Are You Burned Out?

When you take time off do you really take time off or do you open the door to emails and calls and everything else that keeps you from fully relaxing?

By finding time and space away from work you’ll keep yourself from betting burned out and you’ll be better at work!

Finding The Right Words

Finding The Right Words

 

So often we hear It’s not what you say, but how you say it. Generally that’s taken in the context of tone of voice and body language, but oftentimes the specific words you use to express yourself are just as important.

 

Someone asks you if you’ll be able to get a project done on time. Yes you can – so you answer: Yes I think I can or Yes I can.

 

There may not seem like a huge difference between those two sentences, but one is an absolute affirmative, while the other still has question marks attached to it. Which one would you rather hear?

 

The words you choose speak volumes about you and at the same time influence how others perceive you.

 

Indefinite statements vs. definite statements

When you say things like I think or I guess, whatever follows is automatically on weaker ground than a simple direct answer. I guess I’ll go to that seminar implies and underlying unwillingness to do it and makes you seem wishy-washy.

 

I think I’ll go to that seminar implies a lack of commitment. I should be able to go. I’m supposed to go. The listener all of those statements will still not have any idea of whether or not you actually have any intention of going.

 

Yes I’m going is clear and decisive.

 

No I don’t believe this will be of benefit to me removes any ambiguity and provides a reason.

 

If you actually don’t know, give a reason why and a time when you will have an answer. I have to check with X, I will let you know by the end of the day.

 

Avoid negative statements

If you want someone to listen with an open receptive mind, you’ll have more success if you frame what you have to say using positive words rather than negative ones.

 

Rather than Don’t always hit reply all, turn the statement around to Only hit reply all when necessary.

 

Instead of I don’t like negative people go with, I prefer positive people.

 

By removing the negative words you’re eliminating a negative undertone you may not even realize is there.

 

Eliminate can’t

You may not be able to do everything you’re asked to do, however can’t is often people’s go-to word for won’t.

 

If you actually mean won’t then say so. It’s always better to be clear with your words and intentions. If what you’re being asked is outside of your skill set or knowledge then follow up with a solution. That’s not something I’m familiar with, I will call Sarah she can help. Or I have not done that before, I will find out how.

 

Your words are a reflection of who you are. People will be more inclined to listen to and follow someone who is direct, straightforward and positive. They will trust a person who is unambiguous in what they say.

Why Early Job Experiences Matter

Why Early Job Experiences Matter

 

You might think those early jobs you had like slinging burgers in a fast food location or going door to door with your lawn mower don’t have any effect on your long-term professional life. Maybe you should take a look at the things you gained from those early job experiences.

 

The Benefit of Experience

The only benefit from every job isn’t simply the potential is has to become a bullet point or paragraph on your resume. Sometimes it’s about the experiences you accumulated while you were there.

 

Obviously if you want to become a programmer, standing behind the grill won’t have taught you anything about coding, but it did teach you a few things.

 

What did you learn?

Working in fast food for example requires you to work quickly and efficiently and carefully. (You wouldn’t want to burn yourself!)

 

If you’re behind he counter, you’ll learn all about dealing with difficult customers, how to take ownership of your mistakes if you mess up. You also learn what it means to be a good co-worker.

 

If you did go door-to-door with your lawnmower you learned all kinds of things about scheduling, talking to people, taking control of your own destiny.

 

Every experience impacts the person you become

Sometimes it’s important to re-frame how you look at early jobs and recognize the benefits of the experiences you had there. Learning how to deal well with customers and co-workers, learning to be accountable to yourself and your job are experiences you can apply to everything you do for the rest of your career.

 

Every experience you have contributes to the person you become. Whether you’re conscientious or lazy. Whether you work well with others and are able to ask for help when needed. Whether you become the go-to person or there never-there person.

 

Pay attention to the shape your taking. Embrace what you learn in every situation.

Have You Thought About An Internship?

Have You Thought About An Internship?

 

Sometimes an internship leads to a job offer sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes you get to do interesting, motivating work, sometimes you end up becoming the coffee guy. They can be hit and miss.

 

At the very least an internship will help you make connections with people in that field and give you a good idea whether or not this is something you actually want to pursue.

 

If you want an amazing internship experience, check out this post from The Muse.

What You Don’t Do Is As Important As What You Do

What You Don’t Do Is As Important As What You Do

 

Everyone knows the importance of To-Do lists for keeping themselves on track and ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks. Often lost in the shadow of the powerful To-Do List is the less recognized but also important To-Don’t List.

 

You may not have heard of the To-Don’t List so let us explain. It’s a list of things you don’t want to do everyday. Things that hold you back, that drain your energy and productivity. That waste your time.

 

Here’s a quick overview of why a To-Don’t List can help you Avoid Time-Wasting or Repetitive Tasks from Lifehacker

 

Not only will creating a To-Don’t List help you remember all the things that hold you back, it will also help you clarify the things you want to add to your daily To-Do List.

 

Same as a To-Do list, your To-Don’t list needs to be personalized to your lifestyle and habits. Unlike a To-Do list that will probably change daily, a To-Don’t list is normally updated much less frequently, because of instead of being a list of specific things you need to do everyday, it’s more like a general list of things you don’t want to do everyday. So it will likely only get revised when you realize there’s something else that needs to be added to it.

 

Once you’ve got the To-Don’t List that works for you, post it where you can see it everyday.

 

Here are a few examples of things on our To-Don’t List:

 

Don’t stop what you’re doing every time an email comes through

Emails are like buses. They come through all day long and there’s always another one coming. Some of them are important, some less important and some are out and out time wasters.

 

No matter which category a specific email falls into, when you stop what you’re doing to attend to it you’re breaking the flow of whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish. Your concentration gets broken, you start thinking about other things and it takes time to get yourself back in the right mindset to finish what you were working on – and then another email shows up. Better to let the emails line up at the bus terminal and finish what you’re working on before taking a ride.

 

Don’t always fall back on what’s worked before

Learning shortcuts for doing things is great. But sometimes doing things the way you’ve always done them doesn’t give you the opportunity to come up with new, better ways of doing things. Pay close enough attention to what you’re doing to recognize when it’s time to try a different approach.

 

Don’t put off till tomorrow

“How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?” Just because we don’t like doing something doesn’t make it any less important. Instead of putting off things we don’t want to do or are afraid to do, it’s better to simply deal with them as they come up. Today.

 

Don’t dwell on the past

The past is full of positives and negatives. Dwelling on the past steals focus away from the present. Learn from it and then move on.

 

Don’t let yourself get dragged down by negative people

Negative people can drain your energy, and send you into your own negative feedback loop. Stay vigilant with your attitude. Recognize when you’re being influenced by someone else’s negativity and push the re-set button.

 

Not sure how to go about creating your To-Don’t List? Here are some suggestions from Allen Gannett in TNW News. The To-Don’t List: Things you will NOT do

 

Now it’s your turn. What’s on your To-Don’t List? Where are you going to put it so you’ll see it everyday?

Emotional Intelligence And You

Emotional Intelligence And You

 

What is Emotional Intelligence (EQ) you may ask, and what does it have to do with my professional life?

 

Emotional Intelligence is your ability to recognize your own emotions and those of other people, and how well you can process that information and use it to navigate the social environment you’re in.

 

 

Your EQ is based on four components:

 

Self-awareness – Your ability to recognize which emotions are influencing you at any given time and how they’re affecting your thoughts and behaviors. How well you understand your strengths and weaknesses and how confident you are in yourself.

 

Self-management – Your skill at managing your impulses. How well you manage your emotions in healthy ways, whether or not you get flummoxed by change, how well you’re able to follow through on commitments. Your emotional flexibility.

 

Social awareness – Your ability to understand the emotions and needs of others, to pick up on emotional cues in group dynamics, to understand what’s really going on beneath the surface.

 

Relationship management – How well you can communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, manage conflict and work well in a team.

 

The reason your EQ impacts your professional life is, according to a test conducted by Talent Smart, people with high EQ make $29,000 more annually than their low EQ counterparts. 58% of your job performance is based on your EQ, and 90% of top performers have high EQ.

 

 

In the past we were always taught that a high IQ – Intelligence Quotient was what was going to get us ahead in the world, but it turns out your EQ can be an even better indicator of your potential success than your IQ. And the good news is that unlike IQ, which pretty much stays the same your whole professional life, your EQ is something you can develop.

 

 

Just because you’ve flown off the handle with little provocation in the past or didn’t take how others felt into account, doesn’t mean it always has to be that way. There are things you can do to help you increase your Emotional Intelligence. Here are six from Psychology Today

 

 

Reduce negative emotions

No one is immune to negative emotions. The key is not to let them overwhelm you or let them influence your decisions. Two of the biggest contributors to negative emotions are taking things personally and the fear of rejection.

 

When someone doesn’t do what they say they’re going to do or they’re rude or unhelpful, our first impulse is to take it personally. What we need to remember is, what people do and say often has a lot more to do with them than us. Maybe that person didn’t return your email right away because they got busy with something else. Before jumping to conclusions, dig a little deeper.

 

If you’re afraid of getting rejected, then get rejected until it doesn’t bother you anymore. Go ahead and put yourself into the face of NOs. After a while you’ll build up a tolerance to them.

 

Also instead of focusing all your energy on a single outcome, give yourself lots of options so if one thing doesn’t work out, you have other avenues to turn to.

 

Find ways to diffuse your stress

There’s going to be stress. Much as we’d like to, we can’t always sidestep it, but instead of flipping out there are a couple of things you can do to cool yourself back down – for example a splash of water on the face can help, or some fresh air. A walk outside, or a quick run. A few minutes of movement and change of scenery might be all you need to deal with the situation with a cooler head.

 

Learn how to express your emotions with words

We are pretty good at reminding our kids to “use your words” but as adults we will often keep our emotions bottled up inside which

A. Will often lead to illness and

B. Does nothing to change the situation with the person or situation that’s got us bottled up.

 

Instead of lashing out with “you are…” or “you have to…” learn how to reframe what you say from the “I” perspective. “I feel frustrated when I have to send several emails to you before I get a response.”

 

Recognize when you’re getting pulled into other people’s dramas

When someone is in a bad mood or starts yelling or speaking rudely our first impulse is to give it right back – like a mirror. Once again it’s important to remember that’s their baggage and you’ve got no business carrying it.

 

Learn the art of getting back up after you fall

When life knocks you down you’ll sometimes want to just stay down. Instead of dwelling on the fact that you’re down, ask yourself why? Did I fall because of something I did? What part of what I did wasn’t successful? How can I change that? Instead of thinking of knock-downs as failures think of them as learning experiences.

 

Foster close personal relationships

When we meet up with someone, we ask them how they’re doing as a matter of course, but do we really care about the answer? Become attentive to other people, to their words, their body language, your body language. The closer your attention to your relationships, the more in-tune you will become to them. The more you learn to genuinely care about others the higher your EQ will become.