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.

Take A Break From the Rat Race and Recharge

It’s easy to get caught up in the same old routine, leading to boredom and lack of fulfillment. If you find your life running in a repetitive manner, take a break and try something new or out of the ordinary.

Recharging Yourself

The value of periodically abandoning the rat race, or your personal rat race, is that it gives you the opportunity to recharge yourself. What would it be like if you could recharge yourself like a rechargeable battery? What if you could have that old zip and zest, or a twinkle in your eye, when you came into work? What if you could have the stamina to put in a full workday, but still leave with lots of energy?

Like many people, I watched Johnny Carson as his 32 years on television came to a close. I was particularly curious to see who the guests would be (You may recall this was the second-to-last show. His last show was a replay of scenes from the past thirty-two years).

Johnny Carson’s last guests were the now departed Robin Williams and Bette Midler. Why these two people of the thousands of possibilities? Many actors and actresses, comedians, and other types of entertainers would have given an arm or a leg to be on this celebrated show, which attracted tens of millions of viewers. I brought this question up with friends, and after tossing about several possibilities, we came up with what has to be the answer:
  • Robin Williams was one of the highest energy males Johnny Carson could have had as a guest.
  • Bette Midler was one of the highest energy females Johnny Carson could have had as a guest.
Both performers displayed energy in every aspect of their being. As a showman, Johnny Carson learned quickly that what you offer to your audience is energy. The same is true with you and your career; what you offer to your employee, or your customers or your co-workers, is energy. The more positive energy you offer, the greater your returns in terms of the wages you earn, the business you generate, or the synergy you achieve.

How can you recharge yourself, and rev up your energy level, if you’re not willing to occasionally drop back and punt? Do you think that Chris Rock, or any other seemingly high energy comedian, charge on at full throttle all of the time? No way. How can you possibly exude high energy if you plow ahead day after day at the same old grind, shortchanging your sleep, shortchanging your rest, and perhaps not even taking any true vacations?

How to Have a Leisure Seizure

When you feel ready to live life at a more leisurely pace, whether or not you’re taking time off from work, signs appear. You wake naturally without an alarm clock, and have time to reflect each morning. If it is a workday, you leave the office on time at the end of the day, engrossed with what you’ll do next, without any thoughts of work.

If you’re ready to drop back and punt, but aren’t quite ready to take a huge chunk of time away from work, here’s some things you can do right where you are, to proceed with your life at a more leisurely pace:
  • Play with your child for hours on a Saturday afternoon without any concern for time.
  • Eat dinner early in the evening, and have time to take a stroll or enjoyable activities.
  • Resubscribe to the local community theater’s fall series–and actually attend.
  • Re-engage in one of your hobbies with renewed enthusiasm.
  • Make a new friend about once a month. From where? Who knows. They start showing up because you’ve allowed the time to have it happen.
  • Book a cruise or cross-continental trip, maybe for the first time, or the first time in years.
  • Volunteer for a charitable or civic activity where you’ve long wanted to help, but until now have not taken any action.
  • View a sunrise at least once a month, and perhaps weekly.
  • View many, many sunsets each month.
  • Frequent some of the area’s best parks and feed the ducks.

Ten Ways to Know When You Need to Drop Back and Punt

In descending order, here’s a list of indications that you have let things slide a tad too long:
  1. You believe that Lebron James still plays for the Miami Heat.
  2. You know that Margaret Thatcher is no longer prime minister of Great Britain, but you haven’t found out who is.
  3. You’re not sure what “Forrest Gump” means. You think it’s some type of growth at the foot of a tree.
  4. You recently drove to the local record store only to find that they no longer sell records.
  5. You’re on the last notch of your favorite belt, and it’s still way too tight.
  6. You’re looking forward to your 10th high school reunion, when you realize it’s actually your 15th (or 20th!).
  7. You’re not only eating lunch at your desk, you’re starting to eat dinner at your desk.
  8. Your boss keeps asking you to take a vacation.
  9. Your wallet is twice as thick as your index finger.
  10. Your kid sees you walking up the sidewalk steps and asks, “Can I help you, sir?”

The ability to withdraw occasionally from the maddening crowd is crucial in this frenzied society, yet many people can’t because the impetus of too much work feeds on itself–the more they work, the more they work. Until we learn to see the fault in our fast-paced lives, until we learn how to drop back and punt, we will forever be chasing the clock–and missing out on our lives.

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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