Archive for the Emotional Tools for Better Working Category
What distractions do you use to avoid doing your work?
Try making a list of them.
You’ll be surprised by how many different ways you let something distract you from your work.
My Top Ten Distractions:
- My dog
- Sunny day
- Chatting with a friend.
Most of you know I was laid off from day job in 2011 and been helping small business owners develop their core values, improve their sales pages and create amazing product launches. The business has been going well, but there are struggles too. Last week my son was sick and I had to keep him home with me. Every hour of work time is precious to me, but like any family man with strong family values my son comes first.
He stayed home with me last Tuesday and Wednesday. He broke his fever on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon he was back to his happy self.
On Wednesday night I looked at my “to do” list that had piled up. I felt behind. Overwhelmed. I felt this panicky feeling bubbling up inside me. You probably know that I like to call this my “arch nemesis”. That little negative inner voice that tries to scare the heck out of me every chance he gets.
Take Back Control
Instead of letting my arch nemesis take over I looked at where this stress was coming from. I began to feel like I didn’t choose to stay at home with my son. This made me feel even worse. I was lying to myself to motivate myself to be more focused. It wasn’t working. I was freaking out. I couldn’t focus.
I had a little chat with my arch nemesis. We went for a short walk.
I needed to readjust my attitude. Taking 15 minutes out of my day to do this saved me from wasting hours of work worrying instead of actually getting something accomplished.
Conversation with My Arch Nemesis
Me: “It’s ok to feel behind.”
Arch nemesis: “No it’s not. You have 100 things to do to take your business to the next level.”
Me: “I agree, but who is more important my “little dude” or the work?
Arch nemesis: “I hear you, but…what about the blog post, client call and proposal that you have to do today?”
Me: “They are all at the top of my list. I’ll get it done. I have 4 hours. If you ease up on my a little bit I’ll be able to get a lot more done.”
Arch Nemesis: “Ok, what about the first draft of the landing page you have to write?”
Me: “Number 4 on my list and I’ll get it done. I can only do one thing at a time.”
Arch Nemesis: “Hmmm, what about your ebook that you wanted to outline?”
Me: “That’s going to have to wait until tomorrow.”
Arch Nemesis: “What?! But you were so looking forward to it and once it’s done you can get started on it and that’s going to really help level you up.”
Me: “I know, but we did what was right. Our little dude needed us. Right?”
My Arch Nemesis puts his head down in defeat.
Arch Nemesis: “Ok, you promise to work on it for at least an hour tomorrow?”
Me: “I promise.”
After our conversation was over I felt much better.
It’s amazing what a walk with your inner arch nemesis can do to improve your perspective.
What do you do to bring your “To Do” anxiety back under control?
Are you a fan of Work Happy Now?
We don’t just give you great tips on how to work happier. We also dive into the psyche of relationships, stress, and how to get better career results.
All this is freely given to you, but now I am asking for your help.
I want to thank you for being a reader on this blog and hope that you spread the word to your friends and family. Work happiness is very important, especially after reading about the France Telecom Suicides.
We need to be mindful of how we feel in the workplace. Emotions are important. If we aren’t happy then we need to figure out how to become happier at work.
It’s not worth the pain.
We are living in this modern world that stresses low tolerance for physical pain, but not emotional pain. Emotional pain is not easy to see or understand, but it’s there.
If you have a few minutes today, either email or call a friend and ask them to sign up for the 7 Part Happy at Work eCourse or my blog updates (Email) and you’ll be making yourself and them happier. Oh yeah, it will make me very happy too.
I promise I will try my best to help make your friends happier, more productive and even more successful.
Thanks for all your support!
Think about how you start your workday?
Do you start with a cup of coffee while reading email?
Do you start by talking with a few of your co-workers?
These are not bad ways to start your day. They just don’t always set the right tone for your workday.
Most athletes have a pre-game ritual that they do before each game/competition. They do this because they want to set their mood before they compete.
Michael Phelps listens to music right up to his race. Michael Jordan started the chalk toss before each game. He also wore his college shorts underneath his pro uniform. Serena Williams will bounce a ball 5 times before her first serve and 2 times before her second serve.
Read the rest of this entry »
Your superpowers are right before you every single minute of every day. The key is listening.
That means listening to your thoughts. Your surface (scared monkey brain) and deep (true self) thoughts are always going strong.
When you walk into a room do you look at how the design could be improved?
When you talk to a co-worker what are your thoughts focusing on? Are they focusing on improving productivity of your communication or building deeper connections?
I’m not talking about surface stuff. The scared monkey brain stuff. I’m talking about the deeper stuff that many people don’t listen well to.
Your brain is always working, you can’t help it. A lot of times you ignore these thoughts because they scare you. Once you stop ignoring these thoughts you’ll see what your thoughts and feelings are gravitating to on a daily basis. It’s these thoughts that you need to explore and use them to help others (AKA superpowers).
Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Jess of Hack My Modern Lifestyle.
Have you ever had times in your life when you found it hard to get up after being rejected?
Being rejected is difficult to handle in any capacity in life. Whether it is in your love life, social life, or work life, rejection often hits hard, and can sometimes knocks the wind out of your sails. Rejection in the work place has a special kind of sting to it, while rejections in relationships or social life are full of emotion.
Finding a way through rejection is not always easy because the reason for the rejection can sometimes be biting. Even comprehending “feeling better” immediately following a rejection can be difficult. This inability to feel better immediately is a normal reaction, and it can actually be a great moment of clarity for the individual.
Read the rest of this entry »
So many of my friends complain about the restrictions that work puts on them. They have to come in at a certain time, they don’t have the resources to make their projects successful or their co-workers are difficult. They don’t see how these obstacles are windows into their ability to feel happy.
I do the same thing.
When you work for someone else or yourself there will be restrictions within your day. Your co-worker might ask for your help right in the middle of working on your own project or you might get a phone call.
It’s how you handle your restrictions, distractions and difficulties that will really support your happiness.
Read the rest of this entry »
8 Comments »
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Christopher Wallace.
Like it or not, we often spend as much (or more) time with our coworkers as with our families. When we’re in close quarters with anyone for a long period of time, we start to notice their eccentricities. More often than not, these eccentricities shift from being “quirky” to downright annoying all too quickly when we are subjected to them on a daily basis.
There are dozens of reasons a coworker might irritate us, from poor work performance to generally noisy behavior. It’s easy to respond in turn; lashing out on the offensive by annoying them right back.
Read the rest of this entry »
Building an emotional buffer is vital to surviving the working world. If we take every complaint, compliment and comment to heart we get too caught up in our emotions. When we are attached to how we feel we get pushed around by the most dominant emotion.
I had an old boss that was an emotional roller coaster. Every day was a new type of ride. A lot of times I had trouble interpreting her emails. For example I sent her an update on a project that I’ve been working on for the past couple weeks. I thought it was thorough and quite good.
She did not see it this way.
Read the rest of this entry »
3 Comments »
Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Mike Bundrant of iNLP.
“Do it, Mike! Just do it! Stop your whining and get off your butt!”
This is how I used to motivate myself. I carried around an inner high school football coach to bark at me whenever he thought I was slacking. The problem was, I constantly stressed myself out. Worse, half the time I “rebelled” against this inner dictator and became passive aggressive toward my own goals. How’s that for nutty?
Actually, this is a common pattern. A “dictator” style of motivation has an undermining effect in the long run. Most people don’t like to be ordered around. In the workplace it leads to low morale and a low productivity, high-turnover workforce. Dictator-style parents tend to divide families and create harsh rivalries in the home. Ordering yourself around leads to the number one killer of personal development goals: self-sabotage.
Think about it. To your mind and body, a harsh, loud voice ordering you around is jarring, regardless of the source. You respond with stress and resistance whether from an outsider imposing his will or you imposing your will upon yourself. In the end, your brain experiences the commands in a similar fashion. Your mind places a lot less emphasis on the origin of an experience than you may think. All of us can make our mouths water just by imagining a delectable dessert. We’ve all reacted with fear to inner thoughts that had no basis in external reality. Ordering yourself around is being ordered around, period. Chances are, you don’t like it and will shut down, refusing to take any action at all.
The stress and resistance of dictatorial self-motivation is an expressway to self-sabotage. “I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do!” is the common response to inappropriate commands, even when those commands are self-generated. It’s a perfect set up.
A New Way
Zen Motivation changes all this. The need to bark orders and force yourself to do things doesn’t even arise in a Zen motivation state. Motivating yourself to do things, even unpleasant things, is a normal part of living and comes quite naturally when in a more Zen-like state, connected to the present moment. Do this exercise and see what I mean.
1. Consider one thing that you need to motivate yourself to do, such as exercise, pull weeds, meet with a difficult colleague, and so forth. If you can, write down the name of the task in the middle of a piece of paper (if you have a pen and paper).
2. Become aware how you would typically motivate yourself to do this and write down (if you can) the thoughts and feelings that come next. For example, “Get it done!” or “Let’s move!” or “I just have to get this done!” or “Come on, Mike!” or (feelings, too) “Tension in chest and shoulders.” Write freely for a minute or so and don’t censor yourself.
3. Just clear your mind for a few moments. Shake it off.
4. Forget everything and enter a more present, grounded state by tuning into a mundane sound, such as the sound of distant traffic, the hum of your computer (or the white noise of a fan, refrigerator, running water, etc…). Don’t do anything else or try to relax – just tune into the sound. Keep listening for a minute or more, until you feel settled.
5. When you feel more settled, reconsider the task you need to get done. Write it down on a clean sheet of paper and notice the thoughts and feelings that come to your mind and body. Do you notice the difference? In this more calm state, what words can you choose to gently motivate yourself? How much easier is it to avoid ordering yourself around while you are feeling more settled and connected to the outside world?
For managers, the key to motivating employees rests with the quality of the relationship – how well do they treat their employees? Likewise, the key to motivating yourself is correlated with how well you treat yourself. Zen motivation allows you to motivate yourself from a more grounded, connected state. When you do, your tendency to order yourself around will vanish and your productivity will increase. Best of all, you’ll be respecting yourself more.
Image courtesy of phoeric.
7 Comments »