It might feel like you have too much to do. Context switching could be the real culprit.
Do you often feel overwhelmed, that you have too much for you to do and you can't get to it all? That's a very common feeling, says Anna Dearmon Kornick, certified time management coach and head of community at Clockwise, which makes time management software for teams. But the reason for that feeling may not be what you think it is, she says.
It may not be because you have too much work to do. It could be that you have too many different important matters to focus on at once. "All of that context switching leads to ovewhelm," she says in an interview with Inc.com.
Worse, it can create the illusion that you aren't getting anything done. "We're basically making an inch of progress on all our projects, instead of making a lot of progress in one area," she says. "It's so small that you get frustrated by the fact that you're not seeing major progress, which gives you negative feelings about the projects, which causes you to feel bad about yourself or think you're not good enough."
If You Can’t Answer “Yes” to These 8 Questions, Your Manager Needs To Do More To Support Your Career
Managers expect a lot from their employees, but let’s turn it around: what should employees be expecting from their managers?
Whoever manages a team doesn’t just manage their to-do list, targets and professional roles — at the end of the day, they’re dealing with people. And we all come with our own list of demands and needs, both inside and out of work.
It’s time employees were put first. Not out of greed or to be spoiled, but to become more efficient, productive, engaged employees. Here’s how your manager should be supporting your lifestyle and helping you achieve your career goals.
1. Are they offering valuable wellbeing perks?
A lot of times, managers get well-being in the workplace all wrong. Let’s set one thing straight: well-being can never be managed or established in only one place. If you want your employees to feel great at work, take care of them outside of work. Let’s break down what well-being is all about, first.
When you walk, your brain synapses fire in different ways
Great minds literally think on their feet.
Many of history’s famous philosophers, artists, scientists, writers, and creators valued value walking as much as they valued productive work. Aristotle, Charles Dickens, Henry David Thoreau, Virginia Woolf, Albert Einstein, Friedrich Nietzsche and many others made time for long walks.
They used long walks for contemplation, reflection and problem-solving. They found walking helped them think better, ponder over ideas and get more done once they got back to writing, creating, designing or composing.
"The moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow,” Henry David Thoreau, a philosopher, poet, and environmental scientist, once said.
Aristotle used to conduct some of his lectures while walking on the school grounds. William Wordsworth once said walking was “indivisible” from the creative act of writing poetry.
Charles Dickens used to walk for 20 miles after writing in the morning.
“If I could not walk far and fast, I think I should just explode and perish,” Dickens once said.
German philosopher Immanuel Kant walked at the same time in the afternoon and took the same route almost every day.
Friedrich Nietzsche used to walk for an hour in the morning and three hours in the afternoon. “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.”
Engineering Your Team: How BG5 Assessment with Susan Begeman Steiner Can Bring Success
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A daily practice to realize the counterintuitive truth that when you slow down, you have more time.
Most people, most of the time, move more quickly than they need to. I’m not talking about running for the bus—I mean operating with an internal imperative, an over-revved engine, an agitated nervous system and an overactive mind that makes you drum your fingers while you wait for your coffee order, fidget with your phone when there is nothing you need from it, walk as if rushing because, well, just because it’s your habit. Moving quickly, while stressful, gives us a sense of purpose, as if pace and posture are saying: “Look how busy and important I am; I have no time to hang around.” “I have so much going on,” we boast to each other, as if we would prefer it to be otherwise. We tell each other: “I really need some space,” but as soon as you have some free time, do you just sit there, surrendering to the void? No, you fill it up with doing something!
Remember that life is complicated and can be more difficult at times. Sometimes it feels like a rollercoaster ride! Cleaning your life up, getting rid of the deadwood, and finding your place of balance forms a wonderful grounding foundation to build on. Feeling you are in balance is the best, most powerful place to work from and a place to come back to when things are difficult. Being familiar with the feeling of being in balance allows you to know exactly what you want to get back to. This also offers you the goal to strive for. Life will always contain difficult times. Trusting yourself to handle these difficult times gives you the confidence to deal with them.
If your life feels like it is a mess and you are ready to take some action, there are many different approaches to consider. Support from a professional or wise friend, meditation, spiritual beliefs, sometimes even just taking a “time out” holiday is incredibly beneficial. Find the option that suits your personality and lifestyle best. You are looking to be more grounded in the present, calmer, which will offer more clarity.
You are more likely to stay on track with making the necessary changes with a realistic clear mind.
To get yourself on track to feeling better and living the kind of life you wish for, ask yourself:
You have the power to unlock new levels of creativity you couldn’t even fathom before.
Statistics show that over 20 percent of newly established businesses in the U.S. close within the first two years. That equates to around 155,000 companies, which is quite an astounding number. If you do not want your startup to be a part of these statistics, it may be time to start thinking outside the box.
One way to ignite the creative spark within you is to create mind maps. Online mind mapping is a tool that is readily available and can increase innovation. Entrepreneurial creativity is now a necessity in this changing business landscape. To survive, business people need to be adaptable and innovative.
Let’s examine how mind maps can act as the key to unlocking an entrepreneur’s creative side.
Develop Creative Habits
People think creativity is something you are born with. However, that is not always true.
A trait so often overlooked in identifying true leaders.
Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, has wise hiring advice for companies seeking good leaders.
While you may think his advice is firmly entrenched in the common sense camp -- I mean, it should be a non-negotiable requirement when hiring for top leadership positions, right? -- it's often not common practice. Buffett once said,
We look for three things when we hire people.
An assumption is a thought or conclusion drawn when someone says or does something. It is a reaction. You do not have the full picture or asked any questions yet to be able to make an informed decision. Conclusions are often based on assumptions which could be incorrect. They are not backed up by fact yet treated as the truth.
Assumptions have the potential to confuse a situation, and everyone involved. For example, silence or nodding does not always mean the person agrees. They could be simply acknowledging they heard you. They might not agree yet in that moment are not ready to comment.
You cannot know if what you are assuming is the truth unless you ask questions to get more information and clarification. Listen carefully and ask questions if you are not sure or need further information to form an opinion.
Let go of your expectations
Most people assume that the solution to their emotional struggles is to do more:
The more you do to try and get rid of emotions directly, the stronger they’ll get.
Take sadness, for example:
A skill is when you learn how to do something in order to achieve a positive outcome; an anti-skill is learning how to not do something in order to achieve a positive outcome.
Resist unnecessary mental time travel
Here’s how I think about mental strength:
Mental strength is the ability to control your mind instead of being controlled by it.
So becoming mentally strong doesn’t mean you are able to exert complete control over everything that goes on between your ears.
Mental strength means understanding which parts of your mind you can control and being able to do it well when it matters. For example:
Taking care of ourselves helps us do better work, but it shouldn’t feel like work.
Well-being is having a moment. What was once considered a soft-news lifestyle topic has, thanks to our collective experience of the pandemic, moved to the center of the conversation about work and life. And as a Chief Well-Being Officer, I’m certainly glad to see this shift (even if I obviously would have preferred a different catalyst).
Still, when I’m asked questions about well-being, as I often am, I’ve noticed a troubling trend. Very often, well-being becomes just another stress-inducing item on our to-do list. So as we continue to prioritize our well-being, we also need to shift our mindset away from viewing well-being as work. Because well-being isn’t a benchmark we need to hit. It’s not another guilt-inducing metric to measure ourselves by. The whole point of bringing more well-being into our lives is to lower our stress, not add to it.
With that in mind, here are six ways to prevent well-being from becoming just another item on our to-do lists.
Happy holidays to you from the Coaching Group of Switzerland. Suzie, Davide, and Susan thank you for all you are doing to bring light to the world.
Core values are personal to each individual. They can be described as your code of ethics, your fundamental principles, your standards, or personal rules. I like to refer to them as the bricks you build your foundation on. Knowing what you truly value in life, what makes you feel fulfilled and gives you a sense of meaning, connects you to your true self and is an important part of your personal development.
Core values are about YOU – not what society, the media, your education, your colleagues and friends or family deem as important, or of value, but what is important to you, what you value.
Stress tends to set in when you are not treating these values with the respect they deserve.
Not respecting your core values means you are not respecting your true self. In turn your self-esteem could suffer, which of course in turn decreases the quality of your day-to-day life. When the feeling of being calm and peaceful is present, and the quality of day-to-day life is high, you feel good about yourself and who you are. Your self-esteem and self-worth benefit from this.
Caroline Myss, a five-time New York Times bestselling author and internationally renowned speaker in the fields of human consciousness and mysticism, says, “Being able to speak and live with the truth, your truth, means you have to become comfortable with having your power, be comfortable with all that is true about you, all that is beautiful about yourself, this is being okay with yourself.”
Consider the Core Values Process I offer as a gift to yourself.
The focus can be on your life, your overall life which would include your career, your career alone or your leadership values (this is a great exercise to do as a new leader or to update your existing leadership skills aligning them with your personality).
by Suzie Doscher, Executive Coach, Life Coaching - Focusing on Personal Development, Self-help Author: Balance - a Practical Handbook for Life's Difficult Moments
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Set up a Core Values Process with Suzie Doscher or contact any of our coaches for a free introductory session.
Lessons from Rebekah Taussig on honoring and celebrating our bodies.
Self-acceptance is essential to self-care and our overall well-being. If we can’t accept ourselves, our well-being is going to suffer, regardless of how diligent we are about any other physical and mental health practices.
Still, even with all the progress we’ve made in recent years on body positivity and mental health, the radical act of accepting ourselves for who we are has never been more challenging. Our society surrounds us with images of what supposedly healthy and perfect bodies look like. And of course, much of that is fueled by social media, which, in study after study, has been shown to damage our body image and self-acceptance. So how can we learn to accept ourselves and show up for ourselves in a way that nurtures our well-being?
To begin to answer this question, I had the privilege of talking with Rebekah Taussig on a recent episode of Deloitte’s “WorkWell” podcast. Rebekah is a writer, teacher, and advocate, whose popular Instagram feed, @sitting_pretty, is filled with what she calls “Mini memoirs.” I was thrilled to talk to her about her new book, Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body, in which she chronicles her journey to self-acceptance with her trademark candor, humor, vulnerability, and authenticity.
You did it. You made it out — hopefully with some shred of sanity and sense of personal self-worth. But even if those things feel unrecoverable, they aren’t. You can get them back.
Maybe you’ve moved on to greener pastures. If that’s the case, well done. You’ve taken an important step towards preserving (or gaining back) your emotional and physical health.
Maybe, although less likely, your boss either moved on or was fired. Most of the time, these situations don’t fix themselves, as for some reason senior leadership would rather keep a single toxic boss employed than the multiple high-quality employees who leave because of them.
In either case, there’s a residual emotional and physical toll that lasts well beyond the end of the boss-employee relationship. I know; I’ve been there.
In the span of just two years of reporting to a toxic boss, I went from being a high-performing, high-potential engineering leader to nearly leaving the company I’d spent 15 years at because of one single person. My boss. That’s how badly I needed to get away from her.
Learn to become a doer who can think clearly
What you do changes the trajectory of your life — not what you think.
Don’t get me wrong; smart thinking influences our actions more than we think. But to make real change that gets you close to what you want, you have to take become a doer.
Aristotle was right, “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”
The only way to close the gap between where you are now and what you want for your future self is by taking the right action consistently.
Choosing to take action is a choice that comes with responsibility, sacrifice and a lot of grit. Nobody can practically push to do anything more than yourself.
Instead of convincing yourself that you can’t do something, say yes to the right opportunities, habits, routines and behaviours that guarantee real progress or a much better life.
An assumption is a thought or conclusion drawn when someone says or does something. It is a reaction. You do not have the full picture or asked any questions yet to be able to make an informed decision. Conclusions are often based on assumptions which could be incorrect and not backed up by fact yet treated as the truth.
Assumptions have the potential to confuse a situation, and everyone involved. For example, silence or nodding does not always mean the person agrees. They could be acknowledging they heard you but do not agree yet in that moment are not ready to comment.
You cannot know if what you are assuming is the truth unless you ask questions to get more information and clarification. Listen carefully and ask questions if you are not sure or need further information to form an opinion.
The brain is wired to keep you safe and fulfill your core needs such as nutrition, shelter, community, pleasure, reproduction, and emotional expression. This establishes an idea of where you are, who and
I wonder how many words have actually been written about communication. Suffice it to say, there have been a great many. I suppose it is because we haven’t cracked it yet; this ability to convey messages so that what we say is heard in the way we mean it, and conversely, what we hear is received in the way it was meant. Indeed, the road to clarity always seems to be under construction.
Even if we try to simplify our communication processes, barriers come up that can sabotage the message and render it ineffective by the time it gets to those who must act on it. There are a lot of reasons for this. Here are four that come to mind:
There are many factors that make up what we refer to as “culture” but to me, cultural difference is about attitudes and beliefs that come from our personal environment and experience. As such, two people could get the same message but interpret it in two entirely different ways simply because their frames of reference and language differ.
In my own life one of the important realizations was that balance is possible and it was mine if I wanted it. What followed was a fair amount of self-reflection, openness, and honesty with myself. Setting aside time to explore my definition of balance, by questioning what was missing and what I was already doing successfully, was time well spent. Since then, I have a good grasp on the various elements of day-to-day life. For me personally knowing my heart and mind are working together is what keeps me balanced. The sense of calm, of being grounded and clearheaded, motivates me to keep my life in balance.
Choosing to create balance will reflect in these six areas of your life:
Small things that tell you a lot about someone.
In this article, we will talk about how to recognize subtly toxic people.
No one wants to waste time and energy around people who consistently behave in unhealthy ways and add negativity to our lives. Yet, many of us sometimes get stuck in toxic relationships that have a negative impact on our mental health and even on our self-confidence.
The problem is some people may seem friendly, charming, respectful, and even emotionally mature, when we don’t know them enough. Some of their behaviors may seem inoffensive at first, while the reality is they are not, and they can actually damage relationships in the long-term. This is why it’s essential to learn to recognize these unhealthy habits.
What follows are four behaviors of subtly toxic people:
You have a goal, but are worried you will not achieve it. So many issues are popping up that need dealing with, obstacles and other unexpected ‘stuff’ keeps interfering with your daily plan and / or overall daily structure. Stress kicks in, which means focusing is harder and so less is achieved … sound familiar?
All of these thoughts and mind chatter do not have to result in your getting off track or losing sight of your goal. The trick is to take charge of your thinking and push the ‘reset’ button. By this I mean, ‘reset’ the moment, not the direction you are heading or the goal you intend to achieve.
Resetting the moment means handling whatever is causing you stress. Stress is an emotional issue and will not vanish with the flick of a switch in your brain. Unless, of course, you already....
Change is not easy, nor simple. If you have been told you should change, but are not really convinced that this is true, you are more likely to fail at completing the process. Personally, I recognize the process to be complete when I no longer remember ‘what I was like before.’ Someone still in denial about the need to change will not get very far.
Chances are there will always be excuses in the form of: I do not have the time for this right now, I am busy, I already know how to…, it is not my fault, you do not understand, ‘a leopard cannot change its spots,’ I am too old, etc.
Change can only really happen if you are ready to take action.
Research shows that 90% of the strategies designed for change assume people are ready to take action. In reality, only 20% of the people already involved in some process of change are actually ready to take action. This helps explain why so many attempts to keep New Year's resolutions, lose weight, change behaviours, etc, are doomed to failure.
It is most helpful and supportive and will increase your chances of successfully completing a
Feel like constant meetings are hanging you up? Set a regular meeting with yourself.
Meetings and more meetings. Just as you finish one call, you are dialing into the next one. Need to go for toilet break? Forget it -- there’s another meeting. This meeting situation was already insane before the pandemic, and it it has only gotten worse now with so many people working from home.
There are dozens of articles about how to spend less time in meetings, how to reject meetings without looking bad, about 2/3 of our life being spent in meetings. All these articles trying to help us save ourselves. Yet many of us keep falling into the meeting trap. I have yet to find the magic formula for myself, however I do believe I am becoming more aware about how I am actually spending my time versus how I want to spend my time.
What makes for effective and resilient teams is something that interests many leaders and organisations. I have spoken about some of these aspects in other articles, particularly on team composition. But some new research gives some insights into the leaders themselves and how they influence effectiveness and resilience in the face of unexpected situations. Something that is of particular interest with the pandemic which has raised the importance of resilience.
So what behaviours created more effective and resilient teams?
Research into 48 teams from 5 Canadian startups by Brykman and King showed that those leaders who encouraged on-the-job-learning, and of note, also enabled and encouraged employees to speak up and give their ideas and suggestions for change, were more effective and more resilient.
An obvious point is that this is not in one-off situations but this must be constantly reinforced by
Self-Help Book / Personal Development