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Posts Tagged "productivity"

What Do You Want? Developing Your Litmus Test for Better Decisions

on March 27 in Creative Partnering | 0 comments

How Do We Make Better Decisions? If we take the time to identify what we want, at the BIG PICTURE level, making decisions becomes easy. When we know OUR own pH, everything that comes our way can be tested against it. If it doesn’t match, we can politely walk away. I imagine we waste a lot of time in decision-making. And maybe that comes from not having “top-level criteria.” What do I mean by top-level criteria? Your 3 most important things. Three things that MUST be present for you in your life or business. When you know these, everything becomes a lot clearer. And they are unique to YOU. For example, I will only do things that make me feel happy, successful, and appreciated. That’s MY litmus test. (Everyone’s is different.) A new opportunity, a prospective client, an event, a volunteer position–anything that comes my way–is tested against the probability for meeting each and all 3 of those criteria. They are REQUIRED. And if my initial reading changes or if I perceive it to change, my involvement can change too. Can you see how this knowledge takes the guesswork out of decisions? How it brings clarity to what I am supposed to be doing? How I can use those 3 criteria to re-focus myself and get myself back on track should I veer away? I hope so! And I hope you are inspired to find your “top-level criteria.” Have you taken the time to identify YOUR 3 things?  It’s one of the best time investments you will make and guess what? I can help you to achieve this in only 15 minutes. Sign me up! Feedback . . . “This was exactly what it said – a jumpstart! Thank you! . . . Good questions can help get to the heart of a matter quicker and more efficiently. I really enjoyed the call, you, your energy, and the very focused, targeted questions you asked to efficiently and effectively get to the top 3 in just 15 minutes. This was a helpful call. Much appreciated!”   “GREAT SESSION!!! I am super motivated. I love that I’m held accountable for the process to myself and you.” “Tracy, this was such a great start. It’s...

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Defining Success

on March 18 in Foundations | 1 comment

I’ve discovered, with help from Michelle Lee, The Coachapist, that I make a lot of rules for myself that prevent me from having fun and being successful. I’ve focused on the importance of fun before but haven’t talked much about how spending time defining success is a valuable activity. In my case, I’m beginning to think success looks like freedom from (at least some of) these rules. Imagine what I could achieve if I had less contraints! And by the way, these pesky rules aren’t just for me but everyone around me. What do I gain from that? I’m not a hella angry person but I have caught myself getting angry when other people who don’t have my rules are being or seeming successful. Hey Jealousy! (How’s that for authenticity?) Good news: I’m a results-oriented problem solver. And a change agent. So I move to finding the solution by asking: What can I do to loosen up on the rule-setting and get rid of the anger? The answer is changing my rules. Not holding myself accountable to rules that don’t serve me. Releasing others from the obligation to follow my rules. So step 1: Rule identification. What are these silly rules, anyway? Step 2: Writing the reverse of those rules. Say the equally true but opposite thing. Step 3: Realize that rules don’t make me safe, they keep me small. And playing small is so.not.successful. Ok, but what does success look like for ME? Answer: Expanding capabilities and getting broader experiences while delivering value to clients. Mutual growth. But doesn’t that run counter to what a lot of people expect from consultants? Consultants are already at the top of their game. They’ve “arrived,” and are completely knowledgable–plug-and-play, not trial and error! Sounds like a rule, doesn’t it? That’s probably why it’s been hard for me to call myself a consultant. My way of doing it isn’t matching up to my limited definition of success with respect to doing it. Sigh! Return to step 2. Rinse and repeat. Let me hear from you: Have you defined success for YOU authentically? Have you figured out what might be in your way?   Related articles across the web How To Become an Expert at Something...

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Planning for Delegating: The First Step

on March 15 in Creative Partnering | 0 comments

Most solopreneurs and self-employed service providers want to delegate the stuff that doesn’t make sense for us to do. The trouble is, most of that stuff isn’t “knowable” automagically. It’s not like we can flip a switch so that someone else knows how to execute at least 80% as well as we would. (But perhaps somewhere there is a really GREAT virtual assistant who is also a mindreader?) So, we have to develop instructions, parameters, processes, etc. to be able to effectively delegate. Taking the time to plan for delegation upfront–before you need to (urgently) get something off your plate is a good idea. And a Quadrant 2 activity. Welcome to Day 16 of #30DaysofQ2. That’s not to say the time spent planning will ensure 100% success. And it can feel as if it’s more work to do when you are already pressed for time. (That’s what’s driving the need to delegate, right?) Just take a deep breath. Trust that the investment will be worth it most of the time. It’s part of the “going slow to go fast” principle. That’s what I’m telling myself now as I’ve just outsourced some phone calls/appointment setting to virtual assistant service Fancy Hands–and I had taken the time plan, providing instructions in Evernote, as shown here: This file serves as the touchstone and reference point on how to schedule my calls.  While I did it to save time and provide a clear-cut path for execution, I realize virtual assistants vary in their ability to hone in on details and/or study up on the file. Honestly, it did backfire this time (sigh) but for the most part I’m glad I have guidelines I could share with anyone–and follow myself. What are your experiences with planning to delegate? Virtual assistants?       Related articles across the web Stress-Free Productivity: How to Make To-do Lists Work For You The secret to using virtual assistants and how to get the most out of...

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Sleep: More Important than We Think, Probably

on March 14 in Creative Partnering | 1 comment

Sleep is an important activity that we might be underestimating in terms of impact on productivity. That’s why it is the Day 15 challenge of #30DaysofQ2.  (Whoaaa, we’re halfway there!) We don’t always think of sleep as important as we should, especially if we are getting 6 hours of it. In fact, subjects getting 6 hours of sleep in a University of Pennsylvania study “didn’t rate their sleepiness as being all that bad, even as their cognitive performance was going downhill” (Fast Company).  This points to the inability or reluctance to recognize sleep as a game-changer in our productivity. Furthermore, according to the article, “The CDC has called lack of sleep a health problem, and for good reason. Diet, exercise, mental health, and physical health all affect our ability to sleep, and in return, our ability to perform to our best.” The takeaway? With all the urgent pressures (hello, moms) and other quadrants grabbing a limb and pulling, our health must come first. Sleep is a key to that. The challenge is (sometimes) giving ourselves permission as solopreneurs/self-employed folks with flexible schedules to take a nap (gasp!). How are you doing with fulfilling the need for sleep? Do you take naps during the day sans guilt as needed? More: 10-simple-hacks-fall-asleep-30-seconds-backed-science 10-great-hacks-make-you-sleep-better Many U.S. Adults Don’t Get Enough...

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Asking for What You Need: A Quadrant 2 Activity

on March 13 in Creative Partnering | 0 comments

Too often we don’t ask for what we need. Especially women. That’s why I created Authentic Women’s Exchange–an invitation-only “netplaying” (vs. netWORKING) group that provides the space for women to ask. We met today, as always, on the 13th of the month. So today is not so much a challenge as it is an affirmation. We can ask for what we need and making time to do so is an important but not urgent activity. What do you need help...

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