Posts tagged: self-management

5 Reasons WHY You Can’t Get Things Done…(…And how to deal with them!)

By , March 13, 2013 3:36 pm

iStock_000012995878SmallThe No. 1 common challenge for many of my coaching clients is the problem of getting things done!

Most of us have been on numerous time management workshops and read books on the subject. We know what we should do, but we still can’t seem to apply the strategy consistently.

Having the tools, processes or strategy is one thing…Setting your thinking and programming your inner dialogue for success is another!

Here are the top five reasons for not getting things done that I’ve experienced when coaching and training my clients (Oh! And I’ve observed a few of them in myself too!):

Overcomplicating things – It’s easy to become overwhelmed and create a complex strategy for something that is relatively simple. If you have too much to remember: doing this, not doing that and worrying about the other, then you become anxious and worn out and nothing gets done. You’ll look for other distractions.

You keep a complex plan in your head – You add to the problem by trying to keep a complex plan in your head. Relying on your brain as a storage device to remember EVERYTHING doesn’t work! Have you ever thought you’d remember stuff, then when you’ve gone back to it later, you can’t remember the detail and have to start all over again?

“I’m just not very organized…” This label is an excuse to give you permission to stay stuck. The reality is that you are VERY organized at being UNORGANIZED: You are following entrenched old habits and patterns. They just take you to a negative outcome. You’re just organizing the wrong things! See the pattern here? You may feel out of control, perhaps your emotions have taken over.

Quality of your inner dialogue – If I say to you: ‘Don’t think of the colour blue…’ What do you do first? You think of blue before you decide not to think about it! So if you’re saying to yourself: ‘I mustn’t forget to…’ you are programming yourself to forget! This is known as a bad command in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) terms. If you repeat this to yourself, you are likely to forget! You are focusing on forgetting rather than remembering!

You are too busy to think about it – You are stuck in the ‘do-do’ of doing and don’t take time to think something through to decide how you might do it differently. You wallow in procrastination. Thinking seems too easy to do so you resist or you perceive that it’s not a valuable use of time.

Here are some potential solutions:

1. Clear out the mental clutter – You can over-plan and over-strategize. So step back and get rid of the clutter. You might have far too many steps in the process, or you’re going into too much detail.

  • Lighten the load by simplifying your process.
  • Place high value on simplicity!
  • Look for an easier route. You have to choose the right strategy for the situation.

2. Get out of your own way – Are you fighting with yourself, getting caught up in drama and creating feelings that are sabotaging your progress? Notice what is going on inside – write it down. You don’t have to put so much pressure on yourself.

  • Become organized at being organized!
  • What needs to change?
  • What would being organized look like for you?
  • Lose the label and dump the excuse of being unorganized.

You can do this!

3. Change your language – Listen to your inner dialogue. Are you giving yourself bad commands? Remember if you’re saying to yourself: ‘Don’t forget to call Jenny.’ You are actually saying: ‘Forget to call Jenny.’ You are more likely to forget! Change the quality of your inner dialogue by turning it around to something like: ‘I will remember to phone Jenny today.’ Give yourself commands in a positive way.

4. Make time to think it through – Allow thinking time! Use visualization as a tool to set your mind for success. See yourself making the call to Jenny:

  • What are you saying?
  • When are you calling her?
  • Walk this through in your mind several times.
  • Then take action straight away to make it happen.
  • Make a post-it note and keep it in sight so this call is your mental radar today.

You are re-training your brain to get things done. Simple strategies work well. Think simple!

5. Attitude changes everything – To change your thinking you need to change your perspective towards the situation. The situation IS the situation, it doesn’t change – you are wherever you are right now. If you know that this is something you should do, then change your attitude towards it. This is what is holding you back.

  • What would it be like to be in control or on top of this situation?
  • What are you doing?
  • What are you saying?
  • How are you acting?
  • How will you feel when you’ve completed it?
  • What difference will it make?

Having a coach can help take responsibility for getting things done.

Clear out the rubbish in your current strategies for getting things done, stop fighting yourself, listening to your negative inner dialogue, and getting lost in the mountain of steps in your process.

Simplicity is everything! Look for a more effortless path and don’t be so hard on yourself!






7 Ways to Improve Your Personal Power and Influence as a Leader…

By , October 24, 2012 3:53 pm

“One word expresses the pathway to greatness: voice. Those on this path find their voice and inspire others to find theirs. The rest never do.”

 ~ Stephen R Covey, Author.

Many of us struggle when trying to influence others (sometimes we can’t even influence ourselves!)

One of the key elements of influencing is credibility.

You may have heard the saying: perception is reality – Other people judge you by your actions (what you do, what you say or how you act) and NOT by your intentions. Your behavior has a huge impact on your credibility.

You are your demonstrated behavior…

I’m often asked the question: How can I build my personal credibility?

Just because you’re CEO of your company or a manager/team leader in your department, this doesn’t mean that others will listen to you. Credibility isn’t guaranteed – you have to create it.

Sometimes you can leverage your expertise or use your status to influence others. You also may have witnessed where this power is over used (usually when someone’s ego kicks in and they become power-crazed!).

One often overlooked power-base is integral to your credibility (and authenticity): your personal power. It can be very effective.

I believe that we all are all born with unlimited personal power. Life bestows this gift upon us. As kids, we test it out in its purest form. Over time our personal power is shaped by cultural, social and parental influences around us.

These create layers of structure and conditioning that teach us how to blend and fit in. We unconsciously follow what is ‘acceptable’ behavior for someone in that role being influenced by those who we perceive to have authority around us.

 We are taught to keep our head down, be a ‘good employee’ and we blend into to our surroundings. Our own personal power is pushed down and subdued.

Sometimes we play small, perhaps over-awed by the perceived power of others. We become de-sensitized and numb to our own personal power, falsely believing that others have higher value and worth.

Your own personal power is ALWAYS available to you… You just have to choose to use it by becoming the power point in your life.

Here’s how to develop your Personal Power…

Clarity – People with high levels of personal power are clear and focused on what is important. They know what they want to achieve and can describe it to others. They have clear goals and take deliberate action.

Self-awareness – Most people struggle to allow their own voice to speak out. Finding your voice allows you to contribute, lead and make a difference. It is an evolving process: You don’t just wake up one morning and it’s lying next to you! You have to become a Student of YOU and go in search of it.

There are untapped talents lying dormant inside all of us. Tap into your strengths: What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? What are you passionate about? Build on your strengths by looking for opportunities to use them in your daily work. Share them with others: I have value…Here’s how I can help.

Energy and Enthusiasm Energy and enthusiasm are linked. They feed off each other and are key components of personal power. Successful, positive people have an abundance of energy. Enthusiasm is infectious: What are you infecting the people around you with??

Empathy Understanding the other person’s map of the world, as they see it, is hugely important if you want to influence them effectively. If I believe that you understand me I will be more open and honest with you. Listening and understanding is important because people buy off people they know, like and trust. Genuinely show that you care. This isn’t about YOU… It’s ALL ABOUT THEM. Tune in to the people you are serving – Get to know them.

By being empathic you are demonstrating that you understand and respect their point of view (Even if you disagree). You are giving them value, showing you care by being authentic.

Self-belief You are what you believe. Your thinking is YOUR reality. People with high levels of personal power believe in their vision and take deliberate action to make things happen. Learn how to reframe your limiting beliefs and change your thinking. Become the power point in your life. Believing in yourself makes you credible to others.

Lead the way – You don’t need formal authority to lead – Our conditioning just makes us falsely believe this. Stop waiting to be one of the ‘chosen few.’ Decide to step into your power and be proactive rather than reactive. Stop waiting for someone to give you permission to lead. Self-leadership begins from the inside out. Lead yourself and others will follow… Just be YOU!

Look for support  – A coach can help you develop and leverage your personal power. This can make a huge difference to your confidence and success.

Re-connect to your personal power.

Do you hang out with Radiators or Drains?

By , April 29, 2010 12:00 am

iStock_000005300342Small“I just don’t hang around anybody that I don’t want to be with. Period. For me, that’s been a blessing, and I can stay positive. I hang around people who are happy, who are growing, who want to learn, who don’t mind saying sorry or thank you…and (are) having a fun time.”

John Assaraf, Author.

It’s true that we are influenced by the people around us. This is because our energy interacts and influences the energy of everyone and everything that we come into contact with. We become like the people that we hang out with. These people influence how we think, feel and behave.

Do you remember your parents not allowing you to hang out with ‘those kids’ because they are a bad influence?

Jim Rohn, author and self made millionaire puts it this way:

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

It’s interesting to consider who we spend most of our time with and how they influence our thinking, feeling and behaviour. Your five could be a combination of family, friends and colleagues at work.

Have you ever worked in a job where you were surrounded by negative naysayers who whine and moan about everything? Over time you become infected by this negativity and it reduces your motivation and performance. You may even dread getting up and having to go to work in that environment every day.

Sometimes the negativity of others can hold us back and even sabotage our dreams. Especially if we are around them a lot of the time.

I call these people Drains because they infect you with their negativity and drain your energy leaving you feeling anxious or deflated. They remind me of a Dementor sucking the Soul out of their victim in the Harry Potter books by J K Rowling!


  • put you down at every opportunity
  • criticize your decisions and actions
  • undermine your self confidence and self belief
  • make you feel unworthy
  • tell you that it will never work
  • try to dissuade you from pursuing your goal
  • always complain or gossip
  • will blame other people for their current circumstances
  • dismiss your ideas as ‘just a phase’ you’re going through
  • try to hook you and pull you back down to their level

In contrast there are people radiate positive energy. I call these Radiators because just hanging out with them makes you feel inspired, happy and motivated. They are fun to be around.


  • believe in you
  • support and encourage you in your goals and dreams
  • celebrate your successes with you
  • are nourishing and uplifting
  • are positive and authentic
  • genuinely wants you to succeed
  • are inspirational
  • listen with an intent to understand

To be successful we all need to be nourished by those we choose to spend our time with. They key word here is choose…Because you always have a choice.

You no longer have to allow toxic people to drain your energy.

Here’s how you can start to improve the energy around you.

…And none of these involves you getting a divorce or leaving your job!

  1. Stop colluding – don’t get hooked into a Drain’s negative conversation. Stop colluding and joining in. Don’t get involved. Focus on solutions and not blame or walk away.
  2. Reduce your time with toxic people – if possible, stop spending time with them completely. If you work with these people then decrease your time around them.
  3. Surround yourself with Radiators – consciously look to make friends and build relationships with people who have positive energy and who support you in your growth. Spend more time with these people. Find out where they hang out. They are everywhere!
  4. Surround yourself with success – When I decided that I wanted to be a successful coach, I started to hang out with successful coaches. I joined a Mastermind Group of like-minded people. This really helped because people shared their ideas and success strategies. Join a club or become involved in social activities where these people hang out.
  5. Model the behaviour of successful people – What are they reading? How are they learning? Immerse yourself in the person that you want to be. Look for role models and copy their behaviour. This will help you to build your self confidence and commitment to your goals.

Are you surrounded by energy Radiators or Drains?

Stepping Out of the ‘Do-Do’ Part #3

By , March 30, 2010 12:22 am

forget everything and runNote: This is Part 3 of a mini-series.To read Part 1, click here. To read Part 2, click here.

Not ‘Do-Do’ but ‘Think-Do.’

When Busy-ness and overwhelm takes over it’s easy to forget how to think. We become driven by doing and we get hooked into trying to do everything!

We also feel that we should be able to do everything!

Focusing on doing rather than thinking stops us from asking ourselves why we are struggling or how we could do it differently. We dis-engage our logical thinking processes.

Getting stuck in the Do-Do is often driven by one of our strongest and most hardwired emotions: fear. This is a key driver of living reactively.

  • Fear of getting it wrong
  • Fear of criticism
  • Fear of letting others down
  • Fear of not being able to do it all
  • Fear of being unworthy
  • Fear of not living up to our own or others expectations of us
  • Fear of being seen as a ‘fraud’
  • Fear of saying NO

Fear overrides our thinking and our ability to be realistic about what we are able to achieve. Our emotions take over and run the show. Logical and rational thinking is replaced by chaos, desperation and overwhelm.

There is a difference between just doing things (unconscious action) and taking conscious action. Conscious action is where are activities are defined, deliberate and purposeful. Actions are realistic and do-able.

Here are some strategies to help your thinking:

1. Address your fears head on

“Fear of failure is actually overrated as an excuse.”

Seth Godin, Author, Tribes

People are usually more frightened of blame and criticism than failure. The fear of criticism can be a powerful deterrent, and the criticism doesn’t have to happen for fear to set in.

  • list the fears associated with YOUR busy-ness.
  • re-read this list and view them objectively as if  this was your best friend’s list and you were giving advice to him/her
  • what is the worst thing that could happen here?
  • write down exactly what you need to accomplish in the coming week. This helps you to re-focus and re-awaken your logical thinking

2. ‘Think’ before you ‘Do’

For example, in our working life it is easy to forget that we are paid to think as well as do. Why? Because doing is the tangible action stuff. Thinking can be seen as non-action and lazy. So it is seen as a nice thing to do, if I have the time!

Thinking and planning a head is SO under-rated because of the illusion that in the time I have to think about it, I could have done it! It’s not perceived as productive. Instead we panic and the action we take is random, unplanned and unfocused.

Here are four practical self-management tips. You already know these, BUT do you actually use them?

  1. To-Do Lists – to write down the tasks that have to be done
  2. Prioritize –This focuses on two elements: 1) relationships and 2) results. It helps you to stay On Purpose. What are the 1-2 important things that you need to focus your time on today? Small home runs will help you to experience how good it feels to complete something. This includes scheduling some time for me! See Circuit Breakers.
  3. Diaries and schedules – to plan in what I have to do and when I’m going to do it. This activity can stop procrastination by chunking down large overwhelming tasks into small do-able actions. Give each action a time e.g. 10am – 11 am. Show up at 10am, set a timer and just do it!
  4. Be imperfect – Flexibility is the key. Be prepared to re-prioritize and don’t expect perfection EVERY day. If you are a perfectionist, then these tools can restrict you because you can feel over-scheduled and rigid. You are not a robot! Priorities change so allow flexiability – it’s okay!

How much time do you actually spend thinking, planning and writing down your activities before you do them?

Value the importance of Thinking as well as Doing.

Want some more techniques? Why not download my FREE GIFT on the right of this page:‘Are You In Busy-ness or Business? Four Ways to Get Your Life Back on Purpose.’ This download will really help you think and do!

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