Add An Hour Or More To Your Day, Balance Your Life

In business, career, consultant, Uncategorized on December 14, 2011 at 2:22 am



According to New York City Psychologist/Executive Coach Dr. Sharon Melnick, the average business person has seven interruptions per day, with each taking approximately 15 minutes to re-focus.  That’s over an hour and a half of your day!

So  the work piles up, but so does the stress.

As a wellness coach, I know for sure it ultimately leads to headaches, weight gain, lack of energy, irritability and anxiousness, sleeplessness, and a lot of other things that can sabotage both your personal and professional live

Here are some suggestions for handling them.  First, you need to understand them.  “There’s no ‘one size fits all’”, Dr. Melnick says, “so, there’ll always be some you’ll want to handle right away, others you’ll want to triage to figure out the best time to handle, and others you’ll want to curtail altogether.”

  • Control those chatty co-workers. “When someone comes into your office, either to share an experience, vent, or ask a favor, give them just enough time to show respect and see where they’re going,” says Dr. Melnick.  “Then cut it off by asking this question, ‘How specifically can I help you?’ This will usually stop them from babbling because they’ll have to think about their response.  If they say, ‘I just need to vent,’ say, ‘Great!  I have 5 minutes before I have to leave to my next meeting.’”
  • Rank e-mails, and use voicemail.  Recently, I sent an e-mail to a colleague and received this automatic message:  “To better balance my personal and professional life, I am now answering all e-mails once a day.”  Brilliant! Not every e-mail needs to be replied to the instant it comes in. Caution:  Please be sure to write your message so that it is appropriate to your industry/work.  My colleague’s message was appropriate, because she’s another health coach and balance is what we’re all about—but that may not be appropriate for you.
  • Gale Steves, a former magazine editor and author of the book, “Right-Sizing your Home,” told me she used to leave an outgoing message on her voicemail indicating that she’d return all messages by a certain time—WITH instructions on what to do if the call was an emergency and needed immediate response.  “It was too difficult for me to re-focus after a call, so I used this method to announce my intentions,” said Steves.
  • Categorize your to-do list in order of urgency, deadline, and importance. Also add: What action is required?   What is the desired result?  Is follow-up needed?  Some interruptions may be pressing to others, but they may not be pressing—or as important—for you. This exercise will help you determine which is which. It will also give you a great sense of satisfaction and empowerment to be able to cross off items as they are completed.
  • Unclutter your office!  If you spend far too much time looking for files, or if you’re constantly tripping over papers, it’s time to organize and clean up your space. Frances, a magazine editor who was constantly bombarded with invitations, product announcements and other mail, said the paper could really pile up. “So I’d open it, scan it quickly and determine if it should be filed or thrown out.”

Irene Ross, CHHC, AADP is a board certified wellness and nutrition coach who helps people alter unhealthy habits to bring their lives into balance.  She’s author of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways to Fire Up Your Day:  Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time and Balance Your Life.  She writes a twice-monthly newsletter, “Power Wellness,” which can be subscribed to from her website:  http://www.eating

An Ezine Expert Author , she also writes apopular pet wellness blog:


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