Inspired Project Teams

Enduring Wisdom & Guided Challenges to Help Project Teams Achieve Their Best

  • Mar 28

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    [This book excerpt is from “Taking Care of Yourself:  Managing Your Priorities, Time, & Energy” in The Project Management Minimalist]

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    Everybody knows you need to do these things, right? But here are some reminders why they’re so important.

    “All nighters” generally don’t work. How many times have you heard about someone studying all night for an important test, only to show up at school, “go blank,” and then blow the test? The two pictures below show why that happens.

    neurons-firing

    The image on the left represents a properly firing neuron in the brain, complete with an efficient electro-chemical exchange that permits good thinking. The picture on the right represents a neuron that’s clogged by accumulated waste products. This neuron is unable to work properly. It’s owner may think of himself as a hero-workaholic, sitting for hours and hours on end at his computer. But his brain is full of waste products and there’s no way he’s really thinking clearly. So he’s not doing anyone any favors by working too long without rest.

    These waste products can only be cleared by two things: 1) Rest… allowing blood flow to take away all the crud and bring in fresh chemicals for proper firing, and 2) nutrients that provide those fresh chemicals. The moral of the story: You gotta get enough rest and allow your brain to clear/replenish its chemicals if you want to be effective.

    But don’t take my word for it. Here are some quotes by a couple of guys who’ve spent their careers researching the topic of peak performance among athletes, business people, and others:

     “… our capacity to be fully engaged depends on our ability to periodically disengage.”

     “[Periodization is] maximizing performance by alternating periods of activity with periods of rest… ‘work-rest’ ratios lie at the heart of periodization, a training method used by elite athletes throughout the world.”

    —  Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz, in The Power of Full Engagement

      Then there’s this from Evan Robinson’s review of research on working in “crunch mode:”

    “Productivity starts to go down each day after 4 – 6 hours of continuous work. After enough hours, productivity goes to zero or may even become negative due to extra errors & mistakes.”

    Evan Robinson, Why Crunch Mode Doesn’t Work: 6 Lessons http://archives.igda.org/articles/erobinson_crunch.php

    And finally, Loehr and Schwartz remind us of the value of drinking enough water:

    “… research suggests that drinking at least sixty-four ounces of water at intervals throughout the day serves performance in a range of important ways.. Inadequate hydration …. compromises concentration and coordination.”

    —  Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz, The Power of Full Engagement

     So c’mon. You know better!  Make sure you get enough sleep, rest, and water.

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    Learn more about The Project Management Minimalist Collection

     

     

     

    [This book excerpt was from “Taking Care of Yourself:  Managing Your Priorities, Time, & Energy” in The Project Management Minimalist]

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    Go deeper! Check Out These Articles:

  • Oct 1

    If you’ve visited this website before, you know I’m a big fan of mindful meditation. I meditate daily… sometimes a couple of times a day. It’s like pressing “reset” on your mind, helping to clear it and refresh your mental computer screen. I also enjoy camping, getting out there in the woods and just staring into a beautiful river or watching a campfire at night.  There’s something mesmerizing about a fire — the flames dancing, the wood snapping and crackling, the warmth radiating to chase away the chill.

    A few weeks ago we camped at an amazing location where I was able to combine both of these favorite views. It was at the Riverhurst Park Campground along the Allegheny River, near Olean, NY. As I sat under the tall, old-growth hemlocks and pines beside the river and watched the flames from my little campfire, I began wishing I could capture this scene and replay it over and over again, back in my office when things get crazy. So that’s just what I did. And I’m pleased to share it with you.

    The next time your “life in the projects” is driving you crazy, why not relax by my little fire and maybe meditate a little while? Enjoy!  [Technical note: Check your video playback settings… it’s prettier at 480p!]

    Learn more…

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