11 Habits Of Emotionally Disciplined Leaders

There are no good or bad emotions per se. However, some emotional displays are more socially acceptable than others, depending on each individual’s socio-economic background, appearances and attached stereotypes.

For example, being spiteful and openly provoking someone is socially accepted. However, a person reacting to that provocation with anger is not.

Furthermore, in the workplace, you must leave your emotions at the door, and display a confident and positive attitude. Demonstrating that you are having a bad week will probably get you removed from the project.

When the pressure is on, organizations look to leaders to take action and to safely bring the organization out of hot waters. Leaders who are unable to step up to the plate will potentially be removed from their position.

As a leader, you must discipline your emotions, always have a clear head, continuously deal with challenges, give and receive feedback, keep your employees motivated and on task, even when you are tired or fed up.

Wondering how to discipline your emotions and improve your leadership skills?

11 Habits Of Emotionally Disciplined Leaders

What being emotionally disciplined means…

Emotional discipline is about being able to effectively manage your feelings. Being emotionally disciplined means that you are also able to:

  • Stay calm in challenging situations and overpower your own emotions. You can then deal with a tough situation, without making it worse.
  • Respond and not react to triggering events.
  • Gain more power over yourself and control yourself instead of being controlled.
  • Separate your inner voice from the outside noise.
  • Remain in the present, avoid dwelling on the past and obsessing about the future.
  • Decide and act how you want to really feel.
  • Acquire the freedom to express yourself freely and to engage in activities that make you happy.
  • Avoid getting tangled up in someone else’s web and positively interact with people. Let’s be honest, emotional discipline is useful to gracefully put people back in their place.
  • See people for who they really are and for how they really make you feel.
  • Gain new perspectives on your problems and navigate different situations.
  • Effectively address important and difficult issues.
  • Take advantage of a given situation and delay instant gratification for long-term rewards.
  • Possess several strategies to overcome most challenges.

Why discipline your emotions?

People will try your patience and your peace of mind on a daily basis in life and in the workplace.

The way you feel has an impact on your behavior, on the way you lead and the way you think. Your emotions also affect your health, your self-talk and your work performance.

Needless to say, becoming emotionally disciplined requires a lot of self-reflection, quiet moments with yourself and understanding that no one can harm you without your consent.

It requires growth, that you build up your resistance and become thick-skinned. It is not an easy nor an overnight process.

How leaders strengthen their emotional discipline?

Most people who possess emotional discipline are successfully placed in leadership positions because they are able to work through their own discomfort. To strengthen your emotional discipline, it is imperative to acquire the following habits.

#1. Leaders have a strong hold on their identity

They know their core values, their strengths and weaknesses. They also know where to apply them and they learn about themselves through their emotions.

In addition, they do not let stereotypes and assumptions define them.

#2. Leaders understand their triggers

This step is time-consuming because people might not want to immediately confront their emotions and they might resist the drive down memory lane.

When the pressure is on, leaders are able to quickly identify the origin of your emotions. They know their triggers, understand why that situation or this person is triggering them.

Furthermore, they don’t let anyone push their buttons or control them, they don’t react but they respond to negative behavior.

They navigate office politics well and they know how to deal with toxic people.

Remember, it is essential to not give the people who are triggering you satisfaction.

#3. Leaders stay on purpose

They have a goal and vision for their life.

They wake up in the morning ready to achieve their goals for the day and to make the right decisions for themselves.

#4. Leaders walk with integrity

They do what is right because doing the wrong thing requires too much emotional effort.

Moreover, they take accountability for their actions and don’t shift blame.

#5. Leaders stay in the moment

Most of the time, being in the moment will give you the opportunity to feel your emotional response and give you the appropriate response to any situation.

#6. Leaders identify the emotions that overcome them

If you cannot find the right words to describe your emotion, postpone your self-reflection until later, when you’re in a quiet place.

#7. If they can, leaders write down their thoughts on paper

This way, you will notice your thought patterns, illogical and irrational thoughts, the assumptions that you make, the systems of beliefs, the solutions to your situation, what you need to feel better and to clarify your situation.

#8. Leaders practice self-care

They work out regularly, eat well and do things that you enjoy.

In addition, they take the time to meditate, to quiet the noise in their minds, to improve their self-talk and to employ the power of positive affirmations.

#9. Leaders see people for who they truly are

Leaders are not only self-aware but they are aware of other people’s intention.

#10. Leaders have a strong support system

They have an emotional support system in place that helps them reason, that they go to regularly and that act as a sounding board.

They also surround themselves with people who are emotionally healthy.

#11. Leaders don’t take anything personally

To paraphrase Eleanor Roosevelt, no one can harm you without your consent.

So, emotionally disciplined leaders look for solutions instead of dwelling on their circumstances, focus on the positive and don’t dwell on the negative.

Last Words Of Advice!

You cannot run from your emotions and project false ones. 

Eventually, they will catch up with you. One small insignificant incident can trigger and instantly download all the emotions that you haven’t dealt with.

Don’t be afraid of your emotions. They are there to help you and they will ease up once you have confronted them.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

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The 5 Second Rule By Mel Robbins

The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, And Confidence With Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins is a self-help book, urging people to take action by using a 5 second countdown trick.

What is The 5 Second Rule?

The 5 Second Rule is a “metacognition technique” that improves your sense of self, your life, career, health.

The principle of The 5 Second Rule is the following:

“The moment you have an instinct to act on a goal you must 5-4-3-2-1 and physically move or your brain will stop you.” At 1, you should be moving.

The 5 Second Rule By Mel Robbins

Where does The 5 Second Rule come from?

The principle of The 5 Second Rule comes from the combination of two thoughts:

  • Mel Robbins, while feeling she failed at life, realized that she would take only 5 seconds to talk herself out of waking up in the morning, out of improving and doing the right thing.
  • One night, while watching TV, Mel Robbins also made the observation that a rocket launches after a 5 second countdown. Afterwards, she would launch herself out of bed, the same way the rocket would launch into space.

What are the benefits of The 5 Second Rule?

The 5 Second Rule is an empowering thought process. Through this principle, you are able to experience freedom and quiet your mind.

The 5 Second Rule enables you to trust your instincts, to take back control of your life, to make the right decisions.

Among its various applications, you will have the ability to improve your health, focus on the essentials, increase your productivity, break procrastination, avoid distractions, be authentic, replace your bad habits with good ones, get up early and start your routine early in the morning.

The 5 Second Rule is a tool that drives courage in difficult times and builds “Real Confidence”. It pushes you to act and to change.

What about courage?

According to Mel Robbins, when trying to change, when facing something that is uncertain, unknown, that scares you or makes you hesitate, your brain feels like something is wrong.

Your mind will then stop the change process and trap you with your own thoughts.

Courage, your birthright, is therefore required to push you forward and to implement change.

The 5 Second Rule will give you the courage you need to go after what you really want, to have a more fulfilling life and to not give in to your fears.

In addition, it is detrimental for you to stop making excuses for not acting on your instincts. Your excuses are always wrong and there is no right time.

No external factor will validate your choices and your ideas. Only putting yourself out there and getting out your comfort zone will.

What about confidence?

Confidence is a skill which means it is a learnt behavior. In fact, your confidence has nothing to do with your personality and will increase every time you step out of your comfort zone.

Your everyday courage will help you assess your own worth, build up your confidence, connect with yourself, find your true passion, build meaningful relationships, and meet new people.

Your everyday courage gives you the confidence to explore and makes you realize that the power you need was inside of you all along.

Review

In appearance, The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, And Confidence With Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins, looks like a time management book that provides quick short-term fixes.

However, in reality, The 5 Second Rule is a transformational tool, delivering long-term results.

It is written for people who are plagued by fear, who want to change and take charge of their lives but don’t know how to. Change is difficult because it requires courage and confidence.

Furthermore, The 5 Second Rule can be customized to your liking. It enables you to:

  • Work on your confidence and your courage.
  • Stop overthinking, worrying and magnifying problems.
  • Trust your guts and honor your instincts.
  • Stop hesitating and holding yourself back.
  • Become more present and acquire patience.
  • Start performing and to become more goal-oriented.
  • Control your emotions, fight mental illnesses and bad mental habits.
  • Take ownership of your life and start the transformation process.

The 5 Second Rule is a principle that we already intuitively and intrinsically know. But, after years of research, Mel Robbins coherently put these ideas together.

Mel Robbins also shares poignant quotes, real examples and testimonials of people who have used The 5 Second Rule for diverse reasons.

The 5 Second Rule is life changing, encouraging, motivational and inspirational. It shows you how to change for the better.

Favorite quote(s)

That’s what you are doing when you use the Rule. You are honoring yourself. You are championing your ideas. And each time you use it, you take one step closer to being the person you are truly meant to be.

Doing the work to improve your life is simple, you can do it, and it’s work you want to do—because it’s the most important work that there is. It is the work of learning how to love and trust yourself enough to stop waiting and to start leaning into all the magic, opportunity, and joy that your life, work, and relationships have to offer.

When it comes to goals, dreams, and changing your life, your inner wisdom is a genius. Your goal-related impulses, urges, and instincts are there to guide you. You need to learn to bet on them.

The difference between people who make their dreams come true and those of us who don’t is just one thing: the courage to start and the discipline to keep going.

Ratings 3.5/5

Author

Mel Robbins

The Four Agreements By Don Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz gathers four “agreements” to live by to ensure a better lifestyle, a deeper understanding of life, a life in the moment.

What is an agreement?

The four agreements come from the Toltec teachings of wisdom. The goal of this book is to make each agreement a habit.

An agreement is:

  • a programming of the mind.
  • a language, a code that helps us understand each other.
  • a belief system that has domesticated us.

It represents the rules that we abide to, that we pass down from generation to generation.

unfortunately, we have not chosen the agreements that we have concluded. Most of the time, they have been chosen for us and existed longer than we have.

The Four Agreements By Don Miguel Ruiz

The First Agreement

The first agreement is to be “impeccable with your words“. This means that you must be careful of not using words against yourself and others.

Indeed, there is power in the words that you use. Matter of fact, it is the most powerful tool at your disposition. 

You can use your words to create beauty or to wreak havoc.

“What you dream, what you feel, and what you really are, will all be manifested through the word”.

Purpose of the agreement

Being “impeccable with your words” helps you suppress any toxicity from your mind, free your mind from fear and doubt, and filter out negativity.

Implementing the agreement

Furthermore, words grow and take root in your mind if we are not careful. So:

  • Be true to yourself.
  • Be careful of the words that you use on yourself.
  • Do not speak against yourself.
  • Avoid gossiping and don’t believe gossip.
  • Accept and love yourself so you can demonstrate love and acceptance toward others.

The Second Agreement

The second agreement is to not “take anything personally”.

Often times, people are preoccupied with their own beliefs, feelings and opinions about themselves that they take out on others.

Even if they insult you directly, it is wise not to take their insult personally.

Purpose of the agreement

This agreement is necessary to avoid burdening yourself with people’s problem, setting “yourself up to suffer for nothing”.

Acquiring this habit will help you free yourself, keep your heart open, see people for who they really are, and be unaffected by fear.

Implementing the agreement

Understand that:

  • All opinions about you are not necessarily true.
  • Opinions about you depends on the person and on their moods.
  • We can choose what to believe and what to agree with.
  • You must trust yourself and don’t need to trust anyone else.

The Third Agreement

The third agreement consists in not making assumptions.

Undeniably, assumptions are not the truth and breeds problems.

Purpose of the agreement

The third agreement will help you build better relationships and increase your communication skills.

Implementing the agreement

To properly implement this agreement:

  • Ask for clarifications rather than making assumptions.
  • Remember that it is OK to ask questions.
  • Collect the right data about people and situations first.
  • Don’t assume that people can read your mind.
  • Ask for what you want, expect yes or no. Understand that you can say yes or no as well.

The Fourth Agreement

This fourth agreement encourages you to always “do you best“. It consolidates all previous three agreements.

Purpose of the agreement

Forming the habit of always doing your best will:

  • Save you from harsh self-judgement.
  • Increase your production.
  • Mature your self-love

Implementing the agreement

Keep in mind that:

  • Your best will fluctuate all the time. It will depend on your mood, on your energy level, on your health and on your situation.
  • you must take action without expecting any rewards. This way, you will be able to enjoy your actions better.

Review

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz provides a very powerful perspective on life. It encourages self-transformation, self-awareness, self acceptance, and the understanding of others.

I found out briefly that The Four Agreements, yet short, is thoughtful and goes straight to the point. It calls out society’s hypocrisy, fear and domestication.

Everyone I know who have read this book has felt elevated. It was therefore hard to resist reading it and I have to say that I did not regret it.

As you read, you will find that you already had the knowledge and the wisdom within you but have been holding it back. You will learn to trust yourself and set yourself free.

Favorite quote(s)

The word is not just a sound or a written symbol. The word is a force; it is the power you have to express and communicate, to think, and thereby to create the events in your life.

Whatever people do, feel, think, or say, don’t take it personally.

Even the opinions you have about yourself are not necessarily true; therefore, you don’t need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally.

All the sadness and drama you have lived in your life was rooted in making assumptions and taking things personally.

Action is about living fully. Inaction is the way that we deny life. Inaction is sitting in front of the television every day for years because you are afraid to be alive and to take the risk of expressing what you are.

Ratings 4.5/5

Author

Don Miguel Ruiz

Don Miguel Ruiz

MEET THE AUTHORDon Miguel Ruiz is a renowned spiritual teacher and internationally bestselling author of the “Toltec Wisdom Series,” including The Four Agreements, The Mastery of Love, The Voice of Knowledge, The Four Agreements Companion Book, The Circle of Fire, and The Fifth Agreement.

The Importance Of Being Present In Leadership

Leaders often find themselves looking for the next best thing, distracted by the past and worrying about the future.

However, dwelling in the past or the future brings about dissatisfaction and unhappiness, impedes leaders from being effective, from being creative or finding appropriate solutions.

Indeed, we have all experienced these moments in meetings when everyone in the room is completely checked out, where people talk over each other and where no useful information is shared.

Wondering how to improve your leadership and live in the present?

The Importance Of Being Present In Leadership

What being present means?

Being present is a state of mind. It means being able to quiet your mind, to stay open and authentic, to remain in constant contact with your emotions and with your surroundings.

Being present means living in the moment and not overthinking the past, the present or the future. When you live in the present, you don’t over-analyze life, you accept your situation, take action or effectively resolve your problem.

Benefits of being present

Being present is powerful because it can be acted upon right now.

Usually, people dissatisfaction or unhappiness is caused by their attachment to the future or the past. Being present will help you:

  • Become more effective, more intuitive, more creative.
  • Be more aware of your fluctuating thoughts and emotions.
  • Achieve a higher sense of confidence and authenticity.
  • Increase your level of gratitude, trust, respect and broaden your charisma.
  • Gain the ability to interpret and to respond appropriately to any given situation.
  • Get the most out of your day and out of others.
  • Hone your communication and relationship skills. You can then connect with others, adapt to people and read them better.
  • Build up your emotional intelligence.
  • Foresee challenges and notice details.
  • Avoid being in a constant state of pain, anxiety or depression.
  • Retrieve your ability to enjoy your life and be an inspiration to people around you.
  • Activate the Law of Attraction.

How to become more present?

Most of the time our mind is somewhere else.

Thoughts submerge us whether we want it or not. Therefore, asking someone to stop thinking is like asking them to stop breathing.

Your job is to not eliminate the thoughts that come to mind but to control them.

Needless to say, learning to be present is not an overnight process. Becoming more present requires a lot of self-discipline and self-awareness:

  1. Understand that you are a mental, intellectual, emotional, spiritual being.
  2. Understand that your past doesn’t define you and that you cannot go back in time. Worrying about the past will not help you identify what is wrong in the present and will definitely strengthen your negative thoughts.
  3. Do not worry about the future. Your mind tries to create the future from your past and not from your present information. However, dreaming of your future is OK if you are expecting better for yourself.
  4. Be self-aware and conscious. The moment you realize that you are not present, you are in the moment.
  5. Stay true to yourself, avoid comparing yourself to others and avoid caring about what others think of you.
  6. Listen to your gut and constantly remind yourself of your purpose.
  7. Observe the patterns of your mind and observe your own reaction.
  8. Accept the thoughts that come to you, don’t act on them and keep it moving.
  9. Take time to reflect, to listen to yourself before dealing with people or entering a situation that you cannot handle. For example, I like taking my lunch break alone to center myself, to give me time to recharge my batteries.
  10. Slow down, avoid multitasking and give yourself time to think before making a decision.
  11. Avoid external distractions to be able to engage properly with people.
  12. Prioritize, appreciate your time and energy. It is also important to avoid missing moments with your family and friends.
  13. Be more empathetic, actively listen to people and seek someone else’s point of view.
  14. Find things to be grateful about.
  15. Find an activity that you enjoy in the moment.
  16. Practice focusing on your breathing.
  17. Surround yourself with people who matter most to you.
  18. Compliment people, once in a while and give them your full attention.
  19. Do not self-medicate.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

Daring Greatly By Brené Brown

In Daring Greatly, Brené Brown explains the reasons why we are afraid of being vulnerable, the different ways we protect ourselves from vulnerability, and how to become more vulnerable in our society.

Daring Greatly means being vulnerable, being engaged, being exposed and avoiding being perfect.

Daring Greatly By Brené Brown

A Narcissistic Society

Many researchers have shown that the American culture has turned into a narcissistic influenced culture, a culture of scarcity, a culture where people put themselves first, think that they are special, are always connected to social media, go after money and power, chase beauty and other vanity, compare themselves, are disengaged and concerned with the idea of lacking.

Instead of putting sown narcissistic people and showing them that they are not special, it is better to seek understanding and find the root of the problem.

Being narcissistic stems from a feeling of not being enough and of being ordinary.

Vulnerability & The Feeling Of Not Being Enough

The feeling of not being enough brings about shame and stops us from being vulnerable. Shame is a universal emotion, is corrosive, “keeps us small, resentful and afraid”.

Furthermore, we become disengaged when we are too afraid to be vulnerable, when we are ashamed, when we lack purpose, when a social contract is not met.

It is critical to speak out on your shame, to be self-aware, to know your self-worth, to ask and receive feedback because knowing your worth will help you become more vulnerable.

To eradicate the feeling of shame:

  • Identify your shame triggers.
  • Observe your self talk.
  • Practice authenticity.
  • Accept your experiences.
  • Share your experience, be vulnerable with someone who genuinely cares about you.

Common Misconceptions About Vulnerability

We are thought not to be vulnerable, not to show our emotions, to look down on those who do. There are several misconceptions when it comes to vulnerability.

Misconception #1: “Vulnerability is weakness”

The reality is vulnerability is not a weakness, is not good or bad. Vulnerable is the origin of all emotions. It therefore becomes important to acknowledge your vulnerability.

Besides, the people who think that they are impenetrable are in fact the most vulnerable.

Misconception #2: “I don’t do vulnerability”

Vulnerability is unavoidable. When we try to avoid it, we often exhibit unusual inconsistent behaviors.

Misconception #3: Vulnerability is letting it all hang out”

You cannot be vulnerable with everyone. It is important to build trust and boundaries before being vulnerable. Otherwise, more times than ever, you will end up getting betrayed and hurt.

Misconception #4: “We can go it alone”

Individualism and going it alone are highly regarded in American culture. In this case, it is essential to construct a support system, to ask for and receive help

Shame As A Management Tool

Most of the time, shame and the blame game are used as management tool, yet is ineffective.

Subsequently, the situations that we face on a daily basis, in the education system, in the workplace, force us to keep our head down and our mouth shut which doesn’t encourage innovation, creativity or the learning process.

Vulnerability & Protective Mechanism

Our protective mechanisms are survival strategies, used to shield our vulnerability. Those shields can go from foreboding joy, to perfectionism to numbing down your emotions.

To avoid shielding vulnerability, it is critical to:

  • Practice gratitude.
  • Appreciate your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Confront your emotions.
  • Live a more fulfilling life and feed your spirit.
  • Focus your time and energy on the essentials.
  • Consider how your behavior affect those around you.

Shield #1: Victim mentality

Some people go through life with a victim or perpetrator, win or lose mentally and subsequently fall into one of these categories.

Surprisingly, the people who have been through the most trauma, demonstrate the most resilience. And, people who don’t feel like victims or perpetrators, see themselves as thrivers.

Shield #2: “Floodlighting”

Floodlighting is essentially oversharing and stems from a need for confirmation and validation.

We have to be careful not to share vulnerable stories too soon with people who have not earned the right to hear them. The people on the receiving end often shut down, lack empathy or feel disconnected.

Shield #3: “The smash and grab”

With this shield, some people use vulnerability as a manipulation, sensationalizing tactic that is common in celebrity culture, as an attention seeking tool.

Shield #4: “Serpentining”

Serpentining is a draining and an avoidance behavior. It happens when people are not facing a situation head on for fear of being vulnerable, of not being present.

Shield #5: Mean-spiritedness

In this case, people use criticism, cynicism and mean-spiritedness to protect themselves. They are mean to people who dare demonstrate vulnerability.

Review

Daring Greatly is essential to leadership, parenting, relationships, finding your purpose and your passion.

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown gives insight into the corporate and the western culture where being vulnerable equals being weak and lets you open to different attacks.

Through Daring Greatly, Brown has gathered data from people from different walks of life so we can somewhat self diagnose and become more aware of some of our toxic behavior.

Brené Brown makes some pertinent point and writes exactly like she speaks. Furthermore, Brown is very open and authentic, shares her anecdotes, fears and doubt. For example, she is vulnerable with us, mindful of the stories to share, lets us into her conversations with her therapist.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Favorite quote(s)

Vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement. Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose; the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.

Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences.

Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.

We live in a world where most people still subscribe to the belief that shame is a good tool for keeping people in line. Not only is this wrong, but it’s dangerous. Shame is highly correlated with addiction, violence, aggression, depression, eating disorders, and bullying. Researchers don’t find shame correlated with positive outcomes at all—there are no data to support that shame is a helpful compass for good behavior. In fact, shame is much more likely to be the cause of destructive and
hurtful behaviors than it is to be the solution.

Much of the beauty of light owes its existence to the dark. The most powerful moments of our lives happen when we string together the small flickers of light created by courage, compassion, and connection and see them shine in the darkness of our struggles.

Ratings 4/5

Author

Brené Brown

Brené Brown

MEET THE AUTHORBrené Brown is a PhD, a researcher at the University of Houston and the author of The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, and Braving the Wilderness, Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts..

Fast Focus By Damon Zahariades

In Fast Focus, a quick-start guide to mastering your attention, ignoring distractions, and getting more done in less time!Damon Zahariades provides tools and strategies to manage your ability to focus.

What is focus?

Focus is the concentration required to consciously block out the noise and the distractions while performing a task.

The ability to focus can be a natural talent. But for most of us, it is a built-in habit, a skill which means it can be learnt.

Why do you need to effectively manage your attention? 

Focus can positively impact your life. A lack of focus will reduce your effectiveness and your work quality.

Lack of focus or mind-wandering is not all negative. It helps us get in time with our creative side and find solutions to difficult circumstances.

However, gaining better focus will help you finish all your tasks on time, make better decisions, solve problems, become more productivity, get a successful work/life balance, embrace failure and learn  from your mistakes.

By improving your focus, you can reserve your energy for relationships, build stronger connections, become more present, increase your memory, achieve greater self-confidence, handle and overcome adversity.

Why are people so unfocused?

Nobody is impervious to distraction. People are easily distracted because they usually:

  • lack interest, are unable to commit or stay engaged to a particular task.
  • lack emotional intelligence and are submerged by fear.
  • are disorganized and don’t structure their day.
  • lack energy. They don’t sleep, eat or exercise correctly.
  • lack control or discipline.

Creating an environment to focus

Designing the proper environment is the first way to zero in on your task and to harmonize your workflow:

  1. Light up your work environment and always take advantage of your natural light. A low lighting makes you drowsy, strains your eyes and decrease your learning abilities.
  2. Some people feel comfortable working with background noises while others enjoy silence. Experiment and find out which one works best for you.
  3. Consider your level of physical comfort. To do so, you can adjust your clothes, your stationary, your sitting position, your sitting time and your sight line.
  4. Monitor the temperature of the room. For example, a too warm room will cause you to sleep.
  5. Breathe clean air.
  6. Practice aromatherapy. Some scents have a direct impact on your mood, mind and effectiveness.
  7. Avoid social situations if you want to work. Human nature makes us drawn to people but interacting with people decrease your focus.
  8. Organize and declutter your workspace. Clutter affects your focus more than you think because it decreases your processing abilities, hurts your creativity and occupies your memory space.
  9. Monitor your time to measure your progress.
  10. Write down your ideas and tasks so they don’t monopolize your thoughts.

Fast Focus By Damon Zahariades (3)

Strategies to overcome mind-wandering

There are several tactics to increase your focus, to relax and to avoid the biggest distractions in your life.

  1. As stated above, it is essential to monitor your time, to set realistic deadlines, to reward yourself and break down your tasks in smaller steps.
  2. Don’t set too many daily goals and limit yourself to 5 tasks daily or else you will feel overwhelmed and pressured.
  3. Identify the purpose for every task.
  4. Exercise first thing in the morning.
  5. Avoid ignoring the ideas and thoughts floating around in your head. Log them down quickly before you forget them.
  6. Identify “internal or external stimuli” that break your concentration.
  7. Record every task that you must undertake by putting them down via a to do list.
  8. To sharpen your focus, to enter the zone and boost your performance, listen to music or nurture silence.
  9. Take regular breaks and naps to refresh your mind, to refresh your mind and to avoid boredom.
  10. Restore your focus by taking a short walk instead of remaining at your desk.
  11. Multitasking is valued by society. However, attacking one task at a time will help increase your performance and your work quality.
  12. Pack all similar activities into one and execute them in a row while monitoring your time.
  13. Break down your day into several tasks and allocate the time necessary for each task.
  14. Stay away from internet.
  15. Spend less time in meetings or avoid meetings all together as they can clog up your day and as they hold little value.
  16. Set boundaries and expectations about your time and your focus.
  17. Turn off your phone for long periods of time.
  18. Observe how your energy fluctuates during the day and use moments where your energy is high to achieve high productivity.
  19. Mediate and take care of your inner peace.
  20. Stop checking your mails frantically. Instead, keep track of your inbox once or twice a day.
  21. Define a daily routine and follow it. Routines facilitates your life, enables ow brain processing. You can use that same brain power to accomplish your tasks.
  22. Stay away from perfectionism.
  23. Completely edit the first draft then come back to correct your mistakes.
  24. Stop “consuming too much caffeine” because it is unhealthy and reduces your ability to concentrate.

Review

Fast Focus, a quick-start guide to mastering your attention, ignoring distractions, and getting more done in less time! is a pragmatic, complete, quick and easy to read self-help book.

In Fast Focus, a quick-start guide to mastering your attention, ignoring distractions, and getting more done in less time!Damon Zahariades shares valuable tips on how to increase your productivity and your focus.

Damon Zahariades shares his preferences and also incorporates practical links  and tools to enable your productivity.

It is a step by step guide, written for leaders, for people from all walks of life, for those who are easily distracted by social media, for those who procrastinate, who daydream easily and those with low productivity.

I like the fact that this books highlights the fact that so many things, concepts and institutions in life are purposely set up to distract us from reality: from the local bully to the background music in the stores to technology and internet.

All these distractions are the reason why most people procrastinate and never achieve their version of success.

Favorite quote(s)

When we lack a specific purpose, we become more susceptible to distractions. We focus on whatever our brains tell us to focus on, rather than the other way around. We become passengers rather than drivers.

Ratings 2.5/5

Author

Damon Zahariades

Overcoming Procrastination & Becoming More Proactive

Whether you work from home or go to the office, procrastination plagues everybody.

However, a leader has no room for procrastination. Leaders who procrastinate are ineffective, unproductive and unaware of their own abilities.

They are unable to make the right decisions at the right time, to take action, to bring forth their vision, to reach their goals, to effectively manage their time, to discipline their thoughts and behavior, to properly manage uncertainty.

Consequently, followers start questioning their leadership potential and credibility.

Wondering how to stop procrastinating and to become much more proactive?

Overcoming Procrastination & Becoming More Proactive

What is procrastination?

Contrary to popular belief, procrastination is not being lazy. Instead, procrastination is a defense mechanism.

Procrastination is the action of putting off an important yet unpleasant task, it is avoiding pain and pushing it back for later, it is neither starting nor completing a task.

Procrastination is ruled by fear, memories, avoidance of negative emotions, avoidance of pressure. Procrastination is often times linked to being a perfectionist.

Everybody procrastinates in different areas of their lives. You are a procrastinator if you:

  • lack motivation and resilience.
  • are often overwhelmed and frozen by tasks at work.
  • are afraid of failure or success, are afraid or paralyzed by the limelight.
  • don’t know where to start, are waiting for the right time and for everything to be perfect.
  • don’t find the time.
  • don’t feel like doing anything.
  • are waiting for all your ducks to line up in a row.
  • make excuses for your excuses.
  • doubt yourself and the task that you have to undertake.
  • don’t meet deadlines at work.
  • unable to make decisions or are motivated by the last minutes pressure.

How to stop procrastinating?

Leaders don’t have the luxury to procrastinate because it is similar to self-sabotage. However, they are all subject to it to some extent.

Indeed, the more the task is daunting , the more we push it back. The more we push it back, the less time we have, the more the task becomes daunting.

Stop procrastinating will help you gain a sense of satisfaction and will increase your chances of success.

  1. Take care of yourself first and foremost. Procrastination can affect different aspect of their lives as well.
  2. Assess your strengths and weaknesses, be confident in your own abilities and maximize your potential.
  3. Stay positive, think about your past successes and boost your leadership self-esteem.
  4. Identify your purpose, your goals and understand the 80/20 Principle.
  5. Find meaning and satisfaction in your job.
  6. Learn self-discipline and increase your emotional intelligence. This will help you monitor what you say about yourself and to yourself, make clear and immediate decisions, to fight and understand your emotions. Don’t be afraid of challenging the status quo. Don’t let fear dictate your behavior and your decisions.
  7. Avoid overwhelming yourself, overthinking or over-analyzing a task. Measuring how difficult the task is and being afraid of failure will deter you from achieving any consequential result.
  8. Our perception of pain is programmed by past society and by past experiences. To get rid of that perception, visualize your success and your task accomplished.
  9. Write down what you have been procrastinating on and why. Write down 3 tasks that you must do. Work 5 minutes on each task successively without distraction.
  10. Break down on task in smaller feasible steps. Take the first step, focus on one step at a time and create momentum.
  11. Prioritize these steps: discern urgent tasks from important tasks, use the 80/20 principle. Take care of the hardest and most important task first and focus your energy on that.
  12. Estimate and isolate the time needed to execute your task. You can set a deadline and use a timer
  13. Commit to your tasks.
  14. Measure your progress and remind yourself of your accomplishments.
  15. To manage your time appropriately, anticipate obstacles, withstand challenges and find solutions.
  16. Make sure that your workspace is organized  for the work at hand.
  17. Stay away from distractions. Stay away from internet and social media, turn off your phone, don’t check your emails.
  18. Develop a sense of urgency. It is critical to remind yourself that you will lose the opportunity, to remind yourself of the consequences of not making decisions or taking action, to remember that there is no right time to accomplish your task.
  19. Create a vision board in order to better visualize your goals.
  20. Create a routine and aim for the long-term.
  21. Don’t try to be perfect.
  22. Surround yourself with like-minded people.
  23. Watch motivational videos to get you started.

Don’t wait until you are 100% sure.  The perfect time is now.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

Building An Impactful Mentorship Relationship

I always wished someone had thought me what I know now, so I didn’t need to learn life and office politics the hard way.

Needless to say, mentors are hard to come by and it is difficult for women and minorities to find mentors in powerful positions.

However, achieving success without a mentor is possible but having one will definitively make your life easier.

Wondering how to score the perfect mentor or perfect mentee?

Building An Impactful Mentorship Relationship

What is mentorship?

Mentorship is usually the realization of leadership. It is similar to tutorship, to parenthood, to partnership, or to an alliance.

To simplify, mentorship is basically an often exclusive work relationship between two people who are willing to learn from each other and to grow with each other.

Furthermore, mentorship is built on reciprocity and commitment. It requires trust, loyalty, personal empowerment, respect, effective time management, and resistance to social pressures.

Most mentorship are informal and naturally happen in the workplace. However, they can take place in your personal life.

If you are looking for a mentor…

You have to be able to effectively manage yourself, to handle all responsibilities and to not self-sabotage.

Are you ready for mentorship?

To prepare yourself for mentorship and to make yourself attractive to a mentor, you must develop your skills and your character on your own:

  • Keep a positive attitude and be open to learn.
  • Have goals and ambition.
  • Learn to build relationships, to handle office politics, pressures and failures.
  • Humble demonstrate your character and your smarts.
  • Take calculated risks.

Benefits to having a mentor

Mentorship provides the mentee, the learner or the protégé with:

  • Insights into the corporate culture, sound advice and ongoing feedback.
  • Leadership skills and increased job performance.
  • An ability to adapt to change.
  • More independence, more experiences, more challenges, more success and opportunities for evolution.
  • Appropriate jobs and roles in regards to your strengths.
  • Increased visibility, access to responsibilities and high positions.
  • Higher pay.
  • Emotional support, emotional intelligence, self-awareness, higher self-esteem, better focus, stronger confidence.

How to find a mentor?

You must not wait to be chosen by a mentor: you should make the first move. To find a mentor:

  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Identify your goals and make sure that they align with those of your future mentor.
  • Handle your career on your own, manage your own reputation, gain pertinent skills, work on yourself and on your goals first before seeking help.
  • Verify the role and status of the person of interest. The person must not necessarily be your supervisor, must not work at the same company or have the same position. Make sure that your mentor has exceptional skills, is well read, is self-aware and is always on the path of self-improvement.
  • Observe your mentor’s behavior and character to ensure that you will get along with them and look up to.
  • Test your mentor’s ability to handle work then ask for help.
  • Get to know your mentor on a personal level and keep in touch from time to time.
  • Seek understanding and accept mentorship influence.
  • Learn to keep secrets.

If you looking to be a mentor…

You must be willing to share your experiences, to be authentic, protective, fair, positive, patient and confident.

Mentors are motivators, are able to create strong relationships, are part of a powerful network, demonstrate exemplary leadership behavior, have influence, dedicate themselves to people, take risks, give sound advice, and give credit when it’s due.

Benefits to being a mentor

Being a mentor is rewarding and is an illustrious position. In a mentorship relationship, everyone benefits from each other’s success and brings equal goods to the table.

On one hand, mentors are able to share their life experiences, to share great work tips, to provide different perspectives, to retain the best employees and to improve the workplace. They can delegate work to a trusted employee, bridge the generational gap, get to work with different people and get more free time to themselves.

On another hand, without being part of your organization, mentees are able to positively impact the mentor’s image, reputation, forces them to sharpen their skills and to improve their work-life balance. Mentees keep their mentors in touch with their organization, up to date with their technical skills

Finally, mentorship is fulfilling because mentors are able to leave a legacy, to make their mark.

How to select a mentee?

The perfect mentee does not exist.

  • Be open to mentorship proposals early in life and early in your career
  • Observe if they have potential
  • Verify the mentee is curious, eager to learn and open to change
  • Verify that they are willing to put in the work

How to be a mentor?

To be the best mentor you can be:

  • Be a role-model.
  • Find out what you and your mentee want to achieve.
  • Set realistic expectations about the job and help them clarify their goals.
  • Find your most convenient mentorship and leadership style.
  • Know how to navigate most challenging situations.
  • Give support whenever you can, have an open door policy, respond to the needs and goals of your mentee.
  • Show appreciation and show that their opinions matter.
  • Give your mentee time to grow, time to commit and time to develop their skills.
  • Open up your network to the mentee and give direct access to success.
  • Don’t mold the mentee in your image and understand that they are their own person.
  • Incorporate mentoring programs in your organization if you can.
  • Let go of the mentee if your goals don’t align anymore and if the mentee has outgrown you.

 

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.