Bad Habits

BAD HABIT 1Bad habits do you no good. They can sneak up on you or you can be completely unaware of them. Can you think of any bad habits that are negatively affecting your managing – either of yourself or your team? Examine how you go through your day. Is there anything you regularly do that you consider a bad habit? If you find one, how is this bad habit harming you?

One way to get rid of a bad habit is to create a new “good” habit to replace it. Say you consider being late for meetings a bad habit. Create a new habit that you will be on time for meetings. You could begin by making sure you leave plenty of time to get to meetings, by not over scheduling yourself or being unrealistic in your sense of how much time you need to do something. If you are courageous, you could “declare” your intention to others to be on time for meetings. It is essential that you hold yourself accountable. Once you start, it is not that hard. It is well within your power to change.

Say goodbye to bad habits. They are energy drains, keep you from your greatness and sabotage you – with no good results.

 

photo: ermannovanino.com

Really? Technology To Help Your Boss Manage YOUR Time?

ID-100163227A recent New York Times article explores new technology that allows productivity to be tracked by managers.

The article gives an example of a smart phone app where a manager can tap on the app and write notes of encouragement, advice or criticism to an employee. Amazon uses an internet tool that allows employees to submit praise or criticism to management. Another app tracks employees whereabouts 24 hours a day. Yet another, allows employees to comment privately to another employee’s manager. Much of the technology is focused on efficiency and staying connected after work hours – from the boss’ point of view.

We all know that technology is pacing itself at warp speed. It is a good idea to pay attention. How much do you want technology to be a factor in your managing? Or, in how you are managed? Technology itself needs to be managed with thoughtful decisions on the quality of workplace conditions and relationships, what truly enhances productivity and what expectations guides its application.

What do you think about this category of technology coming to your workplace?

 

photo: Kittikun Atsawintarangkul, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Navigating Rapids

dreamstime_xs_41472300Odds are, as a manager you’ll be hitting some rapids in upcoming weeks. Navigating them skillfully, for both you and your team, will make the difference between an exciting ride or capsizing. What can cause these rapids? Many things, including: unexpected obstacles, personnel changes or problems, budget cuts, pressure to perform beyond capacity, overwhelm for you or your team, or over-the-top expectations from upper management.

What do you need to skillfully navigate such rapids?

• Presence of mind to make the best decisions

• Realistic expectations – knowing when to push and when to say no for you and your team

• As often as possible, being fully present in the moment

• Focus on priorities

• Awareness of how your team is doing

When you are navigating rapids you are dealing with unknowns, encountering obstacles, captaining your “ship”, assuring the well being of your team and identifying your destination. Success relies more on your inner being than on controlling outside events.

Navigating rapids requires you to be in the moment and at your best, so that you are ready to handle whatever you encounter.

 

photo: Strahil Dimitrov, Dreamstime.com

Is It Time To Say “Enough!” ?

ID-10067932If you do not draw personal boundaries, you can get trampled in the work world. Is there something in your work life that has gone too far? If the answer is “yes”, then it is time to say “Enough!”.

There are a lot of situations that can cross boundaries at work: people not showing respect, things of importance to you being ignored by others, compensation that does not reflect the value of your output, disregard of your mental and physical health by unreasonable demands and constant stress or a dysfunctional culture that hampers productivity.

There are also many ways to communicate and set your boundaries when you need to. It is best to find your own way to do so, a way that aligns with your values and style. A few things to keep in mind as you set boundaries:

• respond calmly rather than react emotionally

• use your emotional intelligence

• think things out, especially possible outcomes and how you will deal with them

• wait until you are ready and can do your best.

Check out the animated video, How To Deal With A Bully Boss on the Resources page of my new website.

You owe it to yourself to know when it is time to say “Enough!”.  Doing so is essential to creating a fulfilling career.

 

photo: Janaka Dharmasena, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

10 Ways To Stay Fully Present To What You Are Doing

ID-100282431You’ll work better, faster and more effectively when you are fully present to what you are doing. Here are 10 ways to help you do it.

1. Work on one thing at a time, for a part of each day, to get accustomed to how it feels.

2. Schedule one task or meeting at a time. Don’t let people double-book you on your calendar. If they do, make a choice as soon as you see it, regarding what you will do during that time.

3. Work on your focus. When you are working on a task, honestly assess how focused you are on it.

4. If something distracts you, make a judgment either to allow the distraction and stop what you are doing or say no to it and resume what you are doing.

5. Be honest with yourself about time. Don’t try to do two days of work in one day.

6. Start recognizing what happens to you when you move out of the present moment (e.g. your stress starts rising, your mind wanders, you look for other things to do). Be aware of when these things happen.

7. Find a good book or video on mindfulness.

8. Give people your full attention when interacting with them (phone, in-person, e mail, text).

9. Complete your priority tasks first and know the time of day that you are at your best.

10. Find an exercise to practice that helps you bring yourself back to the present moment.

 

photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How Often Are You Fully Present To What You Are Doing?

ID-100249700Stop laughing. ☺ It’s worth paying attention to. Why? When you are fully present to what you are doing, your work gets the benefit of your intelligence, attention, time and skill. Distraction or inattention diminishes the quality of your work and often increases the time you spend, for lesser results.

Being fully present brings all of you to your tasks. You’ll work better, faster and more effectively. For my next blog post, I’ll create a list of 10 ways to stay fully present to what you are doing.

 

photo: Photokanok, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Balancing Mind And Emotions When You Are Managing

ID-100273546Most people favor either their mind or their emotions over the other. It’s a matter of orientation, situation and preference. Do you favor your mind or your emotions when you are managing? I do not have to explain the difference in the two approaches. However, your choice (and it is a choice) does impact your managing style and results. The ideal approach is to balance your mind and emotions when managing.

Can you think of a time you were managing and favored your emotions? Can you think of another time you favored your mind? How did they work out? Were you in control or did they run away with you? Of prime importance, as a manager, is to use your mind and emotions with full awareness. They are great tools, but they need to be managed, too.

Balancing your mind and emotions when you are managing is a skill that will make you a better and happier manager.

I wrote another post on this subject a while back titled Balancing Mind And Emotions When You Fire Someone. You can find it here.

 

photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Lapses

ID-100135277Sometimes important things disappear from our memory and focus. Lapses are usually temporary, but they can seriously disrupt things. All of a sudden it’s Wednesday and you realize you missed an important deadline or appointment on Tuesday.

Many things can cause you to lapse: distraction, overwhelm, stress. What can you do? The best defense against lapsing may be that you live fully present in the moment. Stay grounded and you will remember that appointment. In reality, that is not a constant state, is it? Short of it, you can do your best to manage stress, see the signs that you are moving into overwhelm and improve your focus on what needs to happen within your day.

Lapses happen. However, best that our lapses be few. Lapses do you no good. Lessen their probability and stay on your game.

 

photo: “Forget Me Nots”, franky242, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Blank Page

BlankNotebook DeathToStockA blank page is a gift in life. It can be an ending, a new beginning, a change, a chance to start again or an invitation to something new. Is there a blank page in your life right now? What are you going to do with it? Will you fill it creatively, impulsively, carefully, leave it blank? Or, will you run away from its blankness?

Treasure the blank pages that show up. They give you an opportunity to create the life you want to live.

 

photo: DeathToTheStockPhoto.com 

Creating Joy

ID-100231395Sometimes you can get bogged down in life – with too much to do, too many irritations, pressure, unsettled emotions or dissatisfaction, for example. Things can be that way at times – it’s natural. You don’t want to stay there too long, however. Joy can be a great antidote to feeling bogged down. Sometimes, joy presents itself and sometimes it doesn’t. At those times when joy is not present and you need some, you have the choice to create joy.

What brings you joy? Create a bit of it the next time life bogs you down.

 

photo: criminalatt, FreeDigitalphotos.net