Are you in need of a New Year’s Resolution, or a Performance Goal?
If you are as old (mature) as I am, you will remember the craze around a little book by Robert Fulghum entitled All I Really Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten.
Now, we have the 2021 version of that book: The Beatles: Get Back documentary. The documentary itself does not call out or highlight lessons, but you can find tons of social media lists that discuss how this documentary is a playbook for production and creativity.
Turns out, the The Beatles not only Get Back; but they also got your back, too.
Here is a Baker’s dozen on lessons for productivity/creativity/problem solving that you can use for self-reflection.
Take a look at the list, pick one lesson you can improve on, and make it your 2022 Resolution!
1.Wait To Speak.
When brainstorming, one person speaks at a time; listening is more important than speaking.
2. Be Silly.
If you do not speak up with an idea because you are scared of looking stupid or silly, your best ideas will never get put into action.
3. Be Silly (Yes, Again).
Have fun with the people you are collaborating with. Humor only helps productivity – moments of levity can spark creativity.
4. Always Say, “Yes.” Or, Maybe “Yes, And…”
Do not dismiss the ideas of others – especially, if you do not have an alternative idea to suggest. “That is a good idea, and we could also…”
5. Let It Be Go
If you keep bringing up an idea that no one else can embrace, let it go and move onto the next idea. (See me demonstrating silliness here with my word play on a Beatles song?).
6. Do not seek perfection.
Rather than revising and revising and revising until you have the perfect product, just get something going. Build the skateboard, then the bike, then the motorcycle, and then the car.
7. Embrace accidents
(Like Covid?) and build on the directions they take you.
8. Eat and drink.
The science is right. If you do not take time to stay hydrated and fuel your body, your problem solving will suffer.
9. Give credit.
If someone else has the winning idea, give that person their kudos for it.
10. Switch gears.
If something is not coming together, move onto another idea or project and circle back with fresh eyes and thoughts.
11. Try it out.
Even if something does not seem quite right, try it for awhile to confirm it’s not right, or to see how you can improve it.
12. Respect others.
Even if someone in the group is less experienced or seldom speaks up, their perspective is valuable (or even more valuable) for its lens and freshness.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) are not just buzzwords. To save time, I researched what makes a good DE&I trainer and combined the information into five key criteria.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Things You Can Do Now To Improve Your Organization’s Mental Health – Even While Working From Home
In the past, I would have dismissed this topic as something that is so distant to me, I would not even need to glance in its direction.
I would much rather focus on other topics that can claim May as their month:
Asparagus- hard to grow, but easy to cook.
Barbecue – obviously, go out to eat
Bikes – featuring National Bike to School Day on May 5th
Even, Correct Your Posture Month sounds more appealing than a discussion about mental health, and oh, so easy, to celebrate. This website says to stand up from your desk every 30 minutes.
Mental Health – no so fun and not so easy to focus on.
While, in theory I know the stigma attached to mental health and seeking help needs to be removed; when it comes to myself it is easy to think, “I am just fine – thank you very much.”
In actuality, being just fine would put me in the minority.
Forbes reported that 75% of U.S. Workers have struggled at work this past year due to anxiety caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and other recent current events.
While many companies are mentioning their support systems more frequently to help their employees with mental health – like the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that Metro State employees can tap into, I feel it quite unlikely that I would make that call because I feel “stressed.” Perhaps, you are like me. Even though you are struggling with stress, you are not ready to make an official call for help.
So, what can you and I do to contribute to positive mental health of our workplace – especially when working from home?
#1. Take Care of Me
Yes, you first.
You cannot help others if you are unhealthy.
- Keep a regular schedule each day that includes specific times to:
- Stop and start work
- Connect with family and friends, and
- Provide self -care (time to eat, exercise, and sleep).
- Use relaxation techniques, such as the 5-4-3-2-1 Coping Technique
- Distract and redirect energy into activities that bring joy – for me – gardening
- Schedule time away from screens and get fresh air
- Set up an ergonomically correct work station
#2. Take Care of Your Coworkers
Now that you cannot gather around the water cooler each day, this is even more important.
- Show empathy when others share their anxiety
- Schedule time to routinely check in with coworkers to ward off isolation
- Encourage them to use the EAP if you hear something troubling
- Encourage them to be assertive, yet courteous, and say “no” to work or deadlines that go beyond understood boundaries
- Encourage them to do the five items above in “Taking Care of Me”
#3. Take Care of Your Staff
Leaders have extra responsibility in maintaining a health workplace culture.
- Make sure your staff is aware of EAP resources
- Routinely schedule 1:1 time with team members:
- Provide space for them to “not be OK”
- Help them feel connected to the vision and mission of the organization
- Clarify their role and responsibilities
- Encourage staff to set and keep regular work hours. Make sure they know that working from home does not equate to being available 24/7
- As guidelines change, create coworking spaces where your team can meet in person now and then
- If the position allows, provide flexibility for staff to control their own schedules
If your organization needs some nudging to help you create a healthy work- from-home structure, remind them that
healthy people are more productive: they…
- Call in sick less
- Reduce the organization’s turnover rate
- Have more brain capacity available to be problem-solvers
- Reduce healthcare costs
One final note, *I am not a mental health professional.*
This blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment or therapy.
Now, quit reading this screen and go for a walk.