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Stress Right

Two Ways to Work Less While Working More

Convincing yourself – and your boss – that some “no” work is good work

How many of you have found yourself:

  • Chasing rabbit trails on the Internet?
  • Checking emails in order to avoid doing other work?
  • Attending unnecessary meetings?

This is a sure sign that you need a break. But, don’t mislead yourself in thinking these types of activities are actually breaks. They’re not! These are known as “junk hours.”

Junk hours are a little like junk food. While they provide short-term pleasure, they contribute to long-term imbalance and exhaustion. You need to replace junk hours with regeneration. Here’s how:

First, realize everyone needs to take breaks and shift gears. You need to identify when you’re going through the motions of work, versus when real work is being done. Sometimes taking a break at the right time enables you to jettison your afternoon junk hours.

 

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Second, work through lunch less often. One of my clients shifted his lunch hours to time with friends or going to the gym, instead of trying to squeeze in more work around bites of a burger. In both instances, these scheduled breaks increased my client’s energy level and sense of well-being. He felt less of a need to take low-value breaks in the afternoon and began to experience more productivity.

And, yes, he began getting out of the office earlier, too.

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Spring Forward. Pros and Cons

Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Well Being and Peak Human Performance.

I don’t know about you, but the day after a time change leaves me a bit drained. I wake up too early in the morning after staying awake too late, and I am exhausted way more quickly than I should be.

The good news? I’m about to get off work and it’s sunny and warm outside. Spring is in the air and there is a noticeable change in the energy.

The result?

  • I want to go outside and run. I want to walk my dog. I want to go hiking and climb a tree. I want to do anything that allows me to appreciate this beautiful day.
  • My day flew by. My morning was a blink and my afternoon was a breeze. A bit of fatigue is nothing compared to the energy from a excited day.
  • I’m hopeful. Spring and Summer are the most positive parts of my year. The adventure of life seems a lot more possible when these seasons awaken.

The bad news?

I’m distracted! It’s finally feeling like spring, and after this hellacious winter, I’m sure I’m not the only one who is jumping out of my skin to feel the sun on my face.

Studies show that the most productive days are the ones with bad weather, and because of my distracted, fatigued nature I can tell that my productivity has been less than ideal.

The upside?

Exercise increases motivation and productivity. Therefore, after the lovely evening that I’m about to experience outside, my day tomorrow is sure to be a success.

 

Time is Such a Hungry Beast. How to Fight It.

productivity We all know the feeling of having too little time in the day to accomplish all the tasks on our to do list. We have also experienced excessive amount of meetings and those famous “firestorms” that pull you away from your agenda and make your productivity a wash.

How do we combat this? How can we accomplish tasks when all we’re able to do is stay afloat?

Stop having so many meetings.

In a survey reported in Industry Week, 2000 managers claimed that at least 30 percent of their time spent in meetings were a waste of time. Therefore, if you’re meeting once a day for an hour, you’re wasting an hour and a half of work. The solution? Unless you’re really needed, don’t go. Meet less with less people. Limit your time, and stick to it, and most importantly, have a clear goal for your meeting and strictly stay on topic.

Only answer your emails two to three times a day.


This is so important, because too often, we become slaves to our emails. If I were to answer every email instantaneously, I’d literally be answering them all day. This would increase my stress levels and scatter my focus, causing me to get less done throughout the day. Plus, I’d be answering them so quickly, that I’d do so without being mindful of what I’m writing causing me to reply in error or unnecessarily. Instead I have three periods during the day (around morning, noon and night) where I check my emails and after the third period, I stop. Meaning that when I get home, I stay present and recharge my batteries.

Work in a quiet place.

Working in an office can often feel like a mad house with your boss yelling for you to come see him, your cubical mate making conversation and everyone else having constant conversation, pulling your focus in many directions. Instead of battling this challenge every day, decide when you’re not going to be available for conversation unless absolutely necessary. Put headphones on, close your door, go to a coffee shop or work from home. Do what it takes for you to not be distracted.

When you do check box off your list, celebrate.

By celebrating, I mean getting up, giving your brain a break and refocusing your energy to get started on your next task. There are lots of ways to do this, taking a walk is perhaps the best way, but certainly getting up to stretch, cleaning off your desk and reading something amusing are all great tactics to motivate you and keep the energy flowing.

 

There is Power in Your Attitude

Positive thinking can only benefit you

Positive thinking can only benefit you

Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Wellbeing, and Peak Human Performance.

Every person is equipped with the power to bring change. If you believe something will happen, be it positive or negative, it will happen. This power is known as intention. It’s a choice and we all control that choice with our attitude.

It all boils down to how you think. Scientists have proven that our minds get into a habit of producing thoughts with a certain mindset. If you usually see life through a negative lens, the chemical produced will be familiar to your brain. The same is true with positve thought.

This perspective will create a chain reaction that starts with the emotions we store and generate on a daily basis.If we learn to nurture the good feelings and discard the negative, then our energy will attract positive energy from others. A smile does wonders to create a better day, a better reaction, and a better life.

Being positive can only lead to good things in your life. Don’t accept defeat and never let negativity stand in your way. Don’t even let it effect your thoughts. Obviously this can be difficult at times. But if you are able to welcome the challenges that face you and take pride in what you have achieved, it will motivate you and energize you to continue this flow of good energy.

Only you can decide what your attitude will be. If you make the daily choice to have a positive attitude your positivity will rub off onto others and begin to change the world. Literally, your attitude and belief can change the world.

To learn more on Andy’s programs

 

 

 

 

Three Steps to Be Calm When You’re Angry

Anger-Management_o_94581Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Wellbeing, and Peak Human Performance.

At some point, everyone gets angry. The way you handle anger, though, is what distinguishes you as a respectable or an unreasonable person.

In both the office and home setting, the key to maintaining a happy life is to form good relationships with others. If you are the type of person that blows up or holds onto anger, most people won’t want you to be in their close circle.

To successfully handle your anger, try following these three steps.

1.)    Access just how ticked off you are.

Understanding why and how much is the first step to controlling the issue with class. To treat anger with the same regard each time you have an issue will most likely lead to pent up frustration because you really haven’t addressed each incident for what it is. To respect the emotions you have you is key to working through them.

2.)    Take a moment to chill out and chew on it.

We’ve all heard the advice to count to ten, but I think you should go a step further, and if possible, and take a day. Obviously, there are times when you can’t take that much time. Working in a restaurant or dealing with a difficult coworker often requires instant reactions. In that case, take a breath and try to mentally separate yourself from the situation and your anger to respond as calmly as you can. However, if the issue is a big one and you have the option to, take a day to write down your response, talk about the issue with someone close to you, and most importantly calm down.

3.)    Realize that nothing is forever.

Even your biggest issue will fade away into a distant memory if you separate who you are from your anger and move on. Realize that your emotion about whatever is angering you will not always be there. You’re bigger than the situation and you can overcome the emotions if you learn to access, ruminate and separate. It’s okay to be upset, but don’t let it control you or ruin your day. Just like anything else, we make the choice to be positive or negative. Learn to see the good stuff.

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Change Your Day, Not Your Life
A realistic guide to sustained motivation, more productivity, and the art of working well
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Author and speaker on work-life balance, productivity and wellbeing
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