I’m extremely gratified by the response to last week’s post, but this time I have something a little tougher to talk about. Which is this:
If you life is absolutely filled up, you don’t have room to jump on the opportunities when they pop up.
It’s actually not a hard concept – that you have to have some “down time” in which to rejuvenate and look at things which are a bit beyond your current focus. From that broadening of view – the mental equivalent of the physical exercise I suggested last week – comes the ability to see that there are opportunities out there.
The reason why this is difficult is that I know there are a lot of people right now who are totally consumed by work, 200% “heads down” in what they’re doing. And that’s fantastic – I love those times where I’m so engrossed in the work that it’s giving me a lot of energy and I’m getting my best productivity.
The problem is that it’s not sustainable, mentally or physically. Everybody has their own limits, but our bodies and minds demand some kind of relief. I get worried when I talk to so many people who see just endless work, day after week after month after year, with scarcely time to wolf down lunch.
The fact that you’re reading this suggests that you have the ability to look up from your job occasionally. At least, I certainly hope reading this isn’t your job!
So how can we help others to have a little mental break? Here’s what I’m doing:
- Only take things as seriously as they really warrant. Very few things are actually life-and-death decisions.
- Inject a little humor, as appropriate.
- Talk about things other than work. Not so much as to waste a lot of time, but enough to remind us all that there’s a Real World™ out there.
- Don’t escalate discussions where people are bemoaning how bad things are right now. It’s OK to be worried and work on fixing it, but we don’t have to get so depressed that we lose all inspiration.
What are you doing to help people around you maintain a little sanity and perspective?