How Leaders Increase Work and Personal Productivity With Less Stress

New discussions are popping, indicating leadership is not just about business anymore. It never really was. Conversations now address life’s purpose. Here is how you can decrease stress, increase productivity, and be confident in your decisions.

Can you really balance the work-home conundrum?

Dear Dr. Sylvia,

I have been so comfortable working from home. I must admit, I don’t want to go back to the office.

For example, I always hated the commuter drive which took me an hour each way.

There was so much noise and disrespect. Beeping and middle fingers signaling nasty messages from open car windows. Not pretty!

Above all, I hated the dash to my office and my exhausted dash from my office in the evening.

In other words, I think I am becoming agoraphobic. That’s an extreme or irrational fear of entering open or crowded spaces or of leaving one’s own home.

Moreover, I am concerned that awful feeling of “just leave me alone” is not going away.

When change is the major requirement.

I classify myself as an introvert. Guess that goes well with agoraphobia. Like ketchup on fries!

Therefore, working from home, just being with my family has been ideal.

However, my organization is not giving us an options of where to work.

To clarify, they say life is going back to normal. Ug!

What does ‘Back to Normal’ mean?

Can you give me some suggestions on how to navigate what everyone is saying is “back to normal.”

Will you simply say, “it’s a pattern from the past”? I already know that.

Above all, I need some help with managing stress and how to get out of my own way.


Loves Isolation

When habitual patterns hold you back.

Dear Loves Isolation,

Most importantly, your question is for all of us. “How to free yourself from habitual patterns that hold you back.”

For instance, you talk about being an introvert and wanting to work from home.

On the other hand, there are many who can’t wait to get back to the office. They love to interact with colleagues ‘in the flesh.’

The extroverts wonder how to respond to their quiet colleagues in a positive manner.

The introverts ask how to keep boundaries safe for themselves so they don’t run and hide.

Find the underlying pattern: the introvert.

For example, imagine you are late for a meeting. You quietly slide into a seat at the very back of the room.

As a result, the person facilitating the meeting suggests you come sit closer to the front. And, makes a comment like, ‘Glad you could join us.’

Did you tense up with a fake smile on your lips while your eyes were darting anger?

Consequently, did you do what you always do? My guess is the card that you hold in your hand is the one you always play. That means, you shut down and stuffed your upset.

Am I right? Just nod your head.

Find the underlying pattern: the extrovert.

Next, how would an extrovert colleague respond?

Perhaps the response would be different from the facilitator’s comment. More like, “I’m here now, and I did not appreciate your comment.”

Yes, there might still be the tense smile. Maybe they are dealing with stress. However, the desire to lash out and the need to say something to defend yourself remains strong.

Why these patterns won’t go away.

Whether it’s self-criticism or rage, the common goal of patterns is very much the same. It is to repeat behavior we learned as infants.


Above all, it’s to self-soothe.

That is to say, each of us, even as little kids, found ways to ease our emotional insecurities.

They may have worked when you were three or nine or thirteen. However, not now.

Moreover, these knee-jerk reactions that developed long ago are what keep us stuck.

In other words, did you ever say “Damn, I did it again.” Which, causes you stress.

We call that pattern repetition.

How to unhook.

If you have ever felt stuck in self-sabotage and are unsure how to respond differently, here is the wat OUT.

Firstly, OBSERVE your reactions by writing in a journal. Do this for a week. Jot down how you responded when you were upset.

Secondly, take the time to UNDERSTAND where the reactions began. Take the time to search inside yourself. Think back to when you would shut down or shout out as a kid. Above all, how did those who took care of you respond to your behavior?

Further, make a commitment to TRANSFORM the behaviors that are causing you stress and anxiety.

Yearning to be free.

In conclusion, there is one characteristic that defines most of us. It is the yearning to be the best you can be.

In short, you wrote to me to find a way to break through barriers. It’s time to overcome your own limitations, maximize your potential, and live life fully.

THAT is the ‘New Normal.’

To sum up, you can free yourself from habitual patterns. Read more on the OUT Technique in my book Don’t Bring it To Work. Better yet, contact us for a pattern breakthrough session with one of our coaches. You’ll be glad you did.

Here’s to your success,


Creative Energy Options

Sylvia Lafair

Creative Energy Options