Are You Giving Yourself Enough Credit for Completion?

Celebrate and Acknowledge the Big Steps to Success!

celebrating completionLast week had two major milestones for me.  I finished the full draft of my 7th book on women and overwhelm.  And I experienced the completion of my book proposal as I sent it out to my book scout and agent. (That has to happen before it can be shopped with publishers.) Whew!!!  That was a year and a half of work there and it felt amazing.

Those of you who have heard me speak know that I talk about the power of completion, how everyone gets excited when they start a new project but tend to slow down momentum in the actual doing.  Some never get to completion, and that’s a shame.  Because there’s a special energy and momentum that comes forward when you do complete, when you do finish, when you come to a milestone.  And that energy fuels future projects and gives you an enormous sense of satisfaction.  Most of you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Celebrate the Milestones

I celebrated most of Labor Day weekend.  My husband and I went out to dinner and watched the sunset on the Intercoastal waterway.  The next day, I did three of my favorite things, I went to yoga, went to the beach (my favorite place on earth) and out to dinner and board games with dear friends.  And on Sunday, I rested in a way I hadn’t in months.  I watched movies at home, read a novel and napped.  It was a great weekend and a wonderful way to acknowledge progress.

Your Why Fuels Completion

And now I’m on to the next phase.  When the changes came in (which I knew they would) to my proposal and I had to cut over 40 pages (eek!) I got busy.  But I’m almost done with that, too.  That’s because I have a bigger goal driving me.  That goal is to liberate women everywhere from overwhelm and help them embrace their magnificence.  It fuels me as I move forward on this book.  It fires me up everytime I meet an exhausted, amazing woman who is overloaded with responsibility.  It’s my Why.

What’s yours?  What’s driving you? What completion can you achieve and celebrate this week?  You have so much wisdom, talent and ability inside.  You are unique and no one else can bring your rare and special perspective to what you do.  You touch so many lives, whether you realize it or not.

Give yourself the gift of completion and celebrate each milestone. It’s powerful and you will feel fantastic.

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Energy Drains Create Stress; Try This Instead

Stressed woman pulling her hair
Are you out of energy and stressed?

All of us are subject to various energy drains from time to time. Review the list below to determine which eare sapping your vitality and positive outlook. The good news is you can change your behavior and your actions to support yourself and your energy.

Negative people. You are the result of the 5 people you spend the most time with. They impact your energy levels. Avoid complainers, Debbie Downers and bad news mongers.

Incompletions. Projects you have left 1/2 finished, books half read, newspapers and magazines opened but not finished. All of those are sapping your energy. Here’s what to do about it: https://firedupnow.com/could-your-incompletions-be-stressing-you-out/

Lack of sleep. You need 7 hours a night or you are at a cognitive disadvantage.

Sugar Check the research out yourself- sugar is terrible for you and contributes to cancer, diabetes, weight gain and so much more. That candy bar you eat at 2:00 will crash you at 3:00. Avoid it and boost your energy.

Dehydration– 40% of North Americans are dehydrated. Drink 10-12 glasses
of pure water a day, more if you drink soda, coffee or tea. A 5% drop in hydration means a 25% drop in energy.

Sitting and lethargy Many people are now sitting for over 9 hours a day.
(Which is why I am writing this from my stand up desk!) Get up every hour and move around, Get exercise every day. Walk frequently, take the stairs.
For more on sitting, go here: https://firedupnow.com/why-sitting-is-so-bad-for-you/

You make the choices as to who to spend time with, what to put in your body and how much to move. You can be energetic and Fired Up! starting now.

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©2016, Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. You may share this post and reprint with author reference and copyright.

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Overwhelmed? How to Regain Focus

Do You Have Cognitive Overload?

“Information overload is a symptom of our desire to not focus on what’s important. It is a choice.” Brian Solis

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-business-woman-cubicle-overworked-stressed-image5934154We receive so much data that we can barely comprehend all that is coming into our minds. Right now, you may be thinking about your next meeting, responding to a text, planning your tweets for the day and answering a call. Whew- no wonder we have information overload. Our brains are overwhelmed with all the distractions.

A recent Stanford study found that those who spend lots of time on social media, surfing the Internet and multi-tasking had poor cognitive skills. They could not distinguish well between what was important and what was trivial. “They are suckers for irrelevancy.”

How to Regain  Focus:

In his book, Search Inside Yourself. Chade-Meng Tan of Google, shares some keys to regaining cognitive clarity.

Monitor what you read and how you do it– If you find your mind wandering while reading, bring your attention back to what you are doing. Keep practicing this skill.

Use active listening Have someone speak for 3 minutes and you listen, Then repeat back to the person with the preface ” What you said is important. Do you mind if I repeat it back to see if I have it right?” (People LOVE this- they love to be heard.)

A few tips from me:

Do 1 thing at a time. That’s it. One thing and do it well and complete it. Take satisfaction and then move on to the next one thing. Your focus will improve. Multi-tasking is terrible for your brain.

• Go tech free for a day this weekend. Lots of research show the value of this. It’s like rebooting your brain.

• Get quiet and go outside in nature.  Life becomes much simpler away from the office and computer.

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©2015, Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. You may share this post and reprint with author reference and copyright.

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Is Your Job Worth Your Life?

Is the Stress of Your Job Killing You?

Screaming man who is very stressed out80% of Americans are burnt-out and stress costs business $300 billion a year in missed work, low productivity and illness. For you, the key question is, “Is your job killing you?”  If you are seriously considering the answer to that question, here’s what you can do.
 
• Take time off immediately.  Go away, even if it means staying with a friend.  Use the week or so to reflect on your life and heal yourself.  You need downtime, badly, before you get sick.
 
 Get real about what you need in a job.  Be flexible.  What are your top 3 requirements?  That extra $15K a year may not be worth the extra 20 hours you have to work. Choose quality of life over money.
 
• Network like crazy.  Today’s jobs are found through personal 
relationships.  Get out there, clean up your resume with your strengths and successes clearly listed.  DO NOT complain about your current job.  Just say you’re ready for the next oppportunity.

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©2013 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

 

Time Management Tip- Ignore Email and Focus

Exhausted woman from Stress Express!Email is one of our biggest distractions.  Do NOT start the day with email.  Instead, start with a clear FOCUS of what you most need to get done that day for finance-building and results-driven activities.  Make a list of your top 6 priorities and tackle those.  Check email only at specific times a day and do NOT have an audio bell letting you know every time you get a tweet or email.  It takes 25 minutes to get back to concentration when you are distracted. Use your time to succeed at the most important tasks.

People who leave their email on all day typically change screens 37 times a hour
How productive can you be with that?  Manage your time and be effective by checking email on YOUR schedule.

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

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Give Your Clients Information the Way THEY Want It

 Everyone Is Different: Pay Attention to Their Needs

Fire Up your business with global connectionsDo you know how your clients prefer information?  I recently learned that one of my important contacts really dislikes the phone, and prefers skype or face to face meetings. That was a big surprise to me. And a little challenging since she lives on the West Coast and I am on the East Coast.

Some clients are not auditory- you can tell them things over the phone but the data is lost. (Most people are not auditory- they are visual.)  Visuals prefer the written word, whether by fax or email. Some don’t want attachments other than PDF files.  Some folks want reports set up in a specific way, followed by a confirming phone call.

Ask your customers and key contacts how they would most like to receive information and then change your work habits to suit THEIR needs. A recent client said she rarely checks email, so that if I send her something important, I should call so she checks her email.  That was very useful to know.

Find out what works for your key clients.  It can often dramatically improve communication effectiveness and ensure a smooth working relationship.  

 

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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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The Powerful Value of Naps

Exhausted woman Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Most Americans are not.  In fact, 40% of the US population is sleep-deprived.  According to the World Health Organization, less than 7 hours a night is considered a carcinogen, cancer-causing agent.

 

If you get less than 7 hours, you are:

•3 times more likely to catch the cold or flu
• likely to carry an extra 20 pounds of weight
• 4 times more likely to have a stroke over age 45.

What’s the solution?  For many people and more and more companies- naps!

I love naps.  I hated them when I was a kid, but today, I find them rejuvenating and energizing.  Naps work!  And there is a great deal of research to support it.

Naps of half an hour or less don’t interfere with sleep patterns, and  can restore clarity, alertness, and memory.  Albert Einstein was a big fan of naps. Zappos.com has a nap room and employees are encouraged to use it regularly.  More and more corporations are providing nap rooms.  Many railroads have them, and even Ben and Jerry’s believes in naps.

An exhausted employee is an ineffective and possibly dangerous employee. Both Chernobyl and Three Mile Island were related to sleep deprivation.

Sara Mednick, author of Take a Nap, Change Your Life, says a 20 minute power nap is very light and easy to wake from, and good for your motor memory.   A nap of 20 – 60 minutes is slow wave sleep, which is restorative.  It promotes muscle and tissue growth, as well as memory  performance.

“Sleepiness alone costs the American economy and employers about 18 billion dollars a year,” says Darrel Drobnich of the National Sleep Foundation in Washington, DC.  So why not address that proactively and provide a nap space at work?

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©2014 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. You may share this post and reprint with author reference and copyright.

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