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Calling All Successful Business People
Recovering Workaholics can help you create a life full of so much more than just work.
If you find work has taken over and you want more... look no further,
Recovering Workaholics can help you find true fulfilment.

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Volume 25 | Jun 2009 | You work long hours plus Manage Change and Minimize Stress

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Courses | Coaching | Partners of Workaholics

Contents

Part 1 - Welcome!
Part 2 - Recommended Read
Part 3 - Products / Special Offers
Part 4 - Feature Article - You work long hours. Do you have to put up with the negative effects of stress?
Part 5 - Media Interest
Part 6 - Organizations - How to Manage Change and Minimize Stress
Part 7 - Support for Partners of Workaholics
Part 8 - The SaVVy Club - FREE one month membership


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Part 1 - Welcome!

Dear Recovering Workaholic,

Hi there.

Another May Bank Holiday has come and gone in what felt like the twinkling of an eye.

Where did May go?

How was your long weekend?

Did you have a great time with family and friends or was the Bank holiday just an opportunity to catch up on much needed sleep or work?

As the media constantly bombard us with stories of economic gloom and news of organizations being taken over or closing it is easy to feel that the only way forward is to work even harder.

In the very short term it may appear to work but there is always a cost to working to the exclusion of everything else. The cost is likely to be to your health and well being, to the health of your relationships, to your enthusiasm, creativity and love of life.

Many workaholics discover the true cost of their work habits when it is too late to prevent a significant problem. This months article looks at the characteristics of a workaholic and offers ten ways to creating a balanced and fulfilled life.

The article this month offers you some strategic questions which can help you to discover the true cost of being a workaholic. Whether you choose to face this or not is up to you. What ever you choose to do the answer lies in your hands.

If you would like some help in dealing with any of the issues raised in this Newsletter and would like a free 30 minute coaching session please phone me on 01708 703959 or
you can email me on info@recoveringworkaholics.com

Take control of your future!

Recovering Workaholics is a growing concern.

We offer 1:1 coaching, and training to facilitate those who want a truly satisfying life.

Understanding what drives you to work to the point where love, happiness and fulfilment have become the poor relation is the first step to creating a life you truly love.

We can help you work towards achieving your "dream" life.

We provide support for those facing retirement or who have recently retired, ideal for those who want to embrace a new stage in their lives. Redundancy can be a very stressful time, let us help you make the most of the opportunity it offers.

Call today and take the first step to work- life passion on (0)1708 703 959.

If you know of anyone who would be interested in working with us please let us know by contacting us on info@recoveringworkaholics.com or phone on (0)1708 703 959.

Make 2009 the year when you took consistent action to make a positive difference to the quality of your own life and for those who live or work with you.

Call today to sign up for a free no obligation coaching session and take the first step to the future you deserve!

With best wishes,

Gina Gardiner

Gina Gardiner
Helping you create a life you love!

Recovering Workaholics
Tel in the UK: 01708 703 959
Tel International: +44 1708 703 959
Email: gina@recoveringworkaholics.com


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Part 2 - Recommended Read

Who Will Cry When You Die by Robin Sharma

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff-and it's all small stuff

by Richard Carlson

Buy from Amazon.co.uk

If you find yourself being frustrated and stressed by the little things in life then this is a book which can be incredibly helpful.

Richard Carlson offers lots of useful strategies to help you put life into perspective and to find inner calm in your turbulent and busy work day.

It's a really useful read.


How YOU Can Manage Your Staff More Effectively by Gina Gardiner

How YOU Can Manage Your Staff More Effectively (And Pave The Way To Your Next Promotion)

by Gina Gardiner

Order Book Online - £15

Download e-Book Now - £15

This book offers lots of practical strategies for managers to help get the very best of their staff as individuals and as a team.

Everything in the book has been tried and tested in a variety of organizations; it is a distillation of over 30 years experience of developing leadership at every level.

The book does not attempt to teach grandmothers or grandfathers to suck eggs, but offers tried and tested principles, strategies and ideas which have been proven to work.

Time, energy and money are all very precious resources and all three seem to be in short supply for most busy managers.

How YOU Can Manage Your Staff More Effectively (And Pave The Way To Your Next Promotion) can help! Dip into it if you are facing specific issues or use the comprehensive approach to underpin ongoing and sustained individual and team development.

It has relevance for experienced managers who want to share good practice as well as for aspiring leaders who want to develop and deepen their leadership skills.

The book covers a wide range of issues including

  • Developing strategic vision
  • Creating your dream team
  • Creating a ‘Can Do’ culture
  • Effective delegation
  • Holding people to account
  • Developing a solutions approach
  • The power of anticipation
  • Giving positive feedback
  • Having those “hard conversations”
  • Managing stress for you and your team
  • Creating a good work life balance

How YOU Can Manage Your Staff More Effectively (And Pave The Way To Your Next Promotion) will stand alone but you will find it useful to use it in conjunction with the companion book Kick Start Your Career.


Kick Start Your Career by Gina Gardiner

Kick Start Your Career

by Gina Gardiner

Order Book Online - £15

Download e-Book Now - £15

This book is designed for new initiates into the business world and graduates who are ambitious and want to create a successful career for themselves. It is a no nonsense, jargon free manual, full of practical ideas and strategies to support the development of leadership from day one.

These books can be ordered via our web site at www.recoveringworkaholics.com/booksandcds.php.


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Part 3 - Products and Special Offers!

We have produced three CDs designed especially for you to tackle the most common problems that seem to affect many of our members.

They are available now to buy as CDs or as downloadable MP3 files from www.recoveringworkaholics.com/booksandcds.php.


Relaxation CD 1 - A Spanish Theme

Relaxation CD 1 - A Spanish Theme
PRICE: £10.00

Order CD
Order CD Online

Download MP3
Download MP3 Online Now

Relaxation CD 1 - A Spanish Theme

Take time out of your busy and stressful day to relax.

True relaxation is known to reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, clear the mind and leave you feeling alert, refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of your day with renewed energy and vigour.

"A Spanish Theme" uses a mixture of guided imagery and deep breathing exercises to take you on an intensely relaxing journey.

Stress is sited as the cause of over 500,000 days of absence a year in the UK alone. It represents a huge cost in both economic and personal terms. In order to deal with it we must first understand what it is and what causes it.

Where stress is detrimental people are often in situations where they feel they have little control. Sustained exposure to such negative situations can have serious implications for the health and well being of the individual and ultimately for the organization as a whole

Relaxation is a powerful tool to combat stress. Learning to take time out, to truly relax has been proven to lower blood pressure, improve mental acuity and reduce stress.

Our Relaxation Tape with a Spanish theme is the first in a series of relaxation tapes created by Gina Gardiner associates.

Using visualization, guided imagery and deep breathing exercises take time out of your hectic day to unwind, de-stress and relax!


Beat Insomnia CD - Retrain Your Sleep Pattern Without Drugs

Beat Insomnia CD - Retrain Your Sleep Pattern Without Drugs
PRICE: £10.00

Order CD
Order CD Online

Download MP3
Download MP3 Online Now

Beat Insomnia CD - Retrain Your Sleep Pattern Without Drugs

Sleep is vital to our health and sense of wellbeing. We need it as much as we need food and water and the air we breathe. It is during sleep that the body rests and repairs itself. Good quality sleep leaves us feeling refreshed, re-energized and ready to face the new day. 

Insomnia affects most people at some time during their lives. For many it is a passing phase caused because of a stressful event in their lives. For chronic sufferers it becomes a way of life. Although it is not life-threatening it can and does threaten the quality of life for many sufferers leaving them frustrated, exhausted and feeling low.

"Beat Insomnia" uses deep trance techniques to help you retrain your sleep pattern without drugs.

Use "Beat Insomnia" to get a great nights sleep and make Insomnia a thing of the past.


Confidence Building CD - Creating the Confident You

Confidence Building CD - Creating the Confident You
PRICE: £10.00

Order CD
Order CD Online

Download MP3
Download MP3 Online Now

Confidence Building CD - Creating the Confident You

We all feel less confident in certain situations. This CD is designed to help you feel confident in any situation. It uses tried and tested NLP techniques to help you develop the confidence you need to tackle new social situations or when giving an important presentation or interview.

  • How often do you wish you felt more confident? 
  • Do you worry about social events or standing up to talk in front of work colleagues?
  • Would you like to live your life feeling that you are in control?
  • Do you have butterflies in your stomach that feel as if they are wearing hobnailed boots when you have to go to an interview or a meeting?
  • Is the voice in your head telling you - you can't do it?

Developing confidence is about much more than learning to do an activity better.

It is about changing how we feel about ourselves and dealing with our thoughts and beliefs.  It is about facing the things we fear and being curious about why we fear them.

Use "Creating the Confident You" to learn to push through the fear and create a world of limitless possibilities, where you are in control of your own destiny.


We expect the following titles to be available later in the year.

  • Relaxation CD 2 - A Country Theme
  • Relaxation CD 3 - Sky

For any further information or advice about CDs contact
info@recoveringworkaholics.com or
phone 01708 703959


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Part 4 - Feature Article - You Work Long Hours

You work long hours; work fills your waking day. Solving problems, supporting clients and colleagues and it takes all of your conscious thought, your energy and your time.

At the end of the day you fall into bed. You slip into unconsciousness or your brain is on hyper drive. You spend the night wrestling with problems or that voice in your head which goes over and over the things you should or shouldnt have done like a scratched record. You may sleep for a while but wake in the early hours and toss and turn unable to get back to sleep.

Alcohol becomes an integral part of your day. You socialise with clients and colleagues. You feel you have to administer bon home to be part of the crowd. Drink becomes your preferred wind down tool after all you deserve it after all, you have worked very hard.

Your diet relies on business lunches or hurried snacks grabbed on the run as you rush to the next meeting. Some days you simply go without as you didn't have the time or the energy to get something more nutritious organised. You have noticed your waist line is expanding and you feel sluggish in the mornings. Fresh fruit and veg are thin on the ground.

No time for exercise; there simply isnt the space in your frenetic timetable. Never mind - the occasional game of golf as you discuss business will suffice.

If you have a relationship it takes second place to your work. Oh you might protest that you are doing it all for your loved ones, but your drive to work and to succeed is paramount.

You find yourself defending the hours you work. You only listen with half an ear as your partner or children witter on about their day. You find it easier to debate the important stuff with clients or colleagues none of that emotional stuff. You can always justify you need to spend time with clients as they pay the bills.

The recession doesnt help. You fear loosing your job. The firm might go under and you need to be seen to be working hard. Younger more energetic members of staff are constantly nibbling at your heels.

You have an ongoing sense of anxiety; its faceless and hard to get a handle on it. You feel unsettled and threatened or trapped by your sense that you should be grateful for having a job.

You cant afford to tell the management what they can do with their job, no matter how much you want to.

Those who are partners or owners have an even greater load of all the families who rely on the wages paid by your organisation. It is a lonely place to be.

You are driven, hard working and have an insistent need to succeed and be valued.

You are a workaholic.

Deep inside your body struggles, trying to keep its sense of equilibrium.

Your body is constantly producing stress hormones. These are released at any sign of threat real or perceived. They are designed to trigger the fright and flight mechanism- to out run predators or assailants.

No problem if you burn the hormone off it is all in the run or the flight element. They raise your blood pressure, to help get vital oxygen and energy to the cells quickly and efficiently so you can run like hell.

In the short term it causes no problems.

The trouble is modern day living means that the stress hormones simply stay in your system. Your blood pressure stays raised, you get head aches, a churning in your gut which upsets your digestive system.

In the long term stress compromises the immune system and the circulatory system.

It is pernicious and dangerous threatening health and a sense of well being. It contributes to burn out and should never be taken lightly.

If you recognise yourself in the article above it is time to take action. NOW!

Stress can kill and you should take medical advice if you recognise ongoing symptoms.

Do you have to put up with the negative effects of stress?

Well the answer is entirely in your hands.
You can take control of your life and choose for things to be happier.

Are you truly fulfilled by the life you lead? Even on Sundays or at Christmas?

If the answer is no then it is time to take action and to change the aspects of your life which are unfulfilling.

Here are ten steps to creating a fulfilled and balanced life:

1) Be absolutely honest with yourself

2) Do a thorough audit of your life. Use the life wheel on the www.recoveringworkaholics.com website. Think about what makes you feel excited how much time do you spend time actually doing it?

3) Consider whether you are still working on patters which used to be successful but are no longer working. We often create a pattern of behaving which helps us to solve a difficulty. We then use it and use it until its very success begins to be a straight jacket.

4) Create a blue print for your perfect life. List all the elements you would like to include. We often have more idea of what we dont want rather than being specific about what we do.

5) Match the audit of your current life and the plan you have created of your perfect life. Notice where you have already have a match and with others where there is a mismatch.

6) You are an expert in planning in your working life context. Translate those same skills into planning how to achieve your perfect life.

7) You get what you focus on so you need to put as much time and energy into creating your perfect life as you do creating your perfect project.

8) Create a list of what you would consider to be the perfect attributes of the perfect best friend. How would they treat you? How honest would they be?

9) Start to treat yourself as that perfect best friend would.

10) Get some help. You would call in an expert to repair your boiler so why not get some help in redesigning your life.

Living your life to the full and making every day count is important to each and every one of us.

Work is an important element of our lives but it doesnt need to define us.

Having a full and balanced life will not only enrich your time away from work but will bring even greater energy, creativity and breadth to your world of work.

If you want your life to be different it is entirely possible to change things for the better.

You dont have to wait you can take the first step today, and every journey however long begins with the first step.

If you need help,
why not work with a coach to take control of your life and make it outstanding!

If you would like a free 30 minute coaching session to explore how you could improve the relationship you have with yourself please phone me on 01708 703959 or
you can email me on info@recoveringworkaholics.com


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Part 5 - Media Interest

Media interest has been rather quiet this month. I suspect that attention is on the lack of jobs for those being made redundant rather than those whose lives are taken over by the ones they have.

If you are aware of any articles, radio or TV Programmes featuring the issue of work life balance please let us know on info@recoveringworkaholics.com.

If you would like to hear the feature on Woman's Hour which focused on the difficulties that living with a workaholic creates please visit the BBC web site at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/03/2008_17_thu.shtml

Also, if you see anything about our organization in any publication not mentioned by us we would be very much like to hear about it on info@recoveringworkaholics.com.


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Part 6 - Organizations - How to Manage Change & Minimize Stress

We are currently living in difficult economic times.

Organisations we have all grown up with and thought of as invincible appear to be struggling. The media constantly speculate on the next expected casualty and when a difficulty is confirmed they drive themselves into a reporting frenzy. Unless you live in a locked and darkened room with no contact with the outside world it is impossible not to be affected by the Worlds economic down turn.

It is easy to lead your team, department or organisation when everything is going well but difficult times call for great leaders. Leaders who can engender a sense of certainty and possibility for their people will minimise stress and maximise creativity. Paradoxically we need our greatest sense of certainty and control when we feel under the greatest threat.

As with most things creating a sense of certainty can be done well or badly. When done positively it offers everyone involved the opportunity to look for and find solutions. When it is done in a negative way, everyone is left with a false sense of security; it is the business version of holding on like grim death to a sinking ship.

Why is certainty so important? At its most basic level it is the need every one of us has to know that we are safe from threat, that we will have a roof over our head and food to eat. In modern times our job has come to represent these elements. Of course there are times when organisations have to thin their work force but even then the way it is done will make every difference to the way the person being made redundant feels about the situation and fundamentally how they feel about themselves.

Every one of us is motivated by different things. Certainty, uncertainty, significance, love and connection, learning and contribution are the different strands used in a model created by Tony Robbins. It is the balance between our need for certainty (routine, safety and control) and our need for uncertainty (variety, challenge, difference) which determine our ability to manage change. These also impact on our facility for managing stress when faced with circumstances which are out of our control.

Here are my top ten tips for managing change whilst minimising stress within your work force:

1) Be professionally honest

Your professional honesty and integrity are vital if organisations are to thrive. We have many lessons to learn from the difficulties many banks, politicians and organisations who have hit the news in recent months.

The rule of thumb is that you would be proud to see any of your words or actions reported in the national press. If you wouldnt like to see yourself saying or doing something on the 6 O clock news, think again.

2) Fairness

Fairness is cited as one of the most important attributes of great leaders. People will accommodate really difficult things when they feel they have bean treated fairly. Criteria for redeployment or redundancy must be transparent and fair and the way they are implemented must be open and administered even handedly.

3) Use skills of anticipation

Many issues facing businesses today could have been anticipated. Organisations often fail to plan for economic down times in times of plenty. Nurturing existing clients and maximising the opportunities to sell them other services is vital as when things are tough relationships and trust become as important as cost.

Anticipating and planning help smooth out demands and help organisations make the most cost effective use of people and resources.

4) Involve staff and ensure ownership

Many Leadership Teams fail to harness the creativity and experience of their teams and in doing so miss out on the rich source of solutions their staff would offer. Creating an open culture of involvement has other benefits too. Where staff feel ownership they bring their commitment and enthusiasms to bear in their endeavours.

One of the greatest causes of stress cited by staff is that of feeling outside the loop, believing that they have no control or involvement in the decision making process. Involving staff in a structured meaningful way can minimise stress in even the most challenging circumstances.

5) Actively listen to staff and clients

One off the most important skills for any leader is the ability to listen. Creating opportunities to gather information, opinions, and ideas and to hear challenges is a powerful approach to leadership. The ultimate decision making is the job of the leader but actively listening gives a deeper understanding of the issues and ensures that staff feel valued and involved.

6) Use positive leadership language

The language we use had the potential to underpin success or build in failure. Seemingly simple differences like using when rather than if will make staff feel more certain. Framing requests in the positive rather than the negative actually programme the listeners brains for success. Dont is an ideal example. If I said Dont think of blue elephants, your immediate response has to be to think about the elephants before the brain tries in vain not to think of them. It is always better to frame things in terms of exactly what you do want rather than what you dont.

Understanding the use of language gives you a competitive advantage in motivating and influencing your staff and your clients. (To find out more email info@graduatesolutions.com )

7) Make the most of the talents available to you

People are your greatest resource; they are the life blood of your organisation. Identifying, developing their skills and expertise and valuing their contribution are vital for long term success.

How well do you know your staff? How often do you buy in expertise that you actually have on your staff already? How often do you use the strength of teams to develop creative solutions to your organisations challenges? Do you have a mechanism for identifying the individual and collective strengths of your staff? If you do identify their talents and use them have you a system of rewarding talent in place. How do you ensure those staff stay in house?

8) Manage waste effectively

Making the best use of resources includes how time is used. You can only use your time once, yet many organizations have a habit of wasting time on activities which have much to do with keeping everyone busy rather than being productive. Meetings are a prime example; all too often attendance at meeting after meetings does nothing to ensure staff meet their targets but is designed to cover backs and to stroke certain egos.

Look for duplication of effort or times when things are done because they have always been done rather than because they need to be done. In every organisation I have visited where we have looked at effective use of resources we have identified lots of ways to make better use of time and resources.

Planning across the year can often help make the most of quiet times and spread the load.

9) Think outside the box

If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got. Times of change and challenge necessitate different ideas and approaches. It is important not to throw the baby out with the bath water but we should take a lesson from history and learn the lessons that experience teaches.

Thinking outside the box comes much more easily when it is not done in isolation. Bouncing ideas off in a group where everyone is trusted and everyone has a vested interest in making things work is a great starting point.

10) Celebrate your success

In times of trouble it is even more important to recognise and celebrate each small success and at the same time to constantly ask the questions:-

What can we learn from this?

How can we make things EVEN better?

If you would like to discuss any of the issues in this newsletter, or are interested in training on motivation and influence or would like to work with an Executive Coach please phone me on 01708 703959 or contact us at
info@recoveringworkaholics.com or through
info@graduatesolutions.co.uk


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Part 7 - Support for Partners of Workaholics

We publish a monthly newsletter designed for the partners of Workaholics.

You can subscribe to this by going to
www.recoveringworkaholics.com/partners.php
.


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Part 8 - The SaVVy Club®

Special Offer

When was the last time you did something for the first time? If you are left wondering, then why not be embraced by a Club that prides itself on service focused quality and exclusive fun.

This is where The SaVVy Club comes into it's own. We can show you the way for every varying need and want in the world of events and leisure activities.

Every day we increase what we expect?
Been there, done that?
Its time to look for something new.
Good news for you, here comes The SaVVy Club!

The SaVVy Club is a membership exclusive club that brings together unique groups of people, to experience an exciting array of events.

  • Do you like Champagne?
  • Do you enjoy meeting NEW people in exclusive settings?
  • Do you like music, theatre and other cultural events?
  • Do you enjoy being treated like a VIP?
  • Do you like fine dining and gourmet food?

Experience all this and more with your free one month membership to The SaVVy Club!

To enjoy this exclusive offer, contact Kim at The SaVVy Club mailto:kim@savvyclub.co.uk within 7 Days of receiving this message and she'll send you a code that allows you to sign up for your FREE one month membership.

Next time you’re heading to London for a volley of meetings, don’t spend your evenings alone with only the remote control for company. Get out there and enjoy what the City has to offer.

It couldn't be simpler.

So why not take the opportunity right now to take us up on our great offer.
Telephone Kim on 0208 989 4886 and quote Recovering Workaholics.

Kim Rix
Founder and CEO of The SaVVy Club®  
London’s first boutique social events club.

For more information, please visit
www.savvyclub.co.uk
or call 0870 005 6225.


Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

If there are any topics you would like covered in future issues please let me know on info@recoveringworkaholics.com or complete the feedback form at www.recoveringworkaholics.com/enquiryform.php.

What do you think?

Gina Gardiner

Warmest wishes,
Gina Gardiner
Helping you create a life you love!

For any further information or to discuss your coaching needs contact
info@recoveringworkaholics.com or
phone in the UK 01708 703959 (or International +44 1708 703959).

Gina Gardiner recognized by "Investors in People" as creating an "innovative and exemplary training program for emerging and middle managers" and by Ofsted as an “inspirational leader”. Her experience includes that of “Change Management” and in supporting organizational leaders in developing strategic vision and creating a “can do” culture.

If you aren't a subscriber already, please sign up to receive the next issue of the free monthly Recovering Workaholics newsletter at www.recoveringworkaholics.com/freemonthlynewsletter.php.

You may copy or distribute this newsletter,
provided that full credit is given and the following copyright information is included.

Copyright © 2009 Author : Gina Gardiner - www.ginagardiner.com

For any further information or advice about Recovering Workaholics contact info@recoveringworkaholics.com or
phone in the UK 01708 703959 (or International +44 1708 703959).