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!

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.

How Do You Find Your Passion?

brain and heart interactions concept best teamwork

 

So often we hear how wonderful it is to work at something you love. How if you follow your passion it doesn’t even feel like work.  That’s all well and good if you know precisely what you’re passionate about and set out to follow your passion where ever it may lead.

 

But what about if you can’t come up with a huge, burning passion to motivate you? What then? Are you destined to languish in an unfulfilling career? Absolutely not!

 

Check out this article from Forbes detailing 7 steps you can take to find your passion!

 

 

 

Turn Communications Into Successful Communications

Turn Communications Into Successful Communications

 

Ever notice that some people seem to have a knack for getting the best out of those around them, while others seem to go from creating misunderstanding to snafu to lost opportunity? The difference might be as simple as a lack of strong communication skills.

 

Start with the little things

You might think small talk is a waste of time, but it’s part of day-to-day socializing. It’s the beginning of getting to know people. Through those small daily interactions you’ll find out that Jen’s husband has gone back to school, you’ll know when it’s time to encourage Sanjar in his quest to run his first marathon.

 

What you learn through that small talk will help you form relationships and bonds with the people you work with. Not only are you getting to know them better, you’re building an atmosphere of trust and camaraderie.

 

Listen with your ears and your eyes

Pay attention to the body language of the person you’re speaking to. Are they engaged with what you’re saying or are they distracted?

 

If you don’t have their full attention, your communications are not hitting the mark. Are your instructions unclear? Is there something going on with them that needs to be addressed? Is there a problem with what you’re asking them to do? You cannot guess the answers to these questions, so ask.

 

Sometimes if you’re busy it might be tempting to be distracted by a screen or a piece of paper in front of you while giving instructions to someone. That’s a shortcut to giving the same instructions again later. If you want someone to understand what you’re saying you need to give them your full attention. If you expect them to respect you then start by respecting their time and presence.

 

Be approachable

Ultimately you want to get things done. That shouldn’t mean they have to get done in exactly the way you suggested if there’s a better way. You need to make sure that people understand you want them to come to you with questions and suggestions. Communication is a two way street. Being heard and listening are equally important.

 

With strong communication skills you’ll be able to ensure things get things done right, the first time!

Don’t Give Your Power Away

Don’t Give Your Power Away

 

As one of eight children in an incredibly poor family, who on Earth would have thought that Alice Walker had any power at all?

 

Circumstances do not determine the person

Alice Walker did. She realized her circumstances did not determine the person she was or the person she could be.

 

Already set on the right path by parents who made sure she could go to school during a time when most black kids were expected to stay home and work in the fields at a young age, Alice understood other people could not determine the course of her life.

 

If Alice believed she didn’t have the power to do anything other than work the land she would never have worked hard enough in high school to earn a full scholarship to college.

 

Recognize your personal power

If she didn’t believe what she had was worthwhile enough to share with others she never would have written the Pulitzer Prize winning The Color Purple.

 

Coming from nothing to a full life of everything, Alice Walker is living proof that each of us has a well of power inside us. It’s our job to tap it!