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Breathtakingly Simple Advice

September 10, 2010


Most of the time I’m reading work materials, finishing an email or just zoning out while the flight attendant runs through the safety speech.  But, on a recent business trip, I stopped and tuned in just enough to hear, “in the event of a loss of cabin pressure, please put your oxygen mask on first.”  This hit me like never before, and stayed with me throughout the day.

This is the advice we all get before take-off, but have you ever thought about how good that simple advice is? Think about it.  Do we put the mask on ourselves first as business owners, as executives, as managers, as professionals, or do we take care of everyone and everything else before ourselves?

I’ve been trying to apply this lately and I have to say it has breathed life into my business planning, my creative thinking and my productivity. I’ve been forcing a little more breathing room into my days and I’ve been disconnecting from emails a little more on weekends.  It’s amazing how clear your vision can be when everything isn’t passing you in a blur at 90 miles an hour!

There are lots of ways to do heed this advice, but you might consider one of the following in the next few weeks or months as a way to achieve a clear head for progress.

  1. Planning time – away from distractions and somewhere quiet
  2. Vacation downtime – to unwind and clear your head
  3. Time with a  mentor – to address specific challenges and think of solutions
  4. Exercise time – maybe a run by yourself or a bike ride or gym class
  5. Quiet time – whether it’s in prayer or just in silence away from life’s noise

It’s not always easy to do, but that oxygen boost might be just what you need for clarity and   focus.  Are there other ways you take a breather?  What works for you?

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