Our days are made of a series of tasks or activities that each take a certain amount of time. We have 24 hours in a day – no more, no less.

It is how we choose fill these 24 hours that will determine how happy, satisfied or contented  we feel about our life. (You can choose the word that is most meaningful for you)

As a result it is really important to become more mindful of what we choose to include on our to-do or task lists each day.

If you are not consistently experiencing the feelings you desire then it could be time to pay attention … really pay attention … to everything you think you need to do each day. It could be time to make some changes.

This quote “not having enough hours in the day – stop doing things that don’t matter” on the Be More with Less Blog really summed it up for me.

If you’re ready to stop doing the things that don’t matter and need some support to make it happen call/ text Heather on 0212 436 535 or email heather@inspirationscoach.co.nz to arrange a time to chat.

When working with routines, especially if you are self employed or work from home, it is really important to have clear boundaries between work and personal activities.

It is very easy to just nip out to do a personal errand which disrupts the discipline necessary for work flow. Become aware of the things you find yourself doing that you use as a distraction – notice why you want to be distracted.

Create awareness of what your habits and patterns are by using a diary to record everything you do and review it at the end of each day. Did you use your time in a productive way? Did your day have the flow that you wanted to experience?

If not, challenge yourself to set clear boundaries around when you are available for business activities and when you will attend to personal or family activities and continue to monitor the result to see how this small change could work for you.

TIP:

I use a printout from my on-line calendar for a typical week to help get the clarity I need to make this work for me. This template includes all my regular, time sensitive appointments and the blocks of time around these that will be dedicated to business, personal time and family. When I first started to use this template I had to reschedule some appointments so they fit better with my intention to have clear boundaries between work and personal time.

It’s all about become really aware of your patterns, holding the intention of what you want to create and making small changes each day to bring it all into alignment.

Let me know if you would like some support to make this work for you – call/text Heather on 0212 406 535 or email mailto:heather@inspirationscoach.co.nz

This blog post on How to Create a Meaningful Morning Routine led me to reflect on a routine I created to act as an anchor, or point of reference for my business day, that I can use at any point of the day, no matter how I feel or how my day changes. I like to keep my routines flexible so I can be available for clients, my children, and for occasional “on call work”. These are the key priorities that I want to have flexibility to fit into my days with short notice if necessary. By creating a list of daily business activities, that I want to attend to every day, I am able to access this flexibility and still attend to the commitments that are necessary for the running of my business. Here is my daily task list for when I sit down at my desk, no matter what time that may be each day – early morning, mid morning, afternoon or evening. It focuses me and makes whatever time I have available productive.

  • Current initiative: this is an activity I want to focus on first each day, before I log into any programs on my computer, or attend to anything else. It can be an activity I have been procrastinating on, one that I am finding hard to create space for, or something that I want to become a new habit, a regular part of my day. The intention is to spend a minimum of 20 min on this activity first thing each day, before I do anything else. For me this is currently practicing my typing as I want to learn how to touch type properly.
  • Clear and reply to emails that need attention from yesterday.
  • Attend to any voice or text messages from yesterday.
  • Attend to any paper (letters/ receipts) or accounting tasks filed from yesterday
  • Creativity – I spend up to an hour on writing – my blog, working on tools and workshop programs.
  • Then I start to work with a closed task list in whatever remaining time I have available – tasks that I have identified from yesterday and previous days that I want to complete that were not urgent.

What activities would you choose to include in your daily task list? If you want to explore how you could implement a meaningful routine in your day, to support you to become more productive call/ text Heather on 0212 406 535 or email heather@inspirationscoach.co.nz.

This blog post for a previous event I held in November 2011, when I was running my Inspirations Cafes, has just been resent out of the blue to my subscribers. So even though it has been and gone the theme is very relevant to my new program, called 7 Steps to Transform your Life, that starts on Monday 20th May 2013

 

I am still really curious about different ways of approaching how we live our lives on a day to day basis. There are many different ways which can be adapted depending on what you truly want to achieve from your life. The approach we choose will also change depending on what stage of life we find ourselves in – whether we are single, in a relationship, have a young family,  a grown up and independent family, or whether we are retired. There are many variables and many options.

 

And the bottom line still is that our life is a reflection of what we choose to do with each new day we are given, and the choices we make around what we do with our time.

 

So to all those amazing people out there who are ready to transform their lives by marching to their own internal drum beat come and join me for some extra support and inspiration on the next 7 Steps to Transform your Life course…

 

Call me on 0212 4063 535 or email me – heather@inspirationscoach.co.nz to confirm your place now.

          The key take away from this call on Fri 2ndDec was that there is more than one way to approach life – it is more important that we all find a way to live our lives that feels authentic for us rather than trying to fit into someone else’s formula. Only then can we experience the peace and contentment that we desire. Here are some of the learning’s from the call…

          • I am a huge fan of journaling as a tool to clear my head; however a verbal process may work better for others, so become aware of the “shoulds” you experience even around this topic of taking time for reflection and choose to do it in a way that works for you!
          • The process of reflection for the year reminds me of how far I have come, of all that I have learned and accomplished. This can be particularly inspiring, generating energy and excitement to propel us into a wonderful new year.
          • Remember to celebrate your achievements. Create simple rituals with a partner or loved ones to acknowledge and share all that has been meaningful in your life each year. It is these special moments that will be remembered by all in years to come. Also remember that you don’t have to wait until the end of each year to do this – schedule a weekly celebration to remind you of how good life can be!
          • As I have continued to simplify my life I no longer work with elaborate lists of goals for all areas of my life. The most useful technique I find is to choose a theme – a one line statement that encompasses all that I hope for in the coming year. So what would your theme be for 2012?

          If you desire a more peaceful and contented life and need some support with implementing any of these ideas please email heather@inspirationscoach.co.nz  to set up a time for a chat. The next community call is scheduled for Friday 3rd February 2012 at 9.30 am NZ time. I look forward to connecting with you then, if not before.

          November 11, 2011 · Time management · (No comments)

          Diary and pen
          This was the theme for the community call last week. I was curious as to what made some days really great, when we feel energized and excited about our lives, while others can feel totally overwhelming and non productive. So the question to be answered was “what makes the difference?” So these are the key points that came from the call…

          • Start your day with some activities that are nourishing to your body, mind and soul. E.g. waking up slowly, reading something inspirational, meditating, taking your time to prepare and eat a healthy breakfast.
          • Finish your day with time for reflection – acknowledge all that you have achieved that felt great and gave you a high level of satisfaction. If things didn’t go so well, take some time to identify why, and what you could do differently the next time. Keep a gratitude journal to list 10 things that you appreciated looking for something different each day.
          • Find a way of working with lists that suit you and allows you to feel good about yourself. Getting all your tasks out of your head and onto paper is a great way to achieve clarity, however from there it is important to then choose what is necessary, and to fit everything else into your day around those tasks. It is also a good idea to throw all your lists out sometimes and to start again, especially if your list keeping starts to feel overwhelming.
          • Become more conscious of the time you devote to relationships. Choose to spend your time with people that energize and inspire you, minimizing time with people that don’t. Practice setting strong boundaries to protect your time and energy with these people.
          • Get real about how long tasks really take. We often believe things will take less time than they really do – monitor these tasks closely so you allow the appropriate amount of time – remember to include travel time for meetings away from home or the office as well.
          • Make sure you have time in your day to allow yourself to just be – space with no agenda, no plans and no goals. Allow the space to follow your intuition and connect with new people along the way. This is when the magic can really happen and life can become a real pleasure and joy.

           

          I hope you find these tips useful. Feel free to leave a comment or some more suggestions below. The next community call is scheduled for Friday 2nd December 2011 at 9.30 am NZ time. I look forward to connecting with you then,

          1. Not enough information or lack of clarity to make a good decision.

          • What is the decision that needs to be made here?
          • Focus on the Intention – what is the purpose to be achieved from this decision?
          • Identify possible options from there.
          • Am I the right person to make this decision?
          • What information do I need? Is there more information I require before I am in a position to make a decision. Does someone else need to decide something else first?
          • Practice trust in your intuition, your gut feeling with smaller decisions so that you can then become more comfortable with using your intuition with larger decisions.
          • Practice trust in the process of life. Be willing to acknowledge there will be decisions that can’t be made now – there will be steps that you need to take which you are unaware of right now, yet also know that these will reveal themselves as you move further along your journey. Hold the intention of the final result in your mind, keep asking “What decisions do I need to make today?”  and step by step you will find yourself becoming less fearful with the decision making process as you get closer to the result you are working towards.

          2. Limiting beliefs and negative self talk. Become aware of the story you tell yourself about making decisions e.g. I always get them wrong; I’m hopeless at making decisions.  Create an affirmation to counteract the negative self talk – I’m a great decision maker. I can make decisions confidently and with ease. I love to make decisions! Become curious with a key question… How can I allow this to become easier? How can I enjoy making decisions on this project? Then create some space to listen for the answers …

          3. Feeling rushed or pressured. Create some space when you feel the pressure to make a decision – go for a quick walk round the block to clear your head and get fresh air, or postpone the decision until the next morning. I have a personal rule if the decision is not 100% clear for me immediately to wait 24 hours. After putting the decision on the back burner and having a good nights sleep I often know exactly what it is I need to do.

          4. Fear of success, failure, rejection. It is hard to make a decision when we worry about what other people think.

          • Accept it is OK to make mistakes – that is how we learn.
          • You can also give yourself permission to change your mind if it is possible  – sometimes we need to try something out before we can confidently know if it was the right decision or not.
          • Learn to trust that the decision you make, even thought it may appear wrong, may in fact lead to the perfect solution further on. New and innovative ideas often come from mistakes!
          • Sometimes we may know what we want to do; we have made the decision in our heads however our fear of saying it can make us feel indecisive. Practice asserting your thoughts and opinions in relation to decisions, be prepared to say NO and learn how to handle others response when they are upset with what you have decided!
          May 11, 2011 · Time management · (No comments)

          I was reminded  of this great post by a client recently. I had shared it with her last year as a tool for limiting the “to do” list that we seem to keep adding to each day. I have been a great fan of Mark Forster’s work for a long time now and have adapted his techniques, in the same way that  Mark McGuiness has, as I continue to learn how to manage my time in a way that fits best with who I am and how I like to work.

            I’d like to encourage to to have a look at this material and reflect on how these ideas can be used, or adapted, to suit the challenges that you may be experiencing with time. It’s all about finding the system or methodogy that works for you.
          May 9, 2011 · Time management · (No comments)

          We all try to fit as much as we can into our days. However in the process it is very easy to set unrealistic expectations and to end up beating ourselves up for not achieving as much as we think we should have. Here are some tips to help you manage your time more effectively…

          • Get real – print a blank weekly calender from Outlook and mark on it all your regular time commitments that can’t be moved. Mark in the personal, family or any other time that is non negotiable, and then look at what is left. This is your discretionary time to use as you wish.
          • Decide what you want to use this time for – it could be building your business or marketing if you are self employed, it could be writing time, it could be DIY time on your home.
          • Then monitor how you actually use these blocks of time over the next week or two. Check out what takes you off task and make a decision on how you need to handle these distractions. Are they necessary, can they be delegated or can they be handled at a more appropriate time?

          When we see it written down or pictured in this way we get a better understanding of what is happening in our days and weeks. We can finally stop kidding ourselves about how much we can really fit into the time we actually have available! And as always with awareness comes the opportunity for choice and change.

          Many time management systems recommend that we keep our list of tasks for the day short, that we focus on only 3 – 4  key tasks each day.  To help me prioritise I ask myself

        • What are the key tasks that absolutely need to be completed today?
        • I also like to take this one step further at the start of each day by asking myself

        • What is the  one task that I would really like to complete today?
        • Once I have completed that task I can then re ask the question and move on to the next task that is most important.

          I can also put time frames  round this question as well. If I know I only have 1 hour available I can ask

        • What is the one most important task that I would like to work on for the next hour?”
        • These powerful questions can really focus your attention, helping you to be more productive and efficient with your use of time – give them a go and let me know how you get on.