Productive Leaders

Ph.D., CSP, CDR, US Navy Ret.,
CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame

Mary’s Weekly Articles and Valuable Tools

Subscribe below and get Dr. Mary Kelly’s
weekly newsletter in your inbox.


Learn How to Navigate a World of Crisis, Challenges, and Change

Learn How to Navigate a World of Crisis, Challenges, and Change: Coping with Increased Stress, Distractions, and a Decline in Productivity

Just when it looked like COVID has run its course, Hamas invaded Israel, and the world is again plunged into more crisis, challenge, and change.
It seems, as leaders, we are surrounded by chaos whether it is the global pandemic, economic uncertainties, shifting work environments, or personal struggles, it is no surprise that many of us are feeling the weight of increased stress, distractions, and a decline in productivity.
How can better deal with these challenges, maintain focus, and find a balance in our lives?

The Unrelenting Wave of Change – Change is the only constant in life, or so the saying goes. In the digital age, change happens at a pace never before experienced in human history. We live in a world of 24/7 news updates, instant messaging, and constant connectivity, which can feel overwhelming. The pressure to stay informed, respond to every email, and keep up with the latest crisis can be paralyzing.

Coping with Increased Stress – Stress is a natural response to change and challenge, and it serves a vital function. However, the unrelenting nature of modern stressors can take a toll on our mental and physical health.

Here are some strategies to help cope with increased stress:

  • Mindfulness and Meditation: Practicing mindfulness and meditation can help calm a racing mind and improve emotional resilience. Need a resource? My friend and former Navy SEAL, Jon Macaskill now teaches mindfulness, and his work is here:
  • Time Management: Organize your day with a clear schedule, and allocate specific time for work, relaxation, and personal time.
  • Physical Activity: Regular exercise is a proven stress reliever. Even a short walk can do wonders for your mental well-being.
  • Seek Support: Do not hesitate to reach out to friends, family, or professionals when stress becomes overwhelming. Sharing your feelings and experiences can be immensely therapeutic.
  • Set Realistic Goals: Be realistic about what you can achieve, and do not overwhelm yourself with unrealistic expectations.

Navigating Distractions – In a world filled with constant notifications, it is challenging to stay focused. Distractions can impede productivity and heighten stress.

Here is how to tackle this issue:

  1. Digital Detox: Take regular breaks from your devices. Disconnecting from social media and turning off non-essential notifications can help you regain focus. I always have my phone on silent. I do not need any noises or vibrations to interrupt the day. If I am free, I can see the phone call coming in.
  2. Prioritize Tasks: Determine what is most important and tackle high-priority tasks during your most productive hours.
  3. Designated Workspace: Create a dedicated workspace free from distractions, where you can concentrate on your tasks.
  4. Time Blocking: Schedule specific blocks of time for focused work and set a timer. When the timer goes off, take a short break to recharge.
  5. Mindful Consumption: Be selective about the content you consume. Avoid doomscrolling and opt for educational and inspiring content. It is so easy to get trapped in the rabbit holes of online videos and news feeds. Do not let yourself get absorbed by the waste of time and potential negativity.

Combating the Decline in Productivity – The decline in productivity is often a direct result of increased stress and distractions. Many people could benefit by planning out the week in advance and using a paper calendar or checklist to stay focused. I use a daily productivity sheet, found here: Download Now!

Consider these strategies:

  1. Set Realistic Goals: Break tasks into smaller, manageable steps. This makes them less intimidating and more achievable.
  2. Stay Organized: Use digital tools or traditional methods to stay organized and keep track of your responsibilities.
  3. Embrace Flexibility: Adapt to changing circumstances and be open to new ways of doing things. Flexibility can lead to greater productivity in a changing world.
  4. Learn to Say No: Be selective about additional commitments and ensure you have the bandwidth to take them on without overloading yourself.
  5. Continuous Learning: Invest in learning new skills and techniques to improve efficiency and adaptability.

By practicing mindfulness, managing stress, and adopting strategies to stay focused, we can navigate this tumultuous landscape and achieve a more balanced and productive life. Remember, it is essential to prioritize and seek support when needed to maintain your well-being as you confront the ever-evolving challenges around you.




Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *