Do you struggle with making difficult decisions because they make you feel overwhelmed? The next time you feel this way, try these simple steps:
First, develop a versatile routine that helps you reach sound decisions in all manner of situations. The routine might be as simple as asking yourself a set of questions like, “what are the alternatives and potential disadvantages to this choice?” or “what would the worst-case scenario be, and what are some of my options if that happens?”
Another tip for optimizing your problem-solving skills is to break down a complex problem with an issue tree. Start by jotting down the key issue – let’s say your business is doing poorly, which might make your central question, “how can I increase profits?”
That question is now the trunk of the tree. Now, write down the two possible options that form the branches of the tree, in this case increasing revenues or reducing costs.
Then, think of concrete actions that would help you realize those options; for instance, you could dismiss employees to decrease costs, or launch a new product to increase revenue.
These suggestions make up more branches of the issue tree, until eventually you’ll have systematically mapped out many potential next actions you can take to tackle your problem.
Have you ever been giving a presentation, only to look around and see that most of the audience wasn’t actually listening? To avoid this in the future, just follow these simple techniques.
First, remember that your audience will be much more receptive if you involve them and make them feel as if they’re choosing what to learn.
Second, make your presentation interesting by incorporating videos or posters that will keep the audience on their toes. Make sure to utilize a whiteboard if there is one; people will internalize much more of your message if you draw and write in real time, rather than just using prepared slides.
And throughout it all, make sure to use short and simple sentences in a fluid manner to hold your audience’s attention and emphasize why your audience should care about what you’re telling them.
It’s Monday, you’re tired and longing for the weekend already – but you’ve got a meeting with a dissatisfied customer first thing in the morning. What do you do?
First, keep your cool by taking some distance from the situation. Imagine it’s not you but a friend who has to face the client. What advice would you give? You can take this even further by talking to yourself in the second person to gain a more distant perspective.
Next, think of a past situation you handled well and ask yourself what resources helped you then. Maybe it was your wit, fearlessness or supportive friends, all of which can probably help you through the present situation, too!
Turning to positive thoughts in challenging times is another surefire way to inject some energy and cheer into your day.
Try out these tricks next time you’re in a tough situation. Start by identifying the mental, physical and temporal patterns and triggers that affect the ebb and flow of your energy. Maybe, for example, you always feel lethargic after lunch.
Then, find ways to boost your energy during the energy lows. Maybe it’s getting up to make a cup of tea, having a five-minute chat with a coworker or taking a walk around the block.
You can even try a gratitude exercise: think of three things that happened to you today that you’re grateful for, even if it’s just a small thing like remembering your umbrella – or forgetting it, and running like a little kid through the rain! Even small thoughts like this can make a big difference.
It’s normal to feel exhausted at times, but developing positive routines, learning from the past and connecting with colleagues are all good ways to make the most of your waking hours. Know yourself well enough to recognize what you might need to help boost your energy, and you can turn almost any day into a good day.
Check out my related post: How to “Let Me Out”? – Part 1