Take some time each day to fill your reservoir of energy and well-being. You’ll think more clearly and feel better. Everyone will benefit.

If you’re as busy as most of us, it may seem like there is no time to stop. That’s just not true. It doesn’t take much time to renew. But it does take planning. And planning assumes that you’re committed to it because you know it’s positive and necessary for you.

The biggest barrier to effective renewal is attitude or mindset. When you’re caught up in busy-ness, your mind may lead you on a track that says that you can’t even pause. Things that aren’t really that important become too important. Perspective is lost. Thinking is muddled. Feeling good gets linked with the checking the next thing your list. Energy is expended and not recovered. Deep tiredness is masked with more exertion. This is bad news! Not just for you, but for everyone around you.

Good news! The more strategic you are about your plan for renewal, the less time it will take, the more you will enjoy it and the easier it will be to remember what is really important to you.

Marissa is a working mother of 3 year-old twins, with a husband who owns his own very successful company. Part 1 of her plan for renewal in the middle of a very demanding life style was to make some changes in her work schedule. She now works 4 days a week, 10 hours a day and takes calls from work during specific times on her 5th day.

Part 2 of her plan is allocating time each day and each week to re-fill her reservoir. Each day when she drives home from work, she turns off her cell phone, sets work aside and starts to focus on her family. When she gets a couple of miles from home, she pulls over to a quiet spot where she can park for a while. She sets her cell phone timer for 15 minutes, puts the seat back, closes her eyes and rests. When she comes in the house after a long day, she’s ready for her kids and a full evening.

On her 5th, partial workday, she takes an exercise class after she drops her kids off, has lunch with a friend afterward, comes home to take her work calls, takes a nap and after some errands, picks up her kids. She has found that exercise, girl talk and catching up on her sleep are vital for her well-being.

A year prior to these changes, Marissa never imagined she could make these changes and feel so good about herself. But she was open to an attitude adjustment and once she made up her mind, was disciplined in her action plan. Thousands of people have re-discovered their life. You can too.

Action steps

1. Think about the demands of your life and how busy you are. Reflect on what you are missing in your life right now as a result of being so busy.

2. Remember the last time you felt really rested and relaxed (e.g. at the end of a particularly enjoyable vacation). How did you feel about your life? Your work? Your relationships? Did you think more clearly? Have more perspective?

3. Make a plan for getting enough sleep. Most Americans are chronically sleep deprived. Try getting enough sleep for a week. See what a difference it makes.

4. Write down 3 things you could do to increase your renewal that would not significantly alter your schedule.

5. Set your timer to go off once an hour (except when you know you’ll be in meetings or talking to someone). When it alerts you, take a deep breath, close your eyes and breathe again. Breathe deeply and drop into your body for a full minute. It won’t hurt!

6. Learn to meditate. There are lots of books and classes available. Discover what your life is like when your mind isn’t trying to control everything it touches.

7. Learn about 40 ways to support your well-being through self-care by taking the free Self-Care Assessment.

8. Bring the Performance and Balance: Dynamic Tools for Work and Life training to your organization. This workshop helps people create dynamic work-life balance without sacrificing the need for high productivity.

7. Subscribe to the Enlightened Edge™ newsletter.