Inspired Project Teams

Enduring Wisdom & Guided Challenges to Help Project Teams Achieve Their Best

  • Mar 28

    Learn more about The Project Management Minimalist Collection

     

     

     

    [This book excerpt is from “Taking Care of Yourself:  Managing Your Priorities, Time, & Energy” in The Project Management Minimalist]

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Everybody knows you need to do these things, right? But here are some reminders why they’re so important.

    “All nighters” generally don’t work. How many times have you heard about someone studying all night for an important test, only to show up at school, “go blank,” and then blow the test? The two pictures below show why that happens.

    neurons-firing

    The image on the left represents a properly firing neuron in the brain, complete with an efficient electro-chemical exchange that permits good thinking. The picture on the right represents a neuron that’s clogged by accumulated waste products. This neuron is unable to work properly. It’s owner may think of himself as a hero-workaholic, sitting for hours and hours on end at his computer. But his brain is full of waste products and there’s no way he’s really thinking clearly. So he’s not doing anyone any favors by working too long without rest.

    These waste products can only be cleared by two things: 1) Rest… allowing blood flow to take away all the crud and bring in fresh chemicals for proper firing, and 2) nutrients that provide those fresh chemicals. The moral of the story: You gotta get enough rest and allow your brain to clear/replenish its chemicals if you want to be effective.

    But don’t take my word for it. Here are some quotes by a couple of guys who’ve spent their careers researching the topic of peak performance among athletes, business people, and others:

     “… our capacity to be fully engaged depends on our ability to periodically disengage.”

     “[Periodization is] maximizing performance by alternating periods of activity with periods of rest… ‘work-rest’ ratios lie at the heart of periodization, a training method used by elite athletes throughout the world.”

    —  Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz, in The Power of Full Engagement

      Then there’s this from Evan Robinson’s review of research on working in “crunch mode:”

    “Productivity starts to go down each day after 4 – 6 hours of continuous work. After enough hours, productivity goes to zero or may even become negative due to extra errors & mistakes.”

    Evan Robinson, Why Crunch Mode Doesn’t Work: 6 Lessons http://archives.igda.org/articles/erobinson_crunch.php

    And finally, Loehr and Schwartz remind us of the value of drinking enough water:

    “… research suggests that drinking at least sixty-four ounces of water at intervals throughout the day serves performance in a range of important ways.. Inadequate hydration …. compromises concentration and coordination.”

    —  Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz, The Power of Full Engagement

     So c’mon. You know better!  Make sure you get enough sleep, rest, and water.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Learn more about The Project Management Minimalist Collection

     

     

     

    [This book excerpt was from “Taking Care of Yourself:  Managing Your Priorities, Time, & Energy” in The Project Management Minimalist]

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Go deeper! Check Out These Articles:

  • Jul 31

    Image: Meditating w/headphonesAre you hoping that your summer vacation will bring you true rest and relaxation? … or, better yet, leave you with a little residual peace of mind to carry back to your daily routine? After all, shouldn’t your “recreation” help you “re-create” your sense of well being? These five podcasts can help you step back, get a little perspective and make some specific adjustments in the way you engage the world. Enjoy!

    • 10 Specific Actions That Can Help You Become Happier
      When individual team members are happy, the entire team will likely be happy! But how can you become happier? In this podcast I share 10 specific actions that I’ve taken to create more happiness in my life.
    • Consciously Choose Your Attitude
      A project team’s attitude can make or break the project. In this post learn how you can consciously choose your attitude instead of simply allowing it to overtake you as a collection of random feelings.
    • Practice Mindfulness
      Focus:  the power of mindfulness — the practice of bringing your full awareness into the present moment – and how you can expand upon your inherent ability to practice mindfulness
    • Accept What Is
      You must first accept a difficult situation for what it is before you can handle it effectively. Accept it, see it clearly without denial and hand-wringing, and then you can take appropriate action.
    • Learn to Be Optimistic… Learn to Succeed
      “Cognitive therapy works [by changing] explanatory style from pessimistic to optimistic [providing]… skills for talking to yourself when you fail.” – M. Seligman – This podcast elaborates.

  • Nov 20

    Here we go again.  It’s that time of year when some of the events we attend feel more like duties than celebrations.  Inevitably the guest lists include a few people whose world-views or personalities make us crazy. Still, we’re supposed to enjoy the interactions and emerge from them with relationships intact. (After all, these folks are family or co-workers and they’ll be in our lives, like it or not, for years to come!)

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Dec 7

    Audio: 10 Specific Actions That Can Help You Become Happier
    [Time – 25:10, File Size – 24.6 MB]

    In this post, we focus on the individual instead of the team. After all, teams are made up of individuals. And when individual team members are happy, there’s a good chance the entire team will be  happy! But how can anyone become happier? To begin to answer this question, I share 10 specific actions that I’ve taken to create more happiness in my life. (And I hope you will share your suggestions in the Comments section at the end of this post.)

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Feb 24

    Audio:  Learn to Be Optimistic… Learn to Succeed [Time – 9:35, File Size – 9 MB]

    “One of the most significant findings in psychology in the last twenty years is that individuals can choose the way they think…. On a mechanical level, cognitive therapy works because it changes explanatory style from pessimistic to optimistic, and the change is permanent. It gives you a set of cognitive skills for talking to yourself when you fail.” – Martin Seligman in Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind & Your Life.

    Martin Seligman, former APA president and one of the founders of the research-based Science of Happiness tells us that individuals and teams can learn to be optimistic (and ultimately achieve greater success) by adopting an optimistic explanatory style. In his book Seligman provides examples from sports and business in which teams that have developed optimistic explanatory styles have shown a greater ability to “bounce back” from defeat and return to their winning ways more quickly than their pessimistic competitors. This is great news! But how, exactly, can you change (or control) your explanatory style? Well for starters, you need to understand its key dimensions and how these influence your self talk.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Jan 10

    Audio: Train Yourself to be Happier [Time – 8:40, File Size – 8.1 MB]

    …scientists now believe happiness is a skill that can be learned, just like skiing or playing a musical instrument: With daily practice, you get ever better.” (from Willing Your Way to Happiness,” DenverPost online)

    —————————————————————–

    “For much of its history, psychology has seemed obsessed with human failings and pathology. The very idea of psychotherapy, first formalized by Freud, rests on a view of human beings as troubled creatures in need of repair….A watershed moment arrived in 1998, when University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman, in his presidential address to the American Psychological Association, urged psychology to “turn toward understanding and building the human strengths to complement our emphasis on healing damage…That speech launched today’s positive psychology movement…The University of Pennsylvania offers a master’s degree in the field… focusing on people’s strengths and virtues as a point of departure…Their lab experiments … define not the conditions that induce depraved behavior, but those that foster generosity, courage, creativity, and laughter.”   – from The Science of Happiness: Psychology Explores Humans at Their Best by Craig Lambert in a Harvard Magazine online article:  http://harvardmagazine.com/2007/01/the-science-of-happiness.html

    —————————————————————-

    “I became interested in the Science of Happiness as a result of banging together three ideas that, for me at least, were fairly compelling news. These ideas are:
    1) Researchers using MRI have been able to isolate the portions of the brain that are related to happiness and watch them in operation, in real time.
    2) We’ve learned that the brain is plastic. Throughout our lives, we can make actual physical changes to the brain’s structure depending on how we use it or what we ask our brains to focus on.
    3) The new Science of Happiness (based on Positive Psychology) is developing some science-based tools and methods to enable us to train our brains to help create more happiness in our lives.”

    – Michael Greer in “The Science of Happiness: Part 1, A Little Theory” from The Best Free Training blog.

    —————————————————————–

    OK. So we know that you can train yourself to be happier. But what are some practical ways you can apply this stuff to a project team?

    Greer’s Challenges…

    Read the rest of this entry »

Subscribe RSS/Reader

The Project Management Minimalist ebook

Add to Technorati Favorites

LearnOutLoud.com

Subscribe @ iTunes Michael Greer's Profile
Michael Greer's Facebook profile
    follow me on Twitter
    The PM Minimalist Collection