At the end of last year I was very busy relocating my practice after 16 years in the one spot. It’s been a big change but a better one. It was interesting watching how I handled deadlines with renovations of the new place and the tight closing down deadlines of the old place. Without mindfulness attention it would have been more stressful than it was in the end.
A big aspect of coping with the deadlines was the time-out periods in the day, where I would stop to re center myself, think about nothing, do something mindless or meditate and connect with my spirit in my body. Then after a period, launch into the business and action again to get the things needed done before the next approaching deadline.
It is so important to not let deadlines take you over, where you lose yourself to the ‘doing’. Even under the most stressful deadlines, always allow time to stop, pause, center, and forget the deadline – just for a short period. What I found by doing that, I was much smarter in my decision making as well as less stressed day-to-day. I wasn’t ‘running mad’ in one direction.
By taking those regular breaks, my mind stayed sharper, I thought more intelligently, my body and muscles had time to consolidate themselves, rest and strengthen. This made me more productive when I got into action again.
This all sounds fairly basic and common sense, yet how often have you pushed and pushed and over worked at high intensity without taking that crucial mind/body break in between? Yes you can push your body and mind more, but is that the most efficient way of working? Working until you drop or your body gives way? That’s not the most highly productive way to function, especially if you want to remain healthy and sharp for a long time. Pushing your body to extremes wears your body and mind out. Short term gain for long term pain.
So the next time your boss says ‘come on let’s push this to reach the deadline!’ Make sure you plan in breaks. Every 90 minutes is the ideal, following the natural cycles of your body and mind. And if your boss thinks you are goofing off, give them my number!