- Who & Why?
All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘time management’
Sometimes I feel mesmerized with the concept of “change”. I’m always doing my best to be self-aware of where I’m resistant to change and where I welcome, and adapt to, change.
Take my travel schedule. I was just on my way to Chicago last week for a 22 hour trip. I was set to arrive at 3:30pm and make it just in time to a reception at 5pm, followed by a group dinner.
However, my schedule didn’t have the same plans that I did for me. On my outbound flight trip to Chicago, we got delayed due to fog. Long story short, I didn’t make it to Chicago until 6pm and barely made it to my group dinner on time, let alone the reception beforehand.
As I was standing in the airport delayed, the amount of our delay kept changing: first we were 30 minutes delayed, then we were 45 minutes delayed, then we were an hour and 15 minutes delayed. We even had a “reverse-delay” as I call it: they shaved 5 minutes off our delayed take-off time!
I was very self-aware during the entire time I was standing at the airport monitoring all of these delays, including the final one in my favor by 5 minutes. I stopped and assessed my real choices in that moment. With each new delay, I could tell I had a choice to “accept” this new change in my travel schedule or resist it.
You’re probably wondering how I could have resisted being delayed each time it happened. It’s not like I could fly on my own without the airline. I suppose I could have gone to another airline in an attempt to fly sooner, but who really does that?
However, resistance in that moment would have looked like me getting upset and angry and then victimizing myself- “This always happens when I fly” or “Why me? I have to get to Chicago”.
Had I resisted, the outcome of the flight would not have changed- I flew when the airline told me I could. However had I resisted, the outcome of my experience would have been vastly different. I would have felt really out of control and angry.
In that moment, I had a choice to see the delays differently. How?
Instead of resisting the delays, I adapted and accepted the delays. I pulled out my laptop, got two hours of solid work done and ate some breakfast. I even had time to people watch and check the weather in Chicago. I felt productive and quiet content. Most importantly, I was not a victim and felt in control of my life and time. I was happy!
“Change” is defined in the dictionary as a noun meaning, “the act or instance of making or becoming different”. What this means for me is that when I’m faced with a change, I can see it as an opportunity to be different. Different is often scary, I know. However, in each moment of my life I have a choice to choose to see thing differently, be different and as a result, change and grow.
Choosing to be different in each moment you are presented with a change smacks of evolution, in my opinion. “Evolution” is defined in part as the process of growth and development.
So what does this mean for you? Stop and consider:
- Where in your life are you fearful of change? Do you even know you are fearful?
- Where in your life are you resistant to anything new or different?
- Is this way of being really leaving you happy and evolved? Or are you fooling yourself by believing you are safe if you stay in your comfort zone and ignore/resist anything new?
- How will you know if something new could work for you if you don’t adapt and change and choose to see things differently for yourself? Do you want life to always be a mystery that passed you by or do you want to be courageous and try on something new and grow and develop?
I’m always working on not being so rushed. As much as I meditate and work on being self-aware, the left-brained part of me wants to stay in control and push through everything- fast. Plus, I’m a work horse of sorts- I get lots of stuff done quickly! It’s great since I run a company. Yet, if I don’t stay self-aware of it ALL the time, it can be exhausting and frustrating.
In our culture, we all run around saying how “busy” we are and how “stressed” we are. In a world that is over-texted, over-tweeted and over-caffeinated, this all makes sense sadly, right? However, there seems to be more to this notion of being so busy and stressed.
To me, it seems we are developing very dramatic brands. It’s like being stressed and busy are so cool. I sometimes chuckle to myself when I hear people tell me how busy they are. Some are so busy they run out of time to respond to emails and calls and to eat.
Really?!?! No one wants to be around, hire or promote a brand that is so busy and stressed that they forget to eat!!
Don’t you think others are busy, too?
Every time I open my mouth to complain about being “so busy”, I stop and think how rude it will seem to the listener. It’s like I’m saying to them, “I’m so much better than you since I’m so busy”. What I’m really saying is, “I can’t manage my life and time and I like to publicize it because my brand is disorganized and drama”.
Being this busy is an ugly and unorganized brand. It is also just way too much drama.
A client of mine said the other day that he’s decided that at the end of his work day he is training himself to leave the office at a decent time to get home to his family. How? He stops and asks himself, “is anyone going to die if I leave now and come back to the work on my desk in the morning?” The usual answer is “no”- especially since he is an accountant.
That’s a low drama and pragmatic brand, for sure. I applaud him. You can see the results of this attitude he has: his brand is fantastic – he just made partner and is managing an entire office for his company. Low drama and pragmatic brands work!
What does this mean for you? Stop and ask yourself:
- How often do you go around telling others how busy and stressed you are?
- How much drama do you have around being busy and stressed- does it bring you some sense of being important to feel you are stressed and busy a lot?
- What do others see/perceive of your busy/stressed brand? Is it good? Does it get you seen/heard and respected? Does it drive clients, promotions and business to your door?
- Will anyone die if you limit your activities and stop before you hit your maximum stress limit? Unless you are a doctor, I think the answer is clear to this one.
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October kicks off the month of “Deliberate Brand Creation” for us. Fall is in the air- time for change and growth as nature deliberately changes shades and seasons.
Once again, this month’s topic is inspired by Oprah’s October 2014, “What I Know For Sure” column in her O Magazine. As I’ve said in the past, I have a lot of appreciation and respect for Oprah’s presence in this world. So I really loved her topic this month and want to put my spin on it and apply it to personal branding to find that “sparkle of rightness” for all of us.
In her October column, Oprah notes that she likes to spend time alone, being alone with her thoughts. She notes that she craves silence and stillness to offset her crazy schedule, where she can’t always be fully present.
This got me really thinking. How often are we really ever alone (versus “lonely”)?
The word, “lonely” is such a sad word. Let’s face it, no one wants to be “lonely”. I’ve been there and still go there, because I’m human! Being lonely used to feel way more natural for me than being “alone”. I know I’m heading to a dark, ugly place when I feel “lonely”. It gives me the chance to have a pity party for myself and be a victim. Claiming, “I’m lonely” means I “don’t have” lots of things: friends, a supportive spouse and/or family, and happiness! Of course, I do have all those things- if I stopped being a victim long enough to notice.
Even when I don’t feel “lonely”, I often avoid being “alone” by creating t0-do lists for myself. My lists and errands ensure I am always running full steam ahead and can avoid being present. But let’s face it, at the end of the day these lists and errands leave me tired, cranky and wondering where did my day (and peace) go? I must admit, I’ve gotten so much better at being alone over the years. It started with short meditations, but now I find I drive around without the radio on in my car because I enjoy the silence. It allows me to hear my own inner voice and relax.
There’s no power in being lonely. There’s just a lot of scarcity and “don’t have”. It also means we’ve created a very unattractive personal brand when we are “lonely”. No one wants to be around someone who is lonely. We subconsciously assume if you’re lonely, then you are needy, too. Makes sense to me. I know when I’m lonely, I tend to be needy and rather illogical in my actions as a result. Who wants to be around someone whose personal brand is lonely,needy and illogical? Yikes!
On the other hand, as Oprah finds,there is such power in being alone with our thoughts. Choosing to be “alone” is attractive in so many ways as a personal brand. By choosing to be alone as a personal brand, you are saying:
– I am strong and know what I need;
– I don’t have to be around others to feel better and feel loved;
– I want to be (and can handle being) alone with my thoughts;
– I am a creative person who knows how to independently create;
– I am in control of my life and my career because I take time to be fully present and still.
So ask yourself:
– How often do you sit still and be alone with yourself and your thoughts?
– Why or why not? If you don’t do so very often, what about being alone scares you- the loneliness or the fabulous possibilities that may come from sitting still?
In this world where we are all running around in a hurry trying to get who-knows-where, stop and think to yourself: what’s the best thing you have to give? If we look at what we know to be “for sure” in life, we’ll find that besides death and taxes, time is a sure thing.
What do I mean by this? We only have so much life to live. So how much are you giving to your life and where? Your time and where you choose to put it really are in your control. If you think otherwise, then you are getting sucked into the game of “there is never enough time”. You may be out of balance.
If you look at your career and aspirations, there are certain things that are very important for you. For instance, if you are a lawyer, then becoming a partner is valued because not everyone can achieve it, only the “elite”. If you are looking to get promoted within your company or get a new and better job, then that is valued because your new title/job signals something to others- that you’ve made it.
But what have you really “made” it to? Put another way, what are the costs of your success? Maybe your success costs you your relationships? Maybe your happiness and joy in life? Or maybe both? It really can be very lonely on the top. Is it just too painful to step back and observe? Is that why you read this and subconsciously think it is non-sense and “fluff”?
I believe all great personal brands (and thus successful people) have balance in their lives. Unfortunately, because of the stressors and demands of particular careers (i.e., lawyers and doctors), we are out of balance and oftentimes, not even aware of it.
Balance means that we stop and assess our lives. As Byron Katie said when I interviewed her, we stop and “sort out our lives” by sitting still. Then we can find that we want our time to mean something. If all we have is our time and how we give to others, allow yourself to do things that you love to do- things that nurture, enrich and balance you. For instance, doing community service that actually and truly enriches the community nurtures and enriches you, too.
If you stay out of balance long enough no one wants to be around you, much less hire you. That’s the sign of a failing personal brand. Eventually anything out of balance succumbs to natural forces and tips over. Don’t let that be you. Find your balance and center. Now, that’s a great brand.
TELL US WHAT YOU DO TO STAY IN BALANCE.
In our work with clients, we are always trying to get them to understand and incorporate the concept of “joy” into their personal brand. We explain that no one is buying anything from us if they don’t emotionally feel joy when they are around us. While most clients get the point, there are those that just can’t understand the emotional factor.
The sad part is that as corporate employees, business owners and professionals, we have lost our sense of joy. Therefore, we can’t really connect with clients and prospects and exude joy- even if we do really get the concept. The end result is that instead of joy, we have high stress and poor time management skills. All of which makes us exude a poor personal brand.
During this time of the year, it seems the word, “Joy” gets a lot of airtime. After all, we are all supposed to be joyful in December. Sadly, most of retail has hijacked the term “joy” and mis-uses it to make us think we need to buy stuff in order to find our joy.
Take Starbucks for instance. I was at a Starbucks location just yesterday. The atmosphere is festive and joyful. Their 2012 holiday ad campaign is, “Spicy and Sweet With Hints of Comfort and Joy”. Get it? Drinking Starbucks will bring you comfort and…….JOY! It really is a brilliant ad campaign. None of us are really surprised, given the fact that it comes from Starbucks.
So if you don’t believe me, just look around you this month at all the retail madness. What’s the message retail is sending you? None other than shop and find your joy.
This message is no different about your personal brand management: find your joy, then your stress will go down, time management will improve and you can improve your business and career success.
Need more help? Attend our January 11, 2013 workshop: Develop Your Personal Brand, Time & Stress Management for Success in 2013. Click HERE for details.