It’s been almost 3 years since I informed you about the 8th day in your week. While giving a quick writing workshop today, it occurred to me that this idea has not been accepted by everyone. Surprisingly, there are those in the world’s population that are not reading and implementing what I write on COACHMethod.com (!). No worries. I’ll keep evangelizing. Maybe an analogy will help.
The solution to your successful adoption of the 8th day begins with an understanding of your relationship to cell phone batteries. A number of myths have been advanced concerning cell phone battery charging. Similarly, you may have many myths about your own stores of health and well-being. Your cell phone battery only has a limited amount of charging cycles, just like your life is a limited engagement. If you always let the phone die before you charge it again, you are diminishing the useful life of the battery. Similarly, if you are exhausting yourself, living for the weekend, and waiting on the Summer before you replenish your reserves, you are wasting productive years of life.
Your health and well-being is not something you should completely deplete before recharging. You limit your usefulness and productivity. As discussed in my article years ago, the typical 8th day of the week is Friday night through Saturday morning. Most people waste this time through a combination of wistfulness and passive disregard. Many would excuse their behavior explaining that their “hard” week necessitated some time to rest. Since Friday night is down time with no early work schedule Saturday, it is a natural time to unwind and recreate.
But, this is not the only way. What’s more, the lack of intentionality concerning time use, under the guise of rest and relaxation, is dangerous. The battery analogy illustrates that best. Another way to recreate–a more sustainable way–would be to intentionally spread the rest and relaxation across the week. Instead of completely depleting your stores of health, well-being, and perspective, reclaim your center each evening. You will resolve more productive, more creative, and more relational.
Methods to Recharge
In my coaching practice, my first assignment for clients is the Challenge of the 3 budgets. One of these, the Time Budget, is an important exercise in identifying daily activities and free-time. Many of my clients initially forget to add those activities that recharge them. Two points are important here. Some clients miss entering recharge and recreation activities because they are not consistent in implementing them. That’s a real challenge because it results in the total energy depletion by the end of the week. Other clients may not list the recharge and recreation because they don’t recognize them as critical promoters of health and well-being. This challenge is maybe more sinister and problematic. Honoring you and respecting your humanity requires that you maintain an account of your energy levels as an indication of potential value you bring to any given situation. Translating productivity from that value requires intentional, even energetic application of your knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Simply stated, your best work results when you are charged up. Allowing your energy to get low damages your long-term health and well-being.
Common omissions from the time budget include eating, exercise, recreation/TV, friend time, and reflection/meditation. Eating on a regular schedule can support healthy weight, stress response, mood maintenance, and more. Exercise renews bodily fluids, supports cognition, reduces stress, and supports endurance (stress threshold). Television time provides a sometimes-needed break from reality and self-centeredness. Friend time runs contrary to isolation, supports collaboration, and even renews energy. Reflection/meditation time can allow for inspiration, promote mental health, and refresh an emotional center.
Each of these benefits is important to a health and well-being regimen that supports productivity. Create a time budget that includes some combination of these elements every day. Support your health and well-being for the long term, just like you safeguard your cell phone battery.
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