Archive for the ‘Back to work Blues’ Category

Do You Have a Happiness Plan?

February 3, 2009

A what?! That’s right: A Happiness Plan….

February is here and for many, that sometimes brings the “February Blahs”. I have to confess, for me and for many others I know, February arrived a bit early. It came in November. The headlines, the economy, the cold….


But I try to walk my talk and being stuck in a rut is no fun. So I dug into my coaching toolbox and pulled out all the strategies I know and developed my own personalized “Happiness Plan”. It’s been working! My ‘mojo’ is alive and well. In my ‘plan’ I’ve intentionally set out to do more of the things that energize and engage me more…and have paid attention and incorporated ways to better navigate the stuff that brings me down. A lot of inner game work (EQ) for sure —  but also a whole lot of verrrry simple strategies easy to incorporate.

Speaking of Happiness….I’ll be doing that in an upcoming Webinar called: “Beat the Work Life Blahs” on Feb 19th at 12:30 EST.  It is sponsored by CICA (Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants).

Read more (and/or register) here!

I’ll be offering tips on how to develop more resilience and optimism in light of the challenges many of us are facing in the current economy.

Come back and visit again as I will share some of the ideas presented right here in this blog.

Till then….here’s to your TGIM work-life!


Help Make My Day – Happiness is Contagious

December 5, 2008

Have you heard? There’s another virus threat going around. But no worries. It’s actually a good virus. It’s called the happiness bug. Have you caught it yet? At risk of getting it? If not…bet you wanna know how to…:)


(Photo courtesy of pinklillyblossom on Flickr)

New research from Harvard University and the University of California have just released a new study that confirms that happiness loves company — and can be spread around just like a virus.  It’s in all the papers today. See here for one article from the Globe and Mail.

According to the research, you can catch “happiness”  from people you don’t even know and spread it around to others.  Sometimes just a smile will do it. It can have a ripple effect on a social stratasphere.

Given the doom’n’gloom of the economy these days  – I think this is GREAT news. And can be deployed as a major TGIM strategy. Simply start to smile more and see what happens. You can make a difference.  

Go on – try it. You’ll be doing the world some good


It also makes you wonder: are you hanging around the right people? Are you hanging with happy people? Are you the kind of person someone will want to hang out with too?

Hmmm…food for thought.

To a happy TGIM worklife



Labour Day: Back so soon?!

September 1, 2008

It’s Labour Day. How’d that happen so fast? Wasn’t it just here yesterday??? Hmmm….somehow I don’t really feel like labouring today. How about you?

Actually, I’ve got some conflicting feelings. Part of me wants to get going, get focused and roar into the new season with gusto. At the same time, a substantial part of me is still resisting. I’m not ready to let go of the summer just yet. Too many ‘summer-like’ things I still want to enjoy. And, I’ve geared down a bit this summer and not 100% sure I’m ready to gear back up.

Or maybe I am.

I just took a few minutes to do a “Labour Day” reflection in my journal. The idea was to rev up my “work-life mojo”. I asked myself three questions:

1) What do I want to celebrate and remember about Summer ’08 (work, personal, other)?

2) What am I looking forward to in the coming season (work, personal, other)?

3) What do I need to do to keep my work mojo alive and energized as I say goodbye to summer and hello to the fall?

A lot came up for me with that reflection. I realized that I had a fantabulous summer — it’s energizing in itself to remember the good times rather than dwell on the fact that it’s coming to an end. I also remembered that I have fantastic opportunities ahead — and lots to look forward to both in my work life and personally. I’m still reflecting on that third question. For me it’s going to be something about structures to maintain the balance — so that I don’t get too carried away in the rush of the season and forget to build in those ‘gear-down’ times that I so enjoyed this summer.

Focusing my attention this way has already helped shift my mindset and how I feel about completing summer and heading into the next season. By intentionally paying attention and celebrating the joys I’ve had and remembering the meaningful opportunities ahead of me, I’ve given my work-life mojo a  boost. Not complicated stuff. Sometimes it’s just about how we choose to focus — what we choose to pay attention to. It’s very ‘EQ’ish wouldn’t you say?

In the spirit of Labour Day, here are a few past posts that you might enjoy as you get ready for the new season:

1) Beat the “Back to Work September Blues”

2) Hello September: Random thoughts from others in answer to: How do you feel about September coming

3) Is Your Work a Job, Career or Calling? Food for thought if you are in the mood to reflect on what work means to you.

How about you? I’d love to hear from you — about your thoughts, strategies and ideas as you head into this new season and get ready to bid summer ’08 adieu!

Happy Labour Day and to a TGIM Work-life!


Is TGIM turning over a new leaf….er… page on the calendar?

May 19, 2008

This just in: Mondays are out and Tuesdays are in!

Well, in Britain that is…

The Globe and Mail ran a brief on Friday revealing some new stats: According to a recent survey conducted by a company called Peninsula in Britain, nearly half (48%) of British workers now consider Tuesday to be the most productive day of the week, beating out Monday for the first time. 

Apparantly this is a reversal from five years ago, when 36% chose Monday and only 24% said Tuesday was the hardest day of the week.

Why the switch? According to Deb Gibbons, head of employee relations for Peninsula, Mondays tend to be the day for more socializing, catching up, greater levels of sickness and absenteeism, etc… “the real work gets done on Tuesday”.

Absenteeism, sickness…..on Mondays?????  Well, that’s not good! Sounds like a call for some TGIM boosting wouldn’t you say???

So maybe we’re not so passe after all. Maybe I’ll keep the name of this blog afterall. TGIT (thank goodness it’s Tuesday) just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

In any case, wishing you a TGIM day on this lovely holiday weekend Monday  (in Canada anyways).


Back to TGIM Worklife home page

Back to Work Blues?

January 2, 2008

Ahhh….Jan 2….time to go back to work for many. How’s that feel? Even when you love your job (or at least like it) returning after work after the seasonal holidays (or any break – including weekends) can be difficult for many. I recently heard on a TV news report that about a third of Canadians feel some sort of ‘blues’ heading back to work after the  holidays. I don’t know what the real stats are but I do know that a  lot of people have been landing on my blog as a result of doing online searches for ‘back to work blues’.

If this is you, you might find these articles helpful if you haven’t already read them (they have been previously been posted here on this site).

1) Beat the Back to Work Blues — Tips

2) Thank G-d It’s Monday – a Globe and Mail article prompted and supported by yours truly with a client of mine profiled.

3) You may also want to take time to do your New Year reflections — see the list of questions below from a post a couple days ago for some prompts. When I did mine I got very energized for the new year…and I had just been finishing off the flu so wasn’t really my energetic self. Reminding yourself of your accomplishments and what worked — well it’s very inspiring.  And if you’re into New Years resolutions and goal-setting — all good to energize you… you might want to read this article as well (also referenced again in yesterday’s post). 

 As for me, I’m easing back into work mode – I don’t go full out yet till next Monday but I am dipping my toe into the work waters this week ….(writing, planning, etc.) — luckily it’s stuff that I truly do enjoy and choose to do. 

Chin up — good things are to come! To a TGIM worklife!


Tips: Manage stress in the last stretch to year-end/holidays

December 13, 2007

Sigh. Catch my breath. Running, racing….doing, doing, doing. It’s the final stretch of the year….and just a week and half or so to the holidays.  Lots to do. Thought I’d share some tips and ideas from my experience in navigating the demands of this busy, busy season.

1) Time to Triage (when prioritization just isn’t going to cut it): Prioritization may work during the regular course of the year but at this time of the year everything is AMPLIFIED! Learn lessons from folks who work in emergency rooms. While everything might seem like a priority – you don’t have the luxury to address and do everything at once. So be extra diligent in discerning what must be done first and what truly needs to call your attention right now.

2) Save your brain cells (and energy) and write it down! It takes a lot of energy and focus to keep everything you need to do in your head.  Write it down. Keep a list with you…and save your brain cells to focus on what you really need to focus on.

3) Learn to say “No”. With so many requests and demands this time of the year, it seems impossible to say yes to everything. This is another way to practise your ‘triage’ strategy. Say yes when you truly must or want to — but discern and learn to say no when and where you can. For future reference on this topic (when you come up for air) — see the article I wrote in October (“Are You Addicted to the Yes Habit“).

4) Save Some of the Fun for January/February: Everyone tries to squeeze in the celebrations and get-togethers in December. How about saving some fun for the Jan/Feb blahs? I do this with one of my clients whom I work with regularly (a team of great folks). We plan our ‘December’ lunch for after the holidays in January when everyone can truly enjoy themselves instead of feeling like it’s just one more of the gazillion holiday events squeezing the calendars. Besides, we all need a little something in the new year to beat the January and February blahs. 

5) Take Care of Yourself! With all the running around and extra stress, who needs to get sick? This is the time to self nurture and ensure you are doing all you can to prevent getting run down. Eat well, sleep well, dress warm! Whatever it takes…

6) Be Mindful of Your Attitude. This is just as important as the other ideas above. For more on this, see the post I wrote on Sunday: “T’is the Season of Rush

If you have any tips of your own – pls write and share! 

In the meantime – tnx for stopping by. Means a lot to me this time of year when we are all so time-crunched.

To a TGIM worklife and happy holiday season!


If You Attended Today’s CICA Webinar….

October 29, 2007

Thank you to everyone who attended the Webinar I presented today at the CICA exploring TGIM worklife with Emotional Intelligence! It was a great turn-out (more than 400 attendees!) and based on the questions I received at the end – a very enthusiastic group indeed.

I thought I’d post the links to some of the articles I mentioned that might be of interest (rather than having you search for them). So here are a few:

1) Emotional Intelligence at Work — an article I wrote for HR Reporter that provides an at-a-glance summary of some of the concepts I explored today about EQ.

2) The Lizard who wouldn’t eat…. About using your Signature Strengths to feel gratified at work.

3) Tips to Make the “Bigness of Monday” Just a Little Bit Lighterwhen you could use a little boost. And the Globe and Mail article “Thank God it’s Monday“.

4) Finding Flow: Intense Work but Without the Struggle

5) Is HR Prepared to Keep the Keepers — another article I wrote for HR Reporter on employee engagemeng for high performers and high potentials.

6) Employee Engagement – Respect

AND….there was one participant who asked about self employment as a career option…so for those that might be interested, my reflections starting my 10th year in biz

AND…there’s much more so I invite you all to have a look at the blog…and visit again! Also – I did mention that I’d be introducing a tele-class program in January for leaders who want to develop more resilience at work (to navigate and deal with the ever-increasing load and work-life hurdles we talked about).

More about that later but if interested, please let me know by email or a call and I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop as I confirm the details (with no obligation of course).

Of course, if interested in exploring how you can learn more about developing a TGIM worklife for yourself and/or others you work with….please do get in touch! I’d love to hear from you.

To a TGIM worklife!


If you are new to my blog …

September 24, 2007

That was fun! I just saw my two minute speal on CBC’s Living in Toronto. The end frame invited people to my blog. Given there may be newcomers to my blog interested in Monday morning and/or back to work tips (after Mondays or holidays), I thought I’d post a few links for easy access to some of the more popular posts on that topic. 

Here’s a few (you can see more by clicking on the Monday Morning or TGIM Mindset categegory):

Tips to make the Big-ness of Monday just a little bit lighter

Finding flow: Intense Work but without the Struggle

Beat Back to Work September Blues

Now before I give you the wrong impression – know that this blog is about much more than ‘beating the work blues’:(…… have a browse around…or if you want to read an at-a-glance description see “About TGIM Work-life Blog”

In any case – aren’t you glad it’s Monday?

If not – then  you better keep reading and visit often! Glad to have you!


Hello September!

September 3, 2007

It’s Monday but most of us are off of work today because it’s Labour Day. Isn’t that a  bit ironic. Labour Day – yet we don’t work:)

In any case, in honour of Labour Day I pondered changing my blog name to “TGIM Labour-Life“. But notice how ridiculous that sounds…so nixed that idea!!

Since my last post a couple weeks ago (Beat the Back to September Blues), I’ve been asking others how they feel about September coming. Here’s a sprinkling of some of the responses I got from my Facebook friends. Notice a lot of references to ‘back to school’ – but these were all adults…..some parents, some not…but that ‘back to school’ mindset forever ingrained:)

Sharp Pencil

(Photo courtesy of Crab Mind on Flickr)

Makes me feel like routines will start all over again (homework, cold weather)…

“Kids back at school means I get to do homework all over again!”

“Makes me want to look for slowcooker recipes.”

“Excited. Less humid, still warm, and still like buying new school supplies…”

“Love it. Makes me want to go out and stock up on new notebooks and sharp pencils. No matter how many years it’s been since I was a student, September always feels like the start of a new year. “

And one still digging in the heels of resistance said: “Downright depressed. Where did summer go?”

As for me, I’m getting into the swing of it. Booking up meetings and projects for the fall – and generally just focusing on the things that I appreciate about autumn. In that spirit, I’m sharing a little quoteI stumbled across that I think is very timely:

 “There ought to be gardens for all months of the year, in which, severally, things of beauty may be then in season.” – Sir Francis Bacon.

I like the sounds of that….if your work-life (and personal life) was a garden what are you planting and what are you looking forward to reap and harvest that is uniquely special for this season?

Would love to hear from you!

To Labour Day and a TGIM work-life!



This just in: Free the humans!

August 20, 2007

If you read my post yesterday, I ended with a call for ideas on how to ease towards and back into September and work mode….with more joy and less angst. Well, this just in: Two colleagues in the coaching world that I respect very much are starting a movement called “Free the Humans” — and kicking it off on Labour Day with a “Free the Humans” be-in picnic!

 According to Darlene Russell and Charmaine Sherlock — the co-founders of this event and social movement — “the intent is to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the famous Summer of Love and to mark our reluctant return to work”.

Darlene says on their blog: “We thought this would be the perfect occasion to introduce Free the Humans, the new social movement committed to freeing the human spirit and liberating the imagination at work.”

Very coooooool. So if you are anywhere near the Hamilton area on Labour Day – mark your calendars and check it all out at their blog:

And if you’re not from the area…..stay tuned in because as Darlene said, this is about much more than a one day event: it’s a social movement and they inviting others to help co-create a new way of being at work.

Gotta like the sound of that!

Also worth noting, Darlene and Charmaine are also offering a fantabulous program for organizations wanting to perk up their people with their unique coffee breaks. If you’ve ever witnessed Darlene in action with her creativity, well, you’ll know you’re in for something special!  It’s all on their blog – so check it out!

To freeing the humans and a TGIM work life!