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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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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Deliberate chaos is an interesting thing to look at. Do you see others creating or do you yourself create chaos? Chaos is confusion, extreme drama, disorder and even mayhem. People deliberately create chaos for many reasons – to maintain control by unsettling those around them, to avoid having to deal with something, to create energy that they can use for themselves or to cover up something they do not want others to see. They may do this consciously or unconsciously, but the effects on themselves and others are the same.
Take a look at creating chaos relating to yourself and observe those around you. What do you see?
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Sometimes, things drag on much longer than necessary, causing needless delay, missed opportunities and other complications. Is there something, right now, that it is time for you to deal with? Take some action and get it out of the way. You’ll lighten your load and make room for the next exciting thing.
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Overwhelm gets you off track. It can be a dangerous place to be in terms of your stress level, making mistakes or messing up. There is energy expended in your overwhelm that can be transformed into productive energy. If you find yourself in overwhelm, try these five things to prevent crashing and to get back on a productive track.
1. Stop and bring yourself fully to the present moment.
2. Observe what has happened and center yourself.
3. Find a way to release the emotions and stress you are feeling.
4. Reorient yourself, identify what you can get done and set priorities.
5. Start working again, fully present to what you are doing.
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Periodically, you can face setbacks and changes in your career. Some of these experiences involve loss, as well as endings. What can you do in the face of them? You can continue.
Often, these experiences leave you in a new place. Start by looking around at your new environment. Then, proceed to continue productively. That way, you take the best of you along.
The next time you experience a major change or setback, commit to continuing productively from old to new, with all of you.
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Lull: a temporary interval of quiet or lack of activity.
How do you respond when a lull shows up? Do you get uncomfortable with the lack of activity, embrace it, use it productively or enjoy it?
How many lulls have you experienced recently? In our sped-up world they are rare. A lull may show up because of a deadline pushed forward, an easing in the flow of work or in a transition that hasn’t completed yet.
When a lull shows up, you have options on how to use it. Here are a few ideas:
• rebalance your life and work
• use the open space to rekindle your creativity
• catch up on things that were not getting done before
• observe your reaction to the quiet and what it says about your pace before the lull
• enjoy it
Lulls are precious- use them to your advantage.
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Knowing how to plan and direct your way through your workplace culture is essential to your success. “Doing your job” is not about performing tasks alone. You have to navigate personalities, emotions, workplace values, hidden agendas and rules, as well as assure your own path to career success.
When you widen your focus, you can see all the elements at play in your workplace. Tunnel vision or putting on blinders will not benefit you. You need to navigate obstacles, changes, threats and surprises, at the same time that you get your work done. Successful navigation is aided by developing your emotional intelligence, keeping your eyes and mind open, observing workplace culture and the actions of others, building your skill base and finding the root causes of any problems or setbacks you encounter.
See yourself at the helm of your career ship and set your course in the direction that best serves you!
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Sometimes you stay in place. There can be good reasons for doing so. Staying in place has its advantages. You can take a longer look, make a deeper dive, and think something out. At a certain point, however, you want to get back in motion. Staying in place too long can stagnate your progress.
What’s your level of activity right now? Are you stalled, productively in place or in motion?
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