Ready for a Playlist About Time Management? (Pencil it in.)

elisa-michelet-kR3ahGAazxc-unsplash

Many of us feel that there just isn’t enough time in the day.

I first captured my observations about this common source of overwhelm (and the behaviors I observed) in the post The Ugly Truth About Time Management. The post starts with the premise that time issues begin with our own imperfect perspectives concerning time and value.

However, what resonates concerning improving time management varies across individuals. Luckily, there are quite a few TED speakers who have shared their take on the issue. They each offer a unique view of our ever-present tangle with time.

Here are 3 talks to help you to further understand your relationship relationship with time. (See the playlist at our channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPobAd0urxAGPaVu4PNWsIQ)

Greg McKweown. Essentialsm. Time and focus are highly interlaced topics. In his talk at Google, McKeown explores how we often hold ourselves back by having too many “good things” in our lives. The result? Even success can actually lead us down a cluttered path — and less, is often better.

Rory Vaden. How to Multiply Your Time. A self-discipline strategist, explains that everything we’ve learned about time management is likely wrong. From the 1950’s on, we have developed a view of time that doesn’t really help us become more effective. The problem? Time management requires us to consider a new, critical construct.

Laura Vanderkam. How to Gain Control of Your Free Time. Somehow when we must make something a priority, we suddenly have the time. Laura Vanderkam unpacks an interesting dynamic, that plays out day after day in our lives.

How do you manage time? Weigh in on the topic in comments.

Live.Work.Think.Play shares observations concerning a wide array of topics from running a company — to the fragrance. It is designed to share lessons learned from a variety of perspectives.

Live Life at Your Own Speed (and No One Else’s)

dorin-vancea-AAHL8DtvBcg-unsplash

I find myself wondering how social sharing impacts our lives. Endless highlight reels. Exotic vacations. It’s all well and good. Yet, how all of this affects our well being does weigh on my mind. We truly have to remind ourselves to seek our own best life — not someone else’s. The pressure to seek what another might seek, could become deafening. As an individual who has always required a much slower pace, more peace and more quiet (and far less travel) — I’ll weigh in with some very simple advice: Be you.

We can lose ourselves, ever so slowly, with a nod to please others. With the sense that others may not approve of what we enjoy (the slower side road with the vegetable stand). With the judgements that other people’s paths, are somehow better than the path that is perfectly suited to us.

So. Keep all of this in mind.

If you enjoy quiet moments in a garden, seek those spaces.

If you want to stay home, stay home.

If you enjoy rooms filled with music and raucous celebration, find them.

If you enjoy the turn of a book’s page, make a date with that story.

If you feel compelled to absorb the smell, the lights and bustle of the city — open that window and breathe it.

If you seek secluded places, near salty ocean air, set your sights to reach them.

If you feel the need to slow down (or speed up), block unhealthy comparisons and refrain from the judgement that what you are seeking falls short.

Above all.

Live your life.

No one else’s.

Live.Work.Think.Play shares observations concerning a wide array of topics from running a company — to the perfect fragrance. It is designed to share lessons learned from a variety of perspectives.

Hitting the Gym to Build Strength? Don’t Forget About Resilience

victor-freitas-667481-unsplash

I’ve often wondered why building resilience isn’t a key “life imperative. Primarily because being human is often at odds with our daily struggles. Work can routinely bring stress, negativity and outright failures. Family responsibilities and stress can add to the equation. Most of us feel unprepared to combat the cumulative effects.

We often frame conversations about resilience with stories of extreme hardship or extenuating circumstances. However, built resilience could serve as an ever-present, daily mentor, helping us to rebound from the everyday pressures of our lives. Most of us forge on, taking little note of the increasing toll. Building resilience isn’t considered. This can be a serious mistake.

We don’t need to climb Everest, to reap the benefits of resilience.

Through all of our trials and tribulation, we rarely notice that our psychological resources are waning.We muddle on. We develop idiosyncratic mechanisms to bolster our mood. However, the damage accumulates and we become less able to bounce back. Months later, we may realize that we still lament the project that has been cut or the argument that may have cost us a friendship. Our energy levels are affected.

When the next event unfolds — we find ourselves bankrupt. Devoid of the necessary resources to meet the challenge.

There have been a number of discussions on this topic, including protecting ourselves from overload, banking positive currency and practicing self-compassion. However, what if we could take resilience one step further? Could we effectively build our skills (and our team’s skills) in this area — just as we challenge our muscles in the gym?

Can we learn to think and act more “resiliently”?

Well — yes. There is evidence that resilience can be learned. The work of Dr. Fred Luthans (who explores the construct of Psychological Capital) has completed research examining this area. Supporting research completed completed by Ann Masten also provides important foundational elements. This includes addressing 1) asset factors (elements that enhance our resilience, such as a stable home life or a healthy way to examine failure), 2) lowering risk factors (for example, a lack of a mentor) and 3) altering our perceptions concerning the potential to influence work life circumstances.

Here are a just few ways to apply this knowledge to our daily lives:

  • Facilitate network building. Building long-term asset factors, provides a stable foundation to help us deal with stressful work situations when they do arise. Consider losing a job for example; stronger networks can help employees move on more effectively by providing access to critical information concerning roles and growth needs.
  • Clarify strategy and goals. Reducing risk factors — elements which weaken our psychological safety net, is also vital. For example, knowing “why” we are completing a task and how our role contributes to outcomes is critical. If we fail to believe that our actions have meaning, we are less likely to forge on.
  • Utilize the “staunch reality” viewpoint. One scenario that quickly depletes psychological resources, is sticking to a game plan that is simply not working. Understanding that we have the ability to influence outcomes by embracing realistic assessments of workplace situations — can help us to prepare. This honest view is necessary to review history, properly identify setbacks, evaluate potential impact and brainstorm possible responses before they occur.
  • Aggressively focus on strengths as a “vaccine”. We can mitigate the negative after effects of stressful events, with a focus on positive elements. This includes the identification and utilization of an individual’s stronger vs. weaker skill sets. A focus on the latter, can quickly deplete our psychological reserves.
  • Explore the sources of “drain”. The elements that drain our psychological reserves can be varied (and often surprising). Consider the sources that affect you and meet with your team (or family members) to determine where the leaks are occurring. Brainstorm actions to stem the tide.

How do you build resilience for yourself? Share your strategies here.

Live.Work.Think.Play shares observations concerning a wide array of topics from running a company — to the perfect fragrance. It is designed to share lessons learned from a variety of perspectives.