What is your perspective on structure? Do you see it as necessary or confining? Some level of structure, no matter how you view it, can be very helpful in these times. Many structures we once knew are no longer available now – common workspaces, means of transportation, human interactions, brick and mortar stores. Major adjustments are being asked of you.
Structure provides balance and stability in times like these. It can be flexible or rigid or in-between. It’s up to you. With some structure you can thrive in any environment. Create a structure that gets you through your work and life. Address time, project demands, things that may hamper what you can get done and the resources available to you. Let structure be part of your success!
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Big change can sometimes leave you feeling uncertain and unsettled. Your once familiar environment is looking different these days. New things are being asked of you, in order to keep your life and work going. Here are some tips on how to deal with feeling disoriented:
• Spend some time looking around and identify the major changes that have occurred.
• Check in on your emotional and mental states. What is going on there?
• Identify what you can do now to feel more comfortable with the changes that have occurred.
• Eventually, find acceptance of the world you are living in now. (You have no choice)
• Start to identify ways you can protect yourself and also thrive in your new environment.
Trying to turn back is futile. Moving forward helps you adjust to and accept the changes that have occurred.
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We’re in a different space now. All of us are adjusting. In times of change, it is good to check in with yourself periodically to assess how you are doing. Why? Because there are no routines or set paths. What was is not always relevant. Stress and anxiety are present.
Answer a few questions. What is important to you now in your life and work? What is in your best interest to do? What are the things that can dishearten or stress you? What makes you feel better? What must you get done? Once you have these answers, you can create a way to check in with yourself periodically and when you find yourself losing your center. After your check in, you can course-correct and get yourself back to center.
Checking in will help you set a new path that works for you and move you forward in the direction you want to go.
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As things change around you, re-centering is called for. The center you had no longer applies. What can you do? Look around. What are the elements and energies of your life and work now? What is called for to settle into this new world you find yourself in?
Take some time to reassess your circumstances. Use your brain to find what you need to regain your center. Nurture yourself. Don’t get stuck or move into fear. There is no need for that. You have agency. You are strong. You can get yourself through this.
For those who are interested, the CALM app has made a series of music pieces, meditations, sleep stories and practices to find ease available for free to all of us. You can check it out here
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Sometimes, before you know it, things are running at high speed and you don’t know how they got that fast. It may be that something you are associated with took off in a direction you did not anticipate and is well along now. Or, you yourself have gotten into a situation emotionally or otherwise and you don’t know how it got where it is. Or, a situation you were once committed to took another direction and you don’t think you can go along.
You are not subject to whatever is happening. You can regain control for yourself. First, get a perspective on what is actually happening. Then, center and figure out what is best for you. From there you may not be able to stop what has happened, but you can refigure your involvement. If something is running at high speed, it does not mean that you have to. You can always stop yourself.
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Email started out as a communication improvement – instantaneous and convenient. Now, it is often a cross to bear – cumbersome and endless. Writing takes time and sometimes your emails are not even read – holding up projects and causing frustrations and inefficiencies.
A recent New York Times article, Your Colleagues Don’t Read Anything You Write. Here Are 8 Ways to Change That by Aaron Orendorff focuses on how you write emails and offers some worthwhile tips to keep them short and get them read.
• Write less often
• Use fewer words
• Put action words in your subject line
• Listen more, “talk” less
• Don’t answer, ask
• Invert the order; lead with the need
• Write a people proof TL;DR
• Don’t make it about you or “them”
If you find the suggestions in the article useful, give yourself a challenge. Follow them for a week and see if your email burden is lighter and your communications improve.
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It happens. Sometimes energy and enthusiasm are in high supply and other times they are nowhere to be found. When you feel yourself losing your energy and enthusiasm, do your best to identify why it is happening. There are many possibilities: physically you are feeling low energy; what you are doing is draining your energy and enthusiasm; you just need a break to restore yourself; you are allowing your mind to tie you in knots; something is draining you emotionally or you just don’t like what you are doing.
When you allow yourself to lose steam, the slowing down you will experience is anything but advantageous for you. Breaks and rest restore you. Losing steam can run you off the tracks.
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Do you ever feel invisible or unheard? There are a myriad of reasons that can explain why you feel this way – some relating to you and some relating to those around you. If you do feel this way, what can you do? You can make a loud noise but results may be temporary and unsatisfying. Here are some possibilities to consider:
1. Excel in your work and acknowledge your skill when an opportunity arises.
2. Raise your profile in some way: share your ideas to a wider audience, speak up in meetings, offer help when it is appropriate – especially in high profile projects.
3. Believe in yourself. Build your self-confidence.
4. Find work that is a good fit for your talents and preferences.
5. Live and speak your truth.
Don’t hide. You have a lot to offer. People around you need to see that. They’ll be better off for it. Let them know you are here!
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Every once in a while, you gotta do it – lighten your load by saying “no”. When your time and attention are maxed, there is no room for anything new. In addition, too much to do and focus on scatters your energy and resources.
So, what is one thing you can say “no” to today? Pick something related to your work that is taking up your time and space needlessly or is an energy drain. What you say “no” to can be a way of being or doing. You could say “no” to being inefficient or “no” to doing that extra task you are not required to do.
Go ahead – say “no”. Do you feel any lighter?
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Fun is as much a part of balance as sleep is. Giving fun priority in your life has all kinds of benefits – relaxation, enjoyment, release of stress and joy.
What do you do for fun? If your answer is not easy to come by or you have not had fun in awhile, create a fun challenge. For a period of a month, do at least one thing a week that is major fun for you. When you finish the challenge you will find yourself refreshed, you’ll know what it is that brings you fun and your outlook on life will brighten!
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