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Breathing Space: Living and Working at a Comfortable Pace

Is the crushing burden of information and communication overload dragging you down? By day's end, do you feel overworked, overwhelmed, stressed, and exhausted? Would you like to be more focused, productive, and competitive, while remaining balanced and in control?

Author Jeff Davidson says, "If you're continually facing too much information, too much paper, too many commitments, and too many demands, you need Breathing Space."


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Jeff Presenting:

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Recommended Reading
Jeff Davidson: Simpler Living

Jeff Davidson: Breathing Space

Jeff Davidson: Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Things Done

Jeff Davidson: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Managing Your Time

Larry Rosen and Michelle Weil: Technostress

Mark Victor Hansen: Chicken Soup for the Parent's Soul

Sam Horn: Conzentrate

Patricia O'Gorman: Dancing Backwards In High Heels

James Davison Hunter: The Death of Character

John D. Drake: Downshifting

David Md Viscott: Emotional Resilience

Alan Lakein: How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life

Scott Adams: The Joy of Work

Don Aslett: Keeping Work Simple

Jeff Davidson: The 60 Second Organizer

Jeff Davidson: The 60 Second Self-Starter

Recommended Blogs


Breathing Space Blog

Thursday, November 14, 2019

We Are Older and Wiser - Breathing Space Blog

Behavioral scientists have long believed that old age and cognitive decline went hand-in-hand.  Rather than cognitively declining, we are simply accumulating more and more information. This accumulation causes us to be a little slower when it comes to recalling specific details, but we're actually smarter as we age.

As our median age of membership increases, dispelling the myth of cognitive decline is encouraging to NSA members because it broadens an array of possibilities for our advancing years and those of our audiences. Do you want to tackle an intellectual challenge which, until this point in your life, has not been on the front burner? You have the capability.

Reference: "The Myth of Cognitive Decline: Non-linear Dynamics of Lifelong Learning" by Michael Ramscar, et al. In Topics in Cognitive Science, volume 6, issue 1, pages 5 to 42, January 2014.

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Friday, November 08, 2019

Book Review: Emotional Longevity - Breathing Space Blog

A mini review of Emotional Longevity by Norman Anderson

    Why do optimists have lower blood pressure and heightened immunity? Why have studies found asthmatics breathe easier after writing down traumatic events? And how is it that good relationships are a buffer against everything from heart disease to the common cold and religious observance so often goes hand-in-hand with longevity

    Norman Anderson, CEO of the American Psychological Association, believes in a new approach to health as a way to understand longevity. Instead of the traditional view of physical health, Anderson says the interaction of six "well-being" factors can explain the differences in longevity.

        1) biological
        2) psychological
        3) behavioral
        4) economic
        5) religious/spiritual
        6) emotional

    * He argues that there must be a scientific explanation for why some people recover from serious illness such as a heart attack while other patients remain disabled.

    * This multifaceted approach goes beyond the increasing acceptance of nontraditional medicine; it is an entirely new way to approach life, with specific medical support.

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Thursday, November 07, 2019

Productivity via Concentration - Breathing Space Blog

Amazingly we spend 47% of our time, thinking about something other than what is going on, based on a study published in the Harvard Gazette. Hence a most extraordinary productivity benefit awaits those who can concentrate on the item at hand.

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Monday, November 04, 2019

Fleeting Friendships? - Breathing Space Blog

Today's students live in a hyper-accelerated communications culture and may actually have a diminished concept of friendship. This cheapening is typified by a type of cell phone banter that goes something like this: "Hey, what're you up to? ...I might catch up with you later."

The second phrase reveals quite a bit about the changing definition of friendship. The meaning translates to, "I'm not willing to commit my evening to you because I might end up with a better offer. However if I don't come up with anything else, I might be back in touch and you could become part of my evening."

How dreadful.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Work-Life Balance - Breathing Space Blog

Work-Life Balance: The Prevailing Issue of Our Times
                                  by Jeff Davidson

For several years now, those who apparently have no idea what work-life balance is and have virtually never experienced it are proclaiming that it is passé, in favor of work-life harmony, or work-life integration.

The truth is, these terms all mean approximately the same things. You can split hairs anyway you want, and I suppose that's a good way to differentiate a program if you're seeking to offer one to clients, but the reality is work-life balance is the overarching issue of our time that all career professionals strive to achieve.

As The Work-life Balance Expert®,® I define work-life balance as the ability to experience a sense of control and to stay productive and competitive at work while maintaining a happy, healthy home-life with sufficient leisure. It is attaining focus and awareness despite seemingly endless tasks and activities competing for your time and attention.

Work-life balance entails having some breathing space for yourself each day, feeling a sense of accomplishment while not being consumed by work, and having an enjoyable domestic life without short-changing career obligations. It is rooted in whatever fulfillment means to you within 24-hour days, seven-day weeks, and however many years you have left.

Supporting Disciplines
Several disciplines support work-life balance though, individually, none are synonymous with work-life balance:

1) Self Management
Sufficiently managing one's self can be challenging, particularly in getting proper sleep, exercise, and nutrition. Self-management is the recognition that effectively using the spaces in our lives is vital, and that life, time, and available resources are finite. It means becoming captain of our own ship; no one is coming to steer for us.

2) Time Management
Effective time management involves making optimal use of your day and the supporting resources that can be summoned – you can only keep pace when your resources match your challenges. Time management is enhanced through appropriate goals and discerning what is both important and urgent, versus important OR urgent. It entails understanding what you do best and when, and assembling the appropriate tools to accomplish specific tasks.

3) Stress Management
By nature, societies tend to become more complex over time. In the face of increasing complexity, stress on the individual is inevitable. More people, noise, and distractions, independent of one's individual circumstances, require each of us to become more adept at maintaining tranquility and being able to work ourselves out of pressure-filled situations. Most forms of multi-tasking ultimately increase our stress, while focusing on one thing at a time helps decrease stress.

4) Change Management
In our fast-paced world, change is virtually the only constant. Continually adopting new methods, adapting old, and re-adapting all methods is vital to a successful career and a happy home life. Effective change management involves offering periodic and concerted efforts so that the volume and rate of change at work and at home does not overwhelm or defeat you.

5) Technology Management
Effectively managing technology requires ensuring that technology serves you, rather than abuses you. Technology has always been with us, since the first walking stick, spear, flint, and wheel. Today, the rate of technological change is accelerating, brought on by vendors seeking expanding market share. Often you have no choice but to keep up with the technological Joneses, but rule technology, don’t let it rule you.

6) Leisure Management
The most overlooked of the work-life balance supporting disciplines, leisure management acknowledges the importance of rest and relaxation- that one can't short-change leisure, and that "time off" is a vital component of the human experience. Curiously, too much of the same leisure activity, however enjoyable, can lead to monotony. Thus, effective leisure management requires varying one's activities.

Entirely Achievable
Achieving work-life balance does not require radical changes in what you do. It is about developing fresh perspectives and sensible, actionable solutions that are appropriate for you. It is fully engaging in life with what you have, right where you are, smack dab in the ever-changing dynamics of your existence.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Joy of Breathing Deeply - Breathing Space Blog

Take time to breathe deeply. Lie on the floor or sit up straight in a chair. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Starting with your feet, release tension throughout your body.  Breathe in deeply as you focus on a specific area, and relax as you exhale.  Doing this for ten minutes a day will help you calm your nerves and clear your mind.

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Sunday, October 06, 2019

Being "Fully Present" - Breathing Space Blog

"Be fully present”
Samantha Power, U.S. Office of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights

Excerpted from Occidental College commencement address, years back, and the situation has gotten worse:

IN WHATEVER YOU do, try to be present, fully present. As Satchel Paige put it, “Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s watching.” You gotta be all in. This means leaving your technology behind occasionally and listening to a friend without half of your brain preoccupied by its inner longing for the red light on the BlackBerry.

I have gotten some glimpses of modern learning: In many college classes, laptops depict split screens -- notes from a class, and then a range of parallel stimulants: NBA playoff statistics on ESPN.com, a flight home on Expedia, and a new flirtation on Facebook....I know how good you are at multitasking. You have developed the modern muscle set. I know of what I speak because I, too, am a culprit.

You have never seen a U.S. government official and new mother so dexterous in her ability simultaneously to BlackBerry and breast-feed. But I promise you that over time this doesn’t cut it. Something or someone loses out. No more than a surgeon can operate while tweeting can you reach your potential with one ear in, and one ear out. You actually have to reacquaint yourself with concentration. We all do. We should all become, as Henry James prescribed, a person “on whom nothing is lost.”

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