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Columns : Coaching for the Workplace - Kaylus Horton Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

Taking a Break from an Unforgiving Schedule
By Kaylus Horton, Path™ Coach
Jun 30, 2011 - 3:28:20 PM

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Recently, during a dialogue with a client I listened as they shared how weary they were as a result of an unforgiving schedule and workload and they really benefited from resting over the weekend.  

The descriptions of their weary state and how revived they felt heightened my awareness of what they experienced a I know what it is like to experience extreme fatigue and borderline burnout from work and its demands. As the Client shared I drew a mental reference of a computer and got a new perspective on "rest" and how essential it is for productivity and sustenance.  

So ... what would it be like if we periodically treated our bodies like we do our computers putting it in one of the following modes:  turn off, standby restart or switch user?  

I began to explore how each mode relates to our bodies and the big picture called LIFE; here is what I came up with (I don't know it all, nor will I pretend to, so do share your insights and learning's so that we may all grow together).  

Standby ~ taking short periodic breaks to take a nap, get a breather, stretch, change your scenery, eat a meal or experience a get-a-away trip.  Standby means is take a break from the normal routine leaving less critical items pending until your return.   During our one hour lunch breaks many of us have used this time do other things such as banking, school pick up, pay utility bills, grocery shopping and many other “errands” that seemingly minimize our time to take a break and in most times eat a meal. I recall being guilty of this, having returned to work heated, tired, frustrated and hungry, forced to supplement lunch with a hot cup of tea and whatever bready item was available in the vending machine. What if we were able to use our lunch break as a break at least three of the five working days?  I know two Associates who have implemented this habit of using lunch for lunch. The first Associate of whom I speak prefers to eat lunch in their car parked under a big tree in their workplace parking lot, this became their preferred spot as its cool,  quiet and there a no interruptions to read the newspaper and nap if only for five (5) minutes.  The other Associate prefers to eat lunch in the workplace kitchen, thereafter, reclining in the chair or laying their head on the table to nap if only for ten (10) minutes.  I know others who park their cars on the beach and those who sit on a bench to have lunch.   Lunch for Lunch! How realistic could this be for you?  

Turn Off ~ times when we feel the need to step away from everything, isolating ourselves, limiting our interactions with others face to face and all types of tech-communication to rest, rejuvenate, refresh and re energize; hence, the rising popularity of retreat spas. As I write, I remember my dear Aunt Liz, whom I spent many summers with her and her husband my uncle Anthony (he was really my cousin) and their four children.  What I remember most about Aunt Liz, now a retired nurse is that we the children knew to honour her sacred rule:  When she comes home from work, do not bother her for anything about anything for at least thirty (30) minutes.  When she came in, she would take off her shoes go to the kitchen, reach for a straw then out of the refrigerator something soft and cool to drink which usually a Pepsi and lay on the couch or lounge in the recliner.  She always said “I need to catch myself.”  How many of use could benefit from having tine to “catch ourselves?”  

Restart ~ I do this often especially when stalled in what I am doing. I would walk away from a project to focus on something else. Once I feel refocused with a clear action plan I would return to start where I left off.  For me the time to restart can never be estimated, sometimes all that is needed is an hour, a day or a week, and in writing this article I have come to realize that a few projects have been in the "off" position for years.  Remember my Aunt Liz whom I told you about? In continuation of her story, her restart was indeed a Restart - when Aunt Liz got up, she was up and she would really kick into high gear by starting to cook dinner, inspecting what household chores we children left undone, making and returning telephone calls and preparing “whatever” for the next day.  When she got moving, things moved fast and orderly. For us we children used her thirty minute break a our last minutes to play, finish chores, redo chores if we knew she would not be pleased and prepare ourselves to be called about to do something “right now” as he said in her soft southern bell tone of voice.    

Switch User ~ Especially if I am contacted by a client who requests coaching for a specific agenda that I confidently know is outside my specialty, I gladly refer them to a coach whose specialty may be more suited for their agenda. For those of us with assistants and family at work and home, switching users may include delegating tasks and chores respectively.  John Maxwell, noted Author Best Selling Author and Speaker recommends that we should apply 80% of our time and focusing on the top 20% of our priorities and responsibilities. Imagine what your life would be like if you applied this principle?  

As I explored these similarities I found it interesting that a computer knows when it has had enough and needs shut down and restart. I don't particular like when this happens, especially if without it occurs without warning as the computer overrides my intentions to stay on demanding to be shut down and, if I fail to heed its instruction it has the capability to shut itself down and restart.  

In his book The One Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard writes;

“There is a difference between interest and commitment. When you are interested in doing something you do it when it is convenient.  When you are committed to something, you accept no excuses.”  

If our computer requires similar essentials like our bodies, what then does this say to us about us?  

I would really like to hear from you.  Share your insights and feedback and let us learn, grow and share.  Contact us http://www.renaissancebahamas. com/Contact_Us.html if you feel that you can benefit from having this article customized into a coaching experience just for YOU!  

Inspired and inspiring others to rest,


Copyright @ 2011 Kaylus Horton  

Kaylus Horton is the Principal of Renaissance Group of Companies. As a Certified Path Coach she facilitates learning and discovery for the focus, direction and the pursuit of vision.  Coaching sessions are facilitated one on one, as apart of a group, retreat or customized workshop for the workplace.    

For more information about coaching in the workplace visit www.renaissancebahamas.com or send an E-Mail: info@renaissancebahamas.com

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Coaching for the Workplace - Kaylus Horton
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