How to keep holiday stress at
How to keep holiday stress at
How to keep holiday stress at
Pop quiz: When is the last time you were none of these things?
Can’t recall, right? We’ve all got a lot on our minds. Ruminating on old mistakes. Avoiding new ones. Planning what we need to do. Anticipating what we’ll forget. It’s a constant scramble.
But what if we could clear up our jumbled thoughts?
What if we could leave the past in the past, the future to the future?
If we could give our whole attention to what we’re doing as we’re doing it?
Then we’d be fully present. Whatever we’re doing, we’d likely do it better. Conversations would become more fruitful. Tasks could become less tedious. Trust, empathy, adaptability — all would deepen and grow. We’d be engaged in each moment, so each moment would count.
Being present is an attitude shift. It doesn’t change the world, but it changes how we experience it — what we notice, how we respond. It’s a commitment
“I’m so busy!”
It’s the auto-pilot response to “How are you?” these days. And of course we are busy. In addition to family, friends, and work, we’ve got a whole world at our fingertips to keep up with.
All this busyness can be overwhelming. But it can also be comforting — for a couple of reasons. Being busy brings a kind of badge of honor that the world needs us. It’s also an excellent way to steer clear of life’s thornier issues.
And that’s when we can get stuck — taking life as it comes rather than giving direction to how we spend our days.
I’m busy, therefore I am
Quick story: Ann was waiting for the restroom at one of Boston’s trendier brunch places. A woman got in line behind her and casually began complaining about her lack of free time. So many obligations on the weekends, she said, kept her jumping from one
Leading by doing — we could write the book. We see the big picture, organize the details, meet the deadlines, and never let them see us sweat.
Yep, we’re on top of it all the time…except when a task veers beyond our arsenal of expertise. But that rarely happens. And since we’re so good at figuring things out, we soldier on, on our own. Until we can’t.
Sometimes the task is too foreign, the time too short, the energy too finite to pull it off. And then we’re stuck acting like a Lone Leader, trying to operate without the necessary support.
There are at least three reasons a Lone Leader prefers to operate solo, even when overwhelmed. Knowing which one you’re prone to is the first step toward being able to issue an SOS. Take our mini-quiz to find out your
Stuck Moment: I feel like my day is one big interruption. A steady stream of questions, last-minute requests, and texts that just won’t quit. How am I supposed to focus on what I already have to do? And how long can I keep this up?
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Modern life is a minefield of distractions. Ever burgeoning gadgets, games, information sources — even open-plan offices — conspire to divert our attention away from whatever we need to concentrate on. Neuroscientist Frances Jensen recently dubbed this “the dementia of the preoccupied,” referring to how it feels to continually shift her attention throughout the day. “Things fall through the cracks,” she says.
Indeed, our daily frenzy probably is causing us to miss a lot, perhaps without realizing it. Take it one step further, and that fractured focus gets in the way of doing our best, or doing it at all, even when it’s important
For our four Tip Card Decks (available here), we condensed, distilled, unpacked, and repacked our very best tips into potent bite-size actions designed to get you unstuck. But it’s not a random deal of the cards.
The decks include Stuck Moment cards to help you zero in on the right tips — and that’s what makes them so powerful. When targeted correctly, your efforts don’t have to be big or showy or imported from Mars. They just need to trip the right wires in your head and heart.
But don’t take our word for it.
Read through four of our favorite tips, one from each deck, based on common Stuck Moments. If you like what you see, buy a deck or two. At $25, they make a thoughtful gift for someone (or yourself).
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From: Conjure Your Creativity Tip Card Deck
Stuck Moment: “I
In his late 20s, Jason Hull found himself stuck $300,000 in debt. He admits that, after graduating with an engineering degree from West Point, he’d used the relative riches of his first real job to enjoy the consumption-driven good life, blinders up to potential consequence.
“We’re such a consumer-based culture that we see fancy clothes, cars, and we think, I have to be like that,” Jason says. “It’s easy to fall into this trap of keeping up appearances, especially when you’re comparing yourself to your peer group. You buy things to impress that person on the street you’ll never see again. Things that will have no impact on your happiness or career.”
His moment of reckoning came when he realized that his relationship with the woman he wanted to marry could be jeopardized by how much he owed. She, after all, was debt-free. It filled him with shame that he wasn’t and,
My husband, Jesse, has been 263 miles away since Monday. (Again.) I threw together an improvised childcare plan — involving two paid babysitters, some kind-hearted neighbors, and an indispensible Granny — so I could pull extra hours at the office while my boss was out of town. When I got home, I put the kids to bed with a stern message to win the going-to-bed-game so I could teach a few online writing courses. Later, I packed (okay, made a packing list) for vacation — which officially begins as soon as I finish writing this.
Did I mention that I may have called my husband in tears on my way to work because a political situation in the office was spinning out of control?
Balance? Not exactly. More like falling. And that’s the good news.
The fine art of falling down a hill
I learned how to ski last winter. My husband is a passionately committed
Stuck moment: Wow, being the new face in the office is sure nerve-wracking. What does that acronym mean again? Where do I get lunch? Wait, who am I supposed to talk to about passwords and log-ins? I want to impress everyone, but right now, it’s all I can do to remember the name of the guy sitting next to me.
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When we start a new job — no matter how excited we are, or how many successes we’ve already chalked up — there’s always a period when we feel at sea. There’s too much information, and yet too little. We’re painfully aware of being the new kid on the block, but hesitant to say when things don’t make sense — we don’t want to raise any eyebrows.
How can we possibly get up to speed and appear confidently competent at the same time?
Try this: Instead of anticipating and projecting, stay
Stuck moment: Who took my freaking keys? I found one clean shirt, but where’s the iron? Weren’t my files right under that pile of magazines? I guess it’s just going to be one of those mornings — again.
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When our homes are cluttered, it’s hard to think straight. We get cranky and exhausted, and we might not even know why. But if chaos is what you come home to each night, and what you launch yourself into the world from each morning, it’s going to take a toll. You end up feeling like a smaller, less authentic version of yourself.
An easy antidote is to stop thinking about getting organized as a drain on our time and energy, and instead look at it as a way to maximize the time and energy we do have.
Ask yourself, What can an organized home environment do for me?
Some pretty amazing things, it turns