In today’s challenging business environment, everyone struggles with how to get more done, work harder and longer hours, multi-tasking (multi-dumb!), working faster along with a full range of tricks and shortcuts. Yet despite everyone’s best intentions, the struggle continues every day at desks all around the world.
So, the solution may just be something simpler but challenging for those so set in their ways that they are unwilling to fully embrace the degree of personal change required. Here are the 4 steps – habits – you should consider adopting: Continue reading →
Many of you go through life constantly worrying or obsessing over what others might think about you. You go out of your way to be liked; so much so you even compromise on your own values. You try way too hard to be part of who you perceive to be the “in” crowd. Most of these “crowds” really don’t care about you, so you end up being “alone” in a group. Why not be your own “in” crowd and attract the right people to be with? Stop looking for permission to act even though no one’s permission is needed. You are driven to want to be liked versus being respected. Stop sacrificing your own self-esteem and self-worth for others. Be the person who you respect first—the rest becomes easy after that.
Each of us at some point or another deal with “Clutter” – mentally and more frequently in our office – specifically on our desks and work areas. Uncontrolled clutter can be devastating to you and your team, and it sends the wrong message to your customers.
Early in my career I suffered from “clutteritis” (not sure if that’s a word but it fits here). I was at USLIFE and serving as Senior Vice President of Human Resources when I had to admit to and “own” the fact that I was suffering from clutteritis. This revelation took place for me when my boss – the Chairman & CEO – walked into my office took one look around and said, “Chris, if I ever wanted anything lost, I would send it to you!” Then he turned around and left. Multiple files on my desk, more on the floor and yet even more debris on my windowsill. I was losing the clutter battle and didn’t realize it.
That day and those words have stuck with me over the years.
I use this story periodically with my clients. A close cousin to clutteritis and a symptom of it is multi-tasking (or as I call it “multi-dumb”). But being “multi-dumb” will be the subject of a future Wake-Up call. Continue reading →
To achieve success, you have to know how to deal with distractions – and we all know that there can be a lot of them. Sometimes we allow them to get us off course. Distractions like moving from crisis to crisis, or being pulled in multiple directions take a serious toll on us mentally, physically and financially.
Here are several things that you can take action on to effectively manage distractions: Continue reading →
It’s been said that a day without learning is a day without living. When you stop learning or close your mind to learning, you become stagnant and you die – first intellectually, then emotionally and then…well, you know. As Stephen Covey wrote in his “7 Habits…” piece – always sharpen the saw. Coach Wooden once said, “It’s what you learn after you think you know it all that counts.” Always ask yourself, “What can I do to improve?”
Once you have learned something, practice it until you are good at it. Real success comes from those who practice; in life, there is no room for “winging it”. Coach Lou Carnesca of St. John’s University said it best, “Nothing takes place on the court that doesn’t first take place in practice.”
We cannot control many of the outside forces or events that bombard us every day. Focus on what you can control.
Get moving. Don’t stand there and think; get clear on your desired outcome and take the first step, then another. Consistent and focused action gets results; you stall…you lose.
The one thing that we have absolute, complete and total control over is our mind and the thoughts we harbor in it. Stop focusing on just the negatives.
It’s time to start focusing on possibilities, rather than on limits and obstacles. You need to set yourself free. This means you must give yourself permission to dream and to take risks.
Real limits will not box you in because you can always find a way to deal with them. It is the false ones you are carrying around in your mind that become the self-imposed prison of your dreams and goals.
Self-doubt is what does the most damage. Don’t give it any mental space.
The best way to not give doubt any mental space is to fill your mind with dreams, goals and a vision, and act like success is your only option.
I read once that if you give the world the best you have, the best will come back to you. John Wooden the legendary basketball coach at UCLA once said, “Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
Now, I know we are dead for a long time; the fact is you only get one life, so why not get the most out of it? Make it a point to have fun. Taking life too seriously will kill you. You work hard so there should be no guilt associated with the pursuit of happiness and the enjoyment of your life.
Make time every day to be grateful for all that you have; maybe the first thing in the morning or the last thing every evening. Many spend far too much time obsessing either over what others have or what is missing in their own life. If you want more, then pursue it.
At any point in time, we find ourselves having to deal with a variety of problems. Some are big; others are small. Some we create and others land in our lap, as a result, someone else’s actions (or lack of actions). Some are valid, while others are just unnecessary distractions. Regardless of how it is described, they are problems and we are paid to solve them.
To effectively solve a problem, you have to have a clear understanding of its cause and impact. However, many of you spend way too much time and energy focusing just on the problem – its cause and its impact – and not enough time and focus on taking action to get to the solution. In essence, many find themselves “obsessing” about the problem, leading to detrimental results for the individual and their organization. It’s almost like digging a hole and pulling the dirt back in on top of you. Your frustration, stress and negative emotions grow unchecked. As this occurs, you basically eliminate any chance you might have to get past the emotional “clutter” (yours and others) to find a way forward to a solution.
None of us can maintain a high level of unchecked activity every minute of every working day. Often, this type of “work as fast as you can” approach leads to mental and emotional exhaustion which invariably leads to anxiety and causes overwhelm. And, that brings on the frustration at the end of this downward spiral. Productivity is lost, service goes down the drain and it basically turns into a lousy day.
Most of the time when we are stalled and frustrated, we get easily side-tracked and distracted, then get caught up in “busy work” which usually has no value.
It’s “that time of year” when many still feel all charged up and are committing to do what needs to be done to be better. Yet, a fair number of those commitments and promises will fall by the wayside creating another average year.
So, let me make it simple for you to understand that it doesn’t require a lot of extra effort to “Step Up and Play Big.” But, it does require that you make a choice to do so and then commit yourself to do the work that follows.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed By their creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
The Declaration of Independence does not guarantee happiness. It does, however, make it very clear that it is our responsibility to pursue our own happiness. Only we can see our dreams and only we can live them. And if we can’t make ourselves happy, or be happy with ourselves, it’s a good bet that we will not be able to help anyone else.
Making yourself happy can be difficult today with all of the business challenges that surround us. We are being bombarded every day to the point that we sometimes find it hard to fight off negative distractions and stay focused. When this happens we allow ourselves to be the victim of ours, or others, circumstances as opposed to being the master of them. We rapidly approach overload and get consumed with minutia, worrying about what will happen next! We start to lose sight of our ability to achieve our goals. When this happens, our first priority is to gain back control, get back on track, and take charge of our destiny. Continue reading →