The Seventh Inning: Time to stretch

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Today is the seventh inning of The Porch’s baseball series at the start of the 2016 season. Today, we look at the important concept of “Time to stretch”. So, here is the full line-up for the series:

· First Inning: Everyone has a chance!

· Second Inning: Patient pondering, then frantic action!

· Third Inning: The aggressive team is often the winning team

· Fourth Inning: If you can hit….

· Fifth Inning: Many singles are better than one solo home run

· Sixth Inning: A strong bullpen is key

· Seventh Inning: Time to stretch

· Eighth Inning: Rally time!

· Ninth Inning: “It ain’t over till it’s over”

In baseball, a time is traditionally set aside in the seventh inning for the audience to stand up and stretch… this is called the seventh inning stretch. A stretch after sitting for a couple of hours is good to refresh and reinvigorate going into the final two innings of the game. Stretching the legs helps restore circulation and provides new life. Taking a break from the action is often needed to provide new energy and enthusiasm.

In life and in our work, a “seventh inning stretch” can also be helpful. Taking the time to reflect, refresh, and reinvigorate is often needed to provide us with the energy and enthusiasm to be our very best during times of impending stress or activity. There are four aspects of a “seventh inning stretch” that are important to incorporate into our refreshment time:

1. It must be intentional – A “seventh inning stretch” is never a surprise. It is planned at a specific time and place and is very predictable. In the same way, our “stretch” should be intentional — planned and predictable. We need to set aside a time when we can set our work aside and clear our mind. Getting enough sleep, taking that relaxing vacation/holiday, taking a walk a couple times each day, and having lunch away from your desk are examples of intentional ways to refresh your body and mind.

2. It requires that we do something different – A “seventh inning stretch” is not merely doing the same things the same way and expecting a different result. By definition, a stretch involves standing up, shifting our mind, and, perhaps, even singing a song. Give it a try!

3. It may involve re-connecting with others – Usually, the “seventh inning stretch” time involves talking or conversing with those around you at the baseball game. A few moments of light conversation does wonders to help refresh us. I am always amazed at individuals that never take the time to greet others or clear their minds with talk with coworkers – how can they maintain focus without a mind-clearing period?

4. It should be a time for fun – A “seventh inning stretch” is always accompanied by laughter, smiles, and good times (even when your team is losing). Why? It is because it is a time shared with others with similar interests and goals. Even if your workload is horrendous, taking the time to communicate with others will provide refreshment that might make you even more productive afterward.

So, when you find yourself bogged down at your desk with more work than you can get done in a day, consider taking that “seventh inning stretch” that can actually help you be more productive, more accurate, and more collaborative with those around you.

Thanks for making my world a better place! Have a great day!

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