If you’re able to do that naturally – then perhaps you’re naturally gifted – lucky you. If you’ve made a special intuitive effort to work and play hard – clever you.Or, if you’re like most of us, you’re probably thinking that you’re pretty good at both, but if you look closely you may find you’re not.
The Managing Director at Mystyle Marketing explained what he meant with a brief example…Have you ever been in a similar situation? You’ve worked hard for the whole day. But really – you’ve got a million things done. It’s 9 pm now, and you can’t even think straight anymore. You sit down in front of the telly and you find your favourite program of all time is on. Your conscious/thinking brain steps in and wisely advises you that you’re fully deserving of this ‘couch potato’ moment – you’ve worked your socks off today. So you listen and you start watching…Then exactly 5 minutes into the program a niggling feeling starts eating at you. Something doesn’t quite feel relaxing. And sure enough in the commercial break, you whip out your iPhone/Blackberry/
Does that sound like anything you’ve experienced before? Anything you experience nightly?
Mystlye Marketing believes that the problem with this is that you never fully disengage from work. As a result you’re living in the ‘grey zone’. The ‘grey zone’ you’d guess correctly, is the zone between black and white, or the zone between engaged and disengaged.
Mystyle Marketing explains that when you’re in the ‘grey zone’ you’re NOT focused. You’re multi-tasking – which isn’t productive. As a result the ‘fruits’ of your work are not optimal. And you’d be right to conclude that the same goes for the ‘fruits’ of your play. You end up neither fully rested, nor fully satisfied with your day’s work. You end up going to bed and feeling like this work thing is never-ending. And this play thing never started (even though you spent a good hour in front of the telly “relaxing”)
Mystyle Marketing asks: What’s the solution?
The solutions are simple in words, although harder to implement they are incredibly rewarding when implemented.
Mystlye Marketing shares 3 steps which will enable you to work hard, play hard, and get real results:
Step 1: Prepare Yourself
– Prepare a solution for when you catch yourself in the ‘grey zone’.
– Make it something memorable and brief.
– Give it a name – that way your brain has easy access to the solution – fast.
Step 2: Become Aware
– You can’t even begin to fix something, if you don’t know it’s happening right? Like with all addictions, the first step to getting help is to acknowledge you need the help…
– so watch yourself. Every time you rest – check if you really are. Every time you work – do the same.
Step 3: Take Action
– This one is very logical – if you notice the problem – take action to correct it.
– What may not be so obvious is that for this Action Plan to work in the long term, you MUST ACT RIGHT AWAY. Yes – not in two minutes time, but immediately!
The reason for the urgency is that if you don’t act with your “Step 1″ solution as you become aware of your behaviour, you give your conscious brain time to start analysing and rationalizing the situation. This negates the effect of your solution – makes things too complicated. And the aim here is to create an automatic/mechanical link (i.e. habit) for you between the behaviour and the solution.
So next time you find yourself not fully engaged in your rest, your brain automatically applies the solution you came up with in Step 1.
Mystlye Marketing gives an example:
As soon as you notice that you’re not fully engaged in either work or rest, name the behaviour. Then make a commitment that each time you whatever you name it you’ll consciously make sure all distractions are cleared.
So if you’re resting and you find yourself thinking “what productive thing can I do whilst I’m sitting here resting?”, you stop thinking of that, and make a focused effort to relax. If it is an idea that you don’t want to forget, go write it down for tomorrow, but then come back and focus on the rest at hand… That’s it!
All that’s left now is to DO. It will take you a few times before you start to do this automatically, but trust me when you do – you’ll see how great it is.
So what does “work hard – play hard” mean to you? And do you really know how to?
If you don’t, now you have the solution.