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Leaders these days are increasingly feeling more stressed than ever. When they lose a major client or a big deal, they often have to face the possibility of manpower cuts and layoffs in order to sustain the business. On the other hand, success is celebrated when they seize a big deal. But the stress of anticipated demands of having to meet all the deadlines and managing the workforce to perform efficiently settles in.

On and above, leaders must continuously stay competitive by taking personal responsibility to upgrade themselves on relevant work skills such as quick and efficient reading to digest all the information that comes from all angles globally, catching up with the latest techy gadgets to increase their speed of communication, answering emails speedily, networking through social media, and not to mention having to juggle work, family, and social life, as well. Essentially, they have to put  on the Superman cloak to do more in less time!

Where do they start if they seriously want to maintain sanity and continue to stay in control of their work and life? 

Employees can often sense if their manager is going through a bad day, or had a bad start in the morning. Stressed-out leaders will ‘spread the contagion’ to their subordinates. Leaders and managers who expeditiously recognise the need to learn how to stay in control of their work and become more efficient are often happier and can perform more productively.

Here are some tips on how to stay in control:

Do not evade the issue that you are overwhelmed and need help
Face-saving is not heroic anymore. More so when you, as leaders, are seen walking around the office as “zombies” in the day with lacklustre energy and a desk piled high with work which will supposedly shield you from the “other world”.

Do not give yourself excuses
Do not give yourself excuses for your inefficiencies and blame it on the lack of time. To be busy does not equate to being productive. Do not get caught in the cycle of ‘busy-ness’ and continuous spiral of meetings and paperwork. Find a way to escape from this unending madness by taking back control of your work and your time. If you find yourself dragging your feet to work each morning, exhausted at the end of each workday, and you are not feeling a sense of accomplishment, you know where that is leading…

Do not forget about your personal space, family, and friends
Success is not measured by work alone. It is more beautiful and meaningful when you live to work and have time to enjoy with those who are important in your life. Yes, you can be coached on life skills, work skills, and how to effectively achieve the role as a juggler with ‘numerous balls in the air’; depending on your demographic. They are your family, friends, work and personal space. It requires skills, discipline, and commitment to achieve the echelon of a successful juggler.

Do not stop learning and trying
You may have been working for over half your life, or more. You may have an impressive university degree or even a PhD. That does not mean that you know everything. You should learn how to do more in less time. You should get yourself exposed to using new tools, which might help improve your efficiency and effectiveness levels at the workplace. You should also continuously seek personal development and keep in pace with new technologies.

Do not be a wet blanket
Be the supportive visionary leader. When one of our subordinates or team members come to you for help, find out how you can help them to improve without throwing them a wet blanket. Spur them on to seek personal development  and to excel in their roles. Encourage them to take personal efficiency programs to help the organisation increase productivity levels. Work as a team.

Have a reality check. It is about time to take back control of your work and your time; stay sane!
Acknowledge that you need help and ask for it! 

About the Author:

Angeline V. Teo is the President and Chief Consultant of PEPWorldwide (Asia) Pte. Ltd. She is also an International Speaker, certified Master PEP Consultant, Executive Coach and Author. Above all, she is a caring Mother of two, a loving Wife, filial Daughter and avid Spa and Vacation addict!