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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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As a Mindset + Business Coach, the question I’m asked most often is:
“Janel, what’s the ONE THING I can do on a regular basis that’ll make the biggest positive difference in my life?”.
My answer? 100% your morning routine.
The things we do every day make a difference. They make a difference to our mental and physical health and wellbeing, to our mindset, and to how we head into and experience the day. It’s the “little things” we incorporate into our routines and practice every day that can make the biggest overall difference.
Now the tips and suggestions I’m about to share with you probably aren’t anything new. Many of us already KNOW the practices that are good for us, the trick is actually DOING those things.
Meditate, journal, exercise, eat well; we know these are building blocks to thriving and making us feel better. The difficulty is putting one foot in front of the other to get started… and then to keep it going.
Sometimes the biggest block is that it all just seems so overwhelming… if I'm going to start a new morning routine, then it means I have to get up at 5:00am. Then I need to spend an hour and a half doing ALL THE THINGS to fill my mind, move my body, and get ready mentally and physically for the day. And next? Wham, there's an extra hundred million things to add to an already full morning.
Enter your mind saying, “This is too hard. There’s too much to do. Forget it. No deal.”
First, don't think about the 50 million things you have to do tomorrow, this week, this month, etc…
Instead, focus on what you can do TODAY.
Focus on the one LITTLE thing you can do today, that can be incorporated and repeated tomorrow, and the day after. Focus on the ONE THING you can do today, incorporate it slowly and gently into your morning, and then become consistent at it over time.
If you have one of my Learn to Thrive journals you know all about incorporating small changes over time. I call the morning routine “Five to Thrive”, and once you’ve gently incorporated all five into your morning routine it will look like this:
Now you try.
Start with waking up just 10 minutes earlier tomorrow and choosing ONE THING (not ALL the things!) to add in.
After you’ve chosen this one thing, do it consistently for the next 30 days. Do this one thing (and only this one thing!) until you’re comfortable with it. Only when you’re comfortable with it is it time to incorporate something else.
So now that you’re comfortable with it, the next day you get up another 10 minutes earlier, and add ONE more thing, commit to it for the next 30 days, and so on.
Does this seem slow?
But see it’s all about baby steps and simplicity. No complexity and no overwhelm.
We’re aiming for one thing to be incorporated slowly and steadily over time. And the compound effect of this gentle routine on your mindset?
Trust me, it is truly, truly incredible.
You start feeling more comfortable and confident in yourself and in your days. You wake up each morning, practice your routine and eventually find that you feel amazing. You feel amazing and your days and weeks and months are running smoother because you've been meditating every day, been writing in your journal every day, been moving your body every day, been eating a nutritious breakfast every day, been listening to music every day.
This compound effect of all these “little things”? AMAZING!
Feeling motivated to get started? Do it!
Not so motivated? Don’t wait!
Why? Because you may never feel motivated to start, especially if it’s something new (or involves getting up earlier). Instead, take the leap, set your alarm, and jump in. Choose the one thing you’re going to start with and just start.
Will it be easy? Maybe. That’s why taking gentle steps over time helps.
But sometimes however you might need additional support along this morning routine journey. If this is the case, follow me at janelbriggs_thrive on Instagram and see how I use the "five to thrive " method or simply email me, firstname.lastname@example.org - I'd love to hear from you!
Take care, JB
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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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