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Labor (Less) Day (Life)

By Guest Blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter

ImagesLife is too short to be in a hurry - Thoreau 

But don't we all (even when we know better) fall into the trap of rushing, rushing, RUSHING!   Too much to do, too little time!  Never get enough sleep! Work "all" the time! Gotta connect, gotta text, gotta call, gotta post! GOTTA MOVE! NO TIME! 

But, is all that really true?  You already know the answer, don't you?  It's No. In fact, studies have found that it's largely a myth that we don't get enough sleep.  And, I know from my own career that much work is really not work. Activity ain't the same as results and we often seem to have meetings for the sake of meetings. (Tip: If it's an in-person meeting - recommend (or require if you can) that everyone stand up for the entire time. The number of meetings will likely quickly and dramatically drop.)  

I'd submit we're often exhausted mentally - because we've gotten into the rush, rush, rush, "I'll never get all done" habit.  Makes me tired to even type that sentence.

So, in honor of the official Labor Day holiday - here are three ways I plan to labor less from now on.

1. Go offline more often.  So, how many times have YOU sworn you'll only check email, Facebook, or Twitter twice a day?  Uh. Huh. Me too.   Then, I wander over to Huffpo, maybe check the weather, read one of the NPR articles...before I know it, it's an hour (or a morning) gone. Why, yes, I've been "active" but I've not got a dang thing done. 

2. Do ONLY what's on my list.  Really. Honest. Any day now. I'm a big preacher of making lists.  Lately, I've gotten out of the habit.  I'm still doing things, but are they the right things, at the right time? Am I actually producing results? (Also, see #1).  Write three things on the list and DO THEM.  Then everything else can happen if I have time.   This is especially critical for me now that I'm responsible for my mom.  Otherwise, I ping-pong back and forth all day between personal, clients (you know, the PAYING work) and things for mom.  

2. Let.It.Go. Rise above. Don't respond. Don't engage.  As I've written here before, it's difficult to NOT respond to a troll or a personal attack.  But, when all is said and done, 99% of the stuff isn't worth my time or energy.  Just this week, I actually had someone threaten me via email (after going gonzo in multiple emails),  "Don't cross this line again, or you won't like what you get. clear?"  Seriously? Or what? You'll yell (type) bad words at me? Smack me with your wee sand shovel?  What? What?

This from a guy who's supposed to be an experienced pro. Over software development planning? Good grief; I hate to think how'd he act in a really earth-shaking crisis.  However, I gritted my teeth and didn't respond.  I can handle (even welcome) the different, the weird and radically different opinons. Woefully immature, bombastic jerks?  Uh. No. Nuh-uh. Not happenin' Life is also too short to waste on such people. OOPS! See? There I go, getting ALL upset again.  Not. worth. it. Whew.  

One last thing - we don't need to put so much labor into planning our leisure.  Leave the car in the garage. Turn off the phones. Make some lemonade, grab that book (If you must, the Kindle. But it might not take too well to having lemonade spilled on it...) and go lay under a tree and laze. 

Personally, I think they should start calling it "Lazy Day."  Then maybe more people would get the point. :)


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Great post! :)
Thanks for your wise advice!! :)

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