Sunday, July 5, 2009

Scheduled, Overscheduled or Just Right?

Many of us are already overscheduled, so I know you don’t want to hear about more items for your calendar, but…

If you want to be ready to face all the competing demands of work, family, friends, the world, your public (okay, just wanted to make sure you were paying attention), you have to be disciplined in ways you may not be accustomed to considering.

Take food and exercise, for instance. How many hours do you go without eating? What happens after you’ve gone for 5 hours without food? Do you start getting tired? A touch irritable? Maybe you notice your thinking becoming a bit foggy. Do you snack? Little Debbies or Cliff Bars? How about exercise? How many times a week do you put in the magic 30 minutes?

In The Power of Full Engagement, Loehr & Schwartz argue that planning eating and exercise, along with sleep, breaks from work and lots of other useful routines, help us perform at higher levels. I’ve just written about some of these ideas relating to athletic performance in my newsletter about Maintaining Focus Under Pressure, but it’s not just for athletes.

No matter what your job, doctor, lawyer, Indian chief (oops, politically incorrect I’m sure), routines matter. I love the way Loehr & Schwartz talk about starting the day, when you’re fresh, with big projects, think pieces and the like, instead of checking your email. They also discuss taking time out for pleasurable activities and positive emotions, both of which are renewing.

And don’t forget to laugh…it might help you live longer, or at least stronger.

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