Back to work Blues? Here’s what to do.

Back to work Blues? Here’s what to do.

After quite a significant year in 2020, of doing our best to adapt to the changes brought about by COVID-19, have you found yourself re-evaluating your priorities and what’s important to you?  Are you battling the back-to-work-blues?

Perhaps you have returned to work after some precious time out, reconnecting with your friends and family and immersing yourself in all those activities that truly bring you joy.  As you step back into the office it would be normal to experience a little sadness for the loss of the sense of freedom that comes with long days at the beach, the joy of settling into a good book or enjoying a long lunch with friends.

But if you are dreading the end of holiday time and wondering how you will survive the year as it stretches out ahead of you… then perhaps it is time to reconsider whether you and your job are meant for one another.

However, before you take this as permission to go out and quit your job, lets first look at a few ideas that might help you reignite your career mojo.

How to overcome the back-to-work-blues:

1. Clarify Your Goals.

I know you have heard this one before and you may have wondered if it’s really important. Well, it is! One year is much more likely to flow into the next without you actually making any progress in the absence of the focus and direction that comes from setting goals.

If goals are not your thing, then one idea I like to play with each year, is to set a theme for the year. For example, I had a year of focusing on taking action outside my comfort zone and another year it was about building relationships and connections. What will be your theme this year?

2.  Set Boundaries.

This one is for you if you have found yourself consistently working longer and longer hours. All of us know that we will need to put in some extra hours from time to time, but when it becomes the norm we have let it go too far.

I recently worked with a client whose average working day had stretched out to be more than 12 hours EVERY day. Her health was suffering, and she was beginning to resent the fact that she was spending so little time with her family. By simply setting some personal boundaries, identifying some opportunities to maximise her efforts and saying NO to the extra tasks that were not her responsibility, she reclaimed more than two hours a day of personal time.

3. Commit to working smarter not harder.

No matter how you juggle your schedule, the number of hours in the day will always remain the same. But it is possible to adjust your habits to create more time for the things that matter most.

Working smarter starts with planning regularly, carving out specific time in your diary for the bigger, more strategic tasks to be completed at your most productive time of the day and to delegate those tasks that don’t need to be done specifically by you.

 4. Focus on your strengths.

Ask yourself, are you working to your strengths or has your role morphed into a bunch of tasks that do not capitalise on what you do best? When you work to your strengths you are much more likely to enjoy the work you do and produce much better results to boot!

5. Strengthen your working relationships.

For many people the quality of their working relationships determine the degree of job satisfaction. And like any type of relationship… this takes some work. It is about staying connected, adding value, collaborating and supporting others to meet common goals.

6. Focus on your personal wellbeing. There is a growing mountain of research that points to the value of focusing on healthy eating, making time for exercise and taking time out to still the mind through meditation or mindfulness. It is hard to be at your best at work while also having energy for an active and fulfilling life outside of work, if you are not taking care of your heath.

7. Set an end point.

If, after all of this, you are still struggling to find enjoyment and fulfilment at work, then perhaps it is time to take the plunge and go after something new. Life is too short to spend most of your waking hours stuck in a job that does not “float your boat.” 

Commit now to an end point, a date by which time you will either have found a way to re-ignite your career mojo or to move on!

Now it is over to you. 

If you have been hit by the back-to-work-blues and are struggling to get fired up and motivated for another year, then it is time to do things differently. Without change you are destined for more of the same. So, go out and do what it takes to re-ignite the spark for more enjoyment and fulfilment in your work.

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Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
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Young woman having video call via laptop in the office

New Year. New Job. The 5…

Over the summer break, you’ve had time to reflect, particularly in light of the impact of COVID-19 during the past year. Perhaps you’ve had the opportunity to see yourself, your career, and your priorities…

Jane Benston

2021 goals, new year resolution, planning. Woman writing in Notebook with text 2021 loading on the table in apartments with cat. Notepad list concept, hand writting text 2021 and loading scale.

Your end of year survival guide

The days are getting warmer and the evenings longer, but this does not mean that it’s time to put your career aspirations on hold, That time will come but here’s what I suggest you focus on first.

Jane Benston

Christmas online shopping.  Woman has coffee, buys presents online. Laptop with Christmas decorations on white bed with a blanket. Holiday concept. Flat lay, top view

5 ways to make the most…

The days are getting warmer and the evenings longer, but this does not mean that it’s time to put your career aspirations on hold, That time will come but here’s what I suggest you focus on first.

Jane Benston

Your end of year survival guide

Your end of year survival guide

You’ve almost made it… to the end of 2020!  And what a year it’s been.  

As we hurtle our way to the end of the year, are you feeling the pressure to get those last few projects completed? 

If this is more about surviving and limping your way to a well earned rest, here are my best tips to managing it all.   

Your final week survival guide:

1. Be Super Intentional

Get really clear on what matters most. We sometimes have to come to terms with the fact that we can’t do it all. This is the season to double down on focusing your time and energy on those things that will have the biggest impact – for you, your team and the organisation.

I know you can juggle a LOT… but, with only a limited number of days before we all head off on well earnt break, I want you to practise using one simple word – NO.

Every time you say NO, it allows you to stay focused on those activities that matter most

2. Create Thinking Time

With limits to your time and energy in this countdown to Christmas, creating space to think strategically and make critical decisions will be essential to your survival. Take a look at your calendar now and schedule in at least 20 mins of “thinking time” every day.

3. Protect your energy

When people ask me what my number one productivity tip is, my answer is – get more sleep!  Intuitively, we all know that we do our best work when we’ve had a good night’s sleep and have taken good care of our mind and body.


Don’t be fooled by how simple these suggestions are.

That’s the beauty of them. They aren’t fancy – but they work.

So I wonder… which of these strategies could make a real difference to how you close out your year?

Here’s to a brilliant end to the year.

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

remote work concept -young woman with laptop on tropical beach

Back to work Blues? Here’s what…

After a year of doing our best to adapt to the changes brought about by COVID-19, have you found yourself re-evaluating your priorities and what’s important to you?

Jane Benston

Young woman having video call via laptop in the office

New Year. New Job. The 5…

Over the summer break, you’ve had time to reflect, particularly in light of the impact of COVID-19 during the past year. Perhaps you’ve had the opportunity to see yourself, your career, and your priorities…

Jane Benston

Christmas online shopping.  Woman has coffee, buys presents online. Laptop with Christmas decorations on white bed with a blanket. Holiday concept. Flat lay, top view

5 ways to make the most…

The days are getting warmer and the evenings longer, but this does not mean that it’s time to put your career aspirations on hold, That time will come but here’s what I suggest you focus on first.

Jane Benston

7 simple ways to boost your capacity as a strategic thinker

7 simple ways to boost your capacity as a strategic thinker

When you reach a certain level of leadership – you are employed to think not just do!  Being able to think creatively, solve problems and create new and innovative ideas will have you stand out in the crowd and put you in a powerful position. 

Innovation, creative thinking and problem solving are becoming increasingly important skillfor all leaders to foster.   Organisations are hungry for employees who can see things from a new perspective, solve long-standing problems with simple changes and really drive progress within the business. 

I once thought that I wasn’t creative, able to think strategically or to come up with innovative ideas. I now recognise that actually I am … I just hadn’t nurtured these skills or learnt how to create the best environments for me to allow my creative juices to run free. 

Here are 7 surprisingly simple ways to boost your capacity as a strategic thinker. 

1.  Create thinking time.

It is near impossible to be creative, let alone productive when you are surrounded by distractions or on high alert for the distractions that are likely to come your way. 

Put aside a chunk of time in your calendar each week dedicated for work that requires thinking clearly and creatively such aspecific project work, big picture planning or nutting out a problem.   Turn off your phone, shut down your emails and find a quiet space.  

 2. Manage your mood.

Research has found that we do our best creative work when we feel positive. We tend to be bolder and more focused on solutions and what is possible when we feel good. Think about what gets you in a positive moodIs it heading out for a quick coffee with colleagues, is it meditating in the mornings before work or hitting the gym? 

3.  Find your creative space.

Our work environment plays a huge part in our ability to think strategically and creatively 

One leader I worked with was struggling to come up with a business strategy that was innovative or inspiring. She felt bogged down and void of new ideas. Not surprising really… she was working in a classified area of the Defence Force requiring her to conduct all her work in a windowless bunker!   

I wonder where your creative space is? Is it a café, sitting on a park bench or your kitchen bench after the kids have gone to bed? Wherever it is … plan to spend more time there. Not only will it be good for your ability to think creatively and strategically, you will also see your productivity take off. 

4.  Get exercising.

We know exercise is good for us for lots of reasons and here’s another… studies have shown that exercise can improve our ability to think creatively.

I love the way it’s explained in this Psychology Today article: 

“Sweat is like WD-40 for your mind—it lubricates the rusty hinges of your brain and makes your thinking more fluid. Exercise allows your conscious mind to access fresh ideas that are buried in the subconscious.”

So … get into motion and notice the ideas begin to flow.  

5.  Extend your boundaries.

There is a very good reason why training programs usually involve butchers’ paper and colour textas. It is to encourage us to return to our childlike exploration of ideas and to remove the limits and linear thinking that comes with lined paper or the standard work document. 

To get ideas flowing ditch the computer and map out your thoughts on flip paper or a white board. Go analogue. Breakthroughs rarely happen on a laptop! And science backs this up. Apparently, paper and pixels access different parts of our brain. 

6.  Find some friends.

You are no doubt smart. It may be your responsibility … but you don’t have all the answers. Very often the best solutions and ideas happen through collaboration 

Reach out to your team, colleagues and mentors to bounce ideas around with. Ladies, we are known for our strength as collaborators so let’s put that skill to work. Stop believing you need to do it all. You don’t! 

 7. Be Inspired.

We do not find new solutions or become more creative by maintaining the status quo. New ideas come when we step outside what we already know and experience new things.   

Explore new places, seek out new experiences, visit places of inspiration, engage in wild and crazy conversations to extend your thinking of what is possible and expand your horizons by immersing in the works of the brightest thought leaders of today. 

Building your capacity to think creatively and strategically is just like building any muscle.  

It takes persistencepractice and perseverance. We were all born creative but somewhere along the way it gets beaten out of us. We are told to colour between the lines, to be like everyone else and to follow the rules. 

If you want to create innovating marketing ideas, develop game changing strategies or to solve the challenges that are thrown your way day in day out, you must flex your creative muscle. See this as a critical skill you can develop.  

Be bold. Be brave and have some fun. 

LET'S CONNECT

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Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

remote work concept -young woman with laptop on tropical beach

Back to work Blues? Here’s what…

After a year of doing our best to adapt to the changes brought about by COVID-19, have you found yourself re-evaluating your priorities and what’s important to you?

Jane Benston

Young woman having video call via laptop in the office

New Year. New Job. The 5…

Over the summer break, you’ve had time to reflect, particularly in light of the impact of COVID-19 during the past year. Perhaps you’ve had the opportunity to see yourself, your career, and your priorities…

Jane Benston

2021 goals, new year resolution, planning. Woman writing in Notebook with text 2021 loading on the table in apartments with cat. Notepad list concept, hand writting text 2021 and loading scale.

Your end of year survival guide

The days are getting warmer and the evenings longer, but this does not mean that it’s time to put your career aspirations on hold, That time will come but here’s what I suggest you focus on first.

Jane Benston

Do emotions belong at work?

Do emotions belong at work?

Many corporate environments would have us believe that emotions do not belong at work. We have been well trained to suppress any resemblance of an emotion, pushing them below the surface. 

We hide them in an attempt to stay in control, look strong, and keep things at arm’s length. We have been conditioned to see emotion as a weakness or something to be ashamed of. 

But in reality – our lack of emotion is holding us back. 

Emotions are critical to everything we do as a leader: build trust, strengthen relationships, develop bold strategies, focus energy, engage the team, make tough decisions, and inspire action. Without genuine emotion these things always fall flat and stall. 

A genuine display of emotion stands out. We notice it for its authenticity and vulnerability and it compels us to connect. Sometimes it’s messy and can leave us feeling a little uncomfortable but it’s powerful and creates an impression. 

If you’ve ever been in a room with a senior exec who has shed a tear while speaking about something that truly matters to them, you know what I mean. 

Showing appropriate emotion builds trust and loyalty. 

One CEO I’ve worked is charismatic, engaged and light hearted day by day, but when he is truly annoyed or disappointed, he will let his team know. He doesn’t leave any room for doubt about how he feels. His response is measured, authentic and drives action from his team. 

But don’t get me wrong. I’d be the first to say that excessive emotion that flies carelessly throughout the office can also be detrimental. It can feel chaotic and leave us wanting to duck for cover. 

So how do you find the happy medium? 

Self-awareness is the answer. Being aware of how you are feeling is important. 

‘What emotions do you feel on a regular basis at work?’

If you struggle to find the answer to this question, it’s clearly been a long time since you have acknowledged your feelings. You’ve buried them so deep that they can no longer be easily accessed.  Perhaps now is the time to dig deep, tap in and reconnect with your emotions. 

3 simple ways to reconnect with your emotions

1. Introduce mindfulness.

This might include breathing exercises, guided meditation or even a quiet walk where you are totally present. Through a regular practice of mindfulness we become more aware of how we respond to our day to day work and life and we learn to become an observer of our thoughts, emotions and our habitual reactions. 

2. Listen to your body. 

Our body provides us clues! Listen to the aches and pains. Notice the recurring colds and flus. Be aware when being a bit tired slips into exhaustion. Our mind and body are inexplicably connected. When we are stressed, tired, angry, frustrated – it will show up in our body.  

The pain and dis-ease is there to remind us to attend to our feelings and emotions not just ignore themBurying emotions deep within is fruitless.  Left unattended, they will wreak havoc on our overall wellbeing. 

3. Let down your guard. 

It takes vulnerability and openness to be in tune with our emotions. If you want to be known as a genuine, authentic leader who cares… it will require you to let down your guard. It’s only through this personal inner work and courage to be truly seen for who you are, that your effectiveness as a leader will be fully realised. 

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

remote work concept -young woman with laptop on tropical beach

Back to work Blues? Here’s what…

After a year of doing our best to adapt to the changes brought about by COVID-19, have you found yourself re-evaluating your priorities and what’s important to you?

Jane Benston

Young woman having video call via laptop in the office

New Year. New Job. The 5…

Over the summer break, you’ve had time to reflect, particularly in light of the impact of COVID-19 during the past year. Perhaps you’ve had the opportunity to see yourself, your career, and your priorities…

Jane Benston

2021 goals, new year resolution, planning. Woman writing in Notebook with text 2021 loading on the table in apartments with cat. Notepad list concept, hand writting text 2021 and loading scale.

Your end of year survival guide

The days are getting warmer and the evenings longer, but this does not mean that it’s time to put your career aspirations on hold, That time will come but here’s what I suggest you focus on first.

Jane Benston

Is having a strong work ethic overrated?

Is having a strong work ethic overrated?

Imagine a world where we worshipped a good “rest ethic” as much as we do a strong “work ethic.”  Where we encouraged taking time out to rest and prioritise self care – just as much as we applaud someone’s dedication to hard work. 

In our current culture of rewarding hard work and hustle it seems like a stretch.

But could it be possible that worshipping hard work is holding us back from performing at our best.  Think about how much more energy, creativity and drive you have after you’ve had a few weeks off work.

Yes!

But… taking time out this year has been challenging, I hear you say.

This pandemic has caused the cancellation of almost all holidays and long weekends while piling on a load of extra work for most working professionals (not to mention the added stress of lockdown, adapting to working from home and home schooling.)

So, it’s no wonder that you may be feeling a little exhausted. 

Being tired is one thing… but what impact is it having on your effectiveness at work?

In his research, economics professor John Pencavel found that productivity per hour declines sharply when a person works more than 50 hours a week. After 55 hours, productivity drops so much that putting in any more hours would be pointless.

Fatigue and over working reduces our capacity to problem solve, think creatively, communicate effectively and manage our emotions.

The harder and longer we work – the more the quality and quantity of our work suffers. 

Intuitively we know this. We feel it in our body. We notice our thinking becoming sluggish.  We make silly mistakes and even the simplest of tasks take way longer than it should.

Yet we persist. We uphold our strong work ethic. We push through the fatigue to finish those final few jobs before calling it a day.

I wonder… How would your results be different if you focused more on defining and building a strong rest ethic?

From studying some of the most successful people, I’ve noticed that they work smart and rest hard!

They have rituals and routines in place that support them to ensure they prioritise exercise, good nutrition and sleep.  These are not a ‘nice-to-do’.  They are a non-negatable! Not occasionally when they feel burnt out – but every… single… day.

Successful people know that if they are to function at their best – they need to feel fresh, well rested and full of energy.    

Self-care is not a luxury.  It’s the foundation on which great outcomes are built.  

We need to take time out to decompress, recharge and refocus.  Just like your mobile phone – you work best with a charged battery. 

I know right now you may not be able to enjoy the type of holiday you do most years – but planning time off remains a critical factor in your professional success. One of my clients shared last week that she has scheduled one day off a month, to indulge in a full day just for her.  No work.  No home schooling.  No technology.  No commitments. 

Imagine, how could your work performance be improved by shifting your focus to building a strong rest ethic – to complement your strong work ethic?

What would you start with?

Do you need to book some time off?

Have your work hours stretched into the early evening?

Would building in a morning ritual of meditation or a walk or yoga or journaling be beneficial?

Let’s let go of worshiping hard work and hustle and shift to respecting the need to take care of our mind, body and soul to ensure we do our best work.

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

remote work concept -young woman with laptop on tropical beach

Back to work Blues? Here’s what…

After a year of doing our best to adapt to the changes brought about by COVID-19, have you found yourself re-evaluating your priorities and what’s important to you?

Jane Benston

Young woman having video call via laptop in the office

New Year. New Job. The 5…

Over the summer break, you’ve had time to reflect, particularly in light of the impact of COVID-19 during the past year. Perhaps you’ve had the opportunity to see yourself, your career, and your priorities…

Jane Benston

2021 goals, new year resolution, planning. Woman writing in Notebook with text 2021 loading on the table in apartments with cat. Notepad list concept, hand writting text 2021 and loading scale.

Your end of year survival guide

The days are getting warmer and the evenings longer, but this does not mean that it’s time to put your career aspirations on hold, That time will come but here’s what I suggest you focus on first.

Jane Benston

Increased workload? Here’s the simple secret to managing it all.

Increased Workload?
Here’s the simple secret to managing it all.

As we head into a new phase of Covid-19, I’m wondering how you are managing your workload.   

A few weeks ago, I asked the 1500 or so women of the Leading Ladies Facebook Group (a free group that I run for mid-career professional women) whether they were less busy, about the same or more busy as a result of Covid 

I had expected a bit of a mixed bag of responses – but to my surprise the response was a resounding “WAY more busy!!”  

Give a busy woman something to do… and she will find a way to make it work!   

And hasn’t this been the truth over recent weeks.  

During the last couple of months I’ve seen so many professional women very effectively juggling home schooling and keeping the family fed along with adjusting to working from home, supporting their team to maintain productivity while managing to churn out a massive volume of their own work. 

Ladies – you are amazing. But there comes a time when it’s time to take a breath and take care of you.    

I’m curious – have you been putting everything and everyone elses needs ahead of our own? 

Doing your best work, remaining productive and focused, keeping your mood and emotions in check; these are all vitally important to any leader. To achieve this we need to feel fresh, energised and on our game... not stressed out and tired! 

My question today is “What are you doing to take care of you?” 

What are you doing to allow your brilliant best to shine every day at work, even when things get a little crazy? 

We all know what we should be doing… but are we doing it? 

These are questions I have had to ask of myself more than once over the past couple of months.  

Too often, when we get busy, the first thing we drop off the to do list is our self-care. But it is exactly these times when maintaining our self-care rituals and routines are most important. 

Here are my personal rules for taking care of me even when things get busy.

1. Keep moving.

Ok… you don’t need me to tell you that exercise is important. It is critical for your health and brain function to maximise productivity, creativity and general mood. My early morning walks at the beginning of the day is a must for me – to get you fired up and focused for the day 

2. Quality refuelling. 

If you put poor quality fuel in a racing car it doesn’t go well. We are the same. We can’t expect our mind and bodies to perform at their best if we don’t pay them the respect with high quality fuel.  Have you been treating your body respectfully the high quality refuelling?  (And ladies – quality vino does not count!)  

3. Still the mind.

The research around the benefits of meditation and the powerful state of mindfulness are irrefutable.   

But who needs proof?  

Intuitively we know that when we make time for even 10 minutes for a little meditation or mindfulness, we feel calmer and our thinking expands, allowing ideas to flow, creative solutions to appear and projects to be completed without quite so much effort. 

If you are looking to add a regular meditation practise into your daily routine, there are lots of great apps.  My personal favourite is Insight Timer.

4. Say NO. 

How often have you said yes to something, only to later wonder why you did or, worse still, feel resentful and trapped into doing something you don’t want to do or is not your responsibility? If this resonates with you – it’s time to learn the art of saying no!  

Take your time. Think it through and only commit to those things that will serve you well. 

5. Schedule ‘you’ time.

Ladies… I know many of us are hard wired to put others before ourselves. However, if we don’t take care of ourselves, we can all too easily end up feeling depleted, burnt out and exhausted. And when that happens, we end up with nothing left to give anyone. 

Self care is not a luxury.  It’s the foundation to doing your best work.   

To manage the increased workload that many of us find ourselves in right now, working harder, longer hours is not the answer. We need to double down on those activities that allow us to be our most productive, clear thinking and keep stress and fatigue at bay.  

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

remote work concept -young woman with laptop on tropical beach

Back to work Blues? Here’s what…

After a year of doing our best to adapt to the changes brought about by COVID-19, have you found yourself re-evaluating your priorities and what’s important to you?

Jane Benston

Young woman having video call via laptop in the office

New Year. New Job. The 5…

Over the summer break, you’ve had time to reflect, particularly in light of the impact of COVID-19 during the past year. Perhaps you’ve had the opportunity to see yourself, your career, and your priorities…

Jane Benston

2021 goals, new year resolution, planning. Woman writing in Notebook with text 2021 loading on the table in apartments with cat. Notepad list concept, hand writting text 2021 and loading scale.

Your end of year survival guide

The days are getting warmer and the evenings longer, but this does not mean that it’s time to put your career aspirations on hold, That time will come but here’s what I suggest you focus on first.

Jane Benston

Resilience. A key foundation to thrive during Covid-19

Resilience. A key foundation to thrive during Covid-19

Right now, our resilience is being tested.  With increased uncertainty, massive disruption to our day to day lives and the threat to our physical, mental and economic health, focusing in on building resilience has never been so important.   

Resilience is a prerequisite for surviving the fast paced and demanding work and home environments we are currently experiencing.Having resilience creates a secure foundation to managing in this constantly changing and unfamiliar world.  

During periods of pressure, stress and change, people with lower levels of resilience tend to become disengaged, unproductive and struggle with low self-esteem.  They are more prone to illness and emotional distress. 

Like so many professionals I’ve spoken with recently, my guess is that although you are working from home right now, your workload has increased and you’re expected to deliver with even greater productivity and effectiveness than ever.   

And given that having a super strong immune system is critically important to minimise the chance of becoming a statistic in this pandemic, building resilience must be high on our agenda.  

The good news is – its absolutely possible to supercharge your resilience and learn to cope, thrive and flourish in the face of adversity.  

And it all starts with managing your thought patterns, shifting your response to what life throws at you and building a few specific skills to bolster your coping mechanisms. 

So if you want to boost your own inherent resilience to maximise your ability to thrive though this time, here’s what I would suggest.

5 Keys to building resilience during Covid-19:

1.  Accept change and uncertainty.

Resisting is fruitless and tiring. There is much of this experience that is outside of our control and uncertainty is here to stay for a while longer yet.  Focus on what you can control and let go of the rest.  


2.  Avoid making a drama out of this situation. 

Choose not to get caught up in the doom and gloom.  It will only make matters worse.  The events of your life are not what shape you. It is how you choose to respond that has the biggest impact.   Be intentional about choosing how you respond to the disruption, change and uncertainty in your life and work right now.  


3.  Choose optimism and take positive action. 

Choose to focus on what is going well rather than the challenges and setbacks. Choose to focus on the opportunities that are being made available to you as a result of this situation. 


4.  Look at the bigger picture.  

Ask yourself how do you want things to be in one year from today, and begin laying the foundations now for that reality to come to fruition.  Staying focused on the bigger picture will help you avoid dwelling on the events of today that you cannot influence.   


5.  Prioritise your health and wellbeing.

There has never been a more important time to focus on your health.   When you are tired and run down, your immune system becomes compromised. Taking care of YOU is the foundation to building your resilience and your ability to handle whatever comes your way.

LET'S CONNECT

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Similar Blog Posts

remote work concept -young woman with laptop on tropical beach

Back to work Blues? Here’s what…

After a year of doing our best to adapt to the changes brought about by COVID-19, have you found yourself re-evaluating your priorities and what’s important to you?

Jane Benston

Young woman having video call via laptop in the office

New Year. New Job. The 5…

Over the summer break, you’ve had time to reflect, particularly in light of the impact of COVID-19 during the past year. Perhaps you’ve had the opportunity to see yourself, your career, and your priorities…

Jane Benston

2021 goals, new year resolution, planning. Woman writing in Notebook with text 2021 loading on the table in apartments with cat. Notepad list concept, hand writting text 2021 and loading scale.

Your end of year survival guide

The days are getting warmer and the evenings longer, but this does not mean that it’s time to put your career aspirations on hold, That time will come but here’s what I suggest you focus on first.

Jane Benston

Our mindset matters – even more right now

Our mindset matters – even more right now

There is much of this Covid-19 crisis that we can’t control. But what we can control is our mindset. How we choose to respond to the changing landscape is totally up to us… and could be the difference between just surviving it or truly thriving through this.

I’m choosing to stay curious and open to the wild ride we are on. I’m consciously looking to celebrate the big and little moments of joy in each day. Because this situation is bringing with it plenty of gifts too.

For me it’s been the nudge to become more present and double down on my meditation practise.

I’m enjoying the slower, quieter energy of the streets around me and I’ve noticed more and more people saying hello as I take my morning walk. And, although I miss starting my day working in my local café, I’m enjoying getting to know the regulars who join me waiting outside for our take away orders… while maintaining a very healthy distance.

What have you noticed?

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been in constant contact with the ladies in The Leadership Connection (my inner circle group program for mid career women.) The support in the group has been heart warming. But what has impressed me more than anything is the way they are stepping up to lead – themselves, their teams and beyond.

These ladies are contributing in a big way and having an impact in this moment of chaos.

Here are some of the key messages I’ve been sharing with them that you might find helpful too:

1. Acknowledge your emotions. 

There has been a LOT to process over the last few weeks and undoubtedly this has brought up a range of emotions. I know it has for me. I swing from feelings of anxiety, uncertainty and frustration, to being excited about tackling the challenges and uncovering the opportunities that this situation presents.

2. Double down on self care rituals and routines. 

More than anything – right now a strong, healthy immune system matters! Which means, it’s time to prioritise those activities that take care of your mind, body and soul. Healthy eating, exercise, mindful moments, meditation, journaling, listening to music. Find whatever works best for you.

3. Focus on what matters most. 

Everything has changed over the last couple weeks. Priorities included. Be sure to know what matters most to you in this current environment.

For me it’s maximising my immune system, developing even stronger connections with those I care about and ensuring I’m supporting you, my community of incredible women as best I can. IN THAT ORDER!

Yes! I do love you – but if I don’t take care of me first, I’m not going to be able to support you. And it’s the same for you. I’m going to encourage you to take care of you first!

4. Set new habits to maximise productivity and effectiveness. 

Through all of this we need to remain productive. Being effective, getting things done and continuing to have an impact is not only good for the soul – it also helps to future proof your position.

There will unfortunately be job losses across almost all industries. Let’s do whatever we can to minimise the risk of your name being on the redundancy list.

5. Look for the opportunities

Now is NOT the time to play it safe, to fly under the radar or to contract. Many people will. It’s natural in a time of crisis. But don’t let this be you.

This is the time to step up, seize the moment and demonstrate your leadership capabilities. We need strong leadership right now. And it may as well come from you. Don’t wait to be asked. Just do it!

I’d love to know – which of these reminders did you need most today.

Take care. Stay healthy.

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

remote work concept -young woman with laptop on tropical beach

Back to work Blues? Here’s what…

After a year of doing our best to adapt to the changes brought about by COVID-19, have you found yourself re-evaluating your priorities and what’s important to you?

Jane Benston

Young woman having video call via laptop in the office

New Year. New Job. The 5…

Over the summer break, you’ve had time to reflect, particularly in light of the impact of COVID-19 during the past year. Perhaps you’ve had the opportunity to see yourself, your career, and your priorities…

Jane Benston

2021 goals, new year resolution, planning. Woman writing in Notebook with text 2021 loading on the table in apartments with cat. Notepad list concept, hand writting text 2021 and loading scale.

Your end of year survival guide

The days are getting warmer and the evenings longer, but this does not mean that it’s time to put your career aspirations on hold, That time will come but here’s what I suggest you focus on first.

Jane Benston

New Year. New Job. The 5 steps to take before you apply for anything.

New Year. New Job. The 5 steps to take before you apply for anything.

You’ve had time to reflect over the summer break and you’ve come to the decision that a new job is on your list of goals for the year. Good for you!

Perhaps you’re looking for greater job satisfaction, more money, better corporate culture, more variety, a leader who inspires you or to have a greater impact. Whatever the reason … you know that it’s going to take time and energy.

SEEK research found that 90% of Australians take up to six months to find and secure a new job.

But there are some key things you can do to make your job search easier, faster and help you to land your ideal next role.

And it’s not all about jumping into action.

Not yet. Hold your horses for a moment ladies.

First we need to set the foundations; do the ground work and set you up for success.

Here’s where to start

1. Clarify what you want. Ok so I hear you saying… that’s my problem Jane, I’m not sure what I want.

This is not about identifying a job title. The world of work is changing so rapidly right now it’s likely that the title for your next role hasn’t even been dreamed up.

Start with what you know you do want.

What type of tasks do you want to be doing each day? What key skills do you want to be using? Do you want to be leading a team? Do you want the opportunity to work from home? Do you want travel to be part of the role?

2. Be clear about what you don’t want. This is equally as important as knowing what you do want.

Perhaps you have become known to be good at task or role that you really don’t enjoy.

Some years ago, I became known as the expert/go-to girl in managing the annual self insurance safety audit. I may have been really good at it … but I loathed this task!

I was really good at influencing the key stakeholders throughout the business to be involved, providing the necessary documentation and to prep them to effectively answer the auditor’s questions.

But I was terrible at all the attention to detailed required in the three-month long project. PLEASE poke pins in my eyes before I have to do this type of project again!

How about you? What would you rather not do in your next role?

3. Understand your strengths. This step is key. Be really really clear about what your key strengths are.

I ask this question of smart, professional women every day… and almost every single time they struggle to answer. And if they do manage to get out a couple of dot points, I’m rarely convinced they believe these are their strengths.

Ladies … you have to get clear and comfortable to SELL who you are and what it is you would bring to your next role.

4. Know your value. You are so much more than a list of attributes or the jobs you’ve held in the past. Yes, these are part of the story but not the complete picture.

You are unique and have a special value to bring to your next role. What is it?

Susan’s unique gift is that she is a master at uniting a team to deliver way beyond the business expectations. Carissa is a genius in taking a complex idea and bringing it to life in a no nonsense kind of way. Katy is known within her industry to be invaluable in the negotiation phase of multi million dollar IT projects.

You have a unique value to share. It’s time to own it! Make it clear in your CV, LinkedIn profile and during the interview stage that you would be an impressive asset to the right employer.

5. Decide you’re worthy. Because you are. You know you are capable of so much more and you want to contribute in a bigger, more significant way.

But let me tell you … the most likely thing standing between you and your ideal next role is YOU. I know, harsh but true.

If you don’t believe you’re worthy of the types of roles you really aspire to…. no one else will believe you either. Your lack of self belief will seep through in you job applications, your networking efforts and in your interviews.

Ladies, it’s time to embrace all of who you are and the value you have to offer.

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

remote work concept -young woman with laptop on tropical beach

Back to work Blues? Here’s what…

After a year of doing our best to adapt to the changes brought about by COVID-19, have you found yourself re-evaluating your priorities and what’s important to you?

Jane Benston

Young woman having video call via laptop in the office

New Year. New Job. The 5…

Over the summer break, you’ve had time to reflect, particularly in light of the impact of COVID-19 during the past year. Perhaps you’ve had the opportunity to see yourself, your career, and your priorities…

Jane Benston

2021 goals, new year resolution, planning. Woman writing in Notebook with text 2021 loading on the table in apartments with cat. Notepad list concept, hand writting text 2021 and loading scale.

Your end of year survival guide

The days are getting warmer and the evenings longer, but this does not mean that it’s time to put your career aspirations on hold, That time will come but here’s what I suggest you focus on first.

Jane Benston

Emotions. Do they belong in the modern workplace?

Emotions. Do they belong in the modern workplace?

Many corporates would have us believe that emotions do not belong at work. We have been well trained to suppress any resemblance of an emotion, pushing them below the surface.

We hide them in an attempt to stay in control, look strong, and keep things at arm’s length. We have been conditioned to see emotion as a weakness or something to be ashamed of.

But in reality – our lack of emotion is holding us back.

Emotions are critical to everything we do as a leader: build trust,
strengthen relationships, develop bold strategies, focus energy, engage
the team, make tough decisions, and inspire action. Without genuine
emotion these things always fall flat and stall.

A genuine display of emotion stands out. We notice it for it’s authenticity, vulnerability
and compels us to connect. Sometimes it’s messy and can leave us
feeling a little uncomfortable but it’s powerful and creates an
impression.

If you’ve ever been in a room with a senior exec who has shed a tear
while speaking about something that’s truly matters to them, you know
what I mean.

And then there is the CEO who I’ve worked with who day by day is
charismatic, engaged and light hearted, but when he is truly annoyed he
will let his team know. He doesn’t leave any room for doubt about how he
feels. His response is measured, authentic and drives action from his
team.

And it builds trust and loyalty – because his team know exactly where they stand.

But don’t get me wrong. I’d be the first to say that excessive
emotion that fly’s carelessly throughout the office can also be
detrimental. It can feel chaotic and leave us wanting to duck for cover.

So how do you find the happy medium?

Self awareness is the answer. Being aware of how you are feeling is important.

I often ask in workshops; “What emotions do you feel on a regular basis at work?”

Many struggle at first to find the answer to this question. It’s
clearly been a long time since they have acknowledged their feelings.
They are buried so deep that they can no longer be easily accessed.

Some are surprised to discover the heaviness of their emotions –
feelings of frustration, anger, disappointment and sadness. It’s not
surprising then that as we progress through a process of awakening self
awareness that tears bubble to the surface catching them unawares.

And one of the secret weapons of being in touch with our emotions is the power of intuition.

Emotion is required to tap into our intuition. With
our emotions switch off or suppressed we can so easily miss the signs
and clues that something is a bit off. The business world has put such
emphasis on logic, data and proof that we have lost the art of making
smart decisions based on both head and heart.

3 simple ways to reconnect with your emotions

1. Introduce mindfulness.

This might include breathing exercises, guided meditation or even a quite walk where you are totally present. Through a regular practice of mindfulness we become more aware of how we respond to our day to day work and life and we learn to become an observer of our thoughts, emotions and our habitual reactions.

2. Listen to your body.

It leaves us clues! Listen to the aches and pains. Listen to the recurring colds and flu’s. Listen to the chronic tiredness. Our mind and body are inexplicably connected. When we are stressed, tired, angry, frustrated – it will show up in our body. The pain and dis-ease is there to remind us to attend to our feelings and emotions not just ignore them.

And if we don’t – that’s when serious illness is likely to come knocking at our door. Burying emotions deep within is fruitless. I see it everyday with the women I speak to. They are too busy or afraid to listen to their body or feel their emotions… but they are there and if left unattended, will wreck havoc on their overall wellbeing.

3. Let down your guard.

It takes vulnerability and openness to be in tune with our emotions. If you want to be known as a genuine, authenticity leader who cares… it will require you to let down your guard. But it will be worth it. It’s only through this personal inner work and courage to be truly seen for who you are that your effectiveness as a leader will be fully realised.

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

remote work concept -young woman with laptop on tropical beach

Back to work Blues? Here’s what…

After a year of doing our best to adapt to the changes brought about by COVID-19, have you found yourself re-evaluating your priorities and what’s important to you?

Jane Benston

Young woman having video call via laptop in the office

New Year. New Job. The 5…

Over the summer break, you’ve had time to reflect, particularly in light of the impact of COVID-19 during the past year. Perhaps you’ve had the opportunity to see yourself, your career, and your priorities…

Jane Benston

2021 goals, new year resolution, planning. Woman writing in Notebook with text 2021 loading on the table in apartments with cat. Notepad list concept, hand writting text 2021 and loading scale.

Your end of year survival guide

The days are getting warmer and the evenings longer, but this does not mean that it’s time to put your career aspirations on hold, That time will come but here’s what I suggest you focus on first.

Jane Benston