Manufacture Your Day by BECOMING BETTER IN EVERYTHING YOU DO

Can you believe it is Friday again?

Time flies. Week after week goes by and if we don’t strive to get better and more productive at what we do, life can become pretty stressful and frustrating. 

When I look back at my very first workshop that I designed, I am amazed that I had the courage to go out and sell it BUT I did. It was far from perfect but I was so passionate and passion sells. I can remember that feeling of excitement when I facilitated this 2-hour workshop. It was designed for machine operators, and I received really good feedback from the participants. 

I was happy but I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted to get feedback from people who could provide a different perspective. That’s why I invited 3 different people (2 General Managers and another Corporate Trainer) at 3 different times to observe my workshop in order to receive their feedback. None of them held back and I learned so much. This was the best decision I could have made and I haven’t stopped looking for feedback to continuously improve my work ever since. 

You should do the same. 

Yesterday I promised to give you the solution on how to cut down on your working hours. 

Well, I am European and I don’t believe that working long hours makes you a better employee or produces better results. I actually believe that working long hours demonstrates a lot of inefficiencies in the way people work and interact with each other. They waste time, are poor communicators, make mistakes (because they’re not rested), are not focused (because they try to do 100 things at the same time) and disgruntle many people in the process. 

When new people engage with me in the coaching process, most of them want the same. They want the work environment to change, they want management to change and they want their co-workers to change. 

Sorry for being blunt but if you want things to get better, you have to get better. If you want others to change, you have to change.

Here are 6 things that are a great start to make you more productive: 

  • Learn to prioritize and do these things first (even if you don’t like them) – otherwise they zap your energy
  • Learn, learn, learn – from what goes right (and why) and learn from what goes wrong (and why)
  • Manage your energy wisely (when we get frustrated or upset we waste time)
  • Get better at saying “no” by managing your boundaries
  • Delegate by having enough trust and patience to teach others (if you think you are the only one who can do the job, think again)
  • Make a distraction list and a stress list (if you know what gets you distracted or stressed, then you can do something about it)

I feel sorry for people who work super long hours but at the same time I don’t, especially if they think that things will magically change without them doing anything about it. 

Happy Friday! Change starts with YOU! Aren’t you happy that I told you?

Manufacture Your Day by CONSIDERING THIS IMPORTANT THOUGHT

Someone has to tell you and it may as well be me. 

It seems the demands are getting bigger and bigger for business owners, management and employees, and it is shocking for me that very few seem to notice the direction we’re going. Our human spirit and mental health is at risk. 

Please allow me to ask a few questions for you to ponder on.

What do you think how it affects health & safety records, quality data, absenteeism and turnover when people have to work 10 – 16 hour days?

That’s right, lately I have met people who work an average of 16 hour days. How can this even be allowed? Have these long hours already become their “new normal”? 

These people have barely time to eat and sleep, never mind getting quality time with family and friends, or some “me-time”. 

People are stressed. People are angry. People are frustrated. People barely have the strength to hold it together. 

If you are interested to get a different perspective, walk around your work environment and simply observe people:

  • How do they walk? (shoulders up or down, high or low energy)
  • How do they interact? (helping each other or working against each other)
  • What do you observe on their faces? (their thought process – positive or negative – can be seen on their faces and this affects their behaviour)

If people are negative, frustrated, angry and stressed, they interact very differently, and the more they’re pushed, the more they will push back.  

Here is what I want you to do:

  • If you are the CEO, President or VP: Listen, observe and ask, “Are you o.k.?”
  • If you are a Manager: Listen, observe and ask, “Are you o.k.?”
  • If you are an Employee: Listen, observe and ask, “Are you o.k.?”

You may just save someone’s life by being more mindful in your work environment.

Please be aware!

Tomorrow I will share my thoughts how these long hours can be reduced.

Manufacture Your Day by STARTING YOUR MORNING ON A POSITIVE NOTE

How you start your day matters. It matters a lot. 

In North America everyone is on the run. No time for breakfast, no time for lunch and no time to build meaningful relationships. We have built an “on the run life” that is so fast that many resort to fast food in order to keep up with the pace. Stress, unhealthy food choices, lack of physical activity, lack of sleep and no “me time” lead to mental and physical health challenges. We want “more, bigger, better and faster” in exchange for our health. 

Crazy, isn’t it? 

Not me. I have set the intention to live life to the fullest and if you would like to do the same, you shouldn’t wait another day to demonstrate some action. 

You can snooze the alarm or you can jump out of bed excited about another day filled with new opportunities. 

You may already know that about me but whenever I have the chance I like to start my day with physical activity.

Just recently I have gotten into a new routine that gets me out for a run with a group of runners every Tuesday and Thursday at 5.45 am. I plan to do this the whole winter. Did you know that spending a lot of time outside is great for the immune system? We usually run between 8 and 10 km, and at 7 am I am back home filled with positive energy and ready to tackle the day. 

Going for a run helps me to manage my levels of stress and it makes me feel energized. 

If you are not a runner, here are some questions that could help you to jump start your day:

  • What am I most grateful for in my life today? 
  • What did I do yesterday that makes me feel good and is in alignment with the person I strive to be? 
  • Who can I compliment today?
  • How can I add value to other people’s life? 
  • How can I learn and grow today? 

It has been said that if you want to go fast, go slow by putting yourself first. Remember that when you start your day!

Manufacture Your Day by BEING OPEN TO PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION

How much do YOU want to fly high?

Personal transformation takes courage, strength and the willingness to leave your comfort zone behind.

When something is easy we don’t learn and we don’t grow. True growth in our life experience happens mainly through hardships and struggles, and learning how to overcome them in the best possible way. These difficulties strengthen our mind and help us to become the person we are meant to be.

Today I would like to share “The Lesson of the Butterfly” by Paulo Coelho. I hope you enjoy this powerful message!

“A man spent hours watching a butterfly struggling to emerge from its cocoon. It managed to make a small hole, but its body was too large to get through it. After a long struggle, it appeared to be exhausted and remained absolutely still.

The man decided to help the butterfly and, with a pair of scissors, he cut open the cocoon, thus releasing the butterfly. However, the butterfly’s body was very small and wrinkled and its wings were all crumpled.

The man continued to watch, hoping that, at any moment, the butterfly would open its wings and fly away. Nothing happened; in fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its brief life dragging around its shrunken body and shrivelled wings, incapable of flight.

What the man – out of kindness and his eagerness to help – had failed to understand was that the tight cocoon and the efforts that the butterfly had to make in order to squeeze out of that tiny hole were Nature’s way of training the butterfly and of strengthening its wings.

Sometimes, a little extra effort is precisely what prepares us for the next obstacle to be faced. Anyone who refuses to make that effort, or gets the wrong sort of help, is left unprepared to fight the next battle and never manages to fly off to their destiny.”

Manufacture Your Day by BEING MINDFUL

Just recently I had one of these learning experiences that really captured my attention. One of my coaching clients said, “Karin, in our company success is not important. Survival is.”
 
What a terrifying comment. Red flags should go up and alarm bells should ring off the hook if people feel this way. Unfortunately, this does not happen. All too often, personal beliefs and perspectives stay undercover and remain unnoticed because people can only hear what they are prepared to hear.
 
It’s not about true or false. This is this person’s reality and chances are, he is not the only one in this company who feels this way. Let me be clear. If people come to work with the feeling that the company is in survival mode and the employees just have to survive the day, thoughts of excellence, world class and success rarely come to mind.  It is stressful to work in such an environment.
 
Survival vs. success is all about our mindfulness and mindset.
 
Have you ever experienced that seeing things from someone else’s perspective can totally change your life? I have and it continues to amaze me how well it works.  
 
Would you agree that thoughts are not facts? 

Simply start thinking about thinking. Do your thoughts serve or hinder you? Be mindful of your thoughts. You may have heard this before but there is definitely a connection between feelings, thoughts, and actions. New data shows that being actively aware of your thoughts can have either a positive or negative impact on your life, and on the results that you are able to deliver.

 Please don’t be afraid to put a mental strategy in place. After all, few could run a full marathon tomorrow, though virtually everybody could begin preparing. The first step to success is to get started.

I wish you a fabulous week!

Manufacture your Day by BUILDING BETTER RELATIONSHIPS

I am always looking for new ways to help people to get a better understanding about the complexity of relationships. 

There are two sides to every story. Always. 

I do my best to observe myself closely – when do I get frustrated, when do I get stressed, when do I get upset with myself and the world. The most difficult thing for us human beings is to avoid judgment. Our social environment teaches us judgment from an early age. 

If you can learn to provide constructive feedback without judgment about the person, you will be at the top of your game. 

Shakespeare said, “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”

People sometimes think that I have it all figured out but I am learning every day as much as you do. Over the years I have trained myself to become more and more aware of my reactions to others, and there is still room for improvement. 🙂

I encourage you to observe yourself:

  • How do you react when a car is cutting you off on the highway? 
  • How do you respond when one of your team members made a serious mistake? 
  • How do you react when you are stuck in traffic?
  • How do you respond when your children don’t demonstrate the expected behaviour?

All of this is leadership.

Did you know that we judge others by their actions but we evaluate ourselves by our intentions?

If you become more aware of your own actions, it will be easier for you to become more patient with others. As always, I am your biggest fan. 

I wish you an awesome weekend with lots of rest and recovery.