"Leisure Time"
Your Success Thought for the Week of July 18, 2007

Can highly-successful, powerful executives actually find leisure time, let alone truly enjoy it? This is a key to their success, though many have yet to discover it. Effective use of time to just 'be' and laugh and enjoy yourself with those closest to you provides the necessary balance to help you excel during your productive hours.

While we plan elaborate vacations, many of us return to 'reality' more exhausted than before we left. Those who do enjoy their leisure time have taken control of their schedules and thought patterns.

I was recently invited to discuss this topic with Wealth Manager Bill Valentine on his talk show: The Rich Life. The topic of this interview was: Ann's Top '6' Keys for Finding Time to Enjoy Central Oregon Summers. (Though the show focused on Central Oregon, the six keys are universal.) To listen to this nine-minute interview please click here: www.gvsuccess.com/GVSC.mp3

Below are my six keys. An old adage may apply here: 'it may be simple but it's not easy.' On first glance, these keys seem very 'simple,' yet for successful, time-starved executives, they are not always easy to put into effect.

1) Plan ahead-plan a month, season, even a year ahead. Ask yourself: "What activities does my family truly enjoy?" If the answer is concerts, then get a concert schedule; if it is specific events, then pick up an annual event schedule; if it is hiking or boating, get a map of all local hiking trails or islands and map out which you'll explore, when, and with whom? The key is to be specific and plan.

2) Create a family schedule-we have professional, social and school schedules, yet rarely do all three come together. Create one universal schedule that the whole family agrees to honor. This way everyone is heard, discusses priorities and areas of compromise well in advance of the event, not that day.

3) Be present-this is the tough one. We know that staying focused at play helps us stay more focused at work, yet how do we let go of those lingering pressures? Breathe, get involved in the activity at hand, feel genuine interest in either the activity or people involved, and invite feedback. Ask someone close to you to call you on it if your mind wanders. Then pull yourself back.

4) Eliminate 'auto pilot'-closely connected to being present is selecting activities by choice, not habit. Though few of us admit it, we participate in activities that no longer interest us. Stop that. If you can't find some aspect of your leisure time activity to genuinely interest you, make adjustments. You'll be more present, more captivated, and you'll find more enjoyment in what you do select.

5) Create memories-in the form of framed photos and completed slide shows. Nearly everyone I know has miscellaneous files or stacks of photos from years gone by that they intend to organize one day. This turns wonderful memories into burdensome projects. Create a system to immediately categorize and enjoy your new photos and memorabilia.

6) Plan ahead-for next year. Now's the time to begin planning for next year's leisure time enjoyment. What do you wish you'd have done this year but didn't quite get around to? What did you say 'yes' to, yet you wish you'd said 'no?" What will make your summer of 2008 more exhilerating for you?

Even if you select only one of these keys to focus upon this week, you'll be farther ahead in the enjoyment arena than you were yesterday.

Enjoy your discoveries and have an outstanding week!


P. S. We'd love to hear how you used our 'Success Thought of The Week' in your business or personal dealings.

Ann Golden Eglé, MCC
Executive Coach & President
Golden Visions Success Coaching, LLC

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