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Archive for November, 2010


Last Minute Items

Happy Thanksgiving!

What a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by lots of family.  With having a houseful this past Thanksgiving, I started preparing well in advance:  grocery list, Costco list, a list for the specialty store items, household “to do” lists, etc.  I had all the towels and sheets washed, sleeping arrangements figured out, menu planned, activities planned and even bought special gifts for everyone.  I felt I was very prepared, organized and ready for our guests.  Then came Thanksgiving morning. 

I woke up early before any one else to stuff the turkey and get it in the oven.  My plan was to eat around 1:00 PM.  The stuffing and family tradition cranberry salad was made the night before.  All I had to do was prepare the last minute items – mashed potatoes, gravy, corn and rolls.  Piece of cake – ha!  No matter how much I planned and prepared a head of time, I couldn’t avoid the last minute rush.  It all got done and we sat down at 1:15 PM to enjoy our feast – not too far off the mark!  Imagine what time we would have eaten had I not had a plan…

Planning is essential to your success – regardless of what you are planning for.  Whether it’s Thanksgiving dinner, a meeting or a presentation, to achieve your goals you need a sound plan that meets your needs.  If your plan is solid, you’ll survive the unforeseen obstacles and last minute items that life often brings!

Have a positively productive week!


What to Do Next?

Not sure what to do next? Have you ever been interrupted and then when you got back to your desk you weren’t sure what you were doing or what to do next? 

Deciding what to do next is often more important than deciding what to do overall.

Several high-achieving people have said this in slightly different ways. Sometimes it is simply too difficult to develop a grand plan for things. If this happens to you, just focus on the next best thing to do to make some sort of forward progress.

Pick something and move forward towards a positively productive week!


Dealing With Difficult Co-Workers

Difficult people.  We meet them everywhere.  From the snobby salesperson to the rude customer service rep.  Sure we can shop elsewhere, but there’s one person you can’t get away from – the toxic co-worker.  They can be condescending, confrontational and they make your blood boil.  Don’t fool yourself in thinking you can change them – instead look at yourself and realize how you deal with a difficult co-worker can make all the difference in the world… 

Stress comes in all shapes and forms.  And it’s not just deadlines that can make you want to pull your hair out – the people you work with also play a major role in your frustration level.  Not getting along with a co-worker means you have to face the stress of it day in and day out.  There’s no escaping the people you spend 40 hours a week with – unless you’re willing to change jobs or hope they change theirs! 

Don’t waste energy on people that don’t deserve it and drain it from you.  Instead, practice these 5 tips to make it through your work day in spike of a co-worker who rubs you the wrong way. 

  1. Be Prepared for Conflict – the best way to deal with a problem is to see it coming before it invades your cubicle.  Anticipate ahead of time how you’re going to handle the situation so you’re not caught off guard and act in a way that will only make the situation worse.
  2. Don’t Fuel the Fire – Don’t be tempted to retaliate.  People who instigate confrontation and cause tension also thrive on controversy.  Any exchange of negative words fuels their fire and makes them feel powerful.  Instead, use the oldest trick in the book – kill ‘em with kindness!
  3. Lend a Helping Hand – this gets them every time!  Negative behavior is often the result of a person who’s dealing with a whole lot more than they let on.  Once you become comrades, this person may become aware of their downfalls and look to you for advice.  Lead by example and your positive behavior might just rub off on them – or if nothing else, cause them to lighten up on you.
  4. Get a Third Party Involved – If a difficult co-worker is not receptive to your attempts at defusing the situation, enlist a neutral third-party to help navigate the situation.  Come to the meeting with an open mind, be prepared to compromise and always keep your goal in mind – to get along, put the pettiness aside and work as a team.
  5. Move On – There might come a time when you have to hang up your hat and admit that the situation just isn’t gong to resolve itself.  If you can honestly say you gave it all you had and you’re still stuck with a disruptive co-worker, it’s not worth the stress to worry about it.  Accept it for what it is.

Don’t let someone else determine whether you are going to have a good day or bad day at work.  Be postively productive!