Tuesday morning, I went to donate plasma, as I do every Tuesday and Friday. On the way home, I got off the bus 1 stop early so I could go to McDonald’s for a cup of coffee. I fell crossing the street, and nearly got run over. I landed with all of my 205 pounds on my right knee, then rolled a full turn and hopped up. The adrenaline is what got me up, having come so close to having my head flattened by oncoming traffic. The intense pain was swimming upstream against the adrenaline, and I continued on, got my cup of coffee, and walked home. By that time, the pain was making headway in its battle against the adrenaline, and I was starting to hurt. Really hurt. I went ahead and handled the Mrs. and her morning routine, then sat down to work. By lunchtime, I couldn’t put any weight on my right leg. The knee and all the tissue around it was screaming out in pain. I could tell there was nothing broken, and there was no swelling at all. It seems there was just a lot of bruising. But good grief, it hurt!

Wednesday morning, I could barely move. I managed to get myself in a tub of water that I think was about 211 degrees. Soaking in that for a few minutes helped me to get some more function back. I had to cancel lunch with one of my Toastmasters mentees, who brought back this wonderful memory for Carolina Panthers fans everywhere.

Go look up “Ice Up Son” on YouTube. It was one of the best lines ever, and Steve Smith was full of great one-liners.

Another sport one-liner I remember was back in 2003 in NASCAR. Jimmy Spencer, a long-time driver, had some contact with Kurt Busch, who was in the beginning of his career. After the race, Spencer attacked Busch while Busch was still in his car. They were separated, and during his interview, Busch referred to Spencer as “a decrepit old has-been.” I have kept that phrase and used it to describe myself on many occasions since.

Since this incident, one thing has been clear: the straighter my leg is, the less it hurts and the more function I have. However, it’s hard to keep your leg straight when you’re sitting at a desk – your leg tends to bend at the knee at a 90-degree angle. So I have to stop and move every so often.

It turns out, I should be doing that anyway.

The writer at socialtriggers.com wrote a very detailed piece on the need for taking breaks. The extremely short version is that a break every hour, for 5-10 minutes. Every 4 hours or so, the break should be at least 30 minutes. You can vary the break schedule depending on what you are working on and how well you can focus. For me, working as a writer, I can go pretty long stretches once I get in a groove and start churning things out. When the mind wants to wander, that’s when you take a break.

What you do during the break matters also. It should be anything that gives your brain a chance to relax. For a writer staring at the computer screen all day, scrolling through social media is not going to give the brain any relaxation – you would just be doing the same thing in a different platform. So my breaks cannot involve a video screen. A short walk, a glass of water, a few minutes reading a novel, or whatever will give your break a few moments away from the regular tasks so the brain can rest.

The socialtriggers.com article referenced above goes into great detail about breaks. It certainly runs contrary to many of those century-old traditions we cling to, such as always working at least 8 hours a day and the myth that multi-tasking is actually productive. I enjoy being in business in this time – things are changing, and a lot of people are not swearing allegiance to conducting business exactly like Henry Ford did over 100 years ago. There are a lot more people finding their own way, creating their own path.

If you’re part of this group making your own path, you may find yourself taking on too many tasks. A Virtual Assistant can help you with some of the tasks that keep you from doing more for your customers. Contact Us to see how we can partner to make your business even more successful.

And hopefully, neither one of us can honestly be called a decrepit old has-been.

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