Having An Aim

When things around you are in flux, uncertainty and dissolution, it is a challenge to stay focused and productive. One thing that can help is having an aim. Having an aim aligns your energy in pursuit of a concrete outcome. It gives you purpose and is a good buffer against distraction.

Are there specific things you must accomplish this week? These things can become your aim. Decide when and how you will get them done. Create ways of reminding yourself of your aim. By the end of the week, with your aim accomplished, you will have created some stability and momentum for getting things done, as the new week beckons.

 

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Losing Track Of Days

Some clients have been mentioning to me that they are losing track of days. That’s understandable. Work spaces, work routines and pacing have all turned upside down. What once was easy may now take some conscious effort. If you are having trouble keeping track of days, start each day recognizing what day of the week and calendar date it is. Then, you know where you are and can proceed with your work day.

 

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The Bottom Line Is: You Don’t Know

You have dealt with the unknown all your life. There are a variety of ways to do so: fear, making up things to fill unknown spaces, getting comfortable with it, pretending it isn’t there or running from it.

The world you live in now, however, is filled with a multitude of unknowns and asks you to look them in their face. Once you do, you realize that the bottom line of all you are experiencing is that you don’t know what the future will bring. As hard as it is, if you start from there you have the best chance of making it through and thriving in these times.

 

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Miscommunication

Missing the mark in your communications can be very frustrating. Your actions are not matching your intentions and confusion or trouble ensues. Sometimes, it happens. To give yourself a good chance of avoiding miscommunication, give these approaches a try:

•Prepare for any work-related communications you have. Review ahead of time your purpose for communicating, what result you want from the communication, how the person(s) you will communicate with may react to what you say and what could go wrong.

•On a personal level, employ your emotional intelligence regarding how your communication may be received by the person(s) you will be communicating with.

•When communicating, stay centered. Don’t rush into a conversation or let pressure get you off center. Cultivate your ability to respond in the present moment to whatever occurs.

Good communication is an art, treat it as such. If you want some expert advice, check out my friend Diana Peterson-More’s  book Consequential Communication In Turbulent Times as well as her articles – just right for these times – on Linked In.

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What Do You Take Ownership Of?

When you take ownership of something, it is yours. You take responsibility for it and, by implication, it is something that you want to do. In your work, are there projects, attitudes or activities that you have or haven’t taken ownership of? Not taking ownership can involve lack of enthusiasm, not performing at your best or doing things by default. Taking ownership can involve accountability, moving at a good pace or raising your profile.

If something is yours, you might as well take ownership of it. Doing so serves you and increases your value to yourself and your organization.

 

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Ups And Downs

I am beginning to sense that with the COVID-19 situation we are in for a number of ups and downs. Week to week in my coaching and communicating with friends, I am seeing them in action. Of course, the degree of how up and how down varies with each person. Some are dealing with extreme challenges; others are finding themselves tossed to and fro. Few are experiencing life as it used to be.

We need to find ways to navigate these ups and downs or they will mess with our focus and knock us off balance. I am developing ways to handle them. Focus is key to me. If I can get myself back to center when distracted, I can regain focus. I allow that a portion of my energy is going to coping with change and have lowered my expectations a bit. I also create some structure each day so that I do not drift too far.

If ups and downs are with us for a while, lets find ways to deal with them. There’s a good chance that they are leading us to positive change and will be worth it in the long run.

 

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Getting Antsy?

There are a range of experiences you can have in the situation these days: being on the front lines of response, dealing with illness, staying at home or something in-between. Do you find yourself reacting to these changes by feeling uncertain and anxious? That’s natural, when you are out of your comfort zone.

A lot has changed and you are facing a high level of unknowns. Fear is palpable and what the future will look like is anyone’s guess. To cope with these changes staying as centered as possible is essential. Find your new center amidst it all and create ways to get back there when things distract you. Maintaining focus helps as well. Create times of the day when you focus on certain things and stick with them. Allow that you may get distracted more than usual, but don’t let distraction take hold for too long. Manage your expectations as well. Keep them reasonable and nurturing.

You will get through this. Stay steady and our new normal will gradually emerge. Be well!

 

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Ten Positive Things You Can Do To Keep Working Happy

1. Take more breaks during the day

2. Let go of anything you can that is currently an energy drain

3. Identify the most significant changes you have experienced this month and adapt to them in positive ways

4. Bring three things into your work day that fuel you

5. Indulge yourself once a day

6. Define what balance is for you now

7. Keep your physical body in shape

8. Stay very aware of what is happening with your emotions and find ways to center them

9. Start a new creative project that excites you

10. Identify the opportunities you have now, that were not available to you at the beginning of the year

For more on Working Happy, check out my monthly newsletter here

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We’re Out Of The Box Now

In the past when speaking of creativity and innovation, common advice was to think outside the box. Well now, you are way outside the box. As disorienting as these times may be, they do present opportunities. All you may have to do to find those opportunities is look around .

A way of coping with these times is to recognize that the “normal” that was is pretty much gone. You have a choice to reach back for something that is no longer there, freak out at the change or gradually reorient yourself to a new reality. Within this new reality, you may find ways to pursue your dreams, release things that no longer serve you and take advantage of the open space you have. Things could start looking pretty good to you as you stand outside the box!

 

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The Power Of Structure

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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