Taking a Break from an Unforgiving Schedule
By Kaylus Horton, Path™ Coach
Jun 30, 2011 - 3:28:20 PM
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
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).
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?”
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
In his book
One Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard
“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
if you feel that you can benefit
from having this article customized into a coaching experience just
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
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