From Harvard Business Review: Prevent Burnout by Making Compassion a Habit

prevent burnout

“’I am sick to death of the ridiculous situations I have to deal with at work. The pettiness, the politics, the stupidity — it’s out of control. This kind of thing stresses me out to the max.’

Stress is a happiness killer. And life is just too short to be unhappy at work. But we hear this kind of thing all the time from leaders in industries as varied as financial services, education, pharmaceuticals, and health care. In our coaching and consulting, we’re seeing a spike in the number of leaders who used to love their jobs but now say things like, “I’m not sure it’s worth it anymore.” They’re burned out — emotionally exhausted and cynical, as a result of chronic and acute work stress.

Why is stress on the rise? A lot of it has to do with uncertainty in the world and constant changes in our organizations. Many people are overworking, putting in more hours than ever before. The lines between work and home have blurred or disappeared. Add to that persistent (sometimes even toxic) conflicts with bosses and coworkers that put us on guard and make us irritable. Under these circumstances, our performance and well-being suffer. Work feels like a burden. Burnout is just around the corner. And happiness at work is not even a remote possibility.

Here’s the good news: Some people don’t get burned out. They continue to thrive despite the difficult conditions in their workplace.”

eazl read full post

Do This to Make More Time for Family & Personal Development

personal development

Carving out extra time isn’t that hard once you start paying attention to how you already spend most of your day. I challenge you to keep track of one 24-hour period. You’ll be surprised at the excess amount of time you spend on unimportant tasks (including work tasks) and how the hours get away from you. Do you REALLY need to spend 2 hours sorting through emails every day? Are the things you are stressing about today even necessary for you to have a successful workday?

This post is not about making you a more productive superhuman. It’s about carving out time for family, enjoyment, and personal development.

  1. Get rid of Facebook
    In most cases, Facebook is a huge timesuck although it can depend on the quality of your own network. If you’ve been using it professionally and have a feed that builds on your intelligence rather than sucking away your time on nonsense, more power to you. But, chances are most of you are still keeping up with people from your past and you don’t even know why.

Facebook is addictive intentionally and the sooner you break the habit, the sooner you can stash away those lost hours for more important things that will actually get you where you want to be.

If you use Facebook for a business page or ads and feel like there is no way around it, we encourage you to install something like this Chrome plugin, which is a news feed eradicator. You can log in and do what you need to do without getting distracted by the addictive, and often toxic, newsfeed.

2. Learn how to say “no”
We talk about this a lot here at Eazl and, honestly, I’m the leader of the say “no” mentality here. It’s something I’ve never really had an issue with as a hyper-logical person and I think I always took it for granted until I realized that most people feel unwarranted guilt and anxiety about saying “no”.

We don’t want to upset or disappoint others. We don’t want to feel regret about lost opportunities.

Sometimes, your ambition can get the worst of you and you can actually take yourself completely off track if you take every opportunity placed in front of you. If we did everything, we wouldn’t be good at anything. Focus and stay set to your path. That’s the key here: YOUR path.

Everyone around you –even those who love you– are going to want you to do what they think is best for you. Often, it’s based on their own desires or ethics or preconceived notions of who you should be. Don’t fall for that. You are the only one in the world who will care about you first.

  1. Spend your time and energy on (and with) good people
    Something I have realized as I’ve gotten older is how much of our (limited) free time is spent putting energy into relationships that are not positive if we allow it to happen. In order to be a high functioning person who can stay motivated in both life and work, you have to put good things into your brain.

If you have friends or family members or even co-workers who are passive aggressive, dependent, or do and say things to intentionally bring you down, you might want to take some steps to limit interactions with them or break ties with them completely.

Imagine a life where you are surrounded by supportive and kind individuals who want you to succeed. That should make your decision much easier.

4. Prioritize….like, actually do it
Not everything on your to do list needs to be done. Every day, select 4 tasks to accomplish that will have the biggest impact on your business or your day. This is something that Paul Klipp taught us and we are so thankful. Don’t get caught up in the weeds or feel like you have to get everything done!

  1. Eliminate non-positive behaviors
    We all have habits that need to be checked every now and then. Maybe you find yourself on social media during work hours (when you could be wrapping up earlier instead) or maybe you don’t need to watch a third episode so you can finish up that book that’s been on your nightstand all year. We make choices every day about how we spend our time.

This doesn’t mean you have to ALWAYS be productive but you should always be thinking about what will feed you and help you prosper. Sometimes, it’s allowing yourself to take a break to watch an episode of Westworld; sometimes, it’s making yourself get off the couch so you don’t spend another night at home parked in front of the TV.

We don’t have to be perfect but, the more we remember to check ourselves, the more we’ll naturally make better choices and look back on time as well spent.

  1. Follow your intuition
    This might seem cheesy, but your gut will often guide you in the right direction. If someone asks you for a favor and you know you’re strapped for time or you end a first meeting with a client and they seemed kind of difficult, you should follow that feeling and eliminate.

When you eliminate, you make room for other amazing people and opportunities that are right for you and those who really value you won’t be offended to hear “no”.

Do you have any strategies that aren’t included in this list? I’d love to hear about it. Just send me a Tweet!

The Science of Happiness and Social Status

In this week’s Brain Boost: the science of happiness and social status.

If you look on Instagram and many of the other social networks around, you’ll see that there’s a culture of people who like to flash money, designer bags, trips, and fancy cars. It would almost make you think that personal consumption and status should be the driving force behind our decisions.

If you find flashy images interesting and attractive, don’t worry it’s natural to your brain. Professor Ed Schiappa, the head of MIT Media Lab, has shown that our brains are virtually incapable of categorizing images and videos into a category that’s different from the things that we’ve actually seen in real life.

So, the takeaway here is that, when you see it through social media, your brain thinks that you actually saw it for real. That’s why we have a hard time remembering that some person who posts Instagram photos of themselves with luxury cars and helicopters that they really don’t own really isn’t that rich.

Interestingly, we now know for a fact that being super rich does not lead to happiness. Research from Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman at Princeton University has shown that, after around $75k a year, additional income contributes very little to our happiness. Instead, what we’re looking for is respect.

Check out his research here.

A research team from UC Berkeley shows that the kind of status that does drive real happiness is the kind that is derived from your personal networks: respect. And that respect is usually delivered in face-to-face interactions within your professional community or within your local community –not online.

So, the takeaway here is that being rich orbecoming rich… if that’s a part of your life, that’s great. You should do it well like Bill Gates, JK Rowling, and Warren Buffett. But let’s call bullshit on all the fraudsters who post Ferraris and claim that they can teach you to get what they have because, most likely, they don’t have it yet.

See you next week at 10 a.m. Pacific Time for another Brain Boost.

Also, check out these other videos from Daniel Kahneman and Ed Schiappa below:

From Harvard Business Review: Work-Life Balance Is Easier When Your Manager Knows How to Assess Performance

work life balance

“Changing the way we evaluate goes to the very core of good management. Think about how much more competitive your whole organization would be if managers:

  • Defined performance in terms of customer satisfaction, core activities, or project completion.
  • Regularly held goal-setting and feedback sessions with employees, and used goal attainment as the core of performance evaluation.
  • Understood which aspects of employees’ jobs lend themselves to flexible work and which need to be performed at set times in the office.
  • Allowed more flexibility in how, when, and where work gets done, while ensuring that enough time is spent at the office to promote communication, collaboration and innovation.
  • Gradually allowed more freedom and flexibility employees who perform well and earn trust.
  • Recognized that we can maintain or even increase performance standards in professional environments while letting go of exactly how work gets done.”

work life balance