In This Edition:
1. Another Year
2. Doing it to Ourselves
3. What About This Moment?
4. The Energetic Learn How to Pause
5. Parting Words
It’s the end of another year. Do you have more Breathing Space in your life than, say, a year ago? If not, perhaps it’s time to make some critical choices before the egg nog and candy canes divert your attention!
Doing it to Ourselves
The number of items competing for the time and attention of today’s business professionals, and the schedules they’re trying to balance and juggle, leave most people in a tizzy. When asked how things got to be so hectic, many respond in a way that is mystifying. Their response is similar to the situation where you walk into a room and see a child and a broken toy. You ask the child what happened to the toy. He simply shrugs and says, “It broke.”
Adults who are continually racing the clock to get things done are acting in ways analogous to the child who claims, “It broke.” Such adults are taking little responsibility for their hectic lives. They claim that they’re victims of circumstance.
Still, as one proceeds through work and life, presumably one begins to understand the importance of:
What About This Moment?
Living in the moment remains one of the most misunderstood, infrequently addressed, and seldom used human capabilities. Too few individuals have any experience or knowledge of living in the moment; it is lost among a flurry of activity — “busy-ness.” Living in the moment means proceeding through your day with vibrant expression and keen perception, with an intense awareness of your surrounding. It’s getting to work each day with the thought, “I’m alive, and this day is only starting.”
Living in the moment means being aware of your power in the present. While it is not a recipe for getting things done per se, it helps enormously. It is being able to observe the finely woven canvas of your career while you are in progress. It is giving yourself permission to be who you are. It is resting when you are tired. It means not having to constantly strive for something more.
Freed from the preoccupation that limits your experience of the moment, you may feel more present than you have in years, increasing your ability to focus and get things done.
Once you realize what it means to dwell in real time and how far you may have strayed from the mark, there are several things you can do to begin to catch up with today (or at least this week). Many are deceptively simple, but don’t let that obscure the powerful results they offer. Foremost is giving yourself permission to take time-outs at work as you deem them to be necessary.
The Energetic Learn How to Pause
Some of the most productive and energetic people in history learned how to pace themselves effectively by taking a few “time outs” each day. Thomas Edison would rest for a few minutes each day when he felt his energy level dropping.
Buckminster Fuller often worked for three or four hours, slept for 30 minutes, and then repeated the cycle. He found that in the course of a 24-hour period, he would get far more done than if he had followed traditional waking and sleeping patterns. While this approach isn’t for everyone, it worked for Bucky. By giving himself rest at shorter intervals, Fuller was able to extend his productive hours.
Remember, for most people, the time when they are least alert is between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Greatest alertness occurs between 9:00 a.m. and noon, and again from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Your alertness will vary depending on your own physiology and inclinations, as well as on the hours of consecutive duty, hours of duty in the preceding week, irregular hours, monotony of your job, timing and duration of naps, environmental lighting, sound, aroma, temperature, cumulative sleep deprivation over the past week, and much more.
Look for the time intervals within your own work week, and even weekend, when you are fully alert and productive in order to efficiently and effectively get things done.