perhaps the prime example of automated multi-tasking.

In many respects, the computer has accelerated our inattentiveness.  Personal computers achieved critical mass in 1981 with the introduction of the Apple Computer designed as an alternative to the IBM PC.  The affordable technology enabled us all to engage in sequential activities and elevate our propensity to become task-switchers.

Then for many reasons, and some so bizarre that they defy description, over the next 40 years we began to emulate our computers, multi-tasking while they multi-tasked.

Today, with the typical office professional sending or receiving more than 200 messages a day, counting all forms of communication, and all of them coming and going at shorter intervals, a generation of career professionals are being driven virtually to distraction. A number of the messages are fleeting, the meaning often unclear, and the result a listless and confused workforce.

Against the back drop of information and communication overload, ever-advancing technology, and more choices than anyone needs or even wants, an entire workforce generation has been taught to multi-task as if this is the way it has always been, needs to be, and always will be.

Continuous Partial Attention

Undivided attention is a term that has fallen out of use! Multitasking has become a norm giving rise to “continuous partial attention,” where nothing gets your true and undivided focus, and everything is homogenized to the point of carrying nearly equal weight.

We offer our attention here, there, and then somewhere else. Like a one-man band, we get our strokes from strumming the guitar, tapping our foot, and blowing on the harmonica. We equate accomplishment with flapping our wings, stirring up commotion, and making a lot of noise.

We can barely tolerate stillness. For many, silence doesn’t appear to be golden; it seems more like a dark space, lacking productivity that can yield nothing useful.

Undivided attention is a term that has fallen out of popular use. Generally, we feel guilty if we don’t multi-task! We contemplate our increasing workloads and responsibilities and how they are subject to continual shifts, and justify multi-tasking as a valid response to a world of flux.

Despite the temptation to do otherwise, focusing on the task at hand is vital to getting things done. Whether there’s a handful of tasks confronting you, or ideally only one, give all your time, attention, energy, focus, concentration, effort, and all that good stuff to the task at hand, and then turn to what’s next.

Over-employed, and Undesired

It’s likely that people have always sought to handle many things simultaneously, stretching as far back as cave dwellers. Their multi-tasking effort probably seemed crude by comparison. Someday, somewhere, someone may discover that we are hardwired to continuously attempt to economize our use of time.

Our age old “flight or fight” response to perceived stressors in the environment works well, at intermittent times. The small jolts of concentrated energy and vigilance helps us to safeguard ourselves, our loved ones, and our possessions.

As a species however, we are not wired to effectively handle continuous streams of two major stress hormones — adrenaline and cortisol — on a daily basis.

Bruce McEwen, Ph.D., director of the neuroendocrinology lab at Rockefeller University, observes that while we can apparently weather stresses and rapid hormonal changes in the short term, about 3 to 15 days, soon thereafter chronic stress begins to ensue.

The result is a weakened immune system, aggression, anxiety and a decrease in brain functioning which results in burnout. Dangerously high levels of cortisol can result in poor sleep patterns and insulin resistance, which can open the door to bad eating habits and weight gain.

 

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Business

Hey Liz Cheney, And Other RINOs, Here’s the Truth!

Liz Cheney and RINOs are out of their minds to believe that Trump hurt the party!

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RINOs like Liz Cheney and others constantly make the argument that Donald Trump has broken the Republican Party and driven people out of the party. But that is so far from the truth it’s incomprehensible that they even say it. PolitiCrossing founder, Chris Widener, one of the world’s top motivational speakers, makes the case against them in his brand new video. Check it out below and then let us know what you think!

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: Choosing to Trust Yourself

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