Herrmann-12-19-22-blog-rapidly changing world

6 Simple Habits to Manage Your Energy in a Rapidly Changing World

Burnout is a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity. Many of us are familiar with this feeling, whether during the extended pandemic or through the social conflicts seen in many communities across the country and around the world.

I’ve gone down the dangerous burnout path. With my personal energy resources used up, bouncing back proved to be a difficult and time-consuming task. Essentially, personal energy resources work like a bank: I spent more than I had deposited and ended up in the red. 

The World Health Organization defines burnout as “chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” Just like not managing our finances, when we don’t manage our energy resources effectively, we get an imbalance — something amplified by the pandemic.

What Are the Effects of Workplace Burnout?

COVID-19 created a nearly overnight change in global work patterns. At first, working from home was seen as a way to increase productivity and well-being. But the continuous stress of this public health crisis also left many remote employees vulnerable to burnout.

Nearly 70% of employees were experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home, according to a Monster.com survey in 2020, yet with significantly less opportunity to decompress. Despite work burnout, the survey found that the majority (59%) were taking less time off than they normally would, and 42% of those still working from home weren’t planning any time off to decompress.

The unique challenges posed by the pandemic — from financial anxieties to homeschooling to disrupted social interaction — were just a few of the many impacts experienced. Even as many areas of the world are reopening, the continued effects of burnout persist. Recent research by Slack’s Future Forum suggests 43% of U.S. desk-based workers suffer from burnout as we approach 2023.

The Importance of Personal Energy Management

As we continue to adapt to a world that pivoted almost entirely online and is still settling into new routines, managing our energy resources has never been more critical. 

Energy management is all about our habits — routines that we repeat without thinking about them or whether they still serve us. This article aims to help you go from unconsciously spending energy to consciously practicing personal energy management. We’ll help you retrain your brain and cool the fires of your fight-or-flight responses by activating the body’s rest-and-recovery system.

So how can we go from unconsciously spending our personal energy to consciously managing our personal energy resources? Just like at the bank, we need to manage our resources so we don’t exhaust our personal energy, overdraft and, ultimately, suffer from burnout. 

In this article, we’ll explore six simple habits to help you better manage your energy and prevent burnout.

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Manage Your Mindset

Humans are creatures of habit. In the years since COVID-19 became an all-encompassing threat to our health and well-being, working online has become the new normal for millions of us. And where we were alert and careful at the beginning of the pandemic, we now view the virus as part of everyday life. While the virus might not constantly be at the forefront of our minds, our bodies and our unconscious might still be in a state of continuous alarm.

How does this alarm manifest? Psychologist Daniel Goleman called this phenomenon the Amygdala Hijack — the fight-or-flight reflex activated in response to a threat. While this is really useful for acute situations (think a tiger attack), our brains aren’t designed to handle prolonged bursts of stress like the dangers of COVID-19. The constant overflow of stress hormones, such as cortisol or adrenaline, is dangerous to our physical health and leaves us in a negative, reactive, survival-oriented mindset.

With our minds and bodies preoccupied, negativity takes hold and — without even us realizing it — drains more and more of our personal energy. This is why it's important to raise our awareness of our brain's inner workings and become proactive in controlling our mindsets and, thus, our energy.

But how can our thinking habits preserve our energy? The key is to increase the positive vs. negative ratio of our thoughts. This may sound a little vague at first. However, we can break it down into hands-on practices that help us take back control of our minds and focus more on positivity instead of getting swept away by stress and negativity.

Here are three exercises you can try..

The Emotional Shift Square

  • Shift your language.
  • Shift your focus.
  • Shift your physiology.
  • Shift to helping others.

The STOP Model for Thinking Habits

  • Stop.
  • Take a deep breath.
  • Observe what is going on.
  • Proceed with something useful.

The Ladder of Thinking

The Ladder of Thinking works as follows: When stuck with a negative thought, ask yourself: “What is the next best thought I could have?” So instead of trying to instantly go from “I feel unmotivated today” to “I will change the world,”  take smaller and more sustainable mental steps.

Practice Flexible Thinking

Every day, we face different challenges in the workplace. Perhaps it’s a difficult meeting or a taxing task that we’ve put off for as long as possible. Our unconscious mind's preoccupation with the countless threats heightens these challenges to our physical well-being.  

Stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline are continuously released into our bloodstream, triggering an amygdala hijack (the body’s fight-or-flight response). From an evolutionary standpoint, our amygdala has thus evolved into our internal alarm system.

But there's also a negative side effect to this life-saving mechanism. Because of this physical stress response, our brain has a negativity bias. Think back to the last time you received feedback. What do you remember most, the praise or the critique? Your brain’s negativity bias likely caused you to dwell on the critique and react more strongly to it.

This outcome applies to any two events: The more negative emotions will always take center stage in our minds, and the more positive emotions will take a backseat. While this response is helpful in life-threatening situations, our brains do us a disservice in modern-day work environments. Without meaning to, our default way of thinking already leans toward a more negative outlook on work and life.

Our thoughts have a measurable impact on the makeup of our brains. Some thoughts (for example, a default negative outlook) are well-trodden neural paths. Positive thoughts, however, may have smaller and less pronounced neural pathways. When faced with a new situation, our brain will lean toward taking the well-trodden path (negativity), trapping us in our old thinking habits.

The good news is that we can change this negative thinking habit and the makeup of the neural networks in our brain. This process is called neuroplasticity — the ability of our brain to form new neural connections and pathways and change the wiring of its circuitry.

We’ve all heard the phrase “use it or lose it.” If we don't control how we think, we let events change the neural connections in our brains. That means we might lose connections that help us perceive positivity. Our brains are on autopilot, and we need to take back control to manage our energy. One way to rewire our brains in that way is by practicing flexible thinking.

What is flexible thinking? Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) argues that our thoughts affect what we do (behavior) and how we feel (our emotions). 

We become what we think, whether we want to or not! Be careful what you think, essentially, because it will influence your emotions, your behavior and, ultimately, your personality.

What can we do? Don’t believe everything we think! Easier said than done, of course. So how can we practice flexible thinking? The key is asking ourselves challenging questions when we notice negativity taking hold of our thoughts. But what does that look like exactly?

Let’s consider an example: In a virtual meeting, one of our colleagues was in a bad mood and critiqued an idea that we spent considerable time developing. We’ve grown attached to this idea and are confident that it’s a great addition to the project. 

Our immediate reaction might be that of hurt. Next, we question our ability to add value to the project — the well-known imposter syndrome. We might even take our colleague’s reaction personally. Did we do or say something to offend? We jump to conclusions and get lost in all-or-nothing thinking.

When those things occur, we become stuck in unhelpful thinking, and the negative cycle continues: What we think turns into what we feel. Following the meeting, we’re anxious and worried. This translates into our behavior. Because we feel worried and on edge, we become short-tempered and impatient. Our body’s stress response is triggered, and our amygdala hijacks our systems. 

We're stuck in a fight-or-flight response, so after the meeting, we phrase an email reply to our assistant more strongly than we usually would have. The anxiety and worry drain our energy, and we feel too preoccupied and less motivated to continue to work throughout the day.

This escalated quickly! So how can we keep ourselves from going down the well-trodden path of negativity and rewire our brains to react more positively next time? The answer is to actively challenge our negative default assumptions (biases) about our colleague’s reaction with some challenging questions.

Let’s ask ourselves:

  • What are the facts here? Did your colleague really react as negatively as we initially thought?
  • Are you 100% sure about your conclusion? Is your perception warped by imposter syndrome?
  • How did other people or circumstances contribute? Could our colleague have been preoccupied?

These questions alone can interrupt the automated cycle of thinking-feeling-behaving. Taking a moment to reflect and see what really happened reframes the situation's outcome. We might remember that our colleague is struggling to balance work with homeschooling their children. They’ve appeared particularly stressed recently. Their reaction, therefore, might not be about our idea! Perhaps the reaction came from the stress of unsuccessfully trying to explain a math problem to their kids earlier that day. 

This puts us at ease. We make a note to revisit the pitch, and we check in with our colleague to see how they feel. We are not anxious or worried, and we have more mental energy to work on other tasks more effectively. Later, instead of lashing out at our assistant, we give productive and kindly-phrased feedback. All these interactions change because we’ve turned off our survival-oriented behaviors.

A simple tool to implement flexible thinking into our everyday lives is the SUN model:

  • Suspend judgment.
  • (Seek to) Understand the idea (be curious).
  • Nurture your idea.

In the end, we can't change situations or other people’s behaviors. What we can change is the way we look at them. Interpreting a situation differently and consciously counteracting our biases affects both our behavior (what we do) and how we feel (our emotions). 

Between the stimulus and our response, we have the ability to choose what our response looks like. Because we make a different, deliberate choice, we do not waste energy on negativity. Instead, we retrain our brains to pave the way for a more positive outlook on life. Do this often enough, and the well-trodden neural paths in our brains become those of positivity and not negativity. 

Next time you catch yourself getting stuck in negativity, try flexible thinking, and challenge your biases!

Build Positive Relationships in a Virtual World

When we first moved to remote working, video conferencing apps like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and WebEx seemed like the perfect solution to all our communication issues. At the start of the pandemic, we even used them extensively after working hours. Remember Zoom quiz nights in the early lockdowns? 

As the months turned into years, our excitement about these virtual meetups with friends and family declined. We might even experience a slight sense of dread just reading about yet another Zoom call.

While we can decrease the number of virtual meetups in our spare time, online meetings are still a necessity when working remotely. Now, it is only with reluctance that we go through a workday of videoconferencing. Afterward, we might feel more fatigued and drained than after a full day of meetings in the office. 

But why do we feel exhausted after a day of online meetings? And what effect does that have on our relationships with others?

The phenomenon of increased exhaustion after one too many video calls has been coined “Zoom fatigue.” While apps like Zoom ensure continued communication with colleagues, they cannot replace human face-to-face interaction. During online meetings, our brains’ attention systems work at full capacity, but without the social rewards that face-to-face interactions provide.

Scientists have started to unpack the effects of Zoom fatigue on our physical and mental health. Research from Jeremy Bailenson, head of the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford University, argues that Zoom fatigue comes from an overload of nonverbal cues that are slightly delayed, inhibiting our brains to assign meaning to them.

As a result, our cognitive system gets overwhelmed and becomes tired more quickly than usual. In addition, we’re simply not used to seeing ourselves on screen for hours on end, and it is harder (if not impossible!) for us to decipher other people’s body language on a video call. Our high energy slips through our fingers while we stare at our screens, our brains working in overdrive to keep up with the unnatural stimuli that we are exposed to.

Another negative side effect caused by the energy drain we experience from Zoom fatigue is that our communication style changes. The numbers speak for themselves: In a “normal” working world, only 36% of people are emotionally literate — able to express feelings and needs appropriately without judging or blaming. When online communication interrupts human interaction, these numbers drop even lower.

Online communication is a communication form based on limitations. We are missing social interaction, are limited to our audio-visual senses and miss out on crucial body language cues because we only see the upper half of our colleagues. Ensure a positive work environment within these limitations by placing special emphasis on building and maintaining positive workplace relationships.

So how can we increase positivity in relationships in a virtual world? According to renowned psychotherapist John Gottman, for any relationship to be perceived as positive, at least five positive interactions are necessary to offset one negative. 

Sound familiar? Gottman became famous when he could predict the success rate of marriages with over 90% accuracy using this formula! We can reach similar conclusions for professional relationships in the workplace. One way to increase positive interactions is by using Active Constructive Responding.

Active Constructive Responding is a technique in positive psychology that provides guidance on how to react when someone shares positive news with us. Ideally, this reaction is a positive one, involving genuine interest and enthusiasm. Ask questions that enable your counterpart to relive the positive experience by sharing it with you. 

This can be facilitated by a simple statement like: “That’s fantastic news! Tell me how you found out!” Communicating in this way charges our batteries and our colleagues.

Active Constructive Responding (ACR) involves what we say and what our body language displays. When someone shares positive news with us, make sure you share their enthusiasm and ask questions, but also remember to communicate your excitement nonverbally. Smile to convey joy, and have an open body language. Avoid turning your body away or crossing your arms. Positive nonverbal signals will make your partner feel acknowledged, supported and appreciated.

Body language is an even more important factor in virtual communication, as it is often interrupted by the framing of our camera. In a study conducted by University College London that introduced hand signals as body language in video calls, the test group practicing the signals reported significantly higher ratings for group interactions and a stronger sense of group affiliation.

ACR is thus highly effective in facilitating positive relationships in both in-person and virtual communication. Research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests ACR increases important factors like relationship satisfaction, trust and stability — all of which are crucial for successful relationships at work and beyond.

Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx and other software were intended to ensure continued communication throughout the isolation of the pandemic, but they drain our energy even more than a normal long workday does. Let’s ensure that this energy drain doesn’t cause us to disrupt our already challenged social interactions even more. Instead, focus on positive ways to keep communication open and productive. Pick up the phone to call people — that’s what it’s there for!

In the quote commonly attributed to Carl W. Buehner: “They may forget what you said — but they will never forget how you made them feel.” This also rings true for hybrid working environments. By practicing ACR, we bond with our colleagues on a deeper level. We’re better equipped to take on the challenges of hybrid working together!

Be Mindful

What is mindfulness? “Mindfulness is the idea of learning how to be fully present and engaged in the moment, aware of your thoughts and feelings without distraction or judgment,” as defined by Headspace.

Being mindful means to bring the body and the mind together in the now. Practicing mindfulness helps us anchor ourselves by actively directing our thoughts, instead of letting our mind run wild. But that doesn’t mean that we should force ourselves to stop our thoughts. After all, the nature of the mind is to produce them! Mindfulness is more about bringing ourselves back to the present, when we get distracted or overwhelmed by our thoughts and feelings.

The neuroscientific evidence is convincing: Practicing mindfulness changes the frequency of our brain waves and, as a result, activates different parts of our brain. According to research led by Britta K. Hölzel, mindfulness reduces stress and anxiety by decreasing activity of our amygdala, thus actively preventing amygdala hijacks and the release of stress hormones such as cortisol. It improves our ability to concentrate without getting distracted, and our relationships with others. 

Because we free up mental space when we focus on the present, mindfulness also has the potential to enhance our creativity.

All these changes can be physically traced in different regions of the brain. Research led by Philippe Goldin found that when practicing mindfulness, the hippocampus, responsible for memory and regulating our amygdala, is considerably more active. Research published in Psychological Medicine found similar results in the prefrontal cortex, the region of the brain associated with impulse control.

So how is this helpful? Working remotely, our workspace invades our homes and our private spaces. Setting boundaries and creating separate spaces is more challenging when our kitchen table becomes our work desk or when we can see our workstation from our bed. Recharging becomes more difficult, as work is almost omnipresent. The lines between work and free time blur to the point that we might find it hard to switch off completely. 

In a world of remote and hybrid working, mindfulness can help us create mental boundaries when we cannot have physical ones.

The great news is that we don’t have to practice elaborate yoga workouts every day or book regular retreats to implement mindfulness as a regular habit. Mindfulness is already effective after only one 10-minute session. When we include it in our daily routine (or at least three times a week), it can even change the physical shape of our brain (neuroplasticity) after only eight weeks, according to Headspace.

A mindfulness practice usually involves a focus on the body and senses — and, more specifically, on our breathing. Our VBAK model provides a good overview:

  • Visual
  • Breath
  • Auditory
  • Kinesthetic

The following mindfulness practices show how to put the VBAK model into practice and implement mindful moments in your work life.

Scan Your Body 

Breathing deeply and regularly, mentally scan your body from your toes up to the top of your head. Begin by focusing on your toes, and then move your awareness up to your ankles, shins, knees, etc., until you reach your scalp. Then direct your attention to your breathing.

Count Your Breaths

Breathe in such a way that your inhalation and exhalation are the same duration — for example, count “one, two, three, four” in your mind when inhaling and “one, two, three, four” in your mind when exhaling. Another way to do this is to count your inhales and exhales up to 10, then repeat multiple times. Did you mind wander off and you forgot to count? Start at 1!

Prolong Your Exhales

When we are stressed, our breathing quickens, and our heart rate goes up. The physical stress response is our body’s way of preparing to escape a potentially threatening situation. Our muscles are saturated with oxygen to be able to run away faster. This automatic reaction helps us to deal with physical threats but sabotages our day-to-day well-being in a work environment by triggering our amygdala — and an amygdala hijack. 

The key is to reduce the oversaturation of oxygen in your blood, and to slow down your heart rate. To do so, we need to prolong our exhales. For example, when mindful of your breathing, count to four when inhaling and eight when exhaling. 

Researchers in Harvard Business Review observe the following: “Changing the rhythm of your breath can signal relaxation, slowing your heart rate and stimulating the vagus nerve, which runs from the brainstem to the abdomen, and is part of the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body’s ‘rest and digest’ activities (in contrast to the sympathetic nervous system, which regulates many of our “fight or flight” responses). Triggering your parasympathetic nervous system helps you start to calm down. You feel better. And your ability to think rationally returns.” 

By prolonging your exhales, you can stay in control instead of getting caught in a negative stress spiral.

Focus on Your Environment

Close your eyes and focus on your remaining senses. What can you hear? What can you feel? What can you smell?

Try Mantras

Find a mantra to repeat when you inhale and exhale. This could be a calming mantra (Inhale: “Body at rest.” Exhale: “Mind at rest”) or a mantra that helps us practice gratitude (this can be as simple as “I am grateful for …”).

It’s easy to implement mindfulness at work and make it a regular habit. Take a minute to focus on your breath before or after a meeting to ground yourself. Feeling annoyed by a colleague’s email? Don’t follow your impulses and respond immediately. Instead, focus on your breath and/or your body for a couple of moments, and then reply. 

Mindful moments like this one can thus ensure better communication and more positive relationships with others. Working on multiple things at the same time? A quick mindful moment between tasks can help your focus — and help your brain to not get lost in multitasking.

Mindfulness is a proven habit that can help us manage and conserve our personal energy throughout the day. It empowers us to be more present in the moment and thus break the cycle of negative and ruminating thoughts. Being aware in this way has invaluable benefits: Reduced stress, improved sleep and more positive interactions with others. 

Make mindfulness part of your daily routine and experience the positive changes yourself!

Coaches Corner Action Steps

What actions will you take to become more mindful? Get started using these questions:

  • What actions will you take to develop mindfulness as a habit?
  • Why will you take this action?
  • How will you implement this action?
  • Who can help you, and who can you help?

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Take Good Care of Your Body

When working remotely or transitioning into hybrid working, remembering to implement exercise and healthy habits into your everyday life is even more difficult than under pre-pandemic circumstances. If anything, we’ve probably become even less active because commutes or walks in between meetings are not part of our workday anymore.

In addition to reduced exercise, the added stress of COVID-19 and the constant stream of stress hormones into our blood might have caused us to “comfort eat” as a coping mechanism. Food can relieve stress for a short amount of time, as it helps to release the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine into our bloodstream — both of which are responsible for regulating mood, motivation and reward. However, we are doing our bodies and brains a disservice if we only search for short-term relief without taking care of our physical well-being in the long term.

Why is taking care of our bodies so important? Unhealthy habits can have a detrimental effect on our brain functions. Our main goal is to calm the sympathetic nervous system responsible for the release of stress hormones and triggering of amygdala hijacks. By implementing healthy habits into our daily routine, we can make sure that we set up our body and mind for success. 

And here is how:

Eat Well

Eating well is key when taking care of our body and brain health. Making sure that we have enough protein and omega-3 fatty acids in our diet provides our body with crucial amino acids that help to calm down the sympathetic nervous system. Protein-rich foods include, but are not limited to, dairy (especially eggs, cheese and Greek yogurt), lean meats and fish (poultry, pork or salmon, but not processed meats and bacon!), vegetables (think avocados or green peppers) and nuts. 

Don’t forget to eat in moderation: The recommended intake of nuts, for example, is only 25 grams a day — less than a handful!

Hydrate

Our bodies and brains depend on a regular water intake of about two liters a day. After all, we are 60% water! Studies have shown that even mild dehydration (1-3 % of body weight) can affect our cognitive function and overall well-being. Dehydration means we suffer from significantly reduced attention spans, impaired mood and energy levels, increased anxiety and a higher risk of headaches.

It’s easy to forget to drink enough water throughout the day. Make sure to always have a glass of water on your desk — set reminders, perhaps on your phone. Start your day right, too: After a full night’s sleep, our bodies are severely dehydrated: Make sure to have a glass of water (or hot lemon water) after waking up to set your body up for success!

Exercise Gently

Implementing exercise into our daily routine is daunting. Remember all those New Year’s resolutions to exercise more? Usually, we end up falling back into our old habits and abandoning the gym after the first boost of motivation has worn off. 

But exercise doesn’t have to be a regular, hours-long gym habit to be effective. A short quick walk during our lunch break to get our heart rate up already helps to increase our overall well-being. Other gentle exercises like gardening (especially popular since the start of the pandemic) have the same effect. Stuck at your desk all day? Get up at least once every hour and stretch your legs. 

Regular exercise can increase the size of our hippocampus, the brain region responsible for learning and memory, according to University of British Columbia research. Regular exercise reduces inflammation and releases growth factors — chemicals in the brain that affect the health and growth of brain cells. It also has a positive effect on our mental health and reduces anxiety. As Michelle Ploughman wrote, “Exercise is brain food.” Make sure to get enough of it!

Get Enough Sleep

A good night’s sleep is crucial to combat stress and help reduce anxiety. When we sleep, our bodies and brains are hard at work. For example, our brains do most of their housekeeping while we are asleep. Waste, such as insoluble protein clumps, is disposed of through the glymphatic system (responsible for our central nervous system’s waste disposal). 

Sleep deprivation alters functional connections between the prefrontal cortex (responsible for moderating our social behavior, decision-making and personality expression) and the brain’s reward- and emotion-processing centers. As a consequence, we start acting irrationally. 

In addition, not getting enough sleep results in impairments to our immune system (making us more susceptible to infections), cognitive functions, and mood. Down the line, sleep deprivation can even contribute to depression and neurodegenerative diseases. 

One way to ensure a good night’s sleep is implementing a screen-free going-to-bed habit. Instead of scrolling through your phone at night or watching TV until late, try going screen-free. Instead, implement a book-reading habit. Avoid drinking caffeine at least six hours before bedtime to ensure your body clock isn’t delayed.

Implementing healthy eating, good sleeping habits and gentle exercise into our everyday life charges our personal energy batteries. We are less stressed at work and beyond. So don’t forget to take care of your body because the benefits are invaluable!

Ask for HELP

Now, we might be putting all these energy management tools into practice and still feel deprived of energy. This especially rings true for those of us who consistently experience high and very high stress levels in the work environment. Sometimes, energy management tools simply cannot balance the sheer amount of stress we face. So what can we do? Ask for HELP!

Asking for help might sound easy, but when was the last time you asked for help at work? Let’s be honest: Asking for help is uncomfortable. Studies show that when we ask for help, the same regions in our brains that alert us to physical pain are activated. The social threats involved in asking for help reach are the risk of rejection, uncertainty, decreased autonomy and the potential for diminished status.

On the other hand, asking for help can really benefit us and those around us. Experiments conducted at Cornell University show that compliance (the rate at which people provided help after being asked for it) was, on average, 48 % higher than expected.

Another positive factor associated with asking for help is the emotional benefits for the person helping someone else. Research published in Nature Communications established a neural link between generosity and happiness. When we help people, we are happier. Next time you feel anxious about asking for help, keep these points in mind!

Social psychologist Heidi Grant estimates “that as much as 75% to 90% of the help co-workers give one another is in response to direct appeals.” Effectively asking for help enables us to reach our full potential while working with others. 

Our HELP model illustrates the necessary steps to get the help you need:

  • Have the courage to ask for help if required.
  • Establish who is the best person to reach out to for help.
  • Link In with them, ask for help, and listen to their advice.
  • Plan what you will do post-conversation.

In doing so, make sure that you use the right language. Do not diminish your need by saying, “It’s just a small thing …” or “I feel awful for asking, but …”. Instead, implement words like “together” when seeking for help, as it appeals to our sense of social belonging. You can also quote common goals and point out particular skills of the person you are asking for help. 

For example, you could frame your request as follows: “Could you please review this report before I submit it? Your feedback really helped to progress our last project!”

Just as crucial as using the right language is not forgetting to follow up and thank your helper. Including a “Thanks in advance” as opposed to “Best” at the end of an email can increase the response rate from 51.2% to 65.7%, according to Boomerang research. Showing gratitude and acknowledging our colleagues’ work thus contributes to a positive work environment.

For many, asking for help is still a sign of weakness. We at Making Shift Happen, however, believe that acknowledging that we need help is a strength and skill that needs nurturing, instead of dismissal and negative connotations.

The advantages of asking for HELP are immense, especially when we have exhausted the benefits of the other energy management tools. While asking for help requires courage and a certain level of vulnerability, doing so builds trust and ultimately shows that we are all human. 

Never before have we gotten a glimpse into our colleagues’ personal lives as during the pandemic. We have met their pets and were effectively guests in their homes during virtual meetings. We experienced firsthand the struggles that all of us go through while we work remotely, juggle homeschooling and, not least, face exposure to the all-encompassing threat of COVID-19. 

Keeping this sense of belonging and shared struggle in mind, incorporate the HELP strategy into your everyday work lives, and experience the benefits!

 

Tags: Personal Productivity

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