In a demanding career, you need time to replenish. In his coaching practice, Ed Batista highlights the importance of rest – while acknowledging it’s not always fun.
“Restful activities that nourish us – a good night’s sleep, a meditation session, some quiet reflection – are often dull and may be actively unpleasant if in the moment we have a high need for engagement or stimulation,” he writes on his blog. At the same time, fun activities can be depleting, leaving us not well-rested.
So understand the distinction between them and make sure you are not avoiding nourishing activities that are dull or chasing fun activities that actually deplete you.
As you seek replenishment, one tactic might be to treat your weekend like a vacation instead of just another ordinary weekend. Research found that people who were asked to treat a weekend as a vacation were significantly happier on Monday morning than a control group who had treated it like a regular weekend.
Cassie Mogilner Holmes, an associate professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, says the people imagining they were on a vacation had an accompanying change of mindset. They were more mindful of and attentive to the present moment throughout their weekend’s activities, even if those activities hadn’t changed much from the norm. And even if you have to cram some work into the weekend, if you treat the rest of the time like a vacation it appears you will benefit.
But no, you can’t do it 52 times a year. She recommends saving it for when you really need a break.
- Coach Ali Polin says that in seeking balance in your life, you must understand that it’s about making the most of moments when they present themselves. For her, that may be making time to get a manicure with her daughter or reading books next to her son. “There is no secret to work-life balance other than being present no matter where you are and who you’re with. If when you’re working, you’re stressing about family, that’s not working. Similarly, if you’re with your family and 10,000 miles away mentally, with your head still at work, it’s not time well spent,” she says.
- Reconsider your fear of missing out on the latest bits information offered on social media. Cal Newport, a professor at Georgetown University and author of the new book Digital Minimalism, says that we are constantly searching through social media apps on our digital devices, fearful that if we don’t, we’ll lose out on something important and interesting. But that fear of missing out is actually leading to us missing out on life.We lose out on conversations and connection, with some indications that more social media use means higher likelihood of loneliness. So flip your fear of missing out from the latest social media dope to life itself.
- Think of your time as a power outlet strip, advises entrepreneur Jim Estill. Every socket has a plug in it, and to plug something else in, something has to be unplugged.
- Try the two-minute rule for meetings: blogger Scot Herrick recommends taking one minute to prep for each session and one minute to review afterward. That doesn’t sound like much, but in our busy life it can be a stretch. Prep includes what you want out of the meeting as well as who the probable attendees are and what they may be seeking. Review includes tasks you took on and commitment by others.
- To be successful you need almost too much self-belief. Entrepreneur Sam Altman says “the most successful people I know believe in themselves almost to the point of delusion." But balance it with self-awareness so it isn’t delusion.
- Communications consultant Carmine Gallo recommends a three-part story structure for answering questions. Boil everything down to three major points, as Apple CEO Tim Cook did when asked in an interview about the company’s stock. He set out three factors: a culture of innovation, a very large active installed base of products and the highest customer satisfaction, and then elaborated briefly on each point.
- Want to display urgency in communications? Text rather than e-mail, new research from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management shows.
- Research reveals that website visitors spend 80 per cent of their time “above the fold” – on the first screen of a page. So put your key points up high, says web designer Andy Crestodina.
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