Category: Habits



“Nothing happens until something moves.”

Einstein was speaking of relativity, but those theories are so relevant in our every-day lives.  So many people struggle day in and day out to get things done and can never quite seem to find that sweet spot that allows their days and their lives to flow. They continue to struggle, knowing and even saying that they’ve got to do something to change that, but it never happens. The fires continue to burn and they continue to fly by the seat of their pants to put them out daily. Sadly, that will continue until they take the step to affect a change. Here’s a short video for you about taking action. You have to be the something that moves.

 


If you’re a chronic procrastinator your habit is regularly impacting your business and your life. You may have tried things to stop the habit and some things may have worked for a while, but then you found yourself right back where you started. You’re not by yourself.  What happens to most is that they get used to the impact and used to working the way that their habit has them work and dealing with the consequences. They become a bit resigned and continue to operate in the mayhem that procrastination causes.

That mayhem causes bad fruit to grow on what I call your Procrastination Tree™. Whatever you do plants seeds for something to grow later down the road, whether it’s something you want or not. You may not think of procrastination in these terms, but if you know who I am you know that I don’t look at or see things the way most do and this is no different.  Your procrastination has roots (symptoms), branches and fruit (impact). The fruit shows up in your life as:

  • An ongoing list of undone things
  • Wasted time and energy
  • Lost clients/money
  • Physical symptoms like stress (Which can lead to other things)
  • Missed deadlines and deliveries
  • Lack of efficiency

If your habit of putting things off goes on for long enough, you’ll start to see the fruit turn up in other areas of your life too. If you want to stop growth of the bad fruit, you’ve got to first look at what’s going on. How is procrastination showing up in your life? You have to explore what’s really going on, get the big picture before you can remedy it. When you start looking at it you see its impact and at that point you realize that the fun is over. You’ve got the bill and see your cost for putting things off.

Once you can wrap your head around what it’s costing you, it makes it easier to commit to ridding yourself of it once and for all. Exploring your habit in depth…the symptoms as well as the outcomes that impact you gives you clues as to where to look on a much deeper level. That is where you will find not only the cause for your procrastination, but the solution as well.

If you’re interested in exploring your procrastination, uncovering the real reason you do it, and then annihilating your procrastination, check out this master class series.

 

Busy Work & BSOs


Laptop CloseupThere’s a big difference between being busy and being productive. Every day people are busy with irrelevant things. Things that don’t directly line up with their big picture. Sometimes the busy work comes into play because you’d rather procrastinate than do the task at hand. The things that keep you busy and unproductive are the unnecessary meetings and those without an agenda. The trivial stuff, the things that seem more pleasant to do and some email and phone calls all fall into this category. These are the things that keep you from the things that you really should be giving your time to.

Then there are those time sucking BSOs (Bright shiny objects) that are notorious for leading you astray every day, all day. You know how it is…you’re working on something and then you get a thought about something else that needs to be done, or an awesome idea that you just have to bring to life and you take that detour. You follow the thought or that idea and before you know it an hour or more has gone by and you haven’t done a thing when it comes to the task you originally started with. Ugh!

So how do you bust the busy work and the BSOs? For starters, eliminate the busy work by getting focused on your priorities. Determine what they are based on your values and the things that will help you manifest what you’re up to. Let go of the rest by delegating it or deleting it altogether. The key here is to move away from the things that don’t matter by creating a personalized productivity system that will get you through your days. Create new habits like regular planning that will help you move away from putting out fires and constantly dealing with crises. I mean, who wants to put up with that?

If you’re guilty of letting those BSOs lead you in an entirely different direction, grab a note book or pad of paper that you can keep on your desk or work table. Make sure it’s portable so it can go with you on those days you work from your local coffee shop. The next time a BSO strikes, resist chasing it down and jot it down instead. Take a quick moment to write down the thoughts you’re having or the other things that come to mind that have to be done. Do the same with the ideas that come to you which should only take you a quick minute or two. Then cross of the items you’ve transferred and get back to what you were doing. At the end of each day, or at least a few times a week go to your notes and pull the additional to-do items from your notes and into a fitting spot in your calendar or to-do list. Take those great ideas and add blocks of time to work on them and bring them to life. Each time you come back to your notebook you’ll be able to tell where to start so you won’t lose anything and you’ll maintain your focus which will help you get things done.

 


I recently sent an email out to my list giving them a chance to borrow my brain and get any question they had about productivity answered. That week questions came from other places too. One question I was asked while on the phone with a colleague was, “How is it that I’m productive for three days in a row then have no energy or the right attitude to get things done?” What she shared with me was that during the last few weeks she found herself in a space where she was able to focus and get things done for about three days and then she just couldn’t bring herself back to that space again. She couldn’t stay focused and definitely wasn’t in the frame of mind to do so either.

Each of those days she had started working mid morning and worked until after dinner, sometimes stopping to eat dinner and then coming back to work and at times burning the midnight oil. She was burning herself out, which many women entrepreneurs do. What I suspected was that she wasn’t giving time to herself as was the case. No breaks to grab a healthy snack or take a quick walk or just breathe. She may or may not stop to eat lunch so she could continue to work her way through the things on her list and be farther along with her project. Plowing through those days got things done, but depleted her physically and mentally and it took a couple of days to get things moving again.

If you don’t have time during the day when you give to yourself, now is the time to start doing it. Create a morning routine that allows you space to breathe and to get grounded and focused. You might add a work out or some yoga and meditation. Let the focus be entirely on you. Not your family, not even your business, but on you. Create times during the day when you stop to take a break from work. Step away from your desk or out of your office and again focus on yourself. What do you need in that space? Maybe you need to fuel your body or take the dog for a walk. You will find that those breaks leave you refreshed and ready to knock off the rest of the things on your agenda for the day. Finally, know where to draw the line. Choose a time to end your work days and honor yourself and your time by sticking to it. This will give you the energy, focus and frame of mind you need and will put an end to the weeks where you run out of steam.

 


ProjectSuccess-Resize2If you’ve been around for a while you’ve probably heard me say that people cringe when it comes to creating a plan and that some even say it’s a waste of time. Don’t believe the hype! Planning saves you plenty of your precious time and can help keep you from hitting road blocks.

Let’s talk about that plan you’ve created. It might have been hard for you to even do that if you’re one of those people who cringe when they hear the word “plan”, so congrats for getting that done! Your plan might be related to a particular goal, a project or maybe it’s something for a client. Once you’ve got it, you might not know exactly how to proceed. The key is one bite at a time. You take that large meal, so to speak, and break it down into bite sized pieces. In your plan you would have outlined the milestones for each goal or project, and if you didn’t you’ve got to take a step back and do that.

Looking at one milestone, figure out the smaller steps or tasks; the things that need to happen to reach that milestone and add them to your calendar. Putting things on your to-do list is okay if they will take less than 15 minutes, but if they take longer and you don’t have them in your calendar with a set block of time to complete them, you’re asking for trouble. At the beginning of each week, or at the end of the week for the upcoming week, go through this process. It doesn’t take long at all. As you place things on your to-do list and into your calendar, just like eating a meal, you don’t want to bite off more that you can chew. Don’t overload your plate. The other things that have to be done can stay in the fridge until you’re ready for them. Stick to your priorities as you plan. You should have assigned a level of priority to each goal or project when you created it. That allows you to automatically know which related tasks have priority when it comes to scheduling them.

This process, if you’ve created your plan properly, works really well because at this point, your priorities have been determined. Which allows you to focus on them regularly. That’s what gets you where you want to go. This process leaves no room for guessing, because it’s been removed from the equation altogether. You’ve planned your work, now it’s time to work your plan.

 

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