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Your desktop resort Featured

9:41am EDT July 22, 2002

A deadline is fast approaching; the pressure is mounting and the walls seem to be closing in. Maybe it’s a good time to take a vacation.

“That’s months away!” you scoff to yourself.

Not so. You may not realize it, but you have an opportunity to regroup and refresh right at your fingertips.

In an instant, you can be in the mountains, or at the shore, or at your favorite golf course. You can close your eyes for a few minutes and clear away the mental clutter. Then you can face the day, and any problems you may have, with a clear head and a fresh new approach.

“Garbage!” you say. “I’ve got an important job here. I can’t get swept up in the euphoria of some New-Age mumbo jumbo.”

Hold on a second. When your mind is tied in knots — when it’s cluttered with a lot of “stuff,” related to business or otherwise — you’re not at your peak efficiency. Too many random and unrelated thoughts have a tendency to slip into your decision-making process. You won’t process information effectively and you won’t make the best possible decisions, because you are short-circuiting one of your greatest resources: your intuition.

Intuition is the flow of insights, hunches, and premonitions that make up your internal guidance system. One writer refers to intuition as “the urgings of the spirit.”

Regardless of how you think of it, your intuition is a powerful resource. It acts as a filter to screen out trivia and give greater emphasis to the information that is of greater importance to you. Think about all of the times you’ve faced problems and your first thoughts turned out to be the best answer. In all probability, that was your intuition at work.

According to author Gary Zukav, intuition serves several purposes:

Intuition serves survival. It signals when danger is near. It tells you when you are facing abnormal risk and when you’re about to make a mistake. It could have been your intuition that told you not to buy that stock. Your intuition and your spouse were both right.

Intuition serves creativity. It provides new ideas and insights. It provides the suggestion that an idea which has never been tried before might work.

Intuition provides inspiration. It’s the sudden illumination that shines through the confusion — the sudden answer to a perplexing question.

So, rather than chase your tail around a problem until the last possible moment — and then make a slap-dash decision — visit your desktop resort. Take a minute or two to refresh yourself. Take several deep breaths. Let some fresh air in.

Recall a particularly enjoyable experience. Savor it. Gain a new perspective about the problem, your life, your family and your job.

Ah, yes — your job. OK, now is the time to go back and tackle that problem — with a fresh mind and a new approach. Put your intuition to work. Let your mind do its job. Allow it to recognize and consider all the options and present to you the best possible solution. Chances are, that problem won’t seem quite so insurmountable now.

And whatever you do, please don’t tell your travel agent about all the money that I saved you. Let’s keep the desktop resort as our little secret. William Armstrong, a management consultant for 31 years, is president of Pittsburgh-based management consulting firm Armstrong/Associates. Reach him at (412) 276-7396 or armassoc@fyi.net.