How do you manage when you have unexpectedly had time out from work as usual?? What is the first thing you do and how do you keep focused when so many things need your attention….
Lists are my mainstay and i definitely go back to my morning and evening 15 minute check in and out system. Prioritising activity by deadlines and trying to catch up with myself and I suppose i also work better under a bit of pressure – more gets done in less time.
Having been full time based in an office recently I was removed from facebook, email and other distractions far more than normal and it worked out to be no bad thing – i think i will try and maintain that discipline as they are such time eaters even if they are business orientated it is easy to stay distracted and never quite get to the meat of some work that adds value to the business.
Staying focused on what your business is about and keeping to activity that adds value by immediate or future income is a great way to prioritise. I read a blog about present but not present parents the other day – so picking kids up on the iphone, kids get in the car, parents on the phone, sit down to dinner and out comes the phone etc – missing out. Well that could be the same in business. Has your discipline of letting the person present take priority slip – are you missing business opportunity as a result. Something to think about. What are your three changes for today to your behaviour to stop this happening to you…
Posted by Rachel Booth on May 16, 2012
Sometimes with a business that is busy with minutae it is hard to keep an eye on the main game – making money or at least activity which can generate income.
The phones go, there is a query, something to “sort on the system” . How many times does that happen when you are sat in your office – or even worse if you are based from home and there are family distractions, jobs to be done, washing piles growing and so on.
If you sit and think about which core activities actually contribute to your bottom line you should get a list of things to prioritise in your business day – the urgent and immediate items that get £200 and an out of jail free card. Make it a habit to focus for the first 5 minutes of the day on that list and those items and even if later there are distractions then you know you have contributed to the bottom line already and it becomes less of an issue.
Focus on 3 things that add to your bottom line each and every day and you could be onto a winner.
Posted by Rachel Booth on May 11, 2012
When was the last time you reviewed and overhauled something? We have to periodically go back over where we have been and make sure we are still heading in the right direction to achieve our goals. Have our dreams changed? Have we adjusted to meet customer needs? Has the market changed? All of these things don’t happen over night but overtime can lead to serious strategic drift and we need to either adjust our strategy (and understand the impact on our end goals) or bring ourselves back to basics and stop encasing ourselves on hamster wheels!
So my challenge today is to review and rewind – how is it going what has changed (what did you achieve) what was great and what not so great and then we can think next time about moving forward again.
Posted by Rachel Booth on April 6, 2012
As a professional in a corporate environment it is sometimes difficult to read the politics, keep your head out of them when making career decisions or deciding how to handle situations professionally and without losing your cool or the edge in terms of your profile.
A coach is someone who can help you work through the issues, you can bounce ideas off and let off steam with – venting with a coach is far more than productive than using a colleague – after all whose pocket are they in or may they be in in the future. You never know when they are going to be the one across the table from you and you have given away your advantage.
Personal Coaching for professional development allows you to work through the kinks in terms of where to go next and what to do without letting on to colleagues you are on the move, helps you define what it is you want out of your career, and sort out some of the “what ifs” you may have floating around.
Most coaches will offer you a one off session to see if it sits comfortably with you – you need to “click” with a coach for it to be helpful. So have a go – try it and see.
Contact me to see if it is something I can help you with.
Posted by Rachel Booth on February 15, 2012
Sometimes it feels like hiking through mud fields trying to get some movement for your business, in, whats let’s face it, is a difficult market. But is it really about motivating yourself or about sheer determination to reach the end, slog through the painful boring bits to get the result. The very fact that you are thinking about it and or want to eat or pay the mortgage next month means you are motivated, but the key thing is being motivated to do the things that get results, and this means keeping going when the going gets tough, making that call, sending that email – getting 10 Nos to get to yes and so on.
So focus on what gets the results you want and keep that at the front of your mind when you are sat with the phone or poised over the keyboard and the email isn’t getting written but you posted again on fb, twitter etc – they are easy things. Remember the reward is generally proportionate to the effort.
I like to save things I like doing for when i have done one of those pending tray jobs (you know don’t want to do – leave it till later) so i can treat myself when I finish it.
Part of my business is about training, I have a solid business background and want to share some of that experience and learning with others. I have set up a Practical Marketing Workshop date for 6th March 2012 in Coventry – there will be a bit of pre-work so book early and give yourself a chance to shine. We will be working on real live Marketing plans and sharing the experience and brain power of all attendees as well as the facilitator, so you will come away freshly motivated, with some great new ideas and a freshly polished marketing plan. The cost for half a day is just £35, the best value around.
Posted by Rachel Booth on February 1, 2012
Oh there is the age old it feels nice to have money in the bank but how do you differentiate between being at work and on home duties – this is especially for women who work from home. We tend to flit from work to home activities and back its true – making tea, bit of washing or drying (I just don’t do ironing) so what marks out your work day?
Are there specific times you designate working times. At the moment for me its around 9.30 till 3 and then after around 8.30/9 ish. I have a couple of businesses so its a tight squeeze, but I find that it focus’ me to have those time frames. Clothes wise – I do actually get dressed – not good at working in Jammies, how about you – can you or do you?
In an ideal world I would be at my desk for 7 in jammies, to sort email, sort the to do list and maybe knock off a couple of to do items but create the master list for the day before a shower and dress, breakfast and Cup of Tea before sitting down to tackle bigger pieces of work after the school run.
It does get boring though – I have tried to make my office come workroom come spare room a pleasant environment – I have a couple of desks, a day bed and the radio on sometimes – am thinking about TV with DVD but not sure on that one – think it may be a con….. what do you do when you are working – do you need silence – the sound of the birds in the trees (and motorway and trains if you live round here!) Tell me – I am so nosy would love you to blog and link about your work environment – even give us a photo if you can!
They say a change is as good as a rest so when i need to be fresh I try and find somewhere different to work – i have a nice dining room kitchen area which is warm in winter and a living room with logburner that appeals in the cold. Summer I sometimes do email in the garden but i find it quite distracting to be honest outside. I like to work on trains although you never know who is looking over the shoulder, I do get a sense of time being suspended and it keeps the mind occupied on familiar journeys.
Posted by Rachel Booth on January 13, 2012
Talking about planning in a previous post, made me think about the “plan do check act” cycle. How often do we forget to go back and revisit and then maybe rework plans or action lists. All it is really saying is glance back, look over what you did and where it got you and if you need to tweak it to get the results you want. This time of year is very popular for looking back over the previous year and then using that to look forward and set yourself some targets or goals to work towards. I think it is also worth noting what to hold onto and not lose as it works for you – or maybe with a small tweak you can use it again, a workshop format, a marketing approach, an article, some previous planning notes – what were you thinking a year ago, what did or didn’t happen and if not why not and if it did how did it go. What could you re-use or recycle??
Posted by Rachel Booth on January 3, 2012
I think many self employed people find it hard to down tools and take real time off, but the benefits are enormous – you come back refreshed, remotivated and rejuvinated. New ideas mean a refreshed business and more energy for pushing forward with the next steps – its always hard when the mojo goes missing to pick it up again in the same way so why not try something different. My new business launches 5th January – back to school day and actually quite a busy day for me as I have a class in the morning and then dentist in the afternoon so I have a few tasks over the holidays as I am sure hubby will too in his business, but we will try to limit it to a clear day each and spend some fun family time.
What are your plans and how are you thinking to bring something fresh to your business in the new year?
Posted by Rachel Booth on December 21, 2011
It is so easy in this world to get distracted by minutiae that is NOT contributing to the bottom line, your career, family life or whatever you focus might be.
How do you maintain focus but still achieve many things? What are your techniques and tips for this?? I do use my 3 things to achieve today technique to move things along that are stagnating (although some days it can feel more like 10 things).
I suppose it is the daily small steps towards an end goal and keep plugging away at it that is my method. I would be genuinely interested in what you do – I think there are a whole variety of ways this can be done and it would be interesting to explore how other people manage it.
The other thing I do is regularly drawing up a plan to achieve something – identify the elements of it and the steps I need to take to get there – clear objectives behind what I am doing in my daily breakdown. I have a creative side and I love the mindmapping tools and just plain old squared paper and coloured pens – give me an hour, a piece of paper and pack of pens ad I can hand you back a plan!
Keeping a goal in mind and taking small steps towards it helps you remain positive about your goal – especially if it is a big one and there are quite a few little steps before hitting the big one.
What will be your focus this coming year?? Do you think you might need some help to keep on track? I have a programme that might be the one for you. We meet face to face once a month and we speak on the phone in between, focused on your key objective. For just £25 per month (for however long you want to keep going no contract) you can have one on one focus on achieving one of your big goals in life. Does that sound like something that might help? Give me a call and get a free initial session to get you going now and ahead of yourself for the new year!!
Posted by Rachel Booth on December 13, 2011
What exactly does that mean – who controls who here….what sort of mindset are you in at the moment if that is the way you are thinking??
We need to believe in ourselves and what we are capable off – how can we achieve never mind over-achieve with out that illusive motivation, the ability to do do do, think think think, act act act.
When you find yourself feeling this way you need to examine a range of things around you that are making you feel like this. is it stress, relationships, environment, weather, medication – lack of medication WHAT are the things that make you feel like this – when you know you can manage and control them to suit you – it is a very personal thing, as is the management of them to maintain your own equilibrium. Do what makes you feel good – you don’t have to like it you just have to do it!
Identify some things that really pick you up when you catch yourself in the dolldrums go and do them – prioritise them before it gets too hard, too difficult and you do nothing about it. Keep a list
What enlivens me: (I am not sure motivates is the right word here for me)
Beautiful scenery – a cold day a misty sunrise,
the smell of woodsmoke/autumn
the taste of something sweet
the sound of my daughter singing to herself as she plays
The warm fuzzies as I feel myself drift to sleep on a lazy summer afternoon
Can you tell I am a kinesthetic…..just thinking about that stuff wakes me up, girds my loins, gets me going – right whats next….
Posted by Rachel Booth on December 9, 2011