Posts tagged: work

5 steps to bounce back from a bad day


Image by Unstuck artist-in-residence Bridgette Zou                       (This Feels Nice Series, 2017, © Bridgette Zou)

 

A bad day starts when you spill coffee everywhere on your way to work.

Then you space out about the important tasks you had to get done.

The icing on the cake? Your boss cancels a presentation you spent all yesterday preparing for.

Bottom line: Today sucked.

Even if you love your job, an occasional bad day is par for the course. It can be hard to shake grouchiness when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, are annoyed by at work, or distracted by world events or relationship drama.

The secret to recovering from a bad day is learning how to move forward despite it. How you respond can mean the difference between a quick recovery and a full-blown funk.

Here are 5 steps
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How to take criticism like a pro


When I asked my client Braden how his relationship with his manager was going since we’d last spoken, there was a long pause.

“Braden, what happened?” I asked.

“He ripped apart a presentation I put together,” he told me, detailing an intense round of criticism. “He said I needed to start over from scratch because it totally missed the mark. I couldn’t stop thinking about our conversation all weekend!”

 

How criticism affects us

Maybe you’ve found yourself in Braden’s shoes, feeling angry, insecure, or demoralized after getting bad feedback. When someone criticizes your work, it can feel like a confirmation of your inner critic saying you’re not good enough. Other times, a single off-handed comment (“you look tired”) launches you into an existential crisis about how you’re too old and have accomplished nothing with your life.

But if you want to do anything important in the world, you’ll inevitably get negative
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Video: Perfect your to-do list


We recently learned about the virtues of “not to-do” lists. But many of us love our to-do lists. They keep life happy and orderly and logical, even if we don’t always find ourselves crossing everything off.

Studies have shown that even just the act of physically writing down our tasks makes it much easier to commit to doing them.

But just because we’re keeping track of what we need to do doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re freeing up our minds to focus on other things, worry less, or be more creative.

As productivity guru David Allen shows in this video, there is a specific art and science to getting things done. In the video below, he offers 5 tactics to make sure that what you scribble down successfully transitions from a goal to a done deed.

Put it on your list and enjoy!

 

Tips to help you keep it real
Bust
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How “not to-do” lists saved my life


I used to be a chronic maker of to-do lists. My lists lived on little scraps of paper, the back on envelopes, and Post-It notes. I would buy planners and fill them up with timely tasks and then never follow through.

Needless to say, when I didn’t always get around to taking care of business, I’d be disappointed in myself. Leftover tasks would pile up like dishes in the sink… which was especially problematic if “do the dishes” was on a to-do list.

Worse yet, I would swear off to-do lists entirely, only to return to them again and
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What toddlers can teach us about working with picky people


On the fourteenth round of edits, I sat befuddled when she asked if we could return to the original edit of her document. As a freelance writer, I tend to encounter a perfectionist every once in a while.

But there are perfectionists and there are picky people. This client, she was the latter.

 

The difference between perfectionists and picky people

Perfectionists have a standard, are usually decisive, and often can express to you exactly what they want. Once you have an understanding of that person’s needs, you simply just deliver their vision of perfection as best you can. But picky people don’t really know what they want. Therefore, they can take you on a long, frustrating, journey of guesswork until they do.

At about the four-month mark for a project that should have taken one month, I decided to switch tactics and hopefully put the project to bed. The constant return of minuscule requests
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The dark truth about a five-year plan


Where do you see yourself in five years? If you’ve ever been caught off-guard by this question in an interview, you’re not alone.

The idea of a five-year plan is so popular because it promises certainty. That if we follow a linear path to success, happiness will follow.

But trying to predict the future is a losing battle. It’s impossible to know what your priorities will be a few years from now, let alone the opportunities you’ll be presented with down the line.

How a five-year plan can get you stuck

It’s great to be goal-oriented. I’m the first to let my Type-A flag fly high! Yet in my coaching practice, I see how a rigid fixation on planning your future can backfire, closing you off from important opportunities to grow.  

Many of my clients get so preoccupied trying to perfectly execute the details of their five-year plan that they get
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How I broke my phone addiction


Do any of these three, very sad scenarios sound familiar?

1. It was a perfect day outside and I planned to go for a walk.

2. I needed baby spinach and avocado and had two hours to get them before the grocery store closed.

3. I got invited to a party where friends I never get to see would all be hanging out.

Well, in my case, I never went for my walk, I missed the window to buy ingredients for dinner and ordered something unhealthy instead, and I never made it out to the party. (I didn’t even shower and try to get ready!) And all because I stayed on my couch hooked to my phone. Thankfully, these three episodes didn’t all happen in the course of one weekend, but they easily could have because…well…I am addicted to my phone.

How phone addiction happens

For some of us, it’s the lure of social media
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How to defeat impostor syndrome with your own two feet


We recently talked about the phenomenon of impostor syndrome — what it actually means, how it manifests itself, and how to talk yourself out of it.

And though it’s difficult to describe a feeling of perceived inadequacy, especially one that often comes from an irrational place, sometimes a shift in perspective helps make everything a little clearer.

We recently stumbled across a story by Mike Kail who, despite being a high-powered tech executive, also battles impostor syndrome. He recently wrote about his struggle through the lens of running, a habit he picked up in college. What we like about his story is that it offers a very tangible metaphor for how impostor syndrome works and, more importantly, shows how it can be defeated (or, maybe in this case, defeeted):

My first race was the St. Patrick’s Day 8k in Saint Paul, and despite running approximately a 6:30 mile, I wasn’t even
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Video: 6 ways to actually remember names


We’ve all been in the terrifying and embarrassing situation where the name of someone we’ve met before or someone we’ve just met completely eludes us.

And while it’s a clever workaround, there’s really only so much mileage you can get out of saying “Hey pal…”  or “Nice to see you” to sneak yourself out of an awkward moment. (While there’s no science to back this up, some believe that the universe actually knows when you don’t remember someone’s name and will often make a third person appear just so you have to introduce them to each other.)

The true power of remembering names

The truth is that the ability to remember someone’s name will do more than help you survive a social situation. It’s a crucial part of showing respect, making a meaningful connection, and making yourself memorable and liked. Think about a time when someone — a yoga teacher, barista, or someone you
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5 ways to catch burnout before it catches you


Long before it became a common part of the workplace lexicon (or modern life, for that matter!), the term “burnout” was most associated with physics.

Here’s how Oxford defines it: “The reduction of a fuel or substance to nothing through use or combustion.”

Of course, it’s more common now to hear burnout used alongside words like fatigue, exhaustion, or collapse. But the original definition might be the best one — we can all relate to the image of our personal energy literally being reduced to nothing through overexertion and constant burning.

Burnout is everywhere

You don’t have to be in a stressful office environment to suffer from burnout; it can stem from home life, constant social interactions or obligations, the political climate, or even social media.

Now consider how blurry the lines between personal and professional have gotten or think about how technology has made it feel like we’re always on the
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