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Green and pink notes with pins

Here are a few professional and personal tips to keep front and center on your radar as you go about your day.

What to Do

♥  Negotiate.  In their book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement without Giving In, Roger Fisher, William Ury and Bruce Patton share the art of personal and professional negotiation through their proven strategy to work through conflicts.  Whether Getting to Yes is with your boss, your neighbor, your partner, your parents or even your kids, the ultimate goal is yes.  Stop looking at what you can’t do.  Shift your mindset and start repositioning yourself to offset conflict.  Baby steps.

♥  Give praise.  Yes, giving praise in the literal sense is a good thing.  Praise your guy for washing your car or your wife for throwing you a surprise birthday party.  Praise your kids for doing their chores.  Praise a friend who does something kind for you.  However, I’m talking about giving praise to God for the many blessings He has brought into your life.   Forget about what isn’t going well in this very moment and focus on the blessings instead. Take time daily to stop and give praise for the things He has done.

♥  The early bird gets the worm.  Start the workday early and take advantage of the extra time to delete old emails, put away files, organize your work space by filing items or pitching items you no longer need.  Take a few moments to just be still before the busyness and craziness of the workday begins.  Try going to bed a little earlier to feel more rested and refreshed and to awaken with a new pep in your step.

♥  Read it.  Whatever it is that you do at work, or hobbies you enjoy in your spare time, there is some form of trade publication, articles, websites, blogs, etc. that helps you stay current and maintain a passionate interest.  Take a few minutes daily, or pause weekly, to read and catch up.  This way you will always be “in the know” and you won’t feel overwhelmed trying to set aside a huge block of time just to get current.

What Not to Do

♦  Complain.   Complaining, to me, is the same as whining.  It annoys people and in all honesty, what does complaining get you?  Absolutely nothing.  Other than the label that there goes so and so, he/she is always complaining about something.  That certainly is not a label you want for yourself.  Is it?  I didn’t think so.  If something is wrong, fix it.  Devise a solution.  If you can’t come up with one then accept whatever it is you want to complain about and move on.  Stop complaining.

♦  Throw in the towel.  Life is challenging.  Life isn’t always fair.  However, we can’t give up.  Setbacks occur.  Try a new approach. Don’t give up!  Opportunities always come out of challenges, struggles and trials.  Seek advice and guidance from a mentor or a counselor for additional help if you feel stuck.

♦  Overreact.  We live in an instant society.  For many, every thought is instantly verbalized, tweeted, texted, Instagramed, etc. for the whole world to see.  Inevitably the next step is to see a new follow-up tweet, text, Instagram apologizing for the prior message! Overreacting is blowing things totally out of proportion by reacting or responding in an inappropriate manner.   Yes, we all overreact at times but I have witnessed people do it over what I consider minutiae.  If you are going to overreact, stop.  Take a moment. Try very hard to compose yourself.  Think about what you are going to say before you start speaking, tweeting, texting, Instagraming.  Please.  Stop.  The.  Drama.

♦  Hold onto blame.  People can hurt us.  People will hurt us.  Life tosses many curve balls our way.  Scary and unexpected things happen.  As humans, we always cherish the good and hate the bad yet somehow we find ways to hold onto the negative.  It tends to lurk in the back of our minds and there are some people who love to play that record over and over and over repeatedly.  Let the negatives propel you further. Learn something from the mistakes, hard times, curve balls, missed opportunities, poor decisions, bad choices that you made or that were made and done to you.  Practice forgiveness of others, and most importantly, forgive yourself.  The past is over.  Let it be.

What are some items on your To Do and Not to Do list?  Please share.