Monday, January 14, 2013
Yesterday I shared about ATTITUDE. Today I want to talk about YOU!
I was talking with a friend the other day whom I've known since high school. She is the most loving, kind, giving person I know. She has several physical challenges to deal with everyday because she has fibromyalgia. I asked her how she was feeling and she responded about aching in several places, a nearly sleepless night and waking up with a headache. Pretty typical for a person with this chronic illness. Then I asked her what she had planned for the day. HOLY COW, the President of the United States doesn't have as much on his plate as this woman takes on every day.
She had her work (as a teacher), lunch with a friend, grocery shopping and 10 other errands, pick up her daughter at school for events, something at her church, a fund raiser meeting after that, dinner to prepare, a parent meeting at school, housework to do, and probably 5 other things for other people to do.
This is a typical day for her. She runs around all day on almost no sleep and does this until her body shuts down. I'm willing to bet many of you do nearly the same thing. You give and give and give until there is nothing left to give. You are worn out and you don't know where the day went. I know it's true because I read it everyday in your postings. If you happen to be an accountant right now, fer-git-a-boud-it. The next 3 months are going to be filled with long hours and no time off.
Think about this for a moment... when are you at your best? When are you at your most productive? Are you doing your best for your family and your job when you are exhausted and frazzeled? Or are you at your best when you are rested, relaxed and have piece of mind? I believe the answer is obvious.
This is why you need to take a couple of hours every day just for you. Studies done at the National Institute for Health (I can't believe I'm using this agency because I rip them all the time as a bunch of quacks, but people put stock in what they say) show that people who take a one hour lunch break away from work are more productive than those who work through lunch! That's right. Over the course of the work day, people who take a lunch break get more work done in 8 hours than those who work through lunch get done in 9 hours.
While the study doesn't reveal this, I'm betting productivity is linked to increased blood sugar and a more relaxed state of mind in the people who take a lunch break. It gives us a chance to relax our brains, think about something other than work, then organize and prioritize the remainder of our day while we re-energize our bodies with nutritious foods. All of these things add to our daily productivity.
Other studies show that vast majority of Americans are both exercise and sleep deprived. Watching TV you would think all we do all day is go to the gym and lay on the couch or in bed. But it's true. The National Sleep Foundation reports the average person needs 7-9 hours of basal (REM) sleep each day. They also report sustained sleep deprivation leads to lower productivity, increased risk of car accidents, increased BODY MASS INDEX, increased DIABETES AND HEART DISEASE, and several other unpleasant things.
Let me tell you what I told my friend, YOU NEED TO TAKE TIME EVERYDAY FOR YOU! I know you are all the kind of people who put your personal needs below the needs of everyone else in your life, but I'm telling you, if you put yourself FIRST you can do so much more for everyone else.
I would like a pledge from each one of you to try the following EVERY DAY for one week to see if it makes a difference.
1. Take lunch away from work (even if it's just to the cafeteria or a break room away from phones, paper, customers, whatever) for at least 30 minutes but preferably 1 hour and have a healthy lunch.
2. Exercise every day for 1 hour. Take a class, do a video, walk around your neighborhood for an hour, I don't care what you do, but take a minimum of 60 minutes for yourself.
3. Sleep for at least 7 hours. That may mean putting some things off until tomorrow, but for a week that's okay. Take your wake-up time, back that up 7 hours, then add one hour for getting ready to sleep by relaxing, brushing your teeth, whatever. This is the time you stop EVERYTHING for the day. I want you to get a MINIMUM of 7 uninterrupted hours of solid REM sleep.
Do this every day for 7 days and I'll bet you dollars-to-rice cakes (notice I didn't say donuts) you will get more done than you ever have.
Let me know how you're doing.
Until next time, GET WET and JUICE to you all!