There is an old Billy Joel song called “Running on Ice” that always seems to be showing up on my Ipod at the most interesting times in my life. How many times do we get so engrossed in what we are doing that we discover we are making absolutely no head way and running like a lunatic? What I also find is when that feeling hits it coincides with the emotionally and physically running on empty. It is when we are most vulnerable to illness, frustration, exasperation and feelings of no hope. The world does not stop for us, it keeps moving through major events such as death, birth, marriage and many other life altering events. The world keeps churning along one minute at a time whether we like it or not. In the USA we have the overwhelming habit of doing so many things at once we cannot keep track of them. We like to call it multi-tasking and call ourselves productive! More and more research is showing the amount of “productivity” does not increase we just force our minds to go back and forth between tasks ultimately not doing any of them to the best of our ability. I am not talking about getting fuel while you drop off your dry cleaning type multitasking more like that Iphone and talking with your kids or doing email and writing a report.
So with all this multitasking, cramming more and more into our 24 hour day and working 7 days a week we eventually reach a point of running out of gas. Now the great entrepreneurs all tell you they do not take vacations, they love work and stay 12 hours making the world go round. I can see understand some of this opinion as I can get immersed in work we do at 4D Success and the day is gone and half the night….HOWEVER! Is this best for everyone in their lives? Working constantly has an impact on social, family and overall health that does not show up until it bottoms out like divorce and kids leaving for college that you see the price paid. There must me a equilibrium established for everyone. When things do get out of that “balance” we see the results very quickly in our performance. Is it the same for me as Tom and John? No! Is it the same for every family member? No! Here lies the problems for supervisors and corporations. We impose vacation parameters, we stop accruals of vacations because people never take them and the company develops huge financial obligations for long term managers when the cash out! We are critical of employees that take too much time off and promote the hard nosed workaholics because they are dedicated.
We have this so backwards! If you have employees or you personally that take the time to recharge their batteries, refill the tank and step off the grid for two weeks the result is much more creativity less stress and longer term employees. Now is this true for everyone? No! If you have hired someone that is no good when they are there, they will not be any good when they return either and will take every hour and time you will give them all for bad reasons. This is a hiring problem not a time off problem! We also make the staffing so tight that if one person is gone we are floundering and we fail to cross train so people feel like they can take time off and not let others down in the process!
You cannot control corporate policies as an individual. There are companies all over the world that give astronomical amounts of vacation, leave and corporate holidays that you can work for so be selective if that is important to you. Since you cannot control the policies you better figure out how to make it happen for yourself in the day to day so you are not running on empty!
Ten things to fill the tank!
- Establish off the grid days for your family and for you.
- Vacations, staycations (vacations at home) and long weekends do wonders for the mind and spirit
- Work out. Richard Branson of the Virgin Group lists this as the most important thing he does to boost his success in work and life!
- Stop multitasking and take care of the top priorities one at a time
- Determine your life balance or equilibrium and track your success
- Have Fun!
- Be quiet and listen to others and your thoughts
- Journal your thoughts and dreams so they can leave the today pile in your mind and become subconscious efforts
- Eat healthy ( I know this kills number 6!) Food is part of our culture and celebrations, just have more good days than bad and include #3
- Recognize the signs for you and the ones you care about that you are running on empty and fix it. Even for 2 hours of your day.
At 4D Success we work hard and play hard every day either as a team or with our clients. We include fun in our seminars, our coaching and our maximizing performance potential programs. We have all spent time in environments that limited our creativity or time doing what we felt like was important and from that our corporate culture was established. We take time to get away, we may not make as much money, we may not have offices in 10 countries but we do make our time on this planet something that encourages the most critical things in our success. Keeping the tank full and the to do lists in the trash.