Oh what a lovely respite and rejuvenating experience. My husband and I took a mini break to visit the exclusive La Gruta Spa. This luxury spa is situated about 20 minutes outside of the Mexican town of San Miguel de Allende. The unassuming exterior announces the location with a large green sign on an arid, sparse stretch of  desert just off the highway. Once inside though, guests enter a quiet oasis of multiple pools, palm trees, verdant lawns, lounge chairs and, of course, an impressively stocked bar.

Here was the even more wonderful part of my spa day. While lounging amidst the palm trees and luxuriating, I finished the “work” book I wanted to read and share with all of you in my April newsletter. I then outlined four modules that will be offered to you in the coming months, and I started on a fiction book I’ve wanted to read. All in all, a fabulous and rewarding day!!

Now some of you reading this may be asking “Why did you fritter away your precious spa time doing work?” For those of you who are of this mindset, my guess is that you are so busy each and every minute of the day that when you finally allow yourself the time to relax, it’s more like collapsing. Your time to re-energize probably takes longer; dispelling the pent-up stress, chaos, and life responsibilities weighing you down.

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Believe me, I’ve been there. I remember during one vacation; the first two days all I could do was sleep. My body was so drained from life, that I didn’t even have the energy to enjoy where I was. It took a while before I realized that there would always be one more thing that needed to be accomplished. That was when I stopped reacting and started designing my life. I was able to slowly change and shift my priorities, reducing the stress and strain. A life by design is a life lived intentionally, with purpose, priorities, and a healthy dose of ruthless focus.

For those of you who are asking “How do I take advantage of these opportunities?” I have one word for you – leverage. Uppermost in your mind should be the quest to continually leverage pleasure with responsibilities. Let me give you an example to get your juices flowing:

Let’s say you’re a caregiver and responsible for taking your parent to medical appointments.

  • Option1 – You could just pick your parent up, drive them to the appointment and drive home. Your responsibility is finished and done. How might leverage intercede?
  • Option 2 – You still pick up your parent, go to the appointment, but afterwards you grab a cup of coffee and go sit by ocean with them, sharing their life adventures. You also leverage the time by scheduling the appointment in the afternoon, when your brain is less engaged and you need downtime. And maybe you take some papers to read while you wait in the doctor’s office. With leverage the opportunities to combine work and pleasure become more evident.

Let’s be clear, leveraging is not multi-tasking. It’s not about doing two things at the exact same time (e.g., talking with someone while also texting someone else). Rather, leverage is about combining activities to advance more than one goal in your life. In the example above it was the goal of parental responsibility with the goals of pleasure and work. Leverage takes a little bit of discipline, yet when adroitly managed can yield tremendous results.

ACTION: What opportunities in your life can you take to design and leverage your time?

Kathy Hart’s driving passion is human change and transformation. Her goal is to provide professional women in midlife (ages 40 – 65) with the support and resources needed to re-imagine and lead even more abundant, joy-filled and purpose-driven lives. If you are a woman wanting to reclaim your voice, realize a long-held dream, or just live your life to the fullest, take concrete action by contacting Kathy at kathy@clearvisionconsult.com. The choice is yours!

Services that Kathy offers:

  • 1:1 coaching to support the next journey into your midlife transition
  • Trusted advisor for leaders navigating work changes and requiring an expert guide
  • Speaking and workshops on human change and transformation
  • Small group work and team development to boost the group’s performance