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.
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.
A key question is a really useful tool that we can use to focus our minds on discovering potential solutions to a current challenge that we are facing.
A good question will allow our unconscious mind to start working through our stored files and experiences to come up with an action step or resource that can help us achieve the outcome that we desire. Regular repetition of the question opens us up to unknown possibilities.
Generally they are a “how” or “what” question… e.g. “What is the most important thing for me to do today?” or “How can I allow this project to become easy and enjoyable?”
The first step to forming a good key question is to clearly identify what your desired outcome or intention is. Once we are clear on what it is we want, and can ask a great key question, it is amazing the answers that we discover. Check out some of my Questions for Reflection in this blog for ideas, give it a try and see how you get on. I’d love to hear what you learn.
We all have words that conjure up less than resourceful pictures for us. Exercise seems to be one of those words. That is why I have found it so much more useful to think of moving our bodies rather than exercising them.
I have been listening over the last week or so to the different ways people are moving their bodies which they really enjoy. Here are some of them…
Zumba classes – following a DVD at home or in the gym
Bike Riding – great article in Your Weekend magazine (Free with the Dominion Post) recently on an annual gathering of “Frocks on Bikes“
Walking – meet friends for a walk rather than that coffee
The recommended daily dose appears to be about 30 min of movement a day, however I’m all for keeping it easy, so set yourself the intention to just move every day. Once you start moving and find something that is enjoyable, it will become easier to increase the amount of time you spend on that activity. Have a think about all the ways that you could bring regular movement into your life and begin to play with something new each day. Allow yourself to find something that you can look forward to doing, makes you feel good and above all is fun!
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.
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.
So you have decided you want to create a change in your life – to create different results. You start doing something differently or you start to use affirmations to change how you think. Everything goes along really smoothly for a while and you feel great, then out of nowhere you get swamped by challenges or emotions that can throw you into a place of confusion and stop you in your tracks. Why couldn’t you keep it up? What got in the way of achieving your goal? Why is it all so difficult?
This is where a coach is really useful to support you through the emotional roller coaster that you may start to experience with change. It is really useful to have the space and support to reflect on what has happened to throw you off course. Here are some of the reasons that can get in the way of creating your desired results…
There may be some deeply ingrained pattern of thoughts or beliefs that you were unaware of until now and these will need to be acknowledged and cleared.
You may start to experience feelings or emotions that you have managed to avoid before with your old behaviours. We tend to make life even more difficult by making ourselves wrong and beating ourselves up for feeling or experiencing what are considered negative emotions. This just serves to make us feel worse and we can spiral down into even more negative emotions which drain us of the energy we need to fulfill the change we desire.
There are often fears that surface when you start to move into a new way of being in the world. We can feel insecure because we are entering the unknown and don’t know how to respond to the new challenges in our lives – the old ways no longer seem to work, or feel really inappropriate now.
You may be challenged or criticised by people around you who don’t like the new way you are behaving. Again this is new territory when creating change because we don’t know what to say or do and it can be very tempting to go back to our old ways or patterns. Our resolve to stay committed to the change is being tested and we need to learn new ways to respond to those around us.
To help us through these challenges it is really useful to refocus on the outcome, the goal or intention that is driving our desire to change. What is it we are hoping to achieve through making these changes in our lives?
We will also need to call on support to help us through these challenging times and this is why it is really important to build strong support networks around us. We need to know who we can call on at these times when we doubt ourselves and our ability to create lasting change in our lives. If there is no one you can call on I strongly suggest that you fill this gap before you start to make big changes in your life.
Send me an email or give me call – 021 240 6535 if you are experiencing any of these challenges and need some support to make the changes you desire a reality.
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!!
As I continue to play with new techniques for managing my time I have discovered that the biggest problem I have is stopping what I am doing. I often lose track of time and spend longer on some projects than they actually need. Instead of working effectively my energy starts to go down and I am actually less productive by not taking a break and checking in to ask “what next”?
So I am now utilizing my trusty timer to become more conscious of working on projects for a set amount of time and then taking a break. If I create an appointment for a client I would automatically stop at the time allocated and start my next client or my next piece of work. By setting the timer to signal the end of my scheduled appointment time with myself I consciously stop what I am doing and take a break, have something to eat or drink and decide whether to continue on this current activity or move onto the next one on my task list.
I am also using the timer to signal the end of my working day. It goes off 15 min before my chosen time for close of day and I move into my last appointment for the day to wrap up and review my plan for the next day.
It is all about becoming more intentional about what I do with my time.
Is there an area of your life that could be improved by becoming more intentional about your behavior? Email Heather or call / text 0212 406 535 to discuss how being more intentional could support you in achieving your goals and dreams.
I have taken on a new project over the last few weeks and there has been a feeling of total confusion as I have taken each day step by step to unravel what I needed to know and to do. Then suddenly last week as I was reflecting on where I was at, I had the feeling that it was all starting to make sense now. I was saying yes! – I’m now on top of it and can see everything coming together perfectly.
I also realized that every time I have decided to make a change in my life I have also gone through this process. First I create the intention of what I want to achieve, then I start to take action and all my old patterns or way of behaving in the world get dismantled. This is where the confusion lies because I then have to recreate new patterns and this process can take time depending on the size of the change I want to make, my familiarity with the outcome and the support I have available. It may take a few days, weeks or even years.
Sometimes it can seem easier to give up and return to the old and familiar ways of being in the world when the going gets tough – and indeed, I have done this in the past. The confusion can just feel too overwhelming at times.
Where are you at with the process of change?
Do you need extra support during this time of confusion to follow through the changes you want to make? Call/ text Heather on 0212 406 535 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org to explore some options.
Start to create a support list of people you can call on to keep you on track and share your goals with them.