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Entries in intermission (25)


Your Plan For Your Intermission

You've finally heeded our frequent directives about the need to step back from your lineup and take a more objective look at your circus. You're enjoying the moment of solitude and chance to reflect on what you ARE getting done. Before you jump back in to tackle those elephants, do these 3 things:

  • Schedule your next intermission. If it's of value, plan for it. Give yourself something to look forward to.
  • Acknowledge your limits and the need to perpetually prioritize. Any moment spent engaging in just a good task is pushing aside the opportunity to engage in the best task for the moment.
  • Resolve to do one thing different in your "next half." Don't leave this time without the chance to initiate a new routine, attitude or behavior that can help you better handle those elephants.

Now get back to work-the elephants are already headed your way!


An Intermission From Facebook

A recent Pew Internet study found that 61% of Facebook users have taken a voluntary multi-week break from the site. Some of the key reasons they gave include:

  •  Too busy/Didn't have time for it
  • Just wasn't interested/Didn't like it
  • Waste of time/Not relevant content
  • Too much drama/gossip/conflict

You can read the full report by clicking here.

While their responses were specific to the social media site, they could probably be transposed to other areas of our life. There are times we tend to lose the passion that fuels our efforts at work. Who hasn't needed a break from the hectic world of parenting? We simply find ourself juggling so many elephants and are in need of a time to rest, replenish our motivation, and determine where our time and energy best needs to be focused.

From what part of your work or life do you need a brief intermission?


Saying "No" To Fun

A national survey on "fun" was recently conducted by the Trident Fun Index (yes, the same people who make Trident brand gum). Some of their findings include:

  • 19% can not remember the last time they had a good time
  • Less than 18% take the opportunity to do something fun each day
  • 55% strongly agree that their fun is limited by the amount of money they have
  • The top US cities having fun are Atlanta and New York

While Trident hopes to leverage the results to remind consumers that even a stick of gum can offer a moment of fun, the numbers highlight how so many people simply won't take a few moments out of their day for what we call an "intermission." These fun moments need not be costly, but the the cost of not taking them include increased stress and decreased productivity.

What are you doing today to have a little fun?


Stop, Look and Listen

"Stop, look and listen."  This is great advice when you are crossing a street or a railroad crossing.  It also makes sense when you feel like you are in the "Juggling Elephants" routine or need a fresh prospective.

Stop!  The day to day can sometimes can be so crazy that you don't take the time to reflect on all that you are doing and determine if you are doing the right things.  This is why individuals in organizations take "retreats" or attend conferences.  Stepping back for a moment can give you fresh eyes and allow you to gain a new perspective on where you are.  You might just need 15 minutes or you might be due for an longer "intermission" to get your "act together".

Look!  Dive into the data.  Run reports and better yet, read them.  What is working?  What isn't working?  Why is it working or not working?  Ask the hard questions and look for the answers. 

Listen!  If you are in business, talk to your customers.  Ask them why they buy.  Ask people that are not your customers why the don't buy.  Talk with your co-workers. Talk to family and friends.  Get their advice.  The important point here is to listen!  Don't do all the talking.  Get their perspective, look for patterns in their comments and then create a plan to implement what you learn.

Stop, look and listen is easy to remember and can be a valuable tool to determine if you pointed in the right direction and how you can take your performance to the next level.  Try it in your next family or staff meeting.


Better Solutions Come Through Intermissions

Peter Bregman affirms the value of an intermission in his post at the Harvard Business Review entitled, In Tough Situations, Unplug and Wait. Our favorite line from the post is:

By taking yourself out of the situation, you allow your brain to rest so that when you return — with a fresh perspective and a calm mind — you are more likely to find a new solution.

Read the entire post by clicking here.