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Posts Tagged ‘love in the workplace’

If you are like me, you know how precious time is.  You’ve also suddenly realized that twenty (or thirty) years have flown by in a flash.   Aside from a dozen or so life-changing and amazing moments I can’t recall everything I’ve done in all those years that mattered, I mean really, really mattered; I can probably better tell you what I haven’t done.

This quote by Henry Van Dyke sums up time best, “Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.”

After careful contemplation I’ve concluded that outside of love, time is the most valuable commodity in the Universe.  Time and love are two things we can never have enough of; and they are the two things we spend our lives fighting for and once shared you can never take either of them back.

You may find it odd how many times I write about love in a blog that is about business.  But I find it odd that we don’t talk more about love in business.  Without getting too philosophical, I can tell you that after my recent trip home for the funeral of my friends’ 17 year old son; it’s apparent that time and love are the only two things that matter in the end.

So why am I writing about these two subjects as if they’re interchangeable?  Because I believe they are.  Time is all we have to give to the ones we love.  Our careers are a means to an end and if we’re lucky, it’s a means to happiness and joy because we love what we do!  Time is something we either manage well or have no sense of.  Love is something that is either a part of everything we do or grossly missing from the picture.  Yes, time is money, but spending time with others is how we show love…an invaluable gift.  If we are lacking in time-management skills it could take away from the time and love we get to share with our families.  It’s that simple of an equation.

Personally, I have some decisions to make about how I’m going to spend my professional time this year.  I have to weigh out the fact that I’m needed to manage the State Fair as a project against the reality that my balancing of  job, life and love could use some work of its own.  I will either be a living, breathing testimony to what I’m trying to convey or I will be a slave to the clock and missing precious time with the people I care most about.

A year ago today I wrote of a new day, a new beginning and a year full of unknown professional challenges.  Right now, as I’m looking at what those challenges are and what they will be again this year, I have to really take stock of my priorities.  The best news of all of this is that I have a choice.  I am the person deciding where I invest my heart, my head and my time. Can I truly make the most of each day so that I have some time and love left to share with my family?

The answer lies somewhere in the commitment I’m willing to make to each day.  I’m not talking about resolutions or crazy quips to get me through each day; I’m talking about a lifestyle that embraces making the most out of each and every moment.  Is it possible, you ask?  I think it is!  Here is a 21-step plan that I’m going to try for 21 days – you can try it, too:

  1. Before you get out of bed, breathe in through your nose and out making a “ha” noise.  Do it five times (it gets your blood circulating)
  2. When you’re standing in your closet looking for your clothes for the day, slide your left arm down your side, then your right…repeat five times on each side
  3. If you can, jump in the shower before you do ANYTHING else in the morning, even before coffee.  Try it!  There’s something stimulating about water and helps you to think more clearly
  4. Don’t get on email or Facebook before work
  5. Invest in a good travel coffee cup and use it for your 2nd cup of coffee during your commute
  6. Try to force yourself to laugh out loud (even if it’s a fake laugh) for at least one minute while you’re driving (it is great exercise for your diaphragm and it releases endorphins )
  7. Arrive to work 15 minutes before you really want to get started
  8. Make sure to make the rounds (quickly, but sincerely) to say “Good Morning” to everyone in your office
  9. When you turn on your computer, answer outstanding emails in that 15 minute window
  10. Try to have “email” times set aside so you don’t get bogged down with the constant interruption every time you hear the “ding” of a new message
  11. Take a break for lunch and if you can, take the stairs, go out on the rooftop or do something that forces you to take in the beauty of your surroundings
  12. Carve out another 15 minutes somewhere to write personal thank you’s or to touch bases with business acquaintances that have been on your mind
  13. If you get bogged down with Facebook, bill-paying or personal business during the day, earmark 15 to 30 minutes to knock stuff like that out.  If your mind is full of things you keep meaning to get done, your head won’t be in the game
  14. Do the hard stuff first: outbound sales calls, proposals, etc. THEN do the more task-oriented functions of your job
  15. Before you leave, make a bullet list for tomorrow putting the hard projects at the top of the list
  16. Stay late if you have to, but leave it at work!
  17. On your way home try not to talk on your cell, listen to relaxing music, breathe and get geared up to give your family your undivided attention
  18. Before bed stretch and recall a few things you were grateful for in your day
  19. Try to go to bed before 10 p.m.
  20. Try the “ha” breathing again while you’re lying in bed
  21. Fall asleep while saying “thank you” for every little thing you are grateful for (your bed, your favorite pillow, your family, your job, your home, your clothes, running water, a furnace, etc.)

It only takes 21 days to form a habit.  I need some new habits; some good ones!  I want the time I give to everyone in my life to be quality.  I want people to think of me as caring, thoughtful and loving…in both the workplace and at home.  I have some work to do but I am committed to finding balance.

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I use it every day.  The more I find myself engaged in relationships that cross both personal and professional boundaries, the less I try to resist.  I can also say that the advent of social networking has made building true friendships easier at work where once a line was drawn. And dropping a “love ya,” or a “sending love your way” comment seems to soften those lines even more.  Facebook made me do it, I’ll say.  Facebook made me love these people!

I enjoy telling people I love them.  I think people need to hear it more often.  I feel good knowing that if you or I got hit by a bus tomorrow, you would know that I truly cared.  I see people hurting in the workplace; whether it be health reasons, family woes or car troubles, and if I think they need an “I love you,” by golly I’m giving it to them.  The bad news is we’ve become such a nation of political correctness that it’s inappropriate to tell people you love them at work.  And just like Roberta Flack, I ask, “Where Is the Love?”

Sadly, it’s left Corporate America…and even more disconcerting are the stats that we spend more time with the people we work with than we do with the people we live with.  Reports say that the average full-time worker spends 9.3 hours at, and commuting to, work versus the 1.8 hours per day of quality time in the home.  Of that “quality time,” .31 hours of it is spent watching television.  Seems to me that a little love just might be what’s missing from the mix.

I was once reprimanded at a corporate job for calling a list of required items needed for a loan closing, a “love note.”  Anyone  who had ever done business with me knew it was my personal way of lightening up the ugly list of items being requested (demanded) by the underwriters, i.e., 2 years tax returns; 2 months bank statements, pay stubs, etc.  Calling it a love note, then asking for all the required documents somehow made the gathering more pleasurable if you can call that task pleasurable.  For me, it was an extension of the love and care I took in finding the right loan, positively communicating and making their experience one they’d tell their friends about.  For corporate banking, however it was considered a recipe for a lawsuit.  I say, losing that personal touch is what’s contributed to the demise of the American Dream.  The missing ingredient IS love–for what you do, how you do it and how you treat people along the way.

Okay, so you can’t go around telling people you love them all day because 1) they’d think you were certifiable, 2) they’d probably think you were selling Amway (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and 3) they  probably are not prepared to reciprocate–which makes for some awkward silence–so here’s my solution:

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can. As often as you can!

Not my words, but I think John Wesley, founder of the Methodist church, was onto something.  The thought and intent behind his words fit any religion or lack thereof.  I think his quote DEFINES love.

The basic premise behind the quote has to be the kind of principles this country, and its workforce, were founded on.  I say if you can’t say it, show it; and if you can’t show it, sing it!  As John, Paul, George and Ringo once said, “All You Need is Love!”

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I use it every day.  The more I find myself engaged in relationships that cross both personal and professional boundaries, the less I try to resist.  I can also say that the advent of social networking has made building true friendships easier at work where once a line was drawn. And dropping a “love ya,” or a “sending love your way” comment seems to soften those lines even more.  Facebook made me do it, I’ll say.  Facebook made me love these people!

I enjoy telling people I love them.  I think people need to hear it more often.  I feel good knowing that if you or I got hit by a bus tomorrow, you would know that I truly cared.  I see people hurting in the workplace; whether it be health reasons, family woes or car troubles, and if I think they need an “I’m thinking about your family” or an “I love you,” by golly I’m giving it to them.  The bad news is we’ve become such a nation of political correctness that it’s inappropriate to tell people you love them at work.  And just like Roberta Flack, I ask, “Where Is the Love?”

Sadly, it’s left Corporate America…and even more disconcerting are the stats that we spend more time with the people we work with than we do with the people we live with.  Reports say that the average full-time worker spends 9.3 hours at, and commuting to, work versus the 1.8 hours per day of quality time in the home.  Of that “quality time,” .31 hours is spent watching television.  Seems to me that a little love just might be what’s missing from the mix.

I was once reprimanded at a corporate job for calling a list of required items needed for a loan closing, a “love note.”  Anyone  who had ever done business with me knew it was my personal way of lightening up the ugly list of items being requested (demanded) by the underwriters, i.e., 2 years tax returns; 2 months bank statements, pay stubs, etc.  Calling it a love note, then asking for all the required documents somehow made the gathering more pleasurable if you can call that task pleasurable.  For me, it was an extension of the love and care I took in finding the right loan, positively communicating and making their experience one they’d tell their friends about.  For corporate banking, however it was considered a recipe for a lawsuit.  I say, losing that personal touch is what’s contributed to the demise of the American Dream.  The missing ingredient IS love–for what you do, how you do it and how you treat people along the way.

Okay, so you can’t go around telling people you love them all day because 1) they’d think you were certifiable, 2) they’d probably think you were selling Amway (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and 3) they  probably are not prepared to reciprocate–which makes for some awkward silence–so here’s my solution:

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can. As often as you can!

Not my words, but I think John Wesley, founder of the Methodist church, was onto something.  The thought and intent behind his words fit any religion or lack thereof.  I think his quote DEFINES love.

The basic premise behind the quote has to be the kind of principles this country, and its workforce, were founded on.  I say if you can’t say it, show it.  And I agree, along with John, Paul, George and Ringo, All You Need is Love!

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