Don’t Stretch Yourself Too Thin

Don’t Stretch Yourself Too Thin

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Focus

stretchYou are a superstar. Everyone knows it. You are the one to turn to when something needs to be done. This usually results in an abundance of requests for assistance. You want to help everyone, but saying yes to everyone isn’t helping them. Worst of all it is not only detrimental to the people you’re trying to help, it’s bad for you.

Stretching yourself too thin affects the work you are doing and your physical and mental well-being. When you pile too much into your schedule:

  • You do not focus on any one task, as you are trying to juggle multiple deadlines. This results in the work being completed with a lower level of quality than you would otherwise provide. Worse, you could miss the deadline all together and not complete the task.
  • You begin to suffer from mental exhaustion, which keeps you from concentrating properly.
  • The stress affects your physical health. There comes a point where your body tells you to stop, whether you want to or not.

Keep your work and your health at its peak by being honest and telling people when you cannot fit anything else into your schedule.

Don’t Let Stress Lead to Bad Decisions

Don’t Let Stress Lead to Bad Decisions

Attitude and Mindset, Featured

stressIt’s hard to think clearly when you’re under stress. Your blood pressure and heart rate rise, adrenaline and cortisol flood your body, and your survival instincts kick in — all of which interfere with decision making. To avoid making bad decisions when you’re stressed, pay careful attention to your physical symptoms.

We all have an inner “lookout” that helps us monitor our reactions. Tap into that part of your mind and look for physical sensations or emotions that indicate your stress level is rising:

  • a tightness in your stomach
  • a feeling of anxiety or panic.

By noticing these reactions, you can hold yourself back from acting rashly. For example, when you get an annoying email, and you notice that you’re irritated, you can hold off on replying until you’ve calmed down. Use your “lookout” to recognize these impulses before you act on them.

Stop Procrastinating By Breaking Down A Project

Stop Procrastinating By Breaking Down A Project

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Improvement

procrastinationWe all have tasks that we put off and put off, but actually accomplishing them is rarely as bad as we expect. Sometimes beating procrastination is about just getting over the initial hurdle. Instead of forcing yourself to tackle the entire task at once, focus on the first piece of it. Start by thinking about the task and your resistance to it, and then find a time period that you’d be willing to commit. Could you focus on the task for an hour? What about 30 minutes? Shorten the amount of time to something that doesn’t make you resist getting started. Then figure out the bare minimum you can do — writing a few paragraphs, reading a few pages, or whatever won’t make you return to your procrastinating ways. Once you begin, the task will seem much more manageable. Working on something, even in small pieces, means you’ll continue to process it, which makes you more likely to resume the work later on.

Establish An Evening Routine To Put the Workday Behind You

Establish An Evening Routine To Put the Workday Behind You

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Process

5 o'clockIt can be tough to leave work behind when you go home for the day. With email, cell phones, etc. it seems we’re never away from work. However, it is crucial for your mental well-being and your productivity that you turn off and give yourself some time to recharge., Having a routine can help.

Before you leave work, do the the following:

  • Complete one positive action. It could be making a short phone call, signing a document, or responding to an email. Doing this allows you to end your day on a positive note of completion, and you’ll have one less thing to do the following morning.
  • Then do a specific action that symbolizes the end of your workday. It might be locking your office door, turning off your computer, or calling home to say you’re leaving work. Each night, treat this action as the equivalent of clocking out with a timesheet, and remind yourself that it’s time to shift your mental state away from work.

Having a routine like this helps you create a psychological barrier between work and home. After you’ve done your routine, make an effort to not check your email or take business calls. Setting a definitive end to your work day reduces stress and produces a better mindset and makes you more productive.

Take The Sale

Take The Sale

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Process

groceryBusiness people talk about upsetting. It’s a tried and true technique to get customers to buy more, usually higher-margin items or services. The reason it works so well is that you are selling to someone who already knows and likes your product or service. Many businesses sell lower priced products in order to pull in customers and upsell the company’s main offering. Not every customer, however, is open to or needs the item you are trying to sell. Some will be perfectly happy with the lower priced entry item. So what should a businessperson do when the customer only wants the entry product? Take the sale.

Think about the grocery store. What brings the most people in are milk, bread, and eggs. The grocery has much higher priced and higher margin items that they want people to buy. Would the grocer turn away the customer that only buys milk, bread, and eggs? Of course not. They may want you to buy specialty meats from the butcher and exotic fruits and vegetal;es, but they won’t turn down the customer just buying milk, bread, and eggs.

Business owners and salespeople can get caught up in pushing the items they want to sell, instead of focusing on what the customer wants to buy. Sell the customer what they want. Remind them periodically that there are other items they may be interested in, but sell them what they want. Don’t worry about what you didn’t sell, take the sale that’s in front of you.

The Difference Between Failing and Being A Failure

The Difference Between Failing and Being A Failure

Attitude and Mindset, Featured

failureThe most successful people on the planet have failed numerous times. Each time they fail, they learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of others and apply that to future projects. By contrast, people who are failures dwell on each time they have failed. Instead of learning from what went wrong, they assign blame. That defines the difference between failing and being a failure. Here are three simple things to do to keep from being a failure:

  • Learn From Mistakes: Not everything you do will be right. Learn from what goes wrong to improve in the future.
  • Accept Responsibility: Don’t shift blame when something goes wrong. Accept it, apologize, and figure out how you can do better.
  • Don’t Give Up: The one thing failures always do is give up. If you follow the first two steps, you have to follow through and continue to try. Focus on your long term goals and don’t assume setbacks are permanent failures.

 

Earn Your Dream

Earn Your Dream

Attitude and Mindset, Featured

As the 2018 Winter Olympics comes to an end, there are lessons that can be learned. One unexpected lesson came from skier Elizabeth Swaney. She had a dream to be in the Olympics. While she made that dream come true, the way she went about it caused her to become famous in a way she never wanted.

Swaney failed to make the U.S. Olympic team. Determined to get to the Olympics, she tried out for the Hungarian Olympic team. She made the Hungarian team, but not by much. She got to the Olympics and once she started competing it became obvious that she should not have been there. She finished dead last in all her events. More than that, her performance was lackluster. She performed only the most basic of moves. When asked about it she replied,” I do jumps in practice but I’m not comfortable landing on snow.”

Swaney made her dream ion being in the Olympics come true, but she didn’t earn it. She didn’t push herself be good enough for the Olympics, she found a loophole that allowed her to access. Her reputation is not that she is an Olympic athlete, but that she is a laughing stock who isn’t good enough to make it. Had she waited four years and trained harder, perhaps she could have avoided that.  This is what happens when you put getting your dream above earning your dream.

Balance Work And Home Life

Balance Work And Home Life

Attitude and Mindset, Featured

measuresIn today’s fast-paced world, we are forced to do more with less time. The demands of work and home can often feel like a tug of war for our time. But by taking the proper steps, you can achieve balance. Here are some tips from Dale Carnegie to achieve balance.

  • Prioritize – Making a to-do list each day is a great way to set your priorities. Start by listing your tasks in order of importance. Include work tasks as well as other aspects of your life. This will help you sort out what needs your immediate attention from what can wait.
  • Don’t Procrastinate – Once you’ve made your list, set realistic goals and deadlines for completing the tasks at hand – then get to work. Procrastinating from completing the things that need to get done can cause a work pileup. By staying focused on your goals, you will find yourself quickly plugging through your list – freeing up time for your personal life.
  • Don’t Waste The Time You Have – Are you wasting time on activities that add little value to your day? For example, bad habits such as reviewing social media sites and checking personal e-mails can eat up valuable time. Take stock. If an activity does not enhance your career or personal life, minimize the time you spend on it.
  • Learn To Delegate – Between your responsibilities at work and your chores at home, do you sometimes feel like you are doing everything? Delegating work in your home life can be extremely effective in time management. For example, try giving age-appropriate chores to your children. This teaches valuable skills and helps them gain more confidence in their accomplishments. It can mean more time for you to spend with them – so everyone wins.
  • Just Say “No.” Do you find yourself saying yes to others who request your time when what you really want to say is no? We all have the need to please. But you are not doing yourself or others any favors by taking on more than you have time for. Pick and choose what you agree to take on. And don’t be afraid to say, “No.”
  • Incorporate “Cell-Phone-Free” Time – The use of technology has enabled us to be “on call” during off-work hours. But it has also blurred the lines between work and home life. It is important to allow time in your personal life that does not include checking work e-mails or taking work-related calls. Whether it’s a date night with your spouse or a movie with the kids, be sure to add “cell-phone-free” time to your schedule.
  • Plan Time For Yourself Don’t forget to make time just for you. Allow yourself to do the things you truly love, even if that means simply relaxing with a good book or catching up on your favorite TV show.  Making “me” time can go a long way to help recharge your battery.
When You Make a Mistake, Forgive Yourself

When You Make a Mistake, Forgive Yourself

Attitude and Mindset, Featured

If a friend tells you about an ordeal they’re facing or a mistake they’ve made, how do you typically respond? In all likelihood, you offer kindness and comfort. But how do you treat yourself when you make a big mistake? You’re probably much tougher — springing to self-criticism, hiding in embarrassment, or ruminating on your perceived shortcomings. The next time you face a setback, try taking a self-compassion break. As soon as you notice that you’re upset or under stress, see if you can locate where the emotional discomfort resides your body. Where do you feel it the most? Then admit to yourself, “This is hard” or “Other people feel this way too.” If you’re having trouble finding the right language, it can help to imagine what you might say to a close friend struggling with the same issue. Can you say something similar to yourself, exhibiting the same kindness?

Change Your Default Response to Stress

Change Your Default Response to Stress

Attitude and Mindset, Featured

Everyone faces pressure at work. But whether pressure turns into stress depends on how you react to it. The good news is that, with practice, you can change your default response. Even if you’re someone who typically gets flustered in the face of pressure, you can train your brain to be calmer when a stressful event arises. When a challenge strikes, a study from Harvard Business School shows that our response can typically be categorized along three specific, testable dimensions:

  • Cool under pressure. Are you calm and collected, giving your brain a chance to see a path forward, or is your mind filled with anxious, worried, and stressful thoughts that wear you out?
  • Open communicator. Do you share your struggles with people in your life in a way that creates connections, or do you keep them to yourself and suffer in silence?
  • Active problem solver. Do you face challenges head-on and make a plan, or do you deny the reality of what’s happening in your life and distract yourself?

To deal with the stress, make a list of five stressful events from your past that you were successful in solving (for example, maybe you got through the breakup of a relationship or met a tight deadline on a big project). The next time you feel your heart starting to race, remind yourself of those accomplishments — and your ability to chart a path forward — by looking at the list. Choose a small, meaningful action that you can take to get your brain moving forward, even if it doesn’t solve the problem.