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Sunday, April 13

Detecting Deception - A Leadership Primer

Saturday, April 5

Multi-monitors Help the Multi-taskers

I've discovered an interesting fact while traveling and conferencing over the past few weeks, which I
think some will find nearly revolutionary in its simplicity, as a result of my mobilized lifestyle. Like most, I too have sought for, and experimented with methods for getting more done within allotted workday. I have read and used many of the traditional time management tactics, and integrated some of the more successful ones into my everyday. So it was not a surprise to discover that I could (sort of) multi task, by having, and using more than one computer monitory a time.

Although I've been multi-screening for years now, it wasn't until I was reduced to a single screen (traveling) that I realized how much more productive I am, when I don't have to spend time opening and closing screens. For example as a HigherEd professional, some of the many things I do are assessments; whether that's creating assessment tasks, such as quizzes, exams, or other types of tests, or evaluating the submissions against a rubric or solutions template. As a result, I find it significantly faster to have the response open on one screen, with the solution available on the other.

Now I recognize that this is not rocket science, but the question is, for the busy professional, how much more time will you recover,just by having an additional monitor available to hold your place while you research something else? For those preparing documents, how often have you searched your memory for a phrase, word, or reference, that you could e-search for much faster...if you had another screen? I know what some are thinking, "why not just minimize the window, and launch a new one?" Truthfully, that's exactly what I had to resort to when limited to a single screen...and it was limiting and challenging.

Am I saying multiple screens is the solution for every professional? Absolutely not. It's the equivalent of giving someone a motorcycle when all they are used to is a mini bike. You can do more, do it faster, and recoup time spent in getting from here to there, but if you're not prepared to take your performance to another level...perhaps a motorcycle is not the right tool for you right now, and you should stay with the mini bike.

Sunday, March 16

Burnout Comes in Three Varieties (Guest Post - Association for Psychological Science)

Burnout Comes in Three Varieties - Association for Psychological Science

Burnout Comes in Three Varieties

As of this month, more than 10 million people in the United States are unemployed, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.This is an extinguished match.
Given that there are so many people looking for jobs, it’s curious that a large percentage of American workers want nothing more than to quit. As of this past December, 1.7% of all employed people left their jobs. That rate has been climbing — albeit slowly — since 2009.
“Burnout syndrome” — that is, the fatigue, cynicism, and professional inefficacy that comes with work-related stress — may play a significant role in this trend.
Some level of stress is an inevitable part of every work experience. But at what point do those stressors become overbearing? What combination of factors makes one individual quit and another endure?
New research suggests that there are at least three different subtypes of burnout, and they each relate to specific detrimental coping strategies. By administering a survey to 429 university workers of various occupations, researchers were able to gather data on the subtypes of burnout and correlate those with employees’ coping strategies.
Overall, the results indicated that overload burnout — the frenetic employee who works toward success until exhaustion — is most closely related to emotional venting. These individuals might try to cope with their stress by complaining about the organizational hierarchy at work, feeling as though it imposes limits on their goals and ambitions. That coping strategy, unsurprisingly, seems to lead to a stress overload and a tendency to throw in the towel.
Burnout that stems from boredom and lack of personal development, on the other hand, is most closely associated with an avoidance coping strategy. These under-challenged workers tend to manage stress by distancing themselves from work, a strategy that leads to depersonalization and cynicism — a harbinger for burning out and packing up shop.
The final type of burnout — the worn-out subtype — seems to stem from a coping strategy based on giving up in the face of stress. Even though these individuals want to achieve a certain goal, they lack the motivation to plow through barriers to get to it.
Because it’s possible to identify the ineffective coping strategies associated with each type of burnout, it may also be possible to develop targeted and preventative therapies, according to the research article published in PLOS ONE.
Treatments that include emotion regulation, increased cognitive flexibility, and mindfulness may help ward off burnout in susceptible individuals, suggests the research team led by Jesus Montero Marin of the University of Zaragoza in Spain. Organizations that want to keep their employees happy and productive may begin to invest in the fight against burnout by helping employees find accessible, affordable therapies for coping with stress. As some companies know all too well, high turnover can stall progress — especially if the burnout wildfire spreads

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