"Be considerate and intentional with your life decisions. Rather than let life happen to you, author the story of your life. Author and philosopher Howard Thurman says it best with, ‘Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.’"
Hopefully you are enjoying your weekend and not dreading the arrival of another Monday. Here are a few tips that may make your week pleasant and productive.
For an energizing morning start your busy days with a peaceful routine.
Hitting the snooze button and rationalizing why you should skip your AM workout?
But if you’re going to do that, it might not be so bad to wake up on the wrong side of the bed…
Dreading another long week sitting next to your heavy mouth breathing, argumentative co-worker?
- Maybe this Co.Labs piece about Emotional Intelligence will help you understand him a little bit better.
And here is a good reason to get your zen on…
4 Ways To Prevent Burnout Before It’s Too Late
This is what happens when you log one too many Red Bull-fueled 80-hour work weeks:
I remember coming home and curling up into a ball. I was so emotionally and physically exhausted, I couldn’t even move. My productivity was cut to nothing. The next day at the office, I found myself just staring into my computer, for hours. No movement, just staring.
- Exhaustion: feeling over-extended by your work
- Depersonalization: feeling alienated from your work
- Personal accomplishment: feeling like you can never get enough done
John Coates’ book, The Hour Between Dog And Wolf, goes deep into the physiology of stress. In it he observes that exhaustion, fatigue, and anxiety are all “messages sent from our body telling us what actions we should take”—which means that we need to listen closely. To get an idea of how, read our excerpt.
As the Burnout Inventory suggests, burnout isn’t only physical, but also emotional.
An antidote, then, is to do work that’s meaningful.
Thing is, you won’t have time to ponder the meaning of your days if you’re filled up with meaningless tasks.
If we don’t carve out the time to reflect, we sure won’t.
And remember: busy is the new lazy.
Finally, you won’t be able to think unless you eat well.
According to Dumont, “eating the right food can help extend your runway.”
And eating with the right people can extend your network.
[Image: Flickr user Jan]
Busy Is The New Lazy
If you’re telling everybody that you’re busy all the time, it’s time to rethink your ideas about productivity.
So why do we keep doing all this humblebragging about how busy we are? It’s a question Choi investigates thoughtfully: She observes that people who are “legitimately occupied” with work or family rarely play the “too busy” card (clearly, we don’t know the same people)—or, may even go out of their way to make a connectionbecause they’ve been so swamped.
To Choi, when we say “busy,” we’re really trying to say something else—although what exactly that might be depends on the harried soul that’s complaining.
She supplies some translations:
I’m busy = I’m important.
Being busy gives people a sense they’re needed and significant, Choi says. It’s also a sign saying that you’re about to be on-ramped into somebody’s misguided ego trip.
I’m busy = I’m giving you an excuse.
Saying that you’re busy is a handy way to outsource your responsibility to your irresponsibility. Since you’re always distracted, you don’t have to do anything for anybody.
I’m busy = I’m afraid.
Look above at the “I’m important” part. Whether the speaker knows it or not, complaining of busyness is a subtle cry for help, one that reassures us that yes, we are in demand.
In this way, busyness functions as a kind of laziness. When we fill our schedules with appointments and hands with phones, we divest ourselves of downtime. When we’re endlessly doing, it’s hard to be mindful of what we’re doing.
Of course, it’s a interdependent issue. It’s hard to have downtime if your bosses subscribe to what Anne Marie Slaughter calls our time macho culture, “a relentless competition to work harder, stay later, pull more all-nighters, travel around the world and bill the extra hours that the international date line affords you.”
But don’t let that excuse suffice. You can convince your bosses—if you know how to approach the conversation.
How The Pope Does Mindfulness
Can a 500-year-old, 5-minute technique help you manage your day (Catholicism not required)?
Chris Lowney, who went from being a Jesuit seminarian to a managing director at JP Morgan, writes about the practice for HBR. It’s simple enough: You just make five minutes in the middle of your day and again at the end for a quick check-in with yourself. Lowney describes the practice in three steps:
- First, remind yourself why you are grateful as a human being.
- Second, lift your horizon for a moment. Call to mind some crucial personal objective, or your deepest sense of purpose, or the values you stand for.
- Third, mentally review the last few hours and extract some insight that might help in the next few hours. If you were agitated, what was going on inside you? If you were distracted and unproductive, why?
Have a mindful day! Want some good science-based reasons why?
Mindfulness is a very specific kind of mental exercise for our brains, and it develops certain areas of our brains.
The areas that are exercised when we practice mindfulness have to do with what we call ”direct experience.” When we’re experiencing something directly, we’re fully enveloped by whatever we’re doing. We are not thinking about the past, the future, or even about ourselves.
…Our life circumstances don’t even need to change outwardly to see the improvements in our quality of life. We tend to appreciate, and become more grateful for the way things are. By noticing more of what’s happening right now, we disengage from what happened in the past, and what might happen in the future. Our experiences feel enriched and have more meaning.
Here are some more tips on mindfulness from Fast Company:
Fast Company on Mindfulness and Meditation:
In Fast Company’s 6 Steps To A More Mindful Company Culture mindfulness is defined as;
"paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally."
The article goes on to say;
“A mindful corporate culture will value substance over style, and stress single-minded focus over multi-tasking. Most importantly, it will focus on sensing and responding to what customers are doing right now.”
Here is mindfulness guru Ron Alexander’s Method for Mindfulness Meditation:
- Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position, or in a straight-backed chair with your feet on the floor, or lie down. If seated, close your eyes gently; if you lie down, keep your eyes slightly open.
- Set an alarm. Try meditating for between 12 and 20 minutes.
- Concentrate on your breath as it enters and leaves your nostrils, or on the rise and fall of your belly.
- When thoughts, feelings, or sensations arise, don’t try too hard to push them away. Mentally acknowledge them, but then try to concentrate anew on your breathing.
How do you practice mindfulness in your life and in your work?
Want more on mindfulness?
[Image: Google PicassaWeb][Post: m.cecelia bittner]