Give Yourself a Break

By Ron Rosenberg

Life moves pretty fastLife moves pretty fast. In the classic movie, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, there's a scene when actor Matthew Broderick turns to the camera and says, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

And while this movie takes this idea to the extreme, the concept itself is actually very important.

I read an interesting Facebook post recently from a martial arts instructor named Chuck Phillips:

"I've decided to take the day off
so I got up early to get a head start on it."

We seem to be so focused on "getting things done" that we don't spend enough time or effort on taking time off to relax and regenerate.

I meet people regularly in my live programs who boast that they've never taken a day of vacation in 20 years - as if this is a "badge of honor" they wear to show their serious commitment to work.

I have a slightly different view of this: I see it, instead, as a cause for concern - for both their employer and their personal well being. We simply are not designed to go full-bore, non-stop, 24/7, without a break. We need sleep when we have a full day. We need recovery after a serious workout.

And we need times when we just step back, slow down, and pay attention to opportunities we don't normally see, because they pass us by in a blur while we're focusing other "really important" things.

In his 1979 book, Zen in the Martial Arts, author Joe Hyams talks about the concept of "active inactivity" - in other words, consciously doing nothing.

Taking time - deliberately and intentionally - to relax, to slow down, and to just "be" helps you recognize the opportunities that can help you be more productive and effective both at work and at home.

Why not try this out and see if it works for you?