Dream Killers

dream-killers“If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.”

The three biggest dream killers; overwhelm, isolation and frustration, are most often experienced when we operate without a plan. You may have the best idea and the clearest vision, yet without support along the way, it’s an enormous challenge to achieve that dream.

• Stop thinking stupid thoughts
• Stop doing stupid things
• Stop working on meaningless projects

Make a map of everything that is important for you to work on right now. A strong visual is a reminder of where you are headed. It reinforces your dream and makes the goal more tangible when you can see both the path and the objective.

Notice what you do every day. Do your activities support your dream?

Whenever you focus on your dream, there is always one thing, that if you do it, it can change your life or business forever. Where’s your timeline for accomplishing that one thing?

Remember, your environment is a perfect reflection of YOU. This doesn’t mean pricey space or a team of consultants. For some, a cluttered or a messy desk is inspiring and underscores activity and ideas in action. For others, a more serene, less stimulating space is ideal for creativity. You choose!

And, let’s not forget about the people you surround yourself with? Are they positive, realistic, and smart? Do they share your vision and values? Can they be critical and objective too? Are these people a reflection of your past or your present?

Do an overall scan. What are you reading? What TV programs do you watch? Strive for harmony not dissonance which will give you a more congruent or matched life, internally and externally.

Failing to make necessary adjustments, you will feel frustrated, like you are always climbing uphill, forever inches short of realizing your dream. So, do the personal and professional inventory, make the changes and keep your eye on the prize.


10 Daily Time Saving Tips

timesavingtipsWith a variety of tasks and deadlines to meet, how can you accomplish these goals more efficiently? No matter your business or profession, who couldn’t benefit from quick tips to save time. Below are 10 tips to accelerate your process and streamline a plan of approach.

1. Set Goals
Each morning, write out a detailed to-do list of the things you want to accomplish that day.

2. Create a Plan
Figure out when and how you’ll accomplish each item on your daily list. Will you need help, supplies, etc.?

3. Prioritize by Importance
It’s inevitable that sometimes you’ll have to delete items from your to-do list, so decide early what the most important items are and prioritize.

4. Prioritize by Urgency
You’ll need to get to those projects that have urgent deadlines so leave the ones that are due next week for later.

5. Break Down Large Tasks
If your list includes some overwhelming items, break them down into smaller, more manageable tasks.

6. Be Realistic
Don’t expect to accomplish everything in an hour. Know your limitations and your abilities.

7. Track Your Time
In order to better understand how you really spend your time, take a few days and record everything you do and how long it takes. Include breaks, e-mail, social media and everything else, so that you’ll find out what your biggest time wasters are.

8. Set Deadlines
Need some motivation to complete a project? Set a deadline for yourself and tell others about it so they can help hold you accountable.

9. Keep One Eye on the Clock
You don’t want to constantly obsess about time, but you also don’t want to let the day get away from you because you weren’t paying attention. Stay on track.

10. Set Reminders
If you have a deadline or meeting coming up, set a reminder on your phone that will go off shortly beforehand.


Journaling…To Write or Not to Write

imagesCA38GE3VWhat happens when we assign a name to an activity that was once not formalized as more than just writing? There is a seriousness, a decisiveness attached to it that is different now. You can find journals for travel, calling out to you with the illusive guarantee of a record to be kept alongside photos, ticket stubs and other mementos of trips taken. Baby books are timelines of another journey, so precious it is impossible not to note milestones on their pages. Fill in the blanks and your diary will come alive, your thoughts preserved for future reflection…or not.

It is easy to be overwhelmed by the myriad of options. After all, an abundance of stores and sites are dedicated to selling beautifully bound journals, pens and more. I should know better by now. I have shelves and drawers filled with them, gifts from friends or purchased by me, begun half-heartedly or abandoned to a newer addition. Each volume beckons with a promise of being the one that will be the keeper of my words, the container of my thoughts, the chosen one…or not.

At its best, journaling has a meditative quality. It is a peaceful activity, a grounding experience, an internal process that stops time for the moment. It is a good habit and once engaged, provides a platform for expression that is very personal. Likewise, there is no end to the self judgments that abound when not doing it in the proscribed form.

What are some other ways to get going when you are not inspired?
• Set a timer for 5 minutes and just write, sans punctuation, only stream of consciousness
• Select a single thought, object or memory and write-dig deep and just write
• Go backwards. Start with the end of your day and complete with the beginning.

If the “written” word is not the best way for you to express yourself:
• Speak or sing your thoughts into a recording device
• Draw, collage or use color in ways to convey your inner feelings
• Use music/instruments as a medium

Access your creativity in ways that support you best and perhaps intersperse one method with another. After all, it is about YOU finding YOUR voice and the best way for YOU to express yourself is changeable!

©2015 Maureen Weisner

Attack the Hardest or Easiest Tasks First?

458You glance at your to-list and it’s overwhelming. Your initial thought might well be to run through the easiest, yet time consuming actions first. These may feel like many small annoyances; t he call you need to return or the quick review of a client project. Yes, we all know how good it feels to check off multiple tasks, send those e-mails out and lo and behold, your morning is gone. Instant gratification is seductive and the busyness feels like you are engaged in a series of worthy accomplishments. After all, these things need to be addressed and you are fresh in the A.M. However, according to Piers Steel, PhD, Professor at the University of Calgary and an expert on motivation and procrastination, this approach wastes your prime performance hours. “People have more attention and focus in the morning, so tackle the hard stuff first, while you have the most energy to do it.” As the day continues our energy is depleted, there are other demands on our time and so the list gets carried along with new additions.

Let’s try another slant on your typical plan of action. Getting started is key and tweaking your approach helps. Begin with a challenging chore that can be handled quickly. Like suiting up for a run or diving into cold water, the first few moments may feel awful but your body quickly adjusts and you are on your way, invigorated as you move. The same can be said for your to-do list actions as momentum takes over it helps you make more progress. How satisfying is it to cross things off your list, both major and minor and relax, if only for a moment of reflection.

• What’s you favorite approach?
• How successful has that been?
• What are you willing to change?
• Renumber your list for tomorrow, adding a challenging chore first




SLOW Down and DO More!

slowdown500“People tell me I’d go faster if I used a computer, but I don’t want to go faster. If anything, I want to go slower.” ~ David McCullough

Conducting two unrelated tasks at the simultaneously is multi-tasking. If you are writing a document while referring to an associated spreadsheet at the same time, it is not multi-tasking. And yes, it is possible to fold laundry and watch a favorite TV show concurrently without consequence. In fact, there may be some level of satisfaction associated with the accomplishment of completing a rote activity with another passive form of relaxation. However, if you are bouncing between deciding on an issue while chatting with friends and reading the newspaper, you are not giving your full attention to any of the three…even if you believe you are.

What are some common side effects of multi-tasking?
• Missing important instructions
• Replying to everyone on an e-mail
• Feeling overwhelmed and/or anxious
• Misplacing documents, directions or ancillary materials
• Chronic lateness

According to Peter Khawand, CEO of People On The Go, “When we are interrupted, our results drop down to zero. It takes time to re-load short term memory and determine where we were when switching back and forth between tasks.” Constant mini-shifts from one activity to another are an energetic and cognitive drain. Furthermore, Khawand states, “When we’re working 2-minutes here and there, it’s really hard to get deeply into anything. We lose the ability to think strategically and solve deep issues.” In fact, more employers are looking individuals who can uni-task and fully concentrate. While speed may be important, clear and focused thinking is even more important.

What can you do?
• STOP continually checking e-mails, facebook and other on-line sites
• Turn off your cell phone, e-mail notifications and other interruptions
• Make lists of what needs to be done and the detailed steps to complete a task
• After a stretch of uninterrupted activity, give yourself a “connectivity” reward of conversation with a friend or colleague in person or on-line