Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Small Can Be Big
Some time ago I came across an article (European Heart Journal, March 2011) in which it is stated that little movements can make a big difference. Recent American-Australian research shows that people putting up their arm while sitting at their desk or standing up while they’re making a phone call score lower on a variety of risk factors for heart diseases as compared to people who sit still. A possible explanation is that every brief exertion of the skeletal muscles counts in enhancing blood circulation. In another study (PNAS, Feb. 2011) American researchers showed that the usual age-related shrinking of the hippocampus (crucial for learning and memory) can be decreased by moving more.
This is no commercial for fitness or any other sports. I’d just like to remind you that not only moving is healthy, but, above all, that a small change can bring about a big result or change which is, of course, not at all limited to putting up your arm while sitting behind your desk. I do believe in small things making a big difference, one person and act at a time.
Four small suggestions for big gains:
· When starting your work day, decide on the desired outcome of the day. Describe two or three specific results. Keep it short and simple, attainable and attractive. You (big) gain: it will focus you, help you redirect during the day, and evaluate at the end of the day.
· Arrive a few minutes early for your meeting to brush of the previous activity or meeting and prepare for this one so that you actually see, hear, and sense what’s going on rather than being caught up in thoughts and to-do’s that belong elsewhere. These few minutes won’t help you get rid of the daunting amount of things still to do and it will help you achieve more each meeting.
· Give someone a compliment, let a colleague or subordinate know what you appreciate in them. Small effort, little time, great pleasure and for sure an energy boost for the receiver.
· Take a few minutes extra to really listen to your conversation partner, to ask that extra question that otherwise would go unasked and that starts a whole different line of thinking.
But it’s not about my suggestions. It’s about making you aware that small can be big. In addition to dreaming big I invite you to add your own small ideas for big and valuable results. If you hesitate, please remember how long it takes to smile at yourself and the world. Makes a big difference if you ask me.