Monthly Archive for March, 2012

Overworked? 4 Signs You Need to Recharge

Overworked, Overwhelm, Tired, Fatigue, Stressed OutTake a cue from elite athletes who know how much to train AND avoid overtraining.

Here are four ways to tell you’re about to hit a performance wall.

Sometimes it’s obvious you need a break, but in most cases you’ll figure it out only once it’s too late. When you work double-digit hours during the week with Saturdays and Sundays no longer a reprieve, feeling overworked, stressed out and fatugued can become the new normal.

Even so, you’ll eventually hit a wall and when that happens it can take days and even weeks to recover the enthusiasm, creativity, and motivation you’ve lost. Not to mention the risk of a breakdown or other physical manifestation.

Fortunately a few of the same techniques endurance athletes use to detect the need for additional recovery can be used to indicate when you need to recharge your work batteries.

Where elite athletes are concerned, chronic overtraining can actually defeat the fitness purpose and result in decreased stamina, power and speed. Sometimes after an inlfection point has been reached, the harder they train the slower and/or weaker they get.

The same thing happens to us when we’re overworked at the office, on the job.

Of course we then put in more hours to compensate and get even less done!

So how can you tell the difference between feeling overworked and really overworking yourself?

Here are 4 ways to ensure you stay at your professional best so that you are in peak performance state.

  1. Check your resting heart rate. Every day, before you get out of bed, take your pulse. (There are plenty of free apps that make it easy. Some even log results.) Most of the time your heart rate will stay within a few beats per minute. But when you’re overworked and stressed your body sends more oxygen to your body and brain by increasing your heart rate. (The same thing happens when athletes overtrain and their bodies struggle to recover.) If your heart rate is up in the morning, do whatever it takes to get a little extra rest or sleep that night.
  2. Check your emotions. Having a bad day? Feeling irritable and short-tempered? If you can’t put your finger on a specific reason why, chronic stress and fatigue may have triggered a physiological response and sent more cortisol and less dopamine to your brain. Willing yourself to be in a better mood won’t overcome the impact of chemistry. In extreme cases, the only cure is a break, starting with a good night’s sleep!
  3. Check your weight. Lose or gain more than one percent of body weight from one day to the next and something’s wrong. Maybe yesterday was incredibly stressful and you failed to notice you didn’t eat and drink enough or maybe you failed to notice just how much you actually ate. Lack of nourishment and hydration can impair higher-level mental functions (which may be why when we’re overworked and feeling stressed we instinctively want to perform routine, less complex tasks.) And eating too much food—well, we all know the impact of that.
  4. Check your, um, output. Urine color can indicate a lack of hydration (although sometimes it indicates you created really expensive urine after eating a ton of vitamins your body could not absorb.) The lighter the color the more hydrated you are. Hydration is a good thing. Proper hydration aids the absorption of nutrients and helps increase energy levels. If your urine is darker than usual the cure is simple: Drink a lot of water.

The key is to monitor each of these over a period of time so you develop a feel for what is normal for you.

Pay special attention on weekends and when you take a vacations. If you notice a dramatic change, especially a positive one, that’s a sure sign you need to change your workday routine.

Don’t think this is only for elite athletes. If you want to be the best you can possibly be, no matter what your profession, whenever you slam into the workload wall you are far from our best.

Don’t even think you don’t have the time to take a short break or get a little more sleep. You can’t afford NOT TO.

If you don’t monitor your workload (and stress), eventually your mind and your body will hit a wall and force you to take a much longer break than you can really afford…

So why not avoid the collision in the first place?!?!

5 Ways Women Sabotage Success: Some Solutions

Women’s History Month began Thursday, March 1, 2012, and ends Saturday, March 31, 2012. Women entrepreneurs are known to be successful and have differentiating characteristics to their male colleagues in fact Erotic Capital is one of the more controversial measures and gender arbitrage one of the most opportunistic.

That being said, everyone has challenges on their way up the ladder or success. A recent article by Lauren Carlson highlighted the 5 ways women sabotage their success. I thought it was worthy to bring them to your attention because by knowing what they are, you can avoided or at least minimise them.

Here is my take on the 5 ways women sabotage their success, using Bree Robbins Top Dog at Paddington Pups as a mini case study.

1. Being Afraid of Self-Promotion

The concept of self-promotion is an Exponential Marketing Strategy called preeminence whereby you create a professional persona that transcends who you are in a relevant context so people know who you are and what you’re about. if you are shy, let your results speak for you. Every time you accomplish something, you don’t have to scream it from the rooftops, but let people know what you’ve done. Everyone wants to deal with a “winner”.

Psst! Did you notice that Bree’s title is Top Dog – not CEO or Managing Director?!?! Hmmmm… Something to think about!

2. Undervaluing Themselves and Their Services

When you promote yourself and your products, you want to do it in a natural, fun way. As the short video below demonstrates. You don’t have to be flamboyant or provocative to sell yourself and your products. Do it naturally and authentically, just don’t sell yourself short by NOT doing anything.

3. Not Asking for Directions

This is where women can make the most improvement – to get the advice, coaching and mentoring that men have been getting for decades.

Listen to Bree’s experience with the devastating floods that swept through her doggy day care facility. She has been a coaching client for several years – you can hear the wisdom that defies her youthfulness because she has learned how to think strategically about business to deal with ANYTHING that is thrown her way.

4. Making Relationships the Priority

When Paddington Pups was flooded, 200+ clients came to the rescue helping get the business back on its feet in a record 8 days. That is priceless – not on financial grounds but because it shows that there is a real relationship withing the Brisbane dog-loving community so strong that it can overcome the worst of circumstances.

Relationships of course also extend to the commercial, advertising and promotion aspect of your business. For example, Bree nurtured a relationship with Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer and was ‘rewarded’ with a site visit and an extensive interview (shown below).

The lesson here is: Don’t be shy – follow your dreams and aspirations!

5. Being Afraid of Making a Mistake

Even though women do tend to be perfectionists, all successful entrepreneurs have this gene, it also causes an affliction called perfectionis.

Just remember that “perfection is the poison of profitability”. Trying to be perfect all the time is not only impossible, it’s not profitable. Perfection is NOT necessary for success. Seeking perfection is admirable and necessary for excellence, but there comes a time when “good is good enough”.

For example, blog posts. It’s better to get 1 or 2 out every week with timely, relevant information than to try to create perfect prose only once a month.

I always tell my clients that with more than 3,000 pages of content on the Internet (including 7 blogs) I have more content with typos and grammatical errors than most people have IN TOTAL CONTENT. Of course I do go back and edit them when they are pointed out, but I don’t hesitate to blog and try to get it perfect each and every time… I just do it as best I can – like this blog post. It’s not ‘perfect’, but good enough to give you some solid advice you can put into practice!

So there you have it – my take on a great article by Lauren Carlson that I hope helps you run up the ladder of success two rungs at a time!

Death By Powerpoint Video

As a reader or subscriber to this blog, you know that I teach public speaking skills to business owners and executives as well a Persuasion Presentation Principles that Unleash The Speaker Within You.

One of the most popular presentation tools is Powerpoint. That being said, Powerpoint can often KILL rather than improve a presentation.

Watch this short video to make sure you’re not killing your presentation attendees!