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The Lesson In Affliction

Wednesday, January 5, 2011 by Slaughter Development

For those who are looking for ways to get through the day with enough energy—and without undo stress—perhaps take a lesson from people who suffer from an incurable disease. For diabetics, managing health is certainly tiresome, but through control and routine they’re doing more than just managing their condition. They’re improving their lives. 

In the November 2010 issue of  “Health Minute Magazine”, Robby Slaughter, founder and principal of Slaughter Development, wrote an article in regards to how diabetics deal with their affliction as well as the lessons that others can learn about managing time and energy. Slaughter’s article resides on page 20 of the magazine, but for your convenience it is below in its entirety:

Managing Your Energy

Approximately three percent of the world’s population has diabetes. That means that you probably know dozens of people afflicted by this disease, although it might be difficult to name these individuals. That’s because diabetics have developed tremendously effective patterns for staying on top of their condition. Most of us simply don’t notice what countless others consciously manage every day.

Ask any diabetic how they deal with the complexities of this incurable disease, and you’re likely to get minor variations on the same answer. Living with diabetes happens one day at a time. Individuals consciously establish routines under the guidance of medical professionals. They use technology but also their own judgment. They pay attention to their bodies and try to make smart choices. Managing diabetes doesn’t require genius-level intellect, but instead a steadfast commitment. You just have to make yourself do it, without fail.

All of us can learn something from this level of commitment. Diabetics are successful because they have rigorous procedures. They check their glucose levels, administer insulin and watch their food intake using well-defined protocols. Each action may only take a few seconds, but patients manage their own care with precision and nonchalance. Most diabetics are so skilled they make the process look easy.

Of course, this condition is anything but simple. Yet just as those afflicted by this disease have a daily workflow, all of us can learn to become more productive, more efficient and less stressed by creating patterns in our own life. Managing our workload may not be nearly as critical as managing a chronic disease, but there are strong parallels. In both cases the best approach is to try and remain calm and tackle each task in small, repeatable steps. We can’t stop the challenges that invade our lives, but if we deal with them in a consistent fashion they cease to define us.

Rebuild your own workflow to address the never-ending issues at work or at home. Shift tasks to specific dates or times, so that you always do laundry on Tuesdays or always check email on the hour. Make a habit of measuring your own stress level before picking up the phone to talk to a client or colleague. Give yourself a shot of energy by taking a brisk walk or by listening to your favorite song. Listen to your own body so you know when you are headed for a crash and can choose to steer clear.

There is no cure for diabetes. Millions of people battle this disease every day. Most of them, however, refuse to submit. They are determined to lead healthy, normal, exciting lives—not by ignoring the problem, but through establishing productive routines. Get inspired by their choices. Make your own procedures for the mundane to give you room to dream and discover the unknown.

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Like this post? Here are some related entries from The Methodology Blog you might enjoy:

Health, Gender and Productivity - From t-shirts to cereal boxes to football cleats, everywhere we looked this past October pink was the fashion. Congratulations to all who participated in National Breast Cancer Awareness month. It had an incredible impact on our society as well as those who suffer from the disease—men and women alike.
Read on »
A Lesson from Six Months of Email - Every six months, I archive my Sent Items folder. This may sound geeky, but it’s one of the most productive and satisfying activities I do all year.
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Mental Balance and Variation - To Slaughter Development’s founder, balance and variation is key in creating and maintaining a proper diet. Likewise, it’s essential in the continued development of our minds. Read on »
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