It’s a tough economy.  It’s a tough job picture.  It’s a tough world.  There is no way we can afford to unplug and unwind, right?  What if something happens while we’re unplugged and “off the grid”?  We’ll be passed by, right?  No, the answer is “no”.  No, no, no!  Absolutely not!

Who are the best performers?  Who are the people in the top percentile?  Who are the ones who look like they have it all together?  The ones who can unplug.  The ones who can unwind.  The ones who understand that working twenty-four hours per day actually hurts your performance.  The ones who have processes in place so they can actually go “off the grid” once in a while.  The ones who are un-stoppable!

Isn’t that our goal in life and in business?  Be un-stoppable.  Be the best husband or wife.  Be the best parent.  Be the best janitor, store manager, author, or CEO.  Shouldn’t being the best always be our goal?  How?  How do we do it?  How can we balance our lives?

Some steps:

Unplug on a regular basis.  “Unplugging” is a hot word right now.  Turn off your phone, have a time when that e-mail can wait, have dinner with the family without checking your phone under the table….admit it, you’ve done it before….  You will find that regular unplugging makes you that much more focused once you “plug back in”.  You have renewed energy and renewed vigor.  Try it.  It’s okay.

Look up once in a while.  This one is important.  Every so often, even when you are “plugged in”, look up.  If you are on the train, put away the computer or handheld and look up.  Look out the window.  Look at who is seated next to you.  Take in the sunrise or sunset.  In an airplane, look out at the cities below.  It’s a big beautiful world.  It is worth the time to look up every so often.

Be satisfied with seeing it for yourself.  Go to a concert, go to a play, go to a monument….look around and all you see are people taking pictures of themselves to share.  It’s like we are not happy anymore unless someone “likes” our picture or comments about what we are doing.  Of course, sharing is a normal part of our lives.  But, what’s wrong with just experiencing the moment with those around you?  While working hard to take that perfect picture to share on snapchat/ instagram/ facebook/ twitter, we sometimes miss the people standing right next to us.  Live in the now and be content with the people around you.  There is time for sharing pictures later.

Give your un-divided focus, no matter what you are doing.  If you are in a meeting, be in the meeting.  Put away the phone and laptop and participate.  People around you would love to have your attention and input.  Working on your strategic plan?  Turn off your e-mail notification.  Every e-mail does not have to be answered as it comes in.  Work on the plan!  What is more important?  The strategic plan for the company or the “cc” e-mail re-capping the meeting you just had?  Work at making a distinction between actions that need immediate attention and working at the appropriate level for your position.  What is the expected time horizon and scope for your level?  If you are the CEO, your company is expecting you to be thinking about the future of the company and how to position it for success.  You owe it to your company to spend your time functioning at the appropriate level and time horizon.

You can be un-stoppable!  It just takes a commitment and determination on your part to consciously unplug and unwind once in a while.  And when you are “plugged in” and back “on the grid”?  Full steam ahead!  Charge!  Look up, participate, be the parent we all want to be, be the one positioning your company for success….it takes a balance.  We all have it in us to be the best!  Go for it!

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