Friday, November 13

Time for A Break - Guest Post

TIME FOR A BREAK

Ever hear someone quip, “I know hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance on being the first victim?”

It’s good for laughs, but it’s based on false premises. Hard work has killed many people, and its typical murder weapon is a decade or two of emotional overexertion. Workaholics never stop running to keep up with little inner whispers: “Finish this… don’t forget the deadline… don’t forget the next item… get this right… you must… you have to…”

Your car wouldn’t tolerate being driven 24/7 indefinitely. Neither will your body. People who “never have time to rest” tend to eventually get their rest in the hospital—or the cemetery.

We all know as much, but our lip service to “time off” typically loses out to the idea that “the more I work now, the sooner I’ll build up a million-dollar retirement account—and then I can rest.” But once we get into the perpetual-motion habit, no amount of money in the bank ever seems enough. The time to rest is briefly but frequently—starting now.

To develop the frequent-rest habit without becoming lazy: 
  •  Get up every hour for a five-minute break. Stretch, visit the bathroom, or look out the window.
  • Go to bed seven to nine hours before you plan to get up—or take an afternoon nap.
  • Practice deep breathing and other forms of physical and mental relaxation. A church or other religious center, or a yoga or meditation course, can provide guidance.
  • Take one full day off every week—and use it for real rest, not for home maintenance (unless you find “handy” work genuinely relaxing).
  • Take at least one full week of vacation—preferably two to eight—every year. And do leave home during vacation time, and don’t bring your laptop along.
Surprisingly, people who take frequent breaks are more productive. They rebuild depleted energy faster. They are less mentally distracted. And they dread their work less. (A frequent cause of working frantically, yet getting nowhere, is fear of starting the really important tasks.)

By all means, work hard. But don’t let it take over—and maybe destroy—your whole life.

For more information:
·        How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie, Chapter 23, “How to Add One Hour a Day to Your Waking Life.”
www.timeday.org
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Katherine Swarts is a full-time freelance writer specializing in articles, for business newsletters and blogs as well as magazines. (Visit her Web site at www.spreadthewordcommercialwriting.com) She lives in Houston, Texas. Her favorite spare-time activities are reading, bird-watching, attending community events, and writing Christian poetry (she maintains a devotional/poetry blog at http://newsongsfromtheheart.blogspot.com)

Tuesday, November 10

First Things First - Guest Post

I know I told you all I'd be having a short hiatus but in the interim I still wanted to provide you would some good quality information. That's why I have a guest blogger, Katherine Swarts who has been so considerate enough to share her insight on a couple of topics that provide direction to help you avoid stress.  So without further ado...

FIRST THINGS FIRST
Working on the Priority System

You’ve heard it before: If you fail to plan, you might as well plan to fail. That holds particularly true for home-office workers with no nagging supervisors and no paychecks during idle times.

And, too often, few rewards for busy times—because many home-office workers keep busy with the wrong things.

Letting the urgent crowd out the important is a habit almost impossible to overcome without planning. If you’ve been saying that “someday” you’ll learn social networking or build a long-term marketing plan, now is the time to turn “someday” into now.

Start by organizing your work days on a priority system:

·        Make a master list of tasks: things you know you should do; things you’re already doing regularly or have scheduled for set times; things you’ve thought about doing someday. Divide complicated projects (“earn a master’s degree”) into segments (“look up 20 schools”; “contact top 10 choices”; “send applications to top 3 choices”; etc.).
·        Assign a “priority value” to each task:
o       A: very important to long-term business goals.
o       B: pretty important to either long-term goals or effective daily operations.
o       C: might be helpful but can wait; or, won’t be important for at least a month. (Don’t use this category as an excuse to procrastinate on starting big projects. Assign A or B importance to whatever parts should be done now.)
o       D: nothing to lose by scrapping the whole idea.
·        Organize tasks within each category: A1 for the most important task, A2 for the second most important, and so on.
·        Most people spend an embarrassing amount of time on Cs and Ds. As the first step out of that habit, pinpoint what time of day your energy level is at its peak: are you a morning person or a night person? Start each day’s A1 task, followed by A2 and A3, when you’re physically and mentally at your best. Save Cs and low Bs for lower-energy periods.
·        Begin or end (whichever works best for you) each day by reviewing and reprioritizing the list.
·        Enjoy increased productivity and success!

For more information:
·        How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life by Alan Lakein
·        The KISS Guide to Organizing Your Life by Donald Wetmore
·        The Productivity Institute (http://www.balancetime.com/)
www.stephencovey.com
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Katherine Swarts is a full-time freelance writer specializing in articles, for business newsletters and blogs as well as magazines. (Visit her Web site at www.spreadthewordcommercialwriting.com.) She lives in Houston, Texas. Her favorite spare-time activities are reading, bird-watching, attending community events, and writing Christian poetry (she maintains a devotional/poetry blog at www.newsongsfromtheheart.blogspot.com).

Wednesday, November 4

Short Hiatus

Hi There-

I just wanted to let you all know that I'm preparing for two product launches for each of my websites so my posts here on the blog will be on hiatus until around November 15th.

I will be back with a vengeance though!

Michelle
www.stressreliefbyrv.com
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