Overwhelmed? You don’t have to be.

Perhaps it gets worse during certain times of the year. Or, you have noticed that you are in a state of being overwhelmed more often than you are not feeling this way? It also may seem as if everyone else has their you know what together, and that they have somehow secretly tapped into figuring things out that are a mystery to you.

Don’t worry, you are not alone when it comes to feeling this way. Every day I hear this same sentiment expressed so often, I chose to share some of the suggestions I tell others who are experiencing this. However, I first want to talk about the reasons you might be feeling this way.

One of the reasons we feel overwhelmed is because we get caught up in thinking we have to do everything immediately. We don’t. As a matter of fact, when we take back control and realize this, it’s the first step to gaining back control of the sense you feel you don’t have any.

We are very fortunate to be living in a time period when we have so many choices. However, having so many choices can further add to being overwhelmed. Have you heard the concept that not making a decision is in fact a decision? Realizing this alone can help to notch down your sense of being overwhelmed. Conversely, when you do make a decision, it is in fact progress, and this can also help you to move forward.

Being overwhelmed can feel like you are stuck, either physically or mentally. Applying movement of any kind towards this feeling can in fact nudge you away from being in this situation. The sense that there is too much going on, can cause you to feel as if things are out of control. However, this is really only happening in your brain, and you do have the ability to change this narrative running through your mind.

Yes, in fact there may be a number of activities and choices for you to make, but when you step back and truly think of them and how to deal with them one at a time, you can in fact slow things down. Slowing things down also contributes to lessening the sensation of being overwhelmed.

Here are some other methods you can apply to reducing your sense of being overwhelmed to a much lower state. Or, perhaps feel this sense entirely evaporate for periods of time.

  • Turn your thinking around by looking at your life as a journey. Versus it being a sprint.
  • Get up, get out, and literally start moving your body around. It will take your mind off of obsessing what is contributing to the feeling of being overwhelmed.
  • Listening to music can instantly put you into a different state of mind. Which type makes you feel happy? Turn this type of music on and listen to it until you feel like you are back in charge and not as overwhelmed. If you are a procrastinator, limit your music listening time to 30 minutes. Think of this as a reward.
  • Do something which is creative, even if you don’t think you have a creative bone in your body. Actually, everyone is creative in some way. You may not have yet discovered what your creative outlet is yet. Now would be a good time to explore this.
  • Sometimes we need to do something I call social weeding. What I mean by this is actually thinking about people in our life who contribute to us being overwhelmed. It is not always possible, but there are people I am certain you can take out, or weed out from your “social garden”. There are in fact people who are toxic to us, and you know who they are. At a minimum, reduce your interaction with them.
  • Turn off your social media. Yes, all of it. Don’t listen to the news, and instead craft a list of the top things which are contributing to you being overwhelmed. Put the list aside, and come back to it in a few hours after you have done some of the other suggestions above.
  • When you return to your list of what is overwhelming you, tackle one item at a time, and come up with one solution to make this list item less overwhelming. Breaking down what overwhelms you into a list format, and then applying solutions to it is one of the best ways to tackle putting you on the path to being less stressed. If you can’t come up with solutions on your own, ask someone you trust to help you.
  • Rate each item on your list of what is overwhelming you on a scale of 1-10. Ten is off the charts. If half of your list ratings are over 5, work on the ones with a lower number first. Then tackle the higher number ones when your list amount is decreasing.
  • Set a goal of completing half your list in a realistic timeframe (e.g., 1-2 weeks). You will be amazed what can be done if you break down your tasks this way, and perhaps only deal with one of them a day. In two weeks, you can potentially have knocked off more than twelve items on the list of things that overwhelm you.

It is possible you might in fact be depressed, and this will contribute to your feeling of being overwhelmed. Statistically, the majority of our human population experiences some form of depression in their lifetime. However, if you have severe depression, being able to do the suggestions above might seem impossible. If this is the case, please consider talking to a mental health professional, as they can help you towards not having to feel this way.

My Mom has a saying I adopted many years ago. Every day you have a decision to make about how your day is going to be. You can choose to be happy, or not. You have the power to do this too, and my belief is that choosing to be happy is always the right choice.

Happy New Year, and thank you for your support and for following my writing in 2018. See you in 2019!

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too. Market Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their revenue numbers and market growth, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon, and has had numerous strong reviews.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, corporate and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance strengths and talents on a daily basis, which produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Think of me as a “people are like diamonds – polisher”, or your very own Wisdom Whisperer.

If you want better results with what you are doing, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

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Connected socially, but not really

My father is the perfect example of someone who has enormously benefitted from mobile and social media connections. He was not someone you would classify as an early adopter of technology, but when he was reluctantly coaxed into purchasing his first mobile phone, it was a life changing experience for him.

Having three children and seven grandchildren, with his mobile phone, my father now had a new way to communicate with people that was far different from the standard way of speaking with people on the phone as he had done so for years. He still enjoys speaking on the phone, but his mobile phone has opened up a whole new way for him to communicate.

Texting appears to be his newest favorite form of communicating, and based on the number of emoji’s he has, I personally think he must send emoji ideas to designers, or has them created for him. He also loves sending all of us unique photos which tie into our interests and hobbies, and I am also amazed at how he does this so well.

Although mobile communications and social media are powerful connecting methods, they are also only one to two-dimensional in terms of being able to connect people. Connecting with people face to face is still the most powerful way of communicating with others. However, given the choice, it seems that more people will opt to engage with people via social media versus seeing them in person. Obviously, there are some people who we cannot easily see in person due to distance or other extenuating circumstances, and this is an upside to social media interactions.

Since engaging with social media has a relatively low barrier for easily being able to interact with people, I have seen that more people will defer to this type of engagement rather than making the effort to see people in person. What they may not realize, is that the social media interactions they have do not have the same level of genuineness and impact level that in person interactions have. In person interactions take planning and time, and given the fact people are so busy, they will generally defer to interacting via social media versus in person connections.

Fewer in person interactions and increased social media interactions are what in my opinion have contributed to people being less apt to have strong face to face conversations, as well as making them feel less connected to others. There is a serious disconnect that occurs when we exclusively communicate via social media, or have this method of interacting with others at such a high percentage rate which causes an imbalance for us socially.

Humans have a strong need and desire to socially engage with others, and our social media interactions cannot be a complete substitution for this. However, when you are out in public, look around and just about half or more of the people you see will be heads down, with their phone commanding their full attention. I have often wondered if due to this phenomenon and new reality, if it has contributed to our levels of anxiety and depression. This could also be despite the fact people think they are fully socially engaging with others, but in reality, they really are not.

In person communications takes both patience and practice, and engaging in social media does not necessarily contribute to helping to enhance these skills. So, if you feel as if your anxiety levels are on the increase, consider utilizing your social media communications to set-up face to face interactions with people. Doing this will make you feel much more connected, and will help to develop your actual and real relationship with the people you are engaging with either personally or professionally.

Start queuing up your in-person meetings with your on-line people right now. Once you do this, you will then start enjoying the benefits of truly leveraging the full power of your on-line world of connections, especially when you have them cross over into your real world. What are you waiting for? I’ll be waiting to hear from you.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis, which produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results.

If you want better results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

 

Seeing Opportunities. Do you?

Are you constantly amazed by either people you know or read about who always seem to be able to take advantage of opportunities better than others? Are they lucky or do they have a sixth sense when it comes to being able to see or capitalize on situations which are highly favorable to them? The answer as you might imagine is not completely straightforward, and I am going to share with you how you can start to do this too.

Part of the challenge most people have in terms of not being able to take full advantage of potential opportunities either at work or in their lives is simple. They are not fully paying attention to what is going on around them as they are too busy dealing with their day to day challenges at home and work. However, if you conciously look up from time to time from all of the day to day distractions you have, you will begin to notice and see things going on around you via a different and more opportunistic lens.

When you begin to notice what is going on around you, the next part of capitalizing on opportunities is to start asking questions to those who are associated with what you are seeing going on. This might seem more difficult than it really is or needs to be, as you can generally obtain most of the basic information you will need by asking a limited amount of questions. For example, you can ask:

  • Do you see others being involved in “x” with what you are working on?
  • What is your timing for “Y”?
  • Have you put a plan together, even an initial one to determine the validity of the “Z” opportunity?
  • Providing you are interested enough to inquire and sincerly would want to participate, you can then ask: Could I play a part in the opportunity you are pursuing or engaged with?

If what I have outlined above seems a bit too nebulous for you, I want you to think about some of the times you have seen opportunities which you noticed, and did not pursue doing something about to take advantage of them.

Perhaps it was an opportunity to go on a trip with some of your friends, and you neglected to ask if you could be included in going on the trip. Or, possibly there was a discussion at work taking place about your department expanding which would create new roles, some of which you would be more interested in taking on the challenge of pursuing. Another example would be talking about how a certain neighborhood appears to be on the edge of becoming a more trendy place to live, and yet is currently a very affordable place to live. Did you think about taking advantage of this opportunity and let it pass you by?

Sure, luck and timing certainly play roles in why some people seem to be able to take better advantage or have more opportunities presented to them, but I would argue it really has to do with them paying more attention to their surroundings.

The next time you are frustrated with yourself or your life or work situation would be the ideal time to practice exercising how to see and leverage the opportunities surrounding you. If you do not do this, you will only continue to remain in what I refer to as neutral gear. From my perspective, why would anyone want to stay in this gear? Live your life at least in first or second gear, and when you really start to take advantage of and having opportunities present themselves, you will soon be moving onto third, fourth and fifth gears which are way more fun to be living in.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging marketing and sales teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. We also work with individuals from students to executives and business and sports teams to coach them to learn how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com.

Did you know? My first business book called Wisdom Whisperer, is now available via Amazon, and has been getting five star reviews! Pick one up, or get one for your friend or colleague. I’ve been told this is a great gift, and is also highly suitable for people in all stages of their life and careers. Why? Because the book format is like a buffet, and you can choose to read or not read the topics which suit you best.

Is Communal Workspace a Trend?

During the last few years I have noticed more shared or communal workspaces popping up in a variety of cities around the US. At first I did not pay much attention to them, but recently I had a chance to visit two of these spaces in Boston and Portland, Maine. I was really impressed by what I saw. The spaces were well laid out, offered all of the resources a large corporation would offer its employees, and the office vibe was electric.

When I inquired about who tends to work in these spaces, I was pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of people it attracts. My first impression was that it would attract start-up companies or solopreneurs. However, it turns out, the variety of people who show up at these types of spaces each day is not only impressive, they include people who already have home offices or who when they can work from home, choose to go to a shared workspace instead.

The advantages to working in shared or communal workspaces are far greater than the disadvantages, and most of these spaces are also surprisingly affordable. Depending on your type of work style, and personality type, working in a shared workspace is a far better place to work than a coffee-style environment. Why? Because for one thing, you can easily strike up conversations with others in the communal workspace, and this is actually encouraged.

Having an opportunity to meet fascinating other people, many of whom are entrepreneurs, seasoned business people, or highly creative individuals is another perk to spending time in this type of workspace. If you are also looking to solve a challenge, there is generally someone you will meet who can either help you to talk through and solve your challenge, or who knows someone else you can talk to. The spirt of helping one another to be successful, regardless of the type of work you are doing is highly contagious, and helps to fuel why in my opinion these workspaces are so attractive to work and spend time in.

Based on skyrocketing real estate costs for businesses, they are being forced into having to downsize their real estate footprints. Although downsizing business space has advantages to a company’s bottom line, there is a negative side to this process. The negative aspect is not often talked about. However, one of the main downsides is loneliness and the feeling of potential isolation for those who are new to the concept of working from home. Hence the reason people who work from home often will spend part of their day at a coffee shop, or public space where they can work and be around other people.

Although coffee shops and public spaces provide a sense of socializing, they lack giving a person a sense of belonging and of having beyond anything in common other than being interested in coffee or tea with others. Conversely, the shared workspaces automatically give you a sense of community and of fitting in, regardless of whether you spend several hours or multiple days there during the week.

A few other unintended advantages to working in shared workspaces is that they can significantly expand your professional network, or prospects for a new job. I’m a huge fan of always working towards increasing one’s professional network, and these types of workspaces provide the perfect environment for fostering networking opportunities.  Additionally, I found the shared spaces I visited to be buzzing with new business services and product ideas, and I have always been inspired and more motivated when I am around people who have this type of mindset.

So, if you have not checked out a shared workspace, I encourage you to do so. You might be as pleasantly surprised by how collaborative and embracing these spaces and the people working in them are. For the record, and to be completely transparent, I do not have an affiliation with any shared workspaces, but I’m sure they will not mind me plugging their concept.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too bridges teams and provides organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, and have their teams become more unified regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. Ms. Murphy is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon.

Market Me Too additionally works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis.

If you want better results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

 

 

 

 

(5) Tips – Improve How to Get Along with Others

Like most folks, you probably did not realize just how important that first year of school was and why would you, as you were a five-year-old with limited life skills. But, as Robert Fulghum, author of ‘All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten’ proclaims, we really were all taught some critical life skills – like how to get along.

Sometimes I wonder if some people skipped Kindergarten, or were napping through the ‘how to get along with others’ lessons, or were too distracted with anything else going on at that time. If you did not pick up on the fundamental getting-along-with-others skills you missed, let’s review a few examples of how you can teach yourself, and learn the lessons that passed you by in Kindergarten.

Have you ever stopped to consider how you actually meet people?  How you have maintained the friendships and relationships you have made? Chances are, you learned these skills a long time ago from both your parents and primary school teachers, yet you were blissfully unaware of the fact you were developing these abilities.

There are fundamental elements associated with how to get along well with others, but sometimes people either forget them, or, perhaps they did not learn them well. If you have ever wondered why some people seem to be gifted with being able to get along with others, I will let you in on a little secret. It is really not that hard to do, but you will have to make a genuine effort.

Most humans have a pretty well-developed fraud meter, and can easily tell when someone is not being sincere. We have all encountered people like this. It is uncomfortable to be around them, but I also feel sad for these phony baloneys. Why? Because they are unaware of how they are perceived, and likely wonder why they do not have many genuine friends.

Have you heard of the expression “Play nice in the sandbox?”  This is one of the fundamental elements associated with getting along with others, and consists of being polite and respectful of others. Savvy senior executives know that if they don’t follow the simple lessons they learned in Kindergarten, they risk getting thrown out of the sandbox.

People who have not been taught manners and the reasons they should be respectful to others, run the risk of doing something wrong in their quest to get along. So, if you happen to be one of these people, or know someone who seemed to miss the fundamental building blocks to learn how to get along with others, here are a few tips to get you started, or back on track.

  • When you meet someone, ask how they are doing, and really pay attention to how they answer. Most people will be polite and give you a brief response, but this will give you the leverage to advance the conversation.

 

  • Given the chance, and if time permits, ask the person, where they grew up, and what led them to where they are today, either professionally or personally. People love to talk about themselves, so leverage this opportunity. I am always amazed by the fact that once I get someone talking, they may not realize they have not asked me any questions. This is OK, but it also points out they have not fully developed their ‘getting along’ skills.

 

  • Ask the person you are interacting with if you can help them in some way, especially if you are their colleague. They may not take you up on your offer, but if you start asking with what they are challenged right now, you can seize on the opportunity to tell them how you may be able to help. When you assist someone professionally, even if it is something as simple as making an introduction, they are more appreciative of this than you might imagine. Why? Because this is an example of being genuine, and you come across as being sincere.

 

  • Do something nice for the person you have met, or the people you work with or are getting to know. It does not have to mean you go out and buy them something extravagant. It could be that you share an article or YouTube video with them related to the work you are doing. Don’t just do this once, send them a couple of them over the course of a few weeks. Just don’t overdo and be thought a stalker! There are plenty of other examples of what else you can do which are nice gestures. The point is to be creative and do something for others that demonstrates how you are a genuinely nice person. This makes you more approachable and likeable.

 

  • Consider meeting people an opportunity to see the ‘diamond’ beneath the surface. Don’t get caught up thinking you need to be best friends with everyone. You do not, but at the same time, look at every encounter a chance to uncover another layer of your co-worker’s personality. You will find that most people with whom you work are incredibly interesting, gifted in their own way, and have a great deal to offer.

The bottom line is that you simply need to invest time in learning how to get along with others. Doing this is one of the most important skills to have in order to increase your future career options, and have access to an incredible network of fascinating people, some of whom you will cherish having in your life.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging marketing and sales teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. We also work with individuals from students to executives and business and sports teams to coach them to learn how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com.

Announcement: My first business book called Wisdom Whisperer, is now available via Amazon. Pick one up, or get one for your friend or colleague. I’ve been told this is a great gift for upcoming college graduates, but it is also highly suitable for people in all stages of their life and careers, as the book format is like a buffet, and you can choose to read or not read the topics which suit you best.