Tag Archive | Stress

7 Tips On Creating Workplace Motivation

makethings

 

Workplace motivation is one of those interesting things. We think it should just drop out of the sky like magic but it never really does. We also don’t really think about how to create motivation for ourselves. However, we really can create it with the right tools.  Let’s get on the same page about what motivation is. Motivation is what causes you to take action. Clearly, you’re at work so you do have some motivation because your action is going to work and performing your job. What we are talking about is feeling engaged and inspired about the actions you do take. Let’s look at some of the tools you can use to get fully engaged and motivated in the workplace:

1. Change

There’s nothing like changing things to really get the juices going. You don’t want to change things just for the sake of changing; however, you want to change things that don’t work well. With that, you must have a vision of what the right outcome would be and then you apply your steps to create the action for change.

2. Goals

Many times, the lack of motivation is due to a lack of direction or goals. Sit down and figure out what would really get you up in the morning and make that your goal. Having a goal isn’t enough, though. It has to be a goal that you yearn for or have some emotions about. Once established, put together a plan for how you will achieve your goals. If you really are going to shoot for something worth having, keep in mind SMART for goals = Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Resonate, and Time.

3. Be Accountable

The vast majority of us want to do things but we’re really lazy about doing them. It’s often easier to diet or workout with someone because we have a person that is looking for us to perform. Find someone to hold you accountable to yourself and be willing to trade off the favor.

4. Clean Up Your Own Internal Litter

We all have baggage, but sometimes we have so much of it cluttering up our life that it bogs us down and we fail to see what’s possible.

5. Surround Yourself With The Right People

Yes, your mother was right… it is important to hang out with the right people. In this case, hang out with people who are inspired and motivated as it will be contagious.

6. Research The Issue

Find out from others what motivates them. In the process, you may hear something that would really be great for you. Don’t be afraid to copy what works.

7. Cop An Attitude

Motivation creates more motivation. Look for it and it will be there. We often get hung up about our ability to control things in the workplace. The one thing we can control is our attitude and approach to various workplace challenges. These tools for workplace motivation are simple to do which means there is nothing but you holding you up from trying them.

By Dorothy Tannahill-Moran Work it Daily

 

6 Tips For Better Work-Life Balance

 

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These days, work-life balance can seem like an impossible feat. Technology makes workers accessible around the clock. Fears of job loss incentivize longer hours. In fact, a whopping 94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours per week in a Harvard Business School survey. Experts agree: the compounding stress from the never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.

Work-life balance means something different to every individual, but here health and career experts share tips to help you find the balance that’s right for you.

  1. Let go of perfectionism

A lot of overachievers develop perfectionist tendencies at a young age when demands on their time are limited to school, hobbies and maybe an after-school job. It’s easier to maintain that perfectionist habit as a kid, but as you grow up, life gets more complicated. As you climb the ladder at work and as your family grows, your responsibilities mushroom. Perfectionism becomes out of reach, and if that habit is left unchecked, it can become destructive, says executive coach Marilyn Puder-York, PhD, who wrote The Office Survival Guide.

The key to avoid burning out is to let go of perfectionism, says Puder-York. “As life gets more expanded it’s very hard, both neurologically and psychologically, to keep that habit of perfection going,” she says, adding that the healthier option is to strive not for perfection, but for excellence.

  1. Unplug

From telecommuting to programs that make work easier, technology has helped our lives in many ways. But it has also created expectations of constant accessibility. The work day never seems to end. “There are times when you should just shut your phone off and enjoy the moment,” says Robert Brooks, a professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and co-author of The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence and Personal Strength in Your Life. Brooks says that phone notifications interrupt your off time and inject an undercurrent of stress in your system. So don’t text at your kid’s soccer game and don’t send work emails while you’re hanging out with family, Brooks advises. Make quality time true quality time. By not reacting to the updates from work, you will developing a stronger habit of resilience. “Resilient people feel a greater sense of control over their lives,” says Brooks, while reactive people have less control and are more prone to stress.


  1. Exercise and meditate

Even when we’re busy, we make time for the crucial things in life. We eat. We go to the bathroom. We sleep. And yet one of our most crucial needs – exercise – is often the first thing to go when our calendars fill up. Exercise is an effective stress reducer. It pumps feel-good endorphins through your body. It helps lift your mood and can even serve a one-two punch by also putting you in a meditative state, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Puder-York recommends dedicating a few chunks of time each week to self-care, whether it’s exercise, yoga or meditation. And if you’re really pressed for time, start small with deep breathing exercises during your commute, a quick five minute meditation session morning and night, or replacing drinking alcohol with a healthier form of stress reduction.

“When I talk about balance, not everything has to be the completion and achievement of a task, it also has to include self-care so that your body, mind and soul are being refreshed,” says Puder-York.

These exercises require minor effort but offer major payoffs. Psychotherapist Bryan Robinson, who is also professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and author of the book Chained to the Desk, explains that our autonomic nervous system includes two branches: the sympathetic nervous system (our body’s stress response) and the parasympathetic nervous system (our body’s rest and digest response). “The key is to find something that you can build into your life that will activate your parasympathetic nervous system,” says Robinson. Short, meditative exercises like deep breathing or grounding your senses in your present surroundings, are great places to start. The more you do these, the more you activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which “calms everything down, (and) not just in the moment,” says Robinson. “Over time you start to notice that in your life, your parasympathetic nervous system will start to trump your sympathetic nervous system.”

  1. Limit time-wasting activities and people

First, identify what’s most important in your life. This list will differ for everyone, so make sure it truly reflects your priorities, not someone else’s. Next, draw firm boundaries so you can devote quality time to these high-priority people and activities.

From there, it will be easier to determine what needs to be trimmed from the schedule. If email or internet surfing sends you into a time-wasting spiral, establish rules to keep you on task. That may mean turning off email notifications and replying in batches during limited times each day. If you’re mindlessly surfing Facebook or cat blogs when you should be getting work done, try using productivity software like Freedom, LeechBlock or RescueTime. And if you find your time being gobbled up by less constructive people, find ways to diplomatically limit these interactions. Cornered every morning by the office chatterbox? Politely excuse yourself. Drinks with the work gang the night before a busy, important day? Bow out and get a good night sleep. Focus on the people and activities that reward you the most.

To some, this may seem selfish. “But it isn’t selfish,” says Robinson. “It’s that whole airplane metaphor. If you have a child, you put the oxygen mask on yourself first, not on the child.” When it comes to being a good friend, spouse, parent or worker, “the better you are yourself, the better you are going to be in all those areas as well.”

  1. Change the structure of your life

Sometimes we fall into a rut and assume our habits are set in stone. Take a birds-eye view of your life and ask yourself: What changes could make life easier? 

Puder-York remembers meeting with a senior executive woman who, for 20 years of her marriage, arranged dinner for her husband every night. But as the higher earner with the more demanding job, the trips to the grocery store and daily meal preparations were adding too much stress to her life. “My response to her was, “Maybe it’s time to change the habit,’” recalls Puder-York. The executive worried her husband might be upset, but Puder-York insisted that, if she wanted to reduce stress, this structural change could accomplish just that.

So instead of trying to do it all, focus on activities you specialize in and value most. Delegate or outsource everything else. Delegating can be a win-win situation, says Stewart Freidman, a management professor at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School and author of Leading the Life You Want: Skills for Integrating Work and Life. Freidman recommends talking to the “key stakeholders” in different areas of your life, which could include employees or colleagues at work, a spouse or a partner in a community project. “Find out what you can do to let go in ways that benefit other people by giving them opportunities to grow,” he says. This will give them a chance to learn something new and free you up so you may devote attention to your higher priorities.

  1. Start small. Build from there.

We’ve all been there: crash diets that fizzle out, New Year’s resolutions we forget by February. It’s the same with work-life balance when we take on too much too quickly, says Brooks. Many of his workaholic clients commit to drastic changes: cutting their hours from 80 hours a week to 40, bumping up their daily run from zero miles a day to five miles a day. It’s a recipe for failure, says Brooks. When one client, who was always absent from his family dinners, vowed to begin attending the meals nightly, Brooks urged him to start smaller. So he began with one evening a week. Eventually, he worked his way up to two to three dinners per week.

“If you’re trying to change a certain script in your life, start small and experience some success. Build from there,” says Brooks.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahlee/2014/10/20/6-tips-for-better-work-life-balance/#561bfbd629ff

 

7 Ways to Be a Stress-Free Workaholic

Stress Free

Monroe Personnel Service, LLC & Temptime has been feeling the stress of the dynamic times we all live in here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Steve Tobak says “… it’s a crazy, complex world out there…”.  In the following article he published in Inc.com  Steve shares pointers how he leads himself and his organization out of the downward spiral that stress can easily pull us into.

7 Ways to Be a Stress-Free Workaholic

The complexity, competitiveness, rate of change, and communication overload of modern business life mean one thing: If you want to win, you’ve got to learn to manage stress.

Saying it’s a crazy, complex world out there is putting it mildly. The rate of technological change is staggering. The constant bombardment of information and communication has us all on overload. And we’re constantly slugging it out in a brutally competitive global market.

If it seems as if you’re locked in a downward spiral of trying to do more with less, it isn’t you. It’s for real. That surprising array of macro factors creates stress on all of our businesses and on all of us. We try to manage it as best we can, but at some point, things break. Systems break. People break. That’s the nature of stress.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re well aware of the constant pressure to keep your burn rate down and stretch capital investments as far as they’ll go. And should the stars align and you gain customer traction, then you’ve got the not-insignificant challenges of high growth and scalability to deal with.

Either way, there are times when you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. And that means stress, big time. Having lived through several high-growth companies, a few successful and failed start-ups, and 20 years of executive management, I have plenty of great strategies for managing stress.

Work your tail off when you have to, not when you don’t. Business happens in spurts. Always. Whether you’re developing a product or growing a business, those long hours don’t go on forever. It’s OK to kill yourself for a few weeks or months, as long as you chill out for a while when it’s over. If you do it constantly, you’re asking for trouble.

Learn to give up–sort of. When you’re overstressed, overworked, and the ideas just won’t come, try giving up. Seriously, just call it quits, go home, go for a run, whatever. Once you relax, that’s when inspiration flows–usually when you’re lying in bed half asleep or in the shower.

Strategize and plan. Here’s a method for managing stress you’re not likely to see anywhere else. When things seem overwhelming, they’re often the result of day-to-day inertia. To thwart the evils of the status quo, take a step back and gain some perspective. Get some time away from distractions–just you or with your team–and brainstorm, strategize, and plan. Have a nice dinner out. You’ll be amazed at the results.

Mix business with pleasure. Whenever you’re going through high-stress times, take your team out for dinner. Have a few drinks. Take breaks and goof around. Yes, it probably takes longer to get things done that way, but I would argue that higher morale increases effectiveness.

Don’t leave things for the last minute. Yes, I know you can’t always control this, but if you can–and you can more often than you think–give yourself a buffer. You’d be amazed how much more relaxed you’ll be if you plan to finish your pitch a day early or get to the airport a couple of hours before the flight.

Don’t take it out on others. Leaders and managers, listen up. Maybe you can function at a high level, but if you’re simultaneously demotivating your team, then what’s the point? And if you take it out on family and friends, you’re just going to end up lonely and depressed. If you can’t handle the stress, find an outlet that doesn’t include taking it out on other living things.

Lots of outlets work–pick one or two. Caffeine can boost your mood and performance during the day. Wine can bring you down and help you sleep at night. But you can’t keep that sort of cycle up for too long. Learn to exercise, meditate, get outdoors, build things, play Scrabble, talk to someone–whatever works, do it.

Look, if you want to be a workaholic, that’s fine, be my guest. But at least learn how to be a high-functioning one, meaning don’t just run yourself and your team into the ground. If you’re practical, you’ll be effective.

Above all, learn to recognize the signs of burnout in yourself and your people. Downward spirals are hard to break out of. And, if you’re a leader, you’ll take everyone, and maybe the entire company, down with you.