You Do Make A Difference When You Volunteer

Building a garden at a local schoolPlus It's a Great Stress Reliever    

One of the last things you might think of doing when you are very stressed is to take the time to help someone else. But it can truly be the best thing you can do. The value of volunteerism is that it gives you perspective, awareness of how blessed your life really is, and away from the anxiety of stress.

Volunteering:
• promotes connection and sharing
• decreases stress and depression
• improves interpersonal skills
• increases gratitude and empathy
• improves understanding of community issues
• strengthens your ability to cope
• makes you feel good about yourself and your gifts and talents

Cornell University studied  the impact of environmental volunteerism on seniors, and discovered  those who volunteer  outside became more physically active and benefitted from being in nature. They had more energy, a greater ability to cope, and stronger emotional well-being. Younger nature volunteers had increased concentration, reduced aggression, decreased stress and improved self-esteem.

If you have not volunteered lately, there are so many groups who need your talents and ideas.  Check your local listings for area non-profits and get started. You DO make a difference.

 

 

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©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

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What You Focus On You Create

Choose Wisely

From Stress Express, image of messy home office

Energy follows thought so you really want to be careful where you put your thoughts.  If you are worried about paying bills and all you see in front of you is a mess and a stack of bills like those shown here, it's hard to focus on anything else.  And the problem with that is you attract more of the same.

Instead, clear off your desk, put the clutter away, put the bills in a file and focus on what you are grateful for.  Focus on your health, your friends and family, your loved ones, your home, your pets. your gifts and talents.  Put your attention on WHAT YOU WANT.  Create a dream collage and imagine yourself living in better circumstances, being happy and able to pay your bills with ease.  Shift out of the negative into the positive and then take action accordingly.  It can make a huge difference in your life.

 

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©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

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I’ll Do it Later, & Other Reasons We Procrastinate

The Illusive Someday....

Clock from Stress ExpressWe all have things we put off, whether it's the laundry, key tasks at work, filing, etc.  And we have perfectly good reasons, like "I work better under pressure," "I'll get to it later," "It's not high priority."

The thing is, enough of those things we have not done pile up into large incompletions, which sap your energy and pull away from what could be much more significant.  Incompletions are a form of self-sabotage which can create anxiety, worry and tension.

Why do we procrastinate and what can we do?  Here are three reasons and solutions....

1. Perfectionism. Let that go. As my friend Paul Evans says, "Done is better than perfect."

2. "I work better under pressure."  Most of us don't really, and it creates unnecessary stress. Map out 90 minutes of uninterrupted time and get the high level high leverage activity done! 

3. Overwhelm. Chunk the project into small steps that you can easily tackle.  Note your progress, record your successes each step of the way and the project can get done smoothly and efficiently.  Learning to manage your time more effectively can have so many benefits, from greater personal satisfaction to increased income to more time with your family.

 

©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

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What’s Your Peak Performance Time?

When Are You at Your Best Productivity?

Do you know your peak performance time?  For most of us, it is early morning. Many people's biorhythms drop in the afternoon, and some are night owls.  Track yourself if you don't know and pay attention to when you seem to have the greatest clarity, vitality and mental acuity.  You will want to apply that to your most important priorities.

keys to success from Fired Up!Once you do know, schedule your day like this. Block out 90 minute chunks with absolutely no interruptions to work in-depth on your highest priority. (The one with the biggest ROI for you.) That means no calls, no emails, no people coming into your space:  total quiet and concentration time.  Work for 90 minutes on that one priority and after 90 minutes, take a renewal break. Stretch, connect with others, drink 8 oz. of clean water, eat some nourishing food and look at nature.  If you've been sitting at a computer, get up and gaze off long distance, to refresh your eyes.  If you can, get some physical exercise, as too much sitting can be dangerous.  (see earlier blog post.)


After a restful break, you'll be refreshed and ready to tackle your next 90 minutes.  Try this technique and see how your productivity soars.  For more information on this concept, check out Tony Schwartz's book, Be Excellent at Anything.

©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. 
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Are You Out of Time?

Time Management for Superstressed People - Part I

Stressed out Woman from Fired Up! and Stress ExpressIn this age of constant information, over scheduled lives and frenetic activity, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that you DO have control over your own time.  If you're a parent, you probably don't feel that way, but there are definitely steps you can take to make the difference in your life and schedule.

First, as Tony Jeary writes in his book, Finding 100 Extra Minutes a Day, ask yourself "What is the greatest use of my time right now?"several times throughout the day.  Make sure it is the highest leveraged, biggest ROI activity you can make it. And that does not mean necessarily a financial ROI.  It could be an emotional ROI where you spend much needed time with a neglected loved one.

Prioritize your week's schedule according to your top priorities, which have the biggest leverage.  Make everything else work around those priorities, whenever possible. If you know you have to take your son to soccer practice two days a week, plan to bring your laptop or iPad and do work while waiting.  Maximize your time so when he comes off the field, you can focus on him.

Get in the habit of saying no.  Don't over schedule yourself.  My brother had been shuttling his son to 2-3 different sports throughout the week, taking up way to much time.  They let him pick the sport and now it is down to one.  My brother and his wife have much more time to tend to their priorities.  You will, too, once you make decisions that support what is best for the entire family.

Part 2 on Wed.

©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. 
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