Summertime – Where is the Living Easy?
My DNA includes a gene that some complain has become recessive in our culture. It’s a dominant gene in my family that sets me up to be on the move, on the hunt, working, striving, doing. I was impacted by how strong this inheritance is when I asked my grandmother on her 91st birthday how she was doing and she replied with a deep sigh, “I’m just too busy.” Incidentally, she lived to the age of 103! This trait can be both a good thing and a bad thing; no one can say I don’t have a strong work ethic but on the other hand, it can be hard to relax. This is particularly true for those who work from home, but that’s a subject deserving an entire post.
Since I’m an entrepreneur and work with many passionate business owners, I can testify that it’s normal when you are birthing a new idea or project to experience many sleepless nights and a crazy schedule. However, there comes a time when the baby needs to sleep through the night. A sustainable pace means you have to have down time!
A study published in Psychological Review, conducted by Dr. K. Anders Ericcson indicates that a key to great success is working hard and staying very intensely focused in short bursts of time. Then take a break.
The researchers noted that, “While completing a novel, famous authors tend to write only for 4 hours during the morning, leaving the rest of the day for rest and recuperation. Hence successful authors, who can control their work habits and are motivated to optimize their productivity, limit their most important intellectual activity to a fixed daily amount when working on projects requiring long periods of time to complete.”
The key is FOCUS, an increasingly rare commodity amidst the noise of email, voicemail, texts, tweets, IMs and the ever-growing platforms in social media.
The Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 law, states that 80 percent of output comes from 20 percent of the input. This principle has direct application to your time and productivity.
Taking time to play is part of productivity. Celebrate the work week by working hard this morning and leaving early today. It’s summertime. Splurge- taste the flavor of easy living at some point this weekend. Then you’ll be ready to run on Monday; refreshed and energized. Working hard and playing hard- you owe it to yourself to experience the balance. I can hear my grandmother singing it now, summertime…