Looking for Better Ways to Manage your Time!

One of the challenges I often hear inside of coaching conversations is ‘how do I fit it all in?’ They are looking for better ways to manage their time.

Time management challenges often arise when you:

  • Over commit yourself to take actions in an underestimated time frame and with an unrealistic ‘to do list’.
  • Say ‘yes’ to everyone and everything, not wanting to let people down.
  • Do not take time out for yourself, feelings of guilt if you do have 5 minutes to spare.

There is no such thing as time management because no one can manage time. What you can manage is the choice of actions you take during your day. This is the distinction between time management and self-management.

When you manage what is most important to you, based on your values first, this will always give you space, time and energy to achieve the other important things to you.

The three most common areas we let go of when the ‘busy cycle’ appears are

  1. Exercise
  2. Quality time with loved ones
  3. Time-out for self

Imagine if you looked after all these first as a priority. Think how great you would feel with more energy and focus to take care of new habits you would like to create. I notice that whenever the higher percentage of my focus is on my business projects, my exercise routine gets pushed to one side. As soon as I become conscious about this and start to pick up the exercise routine, my business projects become more creative, with a natural flow about them.

With this awareness of what it brings me, I make sure that I maintain an exercise routine that suits me, my schedule, quality time with loved ones and make time for my self-care. I am a much better person to be around when I do this and life seems to flow with ease.

The 3 Steps to Self Management: Breaking it down

  • Personal Foundations
  • Business Foundations
  • Time Out for Self

Planning your time is often a combination of tasks scheduled in your diary and a to-do list for you to get around to when you have spare time. The more you can schedule the most important things, as well as your daily tasks, into your diary, with a time and date set against each one, the more likely it is that you’ll achieve them.

A big tip is to leave plenty of white space scheduled in your diary, to manage the unexpected, or things you may have forgotten about in your day. This is normally a challenge for most people, as you are trying to fit so much into your day and invariably wonder how you can ever leave ‘white space’ in between scheduling.

“My challenge to you is to ‘give it a go’ for at least 30 days
and notice what happens. Do the important things first aligning
your actions with your vision and values.”

Every Friday afternoon I sit down with my weekly schedule list and place every activity into my diary against an allocated time. This also includes the inspired action steps for my committed goals. Create your own self-management plan by filling out the weekly schedule below, using the 3 breakdown steps.

Personal Foundations covers all areas that are important to you for developing a healthy and happy foundation, e.g. quality time in relationships, exercise, shopping, family time etc.

Business Foundations covers all roles and responsibilities, required to be completed on a weekly and monthly basis, e.g. weekly meetings, accounts, client contact calls etc.

Time Out for Self covers what is important to you based on personal development and time-out for yourself to recharge your batteries, e.g. reading personal and professional development books, meditation, journal writing etc.

Coaching Challenge

Write down where you are currently spending your time. Then make a list of the things you always say you would like to be doing that you don’t get around to. It could be something that you have always wanted to Be, Do or Have, e.g. learn to dance, more time with family, socialise with friends, begin a sustainable exercise program you enjoy.

Fill out your weekly schedule, including all the areas in your life where you spend your time and what you would like to spend more time doing. Then place these in your diary with an allocated time and date. All you need to do is follow your diary knowing that every action you take is in direct alignment with your vision and values.

Remember to leave plenty of white space for creativity and spontaneity.

If you are looking for a professional coach as your sounding board to clarify your direction and partner you in realizing your vision and goals faster than what you would on your own, contact me to discuss your requirements http://annettestanton.com/contact/

Live your Vision: Set yourself up for Success in 2018

With 2018 just around the corner, I have been taking time out to reflect on my accomplishments, challenges and insightful lessons throughout the year. This is always a fabulous time for reflection.

I am wondering how did your year shape up? Did you achieve what you set out to or did you notice yourself still facing the same challenges feeling frustrated about what will change in 2018?

If you want to hit the ground running in 2018 with greater clarity, making sure you live your inspirational vision, achieving your goals, below are 5 tips that can give you a strong foundation.

1. Reflection

Take time out before the year is over to reflect on your accomplishments in 2017 – no matter how big or how small – write down all your achievements. This will create momentum to build on your foundation for 2018. Then look at what systems worked for you in your personal and business life covering all areas important to you i.e. family, business, staff management, relationships, finances, leadership, health and wellness etc.

Notice when you reflect on what did work, what was it that did not work for you also and what were the areas that you let yourself down in i.e. not making time to exercise, business systems not managed, saying ‘Yes’ when you really want to say ‘No’ etc. By recognizing your habits that do not support your vision and goals, will give you the perfect opportunity to make the necessary conscious changes in 2018. No, not like a wish – a solid foundational system that will give you the time, energy and financial opportunities you truly want.

A celebration is most important in this step. When you celebrate and acknowledge your accomplishments, this creates a momentum for you to ‘ride the wave of success’ taking it into 2018. If you continually keep looking at what you did not achieve when you will take that way of thinking also into 2009 and nothing will change. Give yourself a break and start acknowledging yourself no matter what!

2. Clear Blockages

 This is the hidden bit that means so much towards your success. Have you heard the saying that says…’you will continually keep getting what you continually keep doing’. The way you will know your blockages is by looking at the results that you are not getting. For example, if you are struggling with a particular area in your business, then you will have a negative belief that is driving you to create the results you do not want or if you continually find your communication skills are not understood, then you may also have a negative belief driving it – no matter how hard you try.

To clear your blockages is to become aware of them and then to transform them into powerful positive statements based on the result you do want. Remember that you will always keep getting what you focus on and if you are not getting your desired results, there is a part of you inside that does not believe you can achieve it – no matter how determined and persistent you are. Your inside beliefs must match your outside desired results first. 

3. Clearing Clutter

I love this one because I get to throw out the old and make space for the new opportunities coming in for 2018. When you clear your home and office space, it will give you more energy (not to mention space) for you to build from. Clearing clutter is a physical, environmental and most of all, emotional experience, giving you space to deal with challenges. It can be difficult to understand this because it is an experiential reward, which will only occur once you have taken the action.

Are you someone who is used to living in clutter? Your office may always be a mess with papers disorganised, behind in taxation and budgets – or you may have clothes in your closet that you haven’t worn for years because you keep telling yourself that you will lose the extra kilos to fit into them again. When you live in an environment that supports you now, you will find that there will be more flow and freedom in your life and around your time scheduling. You will be surprised at what you can fit into your day when you live and work in a clutter-free zone.

Allow yourself to let go of the old and create a vacuum for the new. Be ruthless and either sell anything you are not using anymore, give it away to someone you know will use it, or give it to charity. Notice the loss of energy and focus and how much time is wasted in that very moment. Imagine what happens when you have a trail of things left undone and how much this stops you moving forward in life.

When you are clutter-free, you also clear your mind and create a free-flow of energy to do the things that are most important. Yes, it can be a little overwhelming if you have allowed things to accumulate over time, but persist, because it is worth it.

Live your Vision: Set yourself up for Success in 2018

4. Clear Vision and Goals

Imagine it is this time next year – yes, December 2018, and you are reflecting on your achieved vision and goals. What would you like to be saying you have accomplished? Write this in a script format being as descriptive as possible, using detail, feelings and expression.

For example: “I am so excited that I have now set all my systems up inside my business which are running very smoothly with a 75% financial growth. I love working with my ideal clients who are so easy to work with. My wife and I are so happy because we made time to go on holidays with our children to Queensland. Most of all I love the fact that I was able to keep my phone turned off and not worry about the running of my business.”

Bring in all the areas of your life that are important to you into you descriptive vision. You need to make it believable for you because your deep belief will be your natural motivator all year through, especially when you match your values.

Once you have your clear vision, then you need to break it down into goals. This is what I call ‘Zoning’. Zoning is a great way to maintain daily focus in the direction of your vision. How it works is you take a look at your vision and pick out all the desired end results i.e. Where do you want to go on Holidays with your family and what systems do you want to set up in the business and how much increase in your business do you want financially etc.

Once you have created your zoning goals, then you get a blank sheet of paper for each and bring the goals into reality today by answering these questions.

  1. Why do you want to achieve this goal?
  2. When would you like to achieve this goal by?
  3. What resources (people I know) do I currently have to help me achieve this goal?
  4. What are the Inspired Actions I want to take towards this goal?
  5. How will I celebrate when I have achieved my goal?

5. Success Mindset and Clarity

Without Mindset and Clarity, you will sabotage your success every time. Have you ever set a new year resolution really determined to make it happen only to find that by March that year the enthusiasm slipped through your fingers? You see, your conscious mind is the one setting your new year resolutions up and the subconscious mind is the one really running the show. So how do you set yourself up to succeed definitely this year?

In my national sporting days back in the 1980’s I heard about a non-evasive technique used at the Sporting Institute in America for performance testing. What they did was monitored the performance of each Olympian by linking them to a computer and got them to relax their body (yes they were in a still position) at the same time they would imagine in their mind that they were running their event at the Olympics. The results were astonishing because they found that the monitor showed that all the necessary muscles according to their individual event activated inside their body, even when they were still, as though they were running the event with the same amount of strength required. This all occurred from their Mind imaging their event as though they were actually participating in their event on the day.

I then practised this same technique as a part of my training for nationals and realized that if this works for my sporting events, then how about the rest of my life. I have been using this technique ever since and this is how I create my own life and business success.

Every day I visualize my Vision as though I have already achieved it, exactly the way the Olympians ran their event before they were at the Olympics. This is the most important key to having your vision and goals become a reality. You need to believe it first before you will see it in the physical form. Most of all you need to FEEL it as though it has already been achieved and take that feeling into your everyday life. You only need 2-5 minutes of your time each day to do this. The most challenging part for most people is to allow themselves to be still and slow down the busy mind that says “I don’t have time…” For you to maintain clarity and a mindset each day that matches, then this IS the key to Success for 2018 and beyond.

6. Daily Inspired Actions

Without action – nothing will be achieved. The actions I am referring to here are called Inspired Actions. These are not based on overwhelming should’s, ought to’s or have to’s. Inspired Action generally comes to you in the quietness of your mind, possibly when you are gardening, jogging, playing sport, meditating, holding your baby or even playing with your children etc.

These are actions that naturally come to you, which you feel, is your next step. This has a feeling of ‘I can’t wait to do it’. It also feels easy and in the flow. When you listen and take action on your inspired thought or idea, you will have no concerns about the outcome because you love whatever you are doing just by following your own intuition and acting on it.

When you follow your Inspired Actions your results will be amazing. We tend to look for ‘how to’ achieve your goals ‘actions’ coming from the left brain logic which is only one way of looking at things. This may be limiting your success. Everyone has Inspired Actions come into your mind every day, but we are so busy with our habits and routines that we either do not hear it or we say ‘I will get to that later’. Later never comes…until the new year resolutions!

Set yourself up this coming year to succeed by giving yourself plenty of time to de-stress, listen and act upon your Daily Inspired Actions.

Wishing you Great Success and Purpose in 2018 and beyond.

 

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Foundational Success: Developing Clarity and Focus

Did you know that you will already have foundational systems in your everyday life that are working for you! The difference in growing upon your foundational success is whether you are conscious of the systems you do have that are working for you. Or are you living every moment unconsciously reacting to circumstances always looking at what is not working for you?

Systems that Work give you Clarity and Focus

Foundational Success is the rock-solid personal and professional systems you put in place so you have something solid to build on each and every day. Especially whenever challenges come your way, if you have your foundation set up in your whole life, then you will have a high emotional intelligence. When you have a high emotional intelligence you will stop reacting to life’s challenges and in that moment be calm enough to consciously choose your response.

Yes, you will be able to respond without reacting to the situation in front of you. Reactions to life’s challenges causes major stress and the see-saw feeling. Every action you take is a part of a system you have set up whether it be conscious or unconscious.

Start to become conscious about the systems that are already working for you and then take a look at the actions you are sporadically taking because of reactional thinking. Then decide whether there is a better way of implementing the action and if it needs to be a repetitive system for your success.

In a nutshell, it is about knowing and living your standards (the things you will and won’t accept of yourself) combined with clear boundaries (the things you will and won’t accept of others) and having the courage to continually communicate these coming from love and respect for yourself and others.

Some of the many things that set you up for reactional thinking are:

  • Not setting up your day with priority actions and doing the important things first.
  • Not placing suitable time scheduling around your priorities.
  • Not living your own standards – being everything to everybody.
  • Getting into the habit of over-promising and under-delivering.
  • Holding back on clear communication – ‘playing the guessing and assuming game’.
  • Saying ‘Yes’ when you really want to say ‘No’.
  • Not setting clear defined boundaries coming from love and respect for yourself and others.
  • Not making quality time to chill out and be with your family and loved ones.
  • Not making time to do something for yourself each day that brings you joy, fun and lightness.
  • Not having a clear vision and being disorganized.
  • Living and working amongst the clutter.

Here is a simple equation to remember for Foundational Success:

Foundational Success: Developing Clarity & Success

Looking through the Magnifying Glass

One of the most common things I hear from people I coach in the first three months of their coaching journey is that they are seeing more and more areas in their professional and personal life that they feel they need to clear up – areas they were not even aware of!

This is quite normal when looking at change and wanting to transform those areas that may not be working for you. I call it ‘looking through the magnifying glass’. All of a sudden, you feel as if everything is right in your face and needs to be dealt with as soon as possible for you to move forward.

For example, you may want to spend more time with your family and doing other things important to you, yet your time is locked into your business life.

As you begin to take a closer look into what is not working in your personal and business life, you might realise you have challenges in areas like staff not taking on the roles and responsibilities you hired them for in the first place, identifying all the areas where you are crossing your own boundaries, high expectations of self and others, doing everything yourself and not asking for support, etc. No wonder your time is locked up in your professional life, giving you no space and time for flexibility and freedom.

‘The key to persistence is to focus on your vision, tune into your values and stay on your path at all times. Do not get swayed by other people’s vision and values.’

This is when it is easy for frustration; resignation and a sense of being overwhelmed can overtake your commitment. The key is to always remember that whatever you are looking at in your life is being looked at through a magnifying glass, giving the illusion that it is bigger than it really is. This occurs because when you start to focus and take action on things in your life that you would like to achieve, there will always be areas that you were not previously aware of, that also need to be managed to take you to the next step of achievement.

Coaching Tip – Gaining Clarity and Direction

Whenever I go into those feelings of frustration and being overwhelmed, one of the things that help to clarify my thoughts and focus is to get a blank sheet of paper and write down everything that is filling my head.

Try this – get it all out of your head and break it down into bite-size action pieces. This will take away the magnified illusion and will also free you from the magnified feelings.

‘Overwhelm’ and ‘frustration’ are the most common words I hear at the start of a coaching session, but after breaking down the challenges by writing them down, they quickly turn into ‘clarity’ and ‘direction’.

Staying focussed on your vision, mission and values is paramount when it comes to sustainable success as a champion leader.

I hope you enjoyed this article.

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Annette Stanton

“I see a world where leaders are being called to step up and out - to lead from their authentic self with greater connection.

My mission is to activate revolutionary leadership across the globe where leaders are living their highest vision and purposeful mission every day.”

Contact Annette
  • +61 8 9437 4820
  • annette@annettestanton.com