By James A. Fragale
MICROSTEPS – I had some knee work done recently hence I was particularly attracted to a new word; new to me anyway, “Microsteps.” “Science shows,” the promo suggests, “we don’t have to sacrifice our well-being to succeed.” As it turns out, well-being is crucial to peak performance, and we all want that. A TOME: Your Time to Thrive: End Burnout, Increase Well-Being, and Unlock Your Full Potential with the New Science of Microsteps, by Marina Khidekel, from Hachette Go Publishing–touted as a “revolutionary guide to living and working by boosting our productivity—is based on, and even calls itself, a Microsteps bible.”
Ergo, the unit of change in our approach is not the giant leap—it’s the Microstep–an incremental mindset…a behavior. Author Knidekel backs herself up. Neuroscience shows that a part of the brain that helps us focus shuts down in times of ongoing stress that’s coupled with an abundance of uncertainty. Those syndromes activate “your parasympathetic nervous system, lowering your cortisol levers and the [old] bugaboo stress.” The advantageous unit of change in her approach is not the giant leap–it’s the Microstep–an incremental mindset…a behavior shift. Example: we/you can course-correct in 60 seconds flat (or round) by focusing on the rising … and the falling of your breath.
One study, McKinsey Global Institute, found that only 39% of our day is spending doing task-specific work. The rest? Answering/sending emails, tracing down information, locating a needed work-colleague…all the rest is “busy-work black holes” that suck up our time and attention. Who wants or needs that?
With chapters dedicated to sleep, nutrition, movement, focus and prioritization, improved communication, better relations relationships, unplugging and recharging, creativity-inspiration, and purpose/meaning, Your Time to Thrive advocates (sharing studies: its research-supported) mini-habits that promise to yield “huge benefit”–empowering readers to truly thrive in every segment of their lives—from major to minor and everything in between.
It seems, invariably, we begin too big… launch into the new gung-ho… too darn fast. That’s why half of New Year’s resolutions fail, we start off grandiosely, then tank. (Author Marina Khidekel doesn’t detail failed diets.) She doestell us we don’t need to turn our lives upside down to make a change…meaningful ones, one hopes. We can reach our goals by starting micro-wise: set boundaries and for sure, double-down on healthy habits: sleep, exercise, nutrition, and excessive time with loved ones. Then, she goes on to suggest we embrace solutions that appeal to wisdom, wonder, intuition, reflection that are firmly entrenched in science. Obvious to many, maybe, but difficult to keep in mind in a “restless world like this is….” My mother would not like parts of this book, but all the reason for me to take it in stride.
Marino Khidekel is Head of Content Development at Thrive Global.