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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There are points in life when profound change is the only way to go. Take a look at your life now. Is profound change warranted in order to assure a fulfilling life or career in your future? It may be, if you have reached a level of dissatisfaction, pain, upset or futility that is hard to take.
When you reach such a point, don’t turn away. On the other side of profound change is often freedom and happiness that you cannot get by staying where you are. Change is part of life and cannot be avoided. If profound change is called for, make it happen.
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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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