Unlock Your Work Happiness

Let's start by unlocking your passions (foundation) so you can live more of your
core values, grow your career, and expand your happiness. You'll also receive the
Unlock Your Passions ecourse and Unlock Your Superpowers Manifesto.
You may as well enjoy your work while you improve your career. Let's get started today!

Managing employees used to be hard. Then I tried this…

leadership coaching

leadership coaching

When I left the corporate world I thought managing people was impossible. When I was asked to take a lead on projects many employees didn’t want to do what I asked. I was lucky if they did half of what I asked.

I remember when my father coached my soccer team when I was in 6th grade. I yelled at another player because he was out of position and the other team scored. He called me over and asked me if I thought that helped my teammate. I shook my head no. It took a long time for that lesson to sink in.

I wasn’t wise enough to see my mistakes. I didn’t understand how to lead.

I now look back and wished I would have allowed people the flexibility to do great work, encouraged them to find new ways to improve and had more fun leading them.

There is no way for me to go back and change anything, but I can at least help you be a better leader.

It starts with thinking of yourself as a coach instead of a manager. Most people don’t want to be managed. They want someone to help guide them to be their best.

When I started my own business I thought my managing days were over. I could do what I wanted when I wanted without worrying about what other people thought of me.

As my time grew more crunched I had to be more efficient. I couldn’t do everything myself. In the past year I’ve hired a…

  • Web designer
  • Ebook designer
  • Copywriter
  • Editor
  • Nanny

I hired these people to take work off my plate. I did my due diligence before I hired someone, but I made a huge mistake.

The people I hired were smart, talented and passionate. All the right ingredients.

But my first hire failed.

Now instead of blaming them and just hiring someone else right away. I took a step back and took a hard look at my hiring process. I looked back through my emails, notes, and thought about our conversations, I realized my mistake.

I wasn’t giving them any guidance. People don’t want to be managed. They want to be coached to be their best self. People want the freedom to do great work.

“Accountability increases the positive impact of coaching conversations and solidifies their rightful place as keys to organizational effectiveness.” – Monique Valcour of the Harvard Business Review

Employees want to understand and appreciate the vision and help build upon it. Not be micromanaged or feel confused by their choices. They want to create something and see progress toward it every single day.

So if you are a manager who wants more productivity out of your employees I suggest focusing on these questions:

Special notice: Does your business need more effective and loyal employees? Then signup for the first 6 modules of the Work Happy Now Emergency Kit – Break in case of stress overload. It will explain the importance of creating a great culture and how to encourage more engagement as a leader at work.

Ask your employees:

  1. What can I do to make your happier?

Wouldn’t you’ve loved to hear this question from your boss? I know I would have.

The more barriers you remove from people’s work day the less stress they have. For example if you have a meeting every Thursday at 10am, right when everyone starts to get in the zone, and you ask them to stop what they are doing to attend, then you are making it difficult for them to do great work.

Then ask yourself:

  1. How can I help them see their progress?

Career progress is maybe the most important aspect of happiness at work. Employees want to understand that their hard work is making a positive impact.

  1. How can I create positive experiences?

Young people don’t want new cars. They want experiences that help them feel connected to the people they work with. People stay at a job when the have a deeper connection with one person. How can you build upon these connections?

  1. Does my team have core values in place?

Core values are vital to growing together as a team. If people don’t have similar values then it’s harder to get along. By writing down core values with your team they will use these core values to make smarter decisions.

  1. Do I have a feedback loop in place?

It’s great that you asked them how you can make them happier. I bet they love hearing that question. If you only do this every 12 months then you are missing out on a lot of coaching opportunities and chances to learn from your employees. The best managers allow everyone to have input and allow the best ideas to rise to the top.

Being a better coach isn’t easy. There will be times you won’t listen as well as you should, but if you practice I promise you will be rewarded with more loyal employees who go the extra mile.

If you want to learn how to be a better coach to your employees then look into websites like the one I linked. I’m helping Tim grow his course because I believe coaching at work is a vital tool all great managers need.

11 Ways to have More Productive Mornings

city sunrise happiness quote

city sunrise happiness quote

I was perfectly happy – and productive – staying up late into the night to study and sleeping in until nine or ten in the morning. Then my first full time job came along. It was a tough adjustment.

Not only did I have to learn to wake up early, but I had to learn how to be productive during those early morning hours. After a lot of a trial-and-error I found ways to make the most of my mornings. I came up with 11 techniques that will work for almost anyone.

I may not be a morning person, but I am proud to say that I can hang with the earliest of the early worms. So, if you’re anything like me and are looking to break unhealthy habits and start eating your frog in the early hours of the day, try out some of these tips for kick-starting your morning routine.

1. Get Up Early

Probably not what you want to hear, but getting up earlier has multiple benefits. Time is precious, and in the early hours you’re much less likely to be bothered by others wanting your attention.

For those who work around their families, waking up before they do guarantees you time to focus on work before your family needs you. Many famous CEOs wake up well before 6am, so it’s a habit worth emulating.

2. Make a Schedule and Stick To It

When we’re busy, it’s easy to become stressed and overwhelmed by what we have to do. To combat this, create a schedule in the morning for your day, built around when you feel it’s easier to do certain tasks. For example, you might find it easier to do creative tasks earlier in the morning, so you can schedule them before noon. Plan your time, and stick to that plan.

3. Do Easy Tasks Early

If you find it difficult to get started in the mornings, plan to tackle one or two simpler, easy tasks when you start work. Doing so will help you feel as if you’ve achieved something, and then you’ll have more motivation to move on to more complex tasks.

4. Tackle That One Difficult Task First (AKA Eat a Frog)

Alternatively, it may be better to deal with that one nagging item on your to do list that you’ve been putting off. Mark Twain said, “If you eat a frog first thing in the morning, that will probably be the worst thing you do all day,” and he wasn’t wrong. Deal with the event you’re dreading first, and the rest of the day will be much easier.

5. Turn Your Phone Off

Smartphones are wonderful devices, but they’re also ultimate distraction machines. It’s hard to concentrate on work when you’re busy checking social media or fiddling around with games on the side. Switch it off and put it away; you can always come back to it later.

6. Read the News – But Only Once

For similar reasons, it’s worth reading the news in the morning and then leaving it alone. Reading the news in the morning is a good way of kick-starting your brain and finding out what’s going on in the world. However, it’s very tempting to keep checking back for updates on events, especially in an age of 24-hour reporting, but resist. Instead, stick to one popular news source for all of your information and get it all in the AM.

7. Reward Yourself

If you finish a task by lunch, don’t forget to reward yourself. Even if it’s just a walk to the corner and back to get a cup of coffee, make sure you make time for yourself once you’ve achieved a goal.

8. Have a Positive Attitude

If you go into your work day stressed out, thinking you’ll never get anything done, it’ll become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you go in with a positive attitude, achieving your goals will be much simpler. Similarly, avoid people in the workplace who complain about their workloads without attempting to solve their problems. Their attitude will only weigh you down.

9. Use the Time to Network

Workday lunches can be an interruption to your schedule, and evening drinks can veer very much off topic after a couple of cocktails. If you meet up with colleagues in the morning for a coffee, you can get much more accomplished.

10. Check Your Email

Check your inbox early on and deal with emails as you open them. Resist the urge to hit “Mark as Unread” and vow to deal with it later; if it can be answered, take the time to do it and clear it out of your inbox. Once they’re done, you can leave your inbox while you work, without the thought of what’s waiting in it hanging over you.

11. Stop Multitasking

Finally, try to only do one thing at once. Research has shown multitasking can slow you down by as much as 40%, since you’re really only switching from one to the other and preventing yourself from getting into a good workflow.

Mornings truly are the golden period for productivity, as you’re fresh and ready for the day before all the distractions and requests for your attention come piling in. Make the alarm clock your friend and squeeze the most out of your working day.

Which idea do you think you would share with a team member? Why would you share it?

Focus is important to a great team. What could you add to the list that would help you and your team have more productive mornings?

Sarah Landrum is the founder of Punched Clocks, a site dedicated to helping others find happiness and success in their careers. Follow her for more inspiring tips at @SarahLandrum

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Legos at the office

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Believe again

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Inspiring business quotes

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Stay connected to your why

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A few years ago something very difficult happened in my career. Now that I look back on it… It’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I wouldn’t wish career failure on anyone, but sometimes it can put things into perspective and give someone the kick-start they were afraid to do themselves. I was […]

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happy and relaxed with laptop

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live your core values

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What can I do to bring more happiness to my employees?

There is one aspect of my work that makes me so amazingly happy I feel blessed to be doing what I’m doing. I think this is an overlooked part that we don’t see because we are so busy with our own lives and careers. We get to work with people who want to be happier. […]

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