Kelly P. Beischel PhD, RN, CNE Imagine you’re at your town festival. Droopy strands of lights are twinkling between telephone poles. Music pours out of the precariously hung speakers. The air is sticky with the smell of popcorn. A juggler in front of you causes you to stop abruptly in the street. He’s about to juggle a bowling ball, a baseball, and a glass ball. You’re fascinated by his attempt to do the impossible thinking, “There’s no way.” How will he manage to juggle each of these objects successfully? And at the same time? But I bet this isn’t far off from your daily life. Dividing your time between the responsibilities that come with being an academic can feel just as impossible. Right? Your responsibilities, like the juggler’s objects, don’t carry the same weight. The tasks associated with your responsibilities don’t carry the same weight either. We are often caught between which task to do first because they all appear to weigh the same, to have the same priority. Yet, some tasks are more valuable than others. And some, if not attended to, break more readily than others. There’s good news in this; the year is fresh. The slate is blank. This is the perfect time to reflect on your responsibilities and […]
By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE While autumn is beautiful, it’s a season that can also be ladened with intense yard work. Recently, I helped my husband pull out decaying Black Eyed Susan’s from one of our gardens. From there, I cleaned up the front garden, tossed the spent potted summer flowers, and planted perennial flowers. By the time I was ready to sweep up the mess I had created on the walkways, I was wilting like the flowers I had just tossed. After many hours of tackling the autumn clean-up, I found myself despising my gardens and swearing that I was going to plant plastic flowers next year. I have a love-hate relationship with gardening. Can you tell? My emotions about writing were often the same. You see, I’ve always loved writing. Yet, I perfected the art of procrastinating my writing until it had become a daunting task. A task that had me cursing its existence. UNTIL… I learned a few key strategies about taking action on my writing (or any overwhelming task I attempt to undertake) that have completely transformed my productivity. Key Strategies to Kick Procrastination to the Curb 1. Acknowledge that FEAR is holding you back. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of pain. There […]
By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE I confess. For much of my earlier life, I was a people pleaser out of fear of disappointing others. (Unless of course you count my teenage years when challenging my parents was my full-time job.) Have you ever fallen trap to people pleasing to the point your time was not your own? Like me, have you ever said “yes” because you thought you ‘should’, because you wanted to please the person requesting your time, or because you felt trapped like you couldn’t say “no”? For most of us, the answer is probably “yes”. More times than we’d like to admit, right? Unfortunately, there are grave consequences to being a people pleaser, of being a person who can’t say “No”. Here’re a few examples of those consequences. Your energy supply can’t keep up with the demand, leaving you perpetually fatigued and overwhelmed. People ask what you like to do in your free time. You scoff and ask, “Free time? What’s that?” The Pareto Principle is turned on its head. And now 20% of what you care about consumes 80% of your time. You’re resentful toward the person who requested your time or the project itself. You track your colleagues’ workload, just sure that you are working harder. […]
By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE Are you tired of hearing the hoopla about making a New Year’s resolution? I am. And I’m really tired of hearing skeptics scoff about how few people follow through. When recently I heard someone state that 46% of people don’t make it past 6 months, I thought, “Well, good for those who tried and made it that long!” Yet, I couldn’t help but wonder why 46% of people give up on their resolutions. Or why 30% of people give up on their resolutions in the first few weeks of the New Year. If you are one of the 30%, all is not lost. Here are 3 reasons people ditch their New Year’s resolutions and simple strategies to get you back on track. The First Reason January beckons us to begin anew. To throw off bad habits and begin fresh. Wouldn’t you agree? We are so fizzled out after the holidays that by the end of December we’re willing to promise anything to anyone. And this is just what we do. Bad idea! Coming off of the holiday in a frazzled state coupled with depleted energy leads us to make resolutions from a place of lack. A place of scarcity. You know, from those “I’m not enough.” “I don’t do enough.” “I don’t […]
By Kelly Beischel You know that I love talking about ways to improve productivity, right? So when the assistant director for our Center for Teaching Excellence asked me if I would present some strategies for having a productive summer to faculty finishing their first year of teaching at our institution, I jumped at the chance. You see, I know all too well how easy it is to have a summer of pretend. I know how to pretend I don’t have a syllabus to put together. How to pretend I don’t have writing to accomplish. How to pretend I don’t have classes needing a face lift. And do you know what else I know? When I play pretend all summer, my fall semester is like a scene out of “Nightmare on Elm Street.” Contrary to what you may believe, using productivity strategies in the summer doesn’t preclude the fun and relaxation you want and need. Rather, it affords you even more fun and relaxation because the time you set aside to work is more productive.Less time is required. Seven Strategies toward Being More Productive Take time to have fun. The summer is a great time to re-create yourself. Be sure to take time to play You will be refreshed and ready to […]
Waiting to be happy limits our brain’s potential for success, whereas cultivating positive brains makes us more motivated, efficient, resilient, creative, and productive, which drives performance upward.
~Shawn Achor, The Happiness Advantage