Your Top 5 Stressors (And How to Send Them Packing)

Jen Roberts Engagement, Stress

How do you feel most days at work? If you’re like many executives, your first reaction to this question was probably, “Stressed.” That’s unfortunate. And, unfortunately, it’s incredibly common. Where does your stress come from? Usually, we feel that stress comes from out there, and is caused by people and situations. Pressure exists for everyone. We all have deadlines, workloads, and responsibilities to others. It’s not really pressure that causes the pain you feel every day. It’s what your mind does with that pressure that turns it into stress. The truth is that much of your stress is self-inflicted. Yes, you read that right… I hate to break it to you, but you’re probably bringing a lot of this on yourself. You certainly don’t do this to yourself on purpose. Nobody wants to have more stress in their life! It’s often just the byproduct of trying to be a good …

3 common time management mistakes leaders make—Which one is yours?

Jen Roberts Leadership, Productivity, Stress

Do you constantly struggle to manage your time, lead your team, AND complete all of your other work without feeling exhausted? You’re not alone! The reason this problem is so prevalent is because the corporate environment is notoriously reactive in nature. The speed of business today often makes people feel as if an immediate action or response is required. Leaders often get stuck in a continuous loop of putting out fires instead of making real progress which can lead to frustration and burnout. This cycle is perpetuated because of three common time management mistakes that many leaders—regardless of level or type of industry—make every day. The traditional approach to time management equates task completion with productivity, but To-Do lists alone won’t help. The most effective among us know the secret: you have to learn to manage yourself and your energy to get the best results. Time Management Mistake #1: Being Reactive …

performance reviews

Performance Reviews: From Transactional to Transformational

Jen Roberts Communication, Engagement, Leadership, Productivity, Stress

As a leader, how do you usually feel when the time for performance reviews rolls around? Let’s be honest. Most leaders don’t enjoy the performance review process for several reasons. Usually, they feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of meetings they have to hold in a short period of time. Often these conversations are also tied to employees’ compensation. With many companies making budget cuts these meetings can be tough when you don’t feel like you have much to offer beyond praise. The result is that many leaders end up viewing the performance review process as tedious and time consuming (and it shows). Employees, on the other hand, can fall on both sides of the fence when it comes to performance reviews. Mostly, employees just want a chance to sit down and chat with you, offer up some ideas, and walk away feeling like it’s worth getting up each morning. …

The Workaholic’s Guide to Taking a Break

Jen Roberts Engagement, Leadership, Stress

It’s holiday season—a time for rest, relaxation, and trips with family and friends. But for many reasons, the idea of taking time off is tough for most leaders I coach. Leaders often tell me they’re too busy to take time off. My coaching clients constantly express how stressed they feel as they prepare for vacation (or the aftermath of 200+ emails upon their return). Many say they feel like they “have to” work during their vacation and aren’t the slightest bit rested when they come back. “I need a vacation from my vacation,” one client shared. Here are a few challenges my coaching clients have shared about why it’s hard for them to take breaks: Feeling the need to be available or “on call” even when out of town “Having” to check emails at night/weekends/on vacation for fear that they’d be too overwhelmed upon returning to work Feeling compelled to …

live to work

Do You Work to Live or Live to Work?

Jen Roberts Balance, Leadership, Stress

Do you ever feel like your schedule is so busy that you don’t have time to focus on the things that are most important to you? One of the things I most appreciate as an entrepreneur is the opportunity to set my own schedule, do work that I love with leaders who inspire me, and to have the flexibility to spend quality time with my family. I haven’t always felt like I had this much power to choose my approach to work and life. For years in my former corporate life I often worked long stressful hours that made me feel out of alignment with my core values. I was living to work; not working to live. I knew something had to change, but that’s not an easy task in the frenetic pace of corporate life. As the year winds to a close, offices around the world often fly into …

Build Mental Resilience

5 Ways to Toughen Up and Build Mental Resilience

Jen Roberts Leadership, Management, Stress

Truth: stress and adversity can pop up anywhere, any time. Just when you think you have it all under control when–BAM!–you get hit with something that derails your best intentions and sends you into a tailspin. You got up early and are walking out the door on time and ready for your day, then you spill your coffee on your lap in the car. You spent the week preparing for a big presentation at work and are ready to rock their socks off. At 9am the meeting gets pushed out for 3 more days! Seriously?! You get the drift… Things change, pressure exists, stuff happens. What you do with that pressure and how to move forward are the keys to success. Why is it that things seem so easy for some people? They go about their daily lives seemingly without a worry, while others around them struggle and muddle through …


How to be Super Productive (Even on a Monday)

Jen Roberts Balance, Productivity, Stress

It’s Monday—the day that many of us begin our workweek—and I’m already tired. I don’t know about you, but my days off are often just as packed with activity my workdays, which can leave me feeling sluggish at the start of the week. Don’t get me wrong: I love days off just as much as the next guy (maybe more). But a weekend full of soccer games, outdoor play, cooking, cleaning, and late night movies can lead to diminished concentration and motivation when Monday morning rolls around. If this sounds familiar, it’s no wonder you’re dreading the alarm clock that signals the start of another hectic day ahead! The typical work environment can be best described in one word: REACTIVE. With so many distractions pulling your attention in different directions, it can be difficult to focus and be productive. This is the “norm” in most work environments, so it is …

Boost productivity

[VIDEO] Want to Boost Productivity? Put Down That Cell Phone!

Jen Roberts Productivity, Stress

How many hours per day do you spend on your cell phone?  If you’re like most people, it’s probably a lot more than you think! In this week’s featured video, I share tips on how to scale back cell phone usage to improve productivity and lower your stress levels. Interested in taking a closer look at how you’re spending your time and energy? Click here to schedule a complimentary discovery call with me.  I help leaders and teams get better results with less stress!

Make time work

How To Make Time Work For (Not Against) You

Jen Roberts Balance, Productivity, Stress

How do you feel about time? Do you feel like time is on your side? Or, are you constantly rushing around but have no results to show for your frenzied efforts? Is time flying by leaving you feeling depleted, rather than fulfilled? I recently took some time off work to celebrate my 15th wedding anniversary. Two weeks to be precise. (I know—don’t hate me!) A trip of this length is a huge luxury and not one that many people feel they can afford. While visiting the Galileo Museum in Florence, I was struck by how long we’ve been obsessed with attempting to measure and control time. At the museum, I came across this quote next to a display of antique astronomical timepieces: “Since antiquity mankind has been fascinated by time, viewed as an enigma on both the philosophical and the physical level. Without succeeding in explaining what time is, astronomy …


Organized Chaos? 3 Office Improvements for Productivity and Focus

Jen Roberts Balance, Productivity, Stress

Removing clutter and creating a better space can help you improve your focus and productivity. I know this first hand. We all have our own little rituals or quirky behaviors when it comes to what makes us feel in control. Mine is cleaning. When I feel anxious, angry, or otherwise like I’m not as in control as I’d like to be I find solace in Clorox wipes or clearing out a closet. Sometimes I can’t even think or concentrate when I’m distracted by my physical surroundings. While it might sound weird, it actually makes some sense from an energy perspective. Everyone has good days and bad days, energetically speaking. Some days you’re on fire and feel unstoppable and others you might find yourself completely distracted and unable to be productive at all. There is science behind your energetic engagement as you approach any role, goal, or task. Your physical environment …

Protect Your Time

3 Easy Ways to Protect Your Time and Energy

Jen Roberts Communication, Stress

Many leaders I coach pride themselves on their approachability and having an “open-door policy.” We often want to be available to others to answer questions and support their needs. What you might not be considering is how not setting or honoring boundaries is creating extra stress that affects your energy and productivity. My office is in the upstairs of our house. I have two kids, ages 10 and 8. About a year ago, I had an important coaching session with the CEO of a prominent IT company (unluckily, my kids happened to be home from school because of an early dismissal). I told my kids about the important phone call and that I couldn’t be interrupted unless it was an EMERGENCY. Knowing how kids are, I used all my best coaching skills to help them identify what constituted an emergency and they had some great answers so I felt confident. …

Baggage at the Door

5 Practices to Leave Your Workday Baggage at the Door

Jen Roberts Balance, Stress

Coming home. It should be something we look forward to each day as we leave work, but oftentimes leaders don’t make this transition smoothly. Transitions are so important and few are more important than the transition between work and home. Our workday can really fill us up with so much stuff: stress, overwhelm, information, tension, stories, worries. That is the nature of work. The problem is that you can end up carrying all of that baggage home with you where it can negatively influence and spoil the sanctuary of your home and the relationships you have there. When I was still working in the corporate world, I often continued responding to emails long after I arrived home. I ruminated about my day over dinner and often worried about the next day well into the night. I was exhausted all the time. And even when I was at home, I wasn’t …


5 Tips to Harness the Power of Intention

Jen Roberts Balance, Productivity, Stress

Many people believe that success just happens; it’s the good fortune of some and elusive of others. The most successful people know the truth: Consistent action creates consistent results. And it can’t just be any action. Intention is where it all begins. Success takes intention, clarity, and commitment to proactively creating and practicing the habits that help you stay aligned with your goals. Without intention, your work is unguided and unfocused. You may find that you’re exhausted at the end of the day, but have no real results to show for all your busy-ness. This happens because most people spend their time and energy reacting to things, and much less time proactively creating their experiences. One of the most powerful habits I have built is setting aside focused time to gain clarity about what I choose to do, and setting deliberate intentions to drive my actions. Creating a new habit isn’t as easy as it sounds. …

Stress by Proxy

Stop Suffering from Stress by Proxy

Jen Roberts Stress

The boss walks into the conference room and slams down his notepad on the table. Startled, nearly everyone around the table jumps. As he sits down, he angrily demands to know why the project is so far behind schedule. The tension in the room is palpable. The person to my client’s left starts tapping her pencil nervously. I notice that people are fidgeting, rocking in their chairs, and breathing shallowly. This is a classic stress reaction. When you walk into a room and notice a negative “vibe” that makes you feel anxious, you’re not imagining things. Other people’s emotions can have a huge impact on us, especially those of our co-workers and family members. This happens in part because of mirror neurons. Our brains are actually wired to understand and mirror the feelings and actions of others. For the same reason that you yawn when you see someone else yawn, …


Connecting to Your “Why”

Jen Roberts Balance, Leadership, Stress

I live in a small town right outside of Savannah, Georgia. The road I travel to go anywhere has two lanes; four in the commercial stretch. Cutting across this road are two sets of train tracks where I’ve spent many a morning cursing the railroad system for allowing the trains to stop traffic during what we humorously call our “rush hour” when people are trying to commute to work and drop kids off at school. That was back when my commute was more than the two minutes it now takes me to walk upstairs to my home office. It was also when there never seemed to be enough time, and I often found myself counting down the days until it was Friday. “Thank God It’s Friday–TGIF!” You’ve felt it and I’m sure you’ve said it, too. One day as I sat waiting at those tracks something big happened. As I …

More Resilient

How Changing the Way You Think Will Make You More Resilient

Jen Roberts Balance, Productivity, Stress

Truth: stress and adversity can pop up anywhere, any time. Just when you think you have it all under control –BAM!– you get hit with something that derails your best intentions and sends you into a tailspin. Things change, pressure. What you do with that pressure and how to move forward are the keys to success. While we all hit road blocks, there are some people who go about their daily lives seemingly without a worry. What’s their secret to keeping calm while everyone else is struggling to make it through the day? As far as we can tell, it’s pretty simple, really: they’re RESILIENT. Being resilient doesn’t mean you’re immune to stress and problems, it just means you know how to be tough in the face of them and you can bounce back quickly from setbacks. While resilience might come a little more naturally to some people, there are …