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Blog Blog What % Are You?

I was having dinner with a colleague who told me about a funny question one of his kids had asked him.  It is always fun sharing stories about the crazy things our kids say with other parents! "Kids say the darndest things!" However, this particular comment really made me think...

I don’t know if it is the same with your family, but it seems that technology is such a huge part of our lives these days.  I have three kids. Between them, my husband and me, we have two iPod Touches, one iPhone, one Android phone AND one iPad. Wow. Technology is with us wherever we go.

My youngest, who is five, knows that she can swipe up on an iPhone screen without unlocking it and take pictures. She figured that out on her own, before I even knew it! Trust me…I have had the pleasure of deleting pictures of the TV, toys, and the floor (my personal favorite)!  All kids live and breathe technology - and in most cases, can probably use their devices better than adults can! Kids these days have so much access to technology (very different from when I grew up...) - at home, at school, with their friends - think of what they'll do when they're older! Technology is awesome.

But back to the funny story with my colleague... he shared that he was working on a presentation on his laptop one morning.  His youngest came up to him and asked, “Dad, what percentage are you?” He stopped for a second to think what that could mean and then started cracking up! Of course...his child was asking about battery percentage. I totally related. With all of these devices in our household, at some point every single day, we have a conversation about who gets to charge their device first. If one of the kids ask to "plug in," we check with everyone else first to see who needs it the most.  My oldest will respond with “I’m 4%!” and then my middle guy will say “I’m 15%,” so we take the 4% device and charge that one first. No "dead" devices at our house!!

It was the phrase “What percentage are you?” that got my mind thinking.  It isn't only the home & kids that have changed. The workplace has drastically changed in the last 15 years.  There are typically fewer employees in an office, expected to do the same amount of work as previous years.  We all seem to have much larger workloads and not enough time to get everything done. Most work stress comes from lack of support, organization culture, job demands, long hours and tight deadlines. I feel like I am working at 15% most days.  It's my turn to plug in, recharge and refresh so I can work smarter, not harder! But how? What can we do to run more at 90-100%?

We have thought about this and came up with a few points that we think can really help -
1. Share your concerns with your employer -  if they don’t understand how you are feeling, how will they know to make changes?
2. Make time for yourself -  this is crucial!  Whether you break away to eat your lunch or know when STOP working (and try really hard to stop thinking about work!), you need to make sure you are doing something for YOU and turning the “work switch" OFF in your brain. Recharge - it takes time every day!
3. Set realistic deadlines - it is not worth the stress and poor quality of work to tell someone you will have it to them tomorrow if what you are doing requires two or three days of work! I have found that people respect it more if you are upfront with realistic deadlines.

I think it is nice to be reminded every now and then to make the necessary changes so we can be at our best. When we are at our best, so is our work! Let's get to 100% in every aspect of our lives!



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