What Are You Modeling on This Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day?

Overwork and Stress? or Commitment and Joy? On this Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day – what values will you be modeling for the kids? They say kids learn much more from how we behave than from what we tell them in words. What was my daughter learning from my behavior? “I don’t ever want to be a mommy when I grow up,” my 5-year-old daughter calmly announced. “Why, honey?” “Because mommies are too tired.” I felt like my little girl had punched me in the gut. "Mommies are too tired." Truly, I’m not sure the phrase “too tired” was strong enough for how I felt, all the time. I was working full-time as a health-care provider. I was pregnant with my second. And, of course, other issues on the home front demanded my attention (aren’t there ALWAYS “other issues” on the home front?) I was sure I [...]

By |2019-01-13T23:15:34+00:00April 25th, 2018|General|0 Comments

Spread Too Thin?

“I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter spread over too much bread.” ─ Frodo, The Fellowship of the Rings, J. R. R Tolkien Here's a quick suggestion for relieving that uneasy, exhausted, spread-too-thin feeling. (Perhaps you even recognized the quote: Frodo was struggling to carry out a world-saving task that seemed far too big for his little hobbit body. More and more, he felt not just bone-tired, but soul-weary.) Relief for That "Spread Too Thin" Feeling Yesterday, a super-productive friend made me think of Frodo. She asked, “LinkedIn is having a big debate about whether people should use the phrase “I’m so busy” anymore. I found it very upsetting; it sounds like they are saying just don’t talk about the problem anymore. What’s your take on this?” Well, people certainly shared lots of good ideas in the #ImSoBusy debate. Here’s just a few: People might not share opportunities (for work [...]

By |2019-01-13T22:27:01+00:00April 10th, 2018|General|0 Comments

8 Ways Burnout Is Overrated

Here’s 8 ways burnout is overrated by our work culture. I believe that buying into any of these myths simply sets us up to crash and burn. I used to believe pretty much all of them, and the resulting burnout was so bad, it put me right in the hospital. 1. “Status” as a Hard Worker The American Dream is supposed to be reserved for those who “work hard.” People who seem like they’re having fun at work, or taking a break, or leaving early to pick up their kids… those people are considered to be less productive, less dedicated to getting ahead in life. In fact, unless we learn to pace ourselves, to take breaks, to value family time, our productivity suffers. We become less efficient, even less dedicated, as our energy wanes. Photo by Johnson Wang on Unsplash 2. “Tough Guy” Image That legendary cinematic image [...]

By |2019-07-30T19:52:01+00:00March 13th, 2018|General|0 Comments

Stretch Goals: Are You Pushing Yourself to Win… or to Fail?

When Is the Best Time to Take on a Stretch Goal? There’s a heckuva lot of encouragement out there to go for it, to take on one of your stretch goals, or, as is it is often phrased, to set and achieve your BHAG: your “Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal.” The Harvard Business Review ran an interesting article recently on how to decide when it makes sense for an organization to push for a stretch goal, versus when a stretch goal is more likely a setup for organizational failure. The authors boiled it down to this question: Does the organization have the resources needed to reach for a BHAG?  The authors defined resources as time, money, knowledge, personnel, morale, and management support. Their study indicated that having inadequate resources predicted likely failure for that organization in achieving their BHAG. Worse, such a failure usually saps motivation and drive from people and [...]

By |2019-10-30T22:56:23+00:00February 27th, 2018|General|0 Comments

Did Mom (or Dad) Blow a Fuse?

You know that sense of startlement, the one that comes from a sudden, illuminating new perspective on the life-lessons you absorbed as you grew up? As we lit our Christmas tree this year, I was startled by this new thought: did my mother suffer from burnout? The house I grew up in is still the home of the my mother's business: The Virginia Kidd Agency. I grew up in a wonderful leaky, creaky old house. At that time, our family could rarely afford the repairs the house constantly needed. In particular, the house's wiring was terrible. One of my less-good childhood memories is of how frequently our Christmas tree lights burned out the master fuse. Every Christmas, the same thing. When the fuse blew, it abruptly plunged our household into pitch-black darkness. It was usually my job to change the fuse. Grumpily, I’d grope around until I located [...]

By |2019-07-30T21:46:06+00:00December 27th, 2017|General|2 Comments

Holiday Stresses? Take the NO Out of Noel

Feeling some holiday stress? Is there too much NO in your Noel? As the holiday season gets into full swing, are you losing some of your zing? Whatever your reason for the season may be, whether Christmas or Kwanzaa, Hanukkhah or Yule… Are you becoming perhaps just a bit fatigued or cranky? Have you caught yourself wondering if the holidays are worth all your extra effort? Parties, visits, decorations, family get-togethers, gift shopping/creating/wrapping, and religious observances… Somehow we cram all that into our already-full schedules.  Holiday celebration can easily morph into holiday overwhelm. And, it must also be said:  for some of us, holidays have become a time for mourning, not celebrating.  The decorations, parties, and supposedly joyous observances throw our grief into sharper relief, leaving us feeling mute, overcome, and out of step. Whether you’re overwhelmed or overcome, here are 3 simple, low-energy tips to take the No out [...]

By |2019-01-13T22:31:15+00:00December 5th, 2017|General|0 Comments

Happier: Five Ways to Build Happiness

In case you need a reason (or two) to learn how to get happier, let me just ask… Do you do your best work when you are miserable? I sure don’t. Do you nurture your important relationships, when you are miserable? I confess there have been times when I’ve been really bad at this, too. Speaking of reasons to get happier, I’m preparing for a couple of big corporate presentations this week.  As I study how we can build our work engagement, increase our productivity, and improve our relationships, one idea keeps coming up again and again: Happiness. So I decided to really dig into this topic, by re-reading two great books. The Achor book is my favorite, because it’s written in a humorous, breezy way.  Lyubomirsky tends more toward a dry, scholarly tone.  Though her book has more great research-based happiness activities to try than his does. Pick your  penchant.) [...]

By |2019-01-13T22:32:18+00:00November 28th, 2017|General, Walking Our Talk|0 Comments

Hands Down: 6 Easy Ways to Decrease Thanksgiving Stress

Photo by Jeremy Yap on Unsplash “Grateful? Are you serious?”  I was overwhelmed, burned out, depressed, hopeless. I struggled to get through each day and somehow present a calm, functional face to the world. What did I have to be grateful for? After a long silent moment, my therapist gently persisted. “Think of one thing you’re grateful for, about yourself. No matter how small it is.” “Well,” I said slowly, staring down at my hands, “Thumbs are amazing. I am glad I have thumbs that work. My thumbs are long and have a good shape.” Since she was as astute as she was compassionate, my therapist did not scoff. Nor did she ask me to expand my list. She simply said, “Great.  Let yourself admire your thumbs for a while.”  As I continued to stare at my hands, I was startled to feel a small, hopeful ray of [...]

By |2019-01-13T22:33:11+00:00November 21st, 2017|General, Walking Our Talk|2 Comments

Taming Social Burnout with the Burnout Shield

Is social burnout a thing? Jay says it is. Then she corrals and tames social burnout by rounding up her own vibrant, staunchly individual Burnout Shield strategies. Plus: angel! Our friend Jay Dunn continues her deep personal dive, chapter by chapter, to Save Yourself from Burnout: A System to Get Your Life Back.  Enjoy! by Jay Dunn, guest blogger Burnout is a consequence of a person's prolonged attempts to protect themselves from emotional and interpersonal stressors. It is characterized by three main dimensions: the feeling of emotional exhaustion (which includes physical and mental exhaustion), a sense of cynicism (feeling less caring about the people you work with; older studies use the word depersonalization for this dimension,) and a low sense of personal accomplishment (feeling like you can't be effective or your work doesn't matter). My emotional exhaustion came from my willingness to be transparent with my friends and family... at [...]

By |2019-01-13T22:34:33+00:00November 14th, 2017|Book Sneak Previews & News, Walking Our Talk|0 Comments

I’m Tired: A New Perspective

"I'm tired. ... Mind, this is usually never meant in a physical sense; it is almost always in a mental or emotional sense that I use it."  Meet my new friend, and now, delightful guest blogger, Jay Dunn. She is honoring us by sharing her quirky, thoughtful. personal responses, chapter by chapter, to Save Yourself from Burnout: A System to Get Your Life Back.  I've found myself alternately tearing up and laughing as I read, and often find myself thinking about her takes for a long time.  Let's let Jay get right into it: Dedication and Chapter One: "I'm Tired" by Jay Dunn, guest blogger I read over the reviews to get insight as to what some others had to say about it, and I felt rather positive about how this book could assist me become a better me. Dedicated to those too tired to remember the value they bring to [...]

By |2017-11-06T17:40:54+00:00November 7th, 2017|Book Sneak Previews & News, Walking Our Talk|0 Comments
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