Cutting Through Indecision and Overthinking – By Leo Babauta

It happens to the best of us, especially people who are very intelligent, very competent, and very talented.

It’s “analysis paralysis” – and the process of overthinking reduces our effectiveness and intelligence by producing inaction. Taking any action is likely to be better than inaction and indecision, but we can get so caught up in trying to find the perfect decision that we make no decision.

The answer is to cut through indecision and overthinking with action.

Before we talk about that, let’s look at what’s going on with smart, competent people who get stuck in their beautiful minds.

The Trap of Overthinking

For someone who doesn’t see a lot of possibilities, sometimes a choice is easy – you just choose the one that looks obvious.

But for someone who has an abundance of intelligence, there are many more doors than that. And choosing can seem impossible. So this person starts creating a decision tree in their mind: “If I choose this, then this might happen, which means I need to decide if I want this, and then that might happen… but then this other option brings three more decisions…”

They also will research every option, which leads to more research. It becomes an endless cycle of thinking through options, researching it, and through the research finding even more things to think about. No decision can ever be made!

It’s also impossible to analyze so many endless options, because each option contains a lot of uncertainty – you can never know how each will turn out, how important every factor is, what the probability is of each possibility happening.

The uncertainty in this kind of thinking is what keeps us stuck in indecision. We fear the uncertain outcome, and would rather have cold hard data, and much more certainty.

But we can never have the kind of certainty we’d like. We’d have to run experiments or do scientific research on every single thing before taking action, which means we’ve just missed out on opportunities as we did that research! Spending a lot of time analyzing comes with opportunity cost.

So how do we deal with this? By cutting through the overthinking with action.

Cutting Through With Action

If overthinking can be a trap of indecision, an unsolvable knot… how do we untie it? By cutting through it.

There can be no solving this knot through thinking – it’s thinking that gets us into it. Now, I’m not saying that “thinking is bad”… I believe we should contemplate pros and cons, that we should take a step back from action and get some perspective, see the big picture, consider the deeper “why” of what we’re doing. But at some point, we have to say, “Enough!” And then take action.

Setting a limit for thinking can be a good way to do this. “I’m going to spend the next 2 days thinking about it, and then make a decision on Tuesday.” You consider the merits, you do a bit of research, you talk to other people. Then you decide, and take action.

How do you decide when there is no certain answer? You have to just pick something that seems to be the best, given your limited information. It’s like poker – you never have complete information, but have to make a decision based on what you do know, and the most likely outcomes (the likelihood is based on what you know, but you can adjust your mental probabilities with experience).

You start by taking a step back, think about your deeper “why” as it relates to this decision… and also what you’re basing this decision on. Is it based on fear? On instant gratification of a desire? These don’t lead to good long-term outcomes, in my experience. The place to come from is long-term benefit – is this a loving action for those you care about, or for yourself?

Then you think about the different factors that weigh into the decision, and how important each are to you. You think about likely outcomes of each possibility (don’t limit yourself to just 2 possibilities), and weigh the probable benefits with the probable costs.

And then finally, you just go with the decision that seems best. Do a quick review of whether this is for the best long-term benefit. And then pull the trigger. Step off the plank.

You cut through all the doubts and fears and hand-wringing that are holding you back, and just dive in.

Get good at this diving in by doing it in small versions:

  • Write something short and publish it
  • Take a small action to your long-term dream career or business
  • Take a small action to be healthier
  • Declutter one thing that’s easy to decide on, rather than getting stuck on things that are hard for you to make a decision about

What decisions are you stuck on? Can you make a small decision that’s easier, and take action? It might give you more information that helps with the bigger decision. And in the end, the real benefit is practicing taking action without getting caught up in indecision and inaction.

About the author:

Leo Babauta is a writer, former journalist and former editor of the Pacific Daily News. Babauta is a Top 100 blogger, as the creator of the popular Zen Habits blog and mnmlist, and author of the best-selling book, The Power of Less. He is married to Eva Cruz Babauta and has six children: Chloe, Justin, Rain, Maia, Seth and Noelle.

Beat the Fears That Are Holding You Back – By Leo Babauta

“Every time we choose safety, we reinforce fear.” – Cheri Huber

Fear of something bad happening in the future is one of the things that make us human.

Animals might fear an immediate danger that is happening right now, but only we fear something that might happen, that isn’t happening now, that isn’t even showing its ugly face at the moment.

This fear, some might say, is necessary — it stops us from doing something stupid. But I’ve found most of these fears to be unnecessary, to be baseless, to be holding us back from achieving something.

I recently asked my Twitter friends: “What fear is holding you back?” Their responses included:

  • failure
  • abandonment/rejection
  • intimacy
  • success
  • being broke
  • not being good enough

I think the last one — not being good enough — is actually at the root of all the others. We fear we’ll fail because we’re not good enough. We fear we’ll lose our relationships, that we’ll be abandoned, that we’ll be rejected — because we’re not good enough. We fear intimacy for the very same reason — we might get rejected because we’re not good enough. Even the fear of success is based on the worry that we’re not good enough.

Do you have this fear? That you’re not good enough? I have, for all my life, and I still have it today.

But here’s the thing: having the fear is natural. Letting it stop you from going after your dreams is a tragedy.

I did this for well over a decade of my adult life. I let the fear of not being good enough stop me from even trying, from even daring to dream.

It turned out that my fears were baseless. I am good enough. I’m not perfect, but who is?

When I was able to overcome this fear of not being good enough, this fear of failure and rejection, and put myself out there in the world, I succeeded. I found out that I was good enough.

And I still have this same fear — I still worry that I’m not good enough, that I’ll fail and flop on my face in front of 100,000 people — but I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t. Even the most successful people — Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, Paul McCartney, J.K. Rowling, et al. — they have this fear, even if they don’t show it. But they don’t let it hold them back.

How can you do this? Let’s look into it.

“The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.” – Sven Goran Eriksson

How to Beat Your Fears

There is no step-by-step program to beating your fears, but here’s what I’ve learned first-hand and from others.

  1. First, acknowledge your fear. This is a huge first step. If you do just this today, you’ve done something great. Many of us have these fears, but they are at the back of our mind, unnoticed, unacknowledged, as we try to ignore them and pretend they’re not there. But they are there. And they affect us, every day, all our lives. So acknowledge the fear.
  2. Write it down. What’s your fear? Write it on a piece of paper. Writing it down not only acknowledges that you have it — bringing it out into the light — but it externalizes the fear. It takes the fear from the dark lurking places in the back of your mind, where it has power over you, out into the light of day, outside of you, where you have power over the fear. Take control over it by writing it down. It is now outside you. You can do something about it. I personally like to crumple it up and stomp on it, but you can do whatever you like. Post it on your fridge as a reminder of your enemy.
  3. Feel the fear. You’ve acknowledged it, but you’re still afraid of it. You’re reluctant to even have this fear, perhaps even embarrassed about it. Well, no more. Recognize that you’re not alone, that we ALL have these fears, that we all think we might not be good enough. Yes, even the amazing Barack, the amazing Jessica Alba, the amazing Al Pacino. They have the same fears as you do. I sure do. Repeat after me: there’s nothing wrong with having this fear. Now allow yourself to feel it. Experience it fully. Bask in this fear. It isn’t as bad as you think. It’s a part of you, but it doesn’t control you. From djbarker on Twitter: “Feel the fear & do it anyway.”
  4. Ask yourself: what’s the worst thing that can happen? Often, it’s not as bad as we think. Do you fear failing in a new career? What would happen if you did? You’d get another job. You’d move on. You’d live. Do you fear being rejected by someone romantically? What would happen if you were? You’d lick your wounds; you’d find someone else who is more suited for you, you’d live. Do you fear being broke? What would happen if you were? You’d cut back on your expenses, perhaps ask family or friends to help you out for a little bit. You’d find a way to make money. You’d live.
  5. Just do it. To repeat: feel the fear and do it anyway. To beat the fear, you have to just do it. See below for some tips on doing this, but what works for me is not thinking, just acting. Like when you want to jump off a waterfall into the pool below: don’t think about it. Just jump! It’s an exhilarating feeling. I fear public speaking, but when I get up and just do it, I feel great. From Jade Craven on Twitter: “I fear everything. I’ve recently decided to ignore my fears and just go for it! So many opportunities have come as a result.”
  6. Prepare yourself for battle. When you’re going to take on an adversary, you prepare yourself. You arm yourself, and have a battle plan, and train yourself. Do this in your battle against your fear: arm yourself, have a battle plan, train yourself. If you want to be a musician but you fear failure…practice, practice, practice, then come up with a plan to succeed, then get all the skills and info you need to implement the plan, then practice some more. Then go out and implement the plan!
  7. Be in the moment. Fear of failure (and other similar fears) are fears of the future. We get caught up in worrying about what might happen. Instead, banish all thoughts of the future. Banish even thoughts of past mistakes and failures. Now focus on right now. Do something right now to beat your fears, to pursue your dreams, and forget about what might happen. Just do it, now, in the moment. When you find yourself thinking about the past or future, bring yourself back in the moment and focus on what you’re doing right at this moment.
  8. Small steps. Conquering fear and pursuing a life goal can be overwhelming, intimidating. So start small. Just take one little baby step. Something you know you can do. Something you’re sure to succeed at. Then feel good about that (see below) and take another small baby step. Keep doing this, and soon you’ll have conquered a mountain.
  9. Celebrate every success! Every single thing you do right, celebrate! Even the smallest little thing. And use this feeling of success, of victory, to propel yourself forward and take the next step. Bill Gates describes a “spiral of success” that he used to build Microsoft up from its early success of MS-DOS to its success with Windows and Word and Excel and Internet Explorer and all that (I know, blech, but still). Use this idea of a spiral of success in your life — build upon each success, use it as a stepping stone to the next victory.

About the author:

Leo Babauta is a simplicity blogger & author. He created Zen Habits, a Top 25 blog with a million readers. He’s also a best-selling author, a husband, father of six children, and a vegan. In 2010 moved from Guam to California, where he leads a simple life.

Leo is also a Zen student, and is on a mission to help the world open through uncertainty training.

15 Can’t-Miss Ways to Declutter Your Mind – By Leo Babauta

The world of stresses and worries and errands and projects and noise that we must all endure inflicts upon us a mind full of clutter and chaos.

A mind that sometimes cannot find the calm that we so desperately seek.

I’ve had a number of readers ask me to write about decluttering your mind, not just your home or your desk.

It’s a valid request – if anything needs decluttering, it’s our minds, I think – but it’s also a daunting task. How do you declutter a mind? It’s not as if thoughts are just laying around, waiting for you to pick through them, finding the ones that should be kept and those that are ripe for the donation box. The mind isn’t like an inbox that can be sorted through and acted upon.

The brain is a complex and confusing organ, the core of us as human beings (if you feel, as I often do, that the soul is in the mind and not in the heart). The mind is often covered in the scar tissue of old hurts and traumas and layered in so many levels of consciousness not even the best of psychoanalysts has ever sorted through it.

So how do we begin decluttering? It’s actually not difficult if you give it a little thought: simplifying shouldn’t be made complex.

You can declutter your mind with simple actions, things we’ve discussed here before, but things that are almost guaranteed to have a positive effect. Little things that can make a big difference, especially when used in combination. Choose a few to try out and see if they work for you.

1. Breathe. So simple, and yet so effective. Take a few deep breaths, and then for a few minutes, just focus on your breathing. Concentrate on your breathing as it comes into your body and then as it goes out. It has a calming effect, especially if you continue to return your focus to your breath when your mind strays. It also allows other thoughts to just float away. (Note: some people might call this meditation, but that word scares some people off, so we’re just going to call it breathing.)

2. Write it down. If you have a bunch of things on your mind, it helps to get them on paper and off your mind. This is one of the essential habits in Zen To Done (and GTD, of course) … writing down your tasks and ideas. This keeps your head from being filled with everything you need to do and remember.

3. Identify the essential. But that’s because it’s crucial to everything I write about: if you want to simplify or declutter, the first step is identifying what is most important. In this case, identify what is most important in your life and what’s most important for you to focus on right now. Make a short list for each of these things.

4. Eliminate. Now that you’ve identified the essential, you can identify what’s not essential. What things in your life are not truly necessary or important to you? What are you thinking about right now that’s not on your short list? By eliminating as many of these things as possible, you can get a bunch of junk off your mind.

5. Journal. Similar to “write it down” above, but with a little more depth. Journaling (whether it’s in a paper journal or online doesn’t matter) helps you explore different areas of your life that you don’t think about much. And this exploration might allow you to find some things on your mind that you didn’t realize were there, some things that can be eliminated or pursued. And just getting these thoughts into some kind of a journal is a way of getting them out of your mind as well.

6. Rethink your sleep. Sometimes we aren’t getting enough sleep, or our sleeping patterns aren’t ideal. I’m not saying that you should change your sleeping patterns, but sometimes it can do wonders. And if you don’t give it some thought, you won’t realize how much your sleep (or lack thereof) is affecting you.

7. Take a walk. Getting outside and doing some kind of physical activity is a great way to get stuff off your mind. I like to run or do yard work, but whatever you do doesn’t matter. Spending some physical energy clears the mind.

8. Watch less TV. For me, television doesn’t relax me, although it might seem that vegging in front of the TV is good for relaxation. TV fills your head with noise, without the redeeming qualities of music or reading or good conversation. Watch less TV, and you’ll notice your mind begin to quieten.

9. Get in touch with nature. Similar to “take a walk” above, but without the bustle of activity. I like to go somewhere with water… the ocean, a river, a lake, even just a man-made fountain if nothing else is available. Or watching rain does the trick for me too. Somehow this can be calming and focusing at the same time.

10. Do less. Take your to-do list and cross off half the things on it. Just pick a few things to get done today and focus on those. Let the rest go away. If you do less, you’ll have less on your mind.

11. Go slower. Seems kinda weird, I know, but walking and talking and working and driving slower can make a very big difference. It’s kind of like you’re saying, “I’m not willing to rush through life, no matter what artificial time demands others are putting on me. I want to take it at my pace.” And as a result, your mind is less harried as well.

12. Let go. Worrying about something? Angry about somebody? Frustrated? Harboring a grudge? While these are all natural emotions and thoughts, none of them are really necessary. See if you can let go of them. More difficult than it sounds, I know, but it’s worth the effort.

13. Declutter your surroundings. I’ve mentioned this before but decluttering my desk or my home has a way of calming me. Having a lot of stuff around you is just visual clutter – it occupies part of your mind, even if you don’t realize it.

14. Single-task. Multitasking, for the most part, is a good way to fill your mind with a lot of activity without a lot of productivity or happiness as a result. Instead, try to single-task – just focus on one task at a time. Clear away everything else until you’re done with that task. Then focus on the next task, and so on.

15. Get a load off. Sometimes it can make a huge difference to unload our troubles on another human being. If you have a significant other or a best friend or a close family member or coworker… unload your thoughts on them. And listen to them, to return the favor. Sure, it’s just talk… but it can make a huge difference to your mental sanity.

About the author:

Leo Babauta is a writer, former journalist and former editor of the Pacific Daily News. Babauta is a Top 100 blogger, as the creator of the popular Zen Habits blog and mnmlist, and author of the best-selling book, The Power of Less. He is married to Eva Cruz Babauta and has six children: Chloe, Justin, Rain, Maia, Seth and Noelle.

Better Meetings, Happier Team

Sometimes it seems like the biggest obstacle between you and productivity is the very thing that’s supposed to make you more productive.

That’s right: meetings.

Whether you’re the one planning them or the one required to attend, workplace meetings can seem like a giant waste of time. Of course it’s important to keep everybody informed, but do you really have to spend two hours on a Thursday morning listening to the long-talker; avoiding the glance of the eye-roller; or getting interrupted as soon as you try to put in your two cents?

The answer is no.

But, that doesn’t mean you can skip the meeting. It means you can make it better. You might even be able to make it fun.

Not running the show?

If you’re not the one in charge of the meeting, your control over the format is limited – but you can improve the quality of your own participation.

First, prepare.

Take a minute or 10 prior to the meeting to review the agenda and consider what you have to contribute to the topic at hand, or what concerns you might like to share. Prepare some questions. If you have a point you’d like to make, gather some facts so you’re ready to make the most of your moment when you have the floor.

Bring a pen and paper, and take notes.

Practice engaged listening – that’s where you really think about what’s being said. Try to speak up at least once during each meeting, but make your comments brief and to the point – people will love you for it. And they probably won’t interrupt you.

In charge of the meeting?

If you’re the one who called the meeting, a few tweaks to your meeting format could make a big difference in what’s accomplished. Here are some ideas:

Start on an up note.

Set an upbeat tone at the outset by asking everyone to share a recent success, large or small.

Set ground rules.

You’re the facilitator; promise your people that you’ll keep the conversation focused. Ask their help in staying on track. Hand out an agenda. Set up the goals, but don’t talk too long – you don’t want to lose people before you’ve even begun.

No devices.

Have the participants put away their phones so their eyes won’t be straying to the screen every time it lights up or vibrates.

Be clear about timing.

What’s the goal of the meeting? When will it end? Everyone likes a meeting that begins and ends on time. Some supervisors inject some energy by using a countdown clock. It sends the message that the end of the meeting is a deadline. Let’s get this done!

Reward participation.

You might throw each speaker a mini Milky Way. Or maybe, later, you give her a pat on the back and thank her for her contribution. Everyone likes to be noticed and valued.

Schedule breaks.

Any meeting longer than an hour must include a break. Make sure you get people out of their chairs and moving. Give them five minutes for a phone check or bathroom visit, then engage them for another five in something active and fun: thumb wrestling tournament, anyone? If you have a little more time, try a team-building challenge like the human knot.

Make time for thinking.

Each time you introduce a new topic, someone will be tempted to dive right in, possibly diverting the conversation to their narrow concerns. Instead, throw out a question… and require 30 seconds of silence before anyone can speak.

Practice redirection.

The skills for managing problem participants can be learned. Got an interrupter? Hold up a finger. “Thanks, Mitch. I’d like to get to your concern. But first let’s let Jose make his point.”

What about that guy who drones on and on? Some people just have trouble stopping, once they’ve begun to talk. Go ahead: interrupt. “You’ve made a great point, Joanne. Now I’d like to hear how others react.”

Shake things up.

Does everyone always sit in the same place? Make them switch. Better yet: remove the table. Changing the setup for your meeting can change the dynamics of the group.

An unproductive, hour-long meeting with eight people in attendance equals eight hours of lost productivity. With just a little preparation and planning, you can turn that around and use your meetings to increase productivity – and, quite possibly, increase morale as well.

10 Ways To Tell You’re Ready For Management

You Know Your Job Like the Back of Your Hand

  • You’ve done your job for several years.
  • You know the goals and challenges of the job.
  • You understand the factors that made you successful.

You’ve Acted as a Leader

  • You’ve taken the lead on projects.
  • You’ve helped teammates through challenges.
  • You’ve helped improve processes or procedures.

You Like Helping Other People Succeed

  • You enjoy advocating for the success of others.
  • You have no problem keeping the spotlight shining on those who deserve it.
  • You have strong coaching abilities.

You Lead By Example

  • You demonstrate the behaviors and attitudes you want to see in others.
  • You do the right thing, even when it’s difficult.
  • You walk the walk; you don’t just talk the talk.

You’re Comfortable Letting Go

  • You are ok with someone else handling your current daily responsibilities.
  • You know you don’t need to own or control every detail of every project.
  • You have faith that any team you lead has the talent to be successful.

You Understand Being a Good Manager is Different From Being a Good Employee

  • You know how to say no.
  • You can make decisions swiftly.
  • You can own up to mistakes.

You’re OK With Not Always Being Liked

  • You know that if someone is upset with you, it doesn’t mean they don’t respect you.
  • You’re comfortable not being personal friends with your reports.
  • You have the ability to tell people the truth, even if it’s not always what they want to hear.

You Are a Strong Communicator

  • You are comfortable and capable of setting clear expectations.
  • You are prepared to give ongoing positive (and constructive) feedback.
  • You listen well and are open to the ideas of others.

You Are Known for Being Reliable

  • You have a reputation for getting things done on time.
  • Other people turn to you for help/ideas/answers.
  • You’ve established yourself as a problem-solver.

 You Genuinely Want the Responsibility

  • You’re taking the step because you feel ready, not because you have seniority.
  • You understand how things will change for you in your professional life.
  • You’re ready to shoulder the successes and failures of your team.

Up and Running: How to Get Your Workforce Back to 100% (or better!)

In this eBook, we will talk about:

  • Whether it’s possible to be productive in extreme circumstances
  • Identifying the changes that will mark “the new normal”
  • The importance of safety
  • The challenges employees and employers face in boosting productivity
  • How you can improve productivity by focusing on employee health – both physical and mental
  • Tips for managing remote and blended teams
  • Using schedule optimization to promote productivity
  • The best partnership you can form to help navigate workforce changes

Calling All Chronic Procrastinators: Productivity Tips That Work

Chronic procrastination may get the best of you. Despite your best efforts to remain productive, you may quickly fall behind on everyday tasks. And the more you fall behind, the harder it becomes to rebound.

Ultimately, you need to take measures to avoid chronic procrastination. With the right approach, you can remain productive. Best of all, you’ll be able to get the most value out of your time, energy, and resources.

5 Productivity Tips That Work

1. Find Out Why You Procrastinate

In some instances, procrastination can occur due to anxiety or fear of failure. Or it may be related to a lack of energy or motivation. Regardless, you need to identify the root cause of your issue, so you can put this problem in the rearview mirror.

Self-awareness is key, particularly when it comes to procrastination. So, take a look in the mirror and figure out why you procrastinate in the first place. Then, you can make a plan to address the problem.

2. Start Slow

One of the biggest problems that procrastinators face: getting started. Yet, those who embrace the opportunity to start a challenging task are well-equipped to alleviate the uncomfortable feeling that often accompanies the endeavor.

Typically, it helps to start slowly to boost your productivity. Much in the same way Rome was not built in a day, you should not expect your procrastination habit to go away immediately. Rather, begin a task and work diligently to complete it. Take breaks as needed along the way. Don’t forget to track your progress, too. Over time, you’ll become more productive as you tackle task after task. In the long run, you’ll overcome your tendency to procrastinate as well.

3. Establish Deadlines

You may feel like you have all the time in the world to complete a task. However, the clock can run out if you are not careful. In the worst-case scenario, you may end up rushing to complete a task, which can lead to poor results.

Deadlines are must-haves for chronic procrastinators. Generally, it helps to give yourself as much time as possible to complete a task.

To determine an appropriate deadline, map out the steps involved in a task and how long it takes to complete each one. Next, you can identify how much time is required for the entire task. It can also be beneficial to build buffer room into your deadline. That way, if an emergency arises, you’ll still have sufficient time to finish your task on deadline.

4. Get Organized

It may seem like a pipe dream to get organized. But anyone can become an organization expert — even a chronic procrastinator. In fact, with patience and hard work, a procrastinator can get organized without delay and reap the benefits of doing so long into the future.

To get organized, declutter your workspace. Remove any non-essential items, along with potential distractions that can otherwise hamper your productivity. Furthermore, it can be beneficial to use a personal organizer and take notes throughout the day. This can help you stay on track with myriad tasks.

5. Find an Accountability Partner

If you’re concerned about procrastination, get an accountability partner. This allows you to be accountable to yourself and someone else. It can challenge you to push the limits of your productivity as you work hand in hand with a peer who drives you to perform your best.

An accountability partner can be a colleague or friend who wants you to be the best version of yourself. You and your partner can provide regular updates on how well you perform day after day. Plus, you can offer support to each other. In doing so, you and your accountability partner can achieve unprecedented results.

Pressing the Reset Button on Wellness

Your career is important but it should never come before your health. Otherwise, stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues can crop up. These issues can affect your ability to perform your best at work. They can also make it virtually impossible to enjoy your time outside of work. And, if left unaddressed, mental health problems can lead to body pain, headaches, and other physical health issues.

The bottom line: you need to prioritize mental and physical wellness. Now, let’s examine five of the key dimensions of wellness, along with tips you can use to recalibrate your life and live better than ever before.

1. Emotional

Expressing your emotions in a safe, healthy manner is paramount. Yet, many people choose to “bottle up” their emotions, despite the fact that doing so can cause serious harm.

Those who suppress their emotions may struggle to deal with challenging situations at work and home. They also face a greater risk of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic illnesses than people who can effectively manage their emotional wellbeing.

To improve your emotional wellness, find constructive ways to express your feelings. For instance, meditation or deep breathing exercises have been shown to help people minimize negative emotions. Or, you can go for a walk or perform other physical activities that promote emotional wellness.

2. Intellectual

Having opportunities to engage in mentally stimulating activities can make a world of difference. In fact, those who nurture their curiosity can become lifelong learners who are well-equipped to thrive in any work environment at any time.

To foster your intellectual well-being, capitalize on any learning opportunities that come your way. For instance, you can read books or take up new hobbies. You can even visit a museum or art gallery to help get your creative juices flowing.

Don’t forget to take advantage of learning programs at work, too. If you are ready to take on more responsibility at work, ask your manager about any available learning opportunities. And, if you are on the job hunt, search for free courses on LinkedIn, Skillshare, and other learning websites.

3. Occupational

Everyone deserves to feel good about their work. However, there may be times when work problems escalate to the point where they cause people to feel bad about themselves. There may also be instances when employees are overworked, resulting in an unhealthy work-life balance.

To optimize occupational wellness, network with industry peers. This allows people to build professional relationships and grow them over time.

In addition, pursue professional development opportunities. Those who continuously look for opportunities to accelerate their professional growth can develop the skills required to accomplish their career aspirations.

4. Physical

How you take care of your body can have far-flung effects. If you constantly eat fast food and avoid exercise, your body can wear down quickly. The result: you may feel physically exhausted day after day, and you face a high risk of severe health problems.

A daily exercise routine can be beneficial. Engaging in 30 minutes of moderate daily physical activity can help you feel your best and extend your life.

Along with daily exercise, healthy eating and consistent rest are crucial in terms of physical wellness. Consume foods rich in vitamins, nutrients, and minerals whenever possible. Also, try to get at least seven to nine hours of sleep every night.

5. Environmental

You should feel safe, comfortable, and calm in your everyday surroundings. However, if your surroundings make you feel panicked and worried, your overall well-being may be at risk.

To enhance your environmental wellness, assess your home and work environments. Remove any clutter and eliminate any distractions from these settings.

Furthermore, volunteer in your community when you can. Volunteerism can help you connect with your community and foster new relationships. It can also help you build an emotional attachment to your community.

The Bottom Line on Wellness

There is no “magic bullet” to achieve true wellness. Instead, ongoing practice of the wellness dimensions mentioned above can help you feel your best now and in the future at work and outside of it.

Of course, a recruiter can help alleviate stress as you search for new career opportunities, too. Recruiters can offer expert tips and guidance to help you find a job that complements your life.

Innovative Ideas for Upskilling, Reskilling, and Closing Last-Mile Gaps

A global human talent shortage plagues businesses around the world. According to management consulting firm Korn Ferry, if left unaddressed, the shortage could reach more than 85 million people by 2030. At this point, the shortage could result in about $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenues, too.

Your business needs skilled professionals on staff. Yet, identifying, attracting, and retaining talent remains difficult. Fortunately, options are available to help you strengthen your workforce, regardless of your recruiting strategy. These options include upskilling and reskilling.

What Are Upskilling and Reskilling, and Why Should Your Business Use Them?

Upskilling involves learning new skills or enhancing existing ones. For instance, an employee can complete a training program that allows them to add new skills or improve current ones to further contribute to their company’s success. In this instance, the employee and their business can reap the benefits of upskilling.

Comparatively, reskilling involves developing new skills for a new role. For example, an employee who wants to move into a management role may enroll in online management courses. Upon completion of these courses, the worker will possess a wide range of management skills. Plus, the worker can transition into their management role without a steep on-the-job learning curve.

Ultimately, there is a lot to like about upskilling and reskilling. Key reasons why businesses utilize upskilling and reskilling across their workforces include:

1. Increased Employee Engagement and Retention

Upskilling and reskilling provide businesses with myriad opportunities to invest in their employees. Meanwhile, workers can leverage upskilling and reskilling programs to bolster their skill sets. These employees can feel great about the fact that their businesses are committed to their success. The result: companies that leverage upskilling and reskilling can maximize their employee engagement and retention levels.

Struggling with turnover or employee motivation, ? GPS can help you build a more engaged, loyal workforce.

2. Improved Customer Satisfaction

Skilled employees can deliver exceptional contributions across a business — and customers are likely to notice. So, if a company implements an upskilling or reskilling program, it can help its workers become better in various areas. These workers can then apply their new knowledge and insights to assist customers like never before. This can lead to improved customer satisfaction, along with increased revenues and exemplary customer loyalty.

3. Talent Recruitment

Businesses want to attract top job candidates, regardless of role. With upskilling and reskilling programs, a company can distinguish itself to superb candidates. A company can use these programs to show job seekers it is willing to invest in their futures. This can help the business promote itself to candidates. And it may allow the company to recruit candidates who want to stay with it long into the future.

How to Close the Skills Gap Across Your Workforce

Your business can use upskilling and reskilling programs at any time. However, to get the most value out of these programs, it helps to plan. This ensures your upskilling and reskilling programs empower you to close skill gaps across your company.

Now, let’s look at five tips to help you optimize the ROI of your upskilling and reskilling programs.

1. Establish Skill Adjacencies

Identify skill adjacencies across your workforce. To do so, look for workers who possess skills that align with those required to perform various tasks. Next, you can provide these employees with training to help them advance their skills.

2. Create Training Programs for All Types of Learners

Set up training programs tailored to different types of learning styles. For instance, some educational programs can leverage microlearning, which involves short videos and other media that cover topics in short increments. On the other hand, in-person and workshop classroom-style learning sessions can cater to workers who prefer hands-on learning. You can even offer online training sessions that employees can complete anywhere an internet connection is available.

3. Reward Workers Who Engage in Your Programs

Celebrate workers who upskill and reskill. You can offer bonuses, gift cards, and other financial rewards to employees who complete upskilling and reskilling programs. Or you can recognize these workers’ accomplishments during business meetings.

4. Provide Multiple Program Options

Give workers the flexibility to choose upskilling and reskilling programs that correspond to their career goals. Offer multiple programs, and employees can select ones that can help them accelerate their career growth.

5. Make Your Programs Accessible to Everyone

Ensure workers across all departments can access your upskilling and reskilling programs. This enables employees to gain the skills they want to accomplish their career aspirations.

Need Help Bridging the Skills Gap Across Your Business? Partner With a Recruiting Company

Upskilling and reskilling programs can deliver tremendous value. And, if you use these programs in combination with an effective talent recruitment strategy, your business can avoid a skills gap that can otherwise hamper its growth.

If you need help bridging the skills gap across your business or want to develop and implement an effective recruiting strategy, it pays to partner with a reputable recruiting company. The right recruiting company can help you get the best results from your upskilling and reskilling programs — and get more done.

MASTERING THE MODERN JOB INTERVIEW

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