Author: Nelson Coulter
“Did you ever get so busy driving that you didn’t take time to stop and refuel?”
I once heard the late Stephen Covey pose that question to an interviewee. As was his habit, SC brought to our attention in a metaphorical way an important insight into healthy living and productive working.
Thinking about my lifelong penchant to try to get “more blood out of the turnip” than is really there, here are some of the things I’ve seen others do that represent healthy approaches to refueling.
- They take frequent “reset” breaks — mentally, physically, and emotional-spiritually — during the course of each day (usually breaking work into increments of intense focus lasting no longer than 90 minutes).
- They purposefully build movement into their day (e.g., standing while reading documents, taking a brief walk down the hall, doing a bit of yoga or stretching, using a stand-up desk, eating lunch outside, etc.).
- They toggle into each day some diversionary learning that is separate from their work, such as reading a favorite blogger, watching a TED Talk, reading from a daily devotional book, etc.
- They periodically spend a few minutes, if briefly, engaging with others in an authentically interpersonal way.
- They pay very close attention to what they put into their body by way of food and drink, making consciously healthy choices.
- They prioritize their workday by placing the most difficult tasks at the front of the day, working their way toward the less demanding ones as the day progresses.