• How To Get Shit Done


     

    Abstract:
     

    Before I say anything else: From today’s title, you may have noticed that I do use adult language occasionally! Just a fair warning in case that’s not your thing.
     

    A lot of my Coaching clients feel they should be doing more and that they fall short somehow. It seems to be an almost universal feeling. In some cases, trying too hard to get shit done even leads to complete inertia.
     
     

     
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    Getting real

     

    Most people have completely unrealistic expectations of themselves. They think if they don’t “function” perfectly and are productive every minute of every day, then they’re doing it wrong.
     

    As a first step, realise that you’re not a machine, and neither are you supposed to be. It’s simply not how humans work! Stop measuring yourself against others and putting pressure on yourself.
     
     

    Separating the wheat from the chaff

     

    The second step is to take a good look at your life and clean it out the way you’d sort out your closet when you want to give some clothes to charity. Just like decluttering the closet, it can be hard to let go of some things. When you’ve done it, however, you feel a profound relief and clarity.
     

    Focus on getting done what really matters to you: Yourself, your family and friends, your passions, and the necessities of life. Everything else gets cleared out.
     

    get shit done
    Photo by Haley Powers on unsplash.com

    Accepting your human nature

     

    Step three is to accept that you’re human and to play to your strengths. Some people are “seasonal workers” while others are particularly productive at a certain time of the day. Do what works for you, and don’t forget to work in breaks and self care as well.
     

    Once you’ve accomplished these three steps, you’ll feel yourself settling into your own personal rhythm. Ironically, when you stop stressing about it, you’ll not only feel happier but you’ll also “get shit done”.

  • When There’s Just Too Much To Do


     

    Abstract:
     

    I had the idea for a story about two years before I actually wrote it down. It wasn’t writer’s block, it was simply a matter of having too much going on to be able to focus on writing.
     

    There was just too much to do all the time.
     
     

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    The six-months rule

     

    There are, of course, times in life when things just get busy, but it happens to everyone and it’s perfectly normal because life is cyclical by nature. For example, if you just had a new baby, then you won’t have time for much else for some time.
     

    However, there are some people who’ll always tell you that the stressful times are about to come to an end, and then two years later, they still have the same excuses. Don’t string yourself along like that! A good rule of thumb is that after six months’ time, things should have quietened down somewhat.
     
     

    Prioritise, how?

     

    To gain clarity, you need to find out what your priorities are. Sit down and ask yourself a few fundamental questions:
     

    • What’s the most important thing in my life?
    • Next: What’s urgent and unavoidable right now?
    • What’s my passion?

    Write down the answers and then eliminate everything else from your life. This can be hard to do, especially when there are other things you enjoy doing, but you have to be ruthless here: Cancel, leave, say no.
     

    too much

     

    Too much to do? Get support

     

    The most obvious and yet overlooked strategy for coping is to ask for help, so don’t be afraid to reach out for a friend or family member. You don’t have to do it all alone! If you can afford it, get paid help as well.
     

    This is your life and you’re here to do what’s important to you. Be sure you make time to actually live.

  • You Do Have Time And Energy

    you do have time and energy
     

    “I don’t have the time and energy,” is the standard answer when I ask someone why they don’t focus on their passion more. It seems to be everybody’s story, including my own at times. It’s so common that we have stopped wondering about it.
     

    Really, when you stop to think, it’s so ridiculous it borders on the insane: There’s something which lights you up, something you love so much it makes you forget time. And instead of making it the centre of your life, you slave away at a job, look after everyone else before thinking of yourself, and buy things you don’t need. After all, everyone else does the same thing, right? It’s just how our world works!
     

    Well, no. Just because something is common, or accepted by a majority of people, it’s not necessarily the only way. Breaking out simply requires a bit of out-of-the-box thinking and the willingness to be seen as, well, “weird” by some of your contemporaries.
     

    But time isn’t even the only issue; having the energy and headspace is almost as important. Almost everyone I start working with as a Coach, tells me that they’re so tired after a day in the office, or doing housework and chauffeuring the kids, they can’t possibly contemplate pursuing a passion.
     

    In the following, I’ll give you strategies to tackle both issues. Implemented consistently, they’ll create a dramatic shift towards a life you’ll love every minute of.
     
     

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    Time and energy crisis

     

    Have you noticed how everyone seems to be tired all the time? It’s an issue of epidemic proportions. This can make it additionally difficult to find the time and energy for your passion. In order to tackle it, you need to address both the physical and the mental aspects of tiredness. I suggest you consider the following steps.
     

    Physical tiredness:

     

    • It seems obvious, but ask yourself if you’re getting enough sleep. You may enjoy you late-night Netflix sessions, but wouldn’t you enjoy more having the energy to do what truly lights you up? Aim for at least 7-8 hours a night.
    •  

    • Try and establish a regular sleeping routine for a few weeks. In other words, always sleep at the same time and get up at the same time, even at weekends.
    •  

    • Take naps if you can. Anything between 10 and 40 minutes is refreshing.
    •  

    • Get off the computer and off your phone for at least two hours before bedtime. Don’t watch TV either. Read, write, have a conversation with your loved one or meditate.
    •  

    • If you have trouble falling asleep, try taking a warm foot bath before bed. Four or five inches (10-12cm) of warm water in your bath tub are enough. Soak your feet and ankles for a few minutes and then go to bed immediately.

     

    Mental exhaustion:

     

    • Establish a ritual of transition from your workplace (or time with your kids) to your home or free time. It can be something simple, like having a cup of tea or meditating for 10 minutes. Done regularly, this will help you leave the rest of your day behind and “arrive” in your own mind space.
    •  

    • Ever been almost too tired to go to a party, and then you met someone interesting there and found yourself chatting half the night? That’s because energy follows engagement. If you’re “into” something, you’ll automatically feel energetic. Use this insight by scheduling small periods of pursuing your passion. 20 minutes will do for a start. Let this inspire and fuel you.
    •  

    • Move. I can’t stress this enough. Actually, you could combine movement with your transition ritual suggested above: Take a walk after work, or if the weather is bad, dance to your favourite song or do 10 minutes of yoga at home. It can be the hardest thing to kick yourself to doing this, but I guarantee you’ll feel more energetic afterwards.

     

    What’s your investment?

     

    The main difference between succeding at change versus slipping back into normal mode, is your investment. I don’t necessarily mean money, although it does help (one of the reasons Coaching is so successful is that once you’ve forked over the cash, you’re more likely to stick with it). You can invest in coaching, training or professional equipment. But time and energy are just as important.
     

    Determinedly freeing up time shows your commitment. It’s why I’m always on about prioritising passion! It’s not enough to make some time on a Friday evening; if you’re serious about being joyful, do it first thing on a Monday morning. Work the rest of your life around your passion – yes, it’s possible, I see it again and again with my clients – and watch how you suddenly, magically have time for everything.
     

    Commit to it, schedule it, and stick with it. Life’s too short not to do what lights you up.
     

  • 4 Steps To Take If There’s Never Enough Time/Money

    never enough
     

    There are people who always rush around. “Lots going on!” is there every other sentence. They’re involved in a million different activities, and while every one of these activities sounds great, they seem to be piling up to an overwhelming workload.
     

    Others are always strapped for cash. I used to be one of those. In fact, I’ve currently taken on a big financial commitment which strains my finances and will continue to do so until June. Sometimes it takes me back to the way I used to feel, all the time. Then I remind myself that I’ve indeed learned my lessons and am doing this willingly! It was different years ago, when I had no control over my finances at all and there was never enough.
     

    You probably know at least one person who never has enough time or money. Maybe you’re like that yourself? When you look around yourself, do you perhaps wonder how others manage to make big purchases, or take time to create art or get a lot done? And at the same time, you seem to be permanently behind schedule, disorganised, and a little out of breath? Or alternatively, there seems to be “a lot of month left at the end of the money” every time?
     

    It might be time to find the root causes of this phenomenon. Once you know what you’re dealing with, you can take measures to turn things around.
     
     

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    Never enough: Don’t play the blame game

     

    Obviously, everyone has had busy times in their lives, and unless you were born with the proverbial silver spoon in your mouth, you’ve likely been short of cash at least once, too. Neither is a reason for worry! It’s just when this becomes a chronic state of things that you should get suspicious.
     

    If there’s never enough time or money in your life, it’s an indication of an underlying issue. It’s usually to do with beliefs we hold, either consciously or unconsciously.
     

    Before I continue, it’s important for you to understand that you’re not “to blame” for what’s going on. Beliefs are usually formed in childhood and become second nature to us. Most of the time, we assume that what we believe is simply “reality”.
     

    There’s a big difference between taking the responsibility to own your beliefs, and blaming yourself for them. Taking ownership means you’re in control. You’re empowered to change things. Blaming yourself is counterproductive and simply not fair. In other words, you couldn’t help creating those beliefs of yours, but you can refuse to continue giving them power over you.
     
     

    Taking back control

     

    The most effective way to get rid of self-sabotaging beliefs is to replace them with functional ones. You can do this by following the steps below.
     

    1. Identify your belief by watching your thought and speech patterns. Do you always say you can’t afford something? Are you always “in a hurry”? The phrases you most often use around the subjects of time or money, are likely expressions of your belief.
    2.  

    3. Challenge the belief. Ask yourself: “Is this really always true?” Find examples of when the belief clearly wasn’t true. For example, if you believe money is hard to come by, remember the time when you were given money for your birthday or got an unexpected pay raise or tax return. Undermine your dysfunctional belief as best you can.
    4.  

    5. For a space of about three weeks, challenge yourself every time you think or express your belief. Stop yourself immediately. Then speak (out loud, if at all possible) the belief you’d like to replace the dysfunctional one with. Example: “There’s never enough ti… -stop! I mean, I choose not to make the time for this right now.”
       

    6. To speed up the process, you can also use your new belief as an affirmation. At least twice a day, say your new belief out loud. Be sure it’s in the present tense and contains only positive words, as your subconscious can’t distinguish between “will” and “won’t”. For example, make it: “I have plenty of money” rather than “I’m not broke”.

     

    Remember, it takes a minimum of 21 days to create a new habit, and the same goes for establishing a new belief. In the beginning, you’ll feel like you’re lying when you speak your new belief. Stick with it, and you’ll notice that it starts to feel like the truth after a while.
     

    In order for the changes to stick, you need to follow up your inner work with action in the real work. Learn time management and money management and commit to putting them into practice. Life is too short to deal with a constant state of lack.
     

  • Where’s Your Time Gone?

    Time management, creative time
     

    Do you realise how much of our language in day-to-day conversation revolves around time? Frankly, I only noticed it when my Coach pointed it out to me one day. And once I became aware, I was stunned at how often I talked about time – or specifically, my alleged lack of it. “I’m so busy”, “I don’t have time for this!”, and of course, particularly at this time of the year: “Where has the time gone?”
     

    I can tell you from first-hand experience that it’s quite a journey to get control of one’s time. Which is funny, because we really are in control. But we live in a world which constantly whispers distractions to us, constantly tells us that we should do more, that we should be faster.
     

    Basically, the message – from media and social media – is that we need “time management”. We’re expected to fill every minute of every day with productivity. The people around us, victims of the universal brainwashing just like ourselves, echo this sentiment.
     

    Is it any wonder that when we finally dare to hone in on what lights us up, we find ourselves struggling to make time? We have built so much negativity and so much resistance around the subject, that it’s hard to break through this even for the purpose of doing something we love.
     

    I’m going to share with you some lessons I learned about the path back to sanity.
     
     

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    Mind or Emotions?

     

    The issue with a subject as fraught as time is that we develop deep-seated resentment and resistance. Of course, we can’t admit to ourselves that we feel like a stubborn toddler or a rebellious teenager when it comes to managing our time. We’re supposed to be rational adults, right?
     

    So we go and buy the next time management seminar, calendar, or scheduling system. We read books on efficiency and prioritising. Vowing that this time, we’ll really change our lives, we start putting the brand-new system into practice, only to fall off the waggon two weeks later. Then we declare that “it just doesn’t work” or that we’re simply “too lazy”.
     
    Sound familiar? I’m here to tell you that there’s no need to throw in the towel. The trick is to stop ignoring that tantrum-throwing toddler (try saying that five times fast!). Work with him – or her – instead, and you’ll be surprised how easy it gets.
     
     

    What’s wrong with time management?

     

    This is where I invite you to listen to those toddler emotions, irrational as they may seem. The truth is, that there is an excellent reason behind your resistance to time management.
     

    If you’re like most of us, your life is pretty much regulated by the clock. You get up at a certain time, go to work or college at a certain time, have your lunch, pick up your kids, go to choir practice, you name it, all at a certain time. These times are regulated for you by your employer, your school, your children’s school, etc.
     

    Now if you add a time management system in order to get to do what lights you up, part of you feels incredibly fed up with being chained to so many time constraints already. And this is the part which will rebel against yet another scheduled activity – the only one you have any hope rebelling against (without severe consequences like losing your job or livelihood, or neglecting your children). Guess which one this is? Your passion.
     
     

    True mastery

     

    You’ve heard me talk about Gay Hendricks’s concept of “Einstein Time”. It describes the phenomenon that time expands or contracts depending on how much we enjoy what we’re doing at any point.
     

    The easiest way to make use of this concept is to focus on what lights you up. The problem is, if you simply make some room in your busy schedule for your passion, if you schedule it in once or twice a week, you likely won’t stick to it because your resistance will be too great. If, however, you dare to truly prioritise your passion, the chains will fall away and time will become your friend.
     

    Time will expand to accommodate your needs. You’ll find that you truly have enough to get everything else done as well. On top of that, you’ll be so fired up that you’ll breeze through chores. Stress just melts away.
     

    The best path to mastering your time is through joy. I’ve seen it time and time again with clients, and as I mentioned above, I’m on the same path myself. The relief and ease which follows is astounding. I much recommend it!