How to Reduce Tech-Related Stress for Customers and Employees

How to Reduce Tech-Related Stress for Customers and Employees

Your ability to become a successful company of the future depends on developing a cultural mindset that is focused on creating value for the people inside and outside the organization. The myth that technology drives digital transformation has been an ongoing fairy tale because while technology is an important factor, there is another element to the equation that creates a strong dependency on the first — the people.

Technology in most ways has a positive effect on business operations, especially in the automation of admin processes that come with communication with customers. While artificial intelligence is getting to know your customers by analyzing their wants and needs, it also means collecting huge amounts of customer insights. Some other digital tools such as chatbots are being used to interact with customers instead of a customer service agent and in some exceptional cases, this works just fine.

The belief that these digital tools can improve customer engagement like a miracle is just an illusion however, despite offering an effective and efficient way to speak to large audiences. The reality is that these technologies are greatly designed to replicate some sort of friendliness but are simply not able to offer the much-needed level of human connection customers need.

Covid-19 has been a wake-up call for businesses and has aggressively fast forwarded digital adoptions in working practices that most companies were not ready to take on. They were forced to send employees home who had to deal with the implementation and usage of new digital tools, something that should have progressively happened years ago.

According to research carried out by Mckinsey, it would have taken businesses more than a year to implement the level of remote working that was enforced as a result of the crisis. Despite the advantages of the nature of these digital technologies, the sudden change led to huge gaps of acceptance among the workforce and this is because employees have different needs, challenges and technical proficiency.

Employees and customers are often slow to adapt to new ways of doing things so now it’s time to ask yourself: What can I do to reduce the tech stress of my customers and employees and make their lives easier? I suggest two main things to consider:

1. Focus on the people.

Digitalization has many different positive aspects, but the more digital your business becomes the less human touch it can provide. Customers today expect more human interactions and less automated interactions. The role of new tech should make the life of your employees easier and ultimately highly complement their tasks so that they can focus on the emotional side of customer relationships.

The rush for easily monetizable consumer automated interactions makes it clear for customers that a brand is not authentically engaging with them. A Harvard Business Review study shows that companies are becoming increasingly impersonal by automating as many customer touchpoints as possible. In a highly digitalised world the human factor in customer experience gives your business a distinct competitive edge. The latest technology gets prioritised too often over authentic customer engagement.

First and foremost you should create an authentic and trusted customer relationship and then with the consent of your customers, use the technology available (predictive analytics and machine learning) to personalise the interactions with them. Not the other way around.

2. Reassess your digital initiatives.

As you’ve been experimenting with a huge number of virtual operations and interactions since before the pandemic started, you now have the opportunity to assess which technologies are extremely needed and which are not. The world of business is changing, some things will go back to previous ways, while others will remain changed forever.

You might think that using many different business tools to automate and improve processes will skyrocket productivity. However, switching between too many apps has some side effects such as lower productivity, higher costs and lack of collaboration in teams, to name a few. Developing a digital state of mind requires you to engage, educate and provide continuous support to your employees.

Low employee stress levels and making sure their experience remains positive throughout are as important as deciding which new technology to adopt. Digital transformation should have your people at the core because your people will be those who will make a successful transformation happen.

As I’m writing my book on customer-centricity, I find it imperative that companies find the right balance between the use of technology and human interactions. The challenge of the future is not whether artificial intelligence will replace people’s jobs but rather how to create a business culture in which technology and employees are able to walk hand-in-hand to provide human-driven customer experiences.

Ilenia Vidili

 

By: Ilenia Vidili / Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

 

Source: How to Reduce Tech-Related Stress for Customers and Employees

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Anxiety In Product Development

Last year I stumbled across an article about anxiety in men. It highlighted how it can surface in atypical symptoms such as anger. I learned to recognise and work on my own anxiety. It also lead me to recognise anxiety in others. Soon I realised this does not only affect other people but also organisations and processes. Let me introduce you to anxiety driven development.

We already have fear driven development

Fear and anxiety produce similar responses. Fear is based on a concrete threat. Whereas anxiety is fuzzier and more vague. Fear driven development is graspable which makes it easier to talk about it.

As an engineer it could look like this: You’re afraid of pushing your code because you could break the build. Or you shy away of touching a method because you fear shipping a bug.

If you are a product manager you might try to squeeze that extra feature into a release because you fear that you won’t be able to close a new customer otherwise.

Patterns of anxiety in product development

But anxiety runs deeper than this. Anxiety becomes more of an underlying current. Here are the most common anxiety driven development patterns I have observed,

Play not to lose

Your product is driven by the fear of losing. Losing market share, customers or ratings. You are driven to keep up with whatever the competition does. So you go out of your way to get every feature built that your competitors ship.

As a product manager you might push a feature request to the top of the backlog with every release announcements of your competitors. You can even call that agile because you’re adapting to change quickly, right? Unfortunately what you’re doing is destabilising your development flow and hinder the long term success of your product. You will always be at least one step behind, always trying to close the gap. This will choke all innovation because who has time to take additional risks when you’re barely keeping pace?

Play to win

Play to win instead. The treatment for this form of anxiety is to develop a strong unique selling proposition (USP). If you can differentiate yourself from your competition you will not be reeled into the fruitless thought pattern of playing not to lose. Do not try to differentiate yourself by price alone. This is a very weak USP, just waiting for the next competitor to undercut you, speeding up the race to the bottom. Also it creates almost no customer loyality.

All that glitters is not gold

If you’re anxious your business is falling behind but you can’t quite pinpoint why you will act in a continued state of emergency. You will chase quick wins. This might calm the the anxiety for a moment but it won’t last long. It’s possible to make a team stay late or rally the whole company behind you for an initiative. Once. But the more often you cry wolf the less likely it is you get the desired response. If your body is being continuously flooded with stress hormones it will render it incapable of responding to stressful situations adequately. The same goes for your organisation.

If you push your team every quarter to add a last minute feature for the opportunity of a featuring in a prominent partner store your team will anticipate this and instead already create buffers beforehand. The emergency response will create a fatigue which will appear in the form of demotivation, inflated estimates and non-commitment. All of this hurts the true output, fuelling your anxiety even more.

Steering the ship

To break out of such a vicious circle practice saying no. Take a step back and craft an inspiring, authentic vision. Let this vision influence an actionable strategy. You can then break your strategy down into a rolling wave plan with more details of the near future. This gives you clarity on the current work while not losing the bigger picture. Ultimately you will be less swayed to jump onto every potential quick win.

Permit A 38

Anxiety can make you feel out of control. What’s a natural response to this? You try everything to regain control. But that perceived control can in truth be an overly bureaucratic process which slows down your product development, once again feeding your anxiety.

How could that look like? You might be creating or working on tickets that resemble a full-blown requirements sheet, specified to the very last detail. At the same time every idea has to go through various stages of approval (until it’s rejected). This is extremely damaging for motivation.

Cutting the red tape

To get out of such anxiety driven behaviours you need trust. Trust your own market research and strategy. And most of all trust your team. Empower the team to be the experts to achieve the product’s vision and let them self organise.

Awareness is the first step

Anxiety is widespread and on the rise, not just during a pandemic. It would be naive to believe that this does not also affect your workplace. Anxiety driven product development is hard to crack because it sustains itself. Take a step back and reflect on what you’re doing to break out of this Catch-22. Once you recognise your destructive behaviours it is much easier to change them.

Other articles:

  1. What’s wrong with traditional product ownership – Part 1 of 3
  2. Good intentions make bad roadmaps
  3. 5 steps to craft a vision for an established team
  4. Crafting a lean roadmap

By: andre.schweighofer

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Philip VanDusen

The number of people afflicted with anxiety has been steadily growing in recent years. For solo entrepreneurs, freelancers, creative professionals and consultants who work for themselves the negative affects of anxiety can be particularly acute. Here are some effective methods for reducing these emotional and psychological strains that can help you feel happier, more fulfilled and successful in your work and your business. _______________________ This video is targeted to my channel’s audience of entrepreneurs, designers, creative professionals and anyone interested in brand strategy, business planning, design, trend, marketing and communications. Philip VanDusen is the owner of Verhaal Brand Design, a brand strategy and design agency. Philip is a highly accomplished creative executive and expert in brand strategy, graphic design, marketing and creative management. Philip gives design, branding, marketing, career and business advice to creative professionals, entrepreneurs and companies on how to build successful brands for themselves or for the clients they serve. ——————————— WEBSITE: http://www.philipvandusen.com​ JOIN THE BRAND•MUSE NEWSLETTER: http://www.philipvandusen.com/muse​ FREE MINI-EBOOK DOWNLOAD: “9 Design Elements Your Brand Absolutely, Positively Needs” http://www.philipvandusen.com/direct-…​ TWITTER: https://twitter.com/philipvandusen​ YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/c/PhilipVanDusen​ PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.com/philipvandu…​ LIKE ME ON FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Verhaal-Bran…​ GET TUBEBUDDY – THE BEST TOOL FOR YOUTUBERS: https://www.tubebuddy.com/philipvandusen​ RECOMMENDED BOOKS: “Change By Design”, Tim Brown http://amzn.to/2mTFDrz​ “Imagine: How Creativity Works”, Jonah Lehrer http://amzn.to/2mJpQe9​ “Free Agent Nation” by Daniel Pink http://amzn.to/2mWlbpR​ “Orbiting the Giant Hairball” by Gordon MacKenzie http://amzn.to/2noTnIL​ “Rules of the Red Rubber Ball: Find and Sustain Your Life’s Work” by Kevin Carroll http://amzn.to/2moisCu​ The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, Al Ries + Laura Ries http://amzn.to/2noZGwd​ “Change By Design”, by Tim Brown http://amzn.to/2uaXYjX​ “How To” by Michael Beirut http://amzn.to/2u9lnnh​ “The Brand Gap” by Marty Neumeier http://amzn.to/2CAbYZk​ “Good Design Is A Tough Job” by Kirsten Dietz, Jochen Rädeker http://amzn.to/2CAIH0r​ “The Art of Innovation” by Tom Kelley http://amzn.to/2wtAevL​ “The Edge: 50 Tips from Brands That Lead” by Allen Adamson http://amzn.to/2Ef6fse​ “Art + Design” by Rex Ray http://amzn.to/2yLMRRT​ “Expert Secrets” by Russel Brunson http://amzn.to/2zEDOBT​ “Shift Ahead” by Allen Adamson + Joel Steckel – http://amzn.to/2xLrEX4​ MY GEAR: Canon EOS 80D DLSR Camera: http://amzn.to/2nn4y4q​ Canon EOS 80D 18-55mm kit lens: http://amzn.to/2mnAAws​ Canon EOS 80D Yongnuo 35mm lens: http://amzn.to/2nniETh​ RODE NT2000 Condenser Mic: http://amzn.to/2mFoNvG​ Shure SM58 Dynamic Mic https://amzn.to/2B4CQkT​ ART Tube MP: Tube Mic PreAmp: http://amzn.to/2mFoVeE​ Rode Mic Boom: http://amzn.to/2nxNFmJ​ Sony MDR 7506 Headphones: http://amzn.to/2mFpsxa​ Screenflow 6.2: video editing software: http://amzn.to/2nxFLK3​ Neewer 2 Packs Dimmable Bi-color 480 LED Video Light http://amzn.to/2Cz8INK​ Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920: http://amzn.to/2nmX4hZ​ Rode smartLav+ Lavalier Microphone: http://amzn.to/2n2xL7B​ HP 27er 27-in IPS LED Backlit Monitor http://amzn.to/2w29u1S​ Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse http://amzn.to/2iZHKts​ TubeBuddy: https://www.tubebuddy.com/philipvandusen​ Adobe Creative Suite (2019 CC)

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6 Natural Remedies for When You’re Stressed About Work or Life

Let’s be honest: This is a tough time to be a business owner. Since March, the world has turned upside down. Your office is likely closed, revenue is disrupted if not massively down, business travel is mostly non-existent, keeping workers on staff is an issue, the future is uncertain — and let’s not even get started with the SBA Payroll Protection Program and other stimulus measures.

If stress is getting the best of you, here are six natural remedies that might help. As always, do your research and talk to your doctors about introducing supplements. 

1. Rhodiola Rosea

You may not have heard about this herb, but rhodiola rosea has been used by people in Scandinavia, Russia and China for years as a way to reduce fatigue and boost energy. Research has shown that among its other effects, rhodiola rosea boosts the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system, the part of the nervous system that slows down our mental and physical processes. 

For most people who use it, this herb helps combat anxiety nicely. But it isn’t for everyone; some people actually report the opposite effect, with it increasing anxiety and irritability.When you give it a try, monitor your moods closely and ask those you live with to do the same. 

2. L-Theanine

One reason that some people drink tea is because it reportedly gives a boost without the buzz and anxiety that sometimes comes with drinking coffee. They can thank L-theanine for that, a compound in many teas that promotes focus and calmness. Studies have shown that L-theanine does more than just reduce anxiety, too; it seems to improve verbal fluency, executive function and sleep.

Tea is a common way to get a little L-theanine in your diet to reduce stress. But if you’re not a tea drinker — or like a bit too much sugar in your tea like me — you also can get this compound in supplement form.

3. CBD oil

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is getting a lot of attention lately. Part of that attention comes from the fact that CBD is a natural extract from cannabis, the same plant that produces marijuana. Most of the attention, however, comes from the fact that this non-hallucinogenic part of the cannabis plant has a load of health benefits — including anxiety relief.

CBD targets the endocannabinoid system, the part of the body that is responsible for the feelings of relaxation and exhilaration after a strenuous workout. So just like a runner’s high, CBD brings a sustained calmness and focus that can be a major counterbalance to stress.https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

Best yet, you can get this stress reliever in gummy bear form. “We sell CBD oil in a variety of forms, but the gummy bears might be the most popular,” laughs David Levitt, co-founder of CBD gummy maker bioMD+.

4.Omega-3 fatty acids

Your brain is very susceptible to inflammation, which causes anxiety and stress. One of the main drivers of inflammation are omega-6 fatty acids, which are found in cheap vegetable oils and refined carbs. A natural way to offset this is by consuming omega-3 fatty acids, which act as an anti-inflammatory agent in your brain and counteract the effects of omega-6 fatty acids. 

Omega-3s are naturally present in fish oil, so if you need a break from the stress of running a business right now, consider upping the amount of mackerel, salmon, herring or oysters you consume. If you want to avoid fish breath, consider adding omega-3 oil as a supplement. Make sure you get omega-3 supplements that come from fish oil, however, not vegetable sources. Although vegetable-based omega-3 supplements do work and are an option for vegetarians and vegans, a Harvard study showed that they aren’t nearly as effective as the fish-based variety.

5. Essential oils

Because you’re likely now working from home, another method to try for reducing anxiety is the use of essential oils while you work. There’s an entire industry built around using aromas and essential oils to relax and cut down on stress.

If you’re overwhelmed by the selection of oils out there, focus on lavender, chamomile and cedar wood, all of which are known to reduce heart rate, ease tension in the body, promote relaxation and improve sleep. You can smell these oils, burn them, diffuse them or even dab them on your skin when your stress levels start to feel like they’re getting a bit high.

6. Vitamin D

D is for de-stressing. As humans, we’ve evolved to expect a lot of sunlight. But when we work inside, we often suffer from a vitamin D deficiency that can lead to anxiety and stress. Turns out the stress you’ve been feeling the past few months might have to do with spending too much time indoors, not just the current state of the world. 

Vitamin D supplements can help, but there is some research that suggests they might not work as well as you think. A better way to get more vitamin D is the old-fashioned habit of going outside and taking a walk. You not only get a little exercise, which helps with anxiety, but also exposure to those valuable sun rays that naturally give you the vitamin D your body craves. 

You can’t really get rid of the stress from running a business during these times, but you can manage your anxiety with natural remedies. So carry on, but don’t forget to handle your stress.

Jt Ripton Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

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What Parents Need To Know About Eating Disorders In The Time Of Covid-19

In July of 2020, a new study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) confirmed what many already knew: Covid-19 has contributed to a mental and behavioral health crisis. With one in four parents reporting worsening mental health, and one in seven reporting an increase in behavioral challenges for their children, this is not an isolated problem.

Families everywhere are struggling right now.

But while the study focused on families with young children, in particular, additional research has pointed to the vulnerabilities adolescents are facing right now. To include an increase in post-traumatic stress, depressive and anxiety disorders.

All of which can also be associated with an increase in eating disorder behaviors.  

The Mental Health Impact on Adolescents

Hina J. Talib, MD, is a board-certified adolescent medicine specialist known for her popular Instagram page, TeenHealthDoc. She says that one of the things she has noticed since the pandemic began is teenagers experiencing a flare in previously identified mental health conditions as well as the presentation of new mental health conditions.

“In teen health, we are calling this the second-wave of the Covid-19 crisis, and it has already arrived,” Talib recently told Forbes.

She said there are a variety of circumstances contributing to this, to include the loneliness and isolation teenagers are reporting as a result of physical distancing and stay-at-home measures.

“During this time of back-to-school, anticipatory anxiety is running high for students, teachers and families. Teens, especially pre-teens, absorb this stress.”

The Risks Teenagers Face

While we don’t yet have any data connecting an increase in eating disorders to Covid-19, experts believe there is reason to be concerned.

“Eating disorders can be triggered by an attempt to gain control,” Anna M. Lutz, MPH, RD, LDN, explained. Lutz is a certified eating disorder registered dietician who co-owns a private practice in Raleigh, NC.

“Right now, all of us, but especially children, have very little control in what we can do,” Lutz said. “Sports seasons, academics as we know them, spring break trips, summer camps and important time with friends have all been canceled—all things that are very important in the lives of teens.”

She said that focusing on weight, exercise and what one allows themselves to eat can be a way of gaining control, particularly in situations where an individual may otherwise feel out of control.

As is the case for so many in the face of our current pandemic.

“Also, there has been a lot of media focus on the potential for weight gain during the Covid–19 pandemic,” Lutz explained. “This message has been directed towards children and can trigger a teen being over-controlled or restrictive with their food.”

While unhealthy, Lutz said that eating disorder behaviors can be coping tools in times of trauma and stress.

“Many people with eating disorders have a history of trauma and the current pandemic situation can trigger this trauma. Isolation, food insecurity (real or perceived), increased time with a family member who may be abusive, grief for what is being lost/missed, and fear about getting sick or your family not having enough money can all trigger an increase in eating disorder symptoms.”

Monitoring Your Teen

All families should be aware of the increased potential for mental health struggles right now, keeping an eye on their young children and teens especially. But for parents concerned about potential eating disorder behavior, Lutz said the following can be signs to look out for:

·     Eating in secret

·     Suddenly eating differently from the rest of the family

·     Becoming extremely focused on exercise

·     Refusing to take time off exercising, even when injured or sick

·     Leaving large amounts of food uneaten

·     Self-isolating

·     Losing weight.

“These are all reasons to be concerned,” Lutz explained. “Children are supposed to be gaining weight and weight loss in children and teens needs to be further assessed.”

Talib said some things your child may be communicating can be indications of a problem as well.

You might hear a teen (or, as Talib thinks of it, the eating disorder itself) say things like:

·     “I am so fat.”

·     “If I gain weight I will be disgusting.”

·     ”My stomach is huge.”

·     “I will do an extra 200 crunches tonight.”

·     “I can say no to unhealthy food even though you can’t.”

All of these should be red flags to parents right now, and anytime really.

Addressing Concerning Behaviors

If you are worried your teenager may be exhibiting eating disorder behaviors, Lutz suggested talking to them first.

“Outside of a meal time or a time when food is around, explain to them what you have been noticing and why you are concerned.”

It’s important to give adolescents a chance to reflect on their behaviors and open up about what they may be going through in a non-judgmental way. Simply let your child know you are concerned and give them a chance to respond.

Keep in mind, plenty of teenagers will try to hide their eating disorder, even when confronted. So don’t necessarily take “nothing’s wrong” as an answer. Pay attention to your child’s body language, reaction, and your own gut feeling and go from there.

“Eating disorders are great at hiding,” Talib said. “If you suspect an eating disorder or disordered eating from anxiety or depression, it is possible it has already been present for some time and it is helpful to find an experienced care team as soon as possible.”

Now is not the time to wait, she explained. “I see so many families who have lost time due to delays in access.”

But she also wants parents to ensure they are getting their children the right kind of help. Which is why she believes they should be empowered to ask providers the following questions:

·     “How many eating disorder cases do you manage here at this practice?”

·     “How confident are you in your diagnosis?”

·     “Do you have a network of therapists, psychiatrists and dieticians that you refer to and how is your family feedback on these referrals?”

·     “If our teen needs more care than we can provide at home, what are you usual next steps in this city?”

“Do not shy away from asking where the nearest specialty care center is and for your doctor to help get you there,” Talib said. “It is not uncommon to have to travel a bit to see an eating disorder team with expertise in adolescents. However the Covid–19 pandemic opening the gates of tele-health has helped this.”

Available Resources

Talib said that parents who are concerned should start by having a conversation with their child’s pediatrician. “Even better, find an adolescent medicine specialist or physician team that is experienced with adolescent eating disorders.”

She suggested looking to AdolescentHealth.org for the Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine’s list or The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) helpline (800.931.2237) if you’re having a difficult time finding a provider.

While Talib said it is always best to start with an evaluation by a professional, particularly because each situation is unique and may require tailored advice and treatment, the following resources can be helpful for families trying to better understand what they are dealing with:

·     Nationaleatingdisorders.org

·     Maudsleyparents.org

·     Feast-ed.org

·     Aedweb.org

·     Anad.org

If you’re worried about your child, it’s important to know there is help available. But ignoring eating disorder behavior does not make it go away. Now is the time to act. So if you’re concerned, pick up the phone and call your child’s pediatrician today.

It’s the first step to ensuring your teen will be able to have a healthy tomorrow. Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here

Leah Campbell

Leah Campbell

I’ve been working as a full-time parenting and health writer for over seven years. As a single mom by choice with a chronic health condition, parenting a child with a chronic health condition, I am passionate about ensuring all families have the health coverage they need.

The Perseverance Of Resilient Leadership: Sustaining Impact On The Road To Thrive

A few months ago, we imagined “thriving” as leading our organizations to a better normal after the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet our responsibilities as leaders now are further compounded by concurrent challenges of racial injustices, climate change, and economic uncertainties. Getting to “Thrive” appears more arduous and lengthier than many of us imagined… or hoped for.

The first wave and recurrences of COVID-19 continue to plague many parts of the world. Seventy-six percent of companies and many geographies in our most recent analysis are still in the Respond and Recover phases of the crisis[i]. Even companies and geographies that have entered the Thrive phase realize that we are all in this long journey together, because our prospects are inextricably linked.

The future of each of our organizations, though, is not preordained. As resilient leaders, one of our most critical roles right now is to sustain: to sustain our people, many of whom are experiencing not only fatigue but more stresses than they ever have; to sustain our organizations in continuing to create value for all stakeholders; and to sustain society as it experiences multiple existential threats. But just as important, we must also sustain our own ability to lead so that we can continue to serve over the long journey ahead.

Sustaining our people

Our people are undergoing unprecedented levels of stress and uncertainty: workers who have suffered deep personal losses from COVID-19 and/or racial injustices; parents stretching to navigate childcare and major uncertainties over schooling responsibilities while still meeting work commitments; even the loss of basic grandchild-grandparent physical connections. It requires both empathy and courage on our part to lead them forward.

As leaders, we need to empathize with and acknowledge the myriad challenges our people are currently coping with, including feelings of ambiguous loss and toxic stress.

With both ambiguous loss and toxic stress, the better definition of an endpoint and a reduction in uncertainty are important ways we can support our teams. For example, Deloitte has hosted Zoom-based workshops where a cross-section of our people helped to inform return-to-the workplace programs—giving them a greater sense of control. Likewise, sponsoring projects that have a defined endpoint and outcome—where teams can declare that they are “done”—also helps to counter both ambiguous loss and toxic stress.

Additionally, having courageous conversations is at the heart of taking decisive, bold leadership actions, which are even more critical now to sustaining our people. Such conversations enable us to deliver truthful messages and real-time feedback amid the crisis, and require courage:

  • To address difficult situations such as business closures, layoffs, and furloughs rather than ignoring them and hoping they go away
  •  To decide and implement a course of action, even when unpopular
  • To speak the truth about the situation, why each decision was made, and acknowledge the implications

Sustaining our organizations

In the Respond phase of the crisis, most organizations’ leaders found they needed to play defense: keeping their values, their people, their customers, and their business at the forefront. But to thrive in the next normal, we will have to play both defense and offense, working to protect our people and our business, but also taking the longer view. We need to lean into the wind and make contrarian moves now so we can come out of the crisis with momentum and a competitive edge. Many companies will play defense, not offense. Winners will do both[ii].

Crises typically prompt major opportunities such as accelerating innovations, expanding ecosystem relationships, anticipating changing market structures, and creating new business models. Many of us watched silos crumble almost overnight in the rush to respond to COVID-19: Teams became more cross-functional, while ideas, experiences, resources, and expertise were quickly shared in ways that enabled organizations to take more informed, holistic actions. Leaders should consider which of those barriers can be permanently removed.

Sustaining society

Sustaining society requires us as resilient leaders to take an even more active role in influencing social systems and structures for the greater good. Leadership for the greater good requires followership, and followership is engendered by trust.

Within society more broadly, trust is needed now more urgently than ever, particularly amid the uncertainties of social disruption and the changing role of institutions. As we consider the organizational and institutional changes in systems and structures, building trust will be essential to successfully guiding society.

Additionally, influence is one of the most impactful and lasting contributions. Where there is racial or economic injustice, it is often ossified systems and entrenched institutions that perpetuate the unfair status quo. Given each of our organizations’ vast web of relationships—with customers, vendors, ecosystem partners, governments, communities—how do we connect and leverage the full potential of these networks to reform social systems and structures?

Sustaining our ability to lead

We owe it to our people, our organizations, and society to be personally fit in mind, body, and purpose to serve them over the long haul. Facing what may be the most extraordinary leadership challenge in our lifetimes, the risk is that we will cross the depletion point before we recognize it. We must not only sustain others—we must sustain ourselves.

None of us know how long the COVID-19 crisis will last or the path the virus will take. Likewise, the major disruptions stemming from racial injustices, social inequality, climate change, and economic stress may further lengthen the path to a “better” normal. As CEOs, we are called upon to sustain through the crisis.

These sustaining responsibilities are akin to a stone dropped in a pond: The stone drops deep into the water, sustaining our ability to lead by looking inward; the ripples reach out to sustain our employees by walking alongside them, our organizations by courageously refining the strategy and playing offense, and society by investing in trust to make positive social change in institutions and systems.

To learn more about what it takes to be a resilient leader on the road to Thrive, please click here.

[i] Based on survey of Deloitte client service leaders, July 16–20, 2020.

[ii] The tension between defense and offense is similar to the tension within “ambidexterity” between optimization and exploration in Benjamin Finzi, Vincent Firth, and Mark Lipton’s Ambidextrous leadership: Keystone of the undisruptable CEO, Deloitte Insights, October 18, 2018.

Punit Renjen

Punit Renjen

Punit is in his 33rd year with Deloitte and became CEO of Deloitte Global in June 2015. Deloitte operates in more than 150 countries, with approximately 300,000 professionals. Punit is also a member of the Deloitte Global Board of Directors.

As Deloitte Global CEO, Punit set in motion a global strategy to achieve undisputed leadership in professional services. In his first term, he led efforts that resulted in double-digit aggregate revenue growth globally, with Deloitte becoming the largest of the professional services organizations. Currently Deloitte is recognized as the strongest and most valuable commercial services brand. Also, during his tenure, Deloitte advanced audit quality through significant investments and focus.

As a tangible expression of Deloitte’s commitment to its purpose of making an impact that matters, Punit launched Deloitte’s signature corporate responsibility program, WorldClass, to empower 50 million people to succeed in a rapidly changing global economy. Punit is also committed to advancing diversity and inclusion at Deloitte, including through measurable actions toward gender balance across Deloitte and within its leadership ranks.

In June 2019, he started serving his second elected term.

Punit has held several leadership roles within Deloitte, including serving as the chairman of Deloitte LLP (US) from 2011-2015 and before that, as CEO of Deloitte Consulting LLP (US). During his tenure as CEO of Deloitte Consulting, the practice experienced tremendous growth despite an ongoing recession, helping it become one of the largest consulting organizations according to leading analysts’ rankings.

Outside of Deloitte, Punit is a member of The Business Roundtable, The International Business Council of the World Economic Forum, and serves as the member of several not for profit boards including at the United Way Worldwide (chairman) and the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum (vice chairman). He was named an honoree to the 2012, 2013 and 2014 National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) “Directorship 100.”

Punit was born and raised in India. He moved to the United States after receiving a Rotary Foundation Scholarship to Willamette University. He has served on the board of trustees of Willamette University and was named among the 100 most influential business leaders who have graduated from schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International. In the spring of 2019, Willamette University conferred upon Punit an honorary doctorate. He is married and has a son.

Implementing These 2 Strategies Can Help Entrepreneurs Reduce Financial Stress

When you think about the sheer number of components it takes to build a business, your mind starts to race. There are the structural elements, such as the type of business, products and services, the marketing, client fulfillment and more.

As an entrepreneur, your focus might tend to be on what you need the most right now. An informal poll of entrepreneurs would probably point toward a discussion of prospecting and closing new business. It would center around getting more sales and the filling of pipelines. 

While the here-and-now are essential, successful entrepreneurs think strategically. They focus on long-term moves they can make, because they understand that’s the most powerful way to scale a business.

Related: 5 Personal-Finance Habits of Wealthy Entrepreneurs

Improve your relationship with money.

Too many of us start our adult life having to figure it out when it comes to money and wealth creation. The beginning years of adulthood tend to leave marks, and we carry those into entrepreneurship. This can mean pricing what we offer lower than the value we provide. It often manifests in taking on clients that an entrepreneur knows will not be a good fit, or failing to think about money as something that provides freedom. 

Finances don’t have to be a constant source of stress if you understand their purpose. You don’t have to compromise on what you offer for consumers that aren’t your ideal client. The stats tell us that there were 4.3 billion internet users, 5.1 billion mobile users, 3.4 billion social media users daily, according to We Are Social. That means we don’t lack opportunities to get new clients and build our business in this hyper-connected digital information age. The issue becomes how you show your ideal target client that you can help them.

Working on and creating a healthier relationship with money will reduce stress, beat fear and allow your mind to focus on what will bring in more revenue. Some things you can do are:

  • Educate yourself about finances through books, courses, videos and other forms of available content. 
  • Hire professionals who can help you organize your finances right now and plan for the future. 

Related: 5 Personal-Finance Mistakes That Kill Promising Companies

2. Plan for more than right now.

Many entrepreneurs choose this lifestyle because we would do what we love, even if it were for free. That is great, but it also sets us up to work in our business and not run it as a CEO. It creates a familiar situation where entrepreneurs aren’t planning for the future. 

You may want to work until your body and mind can no longer handle it, but you should have a financial plan in place that takes care of you and your family, whether or not you’re running your business. 

Financial planning for retirement is not a popular topic with entrepreneurs, but it’s one that needs to be addressed. Building a legacy is about more than accolades — it’s creating financial security through a business that aligns with your values.

Successful entrepreneurs plan strategically. Part of that planning includes setting aside money for emergencies, and using funds to build the kind of wealth that allows an entrepreneur to retire in comfort. This includes investments, assets, savings, and other financial management strategies. 

You don’t have to go through life feeling stressed, worried or unsure of finances and their impact on your business. You can create wealth that allows you the freedom to work, whether you want to or now. 

This starts with acknowledging your current beliefs around money and doing the work to make any necessary changes. We live in the information age, which means many solid resources that can bring clarity, help you plan and beat any fear. 

Plan for all possibilities and take control of your financial future. 

Beau Henderson

By: Beau Henderson – Entrepreneur Leadership Network / Writer CEO of RichLife Advisors

Should You Microdose to Treat Depression

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The following article is written by . Author of the book, Unstoppable: A 90-Day Plan to Biohack Your Mind and Body for Success. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound. And be sure to order The Unstoppable Journal, the only journal of its kind based on , and biohacking to help you reach your goals.

If you asked 100 people about psychedelics, you’d most likely get 100 opinions based on their firsthand experience, strong condemnation or stories from their adventures at Woodstock in the ’60s. No matter what people might know or think they know about psychedelics, the 40-year moratorium that closed down related research in the ’70s is now coming to an end. Psychiatrists are beginning to realize that strategic, supervised use of these psychopharmacological drugs is helping people with mental disorders including obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, alcoholism, depression and cluster headaches. Still, are there enough scientific studies to warrant the use of these drugs in mainstream society?

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I’ll admit that talk of psychedelic therapy to treat depression makes me nervous. In researching my book, Unstoppable, I looked at other key triggers that can mimic psychological disorders like depression and , such as inflammation, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal changes, side effects from medications, gut imbalances and food sensitivities. The reality is, depression is complex. What works for one may not work for another. Any successful treatment must first identify the root cause of one’s depression successfully, which can be a complex process if not done under the right medical care. A psychedelic treatment isn’t suddenly going to fix a nutritional deficiency, for example, but it may help target other symptoms and behaviors that correspond with depression. This is why it was critical to set my own biases aside and speak to an expert.

Related: There Will Be 4 Identity Types in This Recovery. Which One Are You?

I was fortunate enough to interview Dr. Domenick J. Sportelli, who is board-certified by the American Board of Neurology and for General Psychiatry and fellowship-trained and Board Certified in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He also specializes in human behavior and psychopharmacology. I wanted to get the most current information on the use of psychedelics in treatment for depression, anxiety and PTSD, so I first asked him first to clarify what psychedelics were.

“The term ‘psychedelic substance’ refers to an exogenous substance [derived outside the body] that, when taken into the body in various ways, physiologically, neurologically and psychologically manifest an internal personal experience of altered states of consciousness,” he explains. “This includes perceptual distortions, hallucinations, synesthesia [a mixing of the senses], altered sense of time and space, as well as potentially inducing what researchers call a ‘mystical experience’ — a sense of oneness, of noetic experience and an undefinable but profoundly spiritual quality.”

Is there enough evidence to support psychedelic therapy? 

Sportelli wants to make clear that the most researched psychedelics — LSD, psilocybin (mushrooms), peyote, MDMA, DMT and ketamine — have different mechanisms of action and even induce subtle, subjective experiential differences. Although each is grouped under the term “psychedelics,” they are quite disparate.

Dr. Sportelli is cautiously optimistic about the multitudes of large-scale, university-based testing and prior research compiled decades ago, but worries about the abiliity to circumvent bureaucracy and conduct safe, credible and substantial testing today. He does add that recent testing of psilocybin, LSD, ketamine and MDMA in particular has generated cause for optimism, and that they will likely have a place not only in continued, diverse research design and protocol, but eventually in therapeutic use.

What types of depression can psychedelics treat?

If we were to look at the onset of most mental illnesses, the majority start to become evident between the ages of 11 and 24, according to the National Institute of Health. With only 42 percent of people getting treatment, most typically do not seek out assistance until a secondary mental illness occurs several years later.

When asked how broadly psychedelics might be able to help treat people with depression, Sportelli concedes that, “Unfortunately, research hasn’t determined the level of scientific data to specify the type of depression or mood disorder that psychedelic therapy will benefit.” But he does add that research and data are beginning to show statistically significant improvements in mood, reduced anxiety, change in positive personality traits over time, the possibility of reducing addictive behaviors, reduction in suicidal tendencies and increased personal insight.

Do psychedelics treat the symptoms or the cause?

According to Dr. Sportelli, depression stems from a mix of genetic, biological, neurological, psychological and sociological factors. Recent research has demonstrated how the chemical breakdown of psilocybins closely resembles that of serotonin, and indicated the promising interplay of select hormone transmission. Dr. Sportelli stresses the critical role that these drugs might offer in mood disorders is at the forefront of the pharmaceutical quest for treatment.

“We have never seen substances like these that can potentially change the way that we look at our life and change perspective with lasting results,” he says, noting that they might be able to help “supercharge psychotherapy.”

Is this ultimately a recommend treatment, and where does one turn for it?

“At this time, in the U.S., I would only recommend this treatment be a part of, and under the close supervision of, a university-based IRB [Institutional Review Board]-monitored clinical trial,” Sportelli emphasizes. Before any psychiatric treatment, Dr. Sportelli also recommends a full medical and neurological evaluation to rule out any of the multitudes of medical circumstances that can manifest as a primary mood disorder, and reiterates that significant and often profoundly adverse outcomes associated with such powerful, mind-altering chemicals need to be weighed further as well. That’s why, as part of any regulated trial, all the necessary medical workups would be completed before participation.

Is the stigma around psychedelic therapy warranted? 

Sportelli acknowledges that there is a safety concern associated with psychedelics, and does not condone their recreational or illict use. But he does believe that regulated clinical trials, judicious and ethical research methodology and the progression for therapeutic intervention should not be overlook based on previous stigma and possible misclassification.

Related: 50,000 Entrepreneurs Tell Us How to Avoid Stress and Anxiety

I’ve never been one to throw the baby out with the bathwater. After interviewing Dr. Sportelli, I hold hope for the future, but also a concern for those who may seek out this kind of treatment without an accurate medical diagnosis. My number-one hesitation remains — that is we simply do not have the studies to show which types of depression psychedelic therapy successfully treats, which may result in people attempting to use a hammer when in fact they need a nail.

Either way, if you are to venture into this arena, find someone who specializes in it. The risk of going it alone could come at too a high price.

Are you ready to become unstoppable?

Visit www.areyouunstoppable.com and take your FREE 60-second online quiz now. By answering a series of simple questions, my software will analyze your results and provide you with a comprehensive report that will indicate your identity type and lead you to the tools and tips you need to close that gap between who you are and who you could become. Take the quiz to get started!

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How to Avoid Feeling Overwhelmed During the Coronavirus Pandemic

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“New year, new me” memes were a common theme on 1st January 2020. We even had the benefit of starting a new decade with the promise of being fitter, more fulfilled and accomplished. What a difference a quarter can make.

With all the plans I had for this year, it never occurred to me that this would be the first time I truly appreciated flour and toilet paper! These are the most volatile times many European entrepreneurs will have seen in their lifetimes. With this global pandemic, there has been a wide range of responses and it’s not uncommon for people to struggle with feeling overwhelmed.

Messages on social media range from: “If you don’t come out of this pandemic with a new skill, you don’t lack time, you lack discipline” to “It’s OK if you’re not achieving peak productivity in the throes of a global pandemic! It’s fine to just chill in your pyjamas.”

In these stressful times, how do you strike the right balance between taking care of your mental health and taking advantage of some downtime?

1. Gratitude

Focusing on what we have, rather than what we’re missing is a vital part of fostering a healthy outlook. If you don’t have an Instagram-worthy mansion, you can still be grateful that you have somewhere to sleep at night.

The restriction around leaving the house has led people to appreciate nature and fresh air. I am certainly savouring exploring Oxford with renewed enthusiasm. At the very least, we can be grateful that we have life. Now, more than ever, that is something to cherish.

2. Connect with others.

Social isolation does not have to mean emotional isolation. Connect with your friends and family. Check if they are OK and don’t be afraid to share how you truly feel with those you trust. Over the course of human history, this is the best time (or at least the least awful) to have a global pandemic.

With the advances in technology and healthcare, we have the capability to reach out to people all over the globe with nothing more than a basic smartphone or laptop. Take advantage of this.

3. Forgive yourself.

Sometimes you may plan to contact a former customer, update your website or write a LinkedIn post but when you get ready to do it, you find the monitor blurs as you play out different transmission scenarios in your head. It’s not always easy to be focused and now you may find it harder than ever. But understand that it’s OK to be scared, upset or worried. You don’t have to apologise to others or yourself for feeling concerned and not being at your absolute best. This is a perfectly normal response to the situation.

The founder of rational emotive behavioral therapy, Albert Ellis, identified that we have a tendency to feeling negative emotions because we’re feeling a negative emotion. This is how downward spirals can begin. For instance, if you feel worried about the impact coronavirus has on family working in healthcare, that’s a primary emotion. Then you may feel a secondary emotion of shame or guilt because worry has meant you haven’t been able to focus on getting through everything you’d planned. Recognizing that our emotions are legitimate and acceptable prevents us from making ourselves feel even worse.

We are often much harder on ourselves than we would be on others, so consider what you’d say to a friend who is beating themself up over not keeping up with teaching their child’s curriculum. Apply the encouragement and reassurance that you would offer them to yourself. You are just as deserving of grace as anybody else.

4. Focus on what you can control.

In the book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen Covey recommends focusing on things that you can control: those things that are within your circle of influence. Your circle of concern goes beyond that and contains international events that are outside of your power. When we focus on what we are able to control, we have a greater ability to deal with things that are outside of our control.

We may not be able to bring about global healing and make reparations for those harmed, but we can certainly commit to conducting ourselves in a way that instils self-respect, rather than regret.  What’s within your circle of influence? The list is endless. What do you choose to eat? When do you go to sleep and wake up? How much of your time do you spend exercising, connecting with loved ones or identifying new business opportunities that you can explore? Do you take advantage of technology for restoration and utility or do you binge on Netflix? What do you choose to dwell on?

You have a choice to make about these things and many more. Focus on the things that you can control and do the best you can with them.

As long as we have life there is always something to be thankful for. So, the next time you are feeling overwhelmed, step back and allow yourself a break. Reflect on the things that you are grateful for and forgive yourself for not always being the soul of perfection. Your response to this crisis is within your control and it’s your responsibility to guard your emotional health as much as your physical health. Effectively managing your emotions will put you in the best position to deal with practical challenges and cultivate opportunities for you personally, as well as your business.

Karlene Agard

By:

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com

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In the face of uncertainty, managing anxiety and stress while also staying prepared and informed can be difficult. So what can you do to protect your mental health as the COVID-19 outbreak unfolds? Here are some recommendations from the experts. Put down the smart phone. Take breaks from social media and the news. Give your mind a chance to disconnect. Consider setting up specific times or time limits on how long you spend checking the news each day, so you can stay informed without getting overwhelmed.
Take care of yourself. Engage in healthy habits as much as possible. Eat well-balanced meals, get some exercise, get plenty of sleep, and avoid bad habits, like too much alcohol. Enjoy your hobbies. Take the time to engage in relaxing activities, like reading a book, cooking a nice meal, or doing something creative like painting or knitting. Check in with your friends and family. Social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation! Connect with the people you care about to share your concerns and feelings and see how you can help support them.
Take a deep breath to avoid burnout. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stop and take a deep breath. Step back and give yourself space to process your feelings. Consider doing some stretches or yoga, or engaging in a short mindfulness exercise to help keep you grounded. If your stress is interfering with your daily life, contact your health care provider to ask about additional care and resources. One place you can visit: UC San Diego Health – Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at https://health.ucsd.edu/specialties/p… The Center For Mindfulness, The Sanford Institute, and the Compassion Institute at UC San Diego Health are working together to provide daily resources to support mindfulness and compassion. Find their schedule and resources here: https://medschool.ucsd.edu/som/fmph/r…

Effective Ways To Manage And Relieve Your Stress

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Whether it’s related to work, your personal life or finances, stress is a part of everyday life. According to the 2019 Stress in America Survey, “More than three-quarters of adults report physical or emotional symptoms of stress, such as headache, feeling tired or changes in sleeping habits.” The overwhelming effects of stress can take a toll on your mind, body and overall well-being. While the situation you’re in may be out of your control, how you choose to manage your stress entirely up to you. Find out how incorporating a few healthy habits can help with relieving your stress.

Prioritize Movement And Exercise For Stress Relief

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, your natural inclination may be to focus on the issue that is causing you to react. However, the best thing you can do is to get up and put your body into motion. Your mind, body and heart are interconnected. According to an article published by Harvard Health, “Regular aerobic exercise will bring remarkable changes to your body, your metabolism, your heart, and your spirits.” Exercise reduces stress hormones by releasing endorphins. Often considered the body’s natural pain killers, endorphins can help elevate your mood, produce feelings of optimism and help your body relax. Try to incorporate as much movement in your day as possible. If you can’t make it to the gym, go for a walk during your lunch break, practice yoga at home or dance in your kitchen. Every bit of movement can help in relieving your stress.

Create Boundaries And Learn When To Switch Off Work 

Work is a major source of stress for most people. In fact, an annual survey from the American Psychological Association revealed that, “60 percent of people in the United States consider their job a major source of stress.” Before you start considering a career change, try managing your stress by setting a few boundaries. Creating a healthy work-life balance is as much in your control as it is your employer. Set a rule for yourself that your work will remain in the office. Being able to switch off work mode is an important aspect of self-care. When you’re off the clock, do things that make you feel good, like cooking, spending time with friends or watching a movie. Those hours that you spend taking care of yourself will help give your brain a much-needed break from constantly having to think about work.

Stay Hydrated

A simple solution to stress reduction is proper hydration. Amanda Carlson, director of performance at Athlete’s Performance told WebMD, “Studies have shown that being just half a liter dehydrated can increase your cortisol levels.” The National Academy of Medicine recommends that you drink one milliliter of water per each calorie of food consumed. To help reach your total daily intake, opt for a glass of water in lieu of your morning coffee or afternoon soda.

Get Quality Sleep 

Stress is one of the largest culprits of poor sleep quality. Without adequate rest, you may begin to exhibit greater agitation and impatience — especially in the face of hardship. The Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. If you have trouble fulfilling these daily recommendations, try implementing evening routines, like:

  • Going to bed at the same time every night
  • Turning off digital screens in the evening
  • Avoiding caffeine in the afternoon
  • Writing down your thoughts or to-do lists before bed

Reassess Your To-Do List And Set Goals

One of the most effective ways to combat stress is to address it at the source. Begin by identifying external triggers – like your career, relationship or finances – and determine ways in which you can alleviate some of the pressure. Maybe it’s asking for support on a work project or setting a monthly budget to manage your money. By creating a plan of action, you’ll be better equipped to tackle stress the next time it transpires.

Reach Out For Social Support

Confiding in a friend or family member about your hardships may not always feel easy, but it can provide you with a sense of encouragement and relief. In fact, creating an emotional support network is crucial in stress management. According to Newcastle University epidemiologist Nicole Valtorta, PhD, “loneliness has been found to raise levels of stress, impede sleep and, in turn, harm the body.” Rather than keeping stress to yourself, talk through it with a relative, phone a friend or meet with a therapist.

Incorporating these stress-relief habits into your everyday life can help you stay calm and prevent chronic stress from developing over time. Remember, stressful situations are always going to arise, but you have the power to control how you react.

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Source: Forbes.com

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Stressed out? Can’t seem to relax? Take a deep breath in… and don’t forget to breathe out. Here’s a way to relieve and manage your stress levels. This video is brought to you by Changi General Hospital. For more health tips, visit https://www.healthxchange.sg

Need Help Managing The End Of The Year Stress?

It’s both an exciting time of the year with holidays approaching and a stressful time of the year with all you are trying to accomplish. Add on some crazy weather issues and that further complicates things. So, how can you better manage everything and keep your sanity?

Reality Check. First, recognize that you won’t get it all done exactly as you imagined, and let yourself say “that’s okay.” We often have extremely high expectations for what we think we can accomplish during this time of the year. Perhaps we need to make our goals a little more realistic. That doesn’t mean you have to drop your enthusiasm; just do a reality check. See how much time is left and what is actually manageable. Readjust your goals to be more realistic.

Change others’ expectations. In addition to altering your own expectations, talk to your colleagues or supervisors to see if you can make some changes in their expectations for what can be accomplished at the end of the year. Chances are they are feeling just as stressed. Do you really need all those meetings at this time? Can the timelines for some projects be extended? Even if you are only able to change a few things, this can have a powerful impact on reducing your stress and maybe even theirs.

Chunk it into bits. One of the biggest stressors we face is the size of what we have to accomplish – whether it is finishing up work projects, getting all of our presents ready in advance, or cleaning our entire house for holiday company. Sometimes just viewing these massive lists we have created can be overwhelming.

If possible, break those large projects into smaller ones. Sometimes we only have 30 minutes here or there and we think we can’t get our big project done then. Which is true – we can’t. But, if we can break it into parts, we might get some of the smaller parts done during those shorter time periods. That can still help us feel a sense of accomplishment, and that we are not being overwhelmed.

Don’t forget your own self-care. We have the tendency to put all of our projects and others ahead of us during the end of the year mad rush to get it all done. Don’t do this. Make sure you still find time to exercise, get plenty of sleep, and engage in some activities for your own sanity (e.g., mindfulness, meditation, prayer, etc.). You need to keep up your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well being during this time, probably more than at any other time of the year.  Try to do something fun each day – this gives you added joy.

Take advantage of forced slow times. Maybe you are stuck in traffic on the highway or circling a parking lot to find a spot at the shopping mall or waiting in a long line at a store, or on hold on the phone. These are forced slow downs imposed on you. Instead of giving in to the temptation to get angry and frustrated, use these opportunities to do other things.

Each year, we know these things are going to occur, and yet we always seem surprised and frustrated by their existence (as if they just popped up). Be prepared. Bring other things to do while waiting in line or on the phone or as you are circling the parking lot. Maybe listening to relaxing music is just the thing that can keep your blood pressure from rising even higher.

Volunteer. It may seem counterintuitive to volunteer when we have so much on our own plates. But, this is the season to volunteer and help those less fortunate than us. While we may be very busy, sometimes just taking a little time to give back to others helps us to put things into perspective and remember how much we do have. It also helps us to remember the “reason for the season.”

The end of the year comes with celebrating various holidays and welcoming in a brand new year. It should be a time of joy and yet; it often comes with the stress of having too much to do and not enough time to get it all done. Following some of these tips might just help you get your energy back and enjoy this holiday time and ringing in the New Year!

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I am the Helen and William O’Toole Dean of the Villanova School of Business (VSB), and serve as the chief executive, academic and fiscal officer. VSB has more than 150 faculty and staff and 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in VSB’s top-ranked programs. I am a licensed industrial and organizational psychologist with more than 25 years of experience consulting with private- and public-sector organizations. I wrote a weekly career coach column and answered reader questions in a monthly online chat for The Washington Post. I have served as an executive coach for several decades and developed the Executive Coaching and Leadership Development Programs for UMD’s Executive M.B.A. program and the Executive M.B.A. at the University of Tennessee. I earned my Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology from the University of Akron, Ohio and my B.A. in psychology from Loyola University in Maryland.

Source: Need Help Managing The End Of The Year Stress?

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