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Archive for June, 2016


Have Patience

Do you find yourself rushing from one meeting to another with no time to take a breath? shutterstock_99376793

Are you tired of falling farther and farther behind even though you feel like you’re running through the day like a hamster on a wheel?

Are you feeling stressed, flustered, and irritated more often?

You’ve got “hurry sickness,” and it’s time to step back and slow down.

In the seminal book, Type A Behavior and Your Heart, the authors Martin Friedman, M.D. and Ray Rosenman, M.D. defined “hurry sickness” as “a continuous struggle and unremitting attempt to accomplish or achieve more and more things or participate in more and more events in less and less time.”

Sound familiar? If so, you need to regain perspective by identifying your most important priorities and focusing on those. The ability to prioritize and focus are two of the most important tools to cure hurry sickness.

You also need to get out from under the stress you feel. Stress is a killer to more than just your happiness; unrelenting stress can make you seriously sick. Regular meditation is one way to relieve stress; exercise is another stress release tool. (See your physician before starting an exercise program!)

If you suffer from hurry sickness, stop, breath, prioritize, and de-stress. You’ll not only be more positively productive, you’ll be healthier, happier, and more satisfied with your job and life.

See these blog posts for information Take Action to Manage Stress and How Often Do You Unplug?



Help Your Staff Handle Change

Helping your staff cope with change can be challenging since most people tend to resist change. Often, they believe it negatively affects them or their ability to do their jobs. Yet, this is the very time when we need them to support us and get behind the changes.shutterstock_78986359

  • Clarify Expectations

Take time to meet with employees and clearly describe how the change is to be implemented and what their roles are in a successful implementation. Explain how current workload will be affected and your expectations about deliverables and performance.

  • Keep Communication Open and Frequent

You want your team to feel free to voice their opinions and ask questions. This provides you with valuable information about where additional information and explanation are needed and where you can expect resistance to the changes. While there may be elements of the change you cannot discuss for confidentiality reasons, be forthcoming about why you can’t talk about it.

  • Gain Support from Early Adopters

Early adopters are people who like change and eagerly embrace it. They see change as an opportunity. Often these people have great influence, and they can encourage other employees to be supportive.

  • Recognize and Reward

Now is the time to acknowledge all successes, even the smaller ones. Your team needs to know that their efforts are important and that they matter. Host a small, special event, such as a breakfast or ice cream party, to give people a time out and a reason to keep going. A little acknowledgement goes a long way.

Change is hard for most people since it forces them to come face-to-face with uncertainty. It endangers their sense of security, so as their leader, you need to do everything you can to minimize the negative affects and encourage your team to identify and embrace the opportunities the change offers.

See my blog post Motivate Employees for Results for more information you can use.



Remember What You Read

If you’re like most business people, you have too much to read and not enough time to read it in a way that you retain it. Here are some tools to help you more easily remember what you read. Skim the document, reading only the first one or two sentences of each paragraph. This will give you a good overview of the entire piece.finger

  • Use a highlighting tool to mark main points. Not sure what the main point is? Create a note that captures what you need to remember in a few short sentences.
  • If you are visual, you can improve memory by studying key sentences for several seconds to better retain them. If you are auditory, read key sentences aloud a few times and listen to what you are saying. Not sure if you’re visual or auditory? Think back to school. Did you learn better with lecture or reading the textbook? If you answered, lecture, you’re probably auditory. If you answered textbook, you’re more likely visual.
  • Take notes and paraphrase key points in your own writing to impress the information on your memory.

Generally, you tend to remember what has meaning for you personally and professionally, so find a way to relate the information to your work or life. The greater the meaning, the easier it is to remember it!

See my blog post Remember to Remember for more information on memory improvement.


Multi-tasking Takes Too Much Time!

Multi-tasking is unproductive, and recent research supports this. However, when I teach my GO System to employees, someone in the class usually insists they have to multi-task to get things done. They can’t imagine that doing tasks sequentially can be more positively productive even though it usually is.

What is multi-tasking? man multitasking

It’s doing two or more tasks simultaneously, such as filing and listening to music; answering the phone, writing an e-mail, and making decisions; driving and texting or checking e-mail. This last is not just unproductive; it’s dangerous!

When we multi-task, we think we are doing several tasks simultaneously, but we’re not. Actually we are serial tasking. This means that our focus moves from one task to the other so quickly that we don’t notice the switch. If you rapidly turn a light on and off, you have less total light than if you turn it on and leave it on. The same applies to focus.

Does multi-tasking ever work?

Research tells us that it can work if each task involves a different part of the brain and you can do one of them so well, you don’t have to think about it. For example, you can file and listen to music as long as the music has no lyrics. If the music has lyrics, your brain tries to focus on the names of the files and where they go while listening to the words in the lyrics of the music, so you are more likely to misfile something.

Why not stop multi-tasking for a month and see how much more you get done in less time?