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

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
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  • 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
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    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.

    Power Down Procrastination

    Procrastination and New Year resolutionsMy guess is that this week not so many of you are suffering with procrastination (if suffering is the right word!), we are still in the hype and novelty of New Year and resolutions and intentions.

    So how long until the procrastination kicks in? When does the excitement wear off and you start getting distracted? I suspect not that long……

    Are you a procrastinator? Or are you always productive and get everything done quickly and easily?

    If I am honest I have sides of both, I can procrastinate for England if I am in that space! so believe me I know what I’m talking about here. Yet I can also be very organised and very productive when I’m in the zone. My challenge these days is often getting into the zone, getting going, once I’m there there’s no stopping me.

    I think when I was younger, especially in the early days of my business, I had so much to do I really didn’t have time to be distracted or to not do it. I was definitely that busy person to go to if you wanted something done.
    Over the years I think I have relaxed more and also changed focus in terms of what I actually do in my business, as well as what I deem to be important.

    For more years than not since I have been self employed I have worked at home, so I have always had the potential for distraction.

    And I think its all about how you manage it. I would always go to the gym during off peak hours because it was quieter, then at the same time I wasn’t working a straight 9-5 so I would still get everything done, just at a time to suit me.

    Over the years I have definitely become more conscious of having a balanced life and sometimes it is taking this too far that leads me into procrastination. I lose focus on what I want to create and get caught up in minutiae. Or I take a break in the sun, which is fine, but then don’t limit it so I lose track of time and then don’t feel like picking up again.

    And balance is definitely a big part of it, not only balancing work with the other parts of life, also balancing the things you want to do with the things you “have” to do, as its usually these we procrastinate over in reality.

    And I know its all about focus because I prove it with my own actions, I know for me when I am focused and make a decision to do something I do it, whether it is moving country or doing my accounts at the end of the month!

    So are you focused enough or can you drift into procrastination? In the next blog I will follow up with some tips to beat it…..

    Are You Sacrificing Down Time For Housework?

    Give yourself more free time, delegate the houseworkSomething that is on my list of things that bug me, is how busy professional people deny themselves any “me time”

    I watch friends and colleagues rushing around all week, then they get home at the weekend and what do they do? Housework, DIY, gardening. And before they know it its Monday again, and they have had no downtime at all.

    And then they complain about having no time….

    I have one thing to say to you

    Get a cleaner! (and a gardener if it applies)

    They need the work, you need the time, for a few $/€/£ a week you can have all the little jobs done and give (buy) yourself some free time.

    Unless it is your hobby and you really enjoy it, why waste your precious time on things you’d rather not do? How much is your time worth?

    And if you choose to, don’t complain you have no spare time….. 😉

    Time, and the words we use ….

    Words we use around time Have you ever stopped to think about the words we use around time?

    How often do we get offered a “time saving” device, or hear someone offering to “save” us time?

    You can’t “save” time. Time ticks on by regardless, you can’t put it in a box for later! The only thing that determines how much time you have is how long you live.

    All we can actually do with time is spend it, invest it, use it. So the only way to get more done is to invest the time more wisely, use it more efficiently.

    If ever we say “I don’t have time” what we are really saying is “I am prioritising something else” generally that something else is more important to us, which is great because it means we are focusing on what is important.

    Sometimes it’s worth stopping to notice when we do this, as it does highlight where our focus is. Every now and again stop and check that the focus IS where you want it to be.

    If not, adjust, as time waits for no-one 😉

    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?

    Top Tips For Running A Successful, Purpose Driven Business

    Top Tips from Julia McdaidToday is the day you can hear my interview on the Soulfully Successful Women Telesummit.

    One of the things Kelly and I talked about in preparation for the Telesummit were my top tips to build a successful business from your passion and purpose. After thinking about this I came up with these, and I thought you might find them useful.

    Firstly is follow your heart. If you are not familiar with the phrase, learn to understand what this means. To me it’s about doing it YOUR way, BEing you, being authentic and in integrity. Following your heart is about doing what is true for you, what you wnt deep down inside when yu stop listening to all those doubts and questions in your head! Its not what is expected or what you know. In fact I can’t emphasise enough, don’t just do what you know – unless it really is your passion and purpose.

    The next thing I would say, which really follows on from the first is to connect with your intuition, and use it. It is your intuition which will guide you and tell you what is true for you, this is what allows you to follow your heart.

    Another thing that many of us as women need to learn, because we are not very good at it, is to learn to receive. We women are naturally givers and often find this hard to do. Again this may need more explanation and understanding, I know it would have meant little to me when I started out. Here I’m referring to allowing your feminine side out, to allowing things to come to you, to be graceful and gracious and open in the way you interact. When you start thinking about attracting the right clients and people to you it pays to know how to receive (not dismiss things without thinking!).

    I think it is great to remember to keep things balanced too, although this is enough to be a blog in itself and I have written about it before. Part of this is knowing you are number one, put you first. Then also think about masculine & feminine energies in the business, and in you; about having time for the non work aspects of your life, the people and things that are important to you.

    And a couple of more practical tips for you:

    Get the right support network around you. This will allow you to play to your strengths. so look at advisors, mentors, peers, the people you interact with and look to for help. Plus your business structure, you can set this up so that it works for you and your lifestyle, delegating where appropriate and so on – learn to delegate well. This one is still on my “must do better” list I will be honest, I find it hard sometimes.

    And when it comes to using people outside of the business to help you, especially if you are paying them, don’t use advisors who only have corporate experience, because they won’t get you and they won’t understand the peculiarities of small business, whatever they might say. This is one I learned the hard way.

    And finally, this kind of ties into where I started, do let go of the “shoulds” and “ought to’s“. If you are running a purpose driven business it’s about your passion, your purpose, you and your clients, it’s not about what somebody else who doesn’t know those things says you should do. Yes there are some things you have to comply with legally, every business does, outside that its your business, your way, always.

    I hope you find some of these tips useful and if you have any good ones, please do share them 🙂

    Spring Cleaning – Get That Desk Organised!

    How often does your desk or workspace get just too messy and you decide you have to clean it up?

    Make your life easier, keep that desk tidy, and you more energisedNow we’re really getting towards Spring maybe this is as good a time as any to do it. Here’s a good way to get your desk back in shape without spending an entire day working on it.

    • Start with the big stuff — books and large reports. These shouldn’t be on your desk anyway. They should be in drawers or on shelves. If you don’t have a proper place for them now, get one. Apart from ordering a new bookshelf, this should take you just five minutes.

    • Sort everything on the desk into three piles: (1) Must Be Done Today, (2) Important but Not Urgent, and (3) Not So Important. The Not-So-Important pile should be the largest. If you move quickly, this sorting process should take no more than 15 minutes.

    • Go through pile No. 3 with the goal of eliminating 80% of it. Keep the waste bin handy. If you haven’t got to it in the past 60 days, it’s ready for the bin. Delegate whatever you can, but get rid of most of it. What remains should be important stuff only. Transfer that back to pile No. 2.

    • Go through pile No. 2. Put a date on top of every item – one that gives you a realistic time frame for taking care of it. Put each piece in your calendar file. Do this until pile No. 2 disappears. This will take about a half-hour.

    • Now you are left with pile No. 1 — the stuff you must do that day. You will probably be eager to get to that file at this point. But don’t let yourself do it. Not until you’ve tidied up the rest of your desk – dusted, arranged, adjusted the plants, etc.

    And you end up with a super clean and tidy desk with prioritised work, which you should then be able to whizz through 😉

    Always late – is it rude?

    Do you think being late shows a lack of respect? I know opinions vary on this.

    Is that the time? I'm late!I think most of us will allow an occasional exception if there are traffic problems etc

    What about the person who is always late though. According to Lisa Jimenez always being late is a symptom of fear (can’t remember if its success or failure, though the two are linked)

    Lisa claims that people who are consistently late get a buzz from the adrenaline of rushing to make appointments. I used to live with someone who was always late for social events (not work) and I think this may well have applied.

    What do you think? Fear, lack of respect, adrenaline rush?

    Delegating When It All Feels Overwhelming

    When you start your business it may well be just you, or you may start with staff straight away. But even if it is just you, sorting out what needs to be done and who is going to do it will still be something you need to do.

    Its always good to delegate the things you're not best atWhilst it may be essential initially, it is unlikely that you will be either able or willing to do everything yourself as your business grows. Bear in mind why you started in business in the first place. I doubt it was to give yourself a job with an eighty hour week?

    As the business owner you have to have time to do the things that are essential to developing and growing your business. That means the planning and thinking and strategic stuff.
    Leaders should only do what only they can do. Sir John Harvey-Jones

    As you try and free up time to do these things, think about what is taking up your time. Is it things that you have to do, or could somebody else do them? What is your time worth? How many orders do you lose if you spend time doing tasks that someone else could be doing at half the cost?

    Even if you don’t have staff you can still get other people to help. You can sub-contract or outsource some of the work. This may be part of the production or service delivery, or it may be administrative tasks like your book keeping and telephone answering.

    You might use other companies, individuals or “virtual” resources. For example it is becoming quite common for small business owners to use a virtual PA, who can deal with your telephone calls and administration even though they are not based at your office.

    There are also things that can be done via the internet, for example you can automate your IT backups, so that they happen automatically, and your data is off site.

    But also you might outsource some of the areas in your business that we have already looked at, such as your marketing or PR.

    So if you think there is too much for one person to do, remember – there is always a way……….

    The above is taken from Julia’s book Start Up 101

    Take Some Time Out

    When was the last time you took some time to relax, just for yourself? It is all to easy when running a business to get totally bogged down in it to the extent that you never really switch off. Which means that you really never get any proper rest.

    Take soem time out from your business and relaxI sometimes spend a weekend away on a short break – with no email and no telephone calls, just doing what I want to do – nobody else. No pressure, no deadlines, no demands or fitting in. And that means I come back totally refreshed and relaxed.

    It’s all too easy to forget the reason why you are doing what you’re doing. And I doubt it is to tire yourself out and have no time for the things you enjoy.

    So why not book a couple of days off, just for you, to do what you want to do. The business will still be there when you come back – honestly! And with the Christmas holiday season upon us its a great opportunity to have a few days downtime, just for you.