Most Productive Day Ever!

 

Productive

Have you ever had one of those days where it was just the most productive day ever?  Everything that you wanted to do, you did.  Not only did you complete it but you were just brilliant.  It is like you are walking on cloud nice and nothing could go wrong that day.  Of course, you know that won’t last but you are certainly enjoying the day and how it makes you feel.

I have been wondering about that recently.  I have been wondering why those days are so sporadic.  I have days when the creative juices are just flowing and every word that comes out of my mouth was just wise beyond my age.  And then before I know it, I am back to earth feeling mortal again.  What happened to my super powers?  This got me to do some research to discover what is behind those productive days.  Various writers have viewed this topic from morning rituals, super charged mental attributes, great strength and perseverance, to lifestyle that breeds calmness to creativity.  In summary, I have discovered that there is no magic formula.  It all comes down to you and a variety of options that suits you.

Let me summarise what those possibilities would look like:

  1. You. You need to know you.  What do you need to know?  Here are some questions:
    • What is your working style?
    • What is the best time for you to do your most creative work? What is the best time for you to do the most challenging work?
    • Where do you get ideas from?
    • How are you feeling today?
    • What can you do to enhance that?
    • Where do you find inspiration?
    • Do you have any inspirational quotes that you remind yourself when the going gets tough?
    • What drives you?
    • What is your desired outcome?
  2. Lifestyle or Habits. There are some good and healthy lifestyle choices that each of us should make.  Research has proven that:
    • Exercise is critical in living a healthy life which gives you more energy and helps to destress.
    • Eating healthy and well will fuel your body correctly and you will feel the difference.
    • Rest and sleep are critical for our bodies and minds to repair, recover and rejuvenate.
  3. Relationships are what we are designed for. We need people to love and be love, to learn and be challenge, to grow and to mature.  People who are happy are generally people who have great relationships with people around them.  When you are happy or filled with joy, you tend to be in the right frame of mind to think, rationalize and innovate.
  4. Resourcefulness enables you to be creative in finding solutions to challenges. When you face a roadblock to productivity, resourcefulness will help you find ways around it.  Hitting your head against the roadblock is usually painful but getting around it usually just takes a more creative approach to the challenge.
  5. Fear Not will enable you to view possibilities. Being productive requires that you face those daunting days and still be productive despite it.  Eliminating worry and fear goes a long way to ensuring that you mind is not trapped in the fear cycle but is free to explore solutions.
  6. Just do it. I love this motto because to get through those ugly days, we just do it.  No need to grumble or complain, just press forward.

The key is to know and take advantage of those days.  Set the right expectations and work towards simple goals to achieve.  It is better to achieve goals no matter how simple, than to wait for the perfect day as that is just a waste of time.

PS:  Special for March, I am conducting a special free 30-min session to help you with any questions around coaching that you might have and how coaching could be the resource to help you have a purposeful year.  Just click here to start the journey.

 

 

A Bad (Hair) Day

A Bad Hair Day.png

It is one of those days where you have woken up late, the coffee machine does not work, you are rush out the door and just when you are in the car you remember that you left your laptop bag at home and the list goes on.  Arriving in the office is not the end of the bad day but in fact just the next stage.  You discover that you are behind on your sales forecast and a deal that you were counting on for the month has just gone south.  You wonder to yourself, what else could go wrong?

I can safely say that all of us has had one of those days.  Those days may look slightly different for each of us but the outcome is the same…. It is a bad day and to top it off… Your hair looks bad.

I have had my share of bad hair days and the silver lining is that the day will end at some point.  It is also great fodder for jokes when the day ends.  Acknowledging that those bad hair days are not one off and it will most probably happen again is a realist view.  What can we do to straighten the hair just a little bit without keeling over?

Acceptance.  Accept that it is just one of those days.  It happens to the best of us and just going with the flow and making the best out of it.  After all, being stressed and upset about it isn’t going to change the fact of what has already occurred.  You can however, change the way you respond to the situation.  This leads to the next step.

Respond and not react.  When you react, there is typically very little thought process that goes into the action.  It is usually impulsive and not well considered.  It may land you in deeper trouble than you are already in.  So, take a deep breath or two and think about what is the best way to respond to the situation.  Think about how best you can salvage a difficult situation.  Change your perspective and look for opportunities and learnings. Naturally that will lead to the next step.

Think about options and possibilities.  Have a quick brainstorm or meeting session with some of your colleagues and think about options.  What are some alternative actions that can be taken?  What perspective needs to be changed?  How can you be resourceful and creative about finding a solution?

Take a break and go for a walk.  Taking a break will help you settle down and you might even find a funny side to the day.  If you can’t laugh about then it just adds to the bad day.  So you might as well laugh it off and start the day afresh.

If all else fails, just remember that the day will end.  For tomorrow is another day and don’t forget to set the alarm!

PS:  Special for March, I am conducting a special free 30-min session to help you with any questions around coaching that you might have and how coaching could be the resource you might need to help you have a purposeful year.  Just click here to start the journey.

Breaking the Fear Cycle

Fear as per the dictionary is “distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.”

All of us feel fear.  There is no escaping fear.  In fact, there are many benefits of fear such as:

  • Helps you to survive
  • Keeps you safe
  • Keeps you within the law
  • Drives you to improve and be better

Therefore having a healthy dose of fear is good for you.

However, on the flip side, fear is also the number one reason for a life not lived.  Fear does not start and end with just one act, it creates a perpetual cycle – the Fear Cycle.  The fear cycle looks something like this:

fear-cycle

The fear cycle will generally consist of these 4 elements:

  1. Paralysis:  You are so afraid that you will literary decide to do nothing.  It is perceived to be safer if you did not try anything new or to take risk.  Over time, you will not learn, not grow and not progress.  You will continue to just live within the boundary that is perceived to be your comfort zone.
  2. Excuses:  You will then look around and wonder “Why is my friend so successful?”.  “Why am I not progressing?”.  “Why has nothing changed?”.  To these questions the answers will be “Oh it’s just their luck”.  “Right place at the right time.”.  “I was not given that opportunity.” “I just don’t know where to start.”  You will create reasons or excuses but never face the realities of what your fears are preventing you from achieving.
  3. Negativity:  Over time, the lack of progress will cause you to believe your excuses and further create a negative perspective of situations and of your life.  Negativity will creep in and you will know its symptoms when you have emotions such as envy, bitterness, anger, self-doubt and so on.
  4. Purposeless:   When nothing seems to be happening, and everything is just bleak, you will not be able to see or define a purpose.   To drift through the everyday purposeless.  You will see signs of that when you wonder what you have achieved, what is this life about and so on.  You will just go through the day living out the routine and not being fulfilled.

The most common fear is the fear of failure.  The only way to break free from the fear cycle is to address it head-on by changing the definition and perspective of failure.  The fear of failure, is the result of what you perceive failure to be.  For example, you perceive failure as:

  • Personal:  I am a failure and I will always be a failure.
  • Talent or Intelligence related:  Only the NOT Smart or NOT good fail
  • Defect:  There is something wrong with me or I am NOT good at anything
  • Self-Worth:  If I fail, I will always be a failure.

Therefore in order to break that cycle you will need to redefine failure and more importantly what it is NOT:

  1. You are NOT a failure.  To fail in an activity does NOT mean that you are a failure.  The task and the person are two distinctly separate entities.
  2. Failure is NOT avoidable.  Once we realise that we cannot run away or avoid failure, you will come to accept that it is just part and parcel of life.  It is part of learning and growing.  It is life.  Don’t try to avoid failure.  Learn to learn from failure and be better.
  3. Failure is NOT permanent.  You might fail in a certain task but as you learn and improve your skills, you will be able to accomplish whatever the task.  To fail does not mean that you will continually fail.  It is not permanent.
  4. Failure is NOT a step backward but a step forward.  Just because an activity did not get the results that you had hope for does not mean that you will never be able to achieve the goal.  It provides you with lessons on what not to do and what to do next.  It is a step forward for you.

 

 

Establish a New and Healthy relationship with failure.  We will all fail even in doing something that we are good at.  To fail at something provides us with lessons on what to do and what not to do for the next time.  It is a step closure to getting it right.  In fact you will learn more when you fail than when you succeed.

Think about:

  • What you would like to achieve in 2017 and beyond?
  • What goals are you working towards?
  • What are the challenges and barriers that you will need to overcome?
  • What do you need to do to overcome them?
  • What help do I need?
  • Where can I find the resources to help me?
  • How do I build my action plan?

PS:  Special for March, I am conducting a special free 30-min session to help you with any questions around coaching that you might have and how coaching could be the resource you might need to help you have a purposeful year.  Just click here to start the journey.

Free 30 Minute Coaching Session for March only

Coaching is a journey and a process that will help you focus on your goals, uncover hidden barriers and action your way towards achieving your visions and goals.  It is journey that will require you to challenge your assumptions, perceptions and broaden your solution sets.

For the month of March, I am giving you an opportunity to find out and discover what is coaching and whether coaching is the needed boast to help you discover and act upon your goals.

Why Am I doing this?

My goal for this 30-minute session is to answer questions you might have regarding coaching as well as to help you get a feel on what a coaching session will entail.  Most of my clients are first timers and have very little idea what is coaching and what each sessions will look like.  This is a great way to get your feel for it.

What do you need to do?

You will need to prepare some questions.  You will need to have a goal in mind in terms of what is the outcome that you are expecting from this session and we will both work towards it.

What does it cost?

It will cost you 30 minutes of your time maybe a little more as you prepare.  There is $0 and no obligation.  If you should choose to engage in a coaching engagement, we can discuss it further.

How do we connect?

Technology is a beautiful tool and Skype is the answer.  We will Skype either by Video or Audio.  It can be conducted over the comforts of your home.

When can I start?

Just send me a note by clicking here and we can schedule a time that best suits us.

5 Reasons Why Goals are Essential

This is about the time of the year when new year resolutions have come to a halt or a distant memory.  You may have started January with great gusto but now in February, those resolutions are either forgotten or just too hard and therefore ends in the “tried but failed” graveyard.

Let me highlight and remind you why goals are important:

  1. Goals help you to focus your energy and time.  We do not have an endless supply of time or energy.  Goals will help you to focus or prioritise how and what you will use your energy and time for.  Goals will help you to make the right decision and trade-offs when confronted with multiple requests or tasks.
  2. Goals help you to persevere with hope.  Sounds strange but if we set realistic expectations and goals, it is able to motivate us.  Motivation and hope serves as fuel for perseverance.  It is the reaching of a realistic but challenging goal that will drive you forward.  The hope that reaching that goal will give you a reward will help you to persevere.  The reward is up to you to define.
  3. Goals are character building.  More than the achievement of the goal is the process by which it was achieved.  More often than not, the process of struggling, striving, persevering and challenging yourself in achieving the goal builds character.  We learn more about ourselves through the process as well as building muscles in areas like focus, commitment, dedication, perseverance and discipline.
  4. Goals ensure that you line up your potential.  Potential cannot be realised if we don’t work at it.  Potential can only be released when it is applied.  Potential must be worked on.  Goals will help you work on your potential as it requires application of your potential.  When you are working at it, your skills and abilities are being developed.  Potential with work will bring you accomplishments.
  5. Goals will drive you forward.  Goals will drive you forward whilst being goal-less will cause you to drift.  Drifting through life is one of the most wasteful use of your potential.  Driving forward will ensure that you are taking accountability for your life.  Goals that drive you forward will always give you significance.

The challenge with goals is that is can be scary and terrifying.  It is terrifying because of the fear of failure.  No one wants to fail at achieving a goal.  Therefore in order to avoid failure, it is easier to not have goals.  However, to fail at a goal does not equate to you being a failure.  In fact, it simply means that you did not achieve the goal for whatever the reason.  In the working out of the goal, the real outcome is lesson.  What did you learn?  What could you do differently?  What needs to change?  How could I overcome this barrier?

Goals will give you a purpose.  A “why” am I doing this.  Every person who you would consider as successful, would certainly have goals in their life.  So don’t give up on having goals for yours.  Make goals or continue in persevering and working on the goals that you have set.

How do you set goals?  Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What does a successful year look like to you?
  • What areas of my life am I “fed-up” with that I want to change?
  • What stops me from having goals?
  • If I could do anything, what would that be?
  • If there were no limits, what could I accomplish?
  • What am I passionate about?
  • What do I want to learn this year?
  • If I don’t have any ideas, where can I go to get some ideas?  Who can I talk to?
  • What is a realistic and yet challenging goal?
  • What do I need to have in place in order to achieve my goals?

Take the time and set at least a couple of goals for yourself this year.  You will look back and know that 2017 is a year that you have accomplished much.