Faith that others will see the problem driving you to write your book. For me, that problem continues to be the:
Disappearance, over the past two decades, of the clocks and walls that used to tell us where work ended and the other parts of our life began, and
Lack of understanding how to use the increased flexibility in how, when and where we work to be our best.
Faith that your solution will be understood and have impact. In this radically new reality, knowing how to manage the way work fits into life, day-to-day, is a modern skill set we all need to succeed, but few of us have.
Harness the power of small actions at work, in their career and in their personal lives,
Use the increased flexibility in how, when and where we work, and
Build a foundation of well-being, order and performance, on and off the job.
Finally, faith that the problem and solution you’ve spend years articulating will help even one person. Thankfully, six months after the release of TWEAK IT, the book and community, it looks like my faith has paid off!
This week I appeared on CNBC’s Street Signs to comment on a new study that shows the United States of America is the only rich, Western country to offer NO paid, mandatory vacation. None. Zip. Zero.
Of course, afterwards I thought of a great comeback to host Brian Sullivan’s Renault curveball…”But I have driven a BMW, and Germany mandates 34 days off, versus France’s 31 days.” Oh well.
It’s not as if the other countries are only marginally better, offering two, or maybe three, mandatory, paid vacation days. Nope. The country second to last on the list before the U.S., Japan, mandates ten days. Ten.
Now, I’m not under any illusion that the U.S. will offer European, or even Canadian, level paid days off; however, the simple fact is that every single one of these countries can’t be wrong. There must be some valuable return from this investment or they wouldn’t keep doing it. What is it?
What can we learn and then adapt to our culture and economy? What should mandatory, paid vacation and holidays look like in the U.S.?
No one is going to tap us on the shoulder and say, “hey, get out of here and hit the beach.” WE have to take the initiative to schedule periodic getaways IN ADVANCE based on the time available to us, our budget, etc.
Yes, I know you are busy. Yes, I know it can be overwhelming to plan a trip.
Yes, I know it’s a hassle to get out of the office before you leave and then deal with emails, etc. when you get back.
Yes, I know because I feel the exact same way.
But I also understand that when too much time has elapsed between breaks, the well runs dry. I start to go through the motions at work but quality suffers.
“Plan a quarterly getaway. Start to consider an overnight. It could be one night, or it could be a weekend-type trip. It doesn’t have to be wildly expensive. You could go camping. You could stay at a Motel 6. It doesn’t really matter where you’re sleeping. What matters is that when you go, you’re actually immersing yourself in the culture of wherever it is you head. And by that, I mean, if you’re going to go to the Ozark Highlands of Missouri, get out and hike. Get a kayak and go paddle some of the rivers. Try some of the hole-in-the-wall type restaurants with food that you would never in a million years consider getting in your hometown.”
Enjoy! Be sure to tell me where you go this summer AND then how you felt when you got back.
Love it or hate it, technology has infiltrated every part of our lives.
Not only has it erased the boundaries that used to tell us where work ends and the other parts of life begin, but the distraction of technology has changed the way we think and focus. Not necessarily for the better.
According to author and “distraction” expert, Maggie Jackson, technology has become an “invisible appendage” for many of us.
She believes that our constant reactivity to the demands of technology is diffusing the quality of our thoughts and undermining the integrity of everyday moments.
We have to “handle our minds before we handle our devices” so that we can enjoy the many benefits of technology while maintaining the focus, awareness and executive attention that are critical to creativity and quality life experience.
At the beginning of our talk, Jackson shares why it’s important to manage distraction, why we often get stuck, and offers small “tweaks” to get started building more focus time into your busy, every day work+life fit.
But at about minute 7:25, Jackson goes into more fascinating detail about the different forms of attention–Focus, Awareness, and Executive Attention.
She explains how she tailors the simple steps she takes to maintain attention in her own work+life fit based upon the type of attention she is trying to achieve. For example, the “tweaks” for focus are different than for awareness.
Then we end our discussion with Jackson talking about her new project. She is writing a book about the reflective mind, or how, once you’re able to minimize distraction, what do you do with that time of reflection?
What small meaningful steps do you take day-to-day to manage the distraction of technology and build in time for attention, focus and reflection?