Stress Do’s and Don’ts

Question and Answer with Michelle Mcculllough

 

 

 

 

A study done by the American Psychological Association found that 48% of respondents noted that they feel like their stress has increased over the last five years. With the everyday roles and responsibilities on our plates, it’s no wonder we’re stressed and overwhelmed.  But too much stress can lead to sickness, burnout and even depression and anxiety. The blog today features One DON’Ts and Three DO’s to help destress when things get tough.

Let’s dive in, when you’re stressed, what’s on your Don’t List?
Michelle: Number one hopefully happens before you get stressed.  Don’t Over-Schedule Yourself. Some of our stress is self Imposed, make sure you give time in your schedule for relaxation, sleep, etc.

Now some of that sounds easier said than done. Let’s talk about what is on the DO list to help other and yourself in stressful times
One of the Do’s is to focus on the present.  There may be a lot of challenges in the future, but the present is all that is in our control, we need to spend more time focusing on what we can control and let the future come what may.  The old adage that worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere, is true.  Spend your time thinking about the things in your control.

Let’s go to a question to get the next do.

Question: Many of our viewers have taxing jobs and a lot of personal responsibilities what would you recommend they do first?  Ask for help.  I think you’re right, the demands we have on our lives AND the worry combined are a lot so we need to not go it alone.  Whether you’re a CEO or a stay at home parent we all need help with our responsibilities.  So whether it’s hiring good help or trading with friends – not only does it lift a burden, but it helps us remember that we’re not alone.  Community and solidarity are great antidotes to stress.

The final tip I have for you to de-stress is to create a “Play List”.  In my book The Make It Happen Blueprint, one of the ways we tackle the feeling of being overwhelmed is through things that bring us joy.  It can be making time for a hobby, reading a good book, or even learning something new. I recommend to corporate clients and high performance individuals to make sure they do something every day that takes their mind off the stress and also helps them develop personally with things they enjoy.

Increased productivity in the Work Place

Tips on How To Increase Productivity in the Work Place

 

 

 

A study done by Basex Research shows that if you’re “in the zone” on project or deadline and you get interrupted, it takes 20 minutes to get back to where you were.  That adds up to a lot of wasted time in a day and drain on company resources. With the number of demands on our time and the distractions that come every day, it can be hard to increase productivity without burning out, our next guest,

Today on the blog we will be talking about three productivity tips to help you streamline your work week and increase your effectiveness.

It seems like there are always demands on our time. My number one tip for increased productivity is to first and foremost, eliminate distractions.  Turn off notifications on your phone and your computer when you’re in the middle of time sensitive or focus required tasks. If you have a coworker who always messages you on the company chat, mark yourself as busy.  If you have people who interrupt you in your office, put a sign on your door or cubicle when you’re in the middle of a project that needs your full attention.   Take control of your focus, no one else will do it for you.

Even if the distractions are gone, some employees still struggle to be effective in their workday.  My advice for those who could use additional help would be to marry your to do list with your calendar for routine tasks.  Here’s what I mean, most people keep a to do list, even in their own minds, but they are constantly putting routine tasks on their lists. Most employees and business owners have routine tasks that need to be done daily, weekly, monthly or annually. Go through your routine tasks and create action lists of items that you do on a regular basis, and then schedule appointments for those items in your calendar.  If you have a report do every Friday morning, block out time Thursday afternoon to complete it.  If you regular post or comment on Social Media, schedule time every day in your calendar to create that routine.

In my book I talk about weekly planning and how it is the key to success. I have had a few people ask me what weekly planning looks like for me.
Plan is the four letter word for success.  We may not want to spend time planning each week, but when you do, you’re much more likely to be in control of your clock.  Each week ask yourself, what worked this week, what didn’t work this week and what needs to change.  Once you’ve identified your routine action items and the days and times you complete them, you may find that things need to shift or move.  Take 30 minutes Friday afternoon to plan for your week ahead and you’ll get more done, and have more peace with the clock.

In my book I share a number of other productivity tips such as the how’s and why’s of delegating and there’s a whole chapter dedicated to time management.

How to rock Video Marketing for Your Business

Question and Answer with Michelle Mccullough

 

 

 

 

Last weekend video marketers and YouTube stars met in Provo at CVX live, a social media conference that focuses sharing the latest in on online video.  Today on the blog we will discuss four video marketing trends that you can apply in your business.

Video seems like it’s not going away. This year I did a lot about video and I would like to share.  Number One, while most people were at the conference to learn about YouTube, don’t rule out Facebook Watch.  Facebook watch can be a great way for your small business to shine on a every changing platform.  You can create playlists, release a video series like a podcast and more.  AND since Facebook is caring a lot about making Facebook Watch work, videos are doing better in the news feed algorithm.

Let’s jump into a few frequently asked questions to help us learn more about video.

Question #1: If you do want to dive into video, what’s working in terms of length?
Michelle: YouTube measures two things, views and watch time.  While some people consume short form content, longer format videos that are between 8-12 minutes and maybe even more help your watch time, especially if the information is valuable and entertaining.  RIP Vine, people want more. More watch time also can increase ad revenue.

Question #2:
What would you say is the one thing video marketers need to know before starting or revamping a video strategy?
Michelle: This isn’t necessarily a trend, but it was repeated as a success principle. Consistency is still KING. Entertaining is good, humor is good, interesting is good, but if you aren’t consistently putting out content you can be easily forgotten when there are a number of other people out there who are producing content, almost daily.  That may be hard to maintain for some businesses but always recommend that at least weekly will help keep you top of mind, especially for those people who subscribe and get notified when you put out something new.

Question #3: There are a lot of people out there that seem to have it figured out.  What would you say to someone who may have tried this but may be struggling?
Michelle: Don’t copy – create.  Look around and see what other people are doing that’s successful.  For example, my good friend Dr. Paul Jenkins from Live on Purpose TV produces 20 videos in one day and then releases one a day Monday through Friday.  He has a wildly successful channel that he just started in November, but that may not work for me.  You have to do your owner and you can’t copy his content and just make it your own.  Successful videos and video series work because people add their own unique flair and personality.

 

 

 

The Greatest Showman

Question and Answer with Michelle Mccullough

 

 

 

 

The Greatest Showman pleased audiences across the country and hit a box office milestone: It’s the third-biggest live-action original musical ever behind Enchanted and La La Land (according to Forbes). While many people tout the positive storyline and catchy musical numbers, there are some lessons business owners can take from this biopic story.

On the blog today I am going to share three of my favorite business takeaways.

An obvious takeaway from the movie is to be passionate about pursuing your “million dreams”. Business owners can really glean some great thoughts from the movie. Dreams are awesome and I love how the movie talks about dreaming with your eyes wide open, but one of my favorite lessons from the story is that when the museum was a flop, he pivoted.  As the show grew, he added new acts to keep things fresh, one of the biggest challenges I see small businesses make is they enter the market one way and dig in their heels, but you need to be willing to innovate and grow and sometimes you have to let go of what you started to get where you really want to go.

Question:
They had to change, as it seems like there were a number of challenges faced in their business. The second tip I have for business that are facing challenges comes from one of my favorite lines in the movie. “We don’t need a building.”  I love the idea that they didn’t have to do it the way everyone else was doing it, or the way they “thought” it should be.  Barnum’s idea to buy cheap property and use a tent is a great example of thinking outside the box.  Small business owners need to be willing to do things a different way if they want to stand out.

The final message from Greatest Showman is my favorite, in the song, “Greatest Show” they sing, “Everything you ever want, everything you ever need, is here right in front of you.” THIS is what I tell all of my clients.  You can have “A Million Dreams” but truly everything you want you already have.  Don’t assume a rocking business, or even an awesome goal or success can fill some kind of hole in your life.  Everything you want you already have.  Everything you need to be successful in business is within you already.  This story is a classic tale, one we’ve heard from many successful and famous business owners, that they sacrificed their families for their careers, don’t let that be so.  I truly believe you can grow a thriving business without having a meaningful personal life. Don’t wait until you crash to figure this out.

Podcasts

Question and Answer with Michelle Mccullogh

 

Audioblogging goes back to the 1980s, but podcasting became more common place over 14 years ago in 2004.  In 2018 48 Million people listen to podcasts weekly, so is there a way for your business to leverage podcasting as a marketing tool?
Today’s blog will be all about how podcasting can help businesses use conversations as part of their marketing strategy.

There have been quite a few frequently asked questions about podcasts. Today I would like to share with you a few of the questions along with the answers.

Question #1: Is podcasting dying out or picking up steam?
I’ve been podcasting since 2013 and I thought it would die out over time, but we’re just seeing our listenership increase, even though there is increased competition.  Studies are showing that downloads are increasing and show no signs of decline, even with the rise of social video.  People listen to podcasts when they multitask so it fills a unique void at home doing mundane housework, on the commute to work and also running errands or at the gym

Question #2:  Why should a business consider podcasting as part of their marketing?
Podcasting let’s to you tell more of a story.  Podcasts should be sales shows, you won’t get listeners, but a podcast can be used to establish expertise.  Authors and speakers use podcasts to share thought leadership, but even brick and mortar businesses can use podcasts to share a unique angle and extend the customer experience.  A salon could have a podcast on inner and outer beauty, an auto mechanic could have a podcast on car care or even purchasing the right car, etc.

Question #3: Beyond extending the story and creating content, how can businesses leverage podcasts in other ways?
Podcasts are great for building partnerships and sharing audiences.  Interviewing other people in your industry or complementary industries can be a great way to cross audiences and grow your market.  I have a friend who is a marketing consultant and he interviews marketers from top companies about how Marketing Builds Trust.  He’s leveraging their expertise and connections and as that individual and organization shares the podcast, Adam reaches a bigger audience.  Podcasting can be a great partnership tool.

Question #4:  What thoughts you can offer a business who may want to dive into podcasting?
Don’t wait, dive in.  Marketing in the digital era is about sharing content that is both relevant and searchable.  Podcasts are consumed and shared, but they create a marketing asset that you can use year over year.  Think of podcasting like building your arsenal of marketing resources.  Audios can be transcribed and then turned into blog posts, social media shares and more.

Most Valuable Employee

Question and Answer Series with Michelle Mccullough

 

 

 

Many employees go to work every day in fear that they may lose their jobs.  With the many responsibilities to provide for families, pay off debt and save for the future there is a lot on the line to maintaining stable employment.
Today the blog features four ways that you can be the most valuable employee in your organization.

We are going to tackle this topic today in the form of Q&A. Let’s get right to it.
Question #1: What is your first tip for being an invaluable employee?

Michelle: Number one is, to have a good attitude – even if things are bad.  Complainers are toxic to a team, a department and a company as a whole.  If you have complaints, voice them privately and don’t go cubicle to cubicle recruiting allies.  Complain in private and compliment in public.  Studies show that all qualifications being equal, managers will promote those with the best attitude and that are the easiest to work with.

Question #2: What if things in the organization need a lot of improvement, how do you avoid being negative?

Michelle: Be a problem solver.  There can be a lot of reasons to complain, but if you can find solutions and not problems, you’ll be seen as a team player and an invaluable employee.  When I’m hiring, I will hire first temporarily before I bring people on part or full time.  I’ll give them a project, and if or when there’s a problem I look to see how they solve it, or how their attitude effects the work environment.

Question #3: Do you like employees that come up with solutions and do them without being asked?

Michelle: Absolutely.  Sure, there are times where someone can overstep their job position or take a responsibility that should be done by someone else, generally speaking I’m looking for employees that are proactive and not reactive.  In addition to being a problem solver, I want them to see problems BEFORE they happen and be willing to make changes or adjustments to smoothing things out ahead of time.  That said, questions are not a sign of weakness.  If you have something you don’t understand or need more clarity on to proceed, don’t waste time (Yours or the company’s)  Ask for help so that you can be effective and efficient.

Question #3: What is your final tip for people who want to be rockstar employees?

Michelle: Go the extra mile.  It sounds cliché, but this simple task can make you invaluable in an organization.  I’m not saying you have to work late every night and burn a candle at both ends, but ask yourself, “What MORE could I do that would benefit my boss, team or organization?”  And then do it.  I love the quote by Dan Clark that says, “You aren’t paid by the hour, you’re paid for the value you bring to that hour.”  How can you increase your value at work?

What are the Do’s and don’ts of Handling Stress?

Question and Answer Series with Michelle Mccullough

 

A study done by the American Psychological association found that 48% of respondents noted that they feel like their stress has increased over the last five years. With the everyday roles and responsibilities on our plates every day, it’s no wonder we’re stressed and overwhelmed.

Stress is a big problem for a lot of us today. I narrowed down how to deal with stress by compiling a simple do’s and don’t list. Today’s blog topic will best be discussed through a series of questions and answers. Let’s jump right in to the first one.

Question #1 : When you’re stressed, what’s on your Don’t List?

Michelle: Number one hopefully happens before you get stressed. Don’t Over-Schedule Yourself. Some of our stress is self Imposed, make sure you give time in your schedule for relaxation, sleep, etc.

Question #2: Some of that sounds easier said than done. What’s on your DO list to help people in stressful times?

Michelle: Focus on the present. There may be a lot of challenges in the future, but the present is all that is in our control. We need to spend more time focusing on what we can control and let the future come what may. The old adage that worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere, is true. Spend your time thinking about the things in your control.

Question #3: Many of us have taxing jobs and a lot of personal responsibilities what would you recommend that we do first?

Michelle: Ask for help. The demands we have on our lives AND the worry combined are a lot so we need to not do it alone. Whether you’re a CEO or a stay at home parent we all need help with our responsibilities. So whether it’s hiring good help or trading with friends – not only does it lift a burden, but it helps us remember that we’re not alone. Community and solidarity are great antidotes to stress.

Question #4: What would be your final tip for to de-stress?

Michelle: Create a “Play List” . In my book The Make It Happen Blueprint, one of the ways we tackle the feeling of being overwhelmed is through things that bring us joy. It can be making time for a hobby, reading a good book, or even learning something new. I recommend to corporate clients and high performance individuals to make sure they do something every day that takes their mind off the stress and also helps them develop personally with things they enjoy.

What do I do if my kid is getting bullied online?

Question and Answer series with Michelle McCullough

October is National Bullying Awareness Month and with a cell phone in the hands of almost every teen, the subject of cyber bullying deserves attention and discussion.

Today I’m going to share three tips to help your kids if they are being bullied and two tips to help your kid if THEY are the bully.

This post features some frequently asked questions on cyber bullying.

Question #1:
It seems like cyber bulling cases are becoming more and more frequent. What would you say is the first step if they’re being bullied online?

Michelle: Take it offline. Don’t continue to engage in the conversation virtually. Stop the digital dialogue because you won’t be able to change their minds. Decide if you need to address it with the person or parents over the phone or in person and involve any other parties that may need to be notified. Use the three D’s to work through serious situations: Document, discuss and delete.

Question #2:
Once things are said, even if it’s deleted, it can stay with someone for a long time. Maybe even forever. How do you start to process and resolve the situation?

Michelle: It can be tempting to back go the scene and see what else has been said and get back into the conversation, that’s why it’s important to make a change. Perhaps limit social media use, if it happened on Instagram, give it break for awhile, let the “news cycle” change if you will. Fill the time with something else completely. Go to a movie, read a book but change things up.

Question #3:
What do you recommend if it continues to happen or if your child isn’t “bouncing back”?

Michelle: Don’t be afraid to get additional support. Your child may need counseling or support at school with teachers and administration. Don’t wait. The longer things go unresolved the worse they can be long term. That’s why the acting is SO important. Resolve the issue with the kid or parents, but make sure your child gets professional help if needed.

Question #4:
Now let’s turn the tables, what if you find out your kid is the bully?

Michelle: This is where we use the three Cs. Collect, Clean and Checkup.
Before you dive into the convo with your kid, make sure your facts are straight. Collect information to make sure you have a good picture of what happened.
Talk to your kid and clean it up. If they need to delete something, make sure it gets done, if they need to make amends, make sure they do it verbally or in person – not just online. Help them understand that seeing someone and having to say it to their face makes the difference.
Finally, checkup. After the events check in with your kid, with the platform used and continue to keep the conversation going.

How Can I Better Manage my Emails?

Question and Answer with Michelle Mccullough

Studies show that employees waste 17 hours a week on pointless work email. Take 17 and times it by all of your employees and that’s a hefty expense for businesses. Today’s blog will help us all better manage our email whether you work in an office or not.

Let’s start with some questions.
Question #1: Is that your actual email number? You have 62,000 unread emails?

Michelle: Yes I do have that many emails, and trust me I wish that wasn’t me. I have 7 different emails for 4 different companies that I manage every day. I’m not the person who gets my inbox to zero before being done for the day, but there are some things I do to help keep me sane, because there are many weeks I spend MORE than 17 hours a week in email.

Question #2: What would you say is the number one things professionals should do when managing their email?

Michelle: They should set a schedule for when they look at email. It shouldn’t be open all the time and notifications should be turned off. A study by Basex research shows that that if you’re in a project and you get interrupted, it takes 20 minutes to get your brain back to the point where you were. Productivity would increase if you check your emails 3 times a day. Morning when you get in, right before or right after lunch and right before you leave for the day.

Question #3: Many people get SO many emails, that only checking 3 times a day doesn’t seem like enough to sift through everything. What would your advice be for that?

Michelle: That’s why I recommend opting out of emails and there’s a great service called unroll.me that will tell you what lists you are signed up for and you can opt out on the screen with a click of a button. Cut back the junk and it makes the important stuff easier to respond to.

Question #4: How do you recommend people sift through email so they are focusing on the biggest priorities first?

Michelle: I recommend using folders. In most email clients you can set rules to send certain messages to certain folders so you can access them easily. You can also have your email client Star or bold emails from certain clients or your boss. If that’s not enough, I found out about a service called Sanebox that goes even further with rules and folders so that you can take back your email.