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Getting Change Done: How to Deal with Resisting Change

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Getting Change Done: How to Deal with Resisting Change


    What do getting out of a bad job, leaving a bad marriage, and abandoning a really bad friendship all have in common?

    That’s right: they all require the thing we dread to do as human beings: Change.

    A change in perspective. A change in mindset. A change in thinking.

    We resist change, and we fear change, and we detest change, because no matter how bad the status quo may get, the fear of the unknown is enough to keep us at bay even if that unknown is the best thing that could happen to us.

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    We prefer the familiarity of the discomfort and pain to the uncertainty of a better life.

    This resistance to change kept me at bay for far too long at a miserable job and I have a feeling that if you are reading this too, it may be keeping you stuck too.

    So now that we can admit to our resistance to change, what on earth do we do about it?

    Well, you first have to better understand it before you do anything about it. Why do we resist change?

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    For one, we like normalcy and routine. A lot! It’s uncanny how well routine and human beings go together! We believe routine does us good. We therefore protect routine by avoiding change. We believe all change is a big bad scary monster waiting to jump out at us!

    I have a little secret for you, my dear: Not all change is created equal.

    Remind yourself that not all change is created equal, so what if you had a horrible experience with change last time, it is completely independent of your experience with a different change next time. The results of each change will depend on where you are in your life, and how you go about choosing to change. They depend on your reasons behind wanting this change, and also your reasons for resisting it. They depend on whether this is a change that impacts a small part of your lifestyle or a change on the grand scale of aligning with your life purpose.

    Analyze the change. Understand the change. Embrace and envision the change.

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    It is an amazing self-discovery process as you learn more how to break down your own resistance against change.

    Here are some examples of the different types of change you can experience:

    • Bad change: Going from doing well to doing poorly, financially-speaking.
    • Good change: Going from a sedentary lifestyle to waking up your body by adding in an exercise and healthy eating program.
    • Really bad change: Going from safe smart driving to fast and obnoxious driving just to be “hip” and “cool” among friends.
    • Really good change: Going from feeling sorry and trapped in your job to believing that you are unique and can offer plenty to the world, with all your strengths and talents, thank you very much!

    So you see, not all change is created equal, and some change can be oh so good for you. So be open to change! Stop being so terrified of change!

    In fact, stop being so scared and terrified all the time!

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    What if you had a momentary paradigm shift and chose to believe, just for kicks, the exact opposite of the norm: that your routine and boring job is actually killing you, little by little, and that only a drastic change in the direction of your values and your beliefs can save you?

    What if you thought this way for one day? Would you be more willing to give the right change a try then?

    Remember, not all change is created equal, and the right change can do wonders for your soul and your bottom line. Just think about it.

    (Photo credit: Changing Tree via Shutterstock)

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    Published on September 21, 2021

    How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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    How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

    The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

    In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

    1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

    Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

    But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

    Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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    Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

    Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

    While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

    Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

    2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

    At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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    Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

    Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

    Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

    McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

    From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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    3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

    An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

    McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

    Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

    Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

    Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

    So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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    The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

    If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

    Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

    Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

    Reference

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