Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you felt totally unable to function? Last night, I was staring at my computer monitor trying to get a little work done after a busy weekend. My oldest daughter Mindy had been home from college for several days and my wife Barb was taking her to the airport. I was at home because our old dog Blondie is starting a steep decline and we didn’t want to leave her alone. Lack of sleep, a helter skelter few days, and a debilitating overtime loss by the Seahawks had me completely distracted. You probably know that weird feeling of just staring blankly at e-mails!

That’s about the time I realized that balance was needed right then and there for my life. I subscribe to Alan Weiss’ newsletter, The Balancing Act (which I highly recommend – www.summitconsulting.com). Alan is constantly talking about life balance. In my case, sometimes you just have to take a break.

My method for taking a break was to turn off the computer (so as to not be tempted to come back), pour a smooth glass of wine, and watch my Gilligan’s Island DVD. Now you may be thinking “Gilligan’s Island! Is this guy a kook?” Maybe so. But, at that point and time, I needed a good dose of slapstick humor and relaxation to re-charge my batteries. After a relaxing evening and a good night’s sleep…I was able to tackle the next day with more vigor and focus. If I had continued on my path of work the night before, I’m certain I wouldn’t have had the same focus.

What about you? Are there times that you need to reward your mind and body with a much needed break to find balance? Now, you may not find Gilligan’s Island to be the right remedy for you. But a nice walk, a game of chess, or a quiet dinner with your spouse or significant other may be just what the doctor ordered.

Workaholics abound in our society. The desire to get ahead at all costs often lead to high blood pressure, stress disorders, and failed relationships. One thing I have learned in my life, and continue to be reminded of, is that balance is good for the mind, heart, and soul. Remember that next time you are staring blankly at your computer monitor.

Dan

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