Is change happening too fast or too slowly in your world?
We each have a rate of change that we like best.
If change happens too quickly, you can easily feel overwhelmed.
And if it happens too slowly, well that’s when boredom can very quickly set in.
IF YOU’RE OVERWHELMED:
Here are a few ways you can slow down change – or your sense of it:
– Pay less attention to others’ frustration with what’s going on.
Kvetching and complaining can be the primary way that people choose to connect in various circumstances. But they may not realize how they’re pulling other people down around them, in the process.
There are some times it pays more to listen less.
– Tune out predictions of doom, gloom and failure.
You truly don’t know what’s possible until you try. Don’t accept predictions of failure. Give your best effort, in all circumstances.
– Narrow your focus.
Concentrate on the actions you are taking.
Pay attention to what’s going well, and the things that you are learning.
Notice what you’re doing better each day as you learn to adapt and still perform well in a time of great change.
– Right-size your to-do list, if you can.
You may not be able to take things off the to-do list, but if you can, do so.
Negotiate with your manager to reprioritize tasks, if necessary. Talk through what’s most important, and enlist his or her involvement in deciding what can move out or off the list…or move to someone else.
And if you’re the one who’s piling all the work on your to-do list, get realistic.
Learn to estimate more accurately what you can accomplish in a day, and then plan for that (this is a reminder to myself, as well)
– Pay attention to the tasks you’ve completed.
Notice the “already done” list just as much as you attend to the list of work that still has to get done.
– Congratulate yourself on any progress, however large or small.
IF YOU’RE BORED:
Here are ways you can add positive change and interest to your current circumstances:
– Pay closer attention to the details of the task you’re doing.
Check your assumptions. Boredom does not always mean you have the task mastered. It may mean you’re skimming over significant details.
– Notice what effort you’re putting forth when you say you’re bored.
For example, if you’re a student who’s bored in class and criticizing the professor for not making the subject interesting enough, stop to consider: what’s the quality of the effort you’re putting forth?
Are you doing things that can enhance what you’re learning in class?
Are you making the effort to make the subject interesting, yourself?
And if you’re a manager, criticizing the people who work for you, or an employee, criticizing the leader you work for, consider: are you putting in your best effort, and going the extra mile, to connect with others in order to make the results of your work the best it can be?
You own the outcome of your experience, whatever it is. You don’t have to be a passive participant.
– Concentrate on others’ perceptions of your work as well as your own feelings about it.
Don’t assume all is well.
You may be doing a great job now, even when you’re bored. The odds are, though, you may be providing less than stellar service in your current state.
Check with the people who receive the output of your work. There’s almost always a way you can improve the quality of work or service you provide.
– Focus on the long-term view.
Look for ways to grow, even in this now-frustrating situation.
It may be a perfect place to develop new skills that will enhance your readiness for the next job. Perhaps you can expand the challenges, tasks or responsibilities you have, helping you leap ahead in the future.
– Look for ways to improve something.
Taking on or leading an improvement adds challenge and makes the work easier, at the same time. These are skills you will always find useful, no matter what jobs you have in the future.
– Pay more attention to – and grow – the parts of the job you like or love.
Try to expand those parts of the job. You may discover new skills you want to use even more in the future, when you have the chance to.
Not long after college I had a job that included many tasks I hated.
Now, I know I should have figured that out before I took the job…but I only discovered it after I’d had the job for a few weeks, and found out what was really involved. There were other parts of the job that I really loved, and wanted to do more of.
I figured out ways to do the work I disliked faster and better.
My solution in that situation was to use the time I saved to grow the parts of the job that I loved. This gave me the opportunity to rapidly learn and practice new skills, which opened up great new opportunities for the next job, and beyond.
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