Maintain Your Equipment

RL03-02-2016I’m a huge baseball fan and enjoy following games throughout the season via satellite radio. This past season, the Chicago Cubs performed at an extremely high level and were very competitive in the playoffs. Even longtime Cub fans would have to admit this is not the normal expectation for the Chicago Cubs. Winning seasons are not the norm, and playoff appearances are rare.

After the playoffs, the Chicago Cubs’ manager was discussing elements of their season that he felt contributed to their outstanding performance. He explained one of the new strategies he interjected this past year was not taking as much batting practice before games. This runs contrary to the generally-accepted policy within the baseball community. As a rule, teams take extensive batting practice before a game, and players who are in a slump and have not been hitting well recently spend even more time before the game in the batting cage.

The Cubs’ manager felt that fatigue had set in, and they were losing focus, so he got his team out of the longtime ritual of lengthy batting practice prior to games. The strategy obviously worked for the Chicago Cubs, and I believe it can work for you and me in our lives and careers.

People read these weekly columns in many countries around the world, but here in America, working extra hours, eliminating days off, and overextending ourselves have become some kind of badge of honor. I hear people in the workplace bragging about how tired they are, how many days in a row they’ve worked, and how little vacation they have taken. In the Japanese work culture, it is actually considered a bad practice and viewed as cheating your company if you overwork, therefore becoming tired and less effective. Japanese workers who do not take all of their vacations are looked upon like equipment, buildings, or other assets not properly cared for and maintained.

For many years, I have had a policy in my company and with the people who work in my ventures that, barring some kind of emergency, we don’t work extra hours or weekends. It’s important to note that we haven’t had one of these types of emergencies in many years. It’s not that our people aren’t dedicated. I’ll put my team up against anybody in the world. It’s simply a matter of good management and taking care of our number one asset which is our workforce. If you want to take care of your business and take care of your family, start by taking care of yourself.

As you go through your day today, realize that recreation and relaxation are critical parts of your success.

Today’s the day!

Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.  He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.  He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK  74145-9082; by email at; on Twitter at; or on Facebook at

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