We’ve all heard the same advice: get your rest, exercise, blah, blah,blah. Huffington is on the bandwagon too, but her approach is a refreshing read. She offers different perspectives including her own, as an individual and as a CEO responsible for an organization’s health. She offers data, but not too much, and examples of the many ways to achieve well-being.
Her arguments are helpful, supportive and nonjudgmental, encouraging individuals and corporations to commit to well-being for significant business and personal reasons. Her arguments are convincing and she offers lots of specifics like:
- mandatory vacations
- benefits for part-timers
- wellness incentives
- nap rooms
- standing desks
- PTO- Predictable Time Off – no email, no smartphone, no work
- Quiet Time
I hesitate to put this list here as many leaders will read it, not their heads and move on. Her writing is strong and convincing and full of facts and proofs. Each item on the list matters and has a significant impact on the bottom line. The hows and whys are expanded on in this chapter. Any leader that sees the impact of stress and burn-out on their teams, or that agonizes about the increasing health care costs their company is incurring, should look for inspiration in this chapter.
And then there are her thoughts on Sleep. (She talks about it as if it should be capitalized so I did.) I haven’t heard any corporate leader talk more about Sleep – THE performance enhancing drug. Many, many pages are dedicated to this essential ingredient to peak performance including tips on how to change your sleep habits – like setting an alarm to GO to bed. Also included in the well-being plan are suggestions about things like walking and having a pet. And she is as extensive in her writing about meditation as she is about Sleep. (I mean Meditation)
For me, I was drawn to her discussion of mindfulness. It sits easier with me. And I found her challenge/suggestion intriguing. It is about habit breaking – getting off autopilot, even when autopilot works perfectly fine. Like brushin your teeth. Find a daily habit that you do automatically, and train yourself to pay attention. Through this habit-breaking you will start to learn how to be mindful about other things. It takes training and it is essential in this world full of distractions.
“Identify a regular activity that trains your mind to be still, fully present, and connect with yourself. Just do it regularly and integrate the benefits in to your everyday life” (p.53)
I’m going to take her up on it – and go with the toothbrushing example… because I’m guessing I’m not alone in wandering around my bathroom and bedroom with a toothbrush in my mouth, looking for my shoes or picking out a blouse, or whatever. I think it will be hard for me to concentrate on just brushing my teeth, but I am feeling the need to control my distractability – and this is a good way to start. As a matter of fact, I was just in an airport restroom, and used the hand dryer that advertises the most effective drying in 12 seconds. It concerns me that I was actually impatient for it to be over. Really – 12 seconds??!!! Like I said – I need to control my distractability and pay attention- even to the little things, or may be especially to the little things.