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.

There will be times when our capacity to accomplish anything will be low – we may be recovering from illness, or the death of a loved one. We may have overextended ourselves and feel exhausted, with our body and minds shutting down and refusing to be pushed any further.

At these times it can be really useful to ease up on ourselves, to take a more gentle approach and choose one, or possibly two, key tasks that will allow us to feel  satisfied when they are complete.

The focus could be on self care – as simple as getting outside in the fresh air and sunshine for 20 min, or making sure we have one healthy meal for the day which will nourish and support us physically and emotionally.

It could mean breaking bigger tasks down into smaller, more manageable parts just for today. So for example, instead of doing a full grocery shop, we can just buy what is needed to provide for the family tea tonight, or to make the lunches tomorrow and leave the full shop for another day when we have more energy.

Many tasks can be broken down in this way. The key is to Make each step small enough to be easily accomplished in one day and still give us a feeling of satisfaction with what has been accomplished.

So give a go and let me know how you get on or Call/ text Heather on 0212 406 535 or email heather@inspirationscoach.co.nz for extra support on how to make life a little easier for yourself right now.

March 11, 2015 · Change, Keeping it Simple · (No comments)

As we make new choices around what we do with our time or how to handle a task, it pays to become aware of our thinking patterns… “do you feel you “should be” doing more? That you’re being lazy? That you’re wasting time and money doing small tasks and taking small steps?”

Sometimes we need to make an adjustment in how we think about what we decide to accomplish each day or week. It is easy to discount the impact small actions, taken on a regular basis, can have on our lives. So start to appreciate the potential of small changes…

  • It is the very act of making a decision and the commitment to one small thing that builds muscle and confidence to tackle bigger changes.
  • It is the commitment to regular small actions which leads to changes that are sustainable.
  • It is easier to create new routines and habits with a series of small changes than it is to try and instigate one big change.
  • As we focus on one small thing at a time, until we can do it really well, our motivation to move on to the next step will increase.

So what small actions can you start to implement into  your daily or weekly routines? An exercise class once a week? A daily green smoothie? A clear boundary? A current initiative? Make the decision to commit and see how good it can make you feel.

And as always if you need some support with identifying small changes to create the momentum for change call/text Heather on 0212 406 535 or email heather@inspirationscoach.co.nz

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.

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.

May 16, 2008 · Time management · (No comments)

I had an action on my to do list that I kept avoiding and moving forward from one day to the next for a long time.

As a result of changing how I structure my days and work load I changed tact and wrote “make a decision about X” on my daily task list so I would commit to take time to reflect on what I needed to decide, make the decision and follow up with action.

So now I had a task on my daily list to “make a decision” on something that keeps getting moved from one day to the next!! I would look at the task and think, I’m not ready to make the decision, it’s too difficult to even think about.

After becoming aware of what I was doing I took a few minutes to stop and reflect on what was happening and realized that I needed more information before I could actually make the decision. So what really needed to be on my task list were the steps to gather the information so I could make an informed choice.

Seems obvious now but it wasn’t until I paused and reflected on what I was doing that I gained the clarity to stop procrastinating and take some useful action steps.

So what are you avoiding?

Would some clarity around what really needs to happen help? This is were coaching is so powerful. Email me now, or call text 0212 406 535 to arrange a time to explore some actions to get you moving again.

May 2, 2008 · Time management · (No comments)

As mentioned in my previous blog I have started to work with closed lists each day to become really aware of what a day’s work looks like. This allows me to actually see if I am being realistic with my work load or not.

Here is a summary of the closed list that I work with daily, in the order that seems to work well for me right now.

  1. Current Initiative – the project I have selected to focus on until it is complete. ( This can be used to clear any back log when I get behind as well).
  2. Writing on my blog, 3 times per week.
  3. Emails from yesterday which I flag for follow up in Outlook.
  4. Voice messages from yesterday, requests from anyone.
  5. Paper work – letters, receipts, record keeping etc that arrived yesterday.
  6. Task Diary – these are any tasks I have collected the previous day to think about or action
  7. End of Day I review my next days list and close it off.

Do it Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time ManagementThis process is taken from Do It Tomorrow by Mark Forster – check out his website at www.markforster.net for more information.

For support in creating a new way to manage your time and work load email Heather or call/ text 0212 406 535 to arrange a time to talk.

May 2, 2008 · Time management · 1 comment

What is a day’s work? Do you have any idea of how much work comes across your desk each day? Do you have any idea if it is realistic to expect yourself to complete all of this work as well as all the projects you want to action in any one day?

If there is too much stuff coming in you will never get on top of your workload. Your to do list will keep growing even as you complete items on it and the sense of overwhelm will rarely disappear.

I have been working with some new techniques from a book by Mark Forster called “Do it Tomorrow” in an effort to get a realistic picture of what a days work is for me. Do it Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management

This week I have been trying the idea of creating a closed list of activities so that I actually get that sense of completion as I close up my business at the end of the day. This closed list is created by all the emails , mail, paperwork, voice messages and requests that come across my desk “today”.

Put simply I action nothing today unless it is urgent, everything gets written on my list for tomorrow. So what I end up with is one days worth of work for the next day which is closed off at the end of the previous day. Nothing new gets added on unless it is an emergency.

If I am able to complete my list I know that I have a good balance with incoming work and projects that I can handle, without undue stress. If there is uncompleted tasks I know I have taken on too much and need to learn how to reduce the amount of work that I have to deal with.

If you need some support with overwhelm from a workload challenge call/ text Heather on 0212 406 535 or email heather@inspirationscoach.co.nz

April 11, 2008 · Time management · (No comments)

This week the challenge for me has been how to move forward steadily on quite a few different areas that I am focused on developing right now. It is so easy to procrastinate when their is a lot on your mind and everything is a priority!

So this week I have started to trial a new technique I have come across in a book by Mark Forster called Get Everything Done: And Still Have Time to Play. The bit about still having time to play was what caught my attention the most!!

Get Everything Done: And Still Have Time to Play

So the new technique I discovered showed me how to work in short bursts of time which increase slowly as momentum is built.

I started with a list of 6 tasks I wanted to be working on steadily. I had a 2 hour block of time available to devote to these tasks. I started to work on each task on my list by using a timer to gave each task 5 min of my time. I must admit I thought what can you do in 5 min but I got started on doing something and that was the whole point- something is always better than nothing! Then next round I gave each task 10 min of my time and the third time round I gave each task 15 min.

It felt particularly good at the end of the day as I felt I had used the 2 hour space very effectively and I had addressed all of my 6 key projects on one day.

So this is a new tool I can add to my toolbox for times when I have a lot of projects on the go and want to make steady progress on them all at the same time. Why don’t you give it a go and let me know how this tip works for you? You can email me on heather@inspirationscoach.co.nz or call/text me on 0212 406 535 if you want to set up a time to have a chat and explore how I can support you with getting clarity around what you priorities are in the first place!

September 17, 2007 · Keeping it Simple · (No comments)

One of the most common causes of feeling overwhelmed is thinking that we have to do everything ourselves. As we struggle through our days with our huge to do list it is very hard to find the space to take a step back and reflect on our business or life.

The good news is that learning how to delegate can create more freedom in our days. As usual the first step is awareness – start by observing how you handle tasks on your list today. Ask yourself is there anyone else who can do this activity for me.

Immediately all the reasons why you can’t ask someone else to do the task will spring to mind – one of the biggest excuses will probably be it is quicker to do this myself.

Learning to delegate takes time and a willingness to do things differently. The driving factor to learn this new skill will be your desire to have more free time to develop your business and yourself.

So how much do you really want to have more free time and what exactly are you willing to do to make it happen? Call/ text Heather on 0212 406 535 or email heather@inspirationscoach.co.nz for support and resources to help you on your way.