The Power Of A Plan

You may hear a lot about planning for your life and career. Yes, there are a lot of generalities, advice and platitudes out there. If you have let them slip by, take another look. Planning is well worth your effort and time. What does a plan do for you? It focuses your attention, sets your priorities and requires that you think about what you want your career and life to be.

Compare the differences between having a plan and not having one. Which looks better to you? Granted, without a plan you may feel you have more freedom, but planning is about creating freedom by defining the life you want to live and how you can get there.

Do you have a plan for your life and career? If not, try creating one. It can be short or long-term. Tie it to your dreams and aspirations and you’ll be on your way!


photo: suju,


As a manager, do you have favorites in your team? As a team member, do you see evidence of your team leader’s favorites? Is it outlawed to have favorites? Not at all – we are all human and resonate with certain types of people more than others. It is okay to have favorites. Where the challenge comes in for a manager or team leader, is to assure that all are evaluated by the same standards and are treated without personal bias.

How can you assess whether favoritism is an element of your management style? You can start by first, looking at your feelings and attitudes towards each team member. Do you have favorites? Second, look at how you treat each team member – do you show your favoritism in your interactions with them? This will get you started in creating a culture within your team that performance and productivity are what matters.


photo: geralt,

Time “Check – In”

Time is a key factor in your career success. Take a minute today to look at how time has factored into your life and work since the start of 2018. How are you doing with time? If you are doing well, good for you! Keep up what you are doing. If time is getting the better of you, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

• How realistic are my expectations of the things I can get done in terms of the time I have to do them?

• Are stress or distractions getting in the way of using my time well? Am I maintaining the focus that I need to in my work?

• Is being tired or lack of exercise affecting my ability to get things done?

How you are handling time should always be on your radar. For more about your relationship with time, see my blog posts: Your Relationship With Time and Ten Ways To Change Your Relationship With Time


photo: geralt,

Caught Short

Have you been caught short lately – unprepared, missing something, lacking information, short-staffed? It is not a pleasant situation to be in. Sometimes it is avoidable and sometimes not. Preparation is so important to your success. When, even with preparation, you get caught short, what do you do? Usually, you have to regroup fast to respond. Best to be honest, propose a solution and stay off the defensive. Getting caught short happens to everyone. When despite your best efforts you get caught short, be ready to get back in the game and make it right.



Time To Retreat?

Some see retreat as a failure. Others see it as a strategic win. How do you view retreating?

Pulling away from something is not a failure in itself. It can be the best answer to a situation that is not working for you. Some have a hard and fast view of retreating – you can find many quotes that say “never retreat”. What if you realize you are going in a wrong direction? What if you are up against a no-win situation? Are you supposed to keep going until you drop, just for the sake of never giving up?

Not necessarily. You are supposed to make the best of every situation you are in. Sometimes, retreating is the best course. Temporarily retreating allows you to rethink and regroup. Retreating for good lets you put your energies to something that will pay off for you.

Deciding when to retreat is a serious undertaking. It requires your discernment and strategic skill. You do not need a ban on retreating. Instead, you need the ability to perceive when it is the right time to retreat.


photo: Jad Limcaco,

Is Anything Closing In On You?

When there is a lot for you to keep moving in work and life, things can lose your attention and fall by the wayside. That’s okay for a while, but soon they may come back at you bigger than before. It is important to stay alert to anything that has the potential to or may already be closing in on you.

Early attention to matters lets you handle them calmly and in a manner that suits you. If you let things go too long before addressing them, your choices narrow and difficulty rises.

Take a moment today to put your attention on any situation or task that may be closing in on you. Determine if it is serious and what you can do about it now. Keeping the energy flowing as you juggle life and work prevents things from getting worse and closing in on you.


Photo from Andre Furtado,

Change In Plans

It is the holidays and one thing that is sure to happen is your having to change course. Perhaps the office is understaffed or distracted by the holidays and work isn’t getting done. Or, you had everything under control to balance work and life and now there is just too much to do. The stress of it all can be challenging.

One good way to deal with the nature of the holidays is to look at disruptions as a change in plans. Acknowledge what is happening, get present and decide the best course for you. That way, change or missed expectations do not get the better of you. Total control is an illusion. Best to ride with what happens, adjust your expectations and make the best of it.


photo: QuinceMedia,


Year’s End

An ending is approaching – the end of 2017. What is the state of your work right now? Are you on top of things? Have you met the goals you had for this year? Are you ready to call 2017 a success?

The end of 2017 is non-negotiable. Do what you can to make it a positive ending.


photo: derRenner,

Silence Areas

This past weekend, my husband and I were sitting comfortably outside a coffee shop in a four-person seating area. There was a man sitting in one of the seats. We coexisted well. My husband and I spoke quietly, aware of his presence. Then, another man came and took the fourth seat. He made several calls and was quite loud, causing the other man to walk away. When we left the area, I saw the first man sitting alone nearby.

This got me to thinking that we may all benefit by establishing “silence areas” for those who want to use them. What if there was a silence area in every workplace that anyone could use? Silence areas could go far, promoting balance, providing space to think, providing space to center and serving as a getaway when you need some peace. They wouldn’t be hard to establish and could do some good. Would you use a silence area?

photo: geralt,


Sometimes, situations get to a place where it is best for you to separate from them for a little while or possibly longer. Separation creates distance that can improve both your perspective and your handing of something. Separation brings you to yourself, away from the influence of others. The hubbub of the world and our surroundings can be detrimental at times. The next time you face a challenge, are feeling confused or just need a break, try separating yourself from whatever is happening. Hopefully, you will find it refreshes and rejuvenates you.


photo: mploscar,