Archive for July, 2015

How to Reduce Stress and Avoid Burnout

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

23723300_sI had the unfortunate experience of reading a list of the top stressors in human life. You may have seen that list. Death of a loved one, divorce, losing a friend, major illness, moving, caregiving … the usual suspects. Then, thanks to grazing on brainpickings.org, I discovered the link between unrelenting stress and the deleterious effect on your memory, physical well-being and emotional stability. What a bummer. All bad news.

Well, there was a bit of good news. In the moment, a sudden stressor shuts down any unnecessary bodily function so the organs, systems and limbs you need get fully funded by your central nervous system. Plus they get first priority on blood flow and other physiological processes.

That’s why the caveman wasn’t standing at the sink eating a sandwich when the saber tooth tiger roared outside the opening of his cave. Caveman was suddenly in the mood to flee, or if necessary, fend off the beast. He got super focused in a hurry. Tunnel vision. Got his priorities in order.

The occasional rush deadline or your boss screaming about a missed delivery isn’t in that league of stressor. Most of us turn a blind eye, a deaf ear, or claim we were hacked so we didn’t get that email.

It’s when unrelenting problems meet unsympathetic responses that stress tears you down. It’s physiological, not a character issue. It’s your chemicals: hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal hormones that over time cause inflammation in the oddest places. Arthritis, colds, migraines … almost any ailment you can imagine may be triggered by stress.

So that creates more stress. Unmitigated, ongoing stress leads to a kind of numbness. We call that burnout.

The cure doesn’t seem obvious. “Gutting through it” isn’t a long term strategy. Running away isn’t always possible.

Probably the least obvious stress reliever is helping someone else. We’ve known for a long time that altruism benefits the giver more than the receiver. There is something about doing service for someone who could use your help that breathes new life into your worn out soul.

Maybe it’s walking shelter dogs. Lending your couch to someone who is temporarily displaced. Washing your roommate’s dishes. Reconciling a checkbook, doing the weekly shop or whatever else you can for a disabled or elderly neighbor.

Giving the gift of yourself reminds you that you are a gift.

Don’t do the old “give ‘til it hurts.”

Think: If it hurts, give.

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Eliminate Excruciating Problems Fast With 1 Simple Rhyme

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

39788261_sYou know how badly you need some go-to life hacks that really work.

We all do. We need super effective strategies that don’t involve buying one more app, signing up for a new dashboard or watching instructions on YouTube.

You certainly don’t need to be touted about TaskRabbit or Fiverr or any of these so-called insta-help services, because they actually involve a ton of communication and constant checking up. You can quit pretending that a stranger is somehow committed to your success for the princely sum of 5 bucks.

I have coached people through a tidal wave of their worst problems. Some of them were involved in hundreds of micro-projects because big success is often a process of taking countless small steps.

What’s worse at this time in your life? You don’t have an abundance of anything. You don’t have a lot of space, money, time or support.

You are beginning to feel a weird kinship with whomever said, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.”

You ARE doing most everything yourself. It’s the way work is set up now. You and everyone else are supposed to do more with less. That means less of you to do more of anything.

It’s like you are no longer a person, but more like a self-cleaning oven. You’re pressured to make it, bake it and clean it up fast. Then: next!

So I assembled one simple set of 11 rhyming words that can instantly cue an abundance of solutions.

These words stand in for heavy lifting like: project management, increased productivity, people skills, and perfected processes.

Whatever is stopping you cold or making you pull out your hair, see if any of these words lead you to a fast way past a problem you’re stuck on.

1. Mending (making a quick fix)

2. Sending (getting it off your desk)

3. Depending (on someone else to handle)

4. Lending (or borrowing)

5. Bending (think rules or “normal” ways of doing things)

6. Fending (off and avoiding certain people entirely)

7. Pending (leaving open to see if it’s really worth tackling)

8. Rendering (doing a quick draft and letting it go)

9. Tending (improving rather than wasting)

10. Vending (sell, sell, sell)

11. Wending (finding a way out, to do what you REALLY want to do)

That’s my 11 word rhyming solution set for life hacking some of the projects, processes and people who are driving you nuts, and weighing you down.

Love to hear if you have other action words that get you over the humps (rhyming or not). Email: Nance@NanceRosen.com. Subject line: Problems

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The #1 Warning Sign You’re About to Get Fired

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

33523010_sAdmit it… you don’t like your job.

You didn’t mean to take the first thing you got offered. But you did. Turns out it’s worse than you thought it would be. You don’t like the company, your boss, or most of your co-workers.

You can’t believe this is your life now. You have this dreary, I-do-nothing-important job that grinds you down every day.

Maybe you could earn as much going freelance. Consult. Maybe coach?

But you can’t help worrying….

Should you try to find something else full time, rather than risk leaving now and going out on your own?

Should you go back to school or get some kind of certification?

Should you just grit your teeth, be patient and wait for recruiters or clients to find you?

One thing for sure. You can’t stand this job much longer.

There you have it! The number one warning sign you are about to get fired is how you feel about your job.

Don’t think you are fooling anyone. And, don’t get fooled yourself.

Every client I’ve seen who’s been fired, spent at least six months – sometimes six years – hating the job they were in. And they thought no one knew. They thought the boss wasn’t paying attention.

Then they got fired. Funny thing is – they were SURPRISED! Angry! Bitter!

And really, really scared.

Losing your job is a very scary thing. And if you hated your job, you feel really strange. After all, what could be better than losing something you hate? Keeping it?

It’s time to start thinking about what you really want to do. And where you really want to work. Maybe you really do want to work for yourself. Maybe you really can be a successful freelancer, coach or consultant.

Then it’s time to spruce up your LinkedIn summary. In fact, you may need to make some radical changes in the way you present yourself on LinkedIn and on social media sites.

Just make sure your privacy settings block your network from knowing you are making changes. If not, everyone will know what you are doing – before you are ready to announce it.

Need some help with your LinkedIn Summary? Email me at Nance@NanceRosen.com. Subject line: LI Summary

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3 Wordplay Tricks For Winning Big Deals

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Businessman-Thinking1Your winning in business cannot depend on others taking a lot of time to understand you and what you mean. If you have had a cover letter and resume simply go into the email trash bin of an HR department, without your receiving even an acknowledgment of your existence, you know you haven’t mastered the language of getting attention, much less a positive response.

Saying what you mean – and getting a positive response – is akin to winning at Scrabble or Words with Friends. You have to be strategic in your thinking. You have to play the game, being tactically superior to others.

Words are what make the difference between your getting what you want or not. It’s not your good intentions that gets you a job or a new client. It’s not your sincerity. It’s not your big heart. It’s not your ability to work hard.

You must frame your position, argument or proposition in a winning way, one that generates a specific, positive response.

Here are three wordplay tricks that you might put to use.

  1. Take out as many pronouns as possible when you tell a story. Make it less about you, and more about the recipient of your effort. Big tip: don’t start with “I.” For example,

DON’T SAY:

I volunteer every Monday evening at the food pantry on Main Street, because I want to give back to people. I am especially drawn to families with kids, who are struggling to get on their feet. I worry they only have that one meal to look forward to, and I want to make a difference in their lives by bringing groceries and serving them dinner.

DO SAY:

One out of every six kids in America is “food insecure.” It’s hard to believe, but that many kids wake up not knowing if they’ll have a meal that day. So you’ll find me every Monday evening at the food pantry on Main Street, bringing groceries and serving dinner to families gathered there for perhaps their only meal of the day.

  1. Lead with what your recipient gets, rather than frame your offer about what you receive. For example,

DON’T SAY:

I want a compensation package of $117,000 annually as well as a modest moving allowance and a guaranteed expense account of $2500 per month for client entertainment.

DO SAY:

It’s great to have the opportunity to discuss compensation with you. I can meet all the job objectives as well as the quotas for production you have outlined and arrive ready to work on the day you prefer, for a salary of $117,000 annually as well as a modest moving allowance and a guaranteed expense account of $2500 per month for client entertainment.

  1. Kill your habit of saying: “like,” “you know,” and “I mean.” For example,

DON’T SAY:

At my last job, you know, I had a lot of responsibility. I mean, I worked overtime like three days a week for like months.

DO SAY:

At my last job, the amount of responsibility given to me required my working overtime three days a week on average for several months.

Some people don’t like these types of wordplay “tricks” because they believe it’s not authentic to change your natural speaking pattern. However, consider that your aspirations may have outgrown the way you express yourself. It may be time to strategically approach communication. These three tactical changes may jumpstart your success.

Do you have a worrisome speaking habit or are you looking to frame a delicate issue in the most diplomatic way? Tell me your concern and I will help. Email: Nance@NanceRosen.com. Subject: Speech

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