Watch & Read - For Leaders Who Dare To Be Human&Real
Are you one of the people who have been striving to achieve the infamous work-life balance for years and somehow it did not quite work out?
Too much work, not enough life. And all getting mixed up?
Well, I was definitely there. I remember telling my children when they were home for holidays: “Sorry honey, I’ve got no time for playing now, I really need to get this done, can you wait until after 6 pm?”
Most of the time I work from home. I was a single mom for about 14 years and accompanied my kids into adulthood on my own.
Being on the phone to a client with a daughter or son bursting into the office, wanting to tell me about this “stupid” teacher or asking for sweets or demanding an immediate answer to a request was more the rule than an exception. Despite clear rules.
This was normally accompanied by outbreaks of stress sweats, trying to usher the kid out of my office, and using the most silly body language to make clear that this is the wrong moment...
Have you ever fantasized about making the next year the best you ever had? Like at New Year, or just because you started a new job or got married to the person you love most in this world.
In other words: when you either felt the pressure (things had been turning in circles for too long) or the enthusiasm for life was just swept you away, to make this wishful promise to yourself?
Well, you’re not alone - I just made this promise to myself. In many ways this is going to be my healthiest year ever. I am building up this business where my heart really is and I am determined to have the best relationships ever with the people I love and everybody else I am dealing with.
Now the big question is how can this dream become reality without it dying a slow and painful death over some weeks or months during which “the daily trials of life” catch up with us? What’s necessary to actually grow and come closer to the best version of ourselves...
I loathe administrative and boring work. Still, I spent a couple of hours with the administration of my business yesterday: paying bills, filling in those tedious reports for various insurances and authorities which are required at the beginning of the year.
Not particularly exciting work for me. But “must” be done.
Maybe your “must be done” topics are different. Replace it with other activities you don’t love: "I need to do the tax return. Or: I must get this weekly report for my boss done. I have to walk the dog. I need to get up earlier.
You get the gist: Whatever it is, it tends to be a burden, things we don’t enjoy doing (or the prospect of it) or even hate – this could be the admin as in my case or the tax return, the report, the diet, the visit of the in-laws...you name it.
Sometimes the “have tos” are hard, as we might not know how to deal with them or are afraid of doing them: "I have to get...
A couple of weeks ago when I spoke to my daughter, she was pretty desperate and full of negative feelings, as she’s on the job hunt after having finished her master’s in science. She complained: “Mum, I can’t even get a job in a b***dy pet shop, they won’t take me because I am over qualified, and the jobs I really want, ask for lots of experience – I will never find anything! Why the heck did I spend 4 years studying at all?”
Do you know the feeling of having the first negative thought, followed by the next one until your head (and heart) is full of dark clouds? It’s pretty much a steep downward spiral if you don’t stop yourself quickly.
But how can you stop yourself if the world does seem a dark, unjust and just horrible place?
I told my daughter just to stop for a moment to take a deep breath and listen. I then took some time to tell her all those great things about her: How focused she was working through her studies, how...
Success (whatever your definition of success is) - amongst a list of other success factors – requires persistence and brainpower, in short: A lot of energy! So maintaining a high level of energy throughout the day - to be able to move things forward or in the the right direction is critical.
Have you ever felt this energy hole which starts sucking you in in the middle of your day? Particularly if you are one of those people not eating anything for breakfast.
In the last 25 years of my career I had many days when I felt more and more tired the longer the day got. Quite normal? Yes, in a way. But in the evening I was so shattered and worn out that I had hardly any energy or basically none left, to do anything anymore. Which was a bit of a problem, as I was a single mom of 2…
Ask my kids and the rest of my family: I was quite well known for falling asleep in front of the TV in the evening! Even after I got rid of my TV and started reading books instead I fell asleep...
I am pretty sure I know what the answer to that question is.
But let me start with my last week: I definitely DID struggle last week. I had it all planned and laid out, all my tasks were nicely put into my calendar (after all I tell everybody that what’s not in your calendar, does not happen, so I better walk my own talk).
Monday worked out fine. On Tuesday I started struggling and felt that while I was working on one thing my brain decided to ask many critical questions: “Does that really make sense what you’re working on here? Is that really what you want or should focus on? Why does this not produce the results that I thought it would?”. That resulted in my concentration going and the pressure increasing. I should add that I am pretty good in terms of putting pressure on myself – might have to do with my impatience.
The following night I did not sleep well. Do you know the feeling when you wake up in the middle of the night and...
Why? Because I have seen what a lack of focus does. For myself and in teams I worked with. From my experience the situation we find ourselves in in life, more often than not, matches one of the following scenarios. And neither of them ends well without focus.
Rather watch then read - then just click on the pic and you'll get to the video!
The first one is a rather luxurious one – at least for me: Too many opportunities
When I started the Better Workplace I had tons of ideas (still have actually) and was buzzing with stuff I could put together to help my students to create this better workplace for themselves. Endless opportunities, and one cooler than the other!
I jumped right into some of those ideas and started working on them. Then I added some more. And even more.
Suddenly I realized that I seemed to work on hundreds of things at the same time (yes, happens...
Like me, I am sure you have had those days when you wake up feeling like your stomach is going to punish you for the seafood the night before, with a blocked nose with the realisation that the scratchy throat was actually “something” that an early night could not fix, or just feeling absolutely exhausted and you decide to call in sick?
Then comes a feeling of guilt which manifests thoughts such as: “I should not be ill.” “I have got so much to do.” “People in my team will really annoyed that they have to overtake the one or the other task.”
According to psychologists, guilt is described as “a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some wrong, offense, etc. whether real or imagined”. And it seems to originate in part as a result of evolution which has engrained within us that: Only if we are in a group are we able to survive, which means that we have to support each other…and if we don’t...
Not too long ago I almost ruined a relationship with a business partner I had been working with for years. Why? I had made a mistake and had forgotten to pass on an invoice to be paid. Well, that can happen. But I did not act immediately. Because I had loads to do, I was just moving house, I had used this business partner for services for a club I was engaged with. A club I left with my move. Lots of reasons...you might also call it excuses.
When I finally realized this was still pending, months had gone by. Did you ever experience such a situation? Ignoring a mistake for so long that admitting it creates such a cringing feeling of shame that you rather try to mask and forget it? This book, which never finds its way back to its owner? Or this call we promised to make to support a friend and it never happened?
I had ignored my mistake and now felt so ashamed that I blushed at only thinking about what I had done. So I postponed again. And meanwhile there was an awful...