Overcoming the “UGH” day.

“Some days are diamonds, some days are stones, and sometimes the bad times just won’t leave you alone.” John Denver

You know what an UGH day is don’t you?  I first heard this phrase from Jim Fixx the author of “Running.”  Jim was a devoted runner, racer, and compulsive marathoner.  Most days he couldn’t wait to strap on his running shoes and hit the pavement.  But some days he said were UGH days.   Nothing felt good.  He never seemed to hit his stride and he never got into a comfortable zone.  From start to finish his usually joyful run was just one disciplined stride after the other.  He called a tough run like that an UGH day.

Have you ever had an UGH day?  I know I sometimes encounter them.   UGH days are     those days when you don’t have any drive.  Your motivation has deserted you and you are filled with negative thoughts and general malaise.  You waste precious time rethinking your career choices and trying to remember why you ever wanted to do the work you do.  Some time an UGH day can continue more than 24 hours although, I’ve personally never had an UGH week.

What causes an UGH day?  Here are a few ideas:

  • Physical exhaustion
  • Mental stress
  • Hormonal fluctuation
  • Uncompleted tasks
  • High tide or low tide or the phases of the moon

It really doesn’t matter what causes these days, what matters is that UGH days do happen and you need a strategy to get through them as quickly as possible.

How does a goal oriented, positive thinking, hard charging, worker get through an UGH day?

  • Exercise
  • Change your scenery even if only to walk around the block
  • Give yourself a good talking to….  “Kim, you are better than this, Snap out of it!”
  • Review your goals
  • Take some action on a task no matter how small.  Actions lead to shifts in your emotions.

You can’t avoid having UGH days, but you can shorten their duration.  Just lace up your “running shoes” and get going.  If you don’t enjoy this one run, well take hope and remind yourself that tomorrow is coming.



Teams May Be The Most Powerful Things You Ever Create

Teams May Be The Most Powerful Things You Ever Create

This week I have seen two incredible teams produce some amazing results while at the same time I watched one team member send her team into a tailspin of low productivity.   I have learned in thirty years of working in the helping trades, that nothing of real size and consequence ever gets built without teamwork.  Most people cherish the good teams they have been fortunate to be a part of but are usually unaware of how those teams were created.  But what if you need to create a team and you wanted it to be above average?  How would you do it?   I must admit that my experience as a leader has been sporadic in creating good teams, but I have always been studying and seeking more information on this vital issue.

Here’s a list of ideas that I’ve gathered about creating effective teams:

  1. Know your purpose,-if you are building a boat, you don’t need aircraft mechanics.
  2. Know your weaknesses and build your team to overcome them
  3. Go after the best players- talent always trumps personality or enthusiasm.
  4. Reward excellence in every way possible, but especially with praise
  5. Correct poor performance or remove the player who is weak as soon as possible.
  6. Decide you want to play in the big leagues and let your team know it.
  7. Let your players play to their strengths and hire out the grunt work.
  8. Always be on the lookout for fresh talent, no team stays the same forever.

You may have some better ideas, if so please share them with me.

Do remember this though; life is a team sport and the people who accomplish the most in life work at building strong teams.  Get busy today purposefully building your team.