Tag Archives: mental health breaks

In an age of stress, you can incorporate “energy builders” into your life

The Other 90%

The Other 90%

It’s Monday morning.  Time for a Monday morning quote:

First thing Monday morning, do you wake up envisioning – “Another week of stress and strain at work” – or “Another chance to do more of the things I love”?

This is one of the many fine quotes from the book by Robert Cooper, The Other 90%:  How to Unlock Your Vast Untapped Potential for Leadership and Life.

I’ve been thinking a lot about issues of time/energy management lately.  Recently I wrote this post:  Is Everybody Tired, or is it Just Me? — Energy and Time Management in the Midst of Challenging Times.  And I sense that a whole lot of people are tired.

I teach a few classes at one of the Dallas County Community Colleges as a member of the adjunct faculty.  I am meeting quite a few fellow faculty members who teach the maximum number of classes, and then they also teach in other colleges outside of the district.  They run from one engagement to another, piecing together a living.  Independents (like me) especially have this problem.  And the constant shift; the fact that they do not “go” to work, but they go from task to task, from “job” to “job,” adds to the stress.

But it’s not just independents.  The people with “normal” jobs are equally stressed.  Have you seen the latest productivity numbers.  America’s productivity is up, but so is unemployment.  The same (actually fewer) people are churning out more and more work.  Productivity is up because individuals are doing more and more.  Here’s the report summary:

The Washington Post carries an AP story this morning reporting that productivity rose by an annual rate of more than 6 percent during the second quarter, while labor costs plummeted. As the story notes, productivity, or output per hour of labor, is often “a key ingredient for rising living standards,” but in recent months companies have been using the output gains to cut costs and bolster their bottom lines. A related Wall Street Journal story offers further explanation. “The net result” of businesses squeezing more work out of fewer employees, the Journal writes, is “rising unemployment, stagnant wages, sagging consumer confidence — and better-than-expected corporate profits.”

So, for this Monday morning, I present a list of suggestions, things to do to help with the stress.  These come from the Cooper book, The Other 90%.  And when I remember to do these, I can tell you that they help.  Here’s the list:

• The seven elements of  a “break”:
• Deepen and relax your breathing.
• Change your view and catch some light.
• Re-balance your posture and loosen up.
• Sip ice water.
• Enjoy a moment of humor.
• Add some inspiration.
• EAT SMART.

• Start the day right:  without a bang…
• Awaken without a jarring alarm.
• Turn on the lights.
• Get at least five minutes of relaxed physical activity.
• Enjoy several bites of a great-tasting breakfast.

Very practical.  And I have tried to incorporate a few of them.  For example, I have changed my alarm to a soothing “harp” choice (from my iPhone.  It really is less jarring).  I do sip ice water (he recommends cold, ice water .  I don’t know why – but it works).  And I periodically click on one of Andrew Sullinvan’s “mental health breaks” links (not always humorous, but always a nice distraction).  Here’s one.  And for inspiration, I read constantly — including the blog posts by Bob Morris on this blog

So – on a Monday morning, think about how you can begin and spend your week with passion and energy.

Good luck.

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• You can order the synopsis of my presentation of The Other 90%, at our companion web site, 15 Minute Business Books.