Get It Together

How to get organized at work and at home-and why you'll be more productive once you've simplified.

Immersed In Relaxation

The best things in life really are free.

Mountain sunset and sunrise 016  When did you last relax? I mean REALLY relax. Think of a time when there wasn't the distraction of television, you weren't on your computer, and had nobody demanding your time.  Your brain wasn't thinking of yesterday or tomorrow, or anything at all, except what you were doing (or not doing) right at that moment. How long ago was it? I hope it was within the past week, but if not, read on...

Stephen Covey, renowned author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, says the 7th Habit is Sharpen The Saw. The thinking is that when cutting a tree, it's important to stop periodically to sharpen the saw. Sure, you technically lose a little time from the cutting process, but the time you lose is more than recouped in the time and effort you save by using a sharper tool.

In life, Sharpen The Saw just means taking time to take care of YOU -- to sharpen your own saw -- so you can be effective and powerful for yourself and others, both personally and professionally. One great way to sharpen is to just relax. But I believe it's important to take time to TOTALLY relax, not the fake relaxation we sometimes do, accompanied by all manner of distractions.

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Totally relaxing might be the equivalent of meditating to some people, but for me, that even seems to effortful. This weekend at the mountain house, I did a LOT of totally relaxing. I sat on the deck looking out at the mountains, sipping coffee or a cocktail (depending on the time of day) and simply sit and think whatever thoughts came up about what was around me. Or not think at all. Tooooootally relaxed. And as a result... recharged! Re-energized, re-focused, and re-READY TO ROCK AND ROLL, BABY!

So try to build in some TRUE relaxation time as frequently as you can. Even once a week for fifteen minutes is like a little vacation and it will really help you slow down, think more clearly and be a better you.

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Atlanta-based organizing expert Monica Ricci is the author of Organize Your Office In No Time, a busy person's guide to tackling clutter and disorganization at work.

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