September 23, 2010 · Time management · (No comments)

I was reminded this morning as I was getting dressed how important it is to take the time to find what fits best for me in any situation. I have a very clear intention of allowing myself to feel really good in the clothes that I wear and this was the benchmark I was using as I decided what to wear today. I had the time and space to play this morning as I tried on a few different combinations. I could feel my frustration as I put some items together and found that they just didn’t look right. The thought flitted across my mind that what I had on would do backed up with with a few other negative thoughts about myself as well.

However I persisted and decided to try something else on (3 times!!!) and then I nailed it – I had the outfit that fitted. I felt comfortable, it made me feel good about myself and it was fun – bright and colourful which how I wanted to feel today. And, of course, now I know that I can wear these items together in future and will feel confident and relaxed in them which frees up my mental energy to focus on other more important stuff!

“So what?” you may be thinking … well, here is the learning for me. Life is like my experience this morning.

  • We need to be willing to try different combinations or ways of doing things on (this means taking action!) until we find what fits us, what makes us feel good about ourselves. We need to be willing to make adjustments or to say no, that does not fit with what I need right now, and to let it go. This applies to how you live your life, who you choose to work with, how you create your environments to support your success – in fact with any decision that you need to make about how you want your life to be.
  • We need to have a clear intention – what is the result you want to achieve – it may be something physical or it may be intangible as it was for me – a feeling or belief that I wanted to experience.
  • I had the time and space physically and mentally to play and have some fun with this. Life can be so serious with our long to do lists – shorten the lists and allow yourself to create what I call white space in your diary and see what happens.
  • Don’t settle for less – allow yourself to experience what it is you desire.
  • Recognise what you already have that fits with what you desire – for me the clothes just needed to be arranged in a different way. Recognise what is already in your “wardrobe of life” that fits with how you want to be, eliminate the stuff that doesn’t fit and only then decide what needs to be added.

 

Hope this inspires you to find the learning’s in everyday experiences. I look forward to hearing your thoughts or comments.

September 9, 2010 · Time management · (No comments)

Some keys points I have been reminded off just recently…

  • The importance of doing a few things well versus many things poorly. We seem to live in a world that values busyness where more is better. My challenge to you is to let some of it go.
  • Have some structure in your day or week – blocks of time that are scheduled regularly for activities that are really important to you e.g an inspirational group, yoga, dancing, work.
  • Become aware of the activities that energise you and those that drain you. You may discover that something energises you for half an hour and then starts to to deplete you. Use this knowledge to decide how you want to structure your time.
  • Balance the structure with what I call white space in the calender where nothing is scheduled, free time to follow your intuition, to pause and reflect, to be still. Sometimes you may need lots of white space, sometimes you will need less, so learning how to recognise the signs and to be flexible is crucial.
  • Focus on completing and clearing commitments – a form of decluttering which clears the space for new passions to come into your life.

 

Post any thoughts or ideas that work for you so we can all continue to learn new ways to manage our time.

September 7, 2010 · Time management · (No comments)

What an amazing group of people who came together today for our monthly Cafe at Robert Harris in Lower Hutt – it is a real pleasure for me to be able to share thoughts and ideas and to facilitate the conversation for learning from each other. Thank you for sharing your wisdom today.

The key point to come out of the conversation was how important it is to find the method or system to manage your time with “who” you are. I shared a little of my story around how I have managed my time over the years and how it has evolved and changed as I have evolved and changed. There is no right or wrong way of doing this and as soon as you think you have it nailed life changes and it’s time to adjust. So flexibility is an absolute must, as is trust that whatever is happening right now in your life is absolutely perfect!

Some of the challenges that we talked about were being busy all the time – no space for downtime or me time to reflect and regenerate, the challenge of being motivated to do the things that we know are important for us to do, the influence of past conditioning or expectations from society about what it means to be successful in life and what we “should” be doing to achieve that success.

Some of the key tools that we were all reminded of were…

Gratitude – focus on being grateful
Coming back to the present moment to make your decisions about what next
Setting clear intentions. Use everything that is presented to you in life as an opportunity to learn and get clearer on what needs to change for you and how exactly you would like your life to be.
Allowing yourself to feel good about yourself – makes it easier to take action on the stuff that is really important to you.

Check out some tools under the Time management category that may be useful as you reflect on how you currently manage your time and how you would like it to be. Please add a comment as you continue to reflect on this topic and let me, and others, know what you’re doing differently or have learned from today.

If you would like some support around making changes in how you manage your time get in touch and we can explore how working with me as your coach could help.

July 24, 2009 · Time management · (No comments)

There are three important components that we need to invest our time in to be successful in all that we do. There is a time for planning and preparing a plan of action, there is a time for action and there is a time for review.

 

Sometimes we can get stuck in one of these areas – we can spend far too long creating plans and avoiding taking action, or we can be so busy taking actions that we can end up wasting time doing things that just aren’t effective in producing the result we want. Often the review part just gets forgotten when in fact it is the most important part.

 

It is a good idea to take stock of what we have accomplished so we can check where we are on the journey towards our goal. We can then celebrate our successes, which motivates us to continue, and refocus on the steps that we still need to take, so that we can invest our time wisely in only those actions that will produce the results we are looking for.

 

So, have you reviewed your last few weeks or months recently?

That little voice in our heads has so much to answer for in our lives, so it makes sense to take the time to listen, to hear if it is supporting us or if it is giving us a reason to make ourselves wrong.

 

For some reason the human tendency is to beat ourselves up – to find fault in what we are doing in life, it seems to be the automatic default button that kicks in especially when we are feeling low. When we have been burning the candle at both ends by working extremely long hours, when we are feeling overwhelmed by a huge list of things we want to accomplish, or when we are feeling unwell this little voice will kick into action and make us feel even worse.

 

So my challenge today is to consider –

  • What would happen if you choose to turn that little voice off?
  • What would happen if you chose to make yourself right today?
  • What would you choose to do today with the time that you have available?
  • What are the most important activities you could do today that will nurture you and give you a feeling of success right now, today?

Go ahead – take the challenge and enjoy your day!

April 29, 2009 · Time management · 1 comment

A computer is an amazing resource that has the ability to maximize the use of our time – so much can be automated and stored and we have access to an amazing amount of knowledge at our fingertips.

However it can also be a huge time waster – here are some of the challenges we can face…

  • we can constantly be bombarded by email which we feel we have to respond to immediately
  • we can get taken off task and lost in the web as we respond to these email and follow links to topics that interest us. Before we know it we have wasted an hour of our time, or more, and have nothing productive to show for it
  • our energy levels are depleted not just because of the unproductive distractions but from sitting in front of the screen for long periods of time without taking a break.
  • we can feel overwhelmed from the sheer amount of work that is right there in front of us to be completed – and that can be just the email and our task list, never mind the projects we need to attend to. We don’t know where to start, what to do first, how we are going to handle it all so we end up doing nothing or surfing the web to distract us.

So what is the best way to handle all this? Here are some ideas…

  • Select a current initiative, a project you have been procrastinating on and choose to focus on this first every day. Do not turn on your computer or open any other programs other than the folder or document related to this project.
  • At the start of the day brain dump all the tasks that you need to attend to on to a piece of paper or in your diary. Again, do this before you turn on that computer, so when you do turn it on you will be focused immediately on the tasks to be completed.
  • Discipline yourself to complete these tasks first before opening any other unrelated programs or activities such as checking Facebook.

I don’t enjoy spending excessive amounts of time in front of the computer and I am still learning, as well, how to limit my time here so I have space for other fun and more social activities. I want to come away from my computer feeling energized because of what I have been working on rather than feeling drained. As usual it’s all about balance of what I do with my time and creating a routine or structure that works for me.

I would love to hear your thoughts and how you handle your computer challenges – just click on the word “comment” at the bottom of this post.

And if you are ready to take action on creating a more balanced approach to life, but don’t know how, please email me now or call/ text 0212 406 535 to arrange a time to talk.

April 15, 2009 · Time management · (No comments)

Last week I had to contact a few people to say that I had over committed and would not be able to fulfill my promise to complete some work for them within the agreed time frames. There was an immediate sense of relief as I knew I had made the right decision. It is really important to me to fulfill my promises and I have learned over the years to be more discerning when making promises to others. However I am human and can still over commit at times. I have also become more aware of  how easy it is to let commitments to myself slip as a result of over committing to others. Being a person of integrity is not just about honoring the commitments we make to others, it is also about honoring those we make to ourselves as well, and finding the balance between the two.

Here are some questions I find useful when choosing whether to commit …

  • Is this something I really want to do?
  • Does it fit with my values – is it something I am passionate about?
  • Is it something that I have the ability to do, or am I well supported as I develop the necessary abilities?
  • Is the time frame workable – do I have enough time available to meet any deadlines?

Once I have made a commitment I will continue to use these questions to check in periodically, especially at those times that I start to feel resentful, or under pressure. By asking these questions I am reminded that I always have a choice. There is nothing wrong with changing your mind when an ongoing commitment no longer works. It is better to end the commitment and invest your time and energy in something that “fits” rather than perform from a place of resentment and anger. So why not pause right now and reflect on your current commitments and see what you discover? Feel free to share you thoughts by clicking on the word “comment” below or test/call Heather on 0212 406 535 or email heather@inspirationscoach.co.nz to arrange for some support around this topic.

February 27, 2009 · Time management · (No comments)

I have quite a few goals and projects on the go right now and it has been a real challenge finding the best way to manage my time with it all. These last few days I have been working relatively efficiently and I thought it could be useful to share some of the key elements that are helping me along the way. So here they are…

  1. I create space by clearing my desk of all unnecessary paperwork.
  2. I do a brain dump of all the activities that I need to do and ideas that are in my head.
  3. I then run through these and divide the list into those I want to do now and those I can deliberate on for a bit longer.
  4. I then go through the list of those tasks I want to do now and split the list into Do Right Now, and schedule the others – I consolidate these tasks under a heading e.g admin, budget review, I.C.F.A. admin and schedule appointments with myself in Outlook to complete them.
  5. When finished this process I then get straight to it and start my Do Right Now list immediately.

Another strategy I currently using is to set a deadline for these appointments – a definite finish time. I am using my timer to let me know when I am 10 min off that deadline and I start to wrap up the project and reschedule any incomplete parts at this point.

It’s working for me – why don’t you give it a try if you are struggling with managing your time and let me know how you get on. Alternatively if you adapt any of these or have a different way of managing your time why not add a comment below (by clicking on the word comment) and share your experiences too.

February 16, 2009 · Time management · (No comments)

Following on from my post on Friday I have become aware that I feel like I am spending of time on a voluntary role I have as the President of the Wellington Sub Chapter of International Coach Federation. I really enjoy this role and find it easy to lose track of time when working on it and as the saying goes work will expand to fill the time available if we don’t put limits or boundaries in place to contain it.

So I am revisiting a tool I use periodically to monitor my time when

  • I am not sure what exactly I am doing with my time
  • I seem to be really busy but can’t remember exactly what I have been doing
  • I have no idea if what I am spending my time on is actually of any value.

So what I do is print out a blank calender from Outlook or Google for the current week and I write down everything I do for a week. I then review and colour code blocks of time to get a sense of how much time I spend on voluntary work, admin (especially email), how much is spent on business development and how much is spent on actually generating income.

After reviewing this information I can then make some choices around where I want to reduce or increase my time involvement and plan my next week accordingly. My intention is create a routine which will become automatic and easy to follow allowing for the appropriate balance of my time between all these activities.

Give it a go – you might be surprised what you learn!!

February 13, 2009 · Time management · (No comments)

I had the experience last week of having a very busy day. I felt I had spent it all on one particular project, a voluntary project, when in reality it was only about 3 hours. However knowing this didn’t change the feeling that I hadn’t accomplish anything else and that I had wasted the day.

When I was reflecting on this in my journal that night I realized that I hadn’t done anything during the day to generate income and I did not get to my usual gym session. So 2 really important activities had been pushed to the end of the day and consequently did not happen when time ran out.

To avoid this happening again I wrote down two Key Questions I can ask myself at the start of each business day to keep me focused on what is most important in my life. Here they are…

  • What can I do first today that will have the most direct effect on my income levels?
  • What are the most important things to do today for my family, my health and well being and my business? (these areas reflect my values – the things that are most important in my life)

So what is a Key Question that you can ask yourself at the start of each day to keep you focused on what is most important in your life right now?

I have written mine out on a piece of paper which gets placed on my computer key board each night so it is the first thing I look at when I turn on my computer at the start of the day. It has completely changed how I structure my time and is proving very effective in getting the important stuff completed first.

Let me know what works for you by adding a comment below and if you need some support in clarifying what you need to be focusing your time on call / text me on 0212 406 535 or email heather@inspirationscoach.co.nz