It’s remarkably easy to fall back into bad habits once you’ve made a change. Whether you’re consistently late making deadlines or constantly feeling overwhelmed by the demands of your career, the truth is that a lot of your success or failure hinges on your ability to manage stress. Leaders who are able to manage stress effectively are far more likely to have effective teams and better results; those who struggle with managing stress often find that their personal and professional lives suffer, to the point where they’re eating poorly, gaining or losing weight, and not sleeping. This creates a vicious cycle, where the physically exhausted are unable to focus on work that needs to be done, perpetuating feelings of inadequacy.
If you’re able to rise above the stress and begin to establish better habits for dealing with it, the easiest way to lose traction is to tell yourself “lies” that make you think you’re more able to handle everything than you actually are. Do you say any of these to yourself? If so, it might be a warning sign that you’re about to get a lot busier.
“I have plenty of time for that complicated task. I’ll do it later.” The most challenging part of time management is figuring out and acknowledging how much time something actually takes. On a good day, it might take only 10 minutes to get to the workplace — but invariably, if you allow only 10 minutes you’ll be riddled with stoplights, extra traffic, construction, and a looming sense of dread. Be honest with yourself about the time you’ll likely spend on each project, and be sure to schedule that time appropriately. “Later” isn’t a day on a calendar.
“I wonder how that project is going?” Great leaders are those who utilize the strengths of their teams. Spending your time on tasks or projects that others have been hired to handle only creates more stress; you’re taking on multiple jobs and likely not doing any of them particularly well. Learn whom you can trust and to whom you can delegate, and then let those people do their jobs. You’ll enjoy doing yours much more.
“What’s taking so long to meet those goals?” In a results-based culture, it’s easy to lose track of progress in the race for achievement. But not acknowledging the steps that you, your employees, or your business are taking to be more productive and create better outcomes can, ironically, hamper your success. Focusing only on long-term targets or the bottom line disregards the human element of experimentation, failure, and learning that often creates more sustainable results. Instead of “what,” ask “how”: how can I motivate my team to perform more effectively? How can I be a better leader today than I was yesterday?
Leaders with the most impact are those who can build and successfully manage great teams. Every day, we help our clients and colleagues achieve their highest levels of professional presence and personal effectiveness. That includes everyone on the ladder, from company presidents to project managers to staff members. Contact us at 800-282-3374 to find out how we can help you impact your own productivity and the productivity of your entire organization.
Employee Development Systems delivers results-oriented training programs that increase productivity, effectiveness, & performance.
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