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Give it a try

Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success. Dale Carnegie

give it a tryLast week saw some major “ah ha” moments for clients and family. I don’t know if something was in the air, but whatever it was, it was lovely to be part of the process of helping others realise that they could take a step forward.

For one client it was being helped to look at an issue through another’s eyes and look at a simple approach – one step at a time. She’d been looking at the long term goal, but forgetting that whilst we are looking ahead, we need to keep moving in small steps. She said, “it’s like I’d forgotten to use my common sense!” It’s easily done when we’re so focused on achieving and juggling things in our busy lives.

For another one the realisation that all she needed was to commit to half an hour a day on doing this one thing, and she’d see progress week on week in her business. Breaking things down for her was important so she could see what building blocks to put in place. And she felt she could commit to 30 minutes a day.

What could you achieve in 30 minutes a day on one thing in your business? I’d love to know . Message me, or email me.

And my family? Well. Eldest son had a remarkable day at his athletics competition on Saturday. His first one back from [his first] injury, and he simply relaxed, had fun and did his best. He ended the day with two personal best performances, and being top in his age group. He was amazed what he’d achieved simply by turning up and doing his best.

Youngest son, was asked by his coach to “give triathlon a go”. He’s done them before, but doesn’t enjoy pool swim training. Loves running and cycling, and open water swimming, but not the monotonous nature of up and down in a pool. I understand that. So, he was simply “giving it a go”, but as usual he put a lot of effort into it. I have to say it was a beautiful day, in gorgeous surroundings. He had fun, and was amazed at how well he did. And he loved it, and now wants to do more swim training so he can do more in the future!

What can you “try out” this week and “have fun” with and “give it a go” and simply “see what happens”? You never know. Thinking about it may well be worse than doing it 🙂 Share what you try with me, I’d love to hear what it’s like for you.

Give it a try

You can book a free 20 minute Explore Call with Tracey-Jane if you’d like help with your business planning.

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Being more productive

I’m enjoying learning about being more productive and putting new systems and structures in place. For myself, my business and my family.

I’m trying new things out, not afraid to change those things if they don’t work for me. I’m also enjoying de-cluttering and getting rid of lots of excess paper in the office and on all those piles around the house. It’s actually quite good fun 🙂

Being more productive

I’ve been listening to How to Be a Productivity Ninja in the car these past couple of weeks, and have just ordered the book. There’s so many ideas in this book to help us in our work, home and business. The difficulty I’ve found with the audio book is that I had no way of writing down the notes and checklists! Hence the need, for me, to have a hard copy to refer to.

The biggest learning point for me has been about “The” To Do list. Graham Allcott made so much sense when he talked about a Master To Do list, which includes the weekly shopping, daily exercise, PLUS the Projects you’re working on.

What’s a Project?

A project is anything which has multiple “to dos” on it. It could be booking a holiday, or building a website, or a creating a marketing strategy.

This was a major “ah ha” moment for me! A project may be ongoing for a few months, yet it sits on the “to do” list and is often a frustration as it looks at you every day.

Often a project is something worked on by a few people. A website for a client will be at least a two-way process. People need time to think and reflect to get the right feel for them. But when you’ve allocated time in your diary to complete certain tasks, it can be frustrating when said client doesn’t get back to you when you’ve agreed they would!

So having a “Waiting” list where you’re waiting for someone else to do something is a perfect way of moving it off your immediate to do list, without it being lost and forgotten about.

Creating time for being more productive

being more productiveThat may sound contrary – needing time to be more productive! However, what I’m finding is that I need to create space to get things organised. Create new systems and structures. Try things out. And de-cluttering the office doesn’t happen without putting some time and effort in.

The Productivity Ninja book suggests we all need monthly, weekly and daily checklists. They’ll take time to set up and trial and review. You may need time to get your email to zero for the first time in a long time. I’ve made a start, but I’m not there yet. Although those last 200 emails from ages ago are probably not important. My guess is that they’re newsletters I signed up to that I didn’t have time to read when they first appeared in my inbox, and I haven’t added “reading time” to my weekly checklist before now. So, in theory they should be easy to clear when I have my “weekly productivity review” time this week.

So, I’m looking forward to testing out some of my new systems this week. I’ve started my lists and systems, but I have to use them – will I need something on my phone as well as my trusty notebook? Or will the spreadsheet I’ve set up work well for me?

It’s going to take time, and as Graham Allcott says at the end of his book, he doesn’t always get it right. He does however share a lot of productivity tools for being more productive. I highly recommend you review your systems and procedures regularly, even if you’re already a productivity ninja. Life and technology moves on. New “things” come into our lives which we need to do and keep on top of.

The Business Cheerleading Club members are constantly talking about their schedules and getting it right for them. It’s a work in progress for most of us. So if this is an area you’d like help with, join us. They’re all happy to share their tips.

I’d love to hear how you keep productive. Leave a comment below.

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Thoughts about Planning

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin

fail to prepareI’m sure you’ve heard this quote before, but I didn’t know who it was attributed to, did you?

I know I’ve been guilty in the past of not spending enough time in the planning phase. Sometimes that’s been as simple as not getting enough food for the weekend picnics we need for all day athletic events. At other times, in my business, it’s been not getting everything ready I’ve needed before launching something. Thinking that if I launch something, I’ll respond to customers needs when they ask. All that has done has put extra pressure on me, I’ve been vague with clients, and I’ve not always given the best service possible. And it was something I could have avoided!

Sometimes in business, especially in the early stages, we’re so keen to be ‘doing’ things all the time, we don’t spend enough time planning, or setting systems and structures up. There may be things which others could help with (partners, children, parents, friends), if only you’d ask them to help you. I know I’ve sometimes felt that if I’m not “out there” trying to “get the money in”, I’m not doing my job properly. But then, looking back, if I’d only put those systems in place, I’d have sold more, or helped that customer in a much better way than I did by rushing.

This was brought into sharp focus last week with a client who has an amazing mission. She was trying to do things by herself, and hadn’t even thought about asking for help. When I asked if someone else could “do that”, she thought about it and said, “yes, but they’d have to be the right person”. So she thought some more and came up with the idea that her Dad may be able to help out with a particular aspect of this project. I got a text from her over the weekend, saying Dad had said yes. She was relieved that she’d got help, and whilst she’ll still have to have an overview on the tasks Dad is carrying out for her, she doesn’t need to find time to actually do “that job”.

It’s a simple thing to ask for help, but many of us think we have to do everything ourselves. Just because it’s your business, doesn’t mean you have to do everything. Yes you’re responsible for everything in your business, but if you got a bit of help, what would that allow you to do more of? Rest, spend time with the family, create new products, see more clients? Think about it.

Two things which are linked for you to think about this week – planning and who can help you? I’d love to hear what ideas this has sparked for you. Let me know.

I had a wonderful conversation about “Conversations that Flow” last week with Matthew Newnham (it’s about 45 minutes). It was fascinating how his simple ideas for how we can think about conversations, can help us make the most of our time with people. If we think of a conversation as a two-way process, talking about something both parties are interested in, the end result is that both parties will feel better at the end than at the start. Does that make sense to you? I need to listen to it again and pull out the excellent tips he gave us to make use of every opportunity we’re given to share our business with others.

You can book a free 20 minute Explore Call with Tracey-Jane if you’d like help with your business planning.

If you’d like Monday Thoughts, and our weekly business tips delivered direct to your inbox, you can sign up here: