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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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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

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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Saturday, September 28, 2019

Are You Too Busy to Exercise? - Breathing Space Blog

Author Edwin Bliss once wrote that if you are too busy to exercise, you are too busy. In the hierarchy of values, few items can have higher priority than health, and if you find time for watching television but not for tennis or golf or jogging, it's time to return to sanity: do the most important things first. Best idea?: exercise WHILE you watch TV!

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Are You Too Busy to Exercise? - Breathing Space Blog

Author Edwin Bliss once wrote that if you are too busy to exercise, you are too busy. In the hierarchy of values, few items can have higher priority than health, and if you find time for watching television but not for tennis or golf or jogging, it's time to return to sanity: do the most important things first. Best idea?: exercise WHILE you watch TV!

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Monday, September 23, 2019

Take a Stand at Work - Breathing Space Blog

A feature many years ago in Men's Health caught my eye, as I have been using a stand-up desk for the last eight years:

Stand In The Place Where You Work: "Quit sitting down on the job. Australian scientists found that workers who log more than 6 hours of chair time a day are up to 68 percent more likely to be overweight than those who sit less. One solution: Ask HR for a stand-up desk. You burn one more calorie each minute when standing than when sitting. (Do the math.) Request denied? Create your own stand-up workstation: Place your monitor on a box, with the top of the screen at arm's length and at eye level, and elevate your keyboard so your elbows are bent 90 degrees. A bonus: Your posture will improve from standing instead of slumping."

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Take a Stand at Work - Breathing Space Blog

A feature many years ago in Men's Health caught my eye, as I have been using a stand-up desk for the last eight years:

Stand In The Place Where You Work: "Quit sitting down on the job. Australian scientists found that workers who log more than 6 hours of chair time a day are up to 68 percent more likely to be overweight than those who sit less. One solution: Ask HR for a stand-up desk. You burn one more calorie each minute when standing than when sitting. (Do the math.) Request denied? Create your own stand-up workstation: Place your monitor on a box, with the top of the screen at arm's length and at eye level, and elevate your keyboard so your elbows are bent 90 degrees. A bonus: Your posture will improve from standing instead of slumping."

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Monday, September 09, 2019

Better Living Through Less Clutter - Breathing Space Blog

With the introduction of satellite television, the Internet, which was not prominent before 1993, and all the consumer choices that exist, many things that compete for your time and attention. If you cram that into the same 24-hour day or 168-hour week that you have always had, then your perception will be that time is speeding by.

For example, if you talk to a friend, watch a single television show while doing nothing else, read a book, or engage in any singular activity for one hour, you will have a certain perception of how quickly that hour will pass. But, if you pack more tasks into that same hour: the television being on, trying to read a book, maybe eating, maybe looking at 4-year-old; maybe a friend calls; maybe fiddling with an iPhone, and so on, then you perception of time changes. So, the more things that you can fit into that hour, then more things compete for your time and attention, and the faster that hour passes will seem to pass.

Does this seem like all the makings of a chaotic life? We each have 24 hours in day, so how are you supposed to fit in all of your daily tasks without getting so stressed out or frustrated that you cannot finish any? The answer is: less is more.

You can only eat one meal at a time. Focus on the task at hand and reflect on that 60's phrase, Be Here Now! You can actually taste the food when you are eating. You can actually watch the show that you are watching. You can actually play the sport that you are playing. Have the emotional and financial strength to let go of all the peripheral items competing for your time and attention and focus on the activity at hand.

The message that is being disseminated in contemporary society is to practice multi-tasking. "Do multiple things at once." "Click here." "Push here." "Turn me on." "Switch me on." Every place you look, you are besieged by more items competing for your time and attention. Now, people actually have dwindling attention spans. They lack the ability to remain focused on the same subject for more than a few minutes and, sadly, some people for more than a few seconds.

The key to reclaiming your time is to practice the art, something I call an art, of doing one thing at a time. Sounds pretty simple, doesn't it? Focus on the task at hand and be present in the moment.

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Better Living Through Less Clutter - Breathing Space Blog

With the introduction of satellite television, the Internet, which was not prominent before 1993, and all the consumer choices that exist, many things that compete for your time and attention. If you cram that into the same 24-hour day or 168-hour week that you have always had, then your perception will be that time is speeding by.

For example, if you talk to a friend, watch a single television show while doing nothing else, read a book, or engage in any singular activity for one hour, you will have a certain perception of how quickly that hour will pass. But, if you pack more tasks into that same hour: the television being on, trying to read a book, maybe eating, maybe looking at 4-year-old; maybe a friend calls; maybe fiddling with an iPhone, and so on, then you perception of time changes. So, the more things that you can fit into that hour, then more things compete for your time and attention, and the faster that hour passes will seem to pass.

Does this seem like all the makings of a chaotic life? We each have 24 hours in day, so how are you supposed to fit in all of your daily tasks without getting so stressed out or frustrated that you cannot finish any? The answer is: less is more.

You can only eat one meal at a time. Focus on the task at hand and reflect on that 60's phrase, Be Here Now! You can actually taste the food when you are eating. You can actually watch the show that you are watching. You can actually play the sport that you are playing. Have the emotional and financial strength to let go of all the peripheral items competing for your time and attention and focus on the activity at hand.

The message that is being disseminated in contemporary society is to practice multi-tasking. "Do multiple things at once." "Click here." "Push here." "Turn me on." "Switch me on." Every place you look, you are besieged by more items competing for your time and attention. Now, people actually have dwindling attention spans. They lack the ability to remain focused on the same subject for more than a few minutes and, sadly, some people for more than a few seconds.

The key to reclaiming your time is to practice the art, something I call an art, of doing one thing at a time. Sounds pretty simple, doesn't it? Focus on the task at hand and be present in the moment.

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Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Your Environment, Your Control - Breathing Space Blog

At my speeches audience members say to me, "I'm able to handle the tasks in front of me for the day, but if I get one more call or one critical email, everything is just thrown off." That's why it is important to  condition your work environment.

Observe your office, your car, your home, and all of the other physical spaces in your life, and ask, "What can I do to make these spaces work for me in the way I work and in the way I live my life?"

Take your desk, for example: realize that it must be specifically set up for you. Position your PC monitor in the way that's most comfortable for you. If you need tissues, candy, or certain supplies, then put them on your desk, close at hand.

Look at your desk in new ways. Align it so that it supports the way you work, regardless of how it looks to anyone else. Never mind what the person down the hall thinks! Identify the items you need, and then condition your desk to work for you. Remove piles from the window sills or cabinets tops and put them into file folders. Gain some clear space!

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Your Environment, Your Control - Breathing Space Blog

At my speeches audience members say to me, "I'm able to handle the tasks in front of me for the day, but if I get one more call or one critical email, everything is just thrown off." That's why it is important to  condition your work environment.

Observe your office, your car, your home, and all of the other physical spaces in your life, and ask, "What can I do to make these spaces work for me in the way I work and in the way I live my life?"

Take your desk, for example: realize that it must be specifically set up for you. Position your PC monitor in the way that's most comfortable for you. If you need tissues, candy, or certain supplies, then put them on your desk, close at hand.

Look at your desk in new ways. Align it so that it supports the way you work, regardless of how it looks to anyone else. Never mind what the person down the hall thinks! Identify the items you need, and then condition your desk to work for you. Remove piles from the window sills or cabinets tops and put them into file folders. Gain some clear space!

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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Out of Control? - Breathing Space Blog

Early warning signs when you’re heading for an "out of control" situation: Control is always based on your perception; still any time you start stacking horizontal piles on your desk you are operating in a malfunctioning mode.

If you find yourself perpetually 5 to 10 minutes late for meetings and always handling activities up to the last minute before turning your attention to what is next, you are leaving yourself wide open for some anxious moments. Also if you don't give yourself enough physical space to handle a task you are also likely to feel out of control.

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Out of Control? - Breathing Space Blog

Early warning signs when you’re heading for an "out of control" situation: Control is always based on your perception; still any time you start stacking horizontal piles on your desk you are operating in a malfunctioning mode.

If you find yourself perpetually 5 to 10 minutes late for meetings and always handling activities up to the last minute before turning your attention to what is next, you are leaving yourself wide open for some anxious moments. Also if you don't give yourself enough physical space to handle a task you are also likely to feel out of control.

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Monday, August 19, 2019

Sleep-deprived Professions - Breathing Space Blog



The top 10 most sleep-deprived professions are:

* Company directors (averaging 5.9 hours of sleep a night)
* Ambulance crew/paramedics (6 hours)
* Tradesmen (6 hours)
* Leisure and hospitality workers (6 hours)
* Police officers (6.1 hours)

* Factory workers (6.2 hours)
* Nurses (6.3 hours)
* Engineers (6.3 hours)
* Doctors (6.4 hours)
* Civil servants (6.4 hours)

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Sleep-deprived Professions - Breathing Space Blog



The top 10 most sleep-deprived professions are:

* Company directors (averaging 5.9 hours of sleep a night)
* Ambulance crew/paramedics (6 hours)
* Tradesmen (6 hours)
* Leisure and hospitality workers (6 hours)
* Police officers (6.1 hours)

* Factory workers (6.2 hours)
* Nurses (6.3 hours)
* Engineers (6.3 hours)
* Doctors (6.4 hours)
* Civil servants (6.4 hours)

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