The Art of Only Giving 20%

I read a wonderful article about a man recreating himself after living a life of giving 110% to every aspect by only giving 80%.  The concept was in only giving 80% you allow yourself the freedom to take on those last minute work or family emergencies, situations, events during the 20% without stress.


I resonated with that.  I am used to going at full speed ahead, no holds barred, burn the candle at both end, give it all you’ve got.  It lead to some great things but more often than not poor sleeping patterns, poor eating habits, exhaustion on a mental, physical, spiritual and emotional level.


I had nothing more to give but still lots more to do.


So I learned to purposely take down time.  I didn’t realize it but I was making 20% time.


This holiday through the weekend I am having 20% days.  I am visiting my best friend and we have five days of 20%.  There are things we want to do but that only takes up 20% of the day.  The other 80% is reserved for decompression, eating, laughing, creating our own little adventures and generally not making plans and purposely enjoying the very moment.


We are on day 2 and so far I think we have erased months of stress, worry, and any whisper of negativity in just completely recharging.


The key was we had to give ourselves permission to only function at 20%.  That was the hardest part.  But the results are amazing.


So often we push ourselves professionally, personally, mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally that we do not realize that we are absolutely drained and been running on empty.


When I first start working with a client I tell them from our initial conversation they are to take a complete break – no more looking at positions or even thinking about the job search until we talk again.  I force them to take a break.


We need the breaks to function at a higher level when we get going again.


This weekend try operating at 20%, give yourself permission and stick to it.  Make your list (I am an absolute list person) then take out another piece of paper and only write a few things from that original list.  That’s it.  Those are your goals this weekend.  Period.


Give yourself permission to recharge, rejuvenate and appreciate the day – not the list.


Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: