You can get to a place in your career where you are asking yourself, “What’s the use?” Many things can get you to this question: an inability to affect what happens in your workplace, failure, frustration or obstacles you are not able to overcome. When this occurs – beware. At the point of feeling powerless, you are obviously not at your best.
If you find yourself asking, “What’s the use?” take some time to assess what has gotten you there. Remember that you are CEO of your career. You have some control over what happens. If something isn’t working for you, you know how to move on and make it better.
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It is late at night and I am down to the line in writing this blog post. It has to be done, so here I am. It has been a packed week and my sentiment is “enough, already”.
What do you do when you hit this place? Do you push on or give it up? Of course, different circumstances create different responses. Maintaining your balance, realizing sometimes you have to give an extra push and knowing your limits help you cope. Here’s hoping you do not reach this place too often. And now my post is done. ☺
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In my training at The Coaches Training Institute, they introduced a concept called “Chunking It Down”. It is a very effective way of managing, organizing and dealing with overwhelm. Chunking it down is simple – you take a task that has multiple parts and break it down into small, actionable steps.
Anything you are working on now that could benefit from chunking it down? Give it a try. It keeps you moving and is great for reducing stress.
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Sometimes you can get yourself into a state of confusion without realizing you are there. Many things can create confusion: overwhelm, not knowing what to do, not wanting to face something or losing your center. When this happens, your performance suffers, sometimes in a big way.
Confusion can be stealthy and difficult to recognize. When you recognize the signs of confusion – perhaps extreme emotional reactions, getting stuck, prolonged inefficiency or ineffectiveness, frustration, conflict or too many things going wrong – you are halfway to getting out of it. Take some time to re-center yourself. Look carefully at the source(s) of your confusion and take appropriate action to get back on your game. Confusion does you no good. Limit its ability to get the better of you.
If you’d like more, see my blog post, Ten Steps To Get Out Of Confusion Fast.
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In many arenas now, the change and chaos never seem to stop. At times, they come at you rapid-fire. The challenge is that you cannot control what is happening. However, you can control yourself and your response to it all. In work and other areas of life, what do you do when it keeps on coming?
To start, you can pull yourself out of the fray for a while. You can discriminate on your sources of information. You can be aware of when things get to be too much and take appropriate action. You can find a context for it all, so it does not seem inexplicable. You can take action, if you want to be part of a solution. When it keeps on coming, take care of yourself. Find a way to stay standing, until it passes.
photo: Hans, pixabay.com
In a fast-moving world is calmness possible anymore? It is a question worth asking yourself. It may be that it is not possible to keep up with all the demands on your time. What are you to do? One thing you can do is to stop and take a good look at what is happening in your life. Are you paying attention to your priorities and making sure they get done first? Are you allowing overwhelm and stress to get the better of you? Is there a need for you to reevaluate how you are spending your time? Do you know how to regain your center when things get out of control?
It is society that has quickened its pace. You can still manage yourself in relation to what is around you. When you do so, things will begin to flow more easily. When you bring yourself fully to the present moment, things are not speeding by you; they are right there next to you. You have that moment and in that moment you can observe what is happening and make the choices that are best for you.
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Being busy seems to be a badge of honor these days. This is worth examining. Staying busy because it looks good does not have much merit. What matters is accomplishing what you set out to do, being efficient and staying out of overwhelm.
Working harder is not the only key to success. It may be a part of it, but equally important are having the skills you need, maintaining stamina by staying balanced and being smart about the goals you set.
This month, take a look at how busy you are. Are you productive? Are you getting where you want to go? Are you performing at your maximum? Being busy is not an end in itself. Nor is it a badge of honor. If you need to, let being busy go.
photo: JordanWhitfeld, stocksnap.io
Has your new year started out with a lot to do? Does it already feel unmanageable? How do you handle having too much to do?
As a manager, you juggle your own work, managing teams or projects and dealing with colleagues, customers and upper management. It’s a lot. Do you have an approach or system for managing when you become overloaded?
Here are some suggestions. Recognize the signs that you are becoming, or are already, overloaded. Once these signs appear, stop and reassess the situation. Identify the choices you have and decide how you will proceed. Cultivate your ability to discern what really are priorities and to say no when it is called for. Make a commitment not to run yourself into the ground while trying to do the impossible. That only lowers the quality of your work product and leaves you ineffective.
Your ability to manage well depends on your ability to effectively say “too much”.
photo: stevepb, pixabay.com
Yes, this is a bit of an intense picture (notice though, she is breathing). However, being overwhelmed or “under water” in your work, is intense as well. As I looked at this picture, I thought about how stress and overwhelm curtail your productivity and performance. They wear you down, affect your physical, mental and emotional well being, diminish your judgment, get you off center and weaken you.
You don’t want to be there and it is worth the time and effort to maintain balance in your life. Keep yourself above water, swimming strong and enjoying the view.
When overwhelm sets in or a path is not clear, try another perspective. Rising above a situation is always helpful. Doing so, creates distance between you and the situation and gives you another view. From there, you can decide how you will proceed.
What are some ways to rise above? A first step is to move away from the situation – physically, mentally and emotionally. Find your center and create some quiet. Or, do something completely different and engrossing, so much so, that you completely separate. It’s as if you are flying into the silence of the sky above. Then, observe how the situation looks from a distance. Is anything different? Is a way to handle it clear?
It is difficult when you are surrounded by the cacophony of a situation to find harmony. Rising above gets you away from the noise and often provides a beautiful view!
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