Many of my clients are working harder than smarter. This is not a put-down of their intelligence. It is a statement about the conventions of the way most of us live and work. Without a concerted effort to step back and take an objective look at how we function day in and day out, we find ourselves subject to old ways of doing things without periodic checkups to see if they are working.
The first step to changing the high stress road to burnout approach to your work day is to build in "joy breaks" or mini refreshers. It is not true that you get more done if you don't stop for lunch or other refreshing breaks during the day. On the contrary, I always remember the days I sat at my desk searching for a solution to a particular problem. I tried very hard to come up with the answer and was not successful.
In the afternoon of the second day, I threw my hands in the air, exasperated, and went out to pull a few weeds from my garden. That's when the light bulb went off and I had the answer.
In order to have meaningful joy breaks a plan is necessary. Start by making a list of things you consider fun and refreshing that can be done in 5 or 10 minutes, a half hour, an hour or more. Then list the supplies you will need to have on hand when you want to do that activity: magazines, puzzles, a musical instrument, books, CD's, running shoes, Legos, phone numbers of friends or family, gardening gloves, crayons, paints, jelly beans, yoga instructions, a basketball, a movie schedule, etc. Make sure that your breaks have NOTHING to do with your work.
You will experience even more benefits than feeling refreshed. You will start thinking out of the box, be more creative, productive, and make better decisions. You will also notice that there are more facets to your personality than are reflected in your work. You may remember old interests you forgot about or discover new talents you would like to develop. Your joy breaks will bring more joy to your daily life and make you a more pleasant person to be around.
At some point you may want to take a closer look and examine in greater depth how you are spending not only your work life, but your whole life. Are you actually doing what you are supposed to be doing in the world? We will take a deeper look into that in the future.
Master your next level and enjoy the journey.
About The Author
Dorene Lehavi, Ph.D. is principal of Next Level Business and Professional Coaching. She coaches Professionals and Business Partners and teaches teleclasses on techniques to break through barriers to the next level. Dr. Lehavi offers a complimentary coaching session so you can experience how coaching can work for you. Contact Dr. Lehavi at DL@CoachingforYourNextLevel.com or on the web at http://www.CoachingforYourNextLevel.com Subscribe to Mastering Your Next Level monthly e-newsletter at http://www.coachingforyournextlevel.com/newsletter.html