Archive for Work-Life Balance

Feeling pressed for time, I accidentally hit “reply all” instead of “reply” when responding to an email. As soon as my finger left the key, panic struck! I immediately began worrying about the negative ramifications of my mistake and whom I might have pissed off!

Can you relate to the feeling of dread and panic described above? Does your behavior when stressed tend to help or harm your efforts?

Given the unrelenting demands most of us experience, I’m pretty sure we’ve all wanted a “do over” from time to time. Not only has social media made such a "do over" impossible, it often allows our mistakes to live on forever in a gazillion social platforms.

If only we could stay calm under pressure!

“Keep Calm and Carry On!”

The key to staying calm under pressure is found in our brain. If we can train our brain to be our ally, instead of our foe when stressed, we will be able to stay calm under pressure.

Following are 10 effective behaviors that will train your brain to help you stay calm under pressure.

1. Be Grateful! Countless research demonstrates that people who are grateful for the positive things in their lives have lower cortisol levels – the hormone associated with stress. Researchers at the University of California, Davis demonstrated that people who felt gratitude had increased energy, positive moods and an overall healthy sense of well-being. If you begin your day feeling calm, it will be easier to stay calm when stress comes your way.

For more information on how gratitude impacts your health and your ability to handle stress, click here.

2. Think Positively. When under pressure, if you can think of a positive situation or thought, it will distract your brain from dwelling on the negativity of the stressful situation, which often feeds on itself, creating a circular doom and gloom case scenario in your brain.

Thinking positive thoughts allows your brain to keep stress in check by shifting its attention to a “stress-free” zone in our brain.

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” William James

3. Go off the Grid. I know, I know, it is really hard to shut off your cell phone, pull yourself away from your computer, and totally disengage from the electronic world. However, it is imperative you do just that; otherwise you are in danger of frying your brain and burning out. If feeling overwhelmed is your emotional baseline, stressful situations are bound to put you over the edge.

Being constantly “on” does not give your brain the opportunity to rest, de-stress and re-charge, making manageable irritations feel unmanageable.

If you’re reading this blog I’m pretty sure our national security is not riding on your availability. Therefore, train yourself and let others know (in an appropriate way) that you are “off the grid” for specific periods of time such as evenings or weekends.

4. Get Sleep. When we are sleep deprived normal stressors are blown out of proportion, often feeling insurmountable. Following a good night’s sleep, that same stressor experienced when sleep deprived doesn’t feel like such a big deal.

Take a page from the old milk commercial: “sleep does a body good!” Click here to read the scientific proof behind this statement.

5. Be Active. Physical activity keeps your body and mind healthy. You don’t have to train for a triathlon to gain all the wonderful benefits physical activity has on your health and overall well being. Simple activities such as walking and climbing stairs get the job done.

Physical activity stimulates the vagus nerve (a part of the autonomic nervous system) that calms the body down, which is necessary for staying calm when under pressure.

6. Practice Meditation. Studies show meditation helps with stress, blood pressure and staying calm in stressful situations. Meditation activates alpha brainwaves that relax you, allowing you to mentally distract yourself from things that are bothering you. Click here to read more on how mediation helps you stay calm when stressed.

7. Don’t Play the Victim. When things don’t go according to plan, professionally and personally, avoid the “whoa is me” thinking. Playing the victim only adds stress to what is an already stressful situation.

Remember – we cannot control all the stressors that appear in our lives, but we can control how we respond to them.

8. Eat Healthy. A few years ago my son introduced me to a book titled: “It Starts With Food” – and the title says it all. Food provides the fuel and foundation for a healthy brain. A healthy brain is key to staying calm when under duress.

9. Breathe Fully. Breathing provides oxygen to the brain. IF the brain is not appropriately oxygenated, it is impossible to stay calm under pressure.

The appropriate way to breathe is to inhale deeply filling up your chest and stomach with air, then exhaling slowly and deliberately. Click here to read more on how to breathe stress out of your body.

10. Keep it All in Perspective. Two questions I’ve asked my clients and kids over the years when things go wrong: “What is the worst thing that can happen now?” and “Will this make any difference in two years?”

Chances are the answer to these questions will not incur loss of life. Anything less than that must be kept in perspective. Sure, your boss might yell at you, you might lose a big account, your spouse might be really pissed off, but nobody is going to die.

Incorporating the above behaviors into your life will result in having a trained brain that will help you stay calm when under pressure.

#womenandmoney #womenandwork #womenatwork #femalefinancialfitness

The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann
www.relationshiptoolbox.com
www.relationshiptoolbox.com/blog
www.twitter.com/drpattyann
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One word describes the universal feeling many, if not all women experience that inhibits their quest for work-life balance.

Whether I’m working with corporate women in the c-suite, mid-level managerial women or those beginning their career, I hear women speak about this feeling.

Entrepreneurial women are quite familiar with this nagging feeling as well.

And no other group of women is more plagued by it than working mothers.

Make no mistake about it. This feeling knows no bounds. It does not discriminate. It permeates the hearts and minds of working women from all socio-economic backgrounds, race, religions and nationalities.

Do you know the feeling I’m referencing yet?

If you’re a woman reading this blog, I’m sure you do!

Guilt.

Guilt is the feeling that tugs at every professional woman’s heartstring.

It acts like an albatross around our neck in our pursuit of work-life balance.

The feeling of guilt we experience when we are at work and our kid(s) are at home.

The feeling of guilt we experience when we are with our kids and think we should be at work.

The evergreen feeling of guilt connected to believing we don’t pay enough attention to, or spend enough time with our spouse.

And heaven forbid we take five minutes out of the day to do something for ourselves! Guilt emanates from our every pore!

Throughout all corners of the world, on every rung of the corporate ladder and within all entrepreneurial circles, working women are constantly torn by and tormented with feelings of guilt.

Unlike most men, women are plagued by what feels like competing responsibilities between our professional and personal lives, crippling our search for work-life balance.

Quite frankly, it feels as if everyone wants a piece of us – all the time.

Strategy to Eliminate Guilt

For women to achieve any semblance of work-life balance we must alleviate, or in some measure quiet this very destructive and highly unproductive feeling of guilt.

How?

By creating very clear and consistent boundaries between our work and personal life.

The establishment of boundaries lays the foundation for creating a successful career and happy and fulfilling personal life.

Boundaries are the linchpin for work-life balance!

When you are at work – spend your time and energy working.

When you are at home – give your family your undivided attention.

Be fully present in whatever you do and wherever you are.

Two Boundary Busters

1. Multi-tasking Myth

Multi-tasking, the ability to perform multiple tasks simultaneously was once considered to be all the rage.

Similar to many women, I wore my ability to multi-task as a badge of honor.

Otherwise, I thought: “How could I possibly get everything done?”

How wrong was I. Contrary to what many of us believe, current research reveals we are less productive multi-tasking than we would be if we did one thing at a time.

One of many studies recently conducted by the University of California, Irvine, discovered it takes workers an average of twenty-five minutes to regain focus after having been distracted from emails, phone calls, etc.

Therefore, multi-tasking is counter productive, and it cripples our effect for work-life balance.

Resist the temptation to multi-task!

2. Technology

Modern technology allows us to remain plugged in 24/7 – blurring the boundaries between our work and personal life –

handicapping our ability to create work-life balance.

This often gets played out in two ways.

Scenario A

When we are at work – we find ourselves checking our personal emails, surfing the web, watching Youtube videos and a zillion other activities that distract us from our work – decreasing our productivity.

And what happens next?

We either work longer hours and/or bring work home.

End Result: Guilt Increases = work-life balance becomes a casualty

Scenario B

When we are at home – we find ourselves checking our work email and other messages. This behavior might become so pervasive we don’t even know it has become a habit – until our spouse or kids ask us to “please put down your cell phone mom!”

Or we go into “stealth mode” – our mind wanders off and we think about work when we are supposed to be having a conversation with our kids or spouse. And visa versa.

End Result: Guilt Increases = work-life balance becomes a casualty

As the saying goes: “So what’s a girl to do?”

Allow technology to enhance your life. It can act as your greatest ally for creating work-life balance – as long as you control it – and it doesn’t control you.

Summary

Guilt must be conquered if you want to achieve any semblance of work-life balance.

Create boundaries and discipline yourself to honor them.

Stay focused and “on task” when at work.

Put your cell phone down. Turn your computer off. You do not have to be “on” 24/7.

Be totally present when you are at home with family and friends. And be totally present when you are at work.

Final thought

You have the ability to create work-life balance that works for you. In the final analysis – it’s your life to live! Live it! #YOLO

For more information on work-life balance strategies, check out what Barbara Corcoran of SHARK TANK fame wrote about my Amazon best selling book: “Dr. Patty Ann rolls up her sleeves to tackle what just may be the last frontier for women who yearn to create wildly successful businesses (and careers) while keeping their marriage and family life intact! This is a brilliantly written and practical jewel of a book that every female … should read and take to heart!”

To learn more about my Amazon best-selling book: “Not Tonight Dear, I’ve Got a Business to Run! Enrich Your Marriage While Prospering in Your Business” go to: http://www.nottonightdearbook.com.

~ as published in The Huffington Post

Dr. Patty Ann Tublin
Emotional Intelligence, Communication and Relationship Expert

www.relationshiptoolbox.com
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Watch this brief video where I share with you how to achieve work-life balance while simultaneously decreasing stress in your life!


#womenandmoney #womenatwork #womenandwork

~ as recently published on The Huffington Post

The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann
www.relationshiptoolbox.com
www.relationshiptoolbox.com/blog
www.twitter.com/drpattyann
www.facebook.com/relationshiptoolbox

 

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Navigating life's transitions We all experience a series of transitions throughout our lives, both personally and professionally. Even when transitions are positive, they can be quite stressful.

Graduating from college, getting married (or divorced), having a baby, beginning a new job, entering a new relationship, etc. all create stress.

Since transitions and change are a constant part of life, they are impossible to avoid.

Therefore, the better equipped you are to handle and navigate life’s transitions, the happier and more successful you’ll be!

Following are four easy ways to navigate life’s transitions (so they don’t overwhelm you and stress you out).

1. The famous Greek philosopher Socrates said: “Know Thyself”. Different people can tolerate different levels of stress.

Understand your own limitations. Know how much stress you can tolerate – and respect it. This will help you avoid (or minimize) feeling overwhelmed and unduly stressed out during times of change. Naturally, it will be helpful for you to control what you can realistically control.

We cannot control everything that happens to us in life- but we are able to control some things.

If you are uncomfortable with a lot of major changes happening all at once, do your best to keep these changes to a minimum (when possible).

For example, if you are moving to a new apartment, perhaps you shouldn’t be looking for a new job at the same time.

If you are one of the fortunate few who can emotionally tolerate a lot of changes going on at once – you still need to recognize that transitions are stressful. Don’t be caught off guard and pile on the changes unnecessarily – just because you think you “can”.

2. Reach Out to Your Support System. Whether you are transitioning into a new job, a new intimate relationship or moving to a new city, etc., access your support system.

Reach out to the people who can emotionally support you during times of change. We all know who these people are in our lives.

It is very difficult to handle transitions by yourself – so don’t!

If you begin to feel overwhelmed by a personal or professional change, seek emotional support from others.

Whether it’s your friends and/or family that comes through for you in the clutch, reach out to them. Let them know what change(s) you are going through so they can ease the bumpy emotional roller coaster ride that comes with the territory.

This support can go a long way in helping you move ahead to see light at the end of what might begin to feel like a very long dark tunnel.

3. Be Realistic. Give yourself a realistic timeframe to get used to the change.

Your identity is changing – and it will take time to adjust to the “new” you. So give yourself the time it takes to feel comfortable in your new skin.

It might take a full year to feel comfortable or confident in your new job or relationship. Expecting to adjust sooner than is realistically possible will only add more stress to an already stressful situation.

Therefore, give yourself the gift of knowing it takes time to adjust and feel comfortable when transitioning throughout your life.

4. Expect to feel uncomfortable feelings. Even if you finally got that promotion you so desperately wanted, or you are a blushing bride or groom, don’t be surprised if you begin to feel somewhat overwhelmed and/or sad.

Transitioning implies closing one chapter in your life and opening another.

Even if the change you are experiencing is desirable, it may still take you out of your comfort zone – creating many unexpected and uncomfortable feelings.

Transitions, whether they are warmly welcomed or are suddenly imposed upon us, they present us with new challenges that create stress.

Knowing how much stress you can tolerate, reaching out to your support system, giving yourself a realistic timeframe to adjust to the changes while understanding that you might feel some sadness, are keys that will help you navigate life’s transitions as smoothly as possible.

The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann
www.relationshiptoolbox.com
www.relationshiptoolbox.com/blog
www.twitter.com/drpattyann
www.facebook.com/relationshiptoolbox

 

Here’s an excerpt from my new Amazon Best Selling Book that talks about how important your mindset is when it comes to creating wealth.

A winning mindset is a prerequisite for success in all areas of your life, i.e., business, music, sports, art etc. It is also a prerequisite for financial success and wealth accumulation. Women must create a winning financial mindset that sets the tone for creating wealth and financial security by actually believing we can! So how do you go about creating this mindset? It begins the same way everything else we create in our lives begins—in our minds. We must create a shift in how we think about money in our minds.

Mindset

The only true way we can change ourselves is by changing our mindset.

Gandhi said, “We must be the change we want to see in the world.” Therefore, if we want to change anything in our life, the first step begins with taking a long, hard look in the mirror. We must first change ourselves.

Are you willing to change how you feel about money to create a winning money mindset?

The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann
www.relationshiptoolbox.com
www.relationshiptoolbox.com/blog
www.twitter.com/drpattyann
www.facebook.com/relationshiptoolbox

 

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Sep
25

3 Keys to Work-Life Balance

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Women in today’s modern world are better-educated and more driven for professional success than ever before. We are no longer bound by stereotypes and the new image of women is represented quite well by the old commercial words: “We can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan and never let you forget you’re a man.” To do this however, requires a paradigm shift, one that acknowledges how our professional success and personal lives are intimately woven together and influence each other. If a woman wants to create success in her life, both personal and professional, she needs to think about how they both influence each other by creating a family plan that compliments rather than competes against one’s business plan!

Following are 3 essential keys needed to create a family plan that allows for success in both your career and personal lives.

  1. Money. Women must stop ignoring the fact that money does indeed make the world go round. We need to have an honest financial goal for the lifestyle we desire – as it will obviously influence how much money we need to make in our jobs/business. Our personal and professional goals are intimately woven together, influencing each other. Do not ignore the financial reality of your life.

  2. Time. Think about how much time you are willing to put into your career and how much time you need for your personal life. Time is the most precious commodity of all – because once you have spent your time on something – it is gone forever. Deliberately choose with whom and how you spend your time in all areas of your life. Ask yourself how much time you are willing to spend at work vs. how much time you want for your personal life. Are you willing to travel and spend time away from home at night and on the weekends?

  3. Relationships. All research shows the overall happiness of your life is predicated upon the quality of your relationships. How important is it for you to socialize and be with your friends? How much time spent together does your marriage or intimate relationship require to maintain its closeness and connectedness – every couple is different and what works for one couple may not work for another.

It is imperative that we not leave these variables to chance by creating a family plan that compliments rather than competes against our career goals and/or business plans. Forget the concept of trying to strike a balance between your work and personal life – have the goal be to make sure they compliment each other instead!

The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann
www.relationshiptoolbox.com
www.relationshiptoolbox.com/blog
www.twitter.com/drpattyann
www.facebook.com/relationshiptoolbox

 

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From the cradle to the grave, we’ve been given the message, covertly and overtly, that money cannot buy you happiness. It’s been so ingrained in our head that if you are a typical woman living in American society, your mindset, belief system and monetary personality has created an avoidance, if not downright aversion, to any conversation surrounding money, finances and investing.

Americans have been told, “you can’t buy happiness” and that “money is the root of all evil.” Women, unlike men, have bought into this mindset hook, line and sinker, although current research finds evidence to the contrary. This quote was published in 2013 in Forbes.com: “relying on worldwide data from Gallup and other sources, … determine that the wealthier people are, the more satisfied they are with their lives, at least when you look at nationwide figures. They also find, contrary to what many economists believe, that there is not a point of wealth satiation beyond which happiness levels off.”

So there you have it – there is statistical research and data that finds a positive correlation between one’s happiness and one’s income.

If I were to ask you what keeps you up at night, I bet you eight out of ten times the answer relates to money – and not having enough of it: to fix the car, pay the mortgage in a timely manner, put the kids through college, etc. Money can eliminate these specific types of fears and research shows money also increases your overall sense of well-being by diminishing stress in your life.

Perhaps the greatest contribution to happiness money makes in our lives is the ability to buy stress out of it – resulting in contentment and peace of mind.

If you think money cannot buy you happiness, I urge you to think again. Money can buy you happiness, as long as you don’t become consumed by or a slave in its pursuit.

Dr. Patty Ann
www.relationshiptoolbox.com
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This blog post was written by Alexis Kleinman, and published in the Huffington Post. Read it so you can understand the #1 thing NOT to do in the Morning if you want to be very successful!

The 1 Thing Super Successful People
Never Do In The Early Morning

The Huffington Post | by  Alexis Kleinman

What do you do the moment you wake up? Stretch? Look at your weather app? Jump in the shower? If you want to be successful, you’ll be fine doing any of the above, as long as you don’t do one thing: check your email.

Checking your email first thing in the morning may be tempting. It’s right there on your phone, and you might think that you’re being productive by getting some emails out of the way early in the day, but doing so can actually be quite damaging.

Author Julie Morgenstern wrote an entire book on the subject, called “Never Check Email In The Morning.” Morgenstern has been a consultant for companies like American Express, FedEx and Microsoft since 1989 and has written extensively on organization and time management for publications like Forbes and the New York Times.

If you start your day off by responding to emails, “you’ll never recover,” Morgenstern told The Huffington Post. “Those requests and those interruptions and those unexpected surprises and those reminders and problems are endless… there is very little that cannot wait a minimum of 59 minutes.”

The problem is, email is reactive and not proactive, she says. You just wind up bouncing from task to task, letting your inbox set your agenda. Instead of starting your day with email, start by completing an important task that requires focus.

“It’s hard to go from your transactional, shallow part of your brain, the frontal cortex, to the other parts of your brain where strategy happens and relationships happen,” Morgenstern told HuffPost. “It’s easier to start in the deep recesses of your brain and go to the shallow parts.”

If you start your day with an important, focused project, “you’ll get significantly more done,” says Morgenstern who emphatically notes that truly succesful people always start their day like this. Tumblr founder David Karp, who recently sold his company to Yahoo for $1.1 billion, recently told Inc.: “I try hard not to check e-mails until I get to the office, which is usually between 9:30 and 10 a.m.,” Tumblr founder 27-year-old David Karp told Inc. recently. “Reading e-mails at home never feels good or productive,” he said.

Blogger Sid Savara argues that email can distract you from what you actually want and need to work on. “As soon as you get up, work on something important for 30-45 minutes, and only then check it,” Savara suggests. “If you can stand it, wait even longer. Some days I don’t check email at all until after lunch.”

If you have things you know you need to work on, focus on those rather than checking your email in the morning and even throughout the day. “Rather than actively setting an agenda, email forces you to react to items as they come in – regardless of their true priority,” Savara writes.

Plus, odds are the emails you’re getting early in the morning are going to stress you out, not put you in a great mood. The morning is all about setting your tone for the day, and reading angry emails from your boss isn’t going to set a good one. [article posted here]

The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann
www.relationshiptoolbox.com
www.relationshiptoolbox.com/blog
www.twitter.com/drpattyann
www.facebook.com/relationshiptoolbox

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Emotional Intelligence consists of the ability to recognize, use, understand and manage our emotions in a way that helps develop healthy relationships in both our professional and personal lives. Succinctly, Emotional Intelligence influences the way we react to stress and the way we interact with others.

Emotional intelligence is composed of four main attributes:

  1. Self-awareness – the ability to recognize one’s own emotions and how they influence one’s behaviors and thoughts.
  2. Self-management – the ability to control impulsive feelings and behaviors so that you can manage your emotions in an effective and healthy manner.
  3. Social awareness – the ability to understand the emotions, needs and concerns of others.
  4. Relationship management – the ability to develop and sustain healthy relationships.

Following are 3 key ways to increase your emotional intelligence:

  1. Know what your stressors are and then learn ways to reduce them; perhaps by practicing yoga, meditation, reading self-help literature.
  2. Know Thyself – increased self-awareness is at the core of understanding others. Knowing yourself increases your chances of knowing and understanding your emotions – especially when stressed. Understanding your emotions increases your chances of controlling them – rather than having your emotions control you.
  3. Develop effective communication skills. The ability to communicate effectively is at the heart of developing and maintaining healthy relationships, both in our personal and professional lives. Without these skills, it is almost impossible to relate to others.

Increasing one’s Emotional Intelligence is a lifelong process. Being able to develop healthy relationships is necessary for success in business and life.

The Place For Relationship Tools For Success In Business and Life,

Dr. Patty Ann
www.relationshiptoolbox.com
www.relationshiptoolbox.com/blog
www.twitter.com/drpattyann
www.facebook.com/relationshiptoolbox

 

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Although women have made great strides bridging the wage gap, we still have a long road ahead of us. Did you know that women who hold MBA’s leave approximately $2 million on the table in the course of their careers? That’s right, 2 million dollars! Imagine what you can do with that kind of money – the list is endless.

This significant loss of income creeps up on women. It begins when women first get hired out of business school. They are paid perhaps just a little less than their male counterparts – which these young female hires may or may not be aware of. If the women don’t know that their newly minted MBA male counterparts are being paid more, of course they cannot do anything about. But sometimes women do know, or find out about this inequity shortly after they begin their new jobs, and ignore the inequity by chalking it up to the following sentiment(s): “Oh well, it’s not that much more money so it’s no big deal.” “I don’t want to be seen as being ungrateful or anything.” OR “Well maybe he has some skill I don’t have (which he more than likely does NOT) so I don’t want to say anything.”

Having worked with male and female executives for over two decades, I can honestly say I have never heard a male worker express the above thoughts when faced with what they believe to be a pay inequity; furthermore, I cannot image a male worker ever even having this type of mindset!

As the male and female worker climb the corporate ladder, the male colleague widens the wage gap with each promotion and/or assignment; and what do the women do as they climb each rung? Often we silently sit back and allow this pay inequity to continue unchecked. Sure, maybe you complain to your spouse and/or your girlfriends, but you wouldn’t dare bring this to the attention of your boss or HR or the powers that be because, well, you know, you don’t want to appear as being too greedy or too pushy! So the inequity grows and grows and grows until it reaches $2 million dollars over the course of your career!

NEWSFLASH ladies – M-O-N-E-Y is not a 4-letter word! We are all working for financial gain. The next time you think you are underpaid, and you have done your research and discovered that you are, in fact, underpaid – strategically go into your boss and request a raise. If you begin to worry that you will be seen as being greedy, remember two thoughts. If you don’t believe, truly believe, your work is worth the raise you are requesting, you surely will not be able to convince anyone else of it either. So get your mindset straight. Secondly, I have never met a man who thought he was overpaid! Yet, you and I both know plenty of them, don’t we?! Take a page out of the guy’s playbook and advocate for yourself to get paid what you are worth!

Dr. Patty Ann
www.relationshiptoolbox.com
www.relationshiptoolbox.com/blog
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