Did you know that the most productive people work 52 minutes and then take a 17-minute break? This came out of a recent study, but frankly, it’s not surprising. (My mom used to persuade me to rest regularly – I was a bit of an overachiever in school.)
While these kinds of definite pronouncements based on aggregate data always make me a little wary, I absolutely agree with the basic message: work less to achieve more – within reason.
In my experience as a life coach, the exact timing of work and rest varies greatly from one person to the next. I always encourage my clients to find their own sweet spot when it comes to switching focus or stepping away from a task.
What is your most productive on/off ratio? Stick to it and you’ll see vast improvements in your productivity. In any case, you’ll feel much more focused and relaxed when working.
Just because the summer is almost over doesn’t mean you have to give up daydreaming. Yes, lying on the beach or slowly sipping a drink while watching the sun go down over the mountain are ideal settings for letting the mind wander. But allowing yourself the time and space to explore your inner worlds can happen anywhere and at any time – with surprising benefits.
In his article Dreams of Glory, psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman encourages all of us to engage in regular “positive-constructive daydreaming.” Why? When daydreaming about our future, for example, we often focus on long-term goals and visualize achieving them which motivates us to take action.
Or we fantasize about telling our micro-managing boss off, feeling much better about ourselves. Once the anger is out, daydreaming about how to best approach him or her could even lead to having an actual constructive discussion about work responsibilities.
Most of all, daydreaming is joyous and helps us stay relaxed once the demands of post-vacation life take over again.
The onset of spring is a powerful time for new beginnings. But what if unfinished business is blocking nature’s push? An incomplete degree, a book that is missing its last chapter or a career change that ran out of steam, can make us feel demoralized and stuck.
Here is my suggestion: instead of half-heartedly launching a new venture, use this season’s energy to finish what is hanging over your head. What would it feel like to sit back and know that you finally did it – you can move on now?
In my life coaching experience, most people in this situation are actually much further ahead than they think. Therefore, the first order of business is to list everything that still needs to be done. Next, break down each item into small doable pieces and schedule when you are going to do the work.
Your action plan works best when it is both realistic and ambitious. Also make sure you give yourself a deadline – preferably a meaningful date like your birthday or an anniversary. Finally, make a commitment to your strategy and do something on your list today. Unfinished business be gone!
If this feels too overwhelming, ask a friend you trust to help you think through it and keep you on track along the way.
Anything that has been keeping you up at night for a long time might need more systematic support. To help people in your situation, I have developed a three-month program that specifically focuses on completing unfinished business. To find out how I can get you unstuck, contact me today to set up a free informational call. It’s worth a try!
1. After-Filing Party: Plan a celebration two weekends before taxes are due and tell invitees that they have to finish their taxes before coming. The highlight of the evening could be creating tasty drinks like green tax tea or a refund martini – shaken not stirred.
2. Tax-Filing Party: Get together with a bunch of friends and family and do your taxes at the same time. For best results, invite your accounting buddy. If you don’t have an accountant in your network, why not hire somebody to come to your party and help out where needed. It’s fun, it’s cheap and you get it done. (Hold the alcohol until after filing!)
3. Swap Returns: If your tax situation is rather simple, choose somebody you really trust and ask them to exchange tax duties – you do her’s and she does yours. It’s often easier to deal with a friend’s paperwork than with your own. Just double check the numbers before you file.
You might as well share the pain doing your taxes and the joy of being done!