Smarter, Not Harder
by Dr. Beverly Potter
Today, most of us feel
tremendously pressured to accomplish more and
to do it excellently. To succeed in today's fast paced and changing
we must manage ourselves effectively. Working harder doesn't work; we
Most of us have learned
skills. Some, confusing excellence and prefection, set unattainable
and drive themselves with nit-picking and criticism. Others
until anxiety levels are so high that fear propells them to perform.
such styles of management are sub-optimal and make work a drudgery.
Set Compelling Goals
Good self-managers set compelling goals - those that draw you
it like a magnet does. Making action plans with "doing" steps
for accomplishing them is essential. Good self-managers don't wait
for others to notice their successes; they maintain high motivation
Self-management is not limited to actions, it also applies to
and feelings. While poor self-managers create stress by carrying
with them, good self-managers put a stop to destructive ruminations by
altering the way they think. They think powerfully by defining problems
as challenges, failures as learning, and disappointing situations as
to practice coping skills.
Break Your Inertia
Managing yourself is not a matter of will power. It is an
simple but effective techniques for boosting motivation and increasing
productivity. The first step is the hardest. Inertia must be broken to
get yourself into motion and to keep moving. Brainstorming maps, small
steps, leveraging and want lists are techniques you can use to break
inertia and move into action.
Not all motivation is equal. Sometimes you work to avoid
and other times you seek positives. Avoidance motivation is insidious
can sabotage doing what you want to do. Goal setting and envisioning
powerful tools for developing seeking motivation.
In some ways you are like a computer. Your body is the
hardware - the
machine - and thoughts - the way you talk to yourself - is the
Just as the computer changes the way it performs when the software
so, too, you feel and act differently when mental software is changed.
Thought-stopping, detached concern, mindfulness, and humor are tools
rewriting mental software.
This session covers
of self-management and how to use them to work smarter.
especially relevant to middle management...."
"...feedback was overwhelmingly positive..."
-California Community College Placement Assoc.