The Appreciation Factor

All things Appreciation: Things to appreciate and the Ways we look at, Show and Think about Appreciation.

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To Re-gift or Not to Re-gift – Tacky or Tasteful?

For those of you that may not know me well, I LOVE giving the perfect gift. I’m a great gift giver.  There I’ve said it.
Not one to wait until two weeks before Christmas, I’m on the hunt all year-long.  I save potential and “assigned” gifts in a special place in my home, which I affectionately call the Treasure Drawer. (Maybe a future company name for me?) But I digress.

My approach is simple.  I love trying to get in to the psyche of the recipient, by watching their habits and products they use, asking inquiring questions (a list) and just, well, knowing them.  I strive to get them something that they will really appreciate and use, or something that will make them smile.  However for some of us, gift buying and gift giving is just stressful.  There are the crowds, the cost, the not knowing what to give, when to give, never mind who exactly should get a gift. The list goes on.

This brings me to the topic of re-gifting.  On a recent Boston Public Radio show, (listen to the 12/12/14 podcast here (about 41 mins in), the hosts, Jim & Margery, discussed whether it was right or wrong to re-gift.

The term re-gifting became popular after a Seinfeld episode on etiquette, after Jerry receives a label maker that Elaine had gifted to a friend Regift Image 1
(Check out this clip courtesy You Tube/NBC/Seinfeld).

There’s now even a “national” Re-gifting day! It’s designated as the 3rd Thursday in December!

Jim shared that 62% of people re-gift at the holidays, and almost 20% were for it. These findings greatly surprised me.

Candidly I’m just not a fan of re-gifting, nor would I consider it for my friends and family.  I appreciate them too much to do so.  However, there were many callers who were all for it and thought of it as recycling. Some even had fun family traditions revolving around a “treasured” re-gifted gift, or made a game of re-gifting items to younger siblings to keep the item in the family vs. throwing it out.  Still the idea makes me uncomfortable.

It’s not that I want to pay exorbitant prices for new and shiny things, I cannot.  My view is that I put a lot of thought in to the gift I’m purchasing or often making for him or her.  Gift giving is a passion and something that I really enjoy doing. To cast another’s less liked gift on to another just doesn’t feel right to me. It cheapens the experience, and perhaps how I may be seen in the eyes of the recipient.  And horrors, what would happen if they found out?!

What do you think – Take my poll:

If I could, I’d ban re-gifting.  Here are 5 better ideas and approaches to taking some stress out of gift giving and how avoid the re-gifted gift.

  1. Identify whom to give gifts to/Create a List
    • Draw names if your family is large. You only need to buy a gift for the name you select. (Think Secret Santa)
    • Only buy for the children in your family – adults forgo gifts. (Not a favorite as an adult – but this is just one option you can choose from.)
  2. Create/Set a budget
    • Agree to a set limit on how much each person can spend per person or per gift.
    • Create a set # of gifts one can receive.
  3. Poke around your local thrift store, Goodwill, or consignment shop.
    There are many gently used/loved items that could make an ideal gift for a friend or loved one
  4. Go to holiday (or summer if you’re an early shopper) flea markets and craft fairs
    You can find some truly unique gifts and or a great vintage find that you can re-purpose (see make your own #5)
  5. Make your Own Gift - a little ingenuity goes a long way
    • Food items, like cookies, vinegar, flavored salts and oils are great option. (Here’s a lemon infused oil from The Splendid Table.)
    • Sachets for a drawer – Simple ones can be made from a vintage handkerchief,  in which you can insert a hotel-size bar of soap, lavender, or even Cedar scraps/cage liner you find in a pet store, (This last option is inexpensive, but highly effective at keeping moths at bay!) and simply tie with a bow.
    • Ornaments made from used vitamin bottles, pop sickle sticks or pipe cleaners (I made this one), each can become a treasured favorite on the tree year-after-year.)
      • Also check out this great blog I follow, May Richer Fuller Be. Chaney just posted a 12 Days of homemade ornaments series – here are her 12 favorite picks!

As an aside, my research also found that 40% of office gifts are re-gifted presents.  This unfortunately, I could wrap my hands around, as I’ve found many office gift-exchanges are forced encouraged in the work place.  Since we often may not always like our fellow co-workers, why would we go to a lot of trouble to buy them the “perfect gift” versus foist one we’ve received but didn’t like on him or her instead. 

 I’d love to hear your feedback about re-gifting or ideas about alternatives to re-gifting.

Do you think re-gifting is unfair? Does it express laziness, or does it make you more environmentally friendly?  
Have you Re-gifted?  Were you caught?   If you haven’t ever re-gifted, why not? Is there ever a time you feel it’s appropriate?  Do you think that re-gifting indicates that you don’t appreciate the person enough (either the recipient of re-gift or the one whom you received the gift from in the first place?)

giving tuesday


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December 2nd – Bringing Back the True Meaning of the Holidays with #GivingTuesday

For many, the holidays bring stress and pressure in not only finding the right gift, but how many gifts to give, what is the best price for said gifts, and of course long linesthe annual question on whether to shop or not to shop Black Friday.  And as you know, this year Black Friday has even creeped infringed into our family time on Thanksgiving Day!!
But that is another story/blog for another day.

 

 

While all of these things may be seem important, why not stop and take the time to go back to what the holidays are really about, saying thanks and giving back.  Here at The Appreciation factor, I’ve found a new way you can do this. You can consider spreading the word and participating in #GivingTuesday 2014.  This year, December 2nd will mark the third annual #GivingTuesday.

giving tuesdayHaven’t heard about it?
Set on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday was started in 2010 as a global, 24-hour giving challenge created by thought-leaders at the UN Foundation and the 92nd Street Y.

 

#Giving Tuesday’s focus was to bring back the original sentiments of the holiday season:

  • Generosity
  • Hope
  • Goodwill, and
  • Community

And if you’ve been following me/read others posts on this blog, you’ll agree that these are all things I can get my hands around and things I appreciate vs. only looking at the retail side of things during the holidays.

According to Wikipedia,  the concept gained steam with the help of founding partnerships with The United Nations Foundation, Donors ChooseMashableGlobal Giving, the Darden Restaurant GroupGroupon, and Unilever and several others.  There ongoing success is partly due to the assistance from renewing corporate sponsorships by Google, Microsoft, Skype, Cisco, UNICEF, and the Case Foundation.  This participation has helped the #GivingTuesday initiative raise millions of dollars for thousands of non-profits.

 

Did you know? Americans give more to charitable organizations in dollars ($300B)
and as a percentage of the GDP (2.1%) than any other developed country?

Source: Forbes 2014

 

There are many non-profit organizations participating/asking for your help on #GivingTuesday, maybe one of your favorites, and many more that truly need our help at this time of year.  Plus #GivingTuesday is a great alternative to the pressure to spend, spend, spend on gifts that may not make as much of an impact.

 

The idea is simple.  Give to a non-profit organization of your choice on December 2nd.  BUT… don’t feel that the only way that you can give is financially. Here are 3 ways you can make a difference.

  1. You can post an “Unselfie”   (You read that correctly.  It’s UNselfie not Selfie.)
Unselfie

This is mine

In 2013, #GivingTuesday supporters were encouraged to take a photo of themselves or something that represented their giving, upload it to their social media account of choice, and use the hashtags: #unselfie and #GivingTuesday. It was a resounding success and they’ve asked that we take on the Unselfie challenge again this year.   Check out mine on the left!

 

 

2. Give of your time.  Pledge to give 10 mins or 10 hours of volunteer or your expertise to help further their efforts. Every little bit will help.

3.    In some cases, you can just simply spread the word, though I hope you’ll do more.

Blink Buggy, a website for uploading/storing your precious images of your children  is offering a $1 donation to Baby Buggy, a NY non-profit organization dedicated to providing families in need with essential baby equipment, products, clothing, and services, for every Facebook, Twitter, Instagram post made with essential equipment, products, clothing, and services.

So… What will you do?

MY PLEDGE
For my part, I hope to spread the word through this blog – and hope you will too.  I also pledge to give at least 25 hours of volunteer time over the next 6 months (as seen in my Unselfie).  I already volunteer at my local PBS station and local food pantry, but I plan to step it up and find at least one other non-profit to offer my services or expertise to in the next 6 months.  I’ll also be posting my Unselfie on my TAF Twitter account and on the GivingTues Twitter page, December 2nd.

Want more information/Want to get involved?

Learn More:

Share:

 

Here’s just a quick list of just a small few participating Non-Profits (see more on the Giving Tuesday website & Social Media sites)

 

On December 2nd, don’t forget to post your #Unselfie or give (in the best way for you) to your favorite non-profit. (If they don’t seem to be participating in #GivingTuesday, be sure to mention your #GivingTuesday participation along with your “donation” to help spread the word.

I’d love to hear your feedback, and about your #GivingTuesday “donations” too!


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Customers and Networking Contacts Deserve Your Thanks

It seems to be that time of year, where the question has come up again about how to appropriately say thank you to your customers and networking contacts or (to my horror) whether you should even take the time to send a thank you.

Just today I came across two references on this topic. One referred to the sales benefits you could attain by saying thanks (at all times of the year), and the other was around the topic of whether to send holiday cards as a way to show a business’ appreciation.

In the blog post by Julian Bush on Financenk’s, business development blog, called 4 Ways to increase Sales by Showing Gratitude to Customers he addresses four key areas about appreciation.  This article was totally up my ally as it had overall resounding support of showing and thinking about appreciation at all times.  Bush’s first two points supported my belief that your customers and networking contacts deserve the time to say thanks.  It’s his view that to succeed in business is to show gratitude.

Here are the two points that resonated with me regarding the client and network perspective:

Those who have helped you. 

He recommends taking time each day to send a thank you message via email, text, or Internet greeting card, (See my recommendation for this last one) to those who may have, for example, referred a client or helped you in some way.

I agree, though for me, every day might be too overwhelming and I’d want to ensure that the act of showing my appreciation was meaningful vs. a chore. (It would NOT however, be dependent upon how large or small the act of assistance or kindness was.)Picture1

 

Are you appreciative for knowing someone?

Bush’s expression of gratitude expands to all who positively impact your life. This could be your family, your friends, your customers and colleagues.  He believes that to share this appreciation will attract more of the same assistance and likely reciprocal gratitude your way.

 

 

His last two areas talk to written affirmation of what your thankful for as a whole, and in your daily life. Both are worth a review.

Bush sums up his post with the statement that by taking the time to show gratitude to your clients will reap the rewards of deep loyalty, an increase in client retention and profits. I really can’t argue this fact, as many of my clients have remained close over the span of 10-12 years. I think this partly due to my ongoing recognition of their assistance and simply their support of my business and/or services.

 

Xmas Thank you note

This leads me to the second reference I found today.  I came across this in one of my LinkedIn Groups, Sticky Branding.  A lead contributor, Jeremy Miller, posed the question, “What’s your take on the practice of sending season’s greetings cards to clients.”  While the response ran the gamut of sending personalized cards, to ones that go out at Thanksgiving or New Year’s, the answer was a resounding “YES!”  Again, I’m fully in support.  We should always extend our appreciation to those who have helped along the way.

Each year around this time, I feel lucky as I start compiling a list of customers, clients, network contacts, and colleagues who have been instrumental to my success over the past year.  Just prior to the Christmas holiday, I’ll send out cards (both traditional, non-secular printed cards or an email card (see my post on a great resource) wishing this group, “Season’s Greetings” and a reminder of how much their help, their business or general goodwill to me during the year has meant.  This list truly reminds me of how blessed I’ve been.  *NOTE: I don’t see these cards as taking the place of the acknowledgement I would have sent at the time of the action/assistance.

Thanksgiving TY Note

There were many takes on the timing of these cards. Some proposed the Thanksgiving holiday time – which I agree, is right in line with the holiday’s meaning as we think about it today. Others expounded on the “Christmas” card time frame, still others a New Year’s timing.

While I personally aim for Christmas, I thought the New Year’s group had a point. Perhaps if I delayed my delivery slight, my card could provide more impact. My card/message would be seen/read and break through the clutter. However, I did disagree with the strategy some who’s goal was to send these notes to increase business.  I send my holiday cards as a message of appreciation and thanks.  I’d like to think that no matter my timing, that the sentiment (and yes I do include a personalized 1-2 sentence thank you on each and every card I send) would be received/appreciated no matter when it reaches my recipients mail/in box.

 

 

What you do you think?
Does your business send cards?  Do you personally send notes when someone has helped you or after you’ve completed a project with a client?  Do you see your cards or thank you notes as a way to increase business/used to impact business?  Would you send one regardless of the financial impact they may or may not have? Or is there an impact on your brand or company that you think sending these out may have?


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In Business It’s Always a Great Practice

I wanted to follow up with the 2nd in the 3-part series about Why We Say Thank You, and today I’m focusing on Business Thank you notes. 

I am a big proponent of saying thank you and especially in sending  thank you notes.  I believe that saying thank you is one of the best business practices you can follow.  Thank you notes show that you are professional, you can be humble, they can help set you apart and land that great job you may be after, and they can help build strong, long-lasting relationships with colleagues, customers, prospects and key industry influencers; plus it is expected.

Writing a HW TY Note

When Should We Write Them In Business?

  • After an interview (no matter if it was in-person, on the phone or via Skype)
  • After you have received an endorsement or referral
  • When you have received advice or assistance in your career or on a project (I’d recommend these for those outside of my immediate firm.  Inside the firm a verbal thank you does the trick.)
  • Thanking a customer for their ongoing patronage of your business or services

The Handwritten vs. Typed vs. Email

HANDWRITTEN: This is my absolute top choice with it comes to sending a thank you note.  It shows that you care enough to take the extra time it takes to find a note card or stationary, write the appropriate appreciative sentiments, and put it in the mail.  It will set you apart from many who will quickly jot down an email, because you will be more likely to take more time to think about what you want to express before you write it down than you might in an email. To me this is a win win classy approach.

TYPED I have taken this approach at times where I felt the audience would be more receptive to a more formal approach. (e.g., financial institutions and clients often responded more favorably to the typed note or thank you.)  I’ve also used this version when I felt I needed more space to clarify a point in greater detail than might fit on a 4×6 thank you note.  (I’ll still keep it fairly brief and to the point  — I’ll address some times momentarily –, but it might be more straight-forward, and actually can look shorter if you take this approach.

EMAIL:   I may sound old-fashioned, but I do not believe in emailing a thank you note, especially after a job interview.  I know that some believe that emailing shows that you are technically savvy and aware of today’s electronic practices and in some cases, immediacy of the send is critical.  However, this method most often leaves me with the feeling that there was not a lot of thought that went into sending it, or that I couldn’t be bothered to write or type something and then put it in the mail.

If you absolutely feel that your handwriting is so poor that you message would be indistinguishable or if you’re applying to a company that expressed a dislike for all things paper – then email.  BUT… in no uncertain terms, take a casual approach to the message, (e.g., use slang, use a tone that expresses too much familiarity (if he/she is someone you haven’t known/done business with before.)  You should also never send a mass email or copy and paste the same body message to each of the recipients.  Each messages should be sent to one individual and personalized in the body copy based on the situation and discussion that took place.  They will compare your notes – I can guarantee that!

If you must send a note electronically, consider using an electronic card service like Puchbowl, or Hallmark (you can read more about these sites in my “An Electronic Thank You that even I Can Love” post.

Why Should I write One (Beyond the Above Reasons) aka What are the Potential Benefits?
Here are 3 Great Reasons:

  1. It makes a lasting impression, long after you’ve verbally said thank at the time of the interview, assistance or business interaction.
  2. It can help you build a solid business relationship with colleagues, customers and make a positive impression on prospects, that  extends long after he/she has received the note.
  3. It can set you apart from another candidate if: he/she did not send one, or you both are equally matched and you expressed a point you forgot to mention in the interview.  I can also show your attention-to-detail, especially if you hand write your note, and the other candidate sends a quick impersonal email.
DID YOU KNOW?
Thank you notes are expected by most hiring managers and recruiters.  According to a CareerBuilder.com survey…

Stats

Helpful Tips for Successful Thank You Notes

While I can’t write it for you, nor go into too much detail here in the post, I have assembled some personal tips I like to use and a few I’ve found that were widely accepted and expressed in the articles/blogs/etiquette sites I’ve come across:

  • Send within 24 hours of the event that prompts the thank you.
  • Use a nice store-bought thank you card (not greeting card ) or personal stationary. Crane & Co. and Hallmark make some great boxed cards you can and should keep on hand.
  • Add a “header” If you are typing the note – include your address at the top before the recipients and be sure include the date.
  • Always address the recipient as “Dear Mr. or Mrs. and their last name.  The exceptions, unless you’ve been given verbal approval to call them by their first name – you can never go wrong by being a little more formal here.  It’s also often OK to use a first name after “Dear” if you already know them/have worked with them for some time.
  • Refer to why you are writing to him/her – thank him/her for their time, the interview, the assistance etc.Thank you note
  • Keep the note as brief as possible, but be sure to add a comment, statistic or topic that you discussed. This can help set you apart and/or quickly remind the recipient who you are if they met several candidates over a long interview process. (e.g., you both love a trendy vacation spot, but shared a love for a lesser-known restaurant there… add it.)
  • Include a point you wanted to clarify if you think it could have been misinterpreted, or one that you wanted to expand on.  Keep it brief and better yet, bullet it if you can.  Using bullets can also quickly draw the eye of the recipient for these key points you want to ensure he/she sees.
  • Keep the tone professional, but add a little of your personality and don’t rehash everything that was discussed.
  • Thank them again for their time, assistance etc. before closing the letter.
  • Be sure to let hem know you’d like to keep in touch/see them again.  It shows you enjoyed and benefited from the time you spent together or the help/advice you received.
  • Enclose a business card, or contact information.  If you didn’t hand him/her a business before you left, you can do that now, or minimally include a way for them to contact you again.
  • Sign the note with “Sincerely”, or an “All the best”/”Best Regards” – Use something that is a little formal followed by your full name NEVER sign these with “Love.” Remember these are business notes, not personal ones.

I hope this gets you on your way to writing successful and frequent thank you notes. Remember you can never go wrong in thanking someone.  It can set you apart and can go a long way in bring you much success.

Do you use these same or similar tips?  Have you ever benefited from sending a thank you note?  Are there other instances you think require a thank you note?


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Illuminating A Time Honored Tradition

Throughout my life, I have either annually vacationed on Martha’s Vineyard or lived there full-time for a spell or two.  It’s a magical place and I often find comfort and appreciate the simpler times and traditions that still exist  – especially those I can find during the hectic and high-traffic month of August.  One such event, is the annual Illumination Night “hosted” by the Martha’s Vineyard Campground Meeting Association (MVCMA).  This is a magical night where cottages shine brightly with silk Japanese and Chinese lanterns as well as some modern-day paper ones, and 200,000 visitors stroll around the centralized Tabernacle to the tunes of the Vineyard Haven Community Band.

Illumination Night, once such a close-to-the-vest secret that you would only know of its arrival when you saw MVCMA residents hanging lanterns in preparation for the night’s festivities, now seems to be annually held on the third Wednesday of August.  It originated 145 years ago as Governor’s Day – a day where the Island marked the visit of the Governor of Massachusetts.

The history of the Martha’s Vineyard Campground Association started back in 1835 as the first Island campmeeting (aka campground) called Wesleyan Grove.  Primarily Methodist congregations from off-Island would set up and live in “society tents” that encircled an open-air tabernacle.  In the 1860s and 1870s, the tents were replaced by “permanent” wooden (and often-referred to as gingerbread) cottages.  Today, only just over 300 remain from the almost 500 of the past.

Some homes and special lanterns and paper parasols I loved this year:

Illumination Night 13 Collage

What I love and appreciate about this event is that despite the large crowds – yes, really over 200,000 are known visit on this night – there is still a sense of peace and almost a respite from the often hectic and quick pace we seem to experience today.  I love looking at the intricate designs and marvel at the lanterns that have survived sometimes 75 years (or longer) of Illumination Night festivities.  Not many of the silken lanterns, which were originally lit with candles, have survived the flames or challenging climate of the Island.

Cottage owners proudly display their treasured pieces of history and will share a bit about the background of their uniquely named cottage or their lanterns, if you only just ask. (I have also heard that residents who sell their cottages are asked to leave behind their lanterns so that the new owners can participate the following summer.  (I think it might be hard for me to leave all of mine if faced with the choice.))   One other aspect of this event that I love, is the tradition of having the oldest citizen of the campground – or one that has been honored that year – light the first lantern that lines the Tabernacle’s roof, signaling the cottages to do the same and light up their porches, roof tops and yards.

If you have a chance to view this event that can take you back to a simpler time, I’d highly recommend it.  If you’ve attended Illumination Night in the past and you feel as if its  “seen that, done that” I recommend taking  a different tack.  Instead of following the crowds around the Tabernacle, take the back lanes/paths and look at what I call the under-appreciated cottages, those that are not on the “main route.”   While everyone is focused on walking around the circle, you’ll find fewer people and often more creative displays.  (The pictures above, except for the top  two images in the right-hand column, were taken on some of the smaller, less visited paths.)

Do you have an annual event (summer or otherwise) that is meaningful to you, or encourages you to appreciate the simpler times?
Have you ever visited Illumination Night?  What did you think?  Is there a special house you always visit or a tradition you follow when you attend?  Share your story with me.

 

 

Additional facts/history about Illumination Night were obtained via the MVCMA website, the Cape Cod Online Blog and newspaper articles covering the annual event.


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Anchors Aweigh

Since launching my blog, I’ve written about ways I appreciate people and things, as well as how others show and share their appreciation.   In the spirit of mixing it up a little and stealing borrowing the collage post style I’ve admired from several of the blogs I follow, I wanted to share something I appreciate (in this case: makes me happy) and which inspires me in this “new” format.  Today I’m featuring the Anchor.

Many know the anchor as the fashion statement of this summer year- you see them on clothing, as jewelry, on cards (scroll down a little) and used as home fashions/accessories.  Despite this recent craze, I can say that I’ve long admired the anchor, especially for another reason — it is a longstanding symbol for “Hope.”  The word with this symbol has been used in both religious references and noted in secret societies’ rituals.

I personally love that you can think of the anchor as tying you to something or someone when you need encouragement and hope that it will all work out.   Plus from the fashion perspective, I love the nautical look.  I’ve been wearing/using anchors before the craze and see them as a way to add a fun, flirty touch to an outfit, or as a way to carry the beach theme into your home decor.

Here are some anchors that I’m “tied” to:

Anchor CollageClockwise from top left:
1.  This 4 inch iron anchor was a gift from my dad that he picked up for me in Northern CA – Thanks again Dad!
2.  A favorite TJ Maxx find – my Cynthia Rowley anchor shirt.  (BTW: They had the exact duplicate at my JCrew factory store/outlet for more than double the price!! (I was a true Maxinista!).
3.  A great 10+ foot anchor seen recently at the Mystic Seaport – I can’t begin to think about how large the boat was that was held steady by this big boy.
4.  An aspiration gift.  This is a wish necklace from Dogeared.  The idea is to make a wish when you put on the necklace and when the charm falls off – your wish should come true… Although I think I’d be heartbroken when the string broke and the anchor fell off!  They also call this one their “Friendship” necklace because our friends “help  us navigate the waters of life and help us get where we need to go.”  A great sentiment in itself don’t you think?
5. And finally this one was a great Chilmark Flea Market find.  Once used as a printer’s form to ink anchors on clothing and fabrics, the vendor simply removed the sponge insert and replaced it with wood to give it a second life.

What do you think about anchors?  Do you see them as a symbol of hope or simply a trendy fashion statement or household knickknack? 

What do you think about the idea that an anchor ties you to something or someone?


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Balance

I’ve often spoken about appreciating the things around us and others, but I’ve realized that sometimes I may not appreciate myself the way I should.  I am not talking about my sense of self-worth when I say this.

work-home balance

I recently completed an assignment that I wholeheartedly put my all into.  I enjoyed the work, the people and the satisfaction I felt from completing a job done well, but found that I hadn’t been appreciating myself when it came to creating a balance.  While I put in all of the time needed to do a good job, I wasn’t putting in the time to create a counter balance to relax and enjoy some of the simpler things in life, or even taking the time to work on this blog – which I thoroughly enjoy writing.

We talk about working hard and playing hard and today’s work environment/culture is that we should “always” be reachable no matter whether the work day has ended or even if we’re on vacation, but I think we need to set boundaries to create a balance.  By taking time  to refresh and renew our spirit, I believe that we can actually be even more creative and effective when we do circle back to the work world.  This isn’t saying that it’s a 50/50 split, or that it always will be equal – but more that the intent that there is more to life than work, is in practice.

Moving forward I want to find ways to take moments for myself or with others, that create a balance,  I’ve come up with quick list of ideas to appreciate the smaller things in life and to refresh my spirit — I’m sure that the list will increase as I get used to the idea of creating a balance again!

  • Read a book that is for pure enjoyment vs. career improvement or increased on-the-job knowledge.
  • Spend time with a friend slowly walking through the park on a sunny day or summer evening, simply because I enjoy their company and it’s nice out.
  • Sit for an extra half-an-hour on the beach after everyone has left for the day to savor the peace and quite and the sound of the rolling waves.
  • Try out a new recipe that looked appealing in my favorite magazine.
  • Write in my blog about some of the simple joys I’ve come across in life.

solo at sunset

Do you ever find yourself so focused on a job or task that you forget about appreciating yourself?  Are there ways that you create balance in your life?  Do you have tips to creating a strong work/life balance that you want to share?

Quick update: Found this great tool on LinkedIn to help you find ways to balance – by indicating what’s important – Had to share: http://linkd.in/131WEdS

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