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With December here, work, family and friend get togethers are back on.
We’re eating out again, attending parties, and even going shopping in real stores.
December is always a busy time of year, and 2021 perhaps more so given that many of us spent weeks in lockdowns and can’t wait to see people in real life (not that we didn’t love those zoom meetings…).
But between year-end festivities and summer holidays, we’re also finalising presents, tying up loose ends, finishing projects, and probably planning for 2022 as well.
And the worst part? All this busyness and hustle and go-go-go is (dare I say it), “normal” and often even glorified.
So, if you’re like most women I know and coach, the busyness and hustle you normally feel is likely really, really ramping up this year.
Now to be honest, “hustle” is not one of my favourite words, but (unfortunately) it describes what most women can relate to.
One definition of hustle is to “proceed or work rapidly or energetically”. This almost sounds like a good thing doesn’t it? And perhaps that’s why many have come to see it that way, but is it?
Never before has any other generation lived as fast a paced lifestyle where being “busy” and “hustling” are actually promoted, accepted, and rewarded.
I see part of the issue is that we can get almost anything we want on demand through our phones, tablets, and laptops.
Whatever we want to know, learn, plan, or look up is at our fingertips 24/7. Podcasts, YouTube, social media, news outlets, magazines, and almost every book ever written is all there with us. And let’s not forget the text messages, phone calls, voice messages, and emails.
When does it stop?
When do we turn off, unplug, or tap out from the noise and give ourselves a break?
In fact, you’ve probably been going so hard that you hardly take the time to move, nourish, enjoy, and rest the entire day.
Why? Because there’s SO MUCH TO DO!
And we’re being validated for this by society, our colleagues, our bosses, and even sometimes our friends and family.
This busyness and hustle have almost become badges of honour.
Where productivity, busyness, and hustle equal feeling and being valued.
There’s a quote I love by author Michael Gunger that says, “Burnout is literally what happens when you avoid being human for too long.”, and if we’re busy, hustling, pushing, striving, and going ALL THE TIME, then it’s almost inevitable that burnout will come.
Now don’t get me wrong, part of this drive is because we want to be the BEST version of ourselves.
We want to improve, challenge ourselves, and keep learning and growing.
And I love that and get it. I’m a personal development junkie!
We want to achieve success and have an incredible career where we feel fulfilled, create impact, are valued, and feel motivated to reach our goals and dreams.
We want to have an abundance of time for ourselves and our families.
For the projects, sports and hobbies we enjoy.
We also want loving relationships and deep soulful friendships, which is amazing.
And while I’m a firm believer that you can do absolutely ANYTHING, and that you CAN achieve it ALL, the reality is that you just can’t do EVERYTHING all at once. The more you hustle for these things the further away they’re likely to get.
So this year, let’s stop.
Stop being so “busy”.
Stop the relentless “hustle”.
Let’s take the time to stop, pause, and say no, or maybe, or not now, or some other time.
Prioritise your time, energy, health and wellbeing.
Slow down and take stock.
Fill your own cup first.
Plan for breaks, holidays, good times, and summer vibes.
Stop carrying your phone everywhere, and most importantly, stop constantly checking it.
Put auto-respond on your emails.
Set you calendar, availability, and voicemail to away.
Shut down the tabs, the browsers, the documents, and the spreadsheets.
And if you do have to do work, slow it down.
Take advantage of most people being on holidays.
Cancel your regularly scheduled meetings and avoid making new ones.
Keep your calendar clear so you can focus on “big picture” work of reflecting on the year and planning for the next.
While hustle might be the “norm” for most, it doesn’t have to be.
We can change it.
I want you to thrive, not merely survive.
I want you to feel confident and comfortable, stress and anxiety free (or at least reduced!).
I want you to feel in control of your mindset, goals, and what’s coming up next.
To help you with this, be sure to subscribe to my blog above, and check out my 1:1 coaching programs, 2022 intake begins in early January.
I’m here to help and here to remind you that perhaps the holidays are the perfect time to stop the hustle and truly enjoy the season.
Wishing you a happy and hustle-free holidays!
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At any given day, I bet you’re juggling 10 or more things at once. You’re thinking about work, home life, pets, children, friendships, family, and more.
Then December comes along and BANG, now you’re juggling all of the above PLUS present buying, holiday planning, catch ups, work celebrations, year end reflections, new year planning, etc…
With all of this added pressure (from ourselves and society), we may feel like multi-tasking is not just the best way to handle things, it’s also the only way.
Well, I hate to be the one to burst your bubble, but it’s not.
While a small percentage of the population (2% according to Forbes magazine in 2017) are good at multi-tasking, for the rest of us, constantly switching between tasks and attempting to multi-task actually decreases our productivity by up to 40%.
See when we’re multi-tasking, while it may feel like we’re working faster and efficiently, we’re actually more likely just spinning our wheels, never really moving forward. We’re producing less than stellar decisions, outputs, and work. We forget what we were doing, where we’re at, and sometimes if we’ve even finished the tasks we’re trying to work through!
We’ve got tabs open on our laptops.
Links saved in our browsers.
Lists all over the place.
Scraps of paper with random notes on them.
We’re also less able to filter out irrelevant information and decrease distractions, meaning we often make mistakes which means going back and redoing the work we thought we’d completed.
In addition to this, multi-tasking also leads to:
Are you getting a clearer picture of why multi-tasking really isn’t ideal?
Now I know it might sound like the complete opposite of what you want to do, but introducing even a few of the suggestions below will go a long way in decreasing your multi-tasking habits and increase your productivity and the quality of everything you do.
1. Focus on one thing at a time.
If you’re finishing up a report, focus on the report. Don’t click on browsers to figure out what time the shopping centres close so you can stop in after work.
2. Be present with whatever task you’re doing…
How can you possibly write a heartfelt Christmas card when your mind is thinking about the email you need to send to your supervisor? Write the card.
3. …. and THEN move on to the next one
With the card written and tucked in its envelope, now you can write up that email and give it your full attention.
4. Commit to “Do Not Disturb” time
It’s hard to ignore all the notifications popping up all day, so let your device do it for you. Either pause, turn off, or set your “Do Not Disturb” so you can really concentrate.
5. Create time blocks
Whether these are in 20minute windows or more or less, set your alarm or timer so you can stick to the task at hand (rather than bouncing from task to task) knowing that your next time block will be focussed on that task.
6. Shift your “big projects” to earlier in the day.
Most people work best in the mornings before decision fatigue and interruptions have kicked in, so carve out this time (by using Do Not Disturb and time blocks) to work on those bigger projects.
Here are three more important ways to reduce multi-tasking are to simplify our decision making so we don’t end up with decision fatigue.
For myself and my clients, I find the tips and tricks above go a long way in decreasing our multi-tasking and decision fatigue.
I want to enjoy this time of year, and want you to do the same, so let’s choose even one of the suggestions above and really commit to it.
Let’s stop multi-tasking and focus on the task at hand.
As always, I’m here to help with these and other ways to get you thriving, so be sure to subscribe to my blog above, and if you’re really keen, book in a here so we can see which of my coaching for programs might be best serve you.
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I had a client recently, who was struggling with imposter syndrome, can you relate?
My client felt like she wasn't good enough for this role and her confidence had taken a hit after some disappointing feedback from a Manager she really liked.
To be honest, her self-belief pillars were totally shaken.
We worked through a short coaching program to rebuild her confidence by reconnecting her to the 8 underlying pillars of self-belief.
Step 1 - We explored her genius zone, the way in which she does her best work, accepting and understanding her strengths and weaknesses
The secret here is to list your strengths and weaknesses, and map it across to your work.
Step 2 - We outlined her values and she did a road map of her past career achievement, while redefining what her model of success looked like.
The secret here is to identify what qualities are most important to you.
Step 3 - We explored her fears and found the root cause of it all was actually that she was frightfully scared of failure. We did a release technique in time line therapy to bust through her fear and we met it with forgiveness and acceptance.
The secret here is to follow the fear.
Next, I suggested she use 5 x positive affirmations to help build confidence at work. A free tool anyone can use and start today.
After just one session of getting really clear on who she was and what she wanted she saw her confidence start to return and her work anxiety lessen.
That is the power of the mind!
Ps. If you want to learn more about the 4-session coaching program I talk about in this blog you'll find it here -> CAREER MINDSET RESET
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Stress is everywhere right?
It's in the work environment and home environment. It’s in our relationships with our partners, kids, bosses and colleagues. It’s in politics (hey there recent US election!), economics, world issues, and COVID-19. It’s all of THOSE issues triggering all of the stress our lives isn’t it?
YES, these external elements cause us stress, but guess what?
There’s another cause as well, and one that’s more hidden and personal.
This is the (daily) stress that comes from our OWN destructive thinking. Our own fearful, doubting, criticising, and second-guessing thoughts. It’s our negative mindset and perhaps lack of boundaries.
Step One: STOP
When we think these thoughts, or worse get them looping around in our heads, we need to STOP and not do anything at all. Why? Because this thinking often leads to feelings of lack, confusion, and discontent.
We become paralysed by our own doubtful thoughts and the stresses that come from these negative and often looping self-talk. We stay stuck battling inside our heads all day.
We feel and create that stuckness because we’re not moving forward and we're not moving back.
We’re half in and half out. Not committed and not rejecting it either.
And then we start with the shoulds. I should be doing this, I should be doing that… And then the shoulds build up… and then we cringe inside because we're unable to listen to the part of us that says, “Yes! Go do that thing that you want to do.”
Enter Step Two: OBSERVE
What if once you stopped you then became the observer of your thoughts? What if when you stopped you could catch that thought when it starts? What if you could catch it, observe it and work to reframe it and ask it where it comes from?
Let’s try it.
For one day (why not today?) decide that you’re going to be an observer of your thoughts. You’re going to catch just one negative thought before it spirals. You’re going to stop and follow it and keep following it until you know where it comes from. And once you know where it comes from, you’re going to explore it and be curious about why it’s here. And then you’re going to consider whether or not it’s a thought that tends to show up a lot in your life.
Another thing you could try is catching that negative thought and deciding to reframe it to a positive thought instead. Reframe it by taking the thought from “negative” or “bad” so that its context is changed so you can see the positive, or at least the neutrality of it.
Step Three: BOUNDARIES
In working with clients I’ve learned that it’s important to help them set healthy boundaries around (for example) people in their lives that trigger them emotionally or in other ways. You know the people. The ones who are vying for your attention. The ones calling you and contacting you, needing you now, now, now. Everything is now. Everything is urgent.
Well again, let’s try something.
For one day (perhaps today?) try NOT responding to all those (non)urgent cries for your attention. Put your email on auto-responder. Let the phone call go to voice mail. Change your status to offline. Silence your phone (or at least the notifications). Choose one person, some people, or everyone to implement these actions and boundaries with. The important thing is that you protect your time, energy, concentration, and thoughts by building healthy boundaries to prevent that stress from creeping up.
And Step Number Four: AFFIRMATION.
You know I love positive affirmations, and use them daily in my journal and life. Start with one positive affirmation, just one. Practice writing it out and saying it to yourself or out loud.
Now the trick with affirmations is to say them, write them, and use them daily. To repeat. Repeat. Repeat until you believe and there is no doubt in your core.
I want you to think, write, and say aloud one or more of the following:
Repeating your affirmation(s) is guaranteed to shift your negative beliefs and quiet the destructive thinking that so often leads to stress.
After reading over these four steps, how do you feel? How do you feel about acknowledging the external stressors while also taking responsibility for your OWN stress-inducing thoughts? For reframing negative thinking? Setting up boundaries? Reciting affirmations?
Yes, it’s not easy to do straight away. And yes it will take practice. Start slow, go gentle and know that you’ve got this.
Now pop a comment down below or send me an email to let me know how you’re going or how I can help. Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter as well so you never miss any stress-busting learn-to-thrive tips again.
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Why is it that when we have so much to do, to run your business... that we sit and spin out wheels and do nothing at all?
To do lists a mile lone, calls to make, leads to follow up, deadlines looming like dark clouds. And we just can't get moving, zero motivation. Negative self-talk kicks in, and the anxiety.
Procrastination would have to be the most guilt producing blocker on the planet!
Why do we delay the work, when we know it’s got to be done? When we know working our business and client work is what brings in the income? Why is it so hard to jump in and tick things off the list?
Procrastination is a sign of overwhelm.
It is how our mind responds to the fact we are overloaded by the sheer volume of work and noise we have in our life.
As a business owner the to do list is never ending. We become overwhelmed by what is required of us. There is the pressure (financial and other) of running the day to day business and managing life outside of the business.
With so much going on it seems impossible to even choose what is most important, or what to do next.
So, we procrastinate.
It is easier to delay and postpone and find something else to do that takes our mind off all that we have to do. The issue with this however, is that it exacerbates the problem feeling we had in the first place.
4 SIMPLE IDEAS TO HELP YOU PUSH THROUGH THE PROCRASTINATION
1. Start Yesterday
Prep your day, the day before. Write out your to do list the night BEFORE you leave the office. Make it the last thing you do before shutting down your laptop. List 3 things you do tomorrow.
Just 3 things. Be realistic, this is not a brain dump of everything that you have circling your mind that needs doing. Sometimes your “to do list” of 50 URGENT items is the biggest trigger for procrastination. It is too overwhelming, where do you even start?! Instead, write a short list of your top 3 MUST DO’S.
Remember: You can do anything, but not everything!
2. Start Early
Studies tells us that your brain functions best an hour after you wake and is running at maximum productivity for the first 2-3 hours. Knowing this – find out when your peak productivity time is … and use it!
3. Eat the Frog
I know it sounds like a strange concept (and now you’ll probably remember it!), but when you get to the office and look at the 3 things from your list ask yourself:
What is the HARDEST thing on your list to do?
This concept shifts you forward into action, just imagine how productive you could be if you made “eat the frog” a daily habit?
4. “Chunk Down” Out of the Overwhelm
You might be thinking “Well, I don’t even know what to write on my list I am that overwhelmed with what is coming at me right now”. When the brain fog is thick from stress and E V E R Y T H I N G feels overwhelming then here is a simple tool called chunking down, that will help bring you out of the overwhelm.
Book 15mins of quiet reflection time, take a deep breath and asking yourself a couple questions to find clarity:
What specifically is causing me to feel this way?
Chunking down allows you to get into the details and specifics of what is causing the overwhelm, understand what is blocking you and allows you to break it down into steps. Then everything doesn’t feel so daunting.
Taking the first step helps you to kick start the momentum and push through that procrastination!
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One of the key reasons I was drawn to the coaching methodology of NLP was because the foundation itself is based on communication. It is all about our language. The way we speak to ourselves, speak to people, use our body language and our ability to actively listen to get to the root cause of a problem.
I have always had a fascination with communication. Creative writing was one of my favourite subjects at school, later in my 30’s I studied Public Relations which is essentially communicating a message to influence with words, still and moving imagery, and media.
Words have meaning, and often they have double meanings. It is the way we speak words that gives them emotion.
After learning how certain words have a NEGATIVE charge on our life I opted to delete a few from my vocab; here’s why:
The word “TRY” – a wishy washy word, that we all know means you won’t do it!
The word “DON’T” – I hear this one too often! “I don’t want that, or I don’t like it when he/she does this it makes me feel X”.
Now that little rant is over… let’s talk about the word of the day:
Louise Hay, author of many many personal development books explains this word the best:
“The word should is one of the most damaging words in our language. Every time we use should, we are, in effect, saying it's“WRONG”. Either we ARE wrong, or WERE wrong, or we are GOING TO BE wrong.”
I have to agree with her.
Think about it for a moment. Can you think of a situation when someone recently has said to you:
“You SHOULD do this, or you SHOULD handle it like that, or you SHOULD go this way” – How does that make you feel?
When I’ve been on the receiving end of “Should” talking - I know full well I am not taking that persons advice/suggestion. Even if its amazing advice! HA. Why? There is some sort of internal radar to the word “should” that tells me DO NOT DO IT! (especially if it’s my husband telling me, for some reason HAHA!).
How about you?
It is because we feel like the person is saying we have handled it WRONG, or we cannot handle the situation so we need to be told what to do.
Seriously, most of the time – women just want to be heard! Agree? We actually really want to communicate and connect - not be told what we should be doing.
SHOULD (replaced with) COULD
Now, imagine the same scenario where you’ve been told you “SHOULD” do something… and imagine hearing the word COULD instead?
“You COULD do this, or you COULD handle it like that, or you COULD go this way”. How does that feel? Better, right?
Why? Because when we replace our language with the word COULD – then we feel as though it gives us a CHOICE.
We don’t feel wrong, we just see it as being offered multiple options. And it puts a whole new light on the subject.
SHOULD (replaced with) WOULD
In a recent Instagram video I shared with my thrive community the power of replacing the word “SHOULD” with “WOULD” when delivering our communication wanting to help a person to come to a decision, or give direction.
I received some incredible feedback on how this simple shift in language has helped in the workplace when Managing a team, as well as in discussions with loved ones. Check it out here:
Now that I have opened up your awareness to the power of your language, and the negative charge certain words create - you may start to notice how often you use them?
And, if you want to delete these words from your vocab – then go head!
This shift in language will help to move you closer to where you really want to be.