Today's post begins a 4-part mini-series to help you get what you want at work by examining a couple of ways to move you toward your ideal work destination.
Let's start simple: getting through today's tasks so you can move on to more important things, like VACATION.
You are taking a vacation this summer, right? (I think I heard you laugh just now). If you aren't set up for a break, work will break YOU. You have 20 reasons why you are chaining yourself to your desk (or other equipment), and NONE of them are more important than giving your mind and body a chance to refresh itself.
It's Brain Science
Brain research shows this: Continuous daily work without downtime actually DECREASES your effectiveness and productivity.
Purposeful breaks reduce your stress up to 68%, and drastically reduces your risk for heart attacks (learn more in this Harvard Business Review article) -You age FASTER, and are likely to DIE younger.
The 52:17 Formula
It seems that 52 minute work intervals with 17 minute breaks are the magic break numbers. Check out this article from Fast Company that outlines the study.
Reflection and For-flection
A second way to get to your ideal result is to start your day in reflection and "for-flection" (thinking about what you will do differently today). This is NOT brain science, it's more like common sense.
Start with 15 minutes. Go to a quiet place and jot down your thoughts about the previous day. Then make a list of what you want to do differently today. Build up to 30 minutes. Take a moment to read a devotion, pray, or find a quote that you want to hang onto for the day. Write it down and carry it with you.Journals really work- get one! We like to see progress and journals help us track that. It also jogs our memory and keeps us focused.
From Burn-out to Bright Bulb
True story- I was a hard charger in Corporate America, sleeping up to the minute until I absolutely had to get up, get coffee, and get out the door to solve learning and leadership development world peace. I continually burned myself out, never taking vacations until I was forced to. Even then, I would only take a couple of days at a time.
I look back at photos of myself and I was wrought with aging stress and health issues. Once I changed my approach, I began to have a sense of calm, clearer thinking, and better solutions at work. People started telling me "Wow, you are glowing! What's going on?" The change started erasing my health issues- and my wrinkled forehead.
Stay tuned for Part 2- Getting What You Want at Work through Eliminating FEAR I'm headed to vacation this week. I will be thinking about you while I'm on the beach.
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Angela Nuttle is an author, speaker, talent remodeler™, and consultant in talent and organizational development. As founder of The School of Executive Presence, she teaches business people how to show up with executive presence. She also works directly with CEOS, Business Leaders, and HR Teams to develop people, potential, and processes that create productive and profitable business environments. To learn more about her experience with Fortune 500 companies and relevant solutions, visit www.corporatetalentexpert.com or www.schoolofexecutivepresence.com.
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1 U.S. Bureau of the Census, Sixteenth Census of the United States: 1940 Population, vol. 3, "The Labor Force. Occupation, Industry, Employment, and Income," part 1: United States Summary (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1943), p. 5. Available online at www.census.gov/prod/www/decennial.html.