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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You may already have a fine start to the year, with optimism that it is going to be a good one for you. Or, you may be off to a sluggish start.
You have an opportunity to jump-start your year and make it even better. Here are some ways to do that:
• raise your goals a bit higher than they are now
• move your deadlines up (still doable, while stretching yourself)
• hone your balance emotionally, mentally and physically so you are at your best
• find a support network offering skills and encouragement, as you pursue your goals
• make a commitment to balance work and play this year in order to to fuel the energy level you’ll need
• believe in yourself and that you can make this year your best ever
Why not go faster and farther than you originally planned? Give some consideration to jump-starting 2020 as it begins. You can do it!
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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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Sometimes, what you would rather not have in your life creeps in without your noticing. Here are some things to take stock of, as we end the year, so that you can release what no longer serves you:
• energy drains
• “dramas” at work that you are better off without
• things you have been procrastinating on that would make your life or work better
• dreams you could be acting on, but are not
• time you may be wasting
• relationships that you are better off ending
• stressors that you are not addressing
How many of these exist for you? Are you ready to quantify them and say “so long” as we end 2019?
Think of a dream you have and how you can make that dream a reality. What can you do “to the max” to get yourself there?
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It’s inevitable; your energy levels go up and down. Have you noticed how low energy levels affect your work? Low energy levels have lots of causes, among them: being tired or sick, being in a situation that is draining your energy, boredom and strong emotions.
Awareness is the first step in dealing with a low energy level. When this occurs, change your expectations of what you can and can’t do. It may be that you have no choice but to raise your energy level for an immediate task that must get done. In that case, develop dependable ways to raise your energy level – perhaps a short nap, a change of scene, getting help or another means. When you can afford to, give yourself the time you need to restore your energy to a high level.
When your energy level is low, you are not at your best. It is in your interest to understand and know how to deal with your changing energy levels.
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A recent article in the New York Times, Productivity Isn’t About Time Management. It’s About Attention Management by Adam Grant makes a good point about productivity. “Being prolific is not about time management. There are a limited number of hours in the day, and focusing on time management just makes us more aware of how many of those hours we waste.” Grant came to a realization that attention management – the art of focusing on getting things done for the right reasons, in the right places and at the right moments – is what matters.
Time management really is an oxymoron. You can’t manage time, you can only manage yourself. Maintaining and cultivating your focus gets you in a zone that is key to your productivity. What are your priorities this week? Get going on them, excluding distractions and non-priorities, and you may find your week is a highly productive one.
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A recent article in Medium Magazine, What I Wish I’d Known as a First-Time Manager, presents advice on being a first-time manager from people who have been there. The focus is personal – on interrelationships, respect and working as a team.
What better way to succeed as a first-time manager then to put some focus on the personal? Skills and talents can be developed over time. Who you are and how you relate with others is a lifetime pursuit.
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What jazzes you and makes you happy? Are those things present in your work life? True, there are some separations that must exist between life and work. However, following a path for your career that includes what makes you happy can bring you significant benefits. Too often, our society sends messages that we are not meant to be happy at work. In reality, being happy with your work leads to productivity, success, purpose and fulfillment.