Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Productivity – Sometimes the Best Way to Achieve it is to “Scale Back”!


Summer is upon us.  Trying to meet the added demands of creating the "perfect" summer or vacation for your family and still keep your business running smoothly can stress out the best of us.  Read on for my thoughts on why we need to "step back" in order to save our sanity......

No matter what time of year, Stress can wreck havoc on your health and sanity.  The reality is that these “stressers” are not going to simply go away and they cannot be ignored.  However, there are things you can do to do more than cope, but to actually thrive.  My suggestion, “step back”!

"Stepping Back"  Makes You More Productive & Saves Your Sanity! "Tweet This"

Sometimes the importance of “downtime” is given a back seat.  The fact is, we need to recognize that our mind, like our bodies, needs to rest and recharge in order to perform at its peak.

Stress can affect you both physically and mentally.  It will decrease your ability to work productively and even reduce your satisfaction with your professional and personal life.

Some of the Biggest Effects of Stress Are:

·        Your Ability to Focus – High Stress levels keep you from being able to identify what is truly important to accomplish over what can wait, or does not need to be done at all.  Stress keeps you from prioritizing and using your energy in a way that will be most effective. 

·        Your Health – Your stress level can greatly relate to your physical and mental health.  Lack of sleep and poor eating habits, all indicators of an unacceptable level of stress, both can contribute to an increased susceptibility to colds and headaches.  In extreme cases it may even affect your mental health.

·        Your Family and Social Life – High stress levels can greatly affect your ability to enjoy life or enjoy those around you.  Your refrain of “when I am finished” or “after this deadline” will keep you from the truly important things in life.

So, the question becomes, how can you change this pattern?   
How can you reduce the stress levels in your life while remaining productive?  I believe the best way to achieve this is to actually make “downtime” part of your schedule!

We all have those never-ending “to do” lists or that jam-packed calendar of what we need to accomplish that day.  My challenge to you (and myself) is to take a portion of that day and make the conscious decision to RELAX and RECHARGE!

The time to start is now!  But how?

Taking these small steps can help:

·        Learn to Decompress - For many of us, the only way we will ever take the downtime we need to “step back” is to schedule it.  It need not be an hour, or even a half hour, but a 10 to 15 minute window can make all the difference.  Get up from your desk, stretch, talk a short walk (if you can do it outside all the better!), close your eyes and “chill” – whatever it takes!  And if you can manage to work this in even twice a day, all the better!

Take a look at my article on "Active Breaks" for more about how this can help You!

·        Learn to Prioritize – Decide what you really NEED to get done and put anything else on the back burner.  Once you accomplish your important goals, your sense of accomplishment will greatly reduce that stress level!

·        Learn to Delegate – You do not need to do everything yourself – I repeat, you do not need to do everything yourself!  This, perhaps, is the hardest to achieve, but will yield some of the greatest results. 

·        Learn to Reconnect – We are “social animals”.  We need to forge and keep relationships with those close to us.  I recommend taking a little time each day to have a chat with a friend, read a book or watch a movie with your child, or just sit quietly with your “significant other”.  The contentment and “closeness” you will feel can keep those “stressers” at bay.

Recognizing the effects of stress, and actively working to reduce that stress, will make you both more productive and happier.  The bottom line, we need to place less emphasis on achieving all our goals at once.

By taking the time to “step back”, I believe we can achieve a greater sense of accomplishment and productivity.  I encourage all of us to give our minds a chance to become clearer and our bodies a chance to become healthier.  Your body, mind, and soul, and those that love you, will thank you for it!    

Pass it on!  Please take a moment to share this with someone you know that Needs a Break!  Thanks!

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Women in Business – My Case for Why We Need to Help Ourselves!


The need to "Help Ourselves", and most definitely each other, should be a driving force for all women in business.  
Here is why......

I present this as a companion piece to another of my articles on "Leaning In" and Having It All!

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." --Eleanor Roosevelt

I read these words by Eleanor Roosevelt and immediately had that “aha” moment.  Maybe real value is only placed on the people who demand it

As women, that is sometimes hard for us to do.  We are raised to believe that it is better not to “rock the boat”.  However, continuing this line of thinking is doing a great disservice to us and to the young women who follow.

The trick is, how do we garner the personal and professional respect of others without sinking to the “bitch” label?  I think we can accomplish this by believing in our own value and “helping ourselves”.

Women in Business Need to 
Remember to Ask for What We Want!  "Tweet This"!

Male ambition and competitiveness is applauded.  That “go get ‘em” attitude is praised.  However, that same drive in women is often labeled as “bitchy” and “unattractive”.  But it is not only men that are guilty of this, but other women as well.

Women need to shatter that perception if we want to move forward, and I believe more and more women are doing just that!  Like the amazing and successful women we are, we are seeing the value of “paying it forward” and being role models for the next generation of professional women.

Our goal should be to inspire women to become leaders in their chosen professions.  We also need to encourage them to reach beyond their own success and help to effect positive change in our world.

And I think women are particularly able to promote that change.  

Women professionals bring natural

qualities to the table that need to 

celebrated.  We are capable of strong

collaboration, conviction, and purpose.

What are our strengths?  
I believe our greatest assets are:

Our strong communication skills.   Women know     how to really listen to the thoughts of others as well as convey our own point of view.  We can empathize even if we do not agree.

    Our desire to collaborate. Women appreciate the need to “work well together” and “get along”.  We talk things out and “brainstorm” as a matter of course.

      Our ability to ask for help  Women know that asking for help is NOT a sign of weakness.  We understand the need to delegate and if we are unsure of how to proceed, we will ask!

        Our “socially aware” point of view.  Women feel a real need to address and "solve" social issues.  We recognize inequality and strive for fairness.  We believe in creating a better world and are willing to put in the work to do so!

          Now that we know our strengths, what do we need to do?

          We Need to Stop Blaming Others – We need to recognize we can only be treated as we allow ourselves to be treated.  We need to allow ourselves to demand the equal salaries and job opportunities we have earned.

            We Need to Stop Using Excuses – We can no longer say what we can’t do because we don’t have the time, the power, or the support to do so.  We need to grab hold of what we want and go “full steam ahead” to get it.

               We Need to Present a United Front - Women need to help women.  We need to champion our own causes and build a strong professional and social network.  It is not the time to be divisive.  Each of us are entitled to make our own choices and it is not for others to belittle them.  (To me, this should be our most important goal!).


              "What we, as women, have now earned is a choice.  Each of us can decide our own goals and have the freedom to pursue them. We also need to recognize that one woman’s choice may not be our own.  The celebration should be in the choice itself."  

                It is time we take the inspiring words of Eleanor Roosevelt to heart.  The truth is, until we value ourselves, we cannot expect others to do so.  We Must “Help Ourselves”! 

                Please help spread the word and share this article on your favorite social sites.  And leave a comment ~ I would love to hear your thoughts!

                Authored by

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