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Archive for November, 2014


Giving Thanks Is Not Just One Day a Year!

Do you become embarrassed when someone gives you a compliment or praises your work? It’s surprising how many people respond with, “It was nothing.” If you’re one of them, stop! This type of response is a subtle rejection of the person giving you the compliment and a subconscious hit to your self-esteem.shutterstock_214529218

When you receive a compliment, accept the praise as well earned and say, “Thanks! I appreciate that.” If the compliment was for a team or partner effort, mention the contributions of others. “Thanks. I appreciate that. My partner/whole team worked hard to pull this together. I’ll share your comments with them.”

Remember to smile!

I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. I am grateful for my loyal followers and those new to my blog. May you enjoy the warmth and blessings of family and friends during this holiday season!

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”

 Thornton Wilder, American playwright and novelist


Is it Distress or Eustress?

You’ve probably heard a lot about bad stress or distress. Many emotional and physical disorders have been linked to this type of stress. People under stress for a long time are more prone to infections, autoimmune diseases, gastrointestinal problems, and high blood pressure among other health issues. Distress also adversely affects relationships, productivity, and focus.After

On the other hand, some stress is good for us. This type of stress is eustress. Eustress is stress that motivates us and keeps us interested and challenged. The stress an athlete feels before a competition is a form of eustress as is the stress we feel before a major presentation.  We all need eustress in our lives in order to accomplish our goals and grow personally and professionally.

If you are feeling more distress than eustress, try some of these tips:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Meditate daily
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Give yourself a time out and do something relaxing
  • Stop thinking about the stressor and turn your thoughts to something positive
  • Get more sleep
  • Build a support system
  • Set and maintain boundaries

As the holidays approach with more demands on your time, feelings of distress may arise. Don’t get derailed! See my blog posts Finding Time for Yourself and Speed Up by Slowing Down for more tips you can use.


Got the Cube Blues?

Most of us work in cubes these days, which cuts down on privacy and leaves us little room for making our workspace work for us. Here are some tips for turning your little, gray cube into a place you enjoy.shutterstock_48797485

  • Bring in some green. Live plants bring the outside indoors, and a touch of green is cheering. With flowering plants, it’s best to avoid anything that gives off a strong scent since cube mates may be allergic or find it offensive. Have a black thumb? Silk plants are a good substitute.
  • Keep it neat. Walking into a mess in the morning can be demoralizing and demotivating. Clear the clutter and keep things neat and orderly. See my blog post A Simple Approach to Eliminating Clutter.
  • Be ergonomic. Avoid aches and pains by having a correctly designed workspace, use ergonomically sound equipment, and make sure lighting is adequate. Check with your manager or human resources for available options.
  • Add reminders of life outside the office. Photos of family, friends, and activities that you enjoy are pleasant reminders of your life outside the cube. Be prudent with your choices, especially if you work in an area that gets a lot of customer traffic.
  • Move around. While many cubes are pretty small, set an alert to get up and move around every hour or 90 minutes. The more you sit in one place, the more constricted you feel; the cube walls seem as if they are closing in on you! See my blog post Sitting Is Bad for Your Productivity and Your Health for more information.

Don’t treat your cube like a cell! An attractive, pleasing workspace makes work easier, reduces stress, and can make you more positively productive.


Five Steps for Getting Things Done

  1. Stop doing everything. Are you familiar with the Pareto Principle? It states that 20% of your actions produce 80% of the results you need. Focus on the 20% that delivers the most impact, not on the 80% that delivers very little. See my blog post How to Use the Pareto Principle for Productivity.shutterstock_118476445Take small steps. You can’t cross the street in one step; it takes a series of small steps to get from one corner to the next. When faced with large or challenging tasks, identify the smaller steps you need to take to achieve the larger goal.
  2. Bundle routine activities. Consider making phone calls, doing Internet research, and filing in a single session. The more you concentrate on one type of activity at one time, you accomplish each task faster and more efficiently.
  3. Read between the gaps. Always carry a To-Read folder—either paper or electronic—for documents you need to read, but don’t have time to read in the office. When waiting for meetings to start or when on public transportation, pull out your folder and start reading.
  4. Leverage the power of delegation. Delegation is a great investment of your time. It frees you to focus on the 20% of activities that only you can perform. See my blog post Delegate for Results for more information.

Start implementing one of these steps, make it a habit, and then work on another one. Soon you will be more positively productive and satisfied with your accomplishments.