Monday Musings 16 August: Overthinkers Anonymous

Join the club. Anxiety, procrastination, imposter syndrome and overthinking. Do you know what they have in common? They’re all a sign of overwhelm, stress and impending burnout. And they can derail your day – affecting your creativity and productivity. If you let them.

When you’re faced with uncertainty and fear (and the current global situation continues to deliver both in spades), it’s hard to switch off your lizard brain (which has no time for facts, only for survival), or to stop overthinking.  

But there are ways to stop overthinking at work. Including: 

  • Pay attention to the way you think.  

What story are you telling yourself? Is it true? Helpful? In uncertain times, it’s particularly important not to believe thoughts that argue for the worst-case scenario.​ 

  • Have some perspective. 

Will this be important a month from now? A year from now?  

  • Focus on the things you can change. 

If you cannot act on the topic you are worrying about immediately, move on and focus on other tasks. 

  • Get a good start every day. 

Avoid checking your emails – and ditch the doomscrolling first thing in the morning.  

  • Find comfort in daily rituals.  

Focus on simple things you can do to help you feel a bit more grounded and comforted. Ask yourself what helps you feel centred and steady? What gives you a moment of peace when there’s a lot going on?​ 

  • Exercise.  

Even a short walk will help reduce levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. 

  • Stop being a perfectionist. 

Remember that no one (no one!) is perfect and a flawless performance is never a prerequisite for success. Sometimes, finishing a task on time is more important than getting rid of every error. 

  • Realize that you cannot control everything. 

Uncertainty in life is unavoidable. There are a lot of things in life that are out of our control. Fortunately, the way we choose to respond isn’t one of them.​ 

(As an aside: Overthinking often goes hand-in-hand with imposter syndrome. So isn’t it good to know that actual imposters don’t get imposter syndrome? That’s right. If you’re suffering from even a smidgen of imposter syndrome, you’re absolutely, 100%, not a fraud. And you’re in brilliant company.)

I have a feeling that as people contemplate going back to a bricks-and-mortar office, pandemic burnout and anxiety may reach new levels. In fact, there are already anecdotal reports of companies announcing a return-to-office date on the Friday, only to receive a slew of resignations on the Monday. What’s behind this great resignation? Put simply, working from home has changed employees – and bosses better be ready to adapt.

My wish for the week ahead? Some good news for the travel industry. Gosh we deserve some.  

Perhaps ask any friends and family in the UK to help by signing this petition. It was started by Ben Cope on the 10th of August with the hopes of getting 100,000 signatures as soon as possible. Only British citizens or UK residents have the right to sign the petition but nearly 21,000 people (and counting) have already added their signatures. The significance of 100,000 signatures? At 10,000 signatures the Government is meant to respond – and at 100,000 signatures the petition will be considered for debate in parliament. Let’s get sharing! 

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Mindful Musings 

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Marketing Musings 

An interesting conversation unfolded on Twitter recently when software developer, Cat McGee tweeted: Got a CV and the guy literally listed one of his skills as ‘googling’ … we’re interviewing him later. 

People were quick to weigh in. Mainly that how to use google should be an actual skill you can put on your CV – because it’s not as easy as it looks. The ability to find the right information – and verify it – is important. Especially if you’re doing your own desktop research, writing content or sharing information with your audience. 

Of course, it’s a skill that develops over time. But did you know there are a few shortcuts you can take to pull up relevant search results? I have to admit I didn’t. Below are a few nifty hacks to help you on your way. 

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And when it comes to everyday googling by everyday South Africans, Business Insider has taken a closer look at SA’s top Google searches over the past 15 years. From load shedding to Romans Pizza, how to kiss (a top question shared by South Africans and the world at large) and La Liga – it’s a fun and revealing read.  

What the world was musing over this past week 

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Where extreme weather is getting even worse, in one map 

The new United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report makes for scary reading. The world is fast approaching a tipping point. This interactive map shows how climate change will shape weather around the world, while Dominic Naidoo breaks down what it means for South Africa.

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Vax appreciation Wednesdays 

Companies around the world are working hard to tackle vaccine hesitancy. We’ve seen everything from free doughnuts (Krispy Kreme in the US) to sausage sandwiches (Romania). Closer to home, Game has just upped the stakes with a whopping 10% off for those who can produce a vaccine card until the middle of September.

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South Africa is the world’s 7th best skinny-dipping spot 

A list to make you smile. And then go brrrrrr (as winter is not going anywhere yet). But according to new research from Outforia, South Africa is the 7th best skinny-dipping spot in the world. Topping the list? France, the United States and Spain.

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Astronauts perform zero-g synchronized swimming  

Not to be left out of the fun and games of Tokyo 2020, astronauts onboard the International Space station have showed off their very own “synchronized space swimming” skills.

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A cruise ship for one? 

Jim Dever just got the experience of a lifetime … spending time on Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam as their one – and only – VIP guest.