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Start the day with a plan of action

Start the day with a plan of action

WhatsApp Image 2017-12-06 at 1.49.22 PMIn time management, one of the most common problems that I see is that people tend to rush into the day without any form of a plan for what they are trying to get done. People who do not have a plan for the day end up wasting a lot of time trying to decide what they should be doing next. Every time that they have to make such a decision, they have to run through every option and weigh up the pro’s and cons. This wastes precious time and can lead to that dreaded thing called the ‘paralysis of analysis’. When this problem strikes, you end up getting nothing of value done because you spend too much time trying to determine the best thing to do.

Another major issue with starting your day without a plan is that you concede control of your time. If you have not taken the time to determine your most important tasks, you end up jumping from task to task based on the demands of others. Whoever screams loudest at you wins the race to get you working on what they want you to do. And so, you end up working on the tasks that are more important to others; which rarely matches the tasks that are most important for you.

When you have a plan

When you take the time to organize your day, you’ll find that you move more effectively and swiftly through the day. You know what needs to be done; you know what jobs you are capable of doing on the day and, you are prepared to do those jobs. There is no need for you to waste time thinking about what you need to do next as you only have to look at your plan and you can spring into action.

When you have an effective plan, you are focused on the importance of each task. Some people like to start with an easy task while others feel more energetic at the beginning of the day and so tackle a difficult task first. However, the most effective way to prioritize is to do so based on importance. If you get your most important task completed early in the day; the rest of the day could go completely off track and you would still have had an effective day. Also, you don’t have to focus on the quantity of work that you do; you simply focus on getting good quality work done. There will be some days when you can’t do as much as you would like but by getting your most important work completed; you will continue to make steady progress.

I have created a FREE Report called ‘Improve Your Focus; Increase Your Productivity’. It does exactly what it says on the cover.

Get Your FREE Copy Here

Simple questions to make a quick plan

The following are just some very quick questions which can help you formulate an effective plan:

  1. Are there tasks which have to be set up for specific times?

Think through the day. Do you have meetings at work which may take up your time? If so, those should be built in to your schedule first. Be careful to only include tasks/meetings which are time specific.

Once you have done this, you can then see quite clearly how much time you have available for other tasks.

  1. What resources will I have access to?

There are many tasks which you can only perform if you have access to specific resources e.g. I can only type up this article if I have access to my computer. If I was not going to have access to my computer today, then there is no point putting this task on my plan for the day; as I couldn’t complete it.

When you are planning you will realize what resources you need for each task. In some cases, as with my example, you will not be able to add the task to your plan; in some cases you will just need to ensure that you bring the necessary resources with you. Also, in some cases, you will only have access to the necessary resources at set times so you will have to schedule the relevant tasks for those times.

  1. What is my most important task?

Of all of the tasks that you need to complete, which one would have the biggest, positive impact? Be sure that you will have the necessary resources to complete the task.

This is your most important task. If you only completed that task today, you will still have a very good day.

  1. What are the next 2 most important tasks?

If, for any reason, you cannot work on your most important task, then one of these tasks should be substituted. You can then return to the most important task at the first opportunity.

It isn’t always going to be possible to work on the most important task but it is imperative that you always work on the most important task that you can complete at that specific time.

I have created a FREE Report called ‘Improve Your Focus; Increase Your Productivity’. It does exactly what it says on the cover.

Get Your FREE Copy Here

  1. What are your next 5 most important tasks?

These tasks serve a few purposes. If you cannot perform one of the most important tasks, you can still do some valuable work. Also, if you complete your most important tasks with time to spare, you can move straight onto these tasks and get even more valuable work done. It is important that you maximize the benefits of your best days and these tasks will ensure that you can do so.

For more great advice to improve your organization and focus, check out The Modern Professional’s Guide to Organization and Focus.

When planning, beware of easy or mindless activities that take up your important morning time – such as checking emails and getting stuck on Internet sites which aren’t important. Rather than try to fight the impulse to do these things; schedule some strict time through the day to perform these tasks e.g. I check my email twice per day.

Before you leave work, whether at an office or home desk, take some time to look at what you’ve accomplished during the day and plan your schedule for the next day. Identify the most important tasks that you can complete the following day and, prepare the resources that you will require to complete these tasks. Then, when you begin to work the next day, you will have a clear plan of action for the day ahead so you can hit the ground running. Of course, there will be times when emergencies arise and priorities change but with a properly made plan; you will still be able to make the most of your day and, pick up where you left off once the emergency has passed.

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What you should be doing..

644391_10155564278272355_3301416791313717328_nIn any moment, we know what is the best use of our time and resources. You can’t do every thing you would like to do.You will never be able to do every thing you would like to do.

That may sound negative but the reality is that you are not meant to do every thing. If you want a happy and successful life; you need to do less, not more. You just need to ensure that what you do is the most important thing you can be doing. You need to know your priorities and focus on them. For each key area of your life, you really only need one priority. Sure, you can do other things too but not until you have taken the necessary actions on your most important activities i.e. your priorities.

Imagine if you went to work each day and you completed your most important task, each day. Then, with the remaining time, you completed your next 1-3 most important actions, each day. You would have a very successful working life.

Sadly, most people choose to focus on getting as much done as possible. They don’t stop to think about what needs to be done and what can be let go. The biggest time waster is doing things you don’t need to be doing i.e. things which don’t need to be done or; could be outsourced or delegated.

Before you rush into your work, take the time to identify your priority for the day.

Follow that by identifying the next 1-3 most important tasks.

1. Get everything else off your plate; at least until these tasks have been completed.

2. Your results will shoot through the roof.

3. Try it for yourself.

For more great time management tips, check out Quick Fixes of Your Productivity.

Have a fantastic day,

Kiokoh

20 Ways to save time with your smart phone

20 Ways to save time with your smart phone

In many ways, life has become more stressful for the knowledge worker. Information is coming at you in many different forms. Sometimes it can seem relentless. This is made even harder if you are regularly required to spend time away from your desk. Not long ago, time spent away from your desk meant that there would be a great deal of time where you couldn’t do anything important e.g. if you had to travel to a one hour meeting, it was hard to make effective use of the time spent travelling before and after the meeting. If you were taking public transport, you could carry work with you but this brought its own problems. Thankfully there is now a tool which allows you to make the most of your time, even when you are on the move – a smart phone. Almost everybody in the western world has a smart phone but they may not be aware of the many ways in which it can help them save time.

Discover 62 Powerful Tips To Help You Maximise Your Productivity And Reduce Stress.

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Save time with your smart phone

Your smart phone, if used correctly, is an excellent tool for helping you to save time. Your smart phone can perform a wide array of functions which save you time. The following list covers just 20 of the easiest ways that you can use your smart phone to save time.

1. Capture commitments and information

save time appointment

The first step in staying organised is to capture your commitments and important information. You don’t just receive information when it is convenient for you to do so. You will have conversations, ideas and receive requests at many different times. While it may not be convenient at that time, it is imperative that you capture that information so that you can review it and process it at the earliest opportunity.

For example, you may be out to lunch when you have a great business idea. When you have your smart phone at hand, you always have a means to capture that idea e.g. you can email yourself or call your own voicemail and leave a message. Then, when you review your email or voicemail later on; you will have captured the idea and be in a position to act upon it.

2. Task lists

save time task lists

Task lists are fantastic if you manage them properly. One of the most important aspects of effectively managing your task lists is that you must have access to it. When you maintain one or more task lists, you must maintain them in a way that means you will have access to them when you need to.

For example, my friend Jay works from his desk for the vast majority of his day. He chooses to maintain his task lists using Microsoft Outlook and that works for him. My work requires that I am regularly away from my desk and I do not have Microsoft Outlook on any mobile devices. Therefore, if I was to depend on Microsoft Outlook to manage my tasks lists, I would be without access to them for much of the day.

Thankfully, smart phones have a large number of apps which allow you to store your task lists online and access them from a mobile device. I choose to use a Google Spreadsheet to manage my tasks lists as I like to keep things as basic as possible. Thanks to my smart phone, I can access my task lists 24 hours per day, allowing me to maximise my productivity.

3. Contacts

save time contacts

With a smart phone, you always have the contact details from your all of the important people in your life. You don’t have to go digging through files or business cards. You can also back up your contacts list meaning that a change of device does not mean that you have to manually transfer all of the contact information. This is one of those tips where you don’t realise how it will save time until you hit a problem.

4. Calendars

save time calendars

Just like task lists, calendars are a wonderful time management tool, if you use them properly. You should only ever use one calendar and you should always have access to it. There are a number of different calendars that you can use with your smart phone; just choose one that meets your needs.

5. Document access

save time documents

In the knowledge work era, more and more people are spending large chunks of time away from their desks. It used to be that if you wanted to work on a document or, just read it, you had to be on your PC or Mac or, you had to print it and carry it with you. Now there are a number of apps that allow you to store documents online and access them from anywhere, on any device. This allows you to save time by reducing down time.

If you are away from the office, you can still get valuable work done thanks to apps such as Google Drive or Dropbox which allow you to store and retrieve your documents, as and when you need to.

6. Reading material

save time reading

When I worked in my first job, we used to have an external consultant who regularly came to the office to do some work for us. When I would go to meet him at reception, he would be reading a novel to kill time. While novels are great, they are not the best use of work time.

As highlighted in the previous point, you can now access important documents via your mobile device so that you can save time by using your mobile device to maximise downtime. In addition there are a number of apps which allow you to read books related to your industry e.g. Kindle, Scribd. And, if you want to stick with the novel, you can access it on your smart phone rather than having to carry it everywhere.

7. Social media

save time social media

The advent of social media has seen a new way to provide customer service, provide information and market yourself. It is important work which if managed correctly, can be done in just a few minutes. This makes your mobile device an ideal way to check in on social media and handle quick tasks. It can be done from anywhere at any time.

It is important to remember that the objective here is to save time so, any time that you go onto social media, it should be with a clear purpose. Once you have done what you have set out to do, you should be logging off again.

8. Timer

Parkinson’s Law tells us that a task will expand to fill the time allowed. If you are struggling with time management, one of the best things that you can try is to use a timer. You can set a time limit e.g. 40 minutes and work on the task for that period of time, without interruption. It is far easier to avoid distractions when you know that you are only working for a set period of time and that at the end of that period of time, you will be able to tackle anything that pops up.

You can check out the Pomodoro technique for more ideas on how to use a timer to improve your time management skills.

9. Picture capture

save time camera

When I say picture capture, you are probably thinking of pictures for fun or for posting on social media but let me give you an example of using the camera on your smart phone to save time.

I was on a coaching course in London when we were divided into groups to brainstorm an exercise. As a group, we produced a Flipchart sheet full of great ideas. Three more groups did likewise.

As you might imagine, nobody wanted to lose these great ideas so we all took out our pens and notebooks to write them down. Suddenly, one lady walked up to the Flipchart sheets (we had pinned them up) and took out her smart phone. She took a picture of each sheet and sat back down. The rest of us just laughed before following suit.

When you have a smart phone in your pocket you can save time by just taking a picture of anything important rather than spending time trying to write it all down.  You can also take pictures of important documents, receipts, business cards etc. which may prove important in the future.

10. Videos

save time videos

Video can be used for many wonderful purposes; from recording events to making tutorials. Within your smart phone, you have a video making machine. You may need to add one or two tools to make it even more effective but you can save time by making videos for clients, colleagues, friends etc.

For example, imagine that a colleague has emailed you asking for some advice on setting up a proper filing system. Rather than trying to explain in great detail how you use your filing system, you could just take your smart phone out of your pocket and record a video of you walking them through your system. They can watch the video any number of times until they understand thoroughly, meaning that you save time by not having to answer questions by email.  You could even upload this video to YouTube so that others may learn from it too, meaning that you can record it once and use it an unlimited number of times.

You can get more great time management strategies with Quick Fixes For Your Productivity.

11. Audio recording

save time voice record

As well as making video recordings, your smart phone is also capable of making audio recordings .This function can be used to dictate notes, make educational resources or even record interviews.

12. Reservations

save time reservation

With access to the internet, the opportunity to make bookings and reservations is easy. Regardless of where you are going or what you need to do, you will usually be able to make the reservations with a few taps on your smart phone.

Discover 62 Powerful Tips To Help You Maximise Your Productivity And Reduce Stress.

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13. Shopping

save time shopping

Online shopping is becoming more and more popular. Most physical stores now have an online presence too. I remember during my college days, Amazon was just starting out. Many people laughed at the idea of buying books online. What they failed to understand was how much people value convenience and time saved.

You no longer need to go to a store for most items. You just order and pay online and they will deliver it straight to your door. Even supermarkets offer home delivery so you can just order your groceries online and they will be picked up and delivered straight to your door. If you want, you can usually save your grocery list on the supermarket’s website. That way you just have to login, review your list and either add any additional items you need or remove items you do not need before you complete your purchase. Once you set it up, the amount of time saved really does add up.

14. Travel arrangements

save time travel

Not only can you book your travel and accommodation via your smart phone; you can check for potential delays too e.g. you can check to see if there are any traffic delays on your planned route and search for alternatives.

With many travel companies, you don’t even have to waste time printing your tickets now. You just save them to your phone and display them at check in, meaning that you save time, save paper and help save the environment. Now you’ve got to love that.

15. Banking

save time banking

Waiting to be served in a bank is a pain in the backside and, now it is an unnecessary pain in the backside. You no longer have to travel to a bank, wait in line and fill out a multitude of forms just to make a simple transaction.

With your smart phone, you now have your own banking machine in your pocket. You can check your balance, transfer money and pay bills in mere moments. Save time and save hassle by setting up online banking and installing your bank’s app.

16. News

save time news

It’s important to keep up to date with what is going on in the world and in your industry. With your smart phone you can do this. You can search the internet or you can set up RSS feeds from your favourite news sites. This allows you to access the news when you have a few free moments, rather than having to sit down at an exact time to watch a news bulletin. This flexibility means that you can fix your own schedule and keep moving throughout the day.

17. Relaxation

save time relaxation

Life cannot be all work and no play. Neither your body nor you mind were designed to work that way. Rather than wait for the opportunity to relax, you can make a conscious effort to use down time to relax and unwind. Play a meditation or some relaxing music – even a hypnosis track. Just a few moments spent relaxing can have a massive impact on your health, wellbeing and performance. As a result you will save time and improve your performance.

With your smart phone you can do all of this. Just make sure that it is safe to do so e.g. do not do any of the above while driving.

18. Fun

save time fun

Just like relaxation, fun is an essential component of effective time management. Having fun will allow you to unwind, release stress and escape the pressures of your work life for a few minutes. With your smart phone, you have a virtual amusement arcade. Whether you are into video games, music, comedy etc. your options for fun are virtually unlimited.

19. Education

save time learning

The internet is full of educational content. Whether it is in the form of writing, audio or video, your smart phone allows you to access any of the educational content that you desire. Free time can easily be used to improve your knowledge and skills allowing you to learn and improve on the go.

20. Communications

save time communication

Yes, I know it is obvious but you have a communications hub in your pocket when you have a smart phone. With email, phone, text, Skype etc, there are unlimited ways to contact people and conduct important business. One of my task lists contains tasks for which I only need access to my phone. That is so that when I am out of office, with only my phone, I can still quickly scan these tasks and choose the most important one that I can get done at that moment.

Note: it is important to remember that while you can contact others, they can also contact you so, if you are working on something important you should remember the most important function on your smart phone – the power button.

For more great time management strategies, check out Quick Fixes For Your Productivity.

Being away from the office is no longer an excuse for not being able to do some important work. With your smart phone in your pocket, you have an abundance of ways to make better use of your time. It is important that you have predefined work hours and this article is not intended to have you working 24/7/365. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the many ways that your smart phone can help you to make better use of your working hours, meaning that you are less likely to have to work outside of these times. With your smart phone you can make your productive time more productive; allowing you to relax and enjoy your own personal time.

ODINGA vs KENYATTA FULL JUDGEMENT LESSONS TO/FOR THE YOUNG MINDS

ODINGA vs KENYATTA FULL JUDGEMENT

LESSONS TO/FOR THE YOUNG MINDS

Close to 12hrs  of reading and listening, the youth should learn from the whole session. I have watched, listened and learnt thus making my own observations and extracting moral lessons from the Panel, senior councils, lawyers and the audience present.

Eppie Lederer wrote, “If you think education is expensive, Try ignorance”, a quote that appeared in context in an Ann Landers column – pseudonym in 1975. To-day books are no longer the advantage of the rich, but an advantage which the poor MUST enjoy equally with the wealthy for a successful Nation. Anyone, anywhere should observe Malcolm X’s quote, “Read absolutely everything you get your hands on because you’ll never know where you’ll get an idea from…”

Wednesday, September 20 2017, goes to the history books. It will take an eternity to erase the memory of the moments. Kenya, has we go down in history, we especially the youth need to pick up life teachings from the SUPREME JUDGEMENT.

Many young people will devote their time on meaningless material. We need to rethink. Every participant from the look of things, was well informed and up-to-date with what exactly they wanted and supposed to say. That simply called for adequate preparations and devotion to one’s ambition and passion.

Political loyalties aside, Judges Rulings notwithstanding, education and information remains essential. The decorum and modesty carried by all participants are vices we all must replicate.

Moral lessons;

  1. Modesty

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that modesty is more than just clothing—it is a way of thought, action, and attitude, in addition to dress. And although the fundamental principles of modesty have not changed since many of us were teenagers, the times and world situations that young women and men are living in today are ever changing—and the way we need to approach modesty with youth is in dire need of a makeover itself.

A modest monk will be quiet, not flamboyant, in his prayer. A modest judge will be humble in the face of the sovereign law and his or her own authority. A hundred years ago, modest, well-mannered ladies and domestic servants kept their intelligent opinions and strong passions to themselves, as expected.

Notwithstanding its detractors, general modesty is often a positive character trait practiced by academics, ancient and modern equally. General modesty is a Christian virtue that is shared by other major religious traditions. General modesty may have inherent value, but it has practical value, too, because it can be socially advantageous to avoid provoking “an envy response in others.”

Modesty is so important to social harmony that men and women who are not modest are expected by the rules of etiquette to convincingly fake modesty. Pretending to be modest is of little practical value, though, when pretense fails to veil frank conceit.

  1. Professionalism

The presentation of the professional values is remarkable for its context attitude. Four capacities are set out as fundamental to the professionalism and values of all participants;

  • Knowledge, skills and performance;
  • Quality;
  • Communication, partnership and teamwork
  • Maintaining trust.
  1. Developing an understanding – Exercise is Power

Exercise should be a daily priority for everyone. It makes you physically, mentally, and emotionally stronger. It improves your health and your outlook. It is the remedy for just about everything.

Learning theorists argue that expertise is best developed through doing. Learning by doing is always to some degree developmental. Effective learning requires research, practice, feedback and a response to the feedback on that practice.

Importantly, and something that can be easily overlooked in this, is that the contributor should communicate as clearly as possible the aims as well as the content of what is being submitted. This clarity of the aims or the goal is essential because it is the process of doing, feedback, reflection, repeating, that constitute the practice being learned.

From the long session, it was clear that, partakers in their submissions, practice and understanding of the subject matter was by doing over and over again.

  1. Patience and Humility

Heroism, self-denial, and even martyrdom are worthless without humility and patience. This book shows you how to develop these two key virtues, no matter how difficult your circumstances may be.

Please remain calm! Remaining calm in tough situations is a bigger challenge, but equally as important.  Surprises can get to us mentally and emotionally. Even the strongest of people can succumb to the almighty power of unpredictability.

The calmness in the court proved beyond reasonable doubt that staying calm will make you more likeable and make others think that you are more in control than you actually are. You can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control how you handle situations in a way that will have people gravitate toward you.

It might seem obvious that humility and calmness are positive traits. But in case you ever needed more of a reason to exhibit these things, they don’t just help others—they help you and make your life easier.

No matter what happens, always try and remain calm and keep from going off the deep end. Everyone you’ve ever met is trying to do the exact same thing you are. Life is a lot easier when you accept that you aren’t the only one living it.

  1. Respect other peoples opinion

People come from different backgrounds and are brought up to believe in different viewpoints. We are all influenced by a number of things, such as our upbringing, our culture, parental views. Put yourself in your friends’ shoes and try to ask if you’d believe the same things if you’d had the same experiences as them.

Try to understand their view

Whether its politics, religion, music taste or football, we all have different views, but respecting each other’s’ opinions is important for maintaining positivity. We are all the products of our own individual upbringing and experiences so it is completely natural that we will all have differences in opinions on a wide range of issues.

The world would be a very dull place if we were all the same and it’s the incredible diversity amongst people throughout the world that makes it such a fascinating place. Tolerance is the key but you can still maintain your own identity and still have valid viewpoints. Remember, even identical twins have their own individual experiences and opinions and you probably don’t agree with everything your parents or children say but does that necessarily compromise you?

There are many things we can do to move towards accepting other people’s opinions and respecting our differences. At a very basic level, we should treat others with the same degree of respect as we would like to be treated ourselves. We should embrace our differences, not be afraid of them and we should never judge a person on our first impression which is often about how he or she looks. Taking the time to get to know the person within is a far better indicator than pre-judging them on appearances alone.

I GIVE THANKS

I give thanks to you, O Lord,

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TO GOD BE THE GLORY

For what you’ve blessed me with
The abundance of the blessings
From heaven that you give

 

For I have all received from you
The abundance from your hand
In many varied and different ways,
You’ve blessed us in this land

I only need to look around
At what you, Lord, have given,
To see the many blessings I have
And see your full provision

 

So, Lord, to you I give our thanks
With full and grateful hearts,
The blessing of family, friends and love
And just for who you are.

ASANTE BABA!!

Teach people how to treat you

Some people can cause us a lot of problems in our daily lives:

  • They treat us badly
  • They speak badly to us
  • They try to dump work on us
  • They delay us by not getting their work done on time
  • They interrupt us repeatedly


And a whole lot more.

It is easy to blame the other person for these problems but there is a simple truth we are ignoring – we teach people how to treat us.

Today’s article explains this in greater detail.

Check it out here

If you enjoy the article, please share to your social media.

Have a fantastic weekend…

11 Behavioural symptoms of stress

Like most problems; the sooner you spot stress the easier it is to manage. It pays to be familiar with the many different symptoms of stress. The symptoms of stress fall into many different categories e.g. behavioural, physical, emotional, psychological etc. Over the coming weeks I shall be discussing each of these, however, this week I shall begin with the behavioural symptoms of stress.

Stress can affect behaviour in many different ways but the following tend to be the most common behavioural symptoms of stress.

You can discover 10 Poweful Resourcs to eliminate stress with my FREE Report.

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Behavioural symptoms of stress

1. Sleeping difficulties

behavioural symptoms of stress insomnia

Sufferers of stress often find it difficult to switch off. With no activity to distract them, negative thinking, anxieties and worries take over the mind. Fear of having forgotten something and negative expectations of forthcoming events (e.g. interview, presentation) limits the ability to relax sufficiently to fall asleep. Sleep shortage and insomnia are often tell-tale signs of stress.

 2. Lack of punctuality

behavioural symptoms of stress poor punctuality

Timekeeping is one of the first things to suffer when an individual becomes stressed. They may take too many tasks on; try to avoid tasks and thus leave them until the last minute or they may be so overcome with worry/anxiety that they become forgetful. In order to remedy the situation, they must first identify why their punctuality is so poor.

 3. Absenteeism

behavioural symptoms of stress absenteeism

Stressed individuals tend to regularly miss work. They may be trying to avoid a difficult situation or they may be suffering the consequences of one of their coping mechanisms e.g. alcohol.

 4. Withdrawal

behavioural symptoms of stress withdrawal

Withdrawal is a common behavioural symptom of stress. The individual’s self-esteem and confidence may have taken a hit and as a consequence, they may no longer feel capable of coping with social situations. In order to protect their fragile confidence, they may choose to avoid all such situations.

 5. Exhaustion

behavioural symptoms of stress exhaustion

If we are to maximise our energy, one of the most important things for us to do is to balance our physical energy. There will be times when we are required to work at our maximum output for sustained periods. In order to do this we must implement periods of deep rest which enables both our body and mind to recover. Failure to do so can eventually result in burnout and chronic fatigue. The stressed individual may feel like they are constantly running from one emergency to another and thus fail to take the time to rest and recuperate. Constant fatigue is often a sign that someone is overwhelmed and experiencing stress.

 6. Addictive/excessive behaviour

behavioural symptoms of stress addictive behaviour

Those experiencing stress often don’t realise that it is stress which they are experiencing. Where they do realise this, they often have no idea how to deal with stress.  This can result in short term solutions which, though they have a temporary impact, have damaging long-term consequences. One of the most common coping mechanisms for dealing with difficulty is alcohol. While alcohol can have temporary benefit, it can be highly addictive and it fails to resolve the situation. Other coping mechanisms include smoking, illegal and prescription drugs.

 7. Unhealthy eating habits

behavioural symptoms of stress unhealthy eating

Comfort food is often sought as a solution to stressful situations. Indulging in convenience foods can make you feel better temporarily and saves time, however, these foods are rich in salt, sugar and fat which can lead to obesity, high blood pressure and heart related illnesses.

While we associate comfort eating with stress, some people have the opposite response to stressful situation i.e. they avoid eating. They may be experiencing a suppressed appetite, they may have developed a negative self image or they may have developed negative associations with food. Whatever the reason, the consequences of food avoidance can be every bit as devastating as the consequences of food indulgence.

 8. Risk-taking behaviour

behavioural symptoms of stress risk

A sudden development of risk taking behaviour can be a clear sign of stress. Individuals may be experiencing a low sense of self-worth or a lack of excitement in their lives.  They need a ‘buzz’ in their life and are willing to take bigger risks in order to get that buzz. Unfortunately, they level of risk they need to take to get the ‘buzz’ may increase steadily over time. They fail to see that as the risk gets bigger, so too do the potential consequences. Gambling is a common behavioural symptom of stress, which falls within this category.  Certain extreme sports and reckless driving are some of the other symptoms of stress which may fall under risk-taking behaviour.

 9. Accidents

behavioural symptoms of stress accident

Concentration tends to suffer greatly when one experiences stress.  In certain work places (generally more manual industries) this may result in a high number of accidents both fatal and non-fatal. Along with reduced concentration, the individual may also be overworked, poorly trained, displaying risk-taking behaviour or denied sufficient rest periods; all of which may be contributory factors in the stress.

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 10. High turnover in the workplace

behavioural symptoms of stress high turnover

Stressed employees are generally unhappy in their work situation. Sadly, many workplaces have not put the necessary training and procedures in place which would allow the employee to discuss their experience with their manager so that they may work together to find a solution. Rather than raise the issue, many stressed employees will choose to seek employment elsewhere.

 11. Suicidal talk or behaviour

behavioural symptoms of stress suicidal

Stress can diminish an individual’s self-esteem and sense of self-worth to the point where they feel that they cannot go on. In many such cases we do not get the opportunity to help the individual but in some cases they do drop subtle hints of their intentions. There are courses, such as ASIST, which can help to improve your chances of spotting these signs and intervening.

If you feel that you may be experiencing stress, check out Stress Free Living.

Many people feel too embarrassed or ashamed to openly discuss their experiences with stress. It is, therefore, essential that we familiarise ourselves with the behavioural symptoms of stress so that we may be able to identify what they are going through and remind them that the channels of communication are open and that we were willing to help them, or help them find more suitable help. You may in fact be experiencing stress yourself. It may be helpful to regularly remind yourself of the behavioural symptoms of stress so that you can identify it early and take appropriate action.

The 80/20 Principle…

I am a firm believer in the 80/20 principle.

It tells us that approx. 80% of our results come from approx. 20% of our actions.

The percentages are not always such but they are always heavily skewed in a manner which tells that very few of our actions produce most of our outcomes.

This tells us two things:

  1. We need to dedicate more time, energy and attention to the people and actions which produce the best outcomes for us.
  2. Most of our actions, and the people in our lives add very little, if any value to our lives.

If you think about the second point, you could cut out most of the actions and people from your life and your life would improve.

Less is more when the less is the stuff that really matters.

If you are like the average person, the following is probably true for you:

  • You spend too much time doing things which don’t need to be done
  • You spend too much time doing things which others should be doing
  • You spend too much time doing things because others want you to do them
  • You don’t spend enough time on the things which bring you the best results and most joy and happiness
  • You give too much time and attention to people who don’t add real value to your life
  • You don’t give enough time to the people who add the most value to your life

How much better would your life be if you sorted all that out?

There are 2 key steps to doing so and; you can make a start on both simultaneously.

  1. Identify the actions and people which bring the most joy and happiness into your life and dedicate more time to them.
  2. Make that time available by decluttering your life and removing the actions and people which add little or no joy and happiness to your life.

People forget about the importance of decluttering but the 80/20 principle also tells us that 5% of the people in your life will contribute about 50% of the people-related problems.

The same is likely true for actions and possessions.

So, start decluttering your life today and reap the rewards.

If you need help decluttering, this great resource will help.

We lost each other……

I could ask you to stay,
But there’s really nothing left to say.

This break up has been emotional and long,
But I know I’m strong.

I guess we naturally grew apart,
But it still hurts in my heart.

We went days without speaking or sending a text,
And all I could wonder what was next.

There were times we couldn’t look each other in the eye.
How did we get this far, and why did something so special have to die?

As I write this, memories flood me.
They remind of all we used to be.

Even when things we’re bad, I never thought this relationship would end.
Our broken hearts I thought we could mend.

Now you’ve left without a goodbye.
I’ve got no energy to even cry.

I knew it was over when we started doing things on our own.
You got so distant and I was alone.

I tired getting you to notice that I was still there,
But you made up your mind and didn’t care.

There’s many nights when you’re all that’s on my mind.
I hope happiness is what you find.

There are days when I just can’t get out of bed.
But “try” is what you always said.

So every day I try to put on a smile.
Even if it’s not a real one for a while.

We were together for so many years, so do you ever shed tears?
I know I’ve got to let you go,

And someday I will,
But mixed emotions are what I feel.

We both made our fair share of mistakes.
It feels like I’m drowning in sadness, anger, and resentment, all in different lakes.

I honestly wish you nothing but the best
As my strength and endurance is put to the test.

Characteristics of a Bad Leader

Characteristics of a Bad Leader

We have all been on the receiving end of bad leadership and that in itself is not a bad thing because we can learn from it. What is most important is to understand the underlying forces at work in bad senior leaders.

Much has been written to tell us about the “top traits of a bad boss” or “how to deal with an awful boss.” There is some great information here that should not be ignored and the ideas presented in them help us understand the “bad boss.” But they are generally focused on failing junior and middle-level leaders and managers.

Senior leaders who are bad at leading, bring a significant dimension of trouble in an organization. While this may be obvious on the surface of the statement, what leads to it may not seem so clear.

There are three crucial factors that are at play with understanding the success or failure of a senior leader: 1) Senior Leader Character, 2) Leadership Style, and 3) their Followers.

Senior Leader Character: Many senior leaders fail because they do not have a calling to leadership. This is a lack of passion. They also rely on their own skills to do everything and are generally blind to their inadequacies and drive. Frequently they see their position in terms of privilege and power (although they don’t admit it), and will ignore the advice of others. They are essentially unprepared for leadership and are unwilling to be held accountable for their conduct.

Leadership Style: Bad senior leaders also fail to have the proper vision or any vision at all for their organization. Vision must be methodically established and pursued on behalf of the organization … not as a response to competitors, organization problems, or personal factors. The strategic vision also helps to determine leadership style because it must be pursued vigorously. Those senior leaders who pursue a vision for the wrong reasons (e.g., personal gain) will be more inclined to value employee obedience over creativity.

Their Followers: Leadership involves the interplay between the skills of the leader, the needs of the organization, and the demands of the business. Employees/followers will act according to these factors by accepting or rejecting a leader and following the senior leader willfully or mechanically. People look for leadership and guidance, and when not provided, will react to reject those in leadership positions.

There have been a number of 360-degree feedback surveys in Fortune 500 companies and the results published. The results are helpful and are indicative of the issues discussed. Here are just a few examples of bad leaders:

  • Lack of direction (improper or no vision)
  • Lack of energy and enthusiasm (no passion)
  • Have poor judgement (poor decision-making processes)
  • Don’t collaborate (sees no need to enlist the assistance of others)
  • Resist new ideas (obedience is valued over creativity and hard work)
  • Lack interpersonal skills (also unwilling to improve social skills)
  • Don’t develop others (interested for themselves, not others)

Recognizing that the characteristics of a bad senior leader as the product of all three factors (Senior Leader Character, Leadership Style, and Followers), helps us understand better how to put solutions in place. Leaders must be aware of this to begin putting the organization on the right track for future survival.