Thursday, October 18, 2007

Three Tips for Getting Your Time in Balance

book cover, Nothing's Too Small to Make a Difference

I've been reading Nothing's Too Small to Make a Difference, by Wanda Urbanska and Frank Levering; here are three concepts I'd like to share.

1. Margin

"The accelerated pace of our lives - along with the lack of what Wisconsin physician and author Richard A. Swenson calls 'margin' - has become an accepted fact of modern life. Margin is a mental, physical, and emotional condition that is the opposite of overload. It is that cushion of time that allows us to maneuver gracefully through our lives; it is the reserve of energy, emotion, and time held for unanticipated situations and crises."

2. Pauses

"We used to call them breaks. Coffee breaks. Lunch breaks. . . . at least get out of your chair and stretch for a few minutes several times a day. Get out on the street and walk around the building. Any pause out of your day will be helpful."

3. Picking Your Spots

For all of us who tend to want to read and learn about everything, quoting journalism professor and executive editor of the Business Journal, Justin Catanoso - and commenting on his approach:

"One of his techniques is to write off sections of the world. 'I know it sounds callous, but I just don't follow South America, for instance. So I don't read articles about that area. On the foreign front, I follow the Mideast closely.' Allow yourself permission not to know something about everything. Freely admit to gaps in your knowledge. Follow closely your areas of interest."

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