Jeff Davidson's book, Simpler Living, was Amazon Kindle #1 in its category, first quarter, 2012. Jeff is featured in the NY Times, Forbes, Chicago Tribune, Businessweek, Fortune, Organized Executive, and Success.

Maintaining Career Perspective

Have you ever gone to lunch with a colleague and begun discussing ways to approach your work more effectively? After a few minutes, you’re both deep into the conversation, coming up with all sorts of great ideas on how to accomplish your tasks. However, when the waiter comes to take your order or bring your check, what happens?

The conversation dies down. When you both go back to work, those ideas are often forgotten or put on a back burner. Your discussion generated effective ways you can get things done that are now perhaps lost. If you consciously schedule a meeting for the sole purpose of letting the creative sparks fly, you’ll grab control of your time and have some of the most productive sessions you’ve ever had.

I meet with a mentor once a month in his dining room. At a cleared table, we sit across from each other with our digital recorders, discussing problems and issues that face us and ways we can overcome them. When we take our digital recorders home, we make notes on the what was recorded. We capture those ideas instead of letting them die.

When you come in contact with other people, you’re exposed to whole new worlds, their worlds. When you interact with another person, you get the benefit of his/her information, in addition to your own.

Look for other ways to shake up your routine for the insights and breakthroughs that may result. Every day and every moment holds great potential in achieving your goals.

The View from Above

Think about 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? Cars the size of ants. Miniature baseball diamonds. Hotels that look like Monopoly pieces. Life passing by. The same effect can take place at the top of a mountain or a skyscraper. As often as possible, when things seems to be racing by too fast, get to higher ground for a clear perspective of what needs to be accomplished.

If you’re among the lucky, perhaps you regularly allocate time for reflection or meditation. If you don’t, no matter. There are other ways to slow it all down. After the workday, listen to relaxing music with headphones and with your eyes closed. A half hour of your favorite music with no disturbances (and your eyes closed) can seem almost endless. When you re-emerge, the rest of the day takes on a different tone and you are able to get more done than you would have at your previous level of alertness.

Laugh at Life

How many times do you actually let out a good laugh during the day, especially during the work day? Five-year-olds reportedly laugh 113 times a day, on average. However, 44-year-olds laugh only 11 times per day. Something happens between the ages of 5 and 44 to reduce the chuckle factor.

Once you reach retirement, fortunately, you tend to laugh again. The trick is to live and work at a comfortable pace and have a lot of laughs along the way, at every age. When you proceed through the work day without humor, the days tend to be long and difficult.

Part of taking control of your career is being able to step back and look at the big picture, being able to see the lighter side of things. Some of your worst gaffes eventually evolve into the things you pleasantly recall, or your best ideas.

Keep Fighting for Perspective

By altering our personal perspectives — our perceptions, our response to stimuli, even the pace at which we proceed throughout the day — we have the opportunity to engage in our careers in a manner that is more manageable, less complex, and more enjoyable. The key is to develop a mindset that both acknowledges the multitude of items competing for one’s time and attention and concurrently acknowledge that one has the capabilities and the intelligence to rise above the fray.

You possess the distinct capability to adopt seemingly minor work-style changes that result in major gains in peace of mind and getting things done, and that:
  • Much of what seems urgent and compelling is not necessarily so.
  • Sometimes the single best strategy for facing challenging tasks is to slow down.
  • You have the ability to pause momentarily throughout the day to mentally, emotionally, and spiritually renew yourself.
  • By honing and refining your personal systems for accomplishment you will be more adept at handling crises big and small.
  • You can actually have a calming effect on those all around you.
  • Satisfaction with your work and your life can come in a continual, even stream.
Getting things done is more a mindset than a set of circumstances. You have the power to alter your thinking and your surroundings so as to accomplish more and maintain a sense of work-life balance.

Jeff Davidson is "The Work-Life Balance Expert®," is a preeminent time management authority, has written 65 mainstream books, and is an electrifying professional speaker, making 886 presentations to clients such as Lockheed Martin, Eckerd, Kaiser Permanente, IBM, American Express, Lufthansa, Swissotel, Re/Max, USAA, Worthington Steel, and the World Bank. Jeff is Executive Director of the Breathing Space Institute and the author of books such as:
  • Simpler Living (Skyhorse Publishing)
  • Dial It Down--Live it Up (Sourcebooks)
  • The 60 Second Innovator (Adams Media)
  • Breathing Space (CreateSpace)
  • Accomplishing Your Goals (Smart Guide Publications)
Jeff is the premier thought leader on work-life balance issues and has been widely quoted in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, USA Today, Businessweek, Forbes, and Fortune. Cited by Sharing Ideas Magazine as a "Consummate Speaker," Jeff believes that career professionals today in all industries have a responsibility to achieve their own sense of work-life balance, and he supports that quest through his website

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