Posts Taged time-management

What Defines Importance for You?

your authentic self

If a stranger were to watch you for a week, how would they know what is important in your life?

We all carry around a picture in our head of what’s important.  And if we talk about our values, materials wants and needs, beliefs and “why’s”, we can find a way to share that picture with someone.

My question is a little different.  If someone were to shadow you, what would they say?  How do you act towards what is important in your life?

One way they could probably tell is by the amount of time you spend on certain activities.  The assumption is that if it’s important, you spend more time doing it.  You know that doesn’t tell the whole story.

Your soul and spiritual life is important but as a percentage of time…not so much.

You spend most of your life at work.  Does that make it most important?

Can “quality time” replace “quantity of time” as a way to determine importance?  Does your passion matter?

I obviously don’t have the answers to these questions and yet I think they are worth pondering.  How will you SHOW people what’s important in your life?  When you find your answer, then your true self is obvious to everyone.

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The Language of Time

iStock_000069185021Kenneth Burke once said about humans that “Man is the symbol-using (symbol-making, symbol-misusing) animal.”  His statement is probably the most accurate when we talk about time and how we use it.  Here are three examples.

The opposite of life is not work.  It’s easy to get upset about a lack of work-life balance.  Unfortunately, the opposite of life is not work.  It’s death.  The opposite of work is non-work.  Really, isn’t the choice among work, recreation, spiritual, community, personal wellbeing, etc.?

Balance is not a static state.  We think about have work-life balance as if it were a set of weights and measures.  Take some time from this side of the scale and put it on the other and then you’ve got balance.  Unfortunately, time does not stand still.  After all, time keeps moving on.  The minute after you think you’ve achieved a state of balance, you lose it.

We don’t control time.  Time continues to do what it does despite our best efforts to manage it.  When we give up the futile effort to manage time and switch our focus to managing what we do with our time, then powerful shifts happen.

If we are really listening to Kenneth Burke, when we change our language we change our possibilities.  For example:

  • Pay attention to what you are doing. You can be so into the flow that time concerns go away.
  • Think about time as flowing. What does balance mean to you now?
  • Take a long-term perspective. How’s your balance over the course of a month?  A year?

Changing our language is not an easy task.  We’ve spent a lifetime creating these images and relationships in our heads.  How will you start to be less concerned with balance?

 

 

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The Myth of Multitasking

Multitasking phonecallsWith the summer rush coming on, we all have a tendency to look for shortcuts.  You want to be outside as much as your neighbors and all of the children you see walking past.  One shortcut you might end up trying is to multitask.  While you may think that multitasking will help you get more done, that’s a myth.

Unconsciously, you can multitask.  That’s why you can walk and chew gum at the same time.  BUT if you try and think about doing both, you’ll fall down.  Consciously, you don’t do two things at once.  Your mind flips back and forth between the two.  A recent University of London study found that IQ drops by about 15 points when you try to email or text while performing other activities.

Imagine what you take away from those important meetings!  The solution is pretty simple:  Stop multitasking.  The video provides a couple of specific ideas.

Click here if the video isn’t showing.

Whatever you do, don’t drive and try to read your email or texts at the same time.  Besides being illegal in most locations, the loss of IQ may be deadly.

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Creating Your Summer Game Plan

Coaching summer plansIs it too early to be thinking about summer plans on tax day?  I had a coaching call this week with an entrepreneur and that’s what she wanted to discuss. For her, June was a major month for convention, travel, vacation, and kid-out-of-school-time and she wanted to be prepared.   I had my AHA before the call was done:  If you are an entrepreneur, it’s not too soon!  While we usually think about an intensive work time before and after a summer break, the entrepreneur has more to do than just the immediate tasks.

Whether you are in direct sales or some other business, as an entrepreneur your planning needs to go beyond a two-or three week period.  Think about direct selling, for example.  The people who join your team now will really be hitting their sales stride around late June.  The work you do in the summer will set the stage for your fall selling season.  Since you are in business for yourself, you need to constantly engage in high level planning.

During our coaching call, six core questions absorbed most of our time.  I wanted to share them with you as you start thinking about your summer.

  1. How up to date is your calendar? She was like most of us.  Her schedule was very complete for April, mainly complete for May and June, and then sketchy after that.  While June was her key month, she came to the realization she needed to be thinking about work for post-June.
  2. What business goals do you want to accomplish this summer? She had a clear vision.  Many of her summer goals center on building business relationships through follow-up from the conventions.
  3. What are the most important things you need to do now to prepare for June? This turned out to be a very important question. As she talked through the answer, her accomplishments in the next two weeks will make a lot of difference.
  4. What do your stakeholders need to know? While she thought a lot about his business, she hadn’t gotten to thinking about what her clients expectations are going from now to the end of June.  This will be the topic of several conversations between her and her clients before the summer.
  5. What do your contractors need to know? Like the previous question, she hadn’t talked with her support team and needed to bring them into the loop on her plans and work requirements for the next few months.
  6. What do you need to do to fill your fall pipeline? She realized that with a time lag of 90-120 days from starting the sales process to her first payment, her October-November business depends on starting in July. This is a new awareness and shifts her July business focus a bit.

How about you?  Are you thinking at a high level about your summer and fall business?  If you were, how will things change?

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The Art of Delegation

Coaching delegationMost of us learn delegation through the pain or pleasure process.  You don’t delegate until it becomes some painful that you have to do something.  The good news is that you don’t have to wait that long.  When you set some principles and procedures, you’ll be delegating the right things to the right people at the right time.

Kristi Pavlik, Chief Visionary Officer at Adonai Business Solutions, helps entrepreneurs navigate their business journeys to success. She has been teaching entrepreneurs and small business owners how to transform big ideas into business models that support profit and growth. Active in the business management field for over 20 years, Kristi is a skilled professional who helps entrepreneurs from beginners to business leaders “get out of their own way”. Clients who work with Kristi are amazed at how she can help their business move forward. She can help launch a new business, grow an established business, or explore uncharted territory with industry leaders. Business owners are thrilled at the results on a business and personal level.

Kristi is an expert on delegation.  This is the second of two articles she volunteered to write on delegation for us.  The other one is called Delegate, Delegate, Delegate. You can contact Kristi at kristi.adonai@gmail.com.  Her website will provide more details on how she works. Here are some of Kristi’s insights on the art of delegation.

The Art of Delegation

One of the most important skills a business owner can learn is the art of delegation. Many of us know we need to delegate more, but we hesitate. Why put off something that can help your business run more efficiently and effectively? It can feel overwhelming to try to figure out what and when to delegate, so we avoid it. Assigning tasks and giving ownership of those tasks to trusted associates is one of the wisest and most effective things we can do as entrepreneurs, and we need to learn how.

The basic rule of delegation is simple: If you aren’t good at it, or if it takes your time and energy away from the core of your business, delegate that task.

Every business owner should do this task, so why delegate it? The truth is, every business owner is different, with their own skills and preferences and they don’t do it all. Think about it: Bill Gates does not do his own filing, and you know he doesn’t do Microsoft’s accounts receivables himself! It doesn’t matter if it’s a basic business task, if bookkeeping, email management, or scheduling overwhelms you, or pulls you away from the tasks that make your business run? Delegate it. There’s no award for heroics in business! Forcing yourself to do tasks you’re unsuited for, or that you just plain dislike, doesn’t win a prize. In fact, experience shows us that someone who struggles with or dislikes a task takes longer to do it and makes more errors. Forcing yourself to do them really is a waste of time and money. Imagine the freedom you’ll feel when you can delegate to someone who has expertise and finds enjoyment in those tasks you dread.

It’s easier to just do it myself. This one is an excuse to avoid delegating, it really isn’t easier to do everything ourselves. Once you teach someone how to do the task your way, you’re done. Are you insisting on doing a job that sucks your time away from the real business of your company? Do you wade through hundreds of emails or phone calls each day only to find that your whole morning evaporated and you are constantly playing catch-up? Is basic office management getting in the way of doing business? It’s time to delegate the basic tasks like data entry, phone calls, email, calendars, and even travel arrangements and research. Be honest about what tasks only you can do, and build your job description around those tasks. You’ll be amazed how much you can get done when every task you do is important to your role! The art of delegation is the honest evaluation of every task you do. Should this really be your task? If not, delegate. You are the CEO, and created your business from the ground up. You are needed to do executive tasks, and to work at the core of your company steering and growing it. Focus your time and energy on the tasks that only you can do, and find good associates to accomplish the day-to-day tasks that keep your business organized, updated, and running smoothly. Delegation at its heart is pretty simple: Your company needs you to captain the ship, so put down the oars and hire a sailor who loves to row!

Kristi Pavlik

Adonai Business Solutions, LLC

www.adonai-llc.com

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Delegate, Delegate, Delegate!

Coaching delegationDelegation is one of those topics that frequently comes up in coaching. Since time is a limited resources, coaching clients need to clear some bandwidth to make changes and that usually involves delegating.

At the ICF Convention in Cleveland, I met Kristi Pavlik, Chief Visionary Officer at Adonai Business Solutions, who helps entrepreneurs navigate their business journeys to success.She has been teaching entrepreneurs and small business owners how to transform big ideas into business models that support profit and growth. Active in the business management field for over 20 years, Kristi is a skilled professional who helps entrepreneurs from beginners to business leaders “get out of their own way”. Clients who work with Kristi are amazed at how she can help their business move forward. She can help launch a new business, grow an established business, or explore uncharted territory with industry leaders. Business owners are thrilled at the results on a business and personal level.

Kristi is an expert on delegation, and she volunteered to write a couple of articles on delegation for us.  You can contact Kristi at kristi.adonai@gmail.com.  Her website will provide more details on how she works. Here are some of Kristi’s insights on the art of delegation.

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate!

The art of delegation is important in a heart-based business like coaching and speaking. Many of us even urge our clients to learn to delegate, but we hesitate to put into practice in our own business. Why do we run from it? In a business we built on a passion for helping others, we get trapped in the idea that we should do it all ourselves. Intellectually, we know better: Assigning tasks and giving ownership of those tasks to trusted associates is one of the wisest and most effective things we can do as a business owner.

The basic rule of delegation is simple: If the task something you love to do, that you’re skilled at doing, or that builds your business and spreads your message, you should do it. If it isn’t, delegate it!

This task is essential to my business, so why delegate it? The truth is, every business owner is different, with their own skills and preferences and they don’t do it all. Think about it: Tony Robbins does not do his own filing, and you know Seth Godin answer every email himself! It doesn’t matter if it’s a basic business task, or a crucial task like scheduling or travel booking, if it pulls you away from speaking, writing, or designing your next workshop? Delegate it. There’s no award for heroics in business! Forcing yourself to do tasks you dislike or that don’t suit your skills doesn’t win a prize. In fact, someone who struggles with or dislikes a task takes longer to do it and makes more errors. Forcing yourself to do them is a waste of time, energy, and money. Delegate to someone who has expertise and finds enjoyment in those tasks you dread, and focus your energy on changing lives.

I should be able to do it all. This one is just isn’t true! Are you trying to play superhero because you’re afraid clients will doubt your expertise if you need help in your business? Becoming overworked and overtired doesn’t make you look like SuperCoach, you just look overwhelmed! Do you wade through hundreds of emails or phone calls each day only to find that your whole morning evaporated and you are struggle to find time for your heart-based work? Are basic office tasks getting in the way of  the work you feel so passionately about? You really do need to delegate basic tasks like data entry, phone calls, email, calendars, and even travel arrangements and research. Be honest about your coaching or speaking business and what tasks only you can do, and build your job description around those tasks. You’ll be amazed how far you can spread your message and how many lives you can change when every task you do is important to your role as speaker, coach, and mentor!

The art of delegation in the honest evaluation of every task you do. Should this really be your task? If not, delegate. You are the CEO and a Speaker or Coach, and created your business from a passion for making a difference. You are needed to do executive level business tasks to steer and grow your business, and to spend the majority of your time and energy spreading your message and changing lives for the better. Focus on the tasks that only you can do, and find good associates to accomplish the day-to-day tasks that keep your business organized, updated, and running smoothly. Delegation at its heart is pretty simple: Your company needs you to write, design, and speak your life-changing messages, so delegate those office tasks and put your full energy into changing the world!

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Big Rocks Always Come First

Stephen Covey passed away on Monday, July 16, 2012.  His work on personal leadership and development has an impact that will live on.  His book on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is considered one of the most influential books of our times and has been read by over 20 million people.

My first coach training was at a Franklin Covey Coach Training session in Salt Lake City. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to rely on material in Covey’s books for training pieces that I’ve done.  One that I truly love is about the Big Rocks.  This is your chance to spend seven minutes with Stephen Covey on a very important lesson.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6m9WnNdpSw

What’s your favorite piece of knowledge from Covey?

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Finding Balance by Creating Margins

Most of us grew up using margins when we write.  Remember the red line on the left of the paper?  When we use margins, a note is easier to read.  When you write “margin-less”, like the note below, it is difficult to read.


As coaches, we listen for what is said and what is not said.  Often I find my clients are pushing their margins to the edge in their business and life.

What are the signs of a margin-less life? There are different clues for individuals.  One sign for me was when I overslept, was hurrying to get the kids to middle school, ran out of gas, coasted down the hill to the gas station, had the sixth grader drive so I could push the van to the pump and that was a ”normal” day.

Other signs include:  a client has a beautiful home, big screen TV, several cars and yet yearns for time to take a walk.

The client may be headed toward “margin-less” when she finds herself  apologizing for being late for a conference call or appointments that she set up because she was running behind.

In spite of running a successful direct selling business, the client is living from check to check.

The person you are coaching has more than $5000 in credit card debt.

Your client recognizes his impatience with his spouse or children growing more frequently.

In his book, Margin, Richard Swenson, M.D. points to four kinds of margins we must create for less stress, better health, and greater productivity:  he addresses financial, health, social and emotion margins.

A client may find real value in exploring and applying these margins to her life.  As a coach, you can ask powerful, open ended questions to allow her to create personalized action plans to set and keep margins in each or any of these areas.

What are some questions you might ask to support your clients?

What are some of the things you can do to create and keep safe margins for yourself?

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