Time To Stop This Craziness

Sometimes, when its all getting too much, you just have to STOP!Are you enjoying the summer? Its school holidays now and for many an excuse to rest a bit more and work a bit less.

Not for everyone though, to some the nice weather just makes them feel guilty because they want to be out in it but feel under pressure to get on with other things.

 

Time for me
At this time of year the first thing I do once I’m up is take the dog to the beach, and we stay there for between one and two hours. I don’t check the time, we come back when we’re ready. That’s me time. I mostly don’t book appointments too early in the morning, and I only ever check the time on the rare occasion I do have a commitment.

Yet among the entrepreneurs I know, not many do things like this.

Too many folks are too “busy”

All too often I see people running around way too much, if you talk to them they keep on about how busy they are and don’t have time for things. Yet they are still keep adding more to the diary. And at the same time they are constantly making excuses for not doing things.

Typically these people are not hermits, 9 times out of 10 they’re at all the social events you can imagine as well, and all the business events and conferences.

Take a break

You don’t have to go to every social event, catch up with every friend and acquaintance every time. You don’t have to do it all

You do need to take a break, give yourself day off, quietly, on your own, or an evening off. On your own, not with the pressure of social and fitting in with others

Or you might be forced into it
If you don’t rest your body is eventually going to make you, and you very likely won’t like the way it does it!
Here’s the thing, if you’re feeling stressed, for whatever reason, you need time out. You’re already making excuses for the things you don’t deem to be a priority, yet what is left is still too much.

And its not just you
Plus the people you are turning down are seeing you doing the other things and out and about all the time, and they are noticing, if they are switched on they are noticing that you’re not making them priority. Particularly if you post your every move on social media!
Your clients can see it, your friends can see it

So not only are you slowly making yourself ill, you are also unconsciously upsetting people around you or undermining their faith in you.

Too much inspiration?
And then there’s the other side, the entrepreneurs blessing and nightmare. You just keep getting more ideas. You do, don’t you? It’s normal.

What’s not normal is trying to implement every idea as soon as it comes to you. Where did you suddenly get time and energy? Either you put off something else, because this is exciting and in the now, or you’re trying to do it all, which means you’ve added even more to the “to do” pile!


Actions you can take

If you already promised to do something, don’t just say you can’t do it now, or you don’t have time, ask someone else to take over. Or delegate if you have someone you can hand over to.

If you get all these ideas and you want to do them all, write them down, keep an ideas book with you, and then do one at a time

If your feeling stressed, stop. Take time out. Really the world won’t end if you have a breather, nobody will die if it’s not all done today, honestly.

Be responsible
At the end of the day you have to take responsibility for what’s going on in your life. You can change things and you can make choices. Step back, breathe, and ask yourself what is the right next step for you. And do that.

If you feel that your life is a bit crazy and you’re looking for more balance why not check out my new workshop? How to Get Back to Balance: Know What You Want, Create More Time, And Get Back in Control of Your Life and Your Business read more here

First published by Authentic Edge, August 2015 © Julia Mcdaid

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Are you chasing too many rabbits?

There is an old Chinese proverb that says ‘man who chases two rabbits catches neither’.

Al Ries’s book Focus (Harper Collins) contains 300 pages of examples suggesting that it is exactly the same in business. Success, he says, comes from narrowing our focus so that our people, our customers and our targets have a clear and uncluttered understanding of what we are, what we do and what we stand for.

According to Ries ‘If there were nothing but general surgeons and you were the only brain surgeon, you would have an incredible business and you could charge outrageous prices’.

So why shouldn’t it be the same for other businesses too?

It’s a question that many of the world’s most successful businesses have already answered eg Intel’s CEO Andrew Grove once said ‘I’d rather have all my eggs in one basket and spend my time worrying about whether it’s the right basket, than try to put one egg in every basket.’

Seven Questions to Kickstart Your Week

7 questions to kickstart your week - Julia McdaidI thought I would jot down a few things that might help when you want to focus. By asking yourself questions you will naturally start your brain looking for answers.

This is one way to tap into the subconscious mind, and can be used very powerfully.

So here are seven questions to ask yourself

1. What do I most want to create this week?

2. Who do I need to speak to this week?

3. How will I choose my attitude to impact how I deal with stressful circumstances that arise today?

4. What am I doing that I know isn’t helping my business?

5. How do I really want to serve my clients?

6. What choices will I make today that align my purpose and passion with the tasks awaiting my attention?

7. What can I work on right now that would change everything for me?

Give them some thought, either ask yourself at the start of the day, or the start of the week, or before you go to sleep and let the answers come overnight.

And do let me know how you get on, I’d love to hear what worked for you, and what difference it made.

Live your life for you

Live your life for you - Julia McdaidI have been reminded several times over the last month or so of the importance of living life to the full. Several people in my circles have either lost someone or discovered illness unexpectedly.

Unfortunately it is at times like this that most of us feel reminded to get on with life and do the things we always wanted to do, be with the people we want to be with and get out and make the most of things
Yet really they should always be our priority, why would you not make the most of your life? Why waste time with people you don’t like being around or who don’t inspire you, or doing things that you don’t enjoy?

And even worse if you find yourself in circumstances not of your choosing why keep the pain and hurt inside?
Yet it happens so often.

The natural response when circumstances around us become painful or uncomfortable is to shut down, often we are either conditioned not to show feelings and emotions or we are scared to or we feel uncomfortable letting it all out.

So what happens? It gets bottled up inside. We take refuge in keeping busy, using other activities to distract us. Some people become health freaks, always exercising, others become workaholics, all in an attempt to keep busy to keep the pain and hurt at bay.

And to what result? Usually this bottled up pain, hurt or resentment finds a way out somehow. And all too often it is through illness.

So then you have to stop, your body has forced you to. Those who are wise, or aware, listen and rest and look at how they came to be here.

Those who are not, or don’t want to face it may still carry on, trying to push through.

I have known people who always bottle up feelings and emotions and who always put a brave face on things, never showing how they really feel. And usually they are angry, there is bitterness underneath. And it is fake too, I have noticed how it feels fake when someone is always pretending, and I’m sure you have too.

I know it can require vulnerability to share pain or hurt, and many find this too hard. Yet being vulnerable is such an amazing strength. Sometimes we just need to change our perception to feel more comfortable.

So I guess my call to you today is to focus on what is important to you. And if necessary take steps to move things you don’t like out of your life, or at least away from you on a day to day basis. Whatever you can do to take your attention away from the things that get you down, annoy you, worry you etc has to be a good thing.

And also look at being more open, ask for help if you need it. Share how you feel, especially when something is getting to you. Be honest with yourself even if you don’t feel up to telling others.

I know I was brought up in a family that kept feelings and emotions hidden. I didn’t have role models who talked things out, it was all British “stiff upper lip” way of coping!

I have learned myself as life has gone by and I have grown as a person. And I feel very lucky to have been exposed to the people and situations that helped me become more aware and change into a much more open person. I know who I am now is a million miles away from who I was 30 years ago.

And one of the main things that has changed is that I do choose to do things for me, I generally don’t care what other people think, and I don’t let stuff get to me. It doesn’t mean nothing ever annoys me, or gets to me, of course it does. I just decide not to hang out there for too long.

Life is too short, and the most important person in your life is YOU.

Inspiration in action

Let your inspiration flow and guide youAs I sit down to write this blog it’s worth noting that today I had already planned to be working ON my business, no clients just writing and developing new programs.

And first thing this morning, when I was out walking the dogs I started getting ideas and inspiration. Words, ideas for programs, snippets to make up parts of the program and areas to focus on. I was actually dictating on my phone when I was out. What a great way to kick off the day!

Here’s where life happens though. Do you ever find yourself in the same situation, absolutely buzzing with thoughts and ideas, feeling you need to capture them before you lose them?
I bet you do.

Make it happen
Its more than just making a note of them though, its creating space to implement them. And when you have planned a creative day honouring that decision for you and your business. That gives us momentum, time working on the business is just as important as client facing time. Otherwise what happens when your current projects run their course, when existing clients are at the end of their agreed work with you? You end up starting again almost.

Stuff gets in the way..
This is where distraction is the big risk, because it oh so easy to just do those little jobs that need doing. “I’ll just do x,y,z then I’m free for the rest of the day to follow up my ideas”

NO!

This is what happens so often in our lives, and I know I fall for it, that was my challenge this morning, I had a list of jobs that need attention, “things to do” . Some admin, some money coming in to the bank to check, some bills to pay. It would be very easy to do them first, but I was very aware that had I done so it would have distracted me big time, the chances are in my case I wouldn’t have stopped doing odd jobs before lunchtime.

And by getting distracted like this it would have taken all the excitement & energy away, I wouldn’t have had the same buzz if I put the ideas aside to pick up this afternoon. In fact I may not have gone near them today at all, and then they would be relegated to the future “to do” list.

You have time
The bottom line is there is time later on, enough time to do the odd jobs, later on in the day. As long as I get to it during working hours I can check the bank and do payments this afternoon, the world won’t end if I do my admin tomorrow.

This is about taking inspired action, following your heart and staying in flow. And staying with your plan.

Act on it
So here is my message and call to action for you today:

Act whilst you have the inspiration and energy, act before it fizzles out.

As Nike says Just Do It!

If you are struggling with prioritising and would like to schedule a Strategy Session just send an email to ss @ ae8.biz to arrange a complimentary chat.

Tips to Shift Procrastination

Do it now! Beat procrastinationAs promised following on from the last blog here are a few tips to help beat procrastination for those who have tendencies towards it.

In terms of planning for your business ask yourself a question like “What can I, and only I, do which will give superior results?”

Make a list of these things – these are the things you should concentrate on.

These are going to be the activities that are referred to as ‘working ON your business’, i.e. strategic business activities that help to create that brighter future, as opposed to ‘working IN your business’, i.e. the day-to-day activities necessary to get the job done.

Here are a few ideas to shift your focus.

  • Have a big focus.
    Its always worth having a big vision and keeping it in mind
  •  

  • Use tools like vision boards and screensavers to keep your big vision in mind
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  • Always consider whether things will move you towards your end goal
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  • Only do what is relevant
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  • Delegate what you don’t enjoy
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  • Delegate things which are not best use of your time
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  • Employ a cleaner, and a gardener if relevant to you
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  • Learn to say no!
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  • However you feel, just start – its amazing how effective this is
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  • Break things down into small actions
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  • Reward yourself for completing things
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  • Use a timer, decide to work for an hour on a certain thing, then take a break
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  • Plan your work
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  • Set aside times when you can not be interupted
  •  
    This is by no means a comprehensive list and I’m sure you can add many more suggestions. At the end of the day its about finding what works for you. And remember, often the most important things in our lives are not the most urgent.

    It’s Not Important Enough ….

    \how important is it?
    How do you prioritise? Do you look at what has to be done, or what you would love to do?

    Do you find that the things that “have” to be done always slip down the pile?

    I do, and I believe it is because they are not important enough.

     

    I have two favourite quotes:

    “If you want to you’ll find a way, if you don’t you’ll find and excuse”

    “Actions speak louder than words”.

    If someone is not getting something done and not prioritising it, my response is “its not important enough to you”, I do this to myself as well. I find it’s a great guide 🙂

    What do you think? Do you always manage to find time for the things that really matter?
    Do you find the things you just cannot relate to are the ones you just don’t want to do?