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May 14, 2010
Give it a Rest for a Moment...

So it’s now the middle of May.  Spring has sprung.  The days are getting longer.  The weather is getting warmer. 
Soon the kids will be out of school for their summer break.
Summer is a time to take a break from the harshness of winter.  A time to plant and tend the garden, mow the lawn, play golf, go to the beach for a picnic, take a hike in the mountains, canoe down a river or take an afternoon nap in the hammock on the patio.  The air is filled with the smells of barbecues, sun block, and night blooming jasmine.  An orchestra of chirping crickets and bullfrogs serenade us to sleep at night.
Schools understand the need to take a break from hard work.  Around here, the summer break is typically about ten weeks.  Ten weeks is a long enough time to get a good mental rest yet still short enough to retain the information learned the previous year. 
I am a big believer in the work hard / play hard principle.  This is the same principle that world-class athletes use when training. They workout hard for several days, then allow the body to rest a day or two. 
After the season is over, they allow the body and mind a chance to recover fully before starting up again.  All work with no rest doesn’t allow the mind and body to ever relax.
One of my best friends, Jim C, has a son, Ian who is truly a baseball prodigy.  Ian is a left-handed pitcher who is now only 14 years old but throws a baseball at 88 miles per hour.  Baseball for Ian was an eleven month sport.  I say "was" because Ian finally realized that playing baseball year-around was potentially dangerous for him by not letting his body heal properly. Also, by playing so much baseball, the "fun" was slowly evaporating from the game he loved to play.
Ian is now playing baseball during the high school season only.  His future is incredibly bright with college recruiters and pro scouts at each one of his games (he is currently 6-0 with 3 saves and an ERA under 1.00 with 68 strikeouts in 46 innings...as a FRESHMAN on the varsity team!!).  More importantly, the game is back to being fun for Ian and he is excelling.
It’s so very important to take a moment or two to refresh your batteries from time to time and summer is the perfect time to do so.  I’m not suggesting that we all take ten weeks off, but a few extended weekends wouldn’t be a bad place to start.
One of the most important aspects of a vacation is to truly be away from work.  This includes phone calls, e-mails, and projects.  I have one friend who posts an "out of office message" that reads "I’m on vacation and will return on a certain date.  I do not have access to my e-mail during my vacation.  Please contact me after I return.  Any messages in my inbox will be deleted - unread - upon my return".  I sometimes wish I had the guts to write such a similar message when I’m out on vacation.
When your body and mind are refreshed, then performance and mental awareness grows.  Productivity soon follows.
There are so many things to do during the summer months...find one...and just do it...
Be passionate about your leisure as well as your work...take a minute and give it a rest...

Thank you very much for your continued support of OptiFuse as we understand the importance of not doing as well as doing...

Jim Kalb
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