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Archive for the ‘Productivity’ Category

Eliminating energy zappers

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

 

The topic of tolerations seems to come up every once in a while with my clients. Tolerations could really be called “energy zappers.” They are those situations, problems or things that are really solvable, but that you let stay unattended. Those tolerations bug you on occasion, and you think they are just a nuisance.

What happens when you ignore them? Sure, you can put up with a few items, but most of us let the list grow. And, you start to compromise on those items. You know, maybe that stack of old magazines on the floor is not really that bad. The problem is that you start to desensitize yourself to all the good around you. And your energy gets zapped.

Admit your tolerations

So, how do you get control on those tolerations? First, admit you do actually have some! For starters, make a list of what you are tolerating. It shouldn’t be hard to come up with 20, perhaps more if you get started listing them. So set aside 15 minutes and start your list. You might even do this walking through your house or office. It might be the dead plant that you think will suddenly grow shoots. It might be the clutter you live with. It might be your kids’ socks that never seem to leave the family room floor. It might be the stack of library books you have got in the car you are meaning to take back. It might be something your spouse always says that you that you live with rather than create waves. It might be the dishes in the sink. Look at all areas of your life: your business, your home, your car, your environment, your habits and behavior, and the habits and behavior of those you interact with.

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Focus on the Three S’s in Success

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017
You might know that I’m a word person. I love good writing, I worked as a journalist, and I love word games. I looked at the word “success” recently and thought about what the parts meant. Success has 3 S’s, and I decided that the keys to success are Self, Systems and Support.

How do you define success? Webster’s defines it as a favorable or desired outcome or the attainment of wealth, favor or eminence. The bottom line is that success relates to achieving goals. You set the goals and you determine whether or not you are successful. Here are some tips to help with your journey toward success.

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Do You Suffer From Smorgasbord Syndrome?

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Someone recently shared in one of our ICAP Facebook groups that she was trying to tackle too many tasks in one day. She added that she tended to overestimate her available time. That meant she was moving uncompleted tasks from one day into the next day’s list. The end result was making new lists and wasting time and energy. She was not alone with this confession, confusion, and remorse.

I refer to this as the “Smorgasbord Syndrome.” As a child, I can remember my parents saying that my eyes were bigger than my stomach when we had big family celebrations. I didn’t want to miss out on anything that might be good. And, of course, even though I probably left little room for dessert, I didn’t want to miss out on any of those, so I added more to my plate when dessert rolled around. You can guess that I probably had my share of stomach aches.

It’s easy to see how this approach translates into your life and business. You think you have more time to accomplish what needs to be accomplished. You keep saying, “yes, pile more on my plate.” Whether you say that to someone who asks you to do something or just to yourself, the end result is the same. Your life and/or business plate is overflowing.

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Do You Have a Don’t-Do List?

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

It’s January. A New Year. Open to lots of possibilities.

I know you are as excited as I am about those possibilities and all that you are going to create this year. If your list is like mine or my clients, it’s lengthy. And you are excited about tackling all of it — right now. You want the rewards and the feeling of accomplishment. To do that you probably have lists of all the action steps and milestones for each goal. And you are ready to dive in.

Stop. Ask yourself what is standing in your way to accomplishing those goals in the time you want. I know we all sabotage ourselves with our mindset. I’m talking about more concrete, every day ways that stop us. Here are some examples. Checking Instagram about 10 times a day rather than sticking to your time block for your next design. Snacking on sugary treats when you get bored. Checking email every 15 minutes, or even more often. Not making time for self-care, including exercise, so you have energy when you need it. Can you imagine what you would accomplish if you didn’t have your smart phone sitting right next to your desk?

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Do You Have Gotta-Do-It-First-itis?

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

do-it-first-itis

 

Can you picture yourself here?

* Headed to the office or studio passing through the kitchen only to see the dishwasher needs to be emptied. Well, it won’t take that long. Let’s do it first and just get it done.

* Back on track headed to the office or studio only to be distracted by the laundry basket. Well, let’s just throw that one load in. It will only take a minute or two.

* Looking at the messages that came in the night before. One was from a friend down the street. Well, what could she want? It’s just a quick phone call, and it will be out of the way.

* Now you are in your office and ready to get to work. Wait, let’s just check the email. Oh, some of these look really quick to answer. Let’s just do them first and get them out of the way.

Did you just lose half your day because you had what I’ve termed “gotta-do-it-first-itis”?

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The Myth of Multitasking

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

multitasking

As I came back to work this morning after a two-week vacation, I faced a mountain of things to do. Where to start? Maybe I could manage to do more than one task at a time. You know, answer email or scan Facebook while listening to an online class, or straighten the studio while making a phone call, or quickly check the calendar to see if an appointment is scheduled while in a phone conversation. Quite the picture, isn’t it?

Yes, I am talking about multitasking and it does not work! According to Harvard Business Review blogger Paul Atchley, studies show that multi-taskers are less efficient, perhaps by as much as 40%, than they think. He says that it takes an average of 15 minutes – and I have read numbers as high as 40 minutes – to reorient oneself to the main task. Wow – 15 minutes! Can you imagine how much time you waste on a daily basis trying to get back to the task at hand?

Many people dispute the fact that multi-tasking doesn’t work, citing their own experiences. Not true, as research shows again and again.

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Get Off Your But!

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

getoffyourbut

Some time ago I read A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink. It’s a good read about why right-brainers will rule the future.

The future, really today, is the “conceptual age.” Pink discusses the “six senses” that one uses to build a whole new mind to thrive in this conceptual age: design, story, symphony, empathy, play and meaning. While I do not necessarily subscribe to his premise in total – I believe we need to engage both parts of our brain – he offers lots of great exercises to get your right brain working. And even though many artists are right-brained, you will find the exercises fun and expanding.

Onto ifs, ands & buts. In his discussion on meaning, one of Pink’s suggestions for creating more meaning in your life is to replace the word “but” with “and.” He says that “buts” can create roadblocks for creating more meaning in your life and suggests creating a list of what you are trying to accomplish and what is in your way.

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Move the Needle in Your Creative Arts Business

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

move-the-needle

For many of us, moving the needle may have different connotations, especially since so many who read this blog sew. Today I want to talk about moving the needle forward in your business. All of us get stuck. Sometimes it’s just a simple tweak that can get the machine moving again. Sometimes it is something bigger that you need to do to move your business to the next level. Here are nine ways that will help get you moving and bring in cash to your business:

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Avoid the Comparison Trap

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Comparison Trap

Do you ever get that sinking feeling when you look around and start to compare yourself to others — their art or their business success?

You start to think that no one will every want what you have.

And, then you start to believe the one or two people who have ever commented negatively on your work.

And, then the spiral starts. Really, who are you to do this anyway?

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5 Steps to Getting Your Work Done

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

5 Strategies to Get Your Work Done

Have you ever found yourself procrastinating, overwhelmed or just plain stuck when it comes to getting your work done. Last week I did a free webinar called “From To Do to Ta Da Done!” about how to get more — and the right — work done. I think of it as a simple five-step process. Of course, simple does not always make it easy.

Step one is all about clarity. Are you clear on the big picture?

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