Personal Productivity BLOGS & PODCASTS

Summer Vacation: An A-Ha Moment?

Ah, summer vacation. While I’m lucky enough not to be chained to a traditional work schedule, there’s just something about taking a vacation in the summer that is so compelling.

Maybe it’s escaping one environment for another when the days feel slow and motivation is (sometimes) fleeting. Or, maybe that’s because something special happens to me every single time I go on vacation.

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Stress Weighing You Down? Find Energy and Motivation in Work When You’re No Longer Inspired or Fulfilled

How do you keep going when life is stressful and challenging? Where do you find the will and energy to continue? When your work no longer inspires and fulfills you, but it just isn’t possible to find another job or position yet, how can you keep your energy and momentum going?

In part 2 of my interview with Sue Read, learn how to stay motivated even in the most challenging of times:

  • how connecting to meaning and purpose can reduce your stress and dramatically increase how much you enjoy going to work
  • the most important foods to include in your diet to rebuild your brain for peak performance, well being, and overall resilience

Sue draws from the work of Victor Frankl, a thought-leader in the field of resilience, as well as what she has learned through her research as a Clinical Psychologist, her work with hundreds of professional clients, and her own personal experience as a former elite athlete whose career came to an abrupt end when she suddenly found herself in hospital, paralyzed.

Is there a strategy you use to deal with stress and motivation? Have any of these tips worked for you? Share in the comments below!

Click here  if you missed Part 1 of my interview with Sue, “Developing Resilience: How to Bounce Back, Remain Fresh, and Achieve Peak Performance, Even During Stressful Times”

Interview with Sue Read, Part 2  « Click arrow to listen

Developing Resilience: How to Bounce Back, Remain Fresh, and Achieve Peak Performance, Even During Stressful Times

Have you ever wished you could get more done at work, sleep better at night, and have more energy for life? Do you ever struggle with exhaustion, depression, or lack of focus? My interview with Sue Read is full of powerful, simple things you can do to:

  • sleep more deeply, wake feeling rested
  • maintain steady energy throughout the day
  • gain at least one to two extra hours of productive focus each day
  • rejuvenate your brain to maintain peak performance and mental focus
  • feel more energy, happiness, and balance in life

Sue is a former elite athlete with years of deep training and experience as a clinical psychologist, business coach and trainer. She combines her knowledge of physiology, human emotions, and achieving peak performance to give you simple advice you can easily apply to your life.

Interview with Sue Read  « Click arrow to listen

Why You Need a Mini Retreat, and 5 Ways to Take One Today

Everyone loves a vacation. But when you’re in career crunch-time, whether you’re a business owner or an employee, it can be difficult to set aside the time, money, and energy needed for a real respite from the daily grind.

We all have times in life when we get overloaded with work and feel overwhelmed and exhausted. I tend to be in ‘driver’ mode most of the time, so my inclination is to put my head down and try to push through it. Instead of taking a break, I’ve asked myself – why not work a little harder for a little longer and get everything done so I can take a real vacation? Have you ever said this to yourself?
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Career Killer: Staying in Your Comfort Zone and Stalling on the Big Stuff

What’s the work you always put off doing? The really big important stuff, right? It’s easier to knock off a few little tasks. Makes you feel productive! But avoiding larger projects and strategic thinking can be a career killer for anyone wanting to grow their career. So often those are the projects that get us noticed.

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Productivity Tip: What to do when something feels WAY too big to even begin

What overwhelms you? Your to-do list? Email inbox, dirty house, or the blank page of a major undertaking you keep putting off? It seems like the bigger the thing, the more we want to put it off. It’s possible to spend more energy on worry and anxiety about doing the task than it takes to just do the task, right?

Some of the most useful advice ever given to me was from my first writing mentor Jennifer Meyers, a prolific professional writer who took me under her wings many years ago, when I had nothing more than promise and a winning smile. She taught me how to face the blank page and get thousands of pages written on deadline.

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Discover What Motivates You to Get Things Done!

What’s the secret to getting yourself into action, even when you feel resistant? We all have important tasks we dread doing but somehow manage to get done (eventually), like doing the dishes or keeping up with financial paperwork. When you start exploring what comes next in your career, you’ll likely find some of the tasks required along the way difficult to get done.

What if you knew the key to quickly getting yourself out of resistance and into action? Think of the energy and time you could save yourself if you removed dread and resistance, and just went straight to the satisfaction and relief of getting it done!

There are lots of common reasons for feeling resistant now and then to taking action. You may feel the pinch of adding more activity to an already busy life. There may be actions required that you just don’t enjoy (like updating your resume). You may feel a bit nervous or uncertain about exploring something new. As you may have experienced by now, discovering the elements of what you really love doing through the Passion Discovery Worksheet and getting out to Talk it Up can happen very quickly. You can find opportunities worth exploring immediately.
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Fear is Your Friend

With all the “think positive” advice out there, what’s a person to do with their fear, anxiety, worry and other “negative” emotions? Block them? Stomp them out?

I have found it useful for myself and my coaching clients to think of fear as a friend. All of our behaviors, beliefs and feelings have a positive intention behind them. Constricting feelings like fear and anxiety exist to keep us safe from something, like failure, embarrassment or pain. They broadcast loudly to get our attention. (Robert Dilts, an outstanding thought-leader in NLP, provides excellent detail on the concept of positive intention.)

What I do with constricting emotions like fear, worry and anxiety makes all the difference. If I let them hobble me and stop my progress, then I’ve missed their gift. If I stop and listen carefully to those emotions, there’s always a useful message about what I want and need to feel balanced and take the next steps along my path.

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Four Elements of Effective Delegation

One of the senior leaders I coached today told me a classic failed delegation story: “I delegated some research work to one of my junior staff members. I asked her to follow up with a client who needed us to assess the effectiveness of their web site. I gave her the client’s phone number, asked her to call and get the URL, then look over the web site and give me a report on what she found on the web site. A week later, she emailed me ‘Here’s the URL you requested.’ ”

You can almost hear her sigh of frustration, can’t you?

I find as I coach leaders that there are very specific elements that go into effective delegation. Without these, delegating becomes a frustrating cycle of failed attempts to get work done that leave you wishing you’d just done it yourself. Maybe even questioning the competency of your staff. Learn More →

4 Ways to Wade Through Low Motivation and Stay Productive

When you have a long to-do list and low motivation, how do you stay productive? A coaching client posed this question to me on Thursday. I knew exactly what he was struggling with. It’s been a hot September week here in California. My body wants to kick back and stay relaxed like it’s still summer. My mind knows that it’s fall, and the typical crush of 4th quarter work is barreling down on us. Now is the time to get in gear, not fall behind. But getting myself to be productive feels like wading through mud. Learn More →

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Related Podcasts

Stress Weighing You Down? Find Energy and Motivation in Work When You’re No Longer Inspired or Fulfilled

How do you keep going when life is stressful and challenging? Where do you find the will and energy to continue? When your work no longer inspires and fulfills you, but it just isn’t possible to find a … [More]

Balancing Career Change and Family – Interview with Donna Marsh

Learn how a successful professional uses three key tools from the Passionate Professional process to balance a career change with being a mother of a special needs child and a military spouse. … [More]

Supercharged Path to Finding Work You Love – Interview with Greg Peters

From layoff and unemployment to exciting new career direction—learn how this professional speeds through all three phases of the Passionate Professional process into work he truly loves. … [More]

Success Stories

Patrick Summer, Life and Business Coach

Success Story: “Jane practices what she teaches. She is a true artist, both literally and poetically speaking. Her ‘canvas’ is her life; be it her unique custom home and lifestyle, her creative entrepreneurial ventures, or her actual working with metal to create sculpture in her studio. More than anyone I know, Jane creates her life using the same tools and skills and concepts that she gives to the people she works with, to help them create their own life as an artist might craft a work of art. Let Jane midwife the masterpiece that is your life ready to be born!”