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7 Simple Steps to a Stress-Free Career

 

stress free zoneDo you feel like you’re always stressed on the job? Unfortunately, you’re not alone. Some 83 percent of American workers say they often feel stressed at their jobs. If this isn’t bad enough, apparently our workplace lives are just getting more stressful. The same poll by Harris Interactive for Everest College found only 73 percent of workers cited frequent stress just last year, meaning our stress levels have risen by 10 percent in just 12 months.

Unsurprisingly, work stress is bad for your health and for your productivity. Rushing around in a frenzy can actually infect your team with second-hand stress, according to DePaul University professor Robert S. Rubin. Plus, the more we rush, the less we’re able to focus on any one specific task.

“No one wants to be seen as the slowest moving object in the solar system. You have to keep up with the Joneses—literally,” Ben Jacobson, co-founder of Conifer Research,told The Wall Street Journal.

Whatever happened to workplace simplicity? It’s time to cut back on your stress by taking a few simple steps to declutter your work life. Here are a few ways to go back-to-basics and show your career stress the door:

1. Kick Your Email Addiction

This might be hard to face, but it’s best to just tackle the truth directly: you have an addiction and it’s your inbox. So many workers spend much of their day just playing catch-up to their emails. You might be in the middle of work when you hear the siren beep of a new email zooming into your inbox, and suddenly your work is halted so you can take a look.

It’s time to detox from your inbox. Choose a few times during your day to check your email and stick to this schedule no matter what. For instance, you can check once in the morning, once around lunch, and a follow-up time an hour or two before clocking out. By limiting the amount of time you spend lost in your inbox, you can tune out the noise and allow yourself to focus.

2. Steer Clear of Workplace Drama

You came to your office to work and yet somehow your workplace has become more political than an episode of House of Cards. Office politics hurts company morale, and47 percent of workers feel office politicking also hurts productivity. Sadly, a study by by Robert Half International found 60 percent of workers felt like they had to play the game.

Don’t get caught up in stressful office politics. Let your work speak for itself and take yourself out of negative situations where gossip flows and hurt feelings flourish. One of the best ways to simplify your work life is to steer clear of the drama.

3. Give Yourself a Break

If you feel like you’ve hit a wall after lunch, know you’re not alone. According to research, your body hits a sleepiness peak around 2 p.m.

Instead of taking a nap, which is still frowned upon in many workplaces, give yourself a little mental break. Take a few minutes to check in with friends on social media or take a walk outside to clear your head. Don’t stress if your attention is lagging — instead, give yourself permission to let your mind wander.

4. Surround Yourself With Positivity

It’s hard to feel stressed when you’re looking at a picture of a baby animal. This is certainly what researchers at Hiroshima University discovered when they found pleasant images such as tiny kittens make workers more productive.

To cut down on stress, surround your office space with positive images. Don’t leave your office or cubicle empty — fill it with planets, posters, and pictures of loved ones. A positive work environment can work as a pick-me-up when you get particularly stressed.

5. Communicate Regularly

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you don’t think your voice is being heard by upper management. In fact, less than one-third of workers felt management would change practices based on suggestions and feedback provided by employees. You want to be respected at your company, and the best way is to make your voice heard. Cultivate communication networks with your coworkers, your team, and your boss. If your workload is overwhelming, don’t be afraid to say something and ask for practical solutions to cut down on your stress levels.

6. Learn to Say No

You might want to do everything and tackle every possible challenge, but sometimes the biggest challenge is finding the strength to say no. Taking on too much responsibility is the best way to end up burnt out and feeling frayed. Research by the University of California in San Francisco found people with difficulty saying no are more likely to experience stress. While unpleasant, sometimes the healthiest thing you can do is bow out gracefully and avoid overextending yourself.

7. Take Note of Your Silver Linings

It’s easy to let the little stresses on the job pile up and blot out the things you genuinely love about the job. Every day, take a few minutes from your schedule to jot down your workplace “silver linings.” Write down a project you’re excited about tackling, a nice thing a coworker did, or even a reminder of why you love your job. It’s easy to make a mountain out of a molehill, but don’t let the daily grind rid you of your career passion.

Stress doesn’t have to weigh down your career. To become happier and more productive, it’s time to simplify your working life.

The Differences Between Successful People and Unsuccessful People

People Success

A few weeks ago I received a postcard in the mail from the CEO of Petra Coach, the creator of Align Software and a fellow member of Entrepreneurs Organization. I’ve never met him, but Andy Bailey and his postcard that I hung up on my wall have already had a profound effect on me, reinforcing values I believe in and reminding me on a daily basis of the attitudes and habits that I know I need to embrace in order to become successful.

Below are the 16 differences between successful people and unsuccessful people that Andy Bailey and the postcard claim, followed by a picture of the postcard itself:

1. Embrace change vs. Fear change

Embracing change is one of the hardest things a person can do. With the world moving so fast and constantly changing, and technology accelerating faster than ever, we need to embrace what’s coming and adapt, rather than fear it, deny it or hide from it.

2. Want others to succeed vs. Secretly hope others fail

When you’re in an organization with a group of people, in order to be successful, you all have to be successful. We need to want to see our co-workers succeed and grow. If you wish for their demise, why even work with them at all?

3. Exude joy vs. Exude anger

In business and in life, it’s always better to be happy and exude that joy to others. It becomes contagious and encourages other to exude their joy as well. When people are happier they tend to be more focused and successful. If a person exudes anger, it puts everyone around them in a horrible, unmotivated mood and little success comes from it.

4. Accept responsibly for your failures vs. Blame others for your failures

Where there are ups, there are most always downs. Being a leader and successful businessperson means always having to accept responsibility for your failures. Blaming others solves nothing; it just puts other people down and absolutely no good comes from it.

5. Talk about ideas vs. Talk about people

What did we all learn in high school? Gossip gets you nowhere. Much of the time it’s false and most of the time it’s negative. Instead of gossiping about people, successful people talk about ideas. Sharing ideas with others will only make them better.

6. Share data & info vs. Hoard data & info

As we all learned in kindergarten, sharing is caring. In social media, in business and in life, sharing is important to be successful. When you share you info and data with others, you can get others involved in what you are doing to achieve success. Hoarding data and info is selfish and short-sighted.

7. Give people all the credit for their victories vs. Take all the credit from others

Teamwork is a key to success. When working with others, don’t take credit from their ideas. Letting others have their own victories and moments to shine motivates them and in the long term, the better they perform, the better you’ll look anyway.

8. Set goals and life plans vs. Do not set goals

You can’t possibly be successful without knowing where you’re going in life. A life vision board, 10 year plan, 3 year forecast, annual strategic plan, and daily goal lists are are useful tools of the mega-successful people in your life. Get your vision and goals down on paper!

9. Keep a journal vs. Say you keep a journal but don’t

Keeping a journal is a great way to jot down quick ideas or thoughts that come to mind that are not worth forgetting. Writing them down can lead to something even greater. You can even use mobile apps or your Notes function in your phone. But don’t fool yourself by saying you keep a journal and not following through.

10. Read every day vs. Watch TV every day

Reading every day educates you on new subjects. Whether you are reading a blog, your favorite magazine or a good book, you can learn and become more knowledgeable as you read. Watching television, on the other hand, may be good entertainment or an escape, but you’ll rarely get anything out of TV to help you become more successful.

11. Operate from a transformational perspective vs. Operate from a transactional perspective

Transformational leaders go above and beyond to reach success on another level. They focus on team building, motivation and collaboration across organizations. They’re always looking ahead to see how they can transform themselves and others, instead of looking to just make a sale or generate more revenue or get something out of the way.

12. Continuously learn vs. Fly by the seat of your pants

Continuously learning and improving is the only way to grow. You can be a step above your competition and become more flexible because you know more. If you just fly by the seat of your pants, you could be passing up opportunities that prevent you from learning (and growing!)

13. Compliment others vs. Criticize others

Complimenting someone is always a great way to show someone you care. A compliment gives a natural boost of energy to someone, and is an act of kindness that makes you feel better as well. Criticizing produces negativity and leads to nothing good.

14. Forgive others vs. Hold a grudge

Everybody makes mistakes; it’s human. The only way to get past the mistake is to forgive and move on. Dwelling on anger only makes things worse – for you.

15. Keep a “To-Be” list vs. Don’t know what you want to be

A “To-Be” list is a great way to strategize for the future. I want to be an elected official one day. I want to be a TED speaker. I want to be the CEO of a public company. I want to be a great father and husband. Unsuccessful people have no idea what they want to be. If you don’t know what you want to be, how can you achieve success? What do you want to be?

16. Have Gratitude vs Don’t appreciate others and the world around you.

Moments of gratitude, each and every one, transform my life each day- and unquestionably have made me more successful and more happy. The people who you are grateful for are often the ones who have a huge part in your success. Be sure to thank everyone you come in contact with and walk with a spirit of gratitude and appreciation and even wonder, about the world around you. Gratitude is the ultimate key to being successful in business and in life.

Successful vs Un

Eight rules for success at work

We desire success at work and a satiating career. But what does it take to get there? In this article, I have jotted down traits that I have always adhered to. These work for me. These generic guidelines transcend industries and will help you too. If widely followed,