Are you grappling to make sense of your world, your energy, time and productivity and juggle just one too many balls in the air? In my experience as a life coach, speaker and author for the past 12 years these are the top 5 areas that companies, employers, executives and YOU tend to neglect and overlook that will potentially lead to a lack of vibrancy, burnout and low morale in the workplace and your life.
1. Lack of vitality
Too often workplaces and even when running our own businesses we are focussed on extremely long hours and demanding projects — without taking cognisance of our energy, health, vitality and desperate need for downtime.
Yet ultimately that is YOUR responsibility as your vitality is your biggest gift to yourself!
The corporate culture dictates whether employees value their energy and bodies and treat them with respect, or abuse them through various means. This could be through being too busy, excessive use of alcohol, drugs (yip, even over the counter ones), coffee, junk food, lack of water , poor exercise habits and unrealistic hours all year round.
Doing an exercise that addresses 8 areas of life will help you understand work- life harmony with an emphasis on health as one of the cornerstones of productivity. See the footnote that will help you get started. Remind yourself of the value of “energy management” which subsequently enhances time management is one key to boosting morale. It is also vital to take regular time off to reflect and retreat. It is also important to ensure you have had all your medical check ups annually to ensure early detection of any disease or unease in your body.
Kate’s personal trick: at the beginning of the year slot in regular downtime / weekends away for rejuvenation and creative reflection, otherwise life WILL take over and before you know it you will be dead beat at the end of another harrowing year.
Have you booked some quality time off to regenerate in the next 3 months? Put in some leave, chat to the family and make it happen so that your vitality levels increase.
The myth of multitasking is finally being uncovered and making us re-think the issue of what we do when we do it, and how many things we attempt to do at once. As a result of living in this age where multitasking has typically been revered and widely accepted means that now studies have emerged that are showing in effect we “toggle’ between tasks rather than actually multitask, which means we land up doing everything at a lower level of attention and focus. The way this multitasking shows up includes the following – Interrupting colleagues when they are performing a task; texting / speaking whilst driving; being at work thinking about home stress and vice versa; sending messages whilst trying to write that report; letting dratted email pull you off task every time it pings another message into your inbox; and jumping endlessly from one task to another never feeling the kick of completing something with focus and energy. Any moment you are not wholeheartedly focussed on one task means your energy and productivity drops in that moment. You land up morphing your time rather then simply being present.
It is important to learn to be laser focussed, even for short bursts of time, in order to be productive and to get rid of distractions where possible. Create better boundaries to be able to say “I need an hour to finish this project, so please do not interrupt me”. Coaching and personal transformation helps individuals and teams learn tools to understand the power of being present, mindful, focussed and thus being more productive. Learning how to stay in the zone, even if for five minutes, is a modern skill we need to learn. Batching your time, energy and tasks is the concept of putting like tasks with like tasks. It is better to sit and do all your emails for a focussed 2o minutes, than to bounce around from phone calls to texts to mails.
Kate’s personal trick is to use a timer — either an old fashioned hourglass one pictured here or even a techie one on your phone like “Pomodoro” or “Downtime” to set 20 – 25 minutes for task completion. Then make sure you get up and move your body, grab some water to increase hydration and brain function, then get on to your next most NB task.
3. Corporate / office clutter and disorganisation
Our physical environment is so often overlooked — I want to inspire you to think about how a disrespected “physical” space usually equals disrespect in other areas of your life and work and is thus a reflection of underlying habits in our lives. Messy desks, poor space flow, bad filing systems, lack of workspace discipline all tell a story — and the actual physical space surrounding you can tangibly heighten or depress your energy. Couple this with the idea that all staff and clients bring their personal clutter to work in the form of emotional clutter or baggage – can you see it can exacerbate the issue even more. It can also impact the effect on others’ opinions — e.g. clients walking into your dishevelled office may automatically assume lack of order in other areas of the business and thus negatively impact you and your company’s reputation. Think about living with a sense of order, discipline and respect for your space — one that it is condusive to productivity.
Kate’s personal trick — “Zap Your Desk” DO THIS ONE SIMPLE THING today! Clear out old projects, obsolete paper, excessive stuff that has landed on your desk. Then schedule a massive clear out at the end of each quarter. This is a great team building exercise to incorporate one afternoon – Kate will energise your staff and get your offices clear, energised and boost productivity.
4. Motivating values
Whilst a company has corporate values and a mission statement that underpins the inner workings and purpose of the company, so too each employee has their own set of personal values, their ultimate motivators and drivers. Employers can boost morale by knowing what drives each person e.g. if one is motivated by family time, giving them an afternoon off to spend time with family might be better received than overtime payment. Knowing what makes one person buzz compared to the next is a key to boosting morale as staff will feel understood. This means having a more personalised, bespoke approach rather than a “one size fits all” – people are not machines and thus do not feel appreciated or valued in the same way. You KNOW this, so do your best to LIVE it.
Kate’s personal trick: ensure you KNOW what your highest priority values actually are so that you build your life and work around those values. For e.g. My higest ranking personal value is courage, which ensures that even when I feel like backing down in the face of challenges, I remind myself that that is my highest driver, and it instantly gives me a little boost to go for it, regardless of the fear and negative thoughts. If you haven’t done an exercise to elicit what your personal values are, you can contact Kate for a session.
5. Playing to your strengths
Treating every employee the same way often leads to to dire personal outcomes for everyone involved– a breakdown of confidence and general lack of morale – if you don’t feel properly understood in the workplace by employers, yourself, colleagues or clients, it can lead to feeling dis-engaged, invisible and un-important. YUCK! We each have inherent strengths and talents and we need to figure that out and help carve out a career based on strengths and less around the balanced scorecard of always focussing on the weaknesses. Helping people discover their talents through the work of the GALLUP organisation “Now Discover Your Strengths” is one way of understanding the self and others better. It also ensures you can manage yourself for better results according to your natural disposition. This is about going WITH one’s natural energy as opposed to AGAINST it.
Kate’s personal trick – carving a life that truly works for ME around my natural abilities rather than forcing myself to do work or commit to things that decrease my energy. It requires courage to actively engage with your strengths – if you haven’t done some form of profiling that helps you understand yourself better, perhaps now is the time?
If you would like to know how to get started then you can simply sign up for my free video series titled “How to Quick SHift 1 Thing” to get some energy flowing and some shifts happening today.
Please find my website on www.kate-emmerson.com