If time were money, how would you manage yours? – Part 2 Self Management strategies

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Here are a series of effective strategies for improving your time management skills, and for doing more in less time.

The strategies described below will help you take charge of your schedule and use your time in a more effective manner. Grab your pad of paper and start by choosing five or six strategies to try, take some notes as you read through and decide which you will try first.

Remember this is an individual process – everyone works differently – so if you have to try a few different things to get some meaningful results, that’s okay/normal!

Prioritise your tasks > You can’t do everything, so you need to decide what is most deserving of your time investment.
> Choose what needs to be completed now, what can be completed later, and what can be delegated to someone else.
> Focus on your top three priorities at any one time, and consistently revise your list so that the highest priority items are on the top, and the lowest priority items are at the bottom.
Delegate > You can’t do everything, so you need to decide what you absolutely need to do, and what others can finish.
> You also need to accept that while it may seem “faster” for you to complete a task initially, spending the time to teach someone to complete the task will save you hours later on.
> Delegation is a vital skill that you need to refine, practise and master as a manager.
Focus on your skills > If you have a good understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses, you can use this to your advantage.
> An effective way to manage your time is to only do the things that you know you are good at, or required for, helps to make money, and delegate or outsource the areas where you are not as strong.
Say no > Learn how to say no, and you will reclaim dozens of hours every week.
> It’s so easy to say yes to something in the moment, and later feel overwhelmed when that task is added to your to do list. You may feel pressure to say yes to everything as a business owner, but you do have a choice.
Keep a strict schedule > Create and keep a strict schedule for yourself that supports your productivity, and minimises distractions.
> Include personal and work time in your schedule
> Schedule time for things like closed-door work, work planning, email and phone responses, internal and external meetings, “me time”, family and exercise.
Make decisions > As a successful business owner, you will need to learn to make good decisions quickly and efficiently, without wasting time with deliberations.
> You can only make the best decision with the information you have, in the time frame you have to make it. No one expects you to be able to see the future – be decisive, make some mistakes, and learn from them.
Manage interruptions > Establish which hours of the day you are most productive, and set those hours aside for yourself to finish important tasks, uninterrupted.
> Schedule open door hours, and closed-door hours.
> Schedule windows of time for reading and replying to emails, and for answering and replying to phone calls.
Manage interruptions Avoid duplicating efforts > Take note of how many tasks are completed more than once, or by more people than necessary.
> Establish clear communication systems and procedures to minimise this, and make sure all your employees have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities.
> Use tools like checklists, meeting minutes and individual task assignments to minimise mis-communication and duplication in tasks.
Stop procrastinating > If you are a seasoned procrastinator, the idea of “just stopping” is usually much easier in principle than in practice.
> The best way to overcome procrastination is to use your willpower to stop. Refining this skill will help to prevent you from procrastinating in the future.
> Try working in blocks of focused time, with breaks or rewards at the end, and break down big tasks into small manageable ones – called ‘chunking’.

Effective time management is just a formal way of saying that you make good choices about how you spend your valuable time.

It really just boils down to making choices, and setting up a structure that enables you to succeed. You have to try a few different strategies and structures to see what works best for you.

Remember that self management is a personal investigation that will look different for everyone. Some people can work in the middle of a loud, crowded room, and others need absolute silence to function at a high level. Respect your own needs.

Next time – How to add value to your business

12 Indicators to raise your Confidence

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I have been a confidence coach for over 9 years now and in that time there have been some common themes and solutions to aid my clients self esteem, self belief and emotional intelligence.

I thought I would share some of the ways in which people who felt affected by confidence have overcome them by working on these areas. This is not a comprehensive list but consists of the main ingredients that can be worked on.

1) Self awareness – For me this is crucial as a starting point. Only you will really know the truth about how you feel inside, what situations you are confident in and what areas need improving. Only you will know if an event has caused a temporary crash in your overall well being or if this is something that has been building up for some time.  by understanding what your best skills and capabilities are and where or with whom you are at your best, you can transfer it into other areas of your life. Acceptance that you will not be perfect is key.

2) Direction – Having written goals that use all our senses, visual, auditory and kinaesthetic is a must for me. what will we see hear and feel when your goals are reached. How do these goals help you get to where you want to be in 5 years, 10 years etc. I have yearly goals which i break down into my action plan.

3) Values – I have written regularly on this and the importance of understanding how your values shape your behaviour. Take a look at my previous posts on my wordpress blog account confidencenac. Being authentic and having integrity is a vital ingredient to self esteem.

4) Motivation – Confident people take some risks to enable them to do the things they love. Motivation will come easily when we feel passionate about something – effortless but full of energy – but to get to that point some changes may be needed beforehand. Your ‘Why’ for your goals must be big enough and should include small incremental steps. Make the change look small by chunking it into smaller parts, take the first step and procrastination will be a thing of the past!

5) A Positive can-do attitude – Use visualisation and affirmations (in the current tense) to feed your sub conscious with some good food. eg ‘I am a confident person who is decisive and focused’. Use positive self talk, not just to yourself, but to others too.

6) Gratitude – See what you do have every day, never lose sight of the things that mean the most and look at what has been achieved before asking the question ‘what still needs to be done?’. Be grateful enough so that helping others is a pleasure, not a duty.

7) A sense of Purpose – My theme in life is to give confidence to people, empower them and encourage them to take responsibility for their lives. I am here to give love and support to my clients, my community as well as my family and friends. Love is all that matters but we must love ourselves first. What’s your theme?

8) Ongoing personal development – Never believe you have learnt everything or have reached your full potential. You are a genius in your own right but have you given your gift to the world yet?. Whatever profession, there is more to learn and we can just keep getting better. Invest in yourself – often.

9) Boldness – Life is not meant to be easy but the easier you try to make it, by avoiding things, the harder it becomes. Tackle things head on – conversations, people, actions etc and life becomes so much more colourful and confidence-enhancing.

10) Health and wellbeing – Eat good food, drink water, breathe deeply, have mindfulness, listen to others, communicate your own feelings, respect your body, exercise if it’s your bag, walk with nature, have joie de vivre and, of course, good wine (sorry that’s my little pleasure!). Use your intuition, listen to it carefully and then understand what it is telling you.

11) Optimism – the most successful people have this in abundance. It doesn’t mean unrealistic but it does mean a ‘knowing’ that whatever challenge manifests itself, it can be dealt with and could even become a blessing. I love the question ‘What’s great about this problem?’ The only time there is failure is when time has run out, otherwise it really is just feedback.

12) Mindfulness – Savour every moment by using all your senses eg hear the music, the words, see the sky, the smiles, feel the emotions.  There is a difference between listening and hearing, looking and seeing. Plan for your future but enjoy the present.

How do you rate on the above? If any areas need improving and you know it will enhance your life, then invest in a coach.  And start with writing down some of the things you know you should already be doing – your goals and your action points.

Or call me to make this year – 2014 – your very best yet! – 01473 682760

Build Your Confidence

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Many brave and important events in our history are not always accomplished by the most confident, outgoing people.

Sometimes we have to overcome things like shyness in order to bring out the very best in ourselves and to help our confidence re-surface in different areas of our lives, not just the bits we’re comfortable with.

The way to do this, is to reconnect with your purpose in life and to make your ‘Why?’ so big that you will step easily over any barriers in order to reach your core aims in life.

Women all over the world are willing to go through the pain of birth even after experiencing it for the first time, because the bundle of joy at the end of it makes it all worth while and we know the pain is short lived. We have no idea what being a parent is like, nor do we fully understand how much our lives will change and yet we go into it without hardly batting an eye lid. Nature gives women this uncontrollable yearning for a baby and I believe there’s a good reason for that – it’s purpose is to help overcome any fear of the unknown and/or the memory of that dreadful pain.

35 years on, I still remember all 56 hours of giving birth!

Anyway, that’s just one example of knowing our ‘why?’ and accepting that we may be fearful but we’ll do it anyway.

Other things in life are much less life-changing than that, for instance presenting to an audience, and yet the majority of people avoid it if they can. We are scared to strike up conversations in a networking situation and yet will think nothing of getting drunk and making complete fools of ourselves (and how many people have a drink in order to ‘feel more confident’?!).

So, one thing I’d like to do in this article is make you think about your strengths, skills and talents.

3 Questions:

When, where and/or with whom are you at your best?

What are you good at and what can you do, to encourage more usage of these skills, talents or knowledge?

Where could you stretch yourself that would make your heart flutter with a mixture of excitement and trepidation?

Our everyday lives must consist of gratitude and positivity in order to lead happy and confident lives.

In order to appreciate our lives, we must see the value in everything we do, in everything that surrounds us and in people we know and spend time with. We must feel alive by trying new things, feeling the fear and doing it anyway, and by  loving others, being loved back.

My favourite thing to do, to ensure positivity, is to reframe the negative or meaningless situation. Apart from grieving the loss of a loved one, this has worked for many.

eg ‘Ok so i didn’t get that job but that’s because a better one is round the corner and this one would’ve been a distraction.’

Ok, so I’ve been made redundant. This is MY time to do what I really love and use my redundancy money to re-train and make it happen’

Ok so my partner has left me. This is a good opportunity to be totally free before I meet my real soul mate’.

More than a silver lining. It’s about self pity being short lived and being used as a way of grabbing a new opportunity. You get the idea!

Our happiness and confidence does not rely on other people,  events or material things – it relies on OURSELVES.

Appreciate your talents, find out what gift you want to give to the world and GO DO IT!