The other day, I ordered a new battery for my iPhone. A few days later, I received an email that I could drop my phone off on Saturday to have the new battery installed. I got to the Apple store 15 minutes ahead of its opening on a beautiful Saturday morning, and there was already quite a crowd gathered at the front doors.
How your body aligns in meditation is important, whether you are sitting on the floor or in a chair. It’s essential to feel a firm connection with the floor (either through the “sit bones” — the lower portion of the pelvis — or through the feet). It’s also always appropriate to keep the spine long.
As we've discussed before on The Wireboard, work-life balance is crucial to productivity, satisfaction with our work and overall health. But what are some innovative ways to think about work-life balance? And how can we start making changes to maintain or improve balance?
Enter the following five talks from TED. Each one contains wonderful insights about the nature of work-life balance as well as cues for how to improve in this area.
Four realities we must embrace to improve work-life balance
Nigel Marsh is the author of Fat, Forty and Fired. As he recounts in this talk, “I was eating too much. I was drinking too much. I was working too hard, and I was neglecting my family.” After making some radical changes to the way he approached work-life balance, and taking years to test his approaches, he’s come out on the other side with some wonderful observations and recommendations for improving work-life balance.
There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond and to know one's
self. - Benjamin Franklin in Poor Richard's Almanac, 1750
As I pointed out in the last post, job burnout is real. It is powerful and has lasting effects if not dealt with. It does not discriminate by vocation, age, job role, or intelligence.
And yet, "burnout" is not a clearly-defined term. It can describe a broad spectrum of ailments, from mild annoyance to a profound sense of anguish. This is why, though hard, it's so important to "know one's self." If we don't, we miss the initial clues that we are heading towards burnout. We chalk them up to life's normal ups and downs and forge ahead, often repeating the very actions and behaviors that started us on the road toward burnout to begin with.
Have you ever been at the doctor's office and they ask you to rate your pain level from 1 to 10?
That is such a strange question! What would I say? 2.349? Or do I round to the nearest tenth? And how does the doctor know that my 3 isn't someone else's 8 (or vice versa)? I assume the question must be important for medical professionals, but the comedian in my head is imagining a Monty Python-esque sketch set in an ER. A man comes in on a stretcher mangled and bleeding. The doctors ask him to rate his pain on a scale of 1 to 10, to which the man replies weakly, "Probably a 2... maybe 3." Pain is such a relative thing.
Last night before falling asleep, I had a brief and final thought about going for a good run in the morning. But the next morning, lo and behold, I wake, do some meditation, get to some work, and then realize that I have a headache. I almost felt queasy. I don’t really know why, but at about 8:00 the little man inside of me began to create reasons not to go for that run I had whole-heartedly committed to just hours before. You know that little person, right? He or she is the one inside of all of us crafting all manners of excuses for us not to do something.
Have you noticed that much of our social interaction at work revolves around the topic of weekends? Two of our most-common questions are:
Welcome back to the Wellness Mini-Series! In this video, Steven Longan makes the case that vocational wellness is a vital part of growing our work. But, because we don’t often talk about “vocation,” Longan gives us a working definition to start.
Wish we could turn back time -- to the good old days
When our momma sang us to sleep -- but now we're stressed out
~Twenty One Pilots, “Stressed Out”
Readers who’ve met me in real life likely know that, in addition to my work with Rewire, I teach yoga. A few years ago, I had a scheduling conflict and asked my friend Sarah to lead the class in my place. The class was held in a yoga studio below an accounting firm. Unfortunately, poor Sarah turned the bass on her music a bit too high. So a few minutes into class, the meditative stillness was broken by a BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! on the door. The whole class started and turned to see a red-faced, stress-deranged accountant yelling “TURN DOWN YOUR MUSIC!”
Max Hermann begins his famous poem, "Desiderata," with this piece of wonderful advice: “Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence.”
How many of us have paused momentarily in our frantic schedules to think that same thought? How many of us feel pressed by the busyness and noise and long for more peace and silence in our lives?
This period of time between Thanksgiving and the New Year is quite special. There’s a sense of excitement and possibility, lots of parties, time with family and friends, old and new traditions, memorable smells, and good food. Despite all of the good cheer (and sometimes because of it), many of us find ourselves with holiday wellness complaints. The three common health-related complaints heard around water coolers in December are:
When a topic surfaces repeatedly during a short period of time within coaching sessions and workshops, I start to pay attention. Recently, that’s been happening with the topic of “how we spend the first hours of our day.” One dynamic I started to notice was that our clients who displayed intentionality with their mornings were getting more out of their life and work than those who were less "morning intentional.” That led me to start researching what kind of studies there might be to support what I was hearing from my clients. And for the last few months I have become a student of morning rituals, lack thereof, and possible connections between how we spend our mornings and our effectiveness at work and life.
A wise man once told me that the best time to plant an oak tree is 25 years ago. The second best time is today. I love this simple aphorism because it points to the idea that, even if it will take time to reap the rewards of our efforts, the best time to start something new is now.
As I work with people, one recommendation I’ve seen pay dividends regardless of job title is to stay curious. Whether you’re a CEO or janitor, in operations or sales, following this axiom will keep you growing and connecting — both with your work and with the people around you.