Tis The Season

By Nancy Fredericks


Nancy Fredericks pens Women Lead Change's "Mindful Mondays" column, appearing the second Monday of every month. Fredericks is a preeminent Business Executive Strategist, Author and Thought Leader. Corporations like Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Adobe, Allergan and Transamerica have retained her to optimize individual and organizational performance. You can find her at www.thrivewithnancy.com. The views of Nancy Frederick's blogs represent her own and not necessarily the views of Women Lead Change.

Overstressed, overloaded with not a minute to spare.

Yes, it’s that time of year again. You know, the one where your personal life starts trampling and overrunning the business world, and the end-of-year frenetic rush leaves you with too much to do and not enough time to complete everything.

And you and I both know that we girls’ reign over “doing” and can’t help being in the middle of everything. So, what are we to do?

I’m glad you asked because I have a thousand suggestions that work for me…. But I promise I’ll keep it to a couple.

Your Secret Mantra: Creating mantras aids in tapping into your most vital overcoming time tactic. Once determined, they are used to support your brain as a magic stress reducer.

Steal mine if you want, or create one of your own.

What’s mine? I have more than enough time to accomplish everything essential for me to achieve. Notice the emphasis on everything essential?

1. I hope you realize the tacit message.… not all you believe needs completing does! You’re often   adding bells and whistles and making everything top drawer, but all of that isn’t always necessary. 

Perfection is a hard taskmaster. Not only that, but perfection leads to higher stress, burnout, and worry. It has you obsessing over the minutia of every single detail and, more often than not, not knowing when to stop.

2. Ready to take this concept into action? Keep speaking your mantra until your pulse slows down and you begin breathing naturally. That has you sinking back into your most productive mindset, where your brain is fully activated. What mantra do you want to create for yourself before you need it? Have it ready to call on your powerful stress-releasing words to transform your career and life and energy when needed. It works.

Tighten Up Work Production: Statistics agree with most employees who believe they’re putting in more hours than ever before. And they are. As studies show, they’re logging more than 50 hours per week. But they’re not constructive hours, with less than 40 percent of a worker’s time spent productively.1

In the face of the great employment shuffle or employee exodus, there’s no question that business is adding pressure on its remaining workforce and leaving employees scrambling to produce higher levels than ever before.

All of this means it’s a new day. If you want 2022 to be a better, less stressful year, you must measure yourself by different standards.

For sure, you don’t want to concentrate your energy on work that doesn’t tie into the company’s strategic initiatives or generate profits.

So, how do you determine what your priorities should and needs to be? You certainly don’t want to be seen as that sluggish 40 percenter, do you?

Challenge yourself: Are you simply doing without connecting your action with your strategic gift—your brain?

Yes. Business is a hierarchal governing system by design, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t render a respectful inquiry when you disagree with senior management.

Once you’ve identified your top work priorities, it’s time to tighten up your processes by:

  • Ask yourself: Is this the highest and best use of my time for the company right now?
  • Focus on completing one project before moving on to the next. You lose 3 minutes for every 32 minutes when you switch tasks.2
  • Get creative regarding how you cut down on your interruptions:
  1. Frequent interruptions result in feelings of reduced productivity. Can you relate to this?
  2. Research shows that you lose around 23 minutes to refocus3 after you've gotten distracted. Does this seem accurate to you?
  3. A worker is usually interrupted about 4 to 12 times every hour. That’s at least one interruption every 15 minutes.4 How does this make you feel?
  • Work off a strategic “to-do” list as it speeds up the switch-point between projects. It is said that this one habit alone increases your productivity and output by 25 percent.5 That seems a high number to me, but I’ll incorporate anything that will give me back time.

2022 will not be a turnaround year for you unless you commit to yourself and take on new thinking and producing habits. What are you going to do for your greater good?


Share this article

Back to Blog

Sign up for Insights!

Subscribe to our email list and stay updated on everything Women Lead Change.

Enewsletter Sign up
A group of hands all in for unity

Become a Sponsor

Corporate support spurs gender equity. Professional development for your teams.

Learn More


Sign up for Insights

Get our latest leadership development and insights delivered to your inbox.