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The Green Sheet Online Edition

May 29, 2007 • Issue 07:05:02

Inspiration

What about you?

As a payment processing pro, you're always on the go. At the office you field phone calls from merchants, vendors, partners and colleagues.

You attend meetings; update your calendar and to-do list; send and receive e-mail messages; mentor up-and-coming team members; make sure you have enough business cards, brochures and other marketing materials; and more.

On the street, you do presentations, get contracts signed, make cold calls, take care of POS equipment installations and troubleshoot for merchants whenever they need you.

Then, at day's end, you've got networking at local chamber and other association meetings and volunteer work in the community. Hopefully, you spend time with family and friends, too.

Yours is a service profession. It demands that you focus on other people's needs. That leaves precious little time for you. Why does this matter? Because you must be at your best to do your best. And you can't be at your best unless you take care of yourself.

Time out

Take a minute to consider these questions:

  • Do you sleep well at night and wake up rested in the morning?
  • Are you able to work exercise into your routine?
  • How many hours per day do you spend driving in your car?
  • How much of your diet consists of whole grains, fresh fruit and fresh vegetables?
  • If you eat meat, do you buy the best cuts you can find?
  • Do you pursue interests outside of work for no other reason than they strike your fancy?
  • Are you addicted to caffeine or cigarettes?
  • How many hours per day do you spend at a computer?
  • Do you pause periodically to take a deep breath and clear your mind?
  • When was the last time you laughed from deep down in your belly?

If you're like most people, you're probably pleased with some of your answers and a bit disappointed with others. You might be confused, too. After all, experts disagree on many of the finer points of health maintenance.

Some say vigorous workouts are required several times a week to keep the human body fit; others say walking just 10 minutes a day will tip the longevity scales in your favor. And the "miracle" diets touted by some medical practitioners, chefs and diet gurus are legion. It's hard to know where to start when it comes to forming new habits.

Take charge

Not to worry. The most important thing is to pick an area in which you'd like to improve your self-care, and take a step.

If you're consuming too much coffee at work, for example, get acquainted with herbal teas. It's likely you'll find a few that you can substitute for at least some of your java consumption. If you snack on chips, try substituting celery with peanut butter or unbuttered popcorn.

If you want to exercise more, you don't have to run right out and join a gym (although you can if you think you'll enjoy it). Here are some possibilities:

  • Take a couple of 10-minute walking breaks each day.
  • If your building has more than one level, use the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • When you visit clients, park your car a few blocks away and enjoy the stroll.
  • Do stretching exercises at your desk. You can use hand weights to incorporate strength training, too.

There are myriad small ways you can improve your health. Explore Web sites; bone up; subscribe to newsletters from respected authorities on fitness.

As in sales, persistence is key. What works for your colleague may not work for you. But if you keep trying, something will work. Maybe rock climbing is your thing, or ballroom dancing. Perhaps meditation is your bag, or singing in a blues band.

So begin. You'll be sharper, happier, healthier and more productive. That means more merchant applications will roll in. Then someday you'll be figuring out how to stay fit on the beach sipping your (healthy) drink of choice. end of article

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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