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Prevailing in Turbulent Times

You can remain confident despite the chaos all around you.

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Everywhere you look, proud and patriotic Americans are feeling forlorn over the worsening conditions in our society. Concurrently, many life-long career professionals are losing confidence in their ability to stay competitive in our rapidly changing world amidst a rocky economy.

In actuality, no one in society has a long-term lock on any market or inside niche, and no “body of information” affords a strategic competitive advantage for very long. The reality of our times is that everyone is feeling at least a little unsure of themselves, and in that sense everyone is in the same boat.

Besieged by information and communication overload, it is easy to feel anything but confident. After all, your ability to keep pace is all but impossible.

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Professionally, you can remain confident, however, despite the pace of change.

Taking Command

What do confident people do to maintain confidence, independent of the rate of change to which they’re exposed? And. how do they maintain a sense of breathing space along the way? Here are variety of approaches:

* Jump Starting: Initiating a small part of a project or activity in advance (getting a sneak preview) to gain familiarity just before the project or activity actually begins.

* Total Immersion: Surrounding yourself with everything you need to fully engage in the project. This could involve assembling resources, people, and equipment, as well as ensuring that you have a quiet, secure environment, free of distractions.

* Managing the Beforehand: Living with the ever-present realization that change is continually forthcoming and, thus, preparing for activities or events in advance.

* Leapfrogging: Recognizing that while you can’t keep up with every little thing that happens in your industry or profession, periodically you can leapfrog over the developments of the last several months and “catch up,” in a manner of speaking.

* Picking Your Spots: Related to leapfrogging, pick your spots in the future, say six months, whereby you want to have a new product or service introduced, or have some new technology fully integrated into your operations, and so forth.

* Go Cold Turkey: Simply suspend operations and engage in whatever it takes to incorporate a new way of doing things. This is enhanced by ensuring that you’ll have no disturbances, by bringing in outside experts, and by assembling any other resources you need to succeed.

* Days of Grace: After deciding to tackle a new project or to implement major change, build in “days of grace” and allow yourself to proceed at half to three-quarters speed. Acknowledge that assimilating the new challenges and changes will take time, and will likely involve some disruption. So, don’t expect to achieve your normal productivity or effectiveness… for now.

Small Victories

Finally, and this is vital, in all cases recognize the importance of continually seeking small victories.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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News

Six Dozen One-Sentence Tips on Reducing Stress

Under Biden, the nation’s stress level, collectively and individually, keeps ratcheting higher

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As we enter year three of the “Biden Administration,” enduring a clown who was installed, not elected, the nation’s stress level, collectively and individually, keeps ratcheting higher. As such, here are more than six dozen one-sentence tips on reducing stress for your edification:

Half the battle in alleviating stress is simply being aware of how you react to situations.
Let go of low level decisions.
It’s hard to feel stressed when you’re looking good.
You feel less stress if you allow yourself to be who you really are.

Take a break by helping someone else with their problems
To win the war on stress requires you only need small consistent steps.
Make your boss look good–he or she will appreciate it.
One good laugh can change your whole temperament.

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If a choice is of little consequence, let someone else choose.
Given enough time, people will usually apologize for blowing up at you undeservedly.
For most people, most of the time, most of the stress they encounter is self-induced.
Narrow your priorities and focus on what’s vital– the clock of your life is ticking.

Never make a promise you can’t keep.
If someone tells you to “take it easy,” heed the advice.
Give yourself quiet time throughout the day.
Sing in your car – it’s the best stress reducer when barreling down the highway.

Allow yourself five minutes to worry, then put the issues in the back of your mind.
Look for the best in others.
Screen your calls; you don’t have time to be available to everybody.
You always have the option of not answering the door.

Find ways to make yourself indispensable on the job.
Combat perfectionism because you are not perfect; nobody is.
It could always be worse; try to find the good points in everything.
Treat your children as full-fledged human beings.

Be true to yourself; don’t jump off a cliff simply because the lemmings are.
Build your life on a solid base, then don’t worry about the foundation.
Strive for objectivity.
Accept input and advice from trusted others.

Be conscious of what you say to yourself.
Compete with yourself, not others.
Challenge yourself to perform better than you have in the past.
Never mind the symptoms – get to the root causes of issues you face.

Avoid participating in the rumor mill.
Your instinct will often guide you – don’t be afraid to listen to it.
Don’t let juggling tasks become procrastination.
Take long, deep breaths whenever you choose to.

To feel more content be less concerned with what others think about you.
Move with a purpose.
Revenge is almost always counterproductive.
Delegate, delegate, delegate.

Open your mail over the wastebasket.
Laughter can lower your blood pressure.
When you’re under stress, sips of water can make you feel better.
For more energy, ignore the clock and go to bed when you’re tired.

You can’t use of all the promotions and bonus offers you encounter – so don’t worry about them.
Jumping into water changes your outlook.
Take responsibility for your mistakes rather than trying to assign blame.
The key to organization that works every time is grouping similar items together.

The hardest task is doing something different from the way you’ve always done it.
Let negative comments fall away like water off a duck’s back.
When you have trouble finding your way, step back and look at the big picture.
Look for the good in others and they’ll see the good in you.

Treat new employees with the same respect you show your CEO.
Let go of the excess and clutter in your life.
Avoid making decisions in anger.
Build enough slack into your schedule to deal with routine upsets.

Over-focusing on yourself leads to eye strain.
Step back and develop perspective – will you recall what’s bothering you, a month from now?
All else being equal, the better shape you’re in, the less stressed you’ll experience.
Learn from your mistakes or prepare to repeat them.

There is nothing so stressful as attempting to be someone you are not.
Be on the lookout for distraction-free sanctuaries, wherever they are.
Challenge yourself to make small improvements daily, and big ones will follow.
The best results often show up a day or two after you thought they would.

Regard each stressful experience as an opportunity to learn.
You cannot change the past but you can always learn from it.
Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
There’s always more to learn, so enjoy the process.

The natural state of human beings is alertness, health, and mental clarity.
Boil it down – get to the essence of things.
Acknowledge the accomplishments of others; everyone seeks acknowledgment.
Despite it all, maintain your ethical standards.

Give your complete and undivided attention to one task at a time.
Have fun with new ways of doing things – don’t let your habits become ingrained.
Practice the art of doing one thing at a time .

 

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Business

Smart Move in a Rough Economy: Help Your Boss to Shine

Stay on top of your job, your department’s goals, and your company’s objectives

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Making your boss look good can only reflect favorably on you. Both your boss and his or her supervisors will appreciate this.

The best way to make your boss look good is to handle your work efficiently and thoroughly. If your boss is fair, he or she will give you credit for the work, increasing your chances of promotion.

If your boss is not doing his or her share of the work, leaning on you unfairly without giving you the credit, it’s still likely that you’ll be promoted when your boss is promoted. That person knows you’ve been doing more than your share, and he or she won’t be able to take a new position without your help.

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Becoming a Mentor to Others

Maybe you’re only 27 years old, or perhaps you’ve only been with your present firm for a year and a half. Yet, with your previous experience and achievements, you may already be in a position to serve as a mentor to junior members of your organization. This can be accomplished on an informal, ad hoc basis, and you can literally choose the amount of energy you’re willing to commit. Helping junior members always looks good to those above you, especially at performance review time.

Stay on top of your job, your department’s goals, and your company’s objectives. This three-way strategy includes reviewing your job description, deciding precisely what your department’s goals are, and determining your company’s objectives:

Your Job Description

First, knowing your job description and honoring it, or amending it if necessary, protect you from any misunderstandings. It will also give you an idea of the part you play in the total picture of the organization, an important factor in your work satisfaction and chance of promotion.

Your job description ideally contains all the important activities of your position, the knowledge you need to have or acquire to perform those activities, and some sense of your overall role. If your job description does not adequately detail the information you need to know and the responsibilities you have, now is the time to change it.

Company Goals

Second, learn and understand the goals of your part of the company. By whatever method your organization is broken into groups — department, division, project team — your group has objectives.

Goals are important to guide actions as well as to mark milestones. Knowing your group’s goals will help you to set priorities for your own work and make wise decisions concerning how jobs can best be done.

What is the Mission?

Finally, be aware of your organization’s mission. Any organization, from the smallest business to the multibillion-dollar corporation, has a mission. If you don’t already know it, find out. Your organization’s brochure, annual report, promotional literature, or employee handbook will have the mission spelled out.

The mission will unify and give meaning to all the division or department goals. Although conflicts among divisions will occur because of the nature of different responsibilities, a solid base can be produced when all employees realize the overall mission of the organization.

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