Do you ever feel that most of what you do is in the service of others – and burn-out is just around the corner? We had some great contributions from people who’ve managed to find the reset button and get a different perspective – and it’s having a great effect on them personally and professionally.
Like Matt Sakaguchi from Google who took lessons from his Labrador when he lost the ability to walk.
Do something that gives you joy each day
In the summer of 2018, I suddenly lost the ability to control my legs. I went to the Emergency Room and they determined my existing cancer had a rogue tumor that grew and was compressing my spinal cord. Surgery followed the next day. When I awoke, I could barely move. The doctors said I’d have to learn to walk again. For a couple of hours, I was filled with self-pity and despair. I was asking myself disempowering questions like, “Why did this happen to me?” Then my wife showed me a picture of our black Labrador:
She looked so happy. She was living in the moment, feeling pure joy, not thinking about anything else. That’s her superpower. I became determined: This hospital bed is not my future. It’s going to take a lot more than back surgery to defeat me. My physical therapists thought I was crazy when I told them I was going to make my business trip to the UK in just a few weeks. I could tell they thought it was impossible. With tons of hard work and struggles, I made it, navigating Heathrow without a cane.
I make sure that every day, I take a pause and celebrate something that gives me inner peace and joy. It might be simple, like watching hummingbirds, or meaningful, like telling my wife how much she means to me. Life can change in an instant, and I’m not going to let it pass me by.
Matt Sakaguchi: 海千山千, Site Reliability Manager | www.google.com
Below are some more tips that should keep you balanced, on track, productive and happy in 2019.
Implement a morning routine
This made a huge difference to me in 2018.
A morning routine means something different for everyone. For me it means:
- 15 – 30 minutes of exercise
- 10 minutes of meditation
- Getting ready listening to my ‘happy morning’ playlist.
- Reciting affirmations or things I’m grateful for while in the shower.
This is something that I’ve built up over time and does change now and again.
It’s meant that I start the day right and positively affects my mood, health and productivity.
Start practicing Mindfulness
My all in one business tip and life hack starts and ends with this……..mindfulness.
One of many studies by Sara Lazar, PhD, found structural changes in the prefrontal cortex that meant after just 8 weeks of mindful meditation, these previous non-meditators showed signs of structural changes in the brain so significant their cortex, working memory and cognitive functions were comparable to those of 25-year olds!
You’ve probably heard the term, you might even be fed-up of hearing about it when you’ve given it a go and you’ve decided it’s not all that. For me mindfulness is EVERYTHING! There are lots of simple ways we can practice this, no incense, yoga mat or meditation stool needed. In short, this is how it impacts me and my business:
- Me with mindfulness – energetic, great memory, compassionate, assertive, grateful, happier.
- Me without mindfulness – mind wandering, average, less motivated, uninspired, stress/anxiety accumulates, discontent (sometimes angry and impatient – (don’t tell anyone!)
- My business with mindfulness – creative, implementing changes, productive, process information quickly, confident decision making, bigger picture is clear, inspire others.
- My business without mindfulness – less focused, procrastination, bogged down in detail, always time poor, lacking direction.
For the long term health of you and your business, embrace your inner hippie and your inner scientist – never have they been so aligned!
Review How You Handle Deadlines
Take time to review your default strategies for managing deadline crunches, if they are not long-term sustainable strategies, work on developing new ones!
In my case the unsustainable strategy would be working late into the night to stay on top of deadlines, a strategy which I’ve discovered becomes less effective as one gets older. My new strategy puts much more focus on contingency planning.
Find Your Focus
Erm, well, one tip is that trying to do too many things at once is never a good idea. While it’s very logical to say that, and we all know it to be true, we do still take on too much, and assume we can do everything – whereas being a bit more focused is well and truly a good idea.
You Can Do More Than You Think
Another is that I’ve learned (thanks to my very awesome open water swim in September and the training for it) that I’m much more capable than I had thought – I managed 10km with an injured face, fractured toe and only knowing how to front crawl for less than a year. If I could manage that, I can manage anything.
Downtime doesn’t have to be easy time
For me, since discovering swimming outdoors, I’ve benefitted massively from swimming in cold water. Not just in terms of health, but also in terms of reducing stress and its actually brilliant fun!
Thank you for all the fantastic contributions, some of which came from:
Matt Sakaguchi: 海千山千,Site Reliability Manager | www.google.com
Kerrie Prescott , Owner | www.yogabodyzenmind.co.uk
Kimba Cooper, Owner | www.kimbadigital.com
Claire Stone, Founder | www.claire-stone.com
Simon Gurr, Founder | www.gurrillustration.com