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Do You Feel the Rhythm

From work, family and everything in between clamoring for your attention and participation, we all are tremendously overwhelmed. The constant ding and vibrations of our phone to a calendar filled with stacked meetings, appointments, ball games and dance recitals is too much for even the most efficient and effective person. How long can you continue on this path? If you don’t change anything, what do you think will happen? You’re constantly on! How’s it working for you?

It’s time to find the rhythm and let go of balance. Just as a rollercoaster ride goes up and down, around and back again, so does your life at work and at home. 

If you haven’t figured it out yet, then I’ll say it. There is no balance! When many of us say, “I just need a few minutes to recover,” or “I”m just out of sorts today,” we’re stating we’re overwhelmed and just need to find a better way to balance everything out. You know your own situation intimately and are so close to it it’s difficult to step back and take an honest look at what you can do to resolve the “lack of time” – the one precious commodity we cannot duplicate, recover or rejuvenate. You have the capacity to view your personal and professional situation through a different lens, a different perspective if you will.

Here are a few suggestions we’ve shared with our clients, friends and business associates they’ve adopted:

Technology. Since we are connected to the global community 24/7, we tend to react like Pavlov’s dog each time we hear the ding and feel the buzz from our phones. It’s a constant grab’n look and for many of us, we’re responding to every text, email, and post.

Change Your Notifications. There are several strategies at play here. For many of us we have multiple email accounts. Two simple things you can adopt today that will have a profound effect on your sanity and dog-like reaction to every buzz and ding.

Use the DND (do not disturb) feature and include the top 3-5 people you feel you must respond to their every whim, wish and knee-jerk reaction. Make those people your favorites. When emails, calls and texts arrive from outside of those most important people in your life, they will still be there just without the sound and haptic feel.

We’ve had several clients tells us how liberating it was to know that even though they’re still connected 24/7, they don’t have to listen and feel every incoming barrage. If that strategy sounds too drastic for you, then consider this one. Turn the sound and vibration off every email account with one exception. Now schedule time in your calendar, 45 minutes to be exact twice a day (once in the mid-morning and once towards late afternoon), to review your other email accounts.

For your social media accounts, those of you who are not using automated posting or you’re a “blue checkmark,” schedule 15 minutes in your calendar, again twice in your day, to catch up on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and so forth. I hear the, “I can’t do that”s…I’ll ask you again, how’s it working for you. You’re going to get the same results if you keep on the way your living your life without any change or adaptation.

Low-Tech. Research has proven taking as little as 30 minutes of alone time each day does wonders for your physical, mental and emotional health. Some have even suggested you take a 2-hour block one day per week and do nothing but think, Stephen Covey called this one tactic in his Sharpen the Saw step, “Solitude.” Many of you aren’t even taking time out for lunch or you’re eating at your desk which is horrible to your health.

You’ll bitch and grumble about a colleague who seems to always be on break or extended lunches with no recrimination to their behavior while you slave away…I gotcha! The low-tech response is to take 30-45 minute blocks a couple times each day to do nothing. Just rest. More on this later in this post.

There are strategies to leverage your calendar to be more effective and find more rhythm in your day without being a slave to Outlook, Google or ScheduleMe. My hope is to jog your mind in a way where you can uncover what’s best for you today, NOW, so you become more effective, efficient and happy.

Many of our executive clients go from meeting to meeting for 6-plus hours each day and work at their desk another 6 hours because of the interruption. I’m unable to solve that problem in this post, however, I will suggest you’re doing two things. 1) You’re attending every meeting because you think you HAVE TO when in reality you don’t. You’re grown-ass men and women who can make decisions and communicate with your peers and superiors in a professional way that leverages your time and results while building effective professional relationships.  2) Some of you are going to meetings just to avoid work and find a way to attend and check out mentally to get away from the noise and BS you deal with daily. Both of these responses suggest a bigger issue within your company. Call me, we can resolve that environment for you, too!

The solution is to block off your calendar for you time. If you don’t take time for you, then there will be no YOU left. Wall Street and Main Street are littered with the bodies of Rockstars and gurus who’ve flamed out, died or have checked-out altogether because they, too tried to balance it all. Here’s the deal – go surf the internet and look for a video of a surfer.

Watch how they paddle out to be in a position to catch a wave. They don’t attempt to ride every way, do they? No, they select the one that best suits them. When they see one that catches their eye, they paddle like hell to get out in front of it, not waiting for it to bury them, they go OUT to it. They then pop up and begin to ride the wave, roll up the lip, hit the edge, cover the crest and spill it down towards the beach. Sometimes it’s a great rush and sometimes they wipe out. There only balance is ON the board. It’s NOT in the wave itself. Quit trying to stay in balance in your daily routine of life. Have a balanced life of what’s important to you physically, mentally and emotionally. Remember, it’s the rhythm of your ego, your results and your relationships that deliver a successful life of joy and fulfillment.

Now, here’s a BONUS for you in terms of finding rhythm:

REST. Not only do you need to be accustomed to rest, you must practice it. What should be included in your time of rest? The solitude of your beliefs, thinking, and practices. A normal expression of who you are is learning to rest.

If we see rest as a purely physical act, we will struggle to fully engage with its power. Rest does not start with the body. It starts in the spirit and works its way to every other area of our lives. In the proper rhythm of life, rest is as spiritual an act as prayer, fasting, giving, and going. They are all part of the whole; all part of a perfect plan for our lives.

As you’re going a hundred miles an hour, now is the time to get out there to do your business and crank up the machine. Now is the moment to maximize your message and its impact. Now is the time to re-double all efforts to make your dreams a reality…

That’s how many of us might react when we’re on top of the wave, but take care to slow everything down and take an occasional break. What courage, what security, and what rest? At the height of success, think of greater things, your purpose, and teach others a powerful lesson. The crowd can wait, but rest cannot.

Allow yourself to be replenished, to be rejuvenated, and you will be more empowered to give out and serve your world.

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