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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tips for Success When Overdrive Isn't Enough

Many of us spend most, if not all, of our waking hours in ONE gear, "overdrive", characterized by a driven, focused attention to accomplishing items on the To Do list, a "can-do" attitude, and a relentless, linear push for results, completions, and on to the next. But it's not the right gear for every situation.

Albert Einstein once said, "The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them." This point of view is extremely relevant to the way most of us live our lives.

Many of us spend most, if not all, of our waking hours in ONE gear, "overdrive", characterized by a driven, focused attention to accomplishing items on the To Do list, a "can-do" attitude, and a relentless, linear push for results, completions, and on to the next. It is the mode that our culture applauds and favors, supported by the availability of high-grade, hi-test coffee every quarter of a mile; you don't even have to get out of your car! It's a good gear, don't get me wrong! I personally love being in that gear, and I love getting stuff done!

But it's not the right gear for every situation. We cannot solve our "serious problems" with it, as Einstein observed. It's not the right gear for breakthrough thinking. Creative problem solving requires deeper thinking, a more big-picture perspective, and detachment. It's also not the right gear for spending time with a young child, which requires being in the moment, present, slowed down, and with no To Do list in mind! In this mode, you can relate to the child on his own terms as well as access your intuition and inner wisdom, which will guide you in developing a nurturing relationship with the child.

Over the next months, at times when you feel exhausted and depleted, check in with yourself to see what gear you are in. Chances are you have been spending too much time in Overdrive, and need to use some of your other gears. Try shifting into balanced gear. Do not feel guilty about it! Bottom line, big picture, it will allow you to be more effective in all the arenas of your life.

Copyright 2006 Sharon Teitelbaum. All rights reserved.

Sharon Teitelbaum, author of "Getting Unstuck Without Coming Unglued: Restoring Work-Life Balance," Master Certified Coach, and motivational speaker, helps high achievers re-claim their work-life balance. Her interactive coaching process provides a powerful catalyst towards greater career and life satisfaction. Sharon's work has been featured in national publications including The New York Times, Forbes.com, and Working Mother Magazine. Visit Sharon's website at http://www.stcoach.com and subscribe to "Strategies of Change" to receive practical tips for work-life success.

 

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