Manage Your Energy for High Productivity in 4 Areas

Manage your energy for high productivity

To effectively manage your energy for high productivity, shift your emphasis to your own needs and investing more in yourself.  So you stay motivated and able to perform at a higher level for your employer. You need to recognize energy-depleting behaviors. Then take active steps to change them or delete them completely.

Energy is very important when you’re aiming for high productivity. Look to successful people and ask how they became that way.  Invariably, they will always say energy as one of their main drives to success. Defined in physics as the capacity to work, energy comes from four main sources in you: your body, emotions, mind, and spirit.

1. Physical Energy for High Productivity

It is no news that improper nutrition, exercise, sleep, and rest affect your energy levels, emotion management and focus. Nonetheless, you may be guilty of ignoring ways to practice healthy behaviors, given all the other demands in your life.

You may be doing things such as skipping breakfast, failing to express appreciation to others, struggling to focus on one thing at a time, or spending too little time on activities that give them a sense of purpose. While it is not surprising that these behaviors are counterproductive, having them all listed in one place can become uncomfortable, sobering, and galvanizing. This may sound harsh, but is actually a necessary first step to restoring your body energy.

The next step is to identify rituals for building and renewing physical energy.

Example of Physical Energy Supporting Productivity

I read about a vice president at Wachovia who was significantly overweight.  He ate poorly, lacked a regular exercise routine, worked long hours, and typically slept no more than five or six hours a night.

But, then he began exercising with cardio and strength training. Another practice he also started was to go to bed at a regular time and sleeps longer. Finally the VP changed his meals from two big ones a day to small meals every three hours. The aim was to stabilize glucose levels over the course of the day, avoiding peaks and valleys.

And the result?

The positive result was this vice president lost 50 pounds and his energy levels soared.

Another Physical Energy Practice Supporting High Productivity

Another way to maintain energy is taking brief, regular breaks at specific intervals throughout the workday. We have “Ultradian rhythms” which refers to 90- to 120-minute cycles during which our bodies swing through high and low energy states. At the end of each cycle, the body displays a need of recovery like restlessness, yawning, hunger, and being unfocused. Usually this gets ignored and in turn burns down your energy reservoir faster.

If done properly, intermittent breaks can increase and sustain performance. It is possible to recover well in a short time if it involves a ritual that allows you to separate briefly from work and let your mind rest. You can talk to a colleague about something other than work, listen to music, or walk up and down stairs.

2. Emotional Energy for High Productivity

When you can take more control of your emotions, you can significantly improve the quality of your energy. To do this, you must become aware of how you feel at various points of time and its effect on your effectiveness.

People tend to perform best when they’re feeling positive energy, and won’t perform well when they feel the opposite. Unfortunately, people tend to slip into negative emotions and trigger their fight-or-flight mechanism.  Especially when they experience relentless demands and unexpected challenges. The signs may be irritability impatience, anxiety and insecurity. These are big culprits in draining your energy.

One ritual for erasing negative emotions is “buying time.” You can take deep abdominal breaths and exhale slowly for 10 seconds to relax and recover, and defuse your fight-or-flight response.

Expressing appreciation to others is a practice which is as beneficial to both the giver as well as the receiver. It can take the form of a handwritten note, an e-mail, a call, or a conversation. The more detailed and specific the appreciation given, the higher the impact. To achieve higher success at doing this, like any other rituals, set aside some time to do it.

Emotional Energy Practices for High Productivity

Finally, you can change the stories you tell yourself about the events in your life. You may often observe the reverse.  People cast themselves in the victim role rather than being thankful of what they have.

This is powerful because you are more aware of the difference between the facts and the way you interpret them. This may seem obvious but you can actually discover that you have a choice about how to view something and recognize how powerfully your story influences your emotions.

To change a perception to a story you want to tell, view it through any of three alternatives, represented by lenses. With the reverse lens, ask yourself what the others involved will say and are they actually true. Use the long lens, look at how it impacts you in the future. Viewing through the wide lens, ask yourself how can you improve and learn from this.

3. Mental Energy for High Productivity

Multitasking, while sounding and looking cool, actually undermines productivity. This is because a temporary shift in attention from one task to another increases the amount of time to finish a task by as much as 25%.You are likelier to be more efficient to fully focus for 90 to 120 minutes, take a true break, and then fully focus on the next activity. This focus and break cycle is called “Ultradian Sprints.”

Energy for high productivity ultradian sprint

Once you can see how much you struggle to concentrate, you can combat this by creating rituals to reduce the interruptions that bother you. Start out with an exercise that makes you face the impact of your daily distractions.

Example of Mental Energy for High Productivity

A real-life example is from another vice president at Wachovia, who designed 2 rituals to increase focus. The first one is to leave his desk and go into a conference room whenever he has a task that requires concentration to stop distractions from phone calls.

The result is he finishes reports in a third of the time. The second is by not picking up any phone calls in meetings with the people who report to him. This is because it stretched the time of the meetings and cost his full attention. He now only answers the voice-mail messages in his downtime.

Here’s another method:  Instead of replying your emails as soon as they come in, set time to answer them at specific times of the day. This actually can allow you to clear your inbox faster if you fully focus on your emails for 45 minutes at a time.

Another way to mobilize mental energy is to focus systematically on activities that impact you the most in the long term. Identify the most important challenge for the next day and make it their very first priority when you arrive at work in the morning.

What is most important is energy for high productivity

4. Take Advantage of Your Belief System Energy for High Productivity

Your vitality or inner force is at its highest when your work and activities are consistent with what you value and have a sense of meaning and purpose. If the work you’re doing really matters to you, you will have more energy, focus, and perseverance.

However, the demands and pace of business don’t leave much space for these issues,  And many workers don’t even know that meaning and purpose are potential sources of energy. When you experience the value of the rituals you establish, you can start to see that being attentive to your own needs intensely influences their effectiveness and satisfaction at work.

Give yourself the opportunity to ask questions about what really mattered to you. You will find that these will be both illuminating and energizing. This can be highly important and thoughtful because it will really make you aware of what you want to be really remembered for.

To access the energy of the human spirit clarify priorities and establish rituals in three categories:

  1. Doing what you do best and enjoy most at work;
  2. Consciously allocating time and energy to the areas of your life, like work, family, health, service to others that you deem most important;
  3. And living your core values in your daily behaviors.
Wrap-Up Energy for High Productivity and Performance

Remember, managing your time is not nearly as critical as overseeing the ways you invest your energy for high productivity and personal renewal.

Further Reading for Energy for High Productivity:   The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal.

5 Tips to Supercharge your Productivity

Supercharge your Productivity

To supercharge your productivity is a major goal for many employers since more can get done if you are in a high-productivity environment. While this concept may seem simple, to fully understand what it means to supercharge productivity, the definition cannot be taken literally. You actually must have a strong grasp of this concept and fully use it to your company’s advantage.

Supercharge your productivity

To put it in simple terms: supercharged productivity means that you are putting out products more quickly or completing tasks at higher speed than before. Theoretically, it made sense – the more products your firm produces or services your employees complete, the more positive profits are generated, making supercharged productivity a priority for many businesses.

There are some things, however, that studies say cause your work productivity to be lower, such as unfavorable environment, distractions and plain old procrastination.

You cannot always control your environment, but the good news is you can control what you, yourself get done. Plus, you can learn from others to be even more productive. There are probably more direct ways to help your productivity increase such as a conducive environment or closing the Facebook tab on your browser, But these are small hacks that actually only do so much. There are more meaningful ways to be your best. And you can learn these skills by taking some cues from the world’s most successful people.

1. Have Big Goals in Mind

First, you can set big goals and then act to fully accomplish them. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is a master at this, making room each year for a new challenge, which he says allows him to “learn new things and grow outside my work at Facebook.” And it pays! He’s now fluent in Mandarin and is meeting new people all the time.

Looking at it backwards can help too, link Amazon’s Jeff Bezos does. He makes room for big goals by starting with the customer’s needs and working backward to build skills to get that work done faster. As Bezos said it, “We learn whatever skills we need to service the customer. We build whatever technology we need to service the customer.”

2. Give Each Day A Theme

Try copying CEO Jack Dorsey for this. When splitting his time between Square and Twitter, he stays productive by giving each day a theme.  Mondays for management, Tuesdays for product, etc. As he explains, “There is interruption all the time, but I can quickly deal with an interruption and then know that it’s Tuesday, I have product meetings, and I need to focus on product stuff.”

Another tip you can use is the “no-meeting Wednesdays” Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz believes that this gives him and his team a good amount of time each week for “focused, heads-down work.”

3. Set Limits

Set limits to supercharge your productivity

You can only spend so much time focusing on something. After that, it’s time to move on to the next important thing. For example, former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn sets only allocates 1 and a half hours to on single-purpose, non-operational meetings, with half the time for presentation and the other half for discussions.

To supercharge your productivity another thing you can limit is the length of your emails. The Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg says she responds to every single work email, but she saves time by keeping the responses short. “I would rather give a short, quick, incomplete answer than wait and do it better,” she says.

4. Deep Work Zone

Focus, focus, focus. This is perhaps most important secret to supercharge your productivity. Bill Gates would set time for Deep Work, where he would allocate time each week to do his most challenging work without any distractions — no stopping, not even for sleep. Cal Newport, author of the book “Deep Work” said, “Deep work is important … not because distraction is evil, but because it enabled Bill Gates to start a billion-dollar industry in less than a semester.”

Supercharge your productivity

5. Streamline Decisions

Jeff Bezos makes a lot of decisions every day. Since this can be time-consuming, he’s developed a four-step process for navigating his business more quickly. First, One-size-fits-all decisions are a no-no. “Many decisions are reversible, two-way doors,” he writes in his letter to shareholders. “Those decisions can use a light-weight process.  ”Second, make the decision when you are at 70% of your intended information. “If you wait for 90%…you’re probably being slow,” he writes.

Third: disagree and commit. “This phrase will save a lot of time,” he writes. “If you have conviction on a particular direction even though there’s no consensus, it’s helpful to say, ‘Look, I know we disagree on this but will you gamble with me on it? Disagree and commit?’ By the time you’re at this point, no one can know the answer for sure, and you’ll probably get a quick yes.”

And fourth, address the real misalignments early and focus on them immediately. “Sometimes teams have different objectives and fundamentally different views,” he writes. “They are not aligned. No amount of discussion, no number of meetings will resolve that deep misalignment. Without escalation, the default dispute resolution mechanism for this scenario is exhaustion.”

Supercharge your productivity

Boosting Productivity and Avoiding Multitasking

Boosting Productivity and Time Management

Ask any successful business or entrepreneur or supervisor out there, and I’m sure they will tell you boosting productivity to higher levels is a crucial aspect in ensuring revenue company growth and achieving individual success.

In fact, many individuals and corporations willingly invest large sums of money and effort for boosting productivity. Higher levels of productivity in employees (whether as part of an organization or alone) helps to bring them closer to their success targets within a shorter time period, and prevents needless wastage of time, money and effort.

Boosting productivity to improve revenue and company success

The dictionary defines productivity as “the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services”. To explain it simply on a more individual level – it is just how much one worker can get done in a set period of time.

And when productivity is mentioned, time management is usually also brought up; they go hand in hand. Both are strongly correlated – higher levels of productivity is usually the result of better time management.

All That You Know About Time Management Is Wrong

Yup, you got that right.

Your understanding of time management is very likely…

Wrong!

All you know about employee productivity is wrong

Time management is in fact, a misnomer. Time cannot be managed or influenced; it is something that is pretty much out of our control. All of us, despite our social or financial background, are allocated 24 hours in a day, no more or less. Once gone, there’s no way we can get it back.

Our day-to-day responsibilities – be they family or work, take up a large portion of our time. Not only that, time is fleeting and so easily stolen without recognizing it. Unexpected things pop up all the time. Priorities change. Things can go terribly wrong. Individuals get sick, or tired reducing their productivity.

You can only do so much – you’re just a single worker in likely a team project, after all.

However, you can, control YOU. And your CHOICES. Time management is more correctly, all about self-discipline and task management. It’s the management of expectations as well as interruptions. It is the ability to manage your actions, habits and priorities based on the time you are given. It is understanding what matters most, making a choice to make room for that in your workday, and getting rid of the unnecessary, unimportant stuff that’s hogging up your valuable time.

Also, time management is not a one system fits all method. There is no perfect method. Different individuals have different styles – we’re all wired differently in terms of personality type, identity and individual life circumstances. Some may find that a to-do list works for them; others may find to-do lists hard to follow and demotivating. It’s all about finding your groove – different strokes for different folks.

Multitasking for Boosting Productivity?

Multitasking because you want to manage time better?

Bad idea.

Contrary to popular belief, faster and more is NOT always better. Multitasking is one way to destroy your productivity levels rather than boosting productivity.

avoiding multitasking to boost productivity

Sure… you seem to get more done this way.

However, you are probably more likely to make mistakes – which will result in your having to repeat assignments. Stick to focusing on one task at a time, and taking sufficient breaks whenever possible – you’ll stand to accomplish more this way. Now, we’ve mentioned that juggling multiple tasks at one time is counterproductive. However, striving to complete each task no matter how long it takes is also not a wise idea when it comes to time management – another common misconception regarding time management. Restrict your time spent on a task, and schedule accordingly.

As you can see, a lot of what we know regarding time management is, in fact, myths. Many of us have skewed perceptions or misinformation when it comes to time management. These myths, over time, through the workers around us or the media we consume, become deeply ingrained within our mindsets.  We eventually regard them as facts and hold on to them.  As a result, we prevent ourselves from truly and fully boosting productivity in any aspect of our work and careers.

4 Simple Ways to Take Charge of Your Work Habits

There’s an old quote that perfectly shows why you need to take charge of your habits – be they work habits or personal. “The chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” by Warren Buffet. If you don’t take charge of your habits, even ones that seem harmless, they will easily control you.

While work habits are easily formed and followed through, especially once your brain recognizes them as habits, you can still change them. Always remember that you are in control, not your habits.  So, you can change bad patterns , even those you’ve had for a long time.

C

Habit expert and writer of the book ‘Atomic Habits’ James Clear has four rules for forming habits that can help you take charge of them. Whether the habits are good or bad, you can still use these rules to gain some measure of control. These rules, according to Atomic Habits, are:

1. Make it obvious

2. Make it attractive

3. Make it easy

4. Make it satisfying

Let’s go over them one-by-one.

1.Make it Obvious

To take charge of your habits, you need to make them obvious. For example, let’s say you want to start running. If your running shoes and gear are in the closet, then that habit isn’t apparent. Instead of sifting through your wardrobe for your shoes, your brain will just want to stay in bed.

So, you can put your running shoes by the door and make sure that they are the first thing you see in the morning. Then you’ll be reminded that you should run today. To break bad habits, you want to hide things away – make them less obvious.

2. Make it Attractive

With habits, most people focus on the long-term goals. You might say, “I will go for a run to get my beach body in ten weeks.” While that goal is noble, it does nothing when running in the cold and feeling miserable.

So, make your routines attractive and give yourself a reward or incentive to get it done. Maybe run with a friend or have your running trail pass by a place where you can have breakfast or see the city’s sunrise. For bad patterns , add extra steps or make continuing the tendency very unattractive.

3. Make it Easy

Remember, the brain always takes on the path of least resistance. If that path happens to lead to your habit, then more power to you. It might seem counter-intuitive, but instead of telling yourself. I will run a mile today; say that you will only run a block.

Having smaller micro-habits will make everything easier and will help you do them. Most people go too big, get discouraged, and then get burned out. But running a block, reading one page of a book, or doing one push-up is something that takes no time at all. Plus, if you achieve a  small one, why not do another and another?

For bad habits, add more resistance to them and make them harder to achieve.

4. Make it Satisfying

Reward yourself along the journey toward achieving your desired habits, and you’ll keep doing them. Maybe if you go running for thirty days, give yourself some type of reward. Have a good meal, watch a movie, do something you wouldn’t normally do, and also reflect on how running has made you a better person than you were 30 days ago.

For bad habits, remove the satisfaction from them, and you won’t see them as a reward.

You Are In Control of Your Work Habits

Remember that every habit comes from your own brain, and you are the one in control. If you want to make or break a habit, you are the only one who can do so. Follow these four steps, and you’ll find that it gets easier and easier to take charge and make your work habits work for you.

Ask the Flexpert…Name some Techniques that Lower Employee Workplace Stress

7 Simple Tips to Lower Employee Stress

In these uncertain times, even effective organizations undergo stress and worry. Human Resource personnel play a critical role in monitoring employee stress levels and modeling effective behCharaciture of Flexpertaviors for the workforce. to maintain a culture that triggers less unease and tension for employees, improves resilience, boosts performance, and builds feelings of value for all members of work teams.

Signs of Employee Stress

Quarrelling workers, hassling managers, poor communicating peers who don’t reply, supervisors who are emailing while you’re talking to them… all these personnel are too harried to observe the basic tenets of respect and concern for their co-workers or subordinates.

You should be aware of these 7 techniques because they merit your attention for improving the tone in your workplace:

  1. Institute “zero-tolerance” guidelines against toxic or offensive talk.
  2. Foster behavior by managers who hear negativity to prompt employees that their good performance or interactions compensates for any small mistakes. Advise employees that it is acceptable and even desirable to attempt some outcome even if tit results in some honest errors.
  3. Inform your workers what they are doing well. A few times per week a distribute a positive quotation that motivates them or at least gets them thinking about positive actions. Blend in snippets of positive company or industry news or positive results by an employee. The idea is if people see something positive the first thing each day that sets a positive tone for the entire day.
  4. Encourage leaders to praise employees in front of their peers.
  5. Support bosses in recognizing each employees’ strengths, and then have them delegate projects that mirror each employee’s strengths. Build work groups whose members’ skills complement one another.
  6. Arrange for lunchtime speakers to educate employees about stress-management. Upload stress-reducing exercises to your internal website.
  7. Regularly recap for employees the value of their output to customers or other co-workers or to support the company’s goals.
Reduce Stress with a Staffing Agency’s Support

Flexicrew can help improve your work environment, reduce your anxiety and stress by assisting you with workforce planning and recruiting the quality talent that you need in this uncertain time.  Contact one of our workforce professionals Today!

How To Protect Your Mental Health During The Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has been brutal on the state of mental health in Americans. You’ve been limited in how you can celebrate birthdays, graduations, and weddings and even funerals. You’ve seen loved ones hooked up to a ventilator fighting for their lives. You’ve got an entire hygienic routine every time you leave the house: Wear a mask, stay six feet apart, wash your hands, and repeat.

Staying Grounded

Here’s what you can do to protect your mental health during this ongoing pandemic.

Get Some Exercise

You don’t have to go to the gym to stay in shape. There are actually plenty of exercises and routines that you can do from the comfort of your own living room. That includes exercises like push-ups, jumping jacks, and even going for a walk or jog around the block.

On top of building your endurance and strength, exercise can trigger the release of endorphins in your system. According to the Mayo Clinic, these are known as the “feel-good” hormone and will naturally boost a low mood during such trying times.

Stay in Contact With Positive Co-Workers

Not being able to meet with those you regularly work with can be detrimental to your mental health. Prolonged loneliness and social isolation can lower your productivity and increase your risk of certain mental health disorders, substance abuse issues, or even suicide.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that loneliness increases the risk of serious health disorders. The best way to avoid these consequences is by staying in touch with loved ones via daily or weekly phone calls, video calls, or text messages.

Leave the House

Some states still have limitations when it comes to where you can go, what you can do, and who you can see. Yet at this point in the pandemic, you realize that your mood declines and you feel fatigued the longer you stay put in the house.

In a study published in Issues in Mental Health Nursing, vitamin D, which can be absorbed by the body from sunlight, is a great mood booster and actually is used to treat depression. So, if you’re feeling down and lonely in the house without physical interactions with your team members, spend some time in the backyard or go for a walk at the park.

Reach Out to a Therapist

If you were already struggling with your mental health prior to the pandemic, there’s a good chance that your situation has actually worsened as the months continued. Luckily, the forced closure of most mental health facilities doesn’t mean that you currently have no access to care. Many counselors, therapists, and psychiatrists have moved to telemedicine for the time being. Scheduling an appointment with a therapist via video call is a great way to process your emotions and learn how to cope.

Get a Pet (We’re not joking)

Most people would appreciate coming home from work every day to be greeted by a friendly dog or cat. But when loneliness and sadness become excessive during quarantine, a pet may be exactly what you need to feel better.

The connection between pet ownership and mental health has been long studied. In fact, a survey conducted by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute, mental health improvements were seen in about 74% of pet owners.

Final Thoughts

During a pandemic that doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon with new variants popping up periodically, it’s important that you prioritize your mental health. Not only will this make you feel less lonely and like you have a greater purpose, but it’ll also save you from a ton of emotional turmoil that you’ll have to sort through once COVID-19 is gone for good.

5 Ways Workers Waste Time Every Day

Check out the most common 5 ways workers waste time every day. Do you find yourself doing any of them? This post will address some time management strategies. They can help you become more efficient and productive and be able to get the most out of your work day.

Let’s get started.

5 of the Biggest Timewasters of Your Day at work

5 ways workers waste time every day

Even if you’re one of the more dedicated employees and a very organized person, you still waste time. Whether you work from home or in the workplace, we’re all guilty of getting distracted and losing focus. It may not be deliberate and you probably don’t even realize you’re doing it until it’s too late.

Here are 5 ways workers waste time every day. See if you can relate.

1. Social Media/Emails/Texts

It’s become a vital part of our lives. But the world won’t stop turning if you don’t look at your social media for 15 minutes.

Another big distraction is hearing that too familiar ‘ding’ that comes with a new email or text message. It prevents you from finishing the task at hand because you keep looking at your phone every five minutes.

Picture this scenario: you’re in the middle of work when your phone beeps. You reach for your phone to see your incoming message. So, you go from message to email to Facebook to Instagram. Then, when you’re done, you notice that 20 minutes have gone by.

Research shows that each time you get distracted, even for a couple of minutes, your brain needs more than 20 minutes to refocus. Imagine how much wasted time that amounts to at the end of the day!

The Fix: Avoid randomly checking social media, emails, or texts. Instead, set up a certain time during your day for doing just that. In the meantime, turn off any notifications or mute your phone.

2. Organizing and Preparing

You’re probably wondering: how is this a time-waster? But too often we fall down the rabbit hole of ‘organizing’ our day. Sometimes, we take too far that we actually run out of time to do any of the things on our list.

The Fix: Find an online planner and to-do-list. Then, pick one day out of the week where you plan out the whole seven days in advance. Schedule in work-related projects, meetings, and deadlines. You can also include a workout schedule and get-togethers with associates.

3. Multitasking

Multitasking: another thing that we do to trick ourselves into believing we’re being productive. Yet, the sad truth is, multitasking wastes a ton of time.

It’s counter-productive when your attention is divided among several tasks at once. In other words, it’s just another form of distraction.

The Fix: It’s simple. Just put all your attention and focus on one task at a time. When you’re done, move on to the next task, and so on.

4. Checking the News

In this day and age, it seems something is happening in the news every five minutes. So, it’s easy to use the news as an excuse for procrastination. After all, we all want to be in the loop when it comes to politics, sports, and local news.

The Fix: Force yourself to stay away from checking news updates every half hour. You can use sheer self-discipline, or you can use a site blocker.

One great example is the Stay Focused Chrome app. It helps you ‘hide’ certain websites for, say, 45 minutes. Then, tell the app you want to spend 20 minutes on the so-and-so website. After the 20 minutes are done, the app will block you again until your next break.

5. Doing Assignments

The problem isn’t with the activities themselves; it’s when you do them.

You might be sitting at your desk, working away when you notice a dusty shelf or a cluttered work station. So, you do the responsible thing and start cleaning and decluttering.

You tell yourself that it’ll only take five minutes. Then, when you’re done straightening the entire room/office, the day is over! And you still haven’t finished what you’re initially working on.

The Fix: For chores, set up one or two days during the week when you do all the decluttering. This way, even if you see something in your work space that catches your attention, you can push back in your mind and wait until ‘chore day’ rolls around.

A Final Note

We all get the same amount of time each day: 86,2400 seconds, 1,440 minutes, or 24 hours. It’s up to you to figure out how you’re going to spend that time. Sadly, many of us spend our days doing things that don’t really add any value to our lives—or our employer’s for that matter.

The good news is you can train yourself to focus more and have fewer distractions. Make a conscious effort to add purpose and value to your work assignments and follow through. You’ll soon notice you’re getting more done during your day than ever before!  And you’ll avoid the 5 ways workers waste time every day.

5 Tips For Better Problem Solving

Finding a better way to deal with problems. Follow these five helpful lessons.

In our work situation we are prone to many different problems during our day. It might be as simple as a tie-up of traffic on our normal route to work or a simple disagreement with a peer or as major as losing our job. For most issues, we can move on from the moment. However, there are other problems that cannot be let go. Not because it has happened once, but because it has become a pattern.

As Karl Popper, who was a 20th century philosopher of science, once quoted, “All life is problem solving.”

5 Ways to Untangle the Problem:
Problem solving

Let us look at some different ways to crack the problem and arrive at the desired result:

1. Take a Break

If you simply cannot solve a problem, this is the time to get some air. Go to another office or private space, or outside. By removing yourself from the situation, this allows your brain to process the puzzle and figure out a different approach. Or if you have a dispute with an associate and you know that the person will not back down, simply postpone the conversation till later.

Engineering professor Barbara Oakley quoted to the Mother Jones newspaper, “When you are focusing, you are blocking your access to the diffuse mode. The diffuse mode, it turns out, is what you often need to be able to solve an exceedingly difficult, new problem.”

2. Write it Down

If the problem is more serious, try writing down the issue. Often, our brains have a hard time sorting through the feelings before even tackling the solution. Write down the why, what, when, etc. Add to each subtitle with more sensible ideas. Much like an outline you did for an essay in school. Get it all out on paper first. Then, go back and read each entry. Does it make sense? Does it seem like a better approach to ending the problem?

Author Natalie Goldberg quoted, “Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mind.”

3. Sleep on it

Some problems can not be solved in one day. By keeping yourself up worrying about it, not only is bad for your physical health but worse for your mental health. The National Institutes of Health estimates that up to 30 percent of the general population complain of sleep disruption. Compound that with an unresolved issue, and now you have not only the task of resolving the matter in question but your own poor health to deal with.

4. Discuss the Problem with Others

If the problem is not resolved and you are feeling overwhelmed, sometimes voicing the problem is therapeutic. Call a co-worker, peer, associate, etc. – someone that is close to you that has some understanding of your personality.

When we are emotional, it is hard to see our own wrong approach to the issue. By having a third-party hear the problem, it gives us that moment to release that roadblock and re-focus on the base of the problem more rationally.

5. Tackle it Head-on

This is the moment that you feel ready and your mind is clear enough to solve the problem. This might look like, talking to the co-worker with whom you have an unresolved matter (like convincing your boss for a raise) or as serious as getting up every day to find a new job because you are out of work. When we push ourselves and overcome the hurdle that is holding us back, we are substituting determination for what is clouding our judgement and we are boosting our feelings of satisfaction and lowering our anxiety.

In Conclusion…

As Albert Einstein eloquently summed it up, “We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” Practicing and utilizing these tips will not only assure a more easily resolved conclusion, but your mental health will thank you.

10 Essential Traits to Create Resilience

Resilience speaks to one’s ability to bounce back from difficulties and catastrophes experienced in life. Resilience is essential to navigating life because adversity and challenges are inevitable. While there are a variety of things related to resilience, the following is a list of resilience power traits. Each of these traits is linked to the development of resilience, which ultimately equates to the ability to handle adversity with grace.Resilience-in-the-workplace-1

1. Acceptance

Adversity is inevitable, so learning to accept and embrace it is essential to developing resilience and navigating challenges well. Those who are resilient accept difficulties as normal and spend their time and energy learning to adapt to the adversity rather than fighting it or running from it. The choice to lean into the discomfort and embrace it ultimately helps employees better deal with and bounce back from the hardships they face (Waters, 2013).

2. Adaptability

The ability to be able to adjust and shift as the pandemic creates new circumstances and increases challenges is a key facet of resilience. Those employees who are resilient can develop numerous strategies from dealing with stressful situations. This flexibility in the way they think about challenges allows them to respond flexibly with regards to their emotion. Thus, they are better able to shift from one coping strategy to another depending upon what is best given the specific set of circumstances (Barker, 2016).

3. Awareness

Awareness is also heavily tied to the development of resilience. Awareness helps individual personnel understand what they need, how they feel, when they need to reach out for help, and when they need to make adjustments and improvements. Being aware of what personal adjustments need to be made to one’s staff members or their situation helps your staff gain the knowledge and information needed to best approach and navigate the challenge at hand (Waters, 2013).

4. Boundaries

Boundaries in the context of adversity relate to one’s ability to create distinction between who they are at their core and the cause of their current negative circumstances. This means being able to understand that the adversity currently being faced is temporary.

This also means refraining from allowing the negative situation or circumstance to become one’s permanent identity. Being able to set these boundaries aids in quick recovery from trials because individuals understand that their situation will eventually change for the better, and there is the understanding that their identity is not rooted in the trauma. Thus, there is an ability to approach the challenge with a more positive attitude, and less likelihood of allowing the challenge to define one’s self (Waters, 2013).

5. Confidence

A key to learning to cope with the stresses of life is a belief in your ability to do so. Research shows that there is a link between one’s self-esteem and one’s ability to handle stress and recover from negative events. Employees who lack self-esteem have a tendency to approach negative events with a negative outlook, and in general, have more negative outcomes. On the other hand, those who possess high levels of confidence in themselves and their abilities, approach negative circumstances with the belief that they possess what is necessary to overcome the circumstance. Thus, their outcomes tend to be more favorable (Cherry, 2020).

6. Goals

Goal setting and resilience are linked for workers in the sense that setting goals help breakdown challenges and hardships into more manageable parts that can be tackled and conquered. Goals allow challenges to be addressed in a realistic manner while also helping people to manage their emotional response to a given situation. When a person can tackle a situation one step at a time, there is less anxiety, less stress, and more probability of a favorable outcome. This ultimately means a better ability to bounce back from adversity (Cherry, 2020).

7. Optimism

Optimism is the ability to look at situations and circumstances and find the positives, even in the midst of what seems like endless negatives. The ability to approach hardships with this type of positive attitude is key to being able to quickly recover from the difficulties your workers face.  You should support positivity in your workforce by creating and sustaining intentional employee reward and recognition programs.

True optimism isn’t about ignoring the negatives, but rather paying attention to those negatives that are relevant to the problems they face and then actively choosing not to remain focused on those negative solely or long term. A truly optimistic workforce that is able to foster resilience learn how to balance a positive outlook with a realistic view of the world and that helps them bounce back from challenges faced (Barker, 2016).

8. Problem-Solving

There is research that suggests workers who know how to analyze and develop solutions for problems are better able to cope with challenges as compared to those who do not know how to do those things. Being faced with a challenge creates an opportunity for workers in your employ to perform and on-the-job learning that will help them develop potential solutions for the issue at hand.

It is that regular and consistent work of engaging in exercises that build focus and encourages non-traditional thinking that better helps employees to able be able to solve problems in future scenarios (Cherry, 2020).

9. Purpose

Helping your work teams find or create a sense of purpose for themselves in the midst of adversity or crisis can significantly help when it comes to coping and recovery. Developing a ‘why’ becomes the motivation needed to do the work that will help them get through the crisis. It is the purpose that makes the work of fighting through the trouble worthwhile and sustains their ability to continue moving forward to overcome adversity (Cherry, 2020).

10. Support

Having a support system in place when faced with difficulties is essential to building resilience. The emotional support offered by having additional associates help carry the load of mental/emotional burdens can make the adversity more manageable and easier to navigate.

Additionally, other workers or mentors can remind workers of their abilities and strengths which may help tap into the skills and inner strength they need to persevere. The support of others can also offer practical physical support and provision of resources and information that will aid you in overcoming the challenges they face (Barker, 2016).

Resilience is linked to so many other useful traits and qualities. In fostering resilience, one is able to foster the 10 traits mentioned in this article, and that in turn subsequently strengthens resilience.

Thus, an emphasis on continued growth within your company in any of these areas is sure to result in improved resilience bringing in a better ability to navigate through day-to-day work challenges.

References:

Barker, E. (2016, April 26). 10 ways to boost your emotional resilience, backed by research. Time. https://time.com/4306492/boost-emotional-resilience/

Cherry, K. (2020, January). Use these 10 tips to improve your resilience. Verywell Mind. https://www.verywellmind.com/ways-to-become-more-resilient-2795063

Waters, B. (2013, May 21). 10 traits of emotionally resilient people. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/design-your-path/201305/10-traits-emotionally-resilient-people

Yes, You Can Build your Resiliency and Grow from it

Resilient workers recover quickly from setbacks and don’t allow difficulties to hinder their success. How does a person become resilient?  Can you build your resiliency?  Can you use resiliency to grow and succeed?  Psychologists have determined that resiliency is a skill you can learn.  And once you learn what you need to be resilient, you can also improve and grow your expertise.

strength

Resiliency requires a commitment to improving yourself.  Specific actions and skills are needed to become and stay resilient.

Researchers have identified the following ways you can build and grow resiliency:
  • Take Responsibility
  • See Change as an Opportunity
  • Have Goals
  • Learn from Success and Failure
  • Get Support
  • Take Action
  • Be Optimistic
  • Have Patience
Take Responsibility

Resilient people understand that they can control their actions and reaction, but not the actions and reactions of others. To be resilient, you need to take responsibility for how you manage and conduct yourself.  Blaming others for your mistakes makes you weak.  Taking responsibility for yourself makes you strong and focuses your control on yourself.

See Change as an Opportunity

Is change good or bad? To build resiliency, you need to answer that question by knowing that change is an opportunity for both good and bad.  When your workforce sees change as being forced on them by Management, they lose their control of the situation.  Resilience requires a different approach.  Resilient workers see change as an opportunity to learn and grow.

Have Goals

You can’t learn to recover from setbacks if you don’t have goals. Otherwise, you may spend your time reacting to things that don’t improve your experiences or help you reach your goals.  Having goals helps a team focus, avoid distractions, and stay committed, making them more resilient.

Learn from Success and Failure

Resiliency is a skill that comes partly from the knowledge gained with each success and failure. When team members accept responsibility for their own actions, their successes and failures depend on each of them.  Each time workers complete a successful project, they learn ways to improve themselves for their next project.  This helps them grow and achieve more.  When you fail, instead of belittling yourself, use your failure as an opportunity to discard what doesn’t work and learn new ways to overcome obstacles.

Get Support

Even before the pandemic, work had many challenges. Getting support from others helps a single worker overcome challenges and be resilient when faced with difficulty.  Seeking others out for knowledge, through education and mentoring, helps build resilience.  Knowing there are trusted co-workers and family can help motivate and keep an individual worker focused on his team’s goals.

Take Action

Resilient people don’t’ give up. They find ways to achieve their goals despite setbacks and difficulties.  Resiliency requires action to create the opportunity to learn and grow.  Allowing your circumstances to dictate responses isn’t action.  Action involves trying new things and making the changes necessary to succeed.

Be Optimistic

Realistic optimism is necessary for resiliency. Overly optimistic people don’t adjust their plan when they need to make changes to reach a goal.  Pessimistic people rarely stay committed to their goals because they don’t believe they can achieve them.  But, people with realistic optimism understand they must be resilient when obstacles arise.

Have Patience

Building resiliency involves allowing yourself the time needed to reach goals. Long-term goals, like launching a new product or creating a software platform, or even finishing one’s education, take time to achieve.  Patience allows team members to stay focused on their goals even when they make mistakes or need more time to meet them.  The resiliency built with patience can help a team achieve targets on-time and within budget, reach professional goals and strengthen team relationships.

Yes, you can build resiliency.  By focusing on the skills, you need to develop to become resilient you can grow as a trusted work team member and improve your satisfaction with your performance.

Need Assistance Hiring Resilient Workers

If you need some assistance in recruiting and hiring more resilient workers in this uncertain labor market, contact Flexicrew Today.