Time Out Please!

Be Accountable

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Key Point: the holiday season and year-end pressures at work can mix to create a toxic, stress-filled cocktail. Recognize that we need to proactively and consciously take moments to slow down and rest. At least once or twice a day we need to intentionally take a quiet moment to sharpen our presence and self awareness.

The holiday season impacts us at work too, of course. The year-end involves trying to squeeze out every sale, ship out and invoice every product and service, budgeting and planning for the new year, and more. Mix this with all the personal and family obligations and it can be very stressful.

I remember arriving late one night at Seattle’s airport, after a long and hectic road trip between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I put in money for a luggage cart but the darn cart wouldn’t release from the kiosk. So of course using my refined technical skills, I violently began shaking the cart trying to use force to make it release. As I’m furiously yanking back and forth, I have this sense that I’m being watched. Sure enough, I look over at the baggage carousel and there are about ten orange-clad Buddhist monks staring at me with a sense of amazement. They must have thought, “It didn’t take long to observe a crazy out of control Westerner just as we expected.” Well, as you might imagine I sheepishly slowed right down, took a deep breath, and just like a knife through butter, the luggage cart released with obedient precision.

Character Move:

  1. Recognize that the holiday season and year-end work pressures usually result in extraordinary stress.
  2. Consciously take time during the day to gather in yourself for some quiet reflection. Plan for it. Build it into your diary.
  3. This is a great time to keep up your exercise program, meditation, and whatever technique you use to calm yourself.

Zen in the Triangle,

Lorne