Productive vs busy

Do you ever feel like you do a lot of stuff, but it isn’t necessarily productive?

How do you make sure that with all the things you have to do that what you spend your time on isn’t just busy work, and is actually moving you toward your goals?

The thing is that we are all busy, we all have things that need to be done and that keep us busy, whether that is tasks for our businesses, like creating our next program or course, or new opt-in page or what have you. Or tasks like getting the broadband upgraded or balancing our cheque books, keeping our home clean and tidy and looking after our loved ones (this includes ourselves!).

It’s vital if we want to succeed in business and have fulfilling lives and relationships that we use our time wisely.

As Carl Sandberg said time is the coin of our lives and we need to be mindful of how we spend it and avoid other people being able to spending it for you.

Essentially what that means is that we need to prioritise our time so that the tasks that move us to where we want to go get the time they require.

So if we want to succeed in business that might mean prioritising marketing and sales tasks, like going out networking and following up with the contacts you’ve made, over creating a course.

On a day to day basis it means prioritising the tasks that require more concentration and blocking them in first and then filling in the rest of the time with the smaller tasks as and when.

This great video explains it a bit better.

If you want help to prioritise your rocks then get in touch.

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Doubt

An insidious facet of fear is the voice of doubt. The voice in your head that says, “Are you sure?” “How can you be certain?”

Sometimes it is useful to question our assumptions, to more thoroughly test and discern our thoughts, feelings and path of action.

Often though that voice, that questioning, that doubt slows us down, or even stops us in our tracks causing indecision and allowing fear to take over.

I see this all the time when it comes to people getting support for their dreams. They are excited and enthusiastic to sign up and take the steps toward their dreams, but their doubt about how they will find the money or time stops them from taking that step forward and being able to get the support they need.

The doubt kills their dream because they don’t see that saying yes would show the universe that they are willing to do what it takes, despite the fear and uncertainty.

The truth is that nothing is life is certain, except for change and death and they both can occur in a myriad of ways. Rather than spending your time investing in worrying about how things might happen, it is more productive to invest it in creating what you actually desire or getting as close to it as you can. Sometimes life has something better in mind so taking action, but being open to the result can really magnetise the most amazing opportunities your way.

However if you stay in indecision, doubt and fear, you never get to see the support that comes in when you say yes to your dreams.

Remember:

“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” – Suzy Kassem

If you’d like support to get past your doubts then get in touch.

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The Power of Hope in Business

Have you ever felt like running a business is like pushing a boulder up a hill? That you’re running and running and nothing is happening? That no matter how much you work and promote you just aren’t finding the right people or opportunities and you may even be thinking about giving it all up.

It can be tempting when times are hard to pack it all in. To help you keep going when that happens you’ll need to unleash the power of hope in your business.

Starting a business can be a little bit like unleashing Pandora’s box as there are many obstacles and challenges that follow the step of opening the business making box.

However as the Greek myth suggests there is something that can help us at the bottom of the box to overcome and defeat the challenges that are unleashed and that is hope.

Hope is like the rainbow that comes in the midst of the rain storm, and the stars that come out when the sun sets.

A few weeks ago I was feeling pretty low and sad as I was processing some of the grief I felt about my Auntie’s passing. I was on my way out to an event at the tail end of a rain shower and looked up.

I saw the rainbow in the picture and I smiled, because it reminded me that while there may be rain storms they often pass (especially here in the UK!) The rain waters the earth and the plants and some how things will be OK for me as well.

The trick when things are hard is to look around us for the signs that things are working out.

It could be like it was for me, a rainbow. It could be finding a penny or some money as you are walking along. It could just be the smile of a stranger in the street.

In business terms it could be that you have spoken to more people than you have the previous month, or that you have reached more people through your Facebook posts.

The more that we can tune into these the more that we will receive.

If you want to you might like to keep a list of all these moments so that when you lose hope and feel like things aren’t working out, you can remind yourself that that are instead.

I’d love to hear what hope moments you have in the comments below.

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If you’d like more support to tune into your hope moments, give me a shout!

Be careful who you hang out with

Researchers have found that the people around you have more of an influence on your life than you think.

If your friends’ friend loses weight then you are likely to lose weight too. Same for starting or stopping smoking and even the amount of money you make.

So if you aren’t making the kind of money you would like to make in your business then it is worth taking a look at who you spend the most time with.

I’m about to date myself, but when I was a young girl the big thing that the other girls in school were into was boy bands. I remember my older sister being really into a particular band for a short while and then because she was into them and I spent most of my time hanging out and playing with her, I got into the band too!

Even after she had moved on to the cooler R’n’B music that started to appear, I stuck with my love for this particular band and I am still a fan of the more recent 3/5th reconfigured version too. Feel free to pop your band guesses in the comments below!

I must say my music tastes have varied and changed a lot over the years depending on my mood and who I am spending time with.

To give you another example I recently met a lady who because one of her friends was cutting sugar out of her diet, decided to join her and had been sugar free for a few weeks at that point.

Obviously music tastes and food habits aren’t so key when it comes to running a business, but often as introverts we spend a lot of time with people we know already, family and friends. Now, unless our family and friends are entrepreneurs already, this can really hold us back.

In order to make sure that the people around us aren’t holding us back, it’s important to develop a network of like minded people and even people who have achieved what you are wanting to do, because then you utilise the power of the network to your benefit.

If you find the idea of growing your network daunting then please do get in touch, I’d love to support you.

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Let it flow

Recently, I’d been struggling with getting my thoughts out on paper, and I struggled because I was aware of my inner critic wanting to edit what was wanting to come out before it was fully down and out.

What I found really helpful was to just allow myself to type out the thoughts as they came to mind, instead of trying to make them perfect the first go around.

That then meant that I had several documents opened and lots of different thoughts that had popped out, but it did mean that I was able to use that process to come up with a potentially viable idea for a blog post without getting too caught up in making it perfect.

Instead of worrying about sense and editing it as I was typing, which I’m prone to do, I just let the thoughts flow out and onto the page.

What I found was that it freed me up to just share what was on my mind and then to go back and edit what I had written later.

I was able to polish up that I had and get it published in a much shorter time than if I had sat there and forced myself to stick to writing something useful and sensible right out of the gate.

Considering this was my first attempt at writing a blog post since my Auntie passed away, it was a much easier, compassionate and gentle way for me to get writing again.

I have found that when I let things flow in general, whether they be words or emotions, things do get much easier and it is much easier to get started again. So why not give letting it flow a shot the next time your stuck for something to write or say?

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If you have thoughts you’d like to share pop them in the comments below and if you’d like more support to do your business in a way that works with you then get in touch!

What do you do when you can’t focus

You know how it is, you have a deadline and you need to get that proposal out or the email sent, or the blog post/ talk/ article written, but your brain is firing off oh so many thoughts.

Kind of like a web browser running a lot of tabs, your a bit slow and sluggish and trying to find the tab that is playing the annoying music in the background.

It might seem counter intuitive, but I’ve found that the best thing to do in those moments is usually something else.

Maybe that is take a nap – if you’re so tired you can’t keep your eyes open!

Maybe that is go for a walk or do a different task.

Maybe that is mediate or do some colouring in.

All of those can help you to be more productive when you get back to it.

Something else that can help is to journal or get some support. Especially if it is about something you are worried about, or unsure about the next step or action to take.

Often just getting the thoughts out of your head and on to some paper, or out in the open and heard, can bring clarity and lighten the load you might have been under.

All of these require that you go easy on yourself when it happens though and not beat yourself up for getting distracted. If you are an achievement junkie that can be pretty hard to do, and the more that you can accept that everyone gets distracted now and then, the more that you will be able to do something about it. The more you resist and beat yourself up, the worse it feels.

So next time you feel like a browser with too many tab open, why not try closing some down by journalling, getting support, or taking a break and doing something else to calm yourself down and see if that helps.

If you have another way to get your focus back, I’d love to hear it in the comments below.

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If you’d like support to stay on track then get in touch, I’d love to see how I might be able to support you!

Life is short

This past week has been a reminder that life is short and that tomorrow is not guaranteed.

My Auntie* who was staying with us passed away unexpectedly in her sleep last week.

While it was undoubtedly a shock, what struck me most about her passing is that she had so many plans to do things, like travel to Canada and Dubai and to retire to the Philippines to spend time with her kids and grand kids, but she didn’t get the chance.

For me it has spurred me to take action now on the dreams and plans that I have and not put them off if I can help it.

Being confronted by death puts things in perspective and highlights what is important to each of us as individuals.

For me, that’s time spent with loved ones and family. Creating happy memories and experiences. Making the most of what is happening right here and now and not sweating the small stuff, because at the end of the day it doesn’t matter if you have a lot or a little, but really how much you have loved and lived.

My Auntie loved and lived well. She had more she could have experienced for sure, but she raised two kids and lived her life in a way that made her happy. She was kind and loving and giving and is truly missed.

The lessons her passing has imparted will serve to remind me to take nothing for granted, live more in the now and let the small stuff go.

At the end of the day life is too short not too!

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I’d love to hear what dreams and goals you are taking on action on now in the comments below. And if I can help you with that then let me know!

*Not an actual blood relative, but a friend of my mum’s. In the Filipino culture the friends of my parents become my Aunties and Uncles.

Nothing compares to you!

Comparison is the thief of joy – Theodore Roosevelt

When it comes to the service or product that you provide, do you sometimes find that you compare yourself to the “competition” (the other people who do something similar to you)?

Maybe it’s more in the personal arena that you find yourself comparing the way that you look or how much you earn or where you live, or some other man-made measure of “success”.

Perhaps you even have potential clients comparing what you do, and your prices to another coach or service provided who does something similar.

The thing about comparison is that someone always comes up short.

That may be you or that may be the other person, either way it’s not a joyful place to be.

If you find yourself superior to the other person, you may feel good temporarily, but building yourself up at the expense of someone else leaves you feeling alone and disconnected.

The same result happens when you find yourself coming up short. You feel less than and worthless and cut off.

Both of those are damaging, especially if we end up feeling disconnected.

If you’ve attended one of my talks then you’ll know that as humans we are built for and need connection, and connection is everything, especially when it comes to meeting other people.

So how can we prevent comparison from stealing our joy?

Firstly, by being aware of the truth that nothing and no one compares to you! There is truly no one else like you on the planet. No one has the same cells, thoughts, ideas, upbringing as you. No one has been exposed to the exactly the same conditions as you have or experienced the same journey. There may be similarities, but there is only one you!

The second thing to do, as I’ve discovered courtesy of the Inner Mean Girl cleanse, is to turn the inferiority or superiority you feel into one of three things: gratitude, inspiration or appreciation.

What that means is that you look at what quality you are comparing in yourself and use that to spark gratitude for something you do have, inspiration to do or become something more or different, and appreciation of the quality that you are seeing.

The fact that you can see that quality in the other person means that it is something that is available to you as well. It might take a bit of nurturing, but it is available!

So the next time you compare yourself to someone, stop it from stealing your joy by turning it into gratitude, inspiration or appreciation. If you’d like more support to do that then let me know.

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I’d love to hear what qualities you are appreciating, inspired by or grateful for in the comments below.

Getting things done by taking care of you

Have you ever felt so tired that you couldn’t keep your eyes open, while you were sitting at your desk?

I have.

Both when I was working in a job and for myself!

In those moments not only do I know that I need to get to bed earlier(!), but also that I need to take better care of myself.

Sometimes it can feel like we have to push on through the tiredness and exhaustion because we have a deadline or some other reason to get our to do list all checked off, maybe you can relate?

Contrary to popular belief, what I’ve found is that when I give myself the time to rest, and rest well, I actually get more done.

Take this blog post for example. I needed to get it written before I headed out to my yoga class one afternoon, but I was struggling to keep my eyes open.

Instead of pushing on through my tiredness and trying to get something written I had a quick nap and got this post done in 10 minutes!

So next time you feel like you have to choose between pushing on through to get something done or taking care of you to get things done, take a moment and consider if it might just be more productive to do the latter and give it a shot.

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If you’d like support to build your business in a way that doesn’t burn you out, get in touch.

Celebrate the little wins

When you have a big goal you want to achieve, it can feel daunting to take steps to making it a reality and something my mentor Jesse Koren reminded me of is that we need to celebrate the little wins to keep going.

Watch my Facebook live on that here:

Feel free to share your little wins that you are celebrating in the comments below.

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