Practice “healthy detachment”
Sharon Melnick is a business psychologist who advocates for those who want to remain successful even through stress. With 8 in 10 adults revealing to the American Psychological Association that the pandemic has represented a great stress in their lives, it’s clear that Melnick’s concept of “healthy detachment” has become a necessary productivity practice.
Other appropriate situations for healthy detachment include:
- When your organization is undergoing change and you need to tolerate current conditions temporarily
- When you have a difficult boss, colleague or business partner, but aren’t yet in a position to change roles
- When you can’t influence a political conflict, but are subject to its outcomes.
With healthy detachment, you continue to be engaged and make your best contribution, but you don’t allow the outcome of your efforts to determine your internal state.
You choose only battles that are worth your time and energy, and you draw a line: Which negative impacts will you accept and which will you not? Be sure to keep on the “healthy side” of that line.
Make group decisions faster
Another crucial skill for leaders to focus on as they look to improve their productivity is decision-making.
Studies have shown that the average person makes a routine decision in 10 minutes. But another study estimated we make at least 35,000 conscious decisions each day.
That means we could potentially be making 243 days of decisions every day.
Of course there are different types of decisions, and choosing between chocolate and vanilla ice cream at the grocery store has far fewer stakes than choosing to take on another client or switching to a new point-of-sale system.
But it’s clear that analysis can occupy a large part of our day if we don’t learn how to make decisions quickly among ourselves and others.
Don Maruska, author of How Great Decisions Get Made, says the decisions that take up most of our time are the decisions we make with others. That’s why he developed a 30-minute miracle technique for making quick decisions with a group without falling victim to false starts, dead ends, and painful regrouping.
The pillars of this exercise include getting everyone whose opinion is relevant to the decision in one room, discovering shared hopes for the outcome of whatever decision is made, and identifying options that will get the group closest to realizing their shared hope.