Recent research suggests those who sit at a desk for six hours or more each day are 40 percent more likely to die within 15 years than those who are stationary less than three hours. That should be a scary statistic for a lot of folks – including me sometimes when I have a full day of phone coaching sessions and then write a blog entry.
There are many ways to overcome a sedentary work style including getting up and walking around or visiting peers instead of emailing and calling. Exercise is good, too, which is why I awaken at oh-dark-thirty three days a week to swim. (Sidebar: The YMCA closed its indoor heated pool last week for three months to remodel. Until the weather gets too cold, they’re utilizing the outdoor pool. Monday it was an unseasonal 60 degrees at 6:45 a.m. That will wake you up when you hit the water.)
Perhaps the best solution would be to work in a field that doesn’t require sitting all day. There are certainly a lot of career options available – nursing, waitressing and lawn care come to mind. Postmen and policemen use to walk, but that was a generation ago.
This morning – sitting at my desk during a coaching call – I saw someone who combines the perfect wage-earning/exercising program. Outside my window a man was placing door hangers. What struck me is how he was dressed: dry-fit wicking muscle shirt, nylon shorts, running shoes, sun glasses and iPod band around his arm with ear buds connected. Then I noticed he was running, pretty much sprinting, door-to-door. And this was no spring chicken. He had gray hair.
I envision this gentleman spending all day running around neighborhoods. Certainly not getting wealthy distributing advertising materials, yet enjoying the fresh fall air and making his heart healthier. So, after you read this, get up and go for a walk. If you need inspiration, think of the ‘door hanger guy.’ Of course, if you’re really motivated, go for a swim. You can think of me while you’re doing laps.
Recently, a client said he wants to start a blog… yet he has no idea where to begin when it comes to creating content. “You’re a writer, I’m not,” he said. “I’m worried I won’t be able to come up with any ideas. Help me.”
That’s a quandary many folks face when they try to develop thought leadership material on a consistent basis. Since this is my first blog posting in three weeks, you might think I suffer from a similar challenge; however, the reality is I took a vacation, traveled out of town to work with a client’s executive leadership team and stepped back into my former life to produce a series of videos for a client. It’s actually been finding the time to write, not a lack of inspiration, that’s disrupted my plan.
So here’s the approach I recommended to my client to help him get over that ‘writer’s block’ mental hump and, hopefully, allow him to share wonderful ideas with his desired audience. First, keep your eyes open for insights that appear before you. These may come from reading an article, having a discussion with a client or friend, or reveal themselves in a late night dream. The key is to connect the dots with a “that’s something I would like to write about” realization.
Second, keep an ongoing list of these ideas near your keyboard. Then when you’re ready to write, you won’t have to sit down and stare at the screen hoping some idea pops into your head. Third, and this is a new awareness I’m testing today, block time to write four or more entries at once. Then you simply have to schedule them to post at regular intervals. That’s going to be my way of preventing long interludes between musings.
Finally, and this is the most important lesson on writing I learned – and it came in the fourth year of creating my monthly E-Newsletter – never worry about what your readers think. If it’s well thought out, true to what you believe and comes from your heart, then your part is complete. Allow your viewpoint to resonate with those who are open to receiving it.