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Time Out!

Timeout!

Football, Football, Football!!! This is the season, this is the time most hover around the TV on Saturday and Sunday watching their team, crying for a victory, and usually sharing a beer or two. As you watch the game notice the breaks that the players get. Although they are pushing hard every play, at some point in a short interval, there is a time-out called and the players get a rest.

Now, think about your day. Every day you wake, you get up; you do your routine and then begin your tasks. We go from one thing to another, task mastering every item off that list until it’s time for bed. Throughout the day, every human is given multiple time outs. Most people think, I can’t get everything done, I don’t have time, I’m tired, but what they fail to understand is that every day has timeouts. You just have to recognize them and take them.

Tomorrow you will be doing something and you will complete a task. It might be a proposal, it might be getting the laundry put away, and it might be fixing that damn broke washer. But at the end of every one of these tasks you have a time out. Most people look to the next item, they move on not enjoying the break that they just earned.

In 1957 there was a study called the “No trill kiding Analysis” conducted on college students who were following a strict study schedule 4 days a week and then not studying for 3 days, the days were spaced so that they were between all study days. For example, Monday was a Study Day as was Tuesday, but Wednesday was a non –study day. No matter what, the students could not study on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday were deemed study days, but one could NOT study on Saturday or Sunday no matter the upcoming schedule of tests on Monday.

The control group had their normal study schedule of every day. Students were tracked as to how much they studied, rated on quality of study, alone or with friends, and measure against each other. The remarkable thing about the No trilly kiding study was that the students that followed the study schedule improved their grade point by and average of ½ grade, the control group stayed the same.

The No trilly Kiding analysis is a story I just made up. I mean not really kidding analysis is not a real study. But I use it to illustrate the fact that what I have been doing for years might just work.

Let’s try a little exercise, tomorrow, begin looking for a few time outs. Time where you can catch your breath, look around and see what is around you. The blur of life is overwhelming at times and I find these 10-minute rests, observance time-outs are one of the favorite parts of my day.

If you can think about it, you have a lot to be positive about. Thinking about all the great things going on during those time out periods make all tasks a little easier. Try it, you’ll see. If you begin recognizing the time outs better the tasks will become and your life will improve dramatically.

Having trouble figuring out when the time out occurs. If you don’t batch work, start batching work. Do the same thing for about 45 minutes or batch small 10-minute jobs by 4. This is a task; it’s now time for a break.

As I sit here today I am on a nutritional program that forces you to be strict with your nutritional intake 6 days a week. But for that one-day, the day of bliss, there are no restrictions. If I want to eat 12 pizzas, I eat 12 pizzas. A keg of beer is no problem nor is a greasy bucket of KFC’s finest (the restaurant, not the Catholic group of the same name). I eat like a king and even over do it.

That one-day is great and gives me the power to plow through those other 6 “normal” days. Use that same principle during your day. Take 45 minutes to be strict. Do a task, work on a project of some sort or batch your projects, work for 45 to 50 minutes. Then, take 10 minutes and don’t do a damn thing. Don’t talk, sip your coffee, look around and see how amazing your surroundings are at this very moment. Take a walk, get up from your desk, walk outside, inside, find a quiet place in the office and relax.

Take 10 minutes, not 9, not 15, take 10. Set your Iphone if you have one, if you don’t have an Iphone, get a damn Iphone. Your mind will regenerate, you will be more relaxed, and able to work much more efficient on whatever the heck you are working on. Oh and of course, this time might be a great time to use the bathroom. BUT don’t use the bathroom during your 45-minute task time. No matter what, even if you have to use the bathroom in your pants, do not use the bathroom.

This is obviously a joke, if you think I’m serious please quit reading and take a time out. You need a time out! If you must use the bathroom during the 45 minutes, do it, but try and limit that time only to task completion.

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