What’s up, Doc

I’ve been promising myself for days to update my blog. I’ve got great excuses for how long it’s taken me to get back to it. Extensive “Fall Cleaning,” preparation for my mother’s visit, entertaining my Mom for about two weeks, projects I took on for one of my brothers — yada, yada, yada. So, finally I’m taking charge and forcing myself to do what needs to be done: I’m not allowing myself to do anything else today until the blog is updated. I won’t even do my daily publishing of an article on the main portion of this site until the blog update is finished. Sometimes the “inner parent” has to grab the “inner child” and say “grow up and take care of your responsibilities!”

First, let me tell you about some articles of my own that I published over the last three weeks:

When You Should Have A Messy Desk. As a performance and productivity expert, I know the value of organization and systemization. I’ve written several articles on this site about how essential they are. But, really, some of folks seem to develop intricate systems for keeping an office so neat that it is sterile and looks as though no one actually would think of working there. Hey, desks were made as work surfaces, not all work is done on computers, and you actually need to see the stuff you’re working on. I don’t actually believe in messy, disorganized desks. I just have a rant going about them being workplace tools rather than surfaces upon which a surgeon could operate.

Patience, Work and Limits. Whether you work for someone else or work for yourself, you will be faced with interruptions, unpleasant tasks and others’ unrealistic expectations. Learning to cope with those events requires you to set limits or boundaries for yourself and others.

Slow and Steady Wins the Performance and Productivity Race. Timing and persistance, supported by organization and a systematic approach, get more done in the long run than intermittent “leaps and bounds.” The story of the tortoise and the hare has some real value for performance and productivity management.

Also, while I encourage you to browse the descriptions of all the most recent articles I’ve published, I’d like to call your attention to a couple of excellent guest articles:

30 Online and Offline Networking Resources. Facebook and Twitter may be the hottest social networking kids on the block, but many businesses both large and small don’t really find them appropriate for their networking efforts. This list by Stephanie Chandler doesn’t even give them a mention, but does give some excellent links.

Winning at Working: Career Stock Rising. Here’s a great viewpoint from Nan Russell on the value of seeing your time use in terms of return on investment. It works for both the employed and self-employed.

Negativity, gossip and impatience

A few days ago, I wrote an article for Superperformance.com about the effects of constantly retelling stories about your negative experiences. In Stop Telling Those Stories! Complaining Kills Performance and Productivity, I explain the stress you cause for yourself and others with what amounts to griping and bellyaching when you should be learning and problem-solving.

Yesterday, I received a good guest article to publish from the sensible pen of Karla Brandau that covers a related issue: gossip. Gossip is almost always negative, and when it concerns possible disruptions in an organization, such as layoffs, pay cuts, inequitable promotions and other extreme concerns for employees during tough economic times, it can be deadly. Read Karla’s suggestions in I Heard It Through the Grapevine: How leaders can reduce damaging gossip.

And today, I received and published a guest article from Mark Hunter (the “Sales Hunter”) that applies to sales professionals, small business owners and sales managers: Driven to Distraction: How Latest Trends Will Hurt You. Another thing that is hard in tough economic times is the slowing of the sales process and the lower number of sales that businesses experience. At those times, rather than use new techniques and processes to “tweak” and improve well-established methods, too many organizations and sales pros scrap their proven methods in favor of new, barely-tested ideas that end up failing and put them in worse positions than before. It’s only natural to get impatient to see results, but even in sales, the tortoise usually outruns the hare.

Articles Update

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been juggling several time-disrupting events (one of which you can read about in “Bring On The Distractions,” described below.) So, it’s about time for an update on the articles I’ve been adding to the website. I’m not going to tell you about them all. You can find a list of all the articles added over the last 30 days on the home page, Superperformance.com. Right now, I’m just going to update you on some of the ones I’ve written myself, starting with the latest first:

Can A Workplace Have A Panic Attack? — Not being contented with an earlier article (“The Sky is Falling!”) for solo entrepreneurs and micro businesses on the subject of anxiety and catastrophizing, I wrote a stronger depiction of what happens in the larger workplace during times of high stress. This is primarily addressed to management of mid-sized and larger organizations. Solo entrepreneurs and micro business owners need only to mind themselves. In larger organizations, an entire segment of the organization, composed of many employees, can exhibit the symptoms usually found in an individual, and management needs to have leaders ready to deal with it.

You Can’t Beat The System: Unfair Power Plays In The Workplace — Who says you can’t beat city hall? Or “the system.” Many people have. You’ve got options.

Bring On The Distractions: Maintaining Focus While Dealing With Workplace Chaos — It happens to all of us, no matter where we work or for whom we work — things are going along productively and some sort of crisis hits. All work stops to deal with the crisis. It may not be a very big crisis, but it hangs over us until solved. Not to worry: the workplace basic necessities of a “to do list” and a simple scheduler usually solve any distractions from crises.

Follow Your Passion or Impassion Your Work — The idea of “following your passion” is much more than a bit of fluff advice from “touchy-feeley” coaches. The solid psychology behind it is that strong positive feeling for your work is the best motivator we know for overcoming obstacles and getting through hard times. It also builds belief in your work and enthusiasm, both within you and your employees. Not to mention that it enhances your enjoyment when things are going well.

The Sky is Falling! The Sky is Falling on My Business! — Do you “catastrophize?” Do you look for signs and omens that something terrible is going to happen to you or your small business? Do you constantly imagine the worst? Relax. You’re not alone.

Acceptance Defeats Worry — You’ve probably heard about the idea of “accepting” unpleasant circumstances, events or people. Maybe you understand it to be a “letting go” of power struggles, or just resigning yourself to enduring all of the unpleasantness you anticipate from whatever you are worrying about. Actually, it’s a way of getting rid of most of the unpleasantness, releasing the need to struggle and finding practical ways to deal with the actual results of circumstances, events and other people’s behavior.