Fantasy, you say?
Sure … because here’s how it really looks:
Your day starts out at a jog or maybe even a sprint and you’d swear you’ve run a marathon by the end of the day (and you haven’t even left your building OR your office).
“Yes, but … I’m very productive … ” you say, with an air confidence in your voice.
Yes, but …
I’ve heard it all from highly successful executive coaching clients and you, too may believe you can get it all done in 10 or 12 hours, but are you truly doing your best work and feeling satisfied at the end of the day?
Here are a few more questions to ask yourself (and answer honestly, please):
Who in your personal life or family loses out because you want to “do just one more thing” before you leave the office and you end up getting home too late more than once a week?
Does just looking at your never-ending- to-do list cause your stress level to rise?
Congratulations, your very human (and limited) brain is raising a white flag … the question is, do you notice and do something about it or ignore the stress, hoping it goes away?
If you are paid to think … here are 5 tips to make the highest and best use of your PFC (pre-frontal cortex) which is the part of your brain that got you your job or your last promotion … and hopefully continues to work well enough with some TLC so you can keep it.
Primarily your PFC is responsible for:
Here are 5 (More) Simple Strategies you can use to make small changes that can have a HUGE payoff only if you:
Understanding is overrated — Action will get you somewhere else!
1. Avoid noise distractions. If your office is a revolving door or worse, a cubicle farm, use headphones and listen to lyric-free music to increase your focus and eliminate distractions. Here’s some examples at http://300hrs.com for classical ideas or http://www.menshealth.co.uk/healthy/brain-training/boost-your-office-productivity-with-music
2. Turn off ALL text/email/social media notifications on your phone and computer. Notifications are a fear trigger for our brain that leads you to believe “PAY ATTENTION or YOUR’E GONNA MISS OUT!” It’s probably not that critical. Really. Set a time (preferably after you have completed the first one or two most important things on your to-do list) to check your email and respond to the top 5 most urgent (and NO they aren’t all urgent!), giving yourself a time limit (30 minutes) to respond to email. Then get back on track with your next to-do!
3. Manually manage your time. If you spend too much time on not so productive activities, or have difficulty transitioning from one part of a task to the next (or doing research on “how to” do X and not begin to do X), time may be the issue. Take a “to do” from your list and PUT IT IN YOUR CALENDAR blocking out the time you believe it will take as if it were an appointment you would keep with someone else. Set a timer for 5 minutes less than the actual time (if it’s a 30 minute appointment, set a timer for 25 minutes, then when it goes of for 5 minutes more. The 25 minute alarm is “time to wrap up” and get to a stopping place, for now!
4. Be accountable to someone other than yourself. Put your calendar (what I’m working on today list) up where others can see it (on your door, in the break room on a Google group calendar). Not that anyone really cares, or will check on you (but then again you never know). However, the brain friendly tip leverages your social brain so you will naturally hold yourself more accountable for showing up at the meeting you scheduled with yourself in #3.
5. Take a few 5 minute breaks. If you can’t do something for 5 minutes … you have bigger problems. Schedule in 5 minutes and hour at the busiest time of day to walk, stretch, play, gossip, daydream, listen to lyric full music or play a quick game of Angry Birds or Solitare. Set a timer for yourself … this brief break will help recharge your PFC, your spirit and help you get in touch with solutions so you can disengage thinking brain and open up your eyes to your intuitive solutions that are just waiting there for you to STOP THINKING SO HARD so it can present it self … and you will notice!
For more tips so you can become a Sustainable built to last Leader – Enter in your name and best email in the opt in box on your right for a FREE one hour video “7 Simple Strategies to Eliminate Stress” AND be the first to receive upcoming articles, programs and resources from Christina!
What are your favorite tips to be more productive, happier and fully satisfied you’ve done your best work at work? Feel free to post your comments below.[social_sharing style=”style-7″ fb_like_url=”http://sustainable-leaders.com/eliminate-distractions-at-work/” fb_color=”light” fb_lang=”en_GB” fb_text=”recommend” fb_button_text=”Share” tw_text=”Check this out!” tw_lang=”en” tw_url=”http://sustainable-leaders.com/eliminate-distractions-at-work/” tw_button_text=”Share” g_url=”http://sustainable-leaders.com/eliminate-distractions-at-work/” g_lang=”en-GB” g_button_text=”Share” linkedin_url=”http://sustainable-leaders.com/eliminate-distractions-at-work/” linkedin_lang=”en_US” alignment=”center”]
Watch your language!
To eliminate “lizard brain” (the emotional hijack caused by stress) avoid asking questions like “Why did you ..??” “WHY can’t you …?” “WHY don’t you …?” “WHY?” not only results in the listener feeling defensive, but also rarely matters when we are looking for solutions to a problem.
A better question effective leaders ask begins with “what” or “how” and helps people think. One example is asked with genuine curiosity (remember to manage your frustration first) … “What did you hope would happen by doing XYZ?”
Then, if you want people to trust you, shut up and listen.
To get the other 20 Ways to Eliminate Leadership Stress for You AND Your Team, click the link below to register for a free webinar:
Stress causes more than just physical symptoms. Did you know stress in the workplace erodes trust, productivity and creativity of you and your team?
Discover 21 Ways to Eliminate Stress to be able to do your best work, feel happier and more satisfied at the end of the day (and help your team do so, too!)
Are you an emerging leader or newly promoted leader looking for a goal-setting strategy to make lasting, positive changes in your interpersonal or communication skills? Originally posted on Lead Change Blog
Step #2: ANNOUNCE
How many times have you promised yourself you’ll exercise today, start your diet tomorrow, finish writing that marketing plan by Friday (okay, that’s mine), only to “run out of time” and fail to keep your promise to yourself? All too often.
Now, how often do you make a business appointment with a client and fail to show up? Probably never.
Why is it we are willing to fail to follow through with commitments we make to ourselves, yet never in a million years would we “no show” for an appointment with a client or friend?
Here are two reasons: we are accountable to someone else and we want to avoid feeling embarrassed (or some other negative emotion). Accountability means we have some skin in the game … which can come in several different forms.
If money matters you will further increase the likelihood you will set and achieve your goals when you have a financial skin in the game. I have a business-coaching client who was required to improve his mental capacity, problem solving ability and focus to succeed in his next stage of business growth. However, he failed to follow through with an action step for three consecutive weeks. So we got creative and leveraged what was important to him … cold hard cash. Because of his financial and relational sense of responsibility, he never missed a coaching appointment with me, so he wrote me a check for his regular coaching session fee of $500.00. He said, “If I do this by next Tuesday, you give me back my check at our next session. If I don’t, no matter what the excuse, you cash the check and donate it to a local charity of your choice.” Another quality of his was he was very honest, however I could also verify whether he followed through or not.
What do you think happened? Right. He attended his class for several weeks in a row and now is in the routine. He also asked if I would keep the check in my file so he could keep it as a motivator to get other “someday goals” started.
Step #2: Announce publicly what you are working on and your specific plans to improve. In the next post, you’ll discover the secret of why this is the most important step.
If you aren’t yet ready to pick up the megaphone and make the public announcement, find a mentor, good friend or executive coach you can trust who will be honest with you yet who does not have anything to gain or lose by your action (or inaction).
Who will you ask to hold your feet to the fire? Contact me today to see if you are ready to take this next step.
Post your comments below (only if you have the courage to announce it publicly!)
What will it look like when you have skin in the game?
Stay tuned for the “how to” for Step #3: ACT[sharebox4 sharetext=”Share This Page”] [/sharebox4]