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Tag Archives: thrive at work

winter blues

Yes, it’s still winter. Sorry to break the bad news! If you’re finding it hard to roll out of bed and go to work, you’re not alone. 14 % of people in colder climates suffer from seasonal mood changes, commonly known as winter blues. You might feel tired or lethargic. You might feel uninspired or unmotivated at work. You might feel a sense of directionless or purposelessness.

If you suspect that the cold weather is getting you down (and that your feelings aren’t indicators of a larger problem, like depression or true Seasonal Affective Disorder), there are a few simple tactics you can take to turn things around.

Hang in there! Spring will be here before you know it. In the meantime, take a look at these 15 ways to get inspired and boost your mood.

 

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  1. Write it out

Keeping a journal of your thoughts and feelings can help you make sense of them. Writing is a great release for pent-up emotions.

  1. Practice saying affirmations every morning

Before you get out of bed, focus on your strengths and the positive aspects of your life.

  1. Visit a conservatory

Soak in some actual sun at your local conservatory. The benefit of being in a warm environment among oxygen-giving plants is amazing! Bring a book and stay a while.

  1. Invest in a light box

According to psychologist Stephen Josephson, sitting in front of a light box daily for half an hour to an hour is very effective for improving mood and motivation.

  1. Eat healthy

Although it’s tempting to turn to chocolate and potato chips during the winter months, do your best to eat a clean diet. The nutrients will help increase your energy and focus.

 

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  1. Plan a trip

Even if you can’t take a trip in the near future, it’s lots of fun to plan one. Studies show that oftentimes people actual get more enjoyment from planning their trip than actual going on it!

  1. Make dinner dates with friends

Chances are, your friends need to get out of the house just as much as you do!

  1. Visit the aquarium

Not just for kids! Being around fish and sea creatures is incredibly soothing.

  1. Play host/ess

Plan a dinner party for a few weeks from now and invite a handful of friends. Use your creativity to come up with a great menu, décor, music, and drinks.

  1. Get involved

Volunteer opportunities abound! Find a cause you believe in and put in some hours this month. Start looking on Volunteer Match or on the bulletin board in your local community center.

 

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  1. Connect with co-workers

Today, invite a co-worker to lunch (or coffee) and have a chat. The more positive connections you make at work, the more likely you’ll want to show up.

  1. Personalize your office

Update the family photos you keep at work, hang artwork, make your space you.

  1. Move!

If you’re feeling “blah” during the day, don’t just sit there and stare at your screen. Get up, take a walk, and allow yourself to refocus

  1. Make a list of 5 things you love about your job

Are you having trouble making the list? If so, there may be other issues at hand instead of just the winter blues. My door is always open, if that’s the case.

  1. Make a difference in someone’s day

Every day, look for opportunities to spread kindness. You might do something small, like clean the breakroom coffee pot. Or, you might do something larger, like volunteer to help a co-worker with her project. Not only will you feel good about your actions, you’ll be strengthening your personal brand—never a bad thing.

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, INSIGHTS®DISCOVERY LICENSED PRACTITIONER, FOUNDER OF UXL, AND CO-FOUNDER OF THE TAG TEAM. YOU CAN VISIT HER WEBSITE AT WWW.YOUEXCELNOW.COM

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By Margaret Smith
SPEAKER | CAREER COACH | CERTIFIED INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY PRACTITIONER

Contrary to what you may expect, promoting the talents of others can actually help to showcase your own skills and strengthen your brand. This magical habit is called delegation, and it’s an essential tool to propelling your own career, improving results, developing your personal brand, and keeping your workload under control.

Let’s all start by taking a moment to acknowledge the often-ignored fact: There is only a limited amount you can do, no matter how hard you work. Because we are not super-humans, it’s essential that we learn to let go sometimes.

This having been said, there is a way to get it all done, and done well: delegation. Often, delegation gets overlooked as a viable tool because it is a lot of work upfront. Instead of doing the task yourself, delegation requires you to share your insights, know-how, and expectations with others.

To Delegate, or Not to Delegate: That is the Question

When faced with a new task, don’t just jump into it right away. Instead, ask yourself, “Would this task be a worthy use of my time?” If you continue to accept projects that don’t align to, or properly utilize, your skills, you’re diluting your brand. Perhaps there is someone else who has the skills to do the task better, or who would be eager to develop skills that the task would involve?

Strategically delegating tasks to others allows you to focus on the tasks that reinforce your real skills—those you want to be known for as part of your personal brand. (If you haven’t yet considered what your personal brand is, now is the time to start!)

How to Handle the “Who?”

When considering who to delegate to, take into account the following questions:

  • What are this person’s skills and knowledge?
  • Does this person currently have space in their workload?
  • What is this person’s preferred work style?

Once you have decided on the best candidate, don’t forget to document the process. When practicing delegation, it’s extremely important to keep track of your processes to save time in the future and develop best practices that promote clarity and efficiency. Just as you, say, develop practices that keep your house clean—washing dishes after meals, placing laundry in a hamper, etc.—creating processes for sharing tasks at work will cut down on confusion and clutter, not to mention saving time and preventing mistakes.

Your Challenge:

Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by your workload, fight the urge to dive headfirst into your pile of tasks. Instead, assess these projects and consider whether or not some of them can be delegated to another member of your team instead.

Do you have any helpful tips about delegating effectively? Please share!

Interested in navigating the changes in your life, finding success in your job hunt, or making the most of your career? Contact UXL Today!

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UXL personal branding

Your personal brand is more than your company logo or the colors you choose for your website. Your personal brand is, to put it simply, you. How you act, what you say, how you dress, and how you address others all contributes to your personal brand. It’s what you’re showcasing to the world and, consequently, how others see you.

No empire is built overnight, just as no brand is transformed in a day. It takes time to build a reputation around yourself that others will respect.  But you CAN get started today by writing down some of the key goals you have for your personal brand and how you will go about achieving those goals. Start by thinking about a few key things:

  1. Your brand should be consistent.

If you want to make yourself known as the reliable, go-to person for any project, then be reliable! If you want to be known as the employee who goes out of their way to include others, then focus on being inclusive! Don’t try to fake it and be something you’re not, but DO try to capitalize on your assets and be consistent with your behaviors. And remember: the office pool can be quite small. If you act one way with one group of people and act completely different with others, that behavior will be noticed…and that’s frankly not the kind of attention you want.

  1. Review your daily activities.

Do your day-to-day activities support your personal brand? If you’re trying to promote your writing skills, but are constantly working on research projects or editing, then you’re not being true to yourself or your abilities and it’s probably time to reevaluate your daily work. Talk to a manager about getting more writing projects or volunteer for additional writing opportunities (like the monthly company newsletter).

Or maybe your goal is to rise to a leadership position. Think about your typical daily to-do list and ask yourself if your activities are contributing to the bigger picture. If not, how can you go about changing them?

  1. Stay rooted.

Yes, personal brands evolve. You might change your career goals or you might even switch positions within the company. That doesn’t mean your personal brand should be scrapped and you should start from scratch. Stay true to who you are and never lose sight of that. You might consider saying an affirmation to yourself every morning like, “I am a positive, optimistic person who always gets things done on time” or “I enjoy working with customers and go out of my way to make them happy.”

The best way to start working on improving or honing your personal brand is to have a plan. Do not approach it haphazardly and let others decide how they see you. YOU decide how you’d like to be seen. YOU have the power to build a strong, respected personal brand, brick-by-brick.

Need help getting started? Contact me today for guidance with strategic career planning.

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