How to Cope with Workplace Anxiety

Anxiety is no joke.

If you suffer from anxiety – no matter what your triggers are – when you come across a title that suggests a way to cure your anxiety or get rid of it, you’re likely to jump at the chance to find the magical fix to that heavy feeling that weighs on your chest and the inability to breathe when it just becomes too much. It’s why, while I want people to read this, I didn’t want to bait you in with something that wasn’t true, and used the word cope.

The number one thing that you, the people around you -your managers, your friends and family-need to understand is that there isn’t a cure. There isn’t a quick fix. And anxiety can have such deep roots that you may not even know why you’re triggered.

The Cure to Anxiety is a Myth
workplace anxiety

So no. I don’t have a list of things to cure your workplace anxiety. Anyone that promises that isn’t really being honest. Or, perhaps, has little understanding of how anxiety works. I do however have coping tools that may just be exactly what you need. The combination of tools come from a mix of research and practice.

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Top 5 Entrepreneur Podcasts From 2019

Fuel Your Entrepreneur Mindset With Learning that Inspires

Podcasts are great. Like really. They’re awesome. There are so many different kinds of podcasts and not all podcasts are made equal. But if you’re not explore the VALUABLE insight that you can find by listening to EXPERTS and SUCCESSFUL business owners and entrepreneurs just talk, you need to start now. Entrepreneur podcasts will make a difference for you. Promise.

Really, that’s the best part of podcasts as an entrepreneur. You can subscribe to podcasts by big names in your industry and essentially be mentored and learn though their advice and experiences.

entrepreneur podcasts

This is especially important if you don’t yet have a large network of entrepreneurs and business owners that you can easily talk to and share ideas.

(Which is a whole other thing – build your entrepreneur network!!)

2018 gave us some really great podcasts. Some are new, some have been around, but all can make an impact for you and your business.

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For the Busy Entrepreneur Stressing to Get Work Done

entrepreneur stress release

If you run your own business you’ve got round the clock tasks, goals, benchmarks, communications, and the list could go on. You’ve got round the clock responsibilities.

Chances are pretty dang high that this busy entrepreneur life equals stress, even for that “totally chill” person.

So today we thought we’d talk about a brain trick that helps you calm entrepreneur stress and accomplish more.

The To-Do List

A to do list is a perfect trick to get your brain to stop worrying about the tasks you have waiting to be accomplished. Writing what you need to do down makes your brain think you’ve got it done.

Now, of course, if you never actually do the task, you’ll end up stressed out again. However, writing a to do list will take that overwhelmed edge off well enough for you to get organized, prioritize, and get work done.

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Borderless Working: Avoid the Burn Out

What is Borderless Working?

Borderless Working without Burn Out

Whether you call it the “anytime, anywhere” workplace, borderless working, or workflex, flexible work schedules are popping up everywhere.

The idea of borderless working is to offer employees a solution to work/life balance. When done right, employees are able to be just as or more productive, while also having the flexibility to work around their life stages. 

Seems golden right? 

Here’s the problem. Without proper time management skills or the ability to unplug, mangers and employees alike are very likely to burn out, rather than be more productive. 

Think about this:

If your workday doesn’t have the distinct 9 to 5 hours, when do you step back from working? Or do you just never really stop working?

According to… the average smartphone user checks their phone 150 times a day and 55% of people are checking their emails after 11pm.  Then, according to …. 60% of smart phone users keep in touch with work 13.5 hours per day. 

Unfortunately, when you pair workflex options with our digital world, you end up with people being expected to be available for work 24/7.

This is especially true for managers who are working around all of their employees’ flexible work schedules. 

What’s the solution?

“Anytime, anywhere” workplaces aren’t really going anywhere. While their may be some roadblocks to how they function across the board, they aren’t really going to just fall out of trend. 

So, their isn’t a one size fits all solution. However, better time management can help you avoid burn out and improve productivity with your flexible schedules. 

Survival Tips for Borderless Working

One: Don’t make assumptions

As a manager offering workflex options, don’t make assumptions about what kind of flexibility is best for your workers. While some may work best with maximum flexibility, other’s will perform better with a better outlined day. So, discuss with your employees what their needs are and how that might work with the expectations of your business. 

The goal should be to support employees for their needs, while also giving predictability and stability to employers. 

Two: Be clear on communication

Whether your the employee or the manager, you’ll need to set clear expectations on how, when, and where you’ll communicate. As the manager, you have the role of really setting the tone. 

You’ll want to pick one main method for communication, be it an app, email, texting, etc. You don’t need five different places to be checking for work messages.

Also, go over what is appropriate within these communications.  Especially when you’re using a method such as text where it’s easy to become less professional. 

Finally, if you don’t have set office hours, you may want to at least set off limit hours. Otherwise you may be expected to answer late at night and held accountable for being available. 

These are probably the most important tips for avoiding the drain of feeling like you can never stop working. 

Three: Employ time management training

This one is really simple.

Managers. Train your employees in best time management practices. Employees. Ask for training in time management.

Flexibility is great until it becomes too much to manage and then it becomes overwhelming. Without a firm strategy in place, you’ll find yourself feeling like you’re never actually getting anything done because work will seemingly never end. 

Four: Set “off time”

Time Management for Workflex Schedules

It doesn’t matter if you’re the manager, owner, or employee; you have to set a firm block of time that you’re not working. And by not working, I mean NOT WORKING. No answering emails, or just double checking, or even trying to get ahead. 

If you don’t do this, then instead of having a flexible work schedule that suits your personal needs you will have an all work and no play schedule. 

You don’t have to be stuck in Stephen King’s The Shinning  to know that that’s just not a good idea. 

 

How to Achieve Positive Procrastination

Embracing the Art of Positive Procrastination

how-positive-procrastination-helps
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Procrastination tends to get a bad rap that those that procrastinate are lazy. The thing is, those that procrastinate rarely actually do nothing in place of the task that they are supposed to be doing. Meaning that they actually have the potential to be way more productive. This is where positive procrastination comes into play.

Sure, browsing social media isn’t the most productive thing. But washing the dishes when you usually avoid it like the plague or finally mailing off that package to your sister’s kid that you meant to mail a year ago, well those aren’t bad things to occupy your time.

Even better is when your procrastinating in work by completing other must do tasks that are just feeling a little less daunting. No matter why you procrastinate, if you’re using other productive tasks to do so, then you’re not really losing out on productivity.

How it Works

Positive Procrastination Productive
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John Perry, a philosopher at Harvard, actually wrote a book entitled The Art of Procrastination. Within this he suggested when you’re writing out your to do list to put at the top of that list those big, daunting, scary tasks that you know you’re supposed to get done, but will probably avoid.

Then, fill the middle of that list with doable and still important tasks. Finally, add to the bottom of the list, very doable, quick to finish tasks. When you find yourself avoiding those top of the list items, you’ll find that you will pretty naturally start checking items off your list from the bottom up.

Probably completing a LOT more of what you need to get done in a day than if you had tried to force yourself to focus all day on numero uno!

Controlling too Much of a Good Thing.

Really, in order to avoid the plague of procrastination you actually need to let yourself procrastinate.

Procrastination is part of the productivity process. It just gets you in trouble because people will do too much of it and dig themselves into a hole. That’s why there are so many tips on how to avoid procrastination.

So, aside from Professor John Perry’s strategy, let’s look at some other quick tips on how to manage procrastination successfully to actually increase productivity.

Other Procrastination Tactics that Work

  1.  When planning how long a task will take you, factor in procrastinating. A little wiggle room will go a long way.
  2. Pick 2 or 3 activities that allow you to check out for short periods. Rotate through them when you need a brain break. Browsing social media, straightening up, deleting emails…there are a lot of things that can help you take a break without taking over the whole day.
  3. Every 3o minutes, stand up and stretch. This can be a walk around the room or literally just standing while you work for a few minutes. You’ll find that this break from work can actually end up bringing you some pretty good inspiration.
  4. Plan a break where you completely shut it off. For example, when you stop to have lunch, don’t “work” through lunch. Grab your lunch, sit in a different place than where you usually work, and just enjoy your food.
  5. Set a timer. Using timers for your productive time and your procrastination time will help you avoid watching the clock. This way, you know you’ll have a break coming up. It can help you push through when you feel ready to give up. Plus, you’ll be able to really enjoy your procrastination time because their will be no antsy realization that you’ve been watching YouTube videos for an hour instead of five minutes.

Whatever your goals are, implementing positive procrastination into your work strategy may just be the tactic you need to move your productivity to the next level!

Don’t have a problem with over procrastination?
What strategies do you use?

 

How to Delegate without Abdicating your Business

Delegate as a Small Business
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As a business owner you have probably read or been otherwise given a lot of advice on how to improve your time management, grow your business, and avoid burn out.

The number one tip seems to be that you need to delegate in order to find success. Be it delegating to the skilled employees that you’ve hired or automation services that you’ve purchased to be more efficient.

Jeffrey Pfeffer, the Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, says “Your most important task as a leader is to teach people how to think and ask the right questions so that the world doesn’t go to hell if you take a day off”.

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5 Automation Tools for Your Small Business

Online automation tools
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Business owners of all shapes and sizes know that time is money. As cliche as it sounds, it’s the simple truth. There are so many essential tasks in business that take up a lot of time, whether it be the process itself or the task of managing errors.

This is why automation tools that streamline business processes are a small business owners best friend. The good news is that there are tons of automation and online software programs available to you. The better news is that we’ve gathered a list of 5 business management tools known for their ease, increase in efficiency, and dependability.

Whatever your business, chances are you could really use one ore more of these online automation tools.

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Tips to turn Procrastination into Productivity

Tips to improve procrastination
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A couple weeks ago I went over a few main causes of procrastination to help you identify where your problem lies and can start improving. Today, I want to go over more specific tips that you can implement today to improve your time management, turning procrastination into productivity.

Before we get into the tips, let’s start with a bonus tip. As you approach eliminating procrastination in your business, take a breath. If you let yourself get overwhelmed, you’ll be more likely revert back to procrastinating. This time procrastinating stopping procrastination. You see how this could become a never ending cycle?

So, take a step back and try one tip at a time. You will find success!

6 Tips to Get Rid of the Procrastination Habit
One- Admit the problem and give it a name:

This is probably the same step for getting past any bad habit in your life. You have to name it before you can stop it. Once you give this behavior a name, it’s no longer an abstract smokey thing ruling your life. Instead it’s locked inside whatever words you put it in and squash.

So, when you start procrastinating, say in your head (or out loud), “I am procrastinating. It’s time to get back to work!” This is what I like to call, Mindset Magic!

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Causes of Procrastination in the Work Place

Procrastination is the silent but deadly killer of productivity in the work place. Chances are you procrastinate something every day. The problem with procrastination is that it can grow to overwhelming heights and kill your business’s growth.Image result for procrastination

You want your business to do well, so honestly ask yourself, “am I a procrastinator? Am I or my business slowly becoming another word for procrastination?”

If the answer is yes, which it probably is since you are reading this blog, the first step to recovery is identifying the problem.  So, let’s look at four key causes of procrastination in the work place so that you might start to repair them at the root. Continue reading “Causes of Procrastination in the Work Place”

4 Big Ways to Better Your Time management

Entrepreneurship is a wonderful and worthy life goal. However, as most business owners would agree, it can sometimes be difficult to balance your time between what can be dubbed busy work, truly moving your business forward, and having a life outside of your work.

Since we live in a digital age with communication and information literally at our fingertips at nearly every moment of the day, it’s no wonder you can feel like you’re being productive when your time is actually being eaten away by distractions and less than success building tasks.

Build a Better Business Through Effective Time Management

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