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Category: Stress

4 Behaviors That Slow Down Productivity

Filed under: Behavior in the Workplace, Efficiency, Focus, Productivity, Strategy, Stress, Time Management
You know that work is supposed to be challenging—but there’s no way it’s supposed to be this challenging.

Even the simplest of tasks take you twice as long as anybody else in your office, and you’re beginning to think that you’re the problem.

Here are four ways that you might be making things way harder than they need to be.

1. You’re clinging to outdated processes

Change is hard—I get it. Sometimes it seems way easier to hang on to your standard way of doing things than to adjust to your company’s new process.

But, here’s the thing: That change was probably introduced because it’s better and more efficient. So, white-knuckling that tired and outdated workflow is really only slowing you down—not to mention frustrating your colleagues.

The Fix

Figure out what you need to do to familiarize yourself with that new approach. Do you need a tutorial from a team member who has already mastered that piece of software? Do you need to write detailed instructions for yourself so you remember what to do next time?

Getting up to speed can take a little work, but I’m willing to bet it won’t be long before you’re glad that you did it.

2. You’re seeking everybody’s stamp of approval

Personally, I thrive on confirmation that I’m on the right track. It not only makes me feel like I’m knocking things out of the park, but it also prevents me from sinking too much elbow grease into something that’s heading in the wrong direction.

However, if your boss has already given you the go-ahead, that should be enough for you to move forward. You don’t need that same affirmation from every department manager, your entire team, and even the UPS delivery guy. Seeking that is only adding unnecessary bloat to your work.

The Fix

Perhaps much of your desire to get a stamp of approval from a dozen different people is the fact that you aren’t sure who has the final say on whatever project you’re working on.

When starting a new task or assignment, figure out exactly who is the key decision maker. That will give you the confidence you need to move forward—without hearing from absolutely everybody involved.

3. You’re forgetting previous feedback

You’re beginning to feel like you have to complete every assignment twice. There’s your original attempt, and then your second one after everybody has torn your work apart with a red pen.

Revisions and constructive criticism are inevitable. But, you might be adding extra hassle by not remembering or implementing feedback that was offered previously. There’s nothing more frustrating for you (and everybody else!) than needing to change the same thing time and time again.

You can continue reading this article on The Muse.

Five Ways Mindfulness Will Launch Your Career

Filed under: Psychology, Stress, Your Career

Mindfulness is an increasingly popular notion in the workplace, with companies such as Apple, Yahoo, Starbucks, and Google using it to their benefit. Google, for example, offers employees a 19-hour course on the subject, which is so popular that thousands of Googlers take it each year.

So what exactly is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a simple yet effective form of meditation that enables you to gain control of unruly thoughts and behaviors. People who practice mindfulness are more focused, even when they are not meditating. Mindfulness is an excellent technique to reduce stress because it stops you from feeling out of control, stops you from jumping from one thought to the next, and stops you from ruminating on negative thoughts. Overall, it’s a great way to make it through your busy day in a calm and productive manner.

Click here to read the rest on Forbes >>

3 Efficient Strategies to Be More Productive When You’re Overwhelmed

Filed under: Efficiency, Productivity, Strategy, Stress

You’re absolutely swamped–there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. And, despite the fact that you know your to-do list is overflowing with things that require your attention and action, you’re frozen. You have so much to do, you only feel paralyzed.

We’ve all been there. Dealing with a plate that’s far too full isn’t fun. But, while your first inclination might be to head for the couch and curl up for a lengthy nap, you know that’s not necessarily the most effective strategy for tackling your workload.

Instead, you need to take a deep breath, chug a few mugs of hot, strong coffee, and get to work. Here’s how to best wade through that daunting to-do list of yours–categorized by what exactly you need to accomplish.

Click here to read the rest on Inc >>

Sorry: Work Stress is Just as Bad for You as Secondhand Smoke

Filed under: Behavior in the Workplace, Quick Tips, Stress, Time Management, Work-Life Balance, worry

It’s far from breaking news that stress is bad for you, but new research from the Harvard Business School and Stanford University has outed exactly how damaging it can be to your body and mind, and it’s not pretty: Workplace stress is just as harmful to your health as secondhand smoke.

In a meta-analysis of 228 studies, researchers looked at how 10 common workplace stressors—including long work hours, poor social support in the office and work-family conflict—affected four health outcomes: having a diagnosed condition, the perception of poor physical health, the perception of poor mental health, and, finally, death.

Those suffering from job insecurity are 50 percent more likely to rate their health as poor, which are the same odds reported by people exposed to secondhand smoke.

Additionally, similar to the effects of secondhand smoke, high job demands raise the odds of having a diagnosed illness by 35 percent, and long work hours increase odds of death by 20 percent. You read that right: 20 percent.

Click here to read the rest on Marie Claire >>

6 Ways to Reduce the Stress of Presenting

Filed under: Career Advice, Communication, Good Habits, Professional Development, Stress

In the past 30 years, I’ve given more than 3,000 speeches to audiences across the world. Presentations have been such a central part of my work that many who know me best have been surprised to learn how much anxiety they used to cause me. After my fourth root canal, my dentist pointed out that I appeared to be grinding my teeth at night. He suggested a mouth guard. Over the next few years, I ground through three of them. Fortunately, materials science advanced faster than my grinding and I eventually received a more durable one. Still, I had almost resigned myself to the fact that fitful sleep, restless legs, and a variety of aches throughout my body were the price of the career I had chosen.

I knew I had turned a corner 10 years ago when I was invited to speak to a prestigious business audience at Radio City Music Hall. I slept peacefully the night before. And when I stepped through the crimson curtains to face 6,000 nattily dressed executives, my former panic and dread were replaced with a sense of exhilaration and gratitude.

As I came to realize that presentations would be a permanent facet of my career, I began accumulating tactics to increase my pleasure while reducing the pain. Here are six that have made an enormous difference for me:

Click here to read the rest on Harvard Business Review >>

7 Ways Mentally Strong People Handle Stress

Filed under: Attitude, Behavior in the Workplace, Decision Making, Stress

While stress causes some people to crumble, mentally strong people continue to thrive in the midst of added tension. In fact, they view adversity as an opportunity for self-growth. Whether they’re dealing with financial setbacks, health problems, or workplace difficulties, mentally strong people don’t let stress drag them down.

Here are seven ways mentally strong people handle stress effectively:

1. They accept that stress is part of life.

While some people waste time and energy thinking things like, “I shouldn’t have to deal with this,” mentally strong people know that setbacks, problems, and hardships are inevitable. When stressful situations arise, they devote their efforts into doing what they can to move forward. Even when they can’t change the circumstances, they know they can always take steps to improve their lives.

Click here to read the rest on Inc. >>

No More Worry and Stress: Five Effective Strategies

Filed under: Career Advice, Strategy, Stress, worry

In my last month’s blog, I spoke about happiness and challenged you to take the “happiness challenge.” One of the biggest obstacles to happiness is stress and worry. We all have some stress and worry in our lives. Some stress and worry can be helpful in our daily functioning.  However, when stress and worry overtakes us, we begin to spin and move to the dark side. In my practice and at my school, I often work with adults and children who are adversely affected by stress. In this month’s blog, I would like to share with you the top five strategies that have helped my patients combat stress and worry.

1. Give Worry/Anxiety a Name

It is essential to first recognize and name what one is experiencing. Many times when I work with children and adults they are being “tricked” by worry, allowing worry to dictate their lives. Step one, is to recognize when it is the “WORRY” talking to you. Once you recognize that it is worry trying to trick you, you are better able to accomplish Step two, which is “DON’T LISTEN TO IT!” As one of the kids I worked with said, “When I hear the worry bug trying to trick me, I try to flush him down the toilet.” If you look at a common thread that is shared in evidenced-based treatment for anxiety, they all give worry a name. By giving worry a name, the worry is externalized and separated from the person, making it easier to address.

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>

Time Management: 4 Keys To Avoiding Work-Related Stress

Filed under: Good Habits, Happiness, Productivity, Stress

In some workplaces, stress is considered normal. However, excessive stress may negatively affect your productivity and personal health. The way you deal with stress can make a difference. Many people assume that they don’t have any control over their work environment. Yes, you can’t control everything at your workplace, but it doesn’t mean you’re powerless. Stress management isn’t a big deal if you keep your focus clear and think about the aspects that ARE in your control.

If you are over occupied with work, then it might make your attitude stubborn or irritable. You can lose your confidence and your work will seem less rewarding. If you don’t manage stress at initial stage, then it will ultimately result in bigger problems. Here are some simple time management tips to regain your control over difficult situation and handle stress effectively:

Click here to read the rest on Careerealism >>

5 Ways to Give Your Brain a Break Right Now

Filed under: Efficiency, Focus, Productivity, Stress

Hip Silicon Valley tech companies started the growing trend of offering their employees unique perks that seem to encourage stepping away from the desk. Google’s free massages, Twitter’s rock climbing wall, and Dropbox’s gaming tournaments come to mind. Some may dismiss these initiatives as ploys for PR or to impress new recruits, but there is solid evidence that fun creativity breaks actually improve employee productivity.

I was recently interviewed for an Entrepreneur article about how pursuing varied interests can make you a better entrepreneur, but the same basic principle applies to all employees. Human brains are not meant to focus on the same task for hours at a time, yet most Americans work at least 8 to 9 hours per day on the same thing.

The eight hour workday became the norm after the Ford Motor Company found that number resulted in maximum productivity at its factories. But there is a major problem with this: the idea of an eight-hour day with a short lunch break is based on the most effective formula for physical labor, not mental work and certainly not creative mental work. The brain is much more active – and therefore much more likely to drain – than any other muscle or organ in our bodies. Evidence shows that the brain cycles from highest attention to lowest attention approximately every 90 minutes. This suggests that you should hit the reset button about that often.

One of the best ways to recharge is to engage in something different. 

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>

Nine Strategies Successful People Use to Overcome Stress

Filed under: Best Advice, Stress, Your Career

By Heidi Grant Halvorson | Posted January 16, 2013

Feeling stressed? Of course you are. You have too much on your plate, deadlines are looming, and people are counting on you. You are under a lot of pressure—so much that at times, you suspect the quality of your work suffers for it. This is life in the modern workplace. The difference between those who are successful and those who aren’t is not whether or not you suffer from stress, but how you deal with it when you do.

In the spirit of Nine Things Successful People Do Differently, here are nine scientifically-proven strategies for defeating stress whenever it strikes.

Read the full article at LifeHacker.com >>