Super-Productive: 120 Strategies to Do More and Stress Less is set to launch on Amazon on March 7th (next week)! I will be sending you an email with a special promotion. If you like my blog posts, you'll love the book. It's an easy read filled with many useful strategies to help you improve personal productivity while finding more time for the things you most enjoy.
On to some serious concerns facing today's workplace...
THE OFFICE AND POLITICS
In general, you have probably avoided heated political debates in the office. Everyone is entitled to his/her own viewpoints and water cooler talk about the pros and cons of candidates, public policy, and foreign policy can feel similar to walking through a minefield. You never know what (or who) will explode on you!
WHAT HAS CHANGED?
This past election caught the country by surprise. In spite of our advanced technologies, the pollsters were wrong in their predictions and the unlikely candidate won. I will not get into my personal opinions on our current president but prefer to focus on what is now being seen in the workplace due to a major upheaval in expectations.
Regardless of who you supported for president, the outcome was a surprise. Our expectations were turned on their head and we entered into a state of 'shock.' Many people walked around in a state of disbelief until they actually watched January's inauguration.
WHY IS THE SITUATION SO DIFFICULT?
Over the past few decades, companies have made considerable efforts to create a diverse workplace. Tremendous progress has been made to include more women, minorities, and people with disabilities throughout organizations to more accurately reflect and represent the diversity of our country and the globalization of the workforce. We have only just begun to see change but we are headed in the right direction.
President Trump has promised fast and radical change. So far, he has shown that he acts swiftly, often disregarding bureaucratic processes. Understandably, this has made many people feel nervous and anxious about what the future holds.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Here are 5 suggestions to help you get back on the productivity track even when your mind is freaking out with uncertainty.
- Take action. If you hate feeling helpless, consider participating in peaceful rallies and be sure to share your thoughts and opinions with your elected officials. They have an obligation to represent their constituencies. Having your voice heard elsewhere means you can keep political opinions out of the workplace.
- Reduce social media use. Since the election, have you noticed a shift in the tenor of your Facebook news feed? For me, what was primarily cat videos, photos of kids, and vacation highlights has turned into a lot of negativity and ranting political commentary. It creates stress for me, so I avoid it. This has been a huge productivity boost for me (as measured by Rescue Time.)
- Volunteer as a group. A great antidote to feeling depressed? Help someone else. If you and your colleagues are getting on each others' nerves debating politics, try planning a group volunteer activity. This shifts the focus away from what you disagree on to doing something for others, which you can all agree on (serving a meal at a soup kitchen, building with Habitat for Humanity, tutoring inner city youth, etc.)
- Meditate. Starting your day off with a few minutes of meditation will change how you react in stressful situations. This daily practice will help you deflect potential arguments and have more patience for those with different opinions.
- Look forward. Four years from now the country will vote again. We will either re-elect President Trump or vote for an alternative. Either way, your career will be four years further along. When you look forward, where do you want to be? The decisions you are making today will impact that vision. Making your professional goals a reality means finding the energy and discipline to stay focused today, even when there is political turmoil and distractions at every turn.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
According to a recent article in the Washington Post, a survey of 500 workers, commissioned by BetterWorks, found that almost 30 percent of employees feel less productive since the election.
How are you and your colleagues handling post-election productivity decline?