Productivity and personal development. Previously, productivity was measured by the number of hours worked and the goals achieved during that time. However, now we know that the productivity of a person has to do directly with the satisfaction of the work made. 

 

For productivity at work, all starts with the internal organization. The company must have in-depth knowledge of its employees’ work. Also, the time or difficulty of the tasks, and the tools needed to fulfill them. This way, the organization will be able to identify key points of the process to improve them through training and courses.

                 

No matter how much you develop the skills to improve any aspect of your life, it will always be possible to improve even more. Because of this, it’s not really possible to achieve perfection. Self-improvement is a never-ending task.

 

People think that things like being fit and being productive mean instant happiness. But being physically fit today does not mean being physically fit six months from now. Having your life under control today does not mean that you can ignore future problems.

 

If it’s impossible to achieve perfection, what can you do? Simply use all the resources at your disposal to create and consolidate good habits. Also, learn a little from here and a little from there, and enjoy the journey without worrying too much about the destination.

 

Want to boost your personal productivity?

                     

Organize yourself efficiently. Without stress. For example:

                     

  • Do urgent tasks first: The better you handle the traffic of tasks and the people in charge of them, the easier it will be to meet objectives in less time.
  •  Clear communication: Having effective communication between departments and employees will make the development of projects easier.
  •  Reactivity: Every day there will be setbacks and moments of crisis. So, you need to react on time so as not to interfere with the stability of the company. 
  • Equipment in good condition: Equipment is as important as talent. Providing the employee with good tools is important to ensure good performance.
  • Flexible hours: Giving the employee the ability to adjust their schedule can increase responsibility and productivity. Besides, the employee will choose the best hours to work within a reasonable delivery time.
  • Incentives: Recognition of the work done is important to motivate the team. Also, a motivated worker is much more productive than one who feels obliged to perform their duties.

                 

Get interested in psychology.

 

Psychology helps us analyze our thoughts and actions, and helps us understand our motivations. To progress, you need to see yourself objectively. Read about psychology. Many books on personal development come from psychological studies, and there’s a reason for that. 

 

Create good habits

 

Our ability to improve comes from our habits. Our habits influence our response to any situation and define how efficient we can be. You have a lot of room for improvement here. 

 

Maybe some of your habits are not entirely healthy, productive, or simply recommended. Work on your habits and your willpower. Analyze your current habits. Then, create new habits that help you to be better, and change those that are not so good.

 

Use formal methods

 

Using formal methods can help you make progress in certain aspects, because of the aforementioned reasons. Formal methods work because they are based on good psychology. Besides, formal methods help form good habits.

 

You can go to the gym and train randomly. But, you will make more progress if you follow a formal training program. It’s the same for dieting, health, or productivity. If you have a structured system for dealing with your daily activities, you will have more control, peace of mind, and capacity for improvement.

 

In the area of personal productivity, many methods and techniques can help you. Help yourself by following a good method.

 

Add some technology

 

Nowadays, technology can help you with just about everything. Some wristbands monitor your activity to improve your physical performance and even the quality of your sleep. You can use web-based personal management tools to help improve your habits. You can use online courses to learn things that were not so easily available to you before.

 

Be careful, because technology can help your personal development as long as you use it wisely. Misused, it can harm you. In fact, it can be a distracting tool that takes you away from your goals.

 

Is your personal productivity failing?

 

Many symptoms can show that we are not being productive. Do you identify with any of them?

 

  • Having never-ending to-do lists.
  •  Finishing your day without doing even half of what you planned.
  •  Missing your deadlines and meetings. You are always late.

 

Focusing too much time on a single part of your life. For example, you are efficient at finishing tasks at work, but you can’t follow an exercise plan.

 

You have a high personal dissatisfaction as you feel that your days go by without doing anything important.

 

Lack of personal productivity and its causes. Why are you unproductive?

 

There are many causes. Let’s list some of them:

 

  • Procrastination. You avoid the really important tasks and always leave them for later.
  •  Perfectionism. You don’t finish something until you make it perfect, so you spend too much time on a specific task, abandoning the others.
  •  Interruptions. Maybe you are leading a large team, or you work at home, and you have too many interruptions that take time and concentration.
  •  Distractions. Sometimes, we don’t focus, and we get distracted by anything. For instance: a phone call, emails in our inbox, etc.

 

Too many tasks. Maybe the cause is that you have too many tasks, and you don’t know how to delegate someone else to help you.

 

How to increase your personal productivity?

 

Here are some simple tips, but keep in mind that this is only a small outline. Personal productivity is a skill that you must work on every day. However, improving your productivity is something in which you advance little by little incorporating small habits steadily. 

 

With this in mind, here are some tips to help you improve your productivity:

 

Apply the two-minute rule

 

Throughout the day we have many pending tasks to do. Then, others come up, and we often find it difficult to decide which tasks we must complete to achieve greater productivity. To decide which of these tasks should be done first, it’s best to apply the two-minute rule.

 

The amount of things we can do in just two minutes is amazing. However, we often underestimate the value of that time and put off all those small tasks. So, at the end of the day, we find ourselves with dozens of things to do. The two-minute rule is very simple: just ask yourself if the task can be done in two minutes or less. 

 

This will increase your productivity while preserving your energy. If the task is simple, it’s best to do it immediately, so you can eliminate it from your to-do list. There is nothing more stressful than the constant reminder of to-dos.

 

However, if the task is a bit more complicated and requires more than two minutes, it’s best to postpone it until you have time. The reason is that it could negatively influence your productivity. When you immerse in a task, if you abandon it to resume it later, you will have to make an extra effort to focus again. Likely, you have completely lost the thread of what you were doing. Moreover, if it is a task that demands a certain degree of creativity, an interruption could be fatal to the creative flow.

 

Make a parallel to-do list with unplanned tasks

 

Productivity correlates to organization. If you get in the habit of making a list of the tasks you need to do each day, you’ll find it easier to keep your projects under control. Then, make sure they’re moving at the right place.

 

When unexpected tasks come up that you can’t do immediately, instead of leaving them hanging around in your mind, write them down in a list. This is a very simple strategy, but it has three main advantages. First, it will give you the impression that you have everything under control. Also, you will avoid that uncomfortable feeling of overwhelm and stress caused by constantly remembering that you have something pending. Secondly, it will allow you to clearly define which tasks are important and which are secondary.

 

Thirdly, making a parallel list of unplanned tasks will give you a clearer picture of what they really entail. In fact, we often make the mistake of thinking that because they are simple tasks, they are not a problem. However, when you see them on paper, you will realize that the sum of all these tasks can take a great deal of time.

 

Choose the right time for each task

 

People are usually most productive in the mornings, and as the day progresses, they start to feel exhausted and find it more difficult to focus. However, the productivity curve depends a lot on the type of work you do and your habits. Therefore, you should find out what are the hours of the day when you can give your most. Additionally, concentrate on the really important tasks, those that let you move towards your goals.

 

Unplanned tasks do not demand too much concentration, so you can do them at any time of day. The smartest thing to do is to perform them in those hours when you are less productive. By doing this, you will be freeing up your day for the really important tasks. Those that demand a greater dose of concentration and creativity.

 

Living in quarantine must have changed many aspects of your life. For instance, constantly washing your hands. Maybe even your work habits. For many companies, it meant moving to work through the home office. Naturally, this altered the routine of their employees, for better or for worse. How to balance professional life and personal life?

 

Of course, saturated working hours and the poor quality of free time affect the well-being of employees. The balance between personal and professional life has been hard for a long time. Now, because of the pandemic, it’s even worse.

 

Social events after work have been the hallmark of companies looking to raise employee morale and grow a sense of community. But as we all know very well, those days are over for now. So, companies interested in keeping workers happy and productive face new challenges. In fact, even for employers whose workers claim to have a good work-life balance, adapting to the world of home office has been a struggle.

 

Currently, you might start your day at 10 in the morning. It’s likely that by that time before the pandemic you were already in the office after having showered, bathed, and driven to work. Today, you probably join virtual meetings in pajamas and without bathing. You might even not have breakfast until noon. Perhaps it’s more than 8 in the evening, and you’re still working.

 

So, for your sake, this situation must stop.

 

The global Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it new challenges for the global economy. Even to the way we interact with each other. Because of this, many companies have implemented teleworking to maintain the continuity of their businesses and work teams. However, during quarantine, many people suffer from stress and anxiety. Of course, that negatively affects their relationships as well as their work performance.

 

Quarantine worldwide is leading us to change our daily habits and even our lifestyle. So, maintaining a balance between the different daily activities is key. Besides, productivity does not have to do only with the time we spend working or studying. Actually, it’s also related to personal life. This is because being at home can make us lose track of time without making the most of it.

 

Schedule all your activities

 

The first step to working or studying from home is to set up a routine. You should use some of your time to focus on yourself. While it’s not necessary to dress to impress, staying in pajamas is not something that can motivate you either. So you should choose a very casual outfit that will cheer you up for the day. 

 

Also, set up and organize your workspace. Customize it and make it comfortable however you need. Make sure it’s a quiet place so you can concentrate. Avoid working from the bed, keep lighting and/or ventilation constant and drink at least 2 liters of water to stay active.

 

Our brain likes to keep things neat. Routines improve decision-making during the day. Besides, anyone can benefit from having their own routine. However, to create a day-to-day agenda, we must consider activities that we didn’t plan in the days before the quarantine. For instance, household chores, cooking, and caring for children, who are also at home. Use the first 30 minutes after waking up to organize your day.

 

To manage our activities with an agenda it is necessary to set schedules and respect them. One tool to complete our tasks is to classify them by their importance. Balance professional life and personal life. For instance, differentiating between urgent and non-urgent tasks is a helpful way to organize. This way, you can have efficient time management, our most valuable resource.

 

It’s best to make a routine with established schedules that allow you to organize the activities of the day. It’s necessary to train our minds to continue working methodically and orderly. Ideally, you’ll use a part of your morning to organize your day. Additionally, you should do a stimulating activity like seeing the news, reading, or anything that calls for critical thinking.

 

Create boundaries

 

By eliminating the need to commute, the hours that were spent on transportation are probably being added to the working hours. That is why we feel like we work more than before. So, to avoid that, you must plan moments of rest so as not to spend more than four hours sitting.

 

Physical and temporal boundaries are recommended to be able to respect the time we devote to the rest of our personal needs. Motor activities should be interspersed with work every 90 minutes. For example, a stretching or breathing routine can help. In fact, the brain can process information better and be more productive with this method.

 

Also, choosing and arranging a workplace at home, even if it is small, can help. Specifically, the family is taught that while someone is in that space it means that they are working and should not be interrupted.

 

Define your work correctly

 

When it is determined that the working day is over, it is time to move on to other actions, preferably recreation or exercise. It’s important to have a personal activity to balance with the work. For example, physical exercise and other activities such as watching a movie or a concert, playing an instrument, board games, calling your friends, and the like. Having time for yourself is always recommended.

 

Free yourself from stress

 

Parents must be the guides of tranquility in this quarantine because they transmit to their children how to behave during an emergency. Stress causes many diseases because the immune system lowers its defenses when you feel bad.

 

Some ways to work on stressful situations are meditation, listening to relaxing music, and having periods of rest. It’s important to encourage good relationships at home. Stress is a time bomb and can explode while you are with your family, causing anger and resentment.

 

Another aspect that you should take care of in quarantine is to stay informed through reliable sources. On the other hand, avoid becoming saturated with information about the pandemic.

 

Avoid harsh or energy-intensive activities in the morning

 

Due to the physical and emotional wear that we generate when we are in the same environment, we must avoid performing activities that take away too much energy or that generate emotional fatigue at the beginning of the day. 

 

Using different environments to perform daily activities strengthens emotional health. Your brain recognizes and associates if a place is for work, exercise, reading, and more. Balance professional life and personal life. You must condition a place and dedicate it only to teleworking. This also prevents us from taking the laptop (work) to the bedroom.

 

Take breaks

 

It’s necessary to take some breaks so that the work does not become monotonous and rigorous. The point is not to generate more stress than that produced by the lockdown. Therefore, you should work as you would in the office, without neglecting the constant communication with the work team. Also, take some active breaks to clear the mind and perform some stretching exercises.

 

Measure the time you spend in front of a screen

 

Controlling the time you spend in front of a screen is highly recommended. It helps to have a balance between your time online and offline. Currently, people spend at least 8 hours of their day on their smartphones or computers. Fortunately, there are apps like Space, app Detox and Off the Grid, which show you the periods you spend on other apps. They help you set a limit by reducing your dependence.

 

Measure your news consumption

 

While these days it is good to follow the latest news about Covid-19, try not to devote too much time to this activity. The vast amount of information available on the internet about the pandemic can overwhelm us and cause panic. Additionally, that increases the chance of believing or sharing fake news. So, always check the source of each post you read and identify the channels through which it is spreading.

 

Caring for the children

 

Young students are spending more time at home than ever before. Because of this, it is important to balance the use of technology for their school and personal life. It’s recommended to encourage face-to-face conversations, self-regulation, and manage schedules to harmonize their individual development. Besides, the fact that they do not have a bell that marks the time of entry and exit does not mean that they do not need a schedule. Actually, having a daily routine helps them to balance the pace of their activities.

 

Respect your times

 

Limit your work or study hours and separate them from your personal activities. This will keep you healthy as well as productive. Similarly, it defines priorities in daily tasks, establishes and respects lunch and/or rest times. Remember it’s always good to take a few 10-minute breaks during the day.

 

Without a doubt, we live in a historical moment in which the balance between work, study, and personal life is one of the most important needs to maintain a healthy and productive lifestyle. Balance professional life and personal life. Therefore, with these tips, we can stay connected while taking care of our minds, health, and social interactions.

 

 

How to know when it is time to change jobs. Changing jobs isn’t easy, but sometimes it’s the right step to grow professionally. It’s vital to have a plan with a professional vision in the medium and long term. It’s also important to consider the working conditions of your current job to make the best decision. Signs you should quit your job.

 

If you’re going to change jobs, it’s better to do it while you’re young. When people get married and take on family responsibilities, they are more cautious because they prefer stability.

 

Do you think that thinking about changing jobs is crazy in the current station? Many are considered privileged to have a job in an era of economic uncertainty. And we cannot be fooled: the labor market isn’t going through a good time. High unemployment rates among young and old, a restructuring of the workforce that kills off thousands of jobs in one fell swoop, a low supply of well-paid jobs, and many more problems are part of the current working panorama. Getting into a job has become so difficult that many qualified professionals don’t think about changing companies. They completely ignore facts such as their low salary, a business policy, or the job they do.

 

However, work is one of the factors that most influences our well-being and happiness. Professionals spend many hours of the day and their week working. That’s why it’s important to have a job they enjoy. As a result, if you want to live a full life, you should have a job that makes you happy. Job satisfaction is a key factor that influences the well-being of any professional and improves their quality of life. Besides, it also benefits the productivity of the company and its results.

 

Signs that tell you when to look for a new job

 

Work is one of the most important areas in the life of a professional. Because of this, you must feel content and enjoy what you do. Feeling valued and with the possibility of growth within the company is needed to enjoy a good life.

 

Unfortunately, you won’t always feel satisfied at work, and this is something that can affect other areas of your life. But how do you know if it’s time to change jobs?

 

Your jobs doesn’t fill you

 

There are many times in which professionals choose jobs out of necessity. There are also times in which they do it thinking only about money. Since work is so important to professionals, they must enjoy what they do. Otherwise, this will after their happiness one way or another.

 

Work is closely related to personal development. Because of this, knowing what you want to be and doing an exercise of self-knowledge is very important. This is the key to being able to choose well when it comes to a job. Knowing your motivations and your talents is your starting point to find out what you want to do with your life.

 

It’s clear that when money is needed, it’s important to keep the job. However, if you don’t like what you do, you find it hard to get up in the mornings to go to work, and you get sad just thinking about the work you do, maybe you should think about looking for another job. Besides, you don’t need to quit your job to find another one, but it’s important to keep it in mind.

 

You can’t find more opportunities to grow, signs you should quit your job 

 

One of the keys to happiness at work is to feel that you can grow within a company. This is because it allows you to look to the future with optimism and motivates you to continue fighting to go further. However, when a company isn’t interested in the growth of their workers, the level of satisfaction decreases. This in turn also affects their productivity and the results of the organization. If you’ve been in your company for years and feel stagnant, maybe it’s time to think about making a job change.

 

While money doesn’t bring happiness, it’s important to cover our basic needs. Besides, money can become a motivation (as long as it isn’t your only motivation), and no one likes to work for free. To be happy it isn’t necessary to earn a penny, but you must see to it that your pay is fair based on what you do. Otherwise, you will feel unmotivated and think about looking for another job.

 

It’s necessary to analyze the achievements obtained from the moment you joined the company and whether there are possibilities of finding new challenges that allow you to improve your position within the organization.

 

You don’t feel like you suit your job

 

When you work in a company that doesn’t fit your style of job, it’s likely that it isn’t compatible with your work dynamic.

 

It’s very common to feel that the problem isn’t in what one does, but in the work dynamics with which a company operates. Stop to think if you have detected this problem in your professional field, and it will be a turning point to pick a new job

 

You have a bad relationship with your bosses

 

Bosses are important in a company because the decisions they make affect the entire organization and especially the positions present in it. Scientific studies also show that leadership styles influence employees’ well-being and performance.

 

So, if you have a bad relationship with your boss, and you don’t think you can fix it, it’s better to try to find a new job.

 

You feel stressed or burned out, signs you should quit your job

 

You must take into account how you feel about your job. Work stress and burnout shouldn’t present themselves in some situations. Being stressed from time to time is inevitable, but constant stress in a company means that the management is doing something very wrong. Even so, stress is a very common condition that affects the occupational health of workers. Besides, it might also harm the results of the business or company.

 

It’s always necessary to try to find a solution. This solution can be within a company. You might also try to use therapy sessions to find a way to control stress or the feeling of being burnout. However, there are situations in which the stress isn’t going to go away. Work isn’t healthy if you’re always stressed. As a result, it’s better to look for another job.

 

You don’t agree with the values of the company

 

It’s important to feel comfortable in a company. And feeling comfortable has a lot to do with being a good fit for the company’s values and code of conduct. When you think there are ethical and moral differences between yourself and the company, it might be a good idea to rethink whether you want to continue in that job.

 

You don’t feel valuable

 

It’s important to feel valued and needed, especially when it comes to recognition in the job. What should you do if you see that you don’t receive positive feedback despite doing your job well? What if you have been in the company for a long time with very good results and the bosses don’t care for you? If you can’t count on them to give you a promotion despite how much you contribute to the organization? Then it’s time to look for new job opportunities.

 

Your schedules don’t let you enjoy life

 

No one wants to feel like they are a slave to their work. That’s the reason why schedules are important. Some companies require their workers to be fully available daily. For example, shifts with excessive hours and very long breaks in between. This can make it difficult to reconcile work and family, especially when there are responsibilities.

 

You suffer mobbing

 

The relationship with co-workers is an important element in the life of a professional. A negative phenomenon that can happen in organizations is mobbing or psychological harassment at work. This usually causes, among other negative consequences, depression, anxiety, personality changes, or feelings of detachment towards the company. However, mobbing can not only occur between workers but can happen, for example, between a manager and a worker.

 

You feel like you can give more

 

When we feel underutilized and believe we can give more to the company, demotivation can take hold of us. One should feel useful at work, just as valued. If you think you can do a lot more, you might want to leave the job for one that fits your skills better.

 

You feel bored

 

The negative consequences of this condition are many, among them, demotivation. On the other hand, its causes are very varied. For example, the fulfillment of tasks below the needs of the worker, monotonous tasks, impossibility of promotion, and more. It’s always good that you let the company know how you feel. If they just ignore it, you decide to continue in that job.

 

There aren’t any training opportunities

 

If a company invests in the training of its team, multiple benefits are obtained at the general level. Otherwise, it creates a feeling of stagnation and frustration in the employee.

 

Everything feels monotone, signs you should quit your job

 

Performing monotonous tasks where there is no foot for innovation creates fatigue and stress. If you feel like your job doesn’t allow you to break with the routine, you can start looking for other options.

 

You don’t like your salary package and benefits

 

An attractive salary package is important, but not decisive for changing companies. It’s no use changing jobs for a higher salary if the treatment you will receive in the new job won’t motivate you to be more productive.

 

You aren’t attuned to the culture of the organization

 

An organizational culture contributes to the integration of employees and their ability to resolve conflicts. Signs you should quit your job. Adapting to a company’s culture fosters professional development and team cohesion.

 

Conclusion of signs you should quit your job

 

If you spend two to three years without in a company, and you haven’t grown within it, you should go looking for new opportunities elsewhere. If you also find out that there will be a change of boss or that the company is for sale, you should start the job search because it’s very likely that changes will be made.

 

How to become confident. A very important part of our life is based on confidence, confidence in our abilities, in our work, and our relationships. This includes our business partners, personal relationships, and family. To be successful, it’s important to have confidence. People with high self-confidence are considered natural leaders with the ability to reach their objectives.

 

No one is completely confident in themselves, although some may seem the opposite. We all face uncertainty. This can be either because we would like to control the future or because we don’t value ourselves enough.

 

But if we learn to live with our own doubts and limitations, and we are aware that in life there are things beyond our control, we will gain confidence. This is because we will know how to deal with our fears.

 

It’s common to pretend that successful people never have doubts, that they are decisive, that they never regret, and that they always know what to do. That couldn’t be more false. The thing is, everyone, even the best leaders, doubts themselves. While they achieve their goals, they are almost always pursued by indecision.

 

Doubt is a very human response to all the challenges that life throws at you. However, it shouldn’t prevent you from overcoming obstacles and achieving your goals. Here are some valuable tips to overcome doubt and direct your energy towards something more productive.

 

How to become confident and gain self-confidence

 

What is self-confidence? If you ask a wide variety of people, you will come across so many different answers. Some of them may even surprise you.

 

  • Some will say that not having doubts about what should be done, and knowing how to do it is being self-confident.
  • Others will argue it’s about acting despite doubts and trusting the results.
  • For some, it’s about being immune to criticism.
  • For others, it consists of knowing how to listen to those same criticisms without falling into self-deprecation.

 

Perhaps this last option will allow you to better understand the dynamics of insecurities. This way you may even learn how to overcome it.

 

There is a direct relationship between valuation and insecurity, and it starts in our early individual history.

 

If we are valued for who we are, for being here, for simply existing. If this appreciation is conveyed to us through gestures, attitudes, and words. And if we are recognized for our achievements, that we are useful, we will soon understand that we’re important to others. All of this will give us confidence.

 

Unconditional love and appreciation, which are given to us because we exist, are basic pillars in the construction of self-confidence.

 

False ideas about self-confidence

 

When we know how to feel valuable for ourselves, we are likely to go out in search of models. An inner voice tells us that we can’t do it. We start thinking that we aren’t worth much and that our resources are scarce or weak. A person without confidence believes and tells themselves:

 

“Being as I am, I will achieve nothing, so I must be like so-and-so since they feel confident in themselves”

 

We assign to these models all the conditions that, as we imagine, make up a confident person. That is, we put in them everything that we don’t see in us.

 

Thus, we will see them as persons who don’t hesitate, who feel strong, and who don’t admit doubts. As a result, they’re no longer humans, because humans are flawed and everyone has their own faults and fears.

 

We create an ideal of confidence that, like all ideals of the self-forged from our wants, becomes an unattainable goal and, by its presence alone, painful.

 

We must also highlight that to compensate for our sense of insecurity, we create a model of confidence far removed from true human emotion. This model then ends up being impossible and, in the end, gives us even more insecurity.

 

No one is free from doubt, fears, or uncertainty. Those who claim to not feel these human experiences are, in fact, the ones who feel them the most.

 

When you don’t admit the possibility of defeat, of error, of doubt, of not having control over something or someone, you aren’t self-confident. When you fear criticism, when you live under the overwhelming pressure of exigency, you often appeal to mechanisms of compensation created to hide all that.

 

Doubt leading to self-confidence

 

You can convince others that you’re a confident person, but you won’t ever convince yourself. You will live all your life with a great load of inner tension. As a result, you will spend all of it ensuring that you don’t look doubtful, uncertain, and fearful. Thus, you will become your worst enemy and create enormous present and future emotional costs.

 

To sustain that image you will have to close every door that leads to your interior. For this, you may even have to censor every question about yourself, your feelings, searches, and needs.

 

Denying insecurity doesn’t make you confident. All it does is turn you into someone void of emotions which in turn makes you even more vulnerable. In contrast, by accepting your doubts, fears, and uncertainties, you will be able to ask yourself what you need to face any situation. This leads you to explore what resources do you need and have inside you as well as their state.

 

How doubt helps you

 

Doubt tells you what you need to grow stronger. For example, what help you should ask and to whom, and how to do it equitably and functionally. Doubt helps you to transform and grow.

 

Those who build an image of unshakable confidence and present themselves in the world clinging to it are prisoners of that facade. Those who admit their shortcomings, their imperfection, are more whole and free.

 

When a person discovers and accepts their values and abilities, they cease to set up themselves by pursuing external models, so often illusory and false. They gain the freedom to be in their own way.

 

The more you know yourself in your possibilities and limitations, the more you value yourself with what you have and with what you don’t do. As a result, you are better able to assume your existence in the here and now.

 

Fear of the future

 

It is precisely in the here and now where your life really takes place. Insecurity, such as fear or anxiety, is related to what has not yet happened, and you don’t know if it will happen. It isn’t in what is happening at this moment but in what will come.

 

What if I’m wrong? How will they react if I don’t get it? What will become of me if I don’t? Review the main verbs of these sentences, and you will see that they are in the future tense. Insecurity displaces us from the present, takes away our axis of life.

 

The illusion of controlling the future leads us to believe that, if possible, we would live a completely safe life. And that’s where we get to the other great source of insecurity. The first, as we saw, is not having been sufficiently valued and accepted with our own idiosyncrasy.

 

The second is the non-acceptance of uncertainty as an essential component of life. Life is a succession of uncertainties. Insecurity is therefore inherent in it. Accepting it will make us live safer.

 

The pillars of confidence

 

When you know that not everything depends on you, you will recognize that there are factors beyond your decision. Then you will understand that your possibilities have limits. Thus, you will gain freedom and the ability to choose to grow.

 

By accepting everything that does not depend on you, you can focus on what does concern you, which are their resources and possibilities. When you accept that you can’t do everything, you will always do the best you can.

 

A confident person isn’t the one who knows everything, but the one who knows what things they ignore and applies what they know. Thus, we can list the pillars on which confidence is built.

 

  • Sincerely explore the inner world to know one’s own resources and accept one’s own limitations.
  • Accept who we are and value what we are, rather than aspire to be another, to be an ideal of illusion.
  • To assume that, in life, many events are beyond our control. We can neither give assurances about them nor ask for them.
  • Focus on those steps that depend on us and apply our available resources to them.
  • Include doubt, uncertainty, perplexity, as possible companions of our actions and decisions. All this while knowing that they are part of human emotions and sensations, and without fighting with them.

Conclusion

 

So, as you can see, it’s not the absence of doubts, fears, and questions that will make a person self-confident. Rather, it’s their ability to act with them, and their satisfaction with the processes rather than with the results. What gives a person confidence is to have been true to their thoughts and feelings, and honest in the use of their resources.

 

When we speak to children, whether they are 5, 10 or 15, we often ask them: What do you want to be when you grow up? Some will say they want to become a pilot, a firefighter, a school teacher or a doctor. Some others do not have a straight answer. I was one of them. I never really knew what job I wanted to do. The only thing I knew from a young age, is that it had to do something with languages, with traveling, with living abroad. 

When we get older, we often fall into a routine; getting up, working (whether it is to work for a company or for oneself), going to bed. We frequently forget to pause and ask ourselves the question: What do I want to be when I grow up? How do I want to look back at my life when I am 80? Thinking strategically and having a long term goal in mind is something we have to do if we want to be successful and achieve our goals.

Have a long term goal in mind

Answering the question ‘How do I want to look back at my life when I am 80?’ is not an easy question to answer. It can take days, weeks, months or even years to answer it. You also may not be able to answer that particular question but you should ask yourself, every so many years: what do I want to do in 5, 10, 20  years? Once you have found your purpose in life and/or your long term goal, you can start working backwards and establish (short, medium and longer term) goals so that you can look back at your life and be proud of what you have achieved. 

Having long term goals in mind helps you stay focused. You may not know yet how you are going to achieve these goals, you may not know when you will achieve them. But by staying focused, you’ll be able to recognize when an opportunity will present itself and you’ll just have to grab it. In 2003-2004, I wanted to leave the Netherlands. I wanted to go and live either in Spain or in Italy. I was not speaking fluent Spanish or Italian, I did not know how I could move to one of these countries. Yet, this was my goal. And in 2006, the Quality and Training Manager of the Italian subsidiary of the company I was working for, resigned. The Italian Management team approached me and asked me if I would be interested to take over his job. I of course said yes. I was thrilled. It was because I had put my goal out there, to the Universe, that my dream came true somehow. Many people knew what my goal was. I had worked hard and had done my research. I had never anticipated my Italian colleague would resign. When he did, I was ready. 

 

Identify the gaps

Once you have a clear idea of your goal, you can identify the skills you need, the habits you need to have. You know where you are now which helps you identify the gap between the current situation and your goal. You can then start to work on them. What new skills do you need to acquire? And do you need to unlearn something? What habits do you need to get rid of? What new habits do you need to start doing? 

You may have already started to work on some new skills or competencies. But you may need to level up, read books, follow some webinars or training to develop them and improve yourself. 

You may also want to hire a coach or a mentor to brainstorm to have an accountability partner, who can challenge you and ensure you are taking action. Being motivated and taking action are sometimes not enough. You need to be disciplined and act on a consistent basis to make progress (see one of my previous articles here.)

 

Setting priorities

The main challenge is that people often do not prioritize the right things. They think everything is important. And by putting everything at the same level, nothing stands out. That is how the routine starts. People no longer know what is a priority.

It is critical to spend some time planning. Of course, being spontaneous once in a while, doing things at the last minute, is ok. We all need some flexibility. However, when it comes down to the bigger picture, this is where you need to stay rigid and focus on your goal if it is important to you. The way you approach things may change, the timing for which you’ll want to achieve your goal may also vary, as some things are outside of our control (the situation we’re currently experiencing is a perfect example). However, if something is important enough for you, you will find a way to achieve your goal. Take a break. Reflect, pause, evaluate and ask yourself: what do I need to do this week, this month, this quarter, this year, the next 5 years, so that I can achieve my goal by 20xx. 

 

Remember this: the most successful persons are planning years, decades ahead. They have also had setbacks and certain things probably did not happen as planned.  But they keep working at it. Continuously. Focusing on their long term goal, their vision. 

 

This blog was also shared on Linkedin.

Preparation is key.

When we have a deadline, we often focus on the task we need to do: going through an interview, delivering a training or presentation, providing a report. There are important milestones that we need to go through to achieve our goal. To be successful in achieving these milestones, two things are essential (see my previous article: The keys of success). However, there is one thing we often underestimate: preparation. 

 

Why is it important?

Even though preparation can be boring and not always fun, it is one of the most valuable things you can do to avoid stress and anxiety as the deadline approaches.

Being prepared as much as possible is critical if you want to be successful. When you are prepared, you can tackle challenges more easily and more efficiently. You will also be and feel more confident when you’ve worked on all the things you need to know and on the things you control.

In business

When you are looking for a job and get an interview, nothing is more important than doing your research, Find out about the company you’ve applied for, their values, their financial situation, locations, culture, etc. Find out more about the role by reaching out to people in your network who may work there or ask your connections if they know people working there. 

Prepare your answers to some of the common questions (tell me more about yourself; why do you want to work here; what are your strengths and weaknesses, etc.). Don’t forget to prepare questions to ask the recruiter, hiring manager etc. Interviews are a two-way conversation and candidates often forget this, 

When you deliver a presentation or a training, you also need to spend as much time preparing as possible. It helps you create something that will interest your audience and you can link things between a project, the company, the department, to your presentation. When you are well prepared, you will have worked on everything that is in your control (have a backup ready in case you have some technical issues; be ready to answer questions or objections; know the layout of the room in case you have to do some team exercises, etc. ). The more information you have beforehand, the more chances you have to show your professionalism, knowledge and expertise. 

Preparation is key.

 

In life

Same as in business, if you want to put all the chances in your corner, you need to prepare. 

When you want to cook something special, you usually need to look at the recipe and buy the ingredients in advance. You also need to make sure you have all ustensils so that you can make that special dish. Unless you’ve been cooking that special meal several times in the past, you need to spend some time in the preparation to be sure you’ll be able to make that dish on time.

Whether you want to run a marathon or start a new fitness routine, you need to first know your exact goal and where you are starting from. Same thing if you want to improve your health and lose some weight. Once you have identified the gap, you can prepare, put actions into place that will help you achieve your goal. You may have to buy certain equipment, buy certain food or change your schedule. All of this requires preparation. 

Preparation is key.

When traveling

When you want to travel for pleasure or business, or need to move abroad, preparation is also critical. 

What is the cost of living? Which places can you visit? What type of food do people eat? How is the weather? If you are a woman, are there areas you need to avoid? 

If you got a job abroad, find out about the tax system and if there are many expatriates. You also should enquire if the city you’re going to has (international) schools for your children and if your partner will be able to find a job easily. These questions may not be relevant first but things can go quickly sometimes, and the better you are prepared, the easier the transition will be. 

Preparation is key.

 

Conclusion

Whatever your goal, make sure you set some time aside to think, organize yourself and work towards what you want to achieve. Obviously, sometimes unexpected things happen, but when they do, they are mostly things you cannot do anything about. 

So remember that preparation is key, not optional! See it as an investment that will allow you to relax more and will put you at a competitive advantage. Even though it may seem like a ‘waste of time’, being prepared will in the end save you time and money.

⭐️⭐️⭐️ ‘There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure’ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Colin Powell

#vlvcoach #leadership #leadershipdevelopment #mindset

This article was also shared on Linkedin.

These last few weeks, a few people asked me: how do you stay motivated in this period? You’ve been posting and staying positive, I don’t know how you do it…

With the Prospective Force team (Anton, Kevin and Juliet), we’ve discussed motivation last week. Everybody deals with motivation differently. Am I motivated all the time? Of course not. I also have my ups and downs. However, there are a few things that can bring back motivation.

 

Extrinsic motivation

Whether we are aware of it or not, we do get motivated by external circumstances. Sometimes we hear a story: someone we know has done something unexpected. They recovered from a serious disease or accident; they’ve lost lots of weight; they found another job after a long time; they left their corporate job to set up their own company. Or one of our friends or connections has overcome a very challenging and difficult situation, etc. The examples are numerous. Hearing all these stories are often very powerful, as it provides us inspiration and motivation so that we act to move forward. 

Sometimes it’s a book or a movie that will motivate us to get into action. From time to time, it’s an upbeat song that will get us into action. That is why it’s very important, especially in the current times, to take some time for ourselves. We need to include some fun times, ideally every day, to lift ourselves up, to laugh, to forget about the situation and recharge our batteries. Nowadays with the internet, it’s never been easier to find all kinds of uplifting videos, movies or music to cheer us up. 

We can also be motivated by those around us who comment about us. Some people will give you direct compliments and tell you they admire you for x or y reason. Whether they tell you this personally, send a direct message or even tag you in some posts, all of these are signs that people respect and appreciate you. These signs can give you a boost and get you re-motivated if you are feeling down. At work, it can be a pay rise, getting the opportunity to work on a special project or getting additional responsibilities. It can also be as simple as getting a ‘thank you’ or ‘well done for a great job’. 

 

Intrinsic motivation

Extrinsic motivation is very important, however, it has to start with ourselves. We need to focus on our thoughts, our body and make sure we are in the best health we can. To motivate oneself, you can do a few things; meditate or pray, even if it’s just a few minutes per day. You can also take a break. Make sure you also have a hobby or passion that you can do on a regular basis, to release stress, focus on the moment and re-energize yourself.

Practice gratefulness on a regular basis. As human beings, we often have a tendency to focus on the negatives. When we shift our mindset and look at all the things that we have, starting with being alive, having a roof over our head and food on the table, it helps us put things into perspective and (re)motivates us.

One thing you also should not forget is to have a long term goal in mind. Circumstances will never be perfect. Unexpected (challenging) things will always happen. However, when you keep on remembering your goal and thinking on how it will make you feel when you will achieve it, you’ll probably want to go and work on it. 

 

Conclusion

Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation play a big role in our life. This is how we take action and move forward. However, you can be 100% motivated but if you do not act – consistently – you will never achieve anything. It’s not all about motivation. It’s about discipline.

Jim Ryun said it well: “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

#vlvcoach #motivation #mindset 

This blog was also shared on Linkedin.

“Your health is your wealth”, we all have heard this expression.

In these days where most of us are stuck at home trying to avoid the spread of the coronavirus, I can’t help but think that this expression has never been truer to me…

Being healthy does not only mean being ‘fit’ i.e. not overweight. It also means being healthy in our mind. 

 

Physical health

When we say ‘health’ the first thing that comes to mind is usually our physical health. It is important to practice a sport regularly to feel good, to build your muscles and stamina. It also helps to release your stress and to sweat to release toxins from your body. Practicing a sport regularly helps you stay in a good condition and prevents you from having certain aches. After I had my serious car accident, dancing helped me build my muscles again. And these last two years, I’ve also started doing yoga. It helps me strengthen my muscles, especially those in my back.  

It actually does not matter which sport you do. Whether you like to run, play golf or tennis, dance, swim or cycle, as long as you do something regularly. 

 

Food

Being healthy also means paying attention to your nutrition. Many diseases we get are because of (1)  deficiency in vitamins and minerals and (2) toxicity. We often eat processed food and even though they may taste deliciously, they are often the food with the least nutrients to nourish our bodies. In addition, these processed foods often have lots of additives which, in the long run, make our bodies ‘toxic’. Think also about all the chemicals we use (not only to clean the house, but I think about the pollution we have outside. I also think of what we, women, use; the make up, nail polish, the color for our hair, etc.). By eating as much fresh fruits and vegetables as possible, we are helping our body – and mind – stay strong. We are providing them with vitamins, minerals, basically nutrients that are critical for our health. 

 

Mental health

Having a healthy mind is also critical to being healthy. What does it mean? It means trying to have positive thoughts, practicing affirmations. When you are constantly thinking ‘bad’ thoughts, you will stay in a negative framework. To have positive thoughts, pay attention to the words you use. Challenge yourself when you say something like “I always fail” or “I can never do this”… Is it REALLY the case? Is it really “ALWAYS” or “NEVER”? Or are you just exaggerating? 

Being mentally healthy also includes meditating or praying. It includes focusing on the present, the ‘now’. It also means removing as much negativity as possible. It means letting go of negative emotions and practicing gratitude. I know that in these challenging times, it is sometimes very difficult to let go of the negativity and practice gratitude, but there is always a silver lining in any situation…

From my experience, being healthy mentally is THE most important. The mind is stronger than the body. Napoleon Hill said it “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve” and Henry Ford as well: “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.”

To summarize

All of these actions take time and practice. Nothing will change from one day to another. But by doing little things every single day,, you will see some positive differences in the long run. Your body and your mind will thank you for it.

 

We should always be our Number 1 priority. 

This is not being selfish. 

This is being a leader, our own leader (see my previous blog on this). We can only help and support others if we can help ourselves first and are (mentally and physically) healthy. 

 

#vlvcoach #leadership #health

This article was also published on Linkedin.

Stay positive! Easier said than done! Life is full of ups and downs. We all have our struggles…

Like everyone, I had my share of challenges. When I look back, and even if these situations were tough at the time they happened, I am grateful they happened, as everytime I came out stronger. The main reason was because I always stayed positive. Of course, I have had times when I cried and felt depressed or down, but I always managed to look on the bright side…

 

How do you stay positive, even in challenging times? Here are my few tips.

 

Surround yourself with positive people

Nowadays, we are surrounded by negativity (the news, the bad weather, people who envy us, etc. ). It is critical that you surround yourself with people who support you, people who encourage you and who can challenge you to become a better version of yourself. We are never alone. Even if you do not have close friends where you live, you can always manage to get some support and create some great friendships online (I know I have, mostly via Linkedin).

 

Have a goal in mind

Especially when you are going through some tough times, make sure you have a goal in mind. When my parents got divorced, I had to take some exams at the university. Focusing on them helped me go through my parents’ divorce in a more ‘peaceful’ way. When I had my car accident, my goal was to be able to walk again and go back to my normal life. This was my priority number1. Literally, every step I was making, every progress I achieved, made me happier and happier, as I was coming closer to my goal. 

When you focus on something positive, something you’d like to achieve, you’ll be able to cope better with the more challenging experience you may be facing.

 

Listen to some uplifting music or watch funny movies

When I had my car accident, I had to lie down in bed in the hospital for weeks, I remember listening to some songs that were uplifting. They were making me happy. 

Watching movies that make you laugh also help you be more positive. Laughter is actually very good for your health. It helps strengthen your immune system and boost your mood among other things. Laughing helps you lighten your challenges. It helps you release your stress. 

 

Smile

This one is so easy and powerful and yet, not many of us do it on a regular basis. Smiling has a huge impact, not only on others but also on ourselves. It helps you relax and gives you hope. 

Try to smile and have negative thoughts at the same time, I challenge you! 😉 

 

Challenge your negative thoughts

When something bad happens to us, or someone disappoints us, or when something goes wrong, we have a tendency to generalize and make things worse… “Why does this ALWAYS happen to me?” or “Why am I NEVER able to do xyz?” etc. These little words such as ‘always’, ‘never’ are actually rarely accurate. We exaggerate our feelings. 

When you have these types of thoughts, ask yourself: is it really true or am I exaggerating? Can I think of one example when this was not the case? You will very often find an example if you are looking for it. 

 

Try to see the glass half full instead of half empty 

There is always something to learn from any situation. It’s ok to be sad, to feel angry, disappointed, down, but then take a moment to think: what is the lesson here? How does it help me? Going through challenges is never easy. However, when you look at life on the positive side, things start to brighten up

 

Be grateful

This one is probably the most powerful. When I had my car accident and ended up in the hospital, I was grateful to be alive. Yes, I was in a poor condition but I was alive. When they put me in a wheelchair, I was grateful my condition had improved. I was grateful for all the people who came to see me, for my colleagues who phoned me every single day for 6 months to know how I was recovering….Since then, I’ve been grateful every single day for being alive, for being able to walk, to run, to dance and I appreciate life more and more. 

Being grateful not only improves your mental health, it also helps improve your physical health. It increases happiness as well as your energy level. 

 

Remember

I would like to finish with a sentence, which I purposely used as the subtitle of my book “My revenge on life”.  

 

No matter the circumstances you’re facing, remember: Stay positive!

 

There is always the light at the end of the tunnel…

#vlvcoach #inspiration #mindset #leadership #staypositive

This article was also published on Linkedin.

No matter what people think of us, always believe in yourself.

 

When I came back in the Netherlands in 2008, I had found a job in one of the big international banks in Amsterdam.  I had been hired in the technical department of the bank to set up a team in India.

I’ll always remember my 1st day at the bank. 

My first day

When I arrived, I could not help but notice that there were only 3 women in the team (out of approx. 40). All the others were mostly Dutch men in their 50s & a few young Indian men.

I went around and introduced myself to each of them. All were really welcoming. 

All of them except one man. He was the oldest. 

When I came to introduce myself to him, I reached out my hand to him, told him my name, and said that I was the new manager of the team. He then asked me:

‘Do you have any technical background?’ 

I replied ‘No’

He looked a bit surprised and continued:

‘And do you have any banking background?’

Here again, I said ‘No’

He looked puzzled. I knew he was wondering how I could have been hired to work in the IT department of the bank: me, a young woman, French, without any specialist knowledge. 

At that moment, I told myself ‘Fair enough’. He does not know me, he does not know what I can do. And maybe, I would have reacted the same way if I had been in his situation. 

 

The next few weeks, months, years…

From the next day onwards, I started to get to know my team members, my job, got the opportunity to go to India and meet some other colleagues of mine. 

Every day, this man was always a bit grumpy and not very friendly. Although it sometimes bothered me, I continued to build relationships with all my colleagues and team members, getting to know them while they were getting to know me. I was one of the few women, one of the youngest, and one of the few foreigners in the team. Yet, I was confident in my abilities. I kept remembering that I had been hired for a good reason. My manager had told me during one of my interviews: “I already have many specialists in the banking and IT areas. What I need is someone who has experience in managing international/virtual teams.” 

Then, 3 years later, this man had a heart attack. I went to visit him in the hospital and at his home when he was better. I helped him dealing with HR and any other challenges he had while he was recovering.

He came back to work for a few weeks/months later. He had become very friendly with me. The fact that I had helped him when he needed it had apparently had a positive impact on him.

A year later, he decided to retire.

And then, the unexpected happened…

On his last day, we had a farewell gathering and he did a little speech. He had worked for more than 40 years in that same bank. He told little stories and thanked the bank for all the opportunities he got…. 

And at the end, he said: “There is also one person I would like to thank here, and this person is Virginie. She has always provided me all the support and help I needed, especially when I got sick.”

 

He brought tears to my eyes…. I was touched by his kind words and could not help remembering my very first day in the department, as well as his remarks and look…. How different it had been!

 

On that day, I really became aware of one thing: 

No matter what people think of you, 

  • Believe in yourself. 
  • Stay confident 
  • Continue doing what you need to do, what you are good at. 
  • And be human. 

 

As Theodore Roosevelt said: “‘Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care’.

 

#vlvcoach #leadership #confidence #believeinyourself #nevergiveup

 

This blog was also posted on Linkedin. 

If you want more inspiration on this topic, go and have a look at my other blog.