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When Embracing Failure Is Not Enough: Learn How To Manage It

When Embracing Failure Is Not Enough: Learn How To Manage It

Failure is completely inevitable for people who wants to rise above the rest of the flock. No one has a 100 percent batting average.It’s a simple fact that sometimes when you swing you miss. But those misses are worth it for every time you hit something out of the park. Read below to learn to manage failure on your journey towards success.

1. You’re responsible for your failure

You failed. Accept it and move on. Also accept that, if you play your cards right, you will become better for your failure. Sure, you failed, you know that already, but if you learned enough from the experience you utilized the failure to become a better version of yourself. All successful people fail often; failures are inevitable if you want to find any success. If you don’t wallow in the mistakes you made, one failure can be a stepping stone to many more checkmarks in the win column.

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2. Learn to forgive yourself

Holding onto anger instead of forgiving someone is, as the saying goes, like drinking poison and expecting it to kill the other person. Not forgiving yourself for something you did is even more poisonous. In the end your anger benefits no one, and only hurts you. Accept that you didn’t succeed and learn to forgive yourself. It’s not that hard once you accept that you’re a human being who is not perfect. You wouldn’t expect perfection from anyone else, not even the most successful people in the world, so please don’t hold yourself to such a ridiculously high standard.

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3. Apologize frankly

You’re sorry, right? So admit it. You may not like owning up to your failures (it’s certainly never pleasant) but it is such a release when you finally say you’re sorry. Anyone you might have wronged or done a disservice to will appreciate you for having the courage to apologize. Make sure you know exactly what you’re sorry for and that you express it well. If your apology comes across as insincere, it will only have a neutral or, worse, a negative effect. Tell the recipient of your apology specifically what you did wrong, why you regret it, and what you’ll do to correct it in the future. That way, that person will know you have thought your actions through and truly want to make things right.

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4. Look back on your mistakes

This is one of the most important steps when you want to manage failure. Try to look back on your mistakes through an unbiased lens, analyzing what you did wrong and what you will do differently next time. Don’t be afraid to really pinpoint your missteps; uncovering the mistakes is the only way you’ll learn how to avoid them the next time around. A good trick is to ask someone else who saw where you went wrong what they think you could do better in the future. In the end, looking back on your own follies will always be through prejudiced eyes. Successful people always have their right-hand men and women to let them know where they can improve. Roping in someone else to inform you of what really happened is invaluable when you want to truly move past your failure.

5. Teach Others

You’re not the only person who can learn from your mistake. Teach others to avoid the kinds of errors you made along the way by sharing your story. All the best stories have flawed characters who make mistakes, so your failure could be a powerful speech or essay or presentation that others could learn a lot from. Think about your favorite biographies or autobiographies. They generally feature brilliant, successful individuals who rose above the failures they made in their lives. Maybe there will be a biography about you someday. Your recent failure could make a great chapter.

Featured photo credit: Portrait of thoughtful young handsome businessman via shutterstock.com

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 13, 2020

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed and exhausted.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm; leaving you calmer, in control and a lot less stressed.

1. Write Everything down to Offload Your Mind

The first thing you can do when you begin to feel overwhelmed is to write everything down that is on your mind.

Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s on your mind.

For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind”.

The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will begin the process of removing your feeling of overwhelm. Writing things down can really change your life.

2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

Once you have ‘emptied your head,’ go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. Here’s How to Cultivate a More Meaningful To Do List.

3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

Now here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and us humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take:((Odhable: Genesis of Parkinson’s Law))

    This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad but they stick to the belief it will only take thirty minutes. It’s more wishful thinking than good judgment.

    We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage. If you have estimated that to write five emails that desperately need a reply to be ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

    Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is you put yourself under a little time pressure and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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    When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time and so it plays tricks on us and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our colleagues to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

    Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening and we get more focused and more work done.

    4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

    Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos. Go through your to-dos and schedule time on your calendar for doing those tasks. Group tasks up into similar tasks.

    For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

    Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

    5. Make Decisions

    For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

    If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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    If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss, a colleague and get advice.

    Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You need to make a decision to deal with it and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved. (You can take a look at this guide on How To Make Good Decisions All The Time.)

    I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend of mine of the problem. He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I paid a smaller amount for a couple of months.

    This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

    The first, don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second, there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

    6. Take Some Form of Action

    Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we feel overwhelmed (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

    The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

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    It also means rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible and you can make decisions easier about what to do about them. Often it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be you see you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

    Overwhelm is not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work, it can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

    The Bottom Line

    Make a decision, even if it is to just talk to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something on its own will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution one way or another.

    When you follow these strategies to can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

    More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

    Featured photo credit: Andrei Lazarev via unsplash.com

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