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9 Ways Successful People Deal With Anger

9 Ways Successful People Deal With Anger

Conventional wisdom teaches us that anger is uncivilized, unsophisticated and socially unacceptable. Its stigma is hard to escape. If you’ve ever been guilty of an ‘outburst’ at work, on the sporting field or even worse, at your child’s soccer match, it’s likely that you’ve built yourself a reputation as someone who can’t control their emotions, even if it was out of character.

However, a research conducted by Henry Evans and Colm Foster, authors of “Step Up: Lead in Six Moments That Matter” and experts in the field of emotional intelligence showed that high-performers experience and harness their full spectrum of emotions, including anger to find success and achieve their objectives.

By harnessing the positive powers of anger, successful people are more focussed, more assertive and more confident. Successful people deal with anger by cultivating a high emotional IQ through success-breeding habits, routines and practices like these.

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In Their Head:

1. They accept that anger is natural and healthy

When you recognise anger as an essential and necessary emotion, you stop being afraid of it. Only when you’re no longer afraid of it can you start managing its manifestations.

Fear breeds defensive thoughts and behaviours, but when you embrace something, you put yourself in charge. Being in charge of your anger allows you to express it calmly and constructively.

2. They focus on ‘I’ statements

Most people experiencing anger talk in ‘you’ statements like “you are making me late” or “you still haven’t finished the report that was due this morning.” This type of language naturally makes other people defensive and less likely to want to help you out.

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By talking in ‘I’ statements instead, the people you’re talking to are more likely to empathise and want to help. Talking in ‘I’ statements will also help you focus on how to fix the problem rather than just complaining that the problem exists. Try these instead: “I don’t like to be late, it reflects poorly on our team” and “I really need that report, is there anything I can do to help.”

3. They avoid negative self-talk

There’s nothing wrong with being self critical, but when your negative self-talk holds you back from personal, emotional and professional growth you need to act.

When you embrace your imperfections you’re more likely to think about how to improve, rather than what’s ‘wrong’ with you, which over a long period of time, can lead to stress and depression. Take a more positive and constructive view of yourself and you’ll achieve more and be happier.

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At Work:

4. They focus on the problem, not the person

Hanlon’s Razor states: “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” In other words, if someone’s done wrong by you it’s likely they didn’t mean it so lighten up!

Accidents and mistakes happen everyday and while it’s easy to blame, getting angry at the person you believe responsible is not going to fix the problem. Stop wasting your time with un-constructive finger pointing and get on with business.

5. They don’t hold a grudge

Holding a grudge doesn’t achieve anything. Moreover, it takes energy and effort to hold something against someone which over time, wears you down and contaminates your mind, leading to a negative world view. Let it go. Forgive and forget and be happier.

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6. They never send an email while angry

The way you communicate with people at work can impact your future career prospects, and email is a permanent record of your communication with the potential to make or break a career. Anger impairs your judgement, which can lead you to write something in an email that you wouldn’t when you’re in a better frame of mind.

If you need to write something, draft an email with an empty ‘To:’ field, save the email as a draft and look at it again tomorrow. Also, checkout number 9 on this list.

At Home:

7. They meditate

Meditation can help you deal with stress and anxiety which are precursors to anger. Regular meditation regulates levels of cortisol, a hormone released during times of stress. It also boosts serotonin, a so-called ‘feel good’ hormone that balances your emotions and can make you more aware of your feelings.

8. They exercise

It’s widely recognised that regular exercise boosts energy levels and aids focus. Researchers have also found that it can help you manage your anger. Studies have shown that regular exercise dissipates feelings of anger and reduces the risk of it bubbling to the surface. So, get running.

9. They keep a journal

Keeping a journal is an alternative and healthy outlet for your emotions, including anger. A journal is a great place to get your thoughts, feelings, ideas and emotions out without the risk of hurting anyone and without fear of judgement.

More by this author

9 Ways Successful People Deal With Anger 15 Signs You Will Become A Great Leader

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right for You to Boost Productivity?

The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right for You to Boost Productivity?

If you spend any time at all researching life hacks, you’ve probably heard of the famous Pomodoro Technique.

Created in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro Technique is one of the more popular time management life hacks used today. But this method isn’t for everyone, and for every person who is a passionate adherent of the system, there is another person who is critical of the results.

Is the Pomodoro Technique right for you? It’s a matter of personal preference. But if you are curious about the benefits of using the technique, this article will break down the basic information you will need to decide if this technique is worth trying out.

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management philosophy that aims to provide the user with maximum focus and creative freshness, thereby allowing them to complete projects faster with less mental fatigue.

The process is simple:

For every project throughout the day, you budget your time into short increments and take breaks periodically.

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You work for 25 minutes, then take break for five minutes.

Each 25-minute work period is called a “pomodoro”, named after the Italian word for tomato. Francesco Cirillo used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato as his personal timer, and thus the method’s name.

After four “pomodoros” have passed, (100 minutes of work time with 15 minutes of break time) you then take a 15-20 minute break.

Every time you finish a pomodoro, you mark your progress with an “X”, and note the number of times you had the impulse to procrastinate or switch gears to work on another task for each 25-minute chunk of time.

How the Pomodoro Technique boosts your productivity

Frequent breaks keep your mind fresh and focused. According to the official Pomodoro website, the system is easy to use and you will see results very quickly:

“You will probably begin to notice a difference in your work or study process within a day or two. True mastery of the technique takes from seven to twenty days of constant use.”

If you have a large and varied to-do list, using the Pomodoro Technique can help you crank through projects faster by forcing you to adhere to strict timing.

Watching the timer wind down can spur you to wrap up your current task more quickly, and spreading a task over two or three pomodoros can keep you from getting frustrated.

The constant timing of your activities makes you more accountable for your tasks and minimizes the time you spend procrastinating.

You’ll grow to “respect the tomato”, and that can help you to better handle your workload.

Successful people who love it

Steven Sande of The Unofficial Apple Weblog is a fan of the system, and has compiled a great list of Apple-compatible Pomodoro tools.

Before he started using the technique, he said,

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“Sometimes I couldn’t figure out how to organize a single day in my calendar, simply because I would jump around to all sorts of projects and never get even one of them accomplished.”

Another proponent of the Pomodoro Technique is Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal. Shellenbarger tried out this system along with several other similar methods for time management, and said,

“It eased my anxiety over the passing of time and also made me more efficient; refreshed by breaks, for example, I halved the total time required to fact-check a column.”

Any cons for the Pomodoro Technique?

Despite the number of Pomodoro-heads out there, the system isn’t without its critics. Colin T. Miller, a Yahoo! employee and blogger, tried using the Pomodoro Technique and had some issues:[1]

“Pomodoros are an all or nothing affair. Either you work for 25 minutes straight to mark your X or you don’t complete a pomodoro. Since marking that X is the measurable sign of progress, you start to shy away from engaging in an activity if it won’t result in an X. For instance…meetings get in the way of pomodoros. Say I have a meeting set for 4:30pm. It is currently 4:10pm, meaning I only have 20 minutes between now and the meeting…In these instances I tend to not start a pomodoro because I won’t have enough time to complete it anyway.”

Another critic is Mario Fusco, who argues that the Pomodoro Technique is…well…sort of ridiculous:[2]

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“Aren’t we really able to keep ourselves concentrated without a timer ticketing on our desk?… Have you ever seen a civil engineer using a timer to keep his concentration while working on his projects?… I think that, like any other serious professional, I can stay concentrated on what I am doing for hours… Bring back your timer to your kitchen and start working in a more professional and effective way.”

Conclusion

One of the best things about the Pomodoro Technique is that it’s free. Yeah, you can fork over some bills to get a tomato-shaped timer if you want… or you can use any timer program on your computer or phone. So even if you try it and hate it, you haven’t lost any cash.

The process isn’t ideal for every person, or in any line of work. But if you need a systematic way to tackle your daily to-do list, the Pomodoro Technique may fit your needs.

If you want to learn more about the Pomodoro Technique, check out this article: How to Make the Pomodoro Technique More Productive

Reference

[1] Aspirations of a Software Developer: A Month of the Pomodoro Technique
[2] InfoQ: A Critique of the Pomodoro Technique

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