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Coping with high pressured job

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

The inundation of cricket matches has already started affecting the career spans of promising players,’ former Indian skipper Dilip Vengsarkar was quoted as saying in a national daily recently.‘They want to play for their country but, with the frequency of high-tension matches increasing, they are prone to injury and are struggling to do their best,’ he added.

You, on the other hand, may work in an air-conditioned office and not have to sweat it out on a cricket ground.

However, the frantic pace of the corporate rat race could very well leave you feeling exhausted — physically, mentally and emotionally.

While increasing your intake of caffeine or taking asylum in chain smoking may get you going for a while, it is certainly not a long-term solution to cope with stringent deadlines and work-related stress.

The key: Be prepared.Be prepared

The more prepared you are the better you will be able to respond to every odd situation. Eventually you may even enjoy it because hard work can be fun.

Follow these work strategies and stress-busting tips to capitalize on the current high-pressured demands.

Don’t be a pushover

There is a feeling amongst young professionals today that saying no will put a dent on their credibility,” says Rohini Verma, a practising clinical psychologist.
Don't be a pushover
“But it is actually the other way around. People respect those who are assertive and confident,” she says.

Taking on that added workload could make you prone to missing prior deadlines. For example, taking on a new project while you are struggling to finish the old one on time can backfire.

The key is to under-promise and over-perform and not the other way around.

Do not allow yourself to be pressured into taking on unacceptable workloads, even if it happens to be from your boss. Sometimes you must say ‘no’; just remember to be polite and assertive when doing so.

Here are some ways in which you can be diplomatic and assertive.

Can you have someone take this up so I can concentrate 100 per cent on the last assignment you gave me?

I would love to take this assignment; however, I am in between a few other commitments.

Can you arrange for someone to help me with the other tasks?

This will ensure the ball is in your boss’s court; let him/ her work it out for you.

In terms of priority, it makes sense to decline low value tasks.

If you are in sales, don’t get bogged down by paperwork and administrative duties. Keep these low value tasks to a minimum and take on those where you will add maximum value.

Be realistic

Being realistic does not mean taking it easy; it means taking on more ‘do’ able tasks,Be realistic keeping your current circumstances in mind.

Break your goals down to the lowest common denominator (be practical when doing this).

For example: You may set a goal to be the top sales person in your company for the month, but it makes more sense to break it into weekly targets, rather than daily targets. This way you will have the flexibility to change the weekly target based on your day-to-day performance.

Use the SMART goals technique: This means your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Tangible.

Specific: Have a concrete goal. There is no room for guesswork here. Wanting a job which pays you ‘X’ amount of money is being specific rather than ‘just wanting a job that pays well’.

Measurable: You should be able to track your advancement by hours, rupees, etc, so that you know how you are measuring up as you progress.

Attainable: It is detrimental to set the mark so high that you set yourself up for failure. If you are a new employee and want to get into a senior management role within six months, you probably know it is not attainable.

Realistic: Goals are realistic when your background, upbringing, personality, skill set, experience, and environment are conducive to achieve them. They are unrealistic, in order to achieve your goals, you need something you do not possess.

Time bound: Set deadlines for yourself, so you will be driven to finish the task. Without a time limit, there is no urgency to act.

Work smart

When the going gets tough, the tough get… methodical.Work smart

Prioritize work. Allocate the first few hours of the day to the most productive and challenging work; devote post-lunch or early evenings for phone calls and e-mails.

Focus on the key deliverables and remove all nuisances that create unwanted pressure. These include time-wasters like unwanted calls and junk e-mail.

If you are preparing an important project report, keep your cell phone on silent mode, turn your Internet messenger service’s status to ‘Away’ and focus on the task at hand.

Discipline is important. Make ‘To do’ lists and stick to them.

Last but not the least, there are no prizes for doing everything by yourself. The workload will leave you exhausted and possibly frustrated. Learn to delegate and work with teams.

The key question: where do you get the maximum bang for the buck? Take on those activities and delegate the rest. Working smart is the key to longevity.

Keep a tab on your diet

I am addicted to coffee and have anywhere between eight to nine cups everyday in order to keep myself awake,” says 22-year-old Tabitha Cherian, who works with call centre Convergys. “I end up feeling dreadful the next day.”

Working the graveyard (night) shift is no excuse to eat junk and gulp down multiple cups of coffee.

If you really need that hot cuppa, why not try green or regular tea? It has less caffeine. Make sure you go easy on the sugar or use sugar-free pills.

Throw out the cola from your routine and replace it with fruit smoothies. Else, go for the champion drink — water. It will flush out all toxins and keep you charged throughout the day.

What are YOUR solutions for busting stress and coping with stringent deadlines? Share your mantras with other professionals. Don’t forget to mention your name, age, profession and location.

What and when you eat can make a big difference to the way you cope with stress. Don’t skip meals — particularly breakfast — or rush to finish them. Try to maintain a well-balanced, healthy diet.

“I usually carry some fresh fruits like apples and grapes to work and keep snacking on them. You can even dip pieces of apples in fresh yoghurt and create your own delicious snack,” says Shelly Jain, a 28-year-old consultant with NIIT.

This doesn’t mean you can never break these rules. You can safely indulge in chocolate and sweets once or twice a week. However, if you are addicted to these or just badly stressed, do remember you are breaking the rules at your own peril.

Indulge yourself

There are times when I just feel like throwing in the towel because nobody seems to appreciate my painstaking work,” says Shelly.

Do something nice for yourself after you have achieved a milestone at work.

How about dinner with a friend for a small accomplishment and a day off from work for a big win? Go out and get a nice massage. You deserve it!

Flex those muscles, breathe

“I am aware of the pressure I will face once I join the workforce. So I attended the Art of Living course to help me prepare for it. I feel charged every time I close my eyes and meditate,” says 25-year-old Madan R, a 2006 MBA graduate from ICFAI Business School, Hyderabad.

What are YOUR solutions for busting stress and coping with stringent deadlines? Share your mantras with other professionals. Don’t forget to mention your name, age, profession and location.

Mohini Sawhney, a Delhi-based Art of Living teacher, agrees. “Your body is an extension of your mind. Take the time to stretch your muscles and loosen the muscles in your jaw and face. Practising relaxed breathing techniques and meditation will improve your mood and counter the physical effects of stress,” she advises.

Get any sort of physical exercise. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Step away from the computer for a quick stretch during your day at work.

Don’t lose sleep over stress

I sacrificed my health for the sake of work and studies and thought I can always catch up for lost sleep later. Not anymore. I learned my lesson,” says Ashok Radhakrishnan, a 29-year-old finance executive with Nestle.

Try to maintain a regular schedule, even if you are working in shifts. Try and go to bed and get up at a similar time every week; this will set your body into a routine, which is important for sound sleep.

Cut out idiot box time and instead listen to soothing music or read a book before hitting the sack.

Try not to eat anything right before you sleep, else you will feel very heavy. Experts even recommend a hot shower as it can have a soothing effect on your mind.

Watch out for the logistics. “I work during the nights and sleep during the day. I have made sure the atmosphere in my bedroom is very soothing and the room is very dark during the day and properly ventilated,” says call centre employee Rashmi Sharma.

Good sleep is most important but also the most overlooked aspect of good health. Nothing revitalizes you better.

Living with a mission

Friday, June 20th, 2008

Mission StatementCompanies use mission statements to let people know why they are in existence. Their mission statement could contain information about who they are, what they do, and how they do it. Although corporate mission statements vary greatly, each serves as a guide for the company, its employees, and the general public. But how many of us have personal mission statements? Informal research suggests that few people use detailed written mission statements in their own lives. Sure, most people have some idea where they are going and what they hope to accomplish in life but few have actually written a formal mission statement. What are the benefits of having a written personal mission statement? First, it’s easier to define the actions and goals that will help you achieve your vision. It serves as a roadmap to get you where you want to go. A mission statement allows you to measure your current reality and your progress toward your ideal life. It also allows you to evaluate your values and incorporate them into your daily life.

A mission statement is simply a statement of what guides you, what inspires you, or what you want to accomplish in your life. There are many different ways to approach writing a personal mission statement, but an effective statement can be written in four simple steps. First, list one to three values or principles that you live by and why these are important to you. If you have more than three values on your list, order them by importance to you and select the top three. Next, list the things that bring you happiness, inspire, and satisfy you. This would include the things you do best and most enjoy doing. Then list the things you’ve always wanted to do or the legacy that you would like to leave. These three lists will be combined and used to write your personal mission statement.

An effective mission statement will be simple, clear and brief (between 2-5 sentences). There are many different ways to combine these three lists into a personal mission statement. The first method is to use your own words and combine each of your three lists into a meaningful statement. The second method is to use a template and fill in the blanks with your answers from the above exercises. There are many templates available online that can guide you to crafting a mission statement. Here are a few of my favorite templates:

I value [1-3 values] because [why these are important to you]. I will [what you will do to live by these values].

To live each day with [1-3 values or principles], so that [what living these values will give you]. I will do this by [specific behaviors].

To treasure above all else [most important things to you] by [what you can do to live priorities].

As you write your personal mission statement, remember to keep it simple, clear and brief. Be sure to state everything in the present tense and keep it positive. If there are any negative statements, restate or redirect them to positive statements. Make your personal mission statement part of your everyday life – keep it handy and review it frequently as you schedule your daily or weekly activities. You will find that your mission statement may continue to change and evolve as you do. Revisit it often and make any necessary changes. And finally, keep in mind that you will get what you focus on. The more effort and focus you give to living your mission statement, the more results you will see in your life.

mission-statement.bmp

Qualities that a good domain should have

Friday, June 20th, 2008
by Sck

Picking a good domain name is vital to the success or failure of your business. You may wonder how something so small and slight could have an impact on your business, but the best way to compare this is to think about how important location is to an offline business? If you do not have a good location, you are likely not going to get many visitors. The same holds true for a good domain name as well.

Here, you will discover the six qualities that a good domain name must have to ensure maximum success.

1.) Memorable

A good domain name must be memorable. Yes, we have the option of book marking a site that we enjoy; however, the hard truth is that many people do not take advantage of book marking. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that your domain name is one that is easy to remember and makes an impact.

It should be easy, memorable, and straight forward. Avoid complexity and it is usually a good idea to avoid initials in most cases. The only exception to this rule would be if the letters represented the website name or business and was still easy to remember.

2.) Short and SweetShort and Sweet

Twenty characters is the maximum that you should use for a good domain name, ten is even better. A long and complicated domain name is not going to help you. Your best bet is to keep it short and sweet. A great domain name is less than ten characters; a good domain name is less than twenty characters. A bad domain name goes over twenty characters.

3.) Be Choosy On Your Extension

There are several domain extensions available to you such as .com, .net, .org, .tv, .info, .gov and so on. However, some of these work better than others and are more memorable at the same time. It is important to understand that some extensions alsoChoosy have restrictions such as .gov is reserved specifically for government websites. The .com domain name extension is the best by far, because it is the most widely used.

The .net extension is the second best, but be prepared most people will type .com before they will .net if they cannot remember which extension you use. The type of extension you use might also have a bearing on the type of website. Some people have come to expect certain things when a particular extension. For example, .org is typically used by not-for-profit organization and educational websites. The .info extensions are generally used for informational websites.

4.) Spelling Means Everything

Having a difficult to spell domain name could cause you some trouble. Again, many do not even make use of bookmarks; therefore, if your domain name is hard to spell, they may end up at a competitor’s website. A good domain name contains only words that are easy to pronounce, have a good combination of words or letters that are used in every day language, and does not contain foreign words that may be difficult to non-native speakers.

5.) Tells a Story

A good domain name should be descriptive and tell a story. In other words, when your visitors, customers, or potential customers see your domain name they should instantly be able to tell what they are going to find. For instance, if it is your business, a business name is good.

6.) Avoid Fancy Symbols

It is never a good idea to use numbers or hyphens within your domain name. Even if your domain name is memorable, many people will not pay attention to the symbols, which could lead them to someone else’s website.

ABC of organising any space

Friday, June 20th, 2008

For many people getting and staying organized seems next to impossible, and sometimes completely overwhelming. A cluttered home or workspace causes unnecessary stress with wasted time looking for lost items, late fees due to misplaced and forgotten bills, and what about all those piles in the garage just nagging to be dealt with.

Here is the good news - Anyone can learn organizing skills, and those basic skills will apply to any area or space that needs organizing.

I have a simple seven-step process that I apply to almost any space that I am organizingPrioritize.

1. Decide on your priorities - What is most important to you?

2. Visualize your ideal version of the space you want to organize. Keep that dream of the end results in your mind - not the job of getting there! This is also the time to consider what systems you might need to put in place to easily keep the space in order.

3. Empty - Whether it is a junk drawer, your closet, the garage, desk drawers - no matter what the space is, you need to start by emptying it so you can start with a clean slate. In some large projects you may have to work in sections, so you would empty only the section that you are working on for that day.

4. Sorting Stage 1 - Group like things together. This allows you to see what you have and makes the decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of easier.

5. Sorting Stage 2 - Now that you can see exactly what you have, create sub categories such as, Keep in this space, Keep somewhere else, Toss / Shred / Recycle, and Donate / Sell.

6. Return ONLY those items that belong in that particular space, keeping like things together. Now that you have the volume of stuff pared down, you can decide on what, if any storage accessories and/or containers you may need.

7. Dispose of the other piles right away. Find appropriate “homes” for the items that you want to keep, that belong somewhere else. If you have a large project that you are doing in sections, you may want to wait until the end to make the donations. Keep them all together in the garage, or somewhere out of the way, and have all of it picked up at the end of the project. Get the toss pile out to the garbage before it turns into another pile of clutter!

These steps tend to overlap each other a bit and, naturally, each job is a little different, but this basic process will help to clarify and simplify where to start, then what to do next.

ABC of most difficult thing… Self forgiveness

Thursday, June 19th, 2008
by Sck

We’ve been taught from a young age to forgive others. But no one ever guides us through the wisdom and healing that self forgiveness can bring. This article stresses the importance of self forgiveness for health, success and spiritual growth.“Tell your sister you forgive her, go on…” my parents would say to me. And with much resistance, I would comply.

“Fine, I forgive you.”

This is a typical story about how we learn to forgive. In our society, forgiveness is just words, words meant to smooth the surface of a well of emotions so that life can go onSelf forgiveness without confronting real issues and feelings. It gives us an avenue to hide those unacceptable thoughts that are brewing in our minds. And it teaches us several things:

Anger is wrong.

You are not supposed to talk about how you feel.

You must hide your emotions.

You are expected to lie about your feelings.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean anything.

Most of us grew up really believing that forgiveness is just a word, that you say it just to get along and avoid confrontation. Even though we forgive people on the surface, we hold anger, resentment and hurt on the inside, and we replay old events like videotapes in our minds.

Forgiveness of self goes against many beliefs that you may have picked up as a child. Some of these may be:

Serve others before serving yourself.

Putting yourself first is selfish and egotistical.

I’m a bad boy/bad girl.

I’m a burden.

Forgiving means giving up.

Take a moment and clear your head. On a scale of 1 – 10, ten being high, how much do Self forgivenessyou love yourself? How much do you deserve to be loved? Most people will rate themselves as less than a 10 on both counts. Imagine, as you walk down the street, most of the people that you run into don’t love themselves.

Is that the way you want to live your life? Punishing yourself? Not liking who you are, or feeling that you don’t deserve? Many people develop health issues because of hidden feelings of self punishment and feeling like they don’t deserve. The subconscious mind holds and protects your belief system. Your beliefs create your thoughts, your thoughts create your feelings and your feelings create your responses.

If you believe that you are bad and must be punished, your subconscious mind will create the situations for that to manifest. Maybe you will get into an accident, maybe people will betray you, or maybe you will get sick. All these are just symptoms of an inner belief that is not serving you. In fact it is hurting you.

Now, for some this may sound a bit out there. You may be thinking “I have an inner mind that’s trying to hurt me?” It’s not what it seems. The subconscious mind forms your inner programming when you are a child – it’s job is to take in all the information and insert it somewhere in your belief system so that you are “fully programmed” by 7 or 8 years old. This part of your mind does not discern between positive or negative, it just absorbs information from your parents, your teachers, pastor, friends, even TV. That, in turn, becomes your program, running in the background.

If your programming says that you are bad, or need to be punished, can you see that this might cause you to be resistant to forgiving yourself? Take a moment to write down what some of your beliefs might be – the ones that might not be serving you.

Starting the forgiveness process:Self forgiveness

You have done things to hurt yourself and others.

So has everyone else in the world.

Realize that you have always, unconsciously, run off your inner programming.

So has everyone else in the world.

Based on that programming, you have always done the best you could.

So has everyone else in the world.

Every baby born in this life deserves to be loved.

You deserve to be loved.

You have punished yourself long enough – even prisoners go free after serving their time.

Definition of Forgiveness:

Forgiveness is more than just a word, it is a feeling, an emotion much like love.

Forgiveness does not mean to forget.

Forgiveness does not excuse what was done, things may still have to be put right.

Forgiveness does not give permission to hurt someone else or myself again.

Forgiveness does not mean I have to tell anybody.

Forgiveness is a sign of strength and courage.

Forgiveness allows me to regain my control and personal power.

Forgiveness means I no longer allow myself to think negatively about myself or an event.

Forgiveness dissolves blame.

Forgiveness heals all hurts and illness, nourishes hungers, strengthens weaknesses.

Forgiveness neutralizes feelings and emotions.

Forgiveness sets me free.

Forgiveness is the greatest healer – it clears the debris of your past so that your body, mind and spirit can be balanced. Anger, resentment and hurt all create huge imbalances that manifest as blocks in your life, health, relationships, success and more. Shame, guilt and fear are released though this process.

Then close your eyes…imagine, or pretend if you must, that you can feel this feeling. Let your life pass before your eyes – all the things you did to others, all that you have done to yourself. Forgive yourself for everything you can – maybe you can do it all at once, maybe you can’t. Maybe you need to forgive yourself for one thing a day, the important thing is to start. Find one thing that you can forgive yourself for, and choose to do it.

Separate yourself from the things you did – you are not those things. You caused them to happen, either involuntarily or on purpose. But that is not who you are. It is what you have done. Who you are is underneath all the things you have done, it’s underneath all the pain you have caused, for yourself and for others. Those things are just results. Step back and imagine looking at your life from a distance. Would a stranger condemn you forever for what you have done? Would God not forgive you? Ask yourself for forgiveness, then grant it. You have the power.

Forgiveness is a choice. Here you are at the crossroads of your life. Do you want things to continue on as they have in the past? Or are you ready for things to change? Forgiving yourself is the first step to miracles. Are you ready?

Self forgiveness



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