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Friday, June 5, 2015

SLOWING DOWN?

BRYCE ON LIFE

- Are we working harder or smarter?

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Ever notice as we grow older we tend to slow down. I have a theory on this. It's not that we're physically incapable of performing certain tasks, we're just a lot smarter. Sure, we are not as strong or fast as we once were, but we are still able to handle the chores around the house. For example, I have a 98 year old friend who still mows his lawn. His eyesight has been waning, which caused him to turn in his drivers license and sell his car, but he still tends to his household, maybe not as robustly as he once did, but he tends to his chores nevertheless. As an aside, he was smart enough to know his limitations, causing him to voluntarily forfeit his license. Some keep driving well after they are capable of doing so and often end up in accidents, but not my friend.

In our 30s, 40s, even our 50s, we do not think twice about lifting something heavy. If you asked me to move a heavy rock or chop a tree, I would tackle the assignment readily. However, as I approached 60, I found myself saying, "Let me think about this first." I now consider the variables involved, such as the difficulty of the task, whether I would pull a muscle, and what would be the best way to approach the problem. I now have no difficulty asking for help if necessary. At one time, my male ego would prohibit such a request, but not now.

Fortunately, I have an able-bodied son to help me and some friends I depend on for difficult tasks. I will even go so far as to hire helpers. To illustrate, some time ago I spread 130 bags of mulch around my property. I would purchase the mulch at a local home maintenance superstore, load the bags myself into a truck, bring it home, then place the bags around the property before cutting them open and spreading the mulch. Knowing what was involved, this Spring I decided to hire a lawn maintenance company to buy and spread the mulch. While they did this, I tended to trimming bushes and trees.

In calculating tasks now, I consider the tools and equipment involved, my energy level (to determine if I am up to the task), and my limitations (just like my friend). I think the lesson here is that as you grow older, you tend to work smarter, not harder. You calculate your priorities before tackling an assignment. You may no longer be able to quickly perform a task, but you suffer from fewer muscle spasms.

I still cut my grass, not to mention edge, hedge, trim and blow. I just hope I'm not doing it when I'm 98.

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR SANITY - Try to stay off the roads and unplug your technology.

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