Friday, June 8, 2012

Six Steps To bouncing Forward

Work-Life Harmony... Balance... Whatever you call it, is a challenge at the best of times. Resilience is one key to maintaining wellness. Resilience is often defined as the ability to bounce back after change, challenge, crisis and adversity; however, I have learned that bouncing back might mean simply recovering. To bounce forward is to be resilient. Here are six tips to building resilience and bouncing forward.

1. Examine your mindset

2. The Power of One- pick a priority

3. Silence the negative chatter

4. Ask the Big Questions

5. Manage Technology before it manages you

6. Single task instead of multi task

Let's explore these in detail:

Examine Expectations and your Mindset

Take a close look at your mindset. Are your thoughts and words consistent with resilience or stress? Changing our mindset first requires a decision (e.g. to be resilient or to practice resilience everyday). Then it can be helpful to repeat affirmations that keep that decision active in your mind, and in your actions. Have a meeting with yourself, with one agenda item: Expectations. Are your expectations of yourself (and others) realistic, appropriate, healthy, and doable? If your expectations are verging on perfectionism, what can you adjust to be more real?

Picking a Priority

This is easier said than done because in the heat of a moment, when deadlines approach or when stress levels are high everything feels like a priority. Identify what the most urgent and important priorities are and put the others aside. Get crystal clear on the focus (draw the lines in your mind), and zero in on the tasks that will help you move the priorities to completion. This may require saying “no”, setting boundaries, or asking for help. A great strategy is to have a red file folder that has the five “urgent tasks” you must complete each day, then begin your day tackling those tasks first.

Silence the Negative Internal Chatter

We all have internal chatter (our internal dialogue) that starts from the moment we wake up until we go to bed. In fact, some reports suggest that we process 60,000 thoughts per day. It is important to be self aware and alert to when the chatter has been turned on because often this internal chatter will be self limiting, self defeating and negative. Instead of worrying, focus on an action plan and put it into motion. Replace negative or self defeating thoughts with affirming and hopeful ones.

Ask the Big Questions

- Will this matter in six months?

- Will it matter next week?

- How about tomorrow?

- What’s the worst thing that can happen if.....?

- What’s the best thing that can happen if....?

- What advice would I give my best friend in this situation?

- What does my gut tell me?

Manage technology before it manages you

Technology, email, social media, texting can be helpful (or necessary to our work), however, it can become time consuming. Several ways to manage technology is to check emails at several intervals during the day instead of having your email constantly on. Of course never respond to emails or texts when you are upset, and avoid checking emails before bed.

Bonus Tip: Minimize Multi-Tasking and Use Single Tasking Instead

When we multi-task we are often distracted, zone out, unfocussed, cluttered, and too busy. This can come through in our actions, thoughts, our communication and behaviours (and ultimately our results). Instead of multi-tasking, try single tasking. Work on one task until completed, then move to the next.

One action a day to bounce forward is 365 actions per year!