Change is upon us, whether we embrace it or not. The world is not as we know it to be right now, and from what I see, for the immediate future. So how can we embrace this change and utilize this “pandemic reality” we are in to better ourselves, our systems, our society, and our world?
I’m using this time to virtually help new clients finally get organized in their office. And given that their office is currently in their home, there’s no telling what impact this is going to have on their personal life as well as professional. It can’t not play out into all aspects of living, particularly when our spaces are more important than ever before. We are all being forced to figure it out, right? Some of us are in our home office and can shut the door off from the kids, the TV, the spouse/partner also working from home, and all the other various distractions. Or maybe you don’t have a home office, and therefore are sequestered to the corner of the dining room table, amid the puzzle pieces, Legos, and Barbies that keep your kids busy. I’d love to help you through this organizational chaos, learn more here.
No matter what your current situation is, may I recommend that you set yourself up the best that you can with what you have to work with? Here’s what that could look like:
- Carve off a portion of a room that is not the center of the house to work from. Move furniture around if need be and set up a temporary “workspace” that has as little distractions as possible.
- Set up specific times when you are interruptible, and those when you need total focus and interruptions have to wait. Maybe every morning between 9 and 11 am, you don’t get interrupted. Then you make yourself available from 11-12 for those family members who need/want your attention for whatever. And then set up those time frames in the afternoon as well.
- Set some ground rules in your household that work for everyone involved. Ask for what you need and make sure everyone gets to ask for what they need. Remember, this is a “new normal” for everyone, not just you. And most importantly, acknowledge that no one is a mind-reader. So, encourage that everyone asks for what they need to be successful during this time.
- Try to create a daily routine for yourself. That might include taking breaks during the day to get outside, to connect with other colleagues, to eat healthily, or to walk up to a puzzle and work it for 15 minutes. I’m really enjoying the puzzle thing and walking every day for at least an hour. And I’m committed to eating healthy and staying away from the kitchen during meals. It’s not easy, but I want my clothes to fit (when I finally do get into something other than Lycra work out stuff!) It’s a choice we get to make, so let’s just be careful as to how we use food for comfort.
Change is upon us. We are living it as we speak. And when this is behind us, the world will have changed as we know it, for it’s impossible not for that to happen. How? I think that remains to be seen. So many different theories about that, and more to come. What I do know to be true for me is that I am going to continue to embrace the gratitude and silver linings from this experience now and going forward. What you focus on expands. So, here’s what I’m grateful for:
- The roof over my head and the food on my table every day. Even if I have to wear a mask to shop for it.
- An amazing space that I created in my home to be quarantined in. Think about that, please!
- A business that allows me to truly transform those that are ready to finally get rid of their disorganized habits and create new ones that serve them well.
- The opportunity to maintain a regular exercise commitment since I’m not traveling as I would be.
- The ongoing virtual connection with my family that I would never be doing if this weren’t happening. Every Sunday night at 8 pm, 27 of us just checking in from CA, TN, MA, NC, NY, IL, and GA.
- The virtual connection with my daughters every Thursday at 5 pm. Why do we need Coronavirus to be doing this, people?
- A puppy who wants and gives enough love to cover the entire universe — all directed at ME! (That’s me above reading to her!)
So, what are you grateful for during this immense time of change? I encourage all of us to focus on what is working and stay away from what is not.
Here’s to embracing change in the time of Coronavirus, and beyond.
Distraction. Just thinking about being distracted can be distracting. Even the most driven and focused entrepreneurs cannot completely escape the reality of their own minds. Especially with all the current Coronavirus and political updates coming at us all day long. Many of us do make active efforts to eliminate distractions out of our productive time, but how effective are those efforts?
Take a minute and type “#1 Distraction” in Google’s search bar (or you can take my word for it). Many of the results will incriminate cell phones as the top culprit. One source says that 52% of people polled consider cell phones their biggest distraction while at work, leaving social media, and workplace gossip far behind.
Why does a communication tool that weighs about 3.5 ounces have such a firm grip on our daily lives? Experts suggest that having a device that is so personal convinces our brains that every correspondence that it receives is profoundly important. Could it be your child’s first-grade teacher calling to say your child is in the nurse’s office? Maybe it’s your mechanic calling to remind you that your car needs an oil change. On the other hand, it could be one of the 4,682 junk emails that come pinging every day that have no effect on your life whatsoever.
Whatever the notification brings with it, that tone can get you distracted pretty quickly. Research has shown that whether we answer or acknowledge it, that distraction lasts longer than the brief sound. A recent study revealed that people lose focus, rush answers, and create over-all lesser work products when hearing their ringtone, even if they don’t even look at the device.
In addition, just having a smartphone or other electronic device in front of you opens up the virtual door to the Internet, emails, applications, social media, etc., etc., etc. Give in to the temptation to toss your input on the latest gossip on the group chat, and somehow, you’ve been perusing campaign articles online for the last 25 minutes. Could it be time to leave our distractions at home? Experts say there could be a better way to get through the day. It’s probably not vital that you call the dog groomer between meetings; maybe it would be better to write a note to accomplish that later when you’ve passed the risk of allowing that distracting device into your day.
Try trading the phone for a good ol’ fashioned pen and notepad—a journal if you will. Entrepreneur Peter Gasca has some great tips on how to make the most of your scribbled notes if the last time you wrote things down was halfway through your senior year in high school. Planning out your day with some handwritten notes can help you remember which tasks to focus on much better than writing electronically. And best of all? A notebook doesn’t Ping!
It was about a 1 1/2 years ago when I wrote the first blog titled That’s What I Love About Me. And in the spirit of February being the “Love” month, I’ve decided to share the sequel.
The original blog talks about an experience I had in the hair salon as I was drying my hair following my every three-week hair dye appointment. Yup, every three weeks, I’d venture to my girl Mae who would make that grey zipper on the top of my head (and everywhere) disappear. Three weeks like clockwork. And if I was traveling, I’d have to do the schedule shuffle to make sure it was done before I left for a speaking gig. The only thing that stressed me out more than those greys peeking out of my thick dark head of hair was the pull to get there before they “peeked.” My hair . . . the part of me that whenever anyone asked me what the favorite part of my body was, I never had to think twice. My hair. Thick, bouncy, and a feature I always had confidence in. But it was sort of running my life!
What I “loved about me” back then was not only my hair, but the fact that I could wash, dry, style, and be out of there in 30 minutes. I had it down. As I do most things. I just get to it and get going. It’s a mixture of how I’m wired, and honestly just MY JAM. And so, I wrote about the feeling of verbalizing out loud exactly what I loved about me — something I had not done often, if ever. It was not only cathartic to express those feelings but opened up a bigger conversation with myself over the years about self-love. About appreciation and gratitude for all of me. Exactly the way I am, and how I was meant to be.
Here are the lessons I learned that day:
- It’s okay to love yourself for EVERY REASON, not just one
- Verbalizing it actually makes it more real which makes you more real
- Don’t wait until you’re my age to love yourself for any reason — self-esteem is the key to a confident, fulfilling, empowered life and something you should have the luxury of experiencing as soon as possible
- Getting myself together and out the door in 30 minutes is not only a routine I enjoy, it allows me to jump-start my day with optimism, energy, and excitement.
So fast forward to today. Another a-ha moment of “What I love about me” is that I’m finally ready. Ready to ditch the dying, let my grey (or salt and pepper) hair grow out in all its splendor and glory. And in doing so, I had to chop it all off and start all over. Now I’m not saying I loved having to do that, but due to my hair starting to fall out because of all the over-processing, I had no choice. So now, I’m just letting it grow with no process, no dye, no schedule shuffling, and no stress. (And maybe no patience, but’s that’s another blog theme we’ll leave for later!) And just imagine how long it takes me now to get ready and out the door! No hairdryer, no brush, just a little product and voila!
So, I ask . . . What do you Love About You? Are you willing to say it out loud? Because I’m here to say that when you can focus on those things that you love about you, the gratitude, appreciation, and energy you foster exponentially spreads across not only more of you, but to those around you.
And while I’ll enjoy the short hair while it lasts, I can’t wait for my long pepper and salt locks to grow back. Patience, my love, patience.
Welcome to the new year…when there’s so much talk about resolutions. All of us contemplating what we are committed to doing differently this year. And perhaps even taking on the same “resolution” that we do every year — only this year will be the one we actually accomplish it, right?
No pressure here, I promise. If the way you are living serves you well and you’re finding ways to keep stress to a minimum, or perhaps non-existent, then keep doing what you’re doing — no need to fix what isn’t broken. But if you’re tired of all the “stuff” that surrounds you, and you spend more time “tidying up” than living, here is something to consider. Stuff takes up space. And space is limited. It’s is a precious commodity that, if treated with love and honor, will bring you joy. If it is something that stresses you out because of the clutter, overwhelm, and overload, then it just creates jobs for you. And that’s not what your space is meant to do.
I come into my home and experience joy. I don’t enter my house and see all the different “jobs” waiting for my attention. That’s because I only have what fits in my space, and I only have what I NEED and LOVE. When you adopt this mindset about your home and your belongings, the game of life changes substantially!
So, if your resolute to “get organized” or “become more minimalist” or live the “less is more” lifestyle, here are some questions to ask yourself as you are diving into the GREAT 2020 PURGE.
- Do I actually use it, or have I used it in the past six months?
- Am I keeping it because it has sentimental value?
- Could someone I know use it?
- Can I preserve the memory without keeping the actual item?
- If I were seeing this for the first time, would I buy it now?
- Do I have something similar that serves the same purpose?
- Would I choose this if I was given a limited amount of stuff to take with me?
- Does it make me feel good and bring me joy wearing it, looking at it, or using it?
- Is it an expression of who I am in the world?
- Is it better served with someone else?
Now go for it, please. And do share your experience when you finally create the space you deserve to live in. No one waits to support you more than me! And if you would like help with your purge, contact me today.
“Happy New Year” is the traditional greeting at this time of year, yes? And what tends to stand out most for me when hearing that is… the “Happy”! Because whether we’re ready for it or not, those 365 days seem to fly by, and while we can’t control that part, we can control the “Happy” part.
My hope for you as we enter 2020 is that each one of you will not only commit to loving what you do but that you will LOVE THE WAY YOU DO IT! So many of my clients share that they don’t like their jobs, and after asking them the questions I do, it turns out that they don’t like THE WAY THEY ARE DOING THEIR JOBS. If I can get you to start performing every day in a way that serves you well, and at the end of each day, you feel victorious rather than defeated — then I’d say that’s a WIN/WIN for everyone. And that my friends can jump-start the “happy” factor!
So how about for January, we take the time to PURGE! That’s right…Out with the OLD, before in with the NEW! Before we can even start to get organized, we need to get rid of what no longer serves us well. That means EVERYTHING…physical stuff, electronic stuff, emotional stuff, ALL THE CLUTTER THAT’S CAUSING OVERWHELM needs to go. Get started sorting through your stuff. And if it isn’t something you NEED or LOVE (and please reach out to me if you are having trouble deciding), then out it goes.
We are finally taking LIKE out of the equation because after all, WE LIKE EVERYTHING! That’s what gets us in trouble in the first place! So be hard on yourself and really ask yourself… “Do I need it (for business, taxes, the future, whatever) or do I LOVE IT.” We all know those things in our life we LOVE vs. LIKE. Just this simple exercise will change the way we think about consuming and holding on to something. It’s a critical first step to clearing out and making way for what is to come in this new year.
I can’t wait to see what we all make room for and manifest in 2020…BRING IT ON!