We can now work from anywhere; anywhere in the world and even in the air. No more downtime, missing emails; you can keep on top of business so you’re ready to keep working as soon as the seatbelt sign is off, right through until you fall onto your hotel bed.
I’m not overlooking that many of you enjoy this pace of life, you’re used to it, it works for you, but much like when I run it’s nice to look up from time to time and see what’s changed around you. No longer do I run at speed for the next personal best, the next big achievement and many business owners, consultants and business executives run their lives the same now.
‘Our energy resources aren’t endless. We can’t concentrate for hours and hours on end. We can’t stay awake for much more than 18–20 hours before our performance plummets.
Sooner or later we need to refuel our energy. That means, if we want to be as productive as possible, we need to live a rhythmic life with periods of intense activity followed by periods of intense rest. We need to live life as a series of sprints, not a never-ending marathon.’
(Why Working in Sprints Maximizes Human Productivity)
We weren’t made to run through life at full speed and then sleep at night only to go at speed again for 16 hours the next day. Eventually, something will give.
How much time do you have to look up?
90-120 minutes is the recommended time to rest between intense tasks. Realistically that isn’t going to happen when you’re running a business or department, but what would you do with just 30 minutes of walking away from your laptop? Admire a loved one, smile and realise your children are doing well, address health niggles, take a walk, spoil yourself or just close your eyes and ears away from the world?
Seems almost impossible doesn’t it, if you switch off for a second it’ll all still be waiting for you when you come back, so why bother?
As businesses cut back on support, you’re expected to do everything. Downtime and sleep often isn’t a luxury one can afford, for if you do there’s someone who’s willing to step right into your position and do what you do, isn’t there? You’ve worked hard for you position, you want to hold onto it.
And let’s not overlook the stress we’re causing our mind and body, even euphoria causes our brains cortisol levels to change balance.
Just because the whole world seems stressed doesn’t mean you should be too. It’s not expected. You can, and you should step back from time to time. If you’ve not yet heard of a Virtual Assistant, I could be about to change your world.
‘When we ignore our body’s cues of overload to push through another day, it’s like borrowing money with a high interest rate. You can keep going, but at some point you will need to pay the piper’
(Heidi Hanna,Executive Director for The American Institute of Stress, NY Times best selling author, Founder of Beyond Funny)
A Virtual Assistant (VA) is a Personal Assistant (PA), except you don’t have to find them an office. We deal with everything a PA or EA (Executive Assistant) deals with, but virtually and only whenever you need.
Imagine; all if those tasks you usually catch up on when that seat belt sign goes off were being, or are already, done by your VA? We manage diaries, mailboxes – highlighting anything that needs your attention now and scheduling anything for your return that can wait, writing reports, gathering research and evidence for a meeting, finding out about all those who are going to be in that big meeting with you next week, remembering the wives and spouses names of your acquaintances and remembering important personal dates; so you don’t have to!
Our bodies are machines, and just like all machines they need regular health checks, downtime and oil! Allow yourself time to switch off. Please.
I’d love to know how you’re spending your next time off.