Posted in Bite size learning, mindfulness, motivation, Time management

24 hours…

We start each day with 24 hours and how do you ensure that you make the most of the 24.

If you were working on a project there would be a debrief meeting and an evaluation/review of what went well and what you could do differently or anything you would stop doing.

Look at today or tomorrow and write down what you did in your 24 hours.

We all need a decent night sleep that will cut into a large part of your allocated 24. Keep a log of what your average sleeping time is, you might see a pattern of when you are sleeping well, is 7.5 hours perfect, or are you more alert after 8 hours.

We all are craving structure and have realised in lockdown we need to create our own timetable however are we using the time to its optimum.

Be realistic about work, break it into manageable chunks, look at one hour periods at a time. If you scheduled 3 hours for a project, guaranteed the last hour will be phone surfing, reading the news feed or tidying the pens on your desk. Far better to cut the project into small chunks with breaks.

We lose the most hours when we decided to watch TV in the evening and even worse if we eat and watch. We have more time than we have had before, so making eating, just eating and make watching just watching. Be discerning about what you watch and schedule how long you are allocating, otherwise we realise we have lost 3 hours of our precious 24 and if you were to ask what we had watched we cannot remember.

Exercise can be chunked as well, far better to do something for one hour, instead of doing nothing, which can easily happen if we have not worked effectively with our 24.

Be indulgent with your 24, in the middle of the day read with a coffee and rest assured you will look back on that 1 hour and see it as a good investment.

Just because we are at home, we can still see the people we want to see, with the power of technology. Write a list of who you want to see? The is will be a good allocation and even the time to set it up and reach out will be worth the feel good factor for you within 24.

Log what you do with your 24 hours and look at patterns and ask yourself did you maximise the “24”.

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, Leadership, mindfulness, motivation, Stress management

Finding a purpose…

We set our agenda whilst working from home so therefore each day we set the path of intent. Find a purpose in everything you do, from a micro level to macro level.

Having a purpose is liking having a compass in your head. You know for the day the direction you are heading and therefore you set off with a good mind set.

Write down each day what your overall purpose will be and then look to the tasks that connect with that overall purporse.

Example:-

Overall purpose – To write and submit a report

  • Map out a plan
  • Collate research
  • Start the report

Alternatively if you decide your purpose for the day is to be healthy, think of all things you can do that connect eg. eating well, exercising and going to bed early.

When we have decided on our purpose, achievement follows closely and underpins motivation.

Ideally if you have purpose at a macro level you have a clear idea of why you do what you do everyday it make is much easier to set tasks at a micro level.

Ask yourself key questions to discover your overall purpose:-

  • What are you trying to achieve in life?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are you selling/or giving others?
  • What story are you telling?

Start to get inquisitive about why you do what you do? Having a clear purpose even when conducting the smallest of tasks is a sign of healthy mental well being.

Decide what is going to be on your agenda tomorrow set the compass and find your purpose…?

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Goals, Learning, motivation

January mindset…

First day back at work for a lot of people and whilst not the physical commute to the office, we do need to fire up those neurological pathways and get in the right mindset for work.

Luckily I had a 9.00am so I was behind the desk and even slipped a jacket on, so that a different outfit helped my mindset. Psychologically clothes can help alter your approach (remember you would not garden without your wellies on…)! Therefore alter your weekday clothes to your weekend clothes, subtle changes as we obviously are more casual than we used to be. Comfort is important however putting something on that you associate with work may help you get in the zone quicker.

Planning what the month is going to look like also helps, rather than just approaching the days reactively.

  • Think about who you want to meet (albeit virtually) this month
  • 3 goals that you want to achieve
  • Exercise targets or goals
  • How much money do you want to spend or save in January?

There are many planning tools out there and the more visual the more likely they are to hold you to account and put you in a proactive mindset. I have just discovered a new site with the fantastic name “Scattered Squirrel” loads of downloadable planning tools. https://scatteredsquirrel.com These can be adapted by you as the more customised or personalised the more likely you are to achieve the targets.

Putting treats to one side, and saving yourself for the weekend will also shift your mindset into a discipline mode. Self regulation of working hard to get to the reward.

As most of us will be working from home and only attending events virtually we must introduce structure and timings to our day. These will give the brain time to recharge and work to the optimum when required. Therefore ensure that you start your day at the sametime everyday, routine and rituals are advantageous for the brain. Build in break times at the same time every day so again the mind begins to see a pattern of when it needs to be firing on all cylinders and when it needs a slower mode. Decide also when to end the day, as creating a closing ritual is as important as the start.

January is a new start and mix up patterns and ways of working within the structure you have created above. So as an example I wake up the same time everyday, however in the New Year I have moved the daily standup over Zoom from 10.00am to 11.00am and I have created some new agenda items. Instead of running on a Monday I am going to do a Wednesday. With the present situation we are in, we do need to create change for ourselves so that we see people and situations at different times of the day to last year.

Life is always what we make it – so today create yours…

Please do get in touch if you would like to start coaching with me and I will help you through January and for the whole of 2021 – taster sessions are available bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, motivation

Review of the year…

No-one would dispute that 2020 has not been the best of years, however there will have been highlights and we need to ensure that as memory they outweigh the lowlights.

An exercise I give to all my coaching clients and an exercise I perform myself is a review of the year.

The first part is to identify your 5 best days of the year.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Taking the time to identify which days really worked for you in 2020, gives you the ingredients of a great day to take into 2021. What were you doing and who were you with? Often the best days are the simplest, not anywhere special but the feeling and the people that really made it magical.

Write down the names of the people who were important to you in 2020…

Achievement underpins motivation and what 3 big things really stand out for you, what were you really proud of accomplishing.

Achievements x 3

2.

3.

How are you feeling December 2020?

It is hard with the current situation to identify how we are feeling, however writing down how we feel often dilutes the emotion. Once you write something down it leaves your head and in reality you can start to assess your emotions more calmly.

Looking ahead to 2021, think about the 3 big goals you want to achieve.

1.

2.

3.

Finally the year ahead, do you already know of days and events that will happen, eg significant Birthdays, Anniversaries, etc…

Days & Events in 2021

Thank you so much for taking the time to read the blog and have a wonderful Christmas break and see you in 2021.

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Goals, motivation

Finish on a high and start on a high…!

We are nearly at the end of 2020 and what 3 things can you achieve before the year closes. What would you like to clear up and finish and feel you have accomplished before the door shuts on 2020?

The final push of the year gives us some extra energy, with very few working days left in December, make sure you can get to the festivities knowing you have done what you need to do.

Make the actions of the 3 things/projects you want to complete visual. The satisfaction and psychological high you will receive by ticking off or highlighting cannot be under estimated. Achievement underpins motivation, so make sure you finish the year on a high.

To start January in the right mindset, write down now what you want to achieve. Think of 3 again and make it visual, once we start focusing on the future we can get excited now. What we focus on will become reality, so again make sure that you have it on display.

Posters and whiteboards where you work are great to keep you on track, they are showing a journey of hopes and dreams. You and only you can decide where you want to go. Once the destination is decided the planning and excitement can begin.

Please do get in touch for one to one coaching of how to think and plan for 2021 bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, motivation, personal impact, Relationships

“How to get the best out of Appraisals…?”

Appraisals can’t just be an end of year exercise, performance development is continuous throughout the year. However they serve as a marker and a time for an employee to shine and a time for a Manager to show appreciation and gratitude for work during the year.

A key to the success of the meeting is about building a relationship, finding common ground and developing rapport. Making the team member feel comfortable and using the knowledge you already have to create a warm atmosphere where the discussion can be open and developmental.

The conversation is central to a good appraisal, it is not about being led by the paperwork. Asking the right questions and listening to the answers without interrupting and remembering whose agenda the meeting belongs to. Keep in mind the 80:20 rule, and use techniques to keep the person talking, this is their appraisal not yours as a Manager.

Limit the paperwork, you only really need one form at the most. The employee to complete something before the meeting to give structure. The Manager to make notes during the conversation, however not to fill in the form as this will definitely break the magic.

“Show Off” as an employee this is your time to shine. Bring examples of work that you are proud of and time where you worked well with team members. Owning your own self development and knowing where you want to go with your career.

Feedback is vital from both parties. Acknowledging what has gone well and acknowledging projects that could have been tackled differently. Good idea to use a framework whether it be positive or constructive, look at the elements you want to talk about. We call it an SBI:-

Situation – what happened and when?

Behaviour – how did you respond and react?

Impact – was it positive or could you have done it differently?

The appraisal is not just about the years performance you can also talk about career development. The future is incredibly inspiring and it would be limiting to just talk about where the employee was now. Hopes and dreams are in the future.

The appraisal is a motivational exercise and the employee should leave on a high with a clear idea of where their future is heading.

Please do get in touch if you would like a workshop on “How to get the best out of Appraisals…?” bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence

Out of which maze…

Dr. Spencer Johnson wrote the follow up to “Who moved my cheese…?” and called it “Out of the maze” he delivered it to his publishers shortly before he died in July 2017. Very poignantly the book includes a letter he wrote to his own tumour. The belief he attached to the tumour was fear until he realised that if he loved the tumour, he would become far more appreciative of the life he had left and ultimately more loving to his family and friends.

For those of you who have not read the bestseller “Who moved my cheese…?’ the theme is that cheese is a metaphor for what you want to have in life and the maze is where you look for what you want.  The book emphasises the need to adapt to change and move with the cheese.

“Out of the maze” picks up with one of the characters who was left in the maze Hem, and the book asks the question what if you don’t know where to begin.

The central character (Hem) is locked by the fact change has happened and the belief that things will never be the same.  However he meets the character “Hope” who says “Maybe they can turn out better than they were…”

We have beliefs that we get locked into and they can hold you prisoner in a mindset.  A belief is a thought that you trust is true, which can be either hold you down or lift you up.  Therefore you can change your mind if you choose a new belief.   You must not become the belief, you are the person who chooses your beliefs.

The book “Out of the maze…” goes even further by saying – there are no limits to what you can believe.   You can simply change your mind by having new beliefs.

Sometime we have to believe before we can see the result so that we get into the right frame of mind.

An example:- believe you can sell your business before you have put it on the market and then you will do all that is necessary to get it ready to sell

On the journey to get out of the maze the character had to lose old baggage which is a metaphor for old thinking and beliefs.   We often on the journey have to seek out the very things we have always avoided.  Explore what has until now always seemed impossible.

The reflections at the end of the book, put it very succinctly “The Maze I need to get out of? is my own thinking”

Please do get in touch  bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, personal impact, Relationships

How to never eat alone…?

Keith Ferrazzi wrote the book “Never eat alone” back in 2005 it laid out the steps and the inner mindset he uses to reach out to colleagues, friends and the thousands of people who have helped him. Originally the books was going to be called “You can’t get there alone”

Ferrazzi was the son of a steelworker and a cleaner who wanted him to have the best start. He was able to advance to Yale, Harvard and several top executive posts. The most remarkable part of his achievements was the network he created from Washington to Hollywood.

His form of connecting was based on the generosity of helping friends connect with other friends. He distinguishes this as genuine relationship building not the crude glad-handing associated with networking.

These are just some of his thoughts and tips:-

  • No-one can achieve their goals without others
  • To build relationships over a lifetime – you will need intimacy, generosity, candour and accountability.
  • You can’t get very far alone.
  • Treat your life as one big event, relationship building (not networking)
  • Give before you receive
  • Follow up quickly within 12 or 24 hours of that initial meeting
  • Be you
  • Be of service – “how can I help you…?”

The book is divided into four sections which give you a great compass as to how to get to the level of relationship building of Ferrazzi.

  • The mind-set
  • The skill-set
  • Turning connections into compatriots
  • Trading up and giving back

To understand more about the book, please do come to the nuggets book club this week, for more details please get in touch bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Decision Making, Leadership

Tough Calls

Tough calls by Allan Leighton was written in 2011 however the book is so timely now and could really do with a update to help decisions people have been making during the pandemic.

Leighton starts the book, with his own personal tough call, as to whether to take a position with Asda after 18 years with Mars.

As a leader it is almost always the difficult decisions that end up on your desk. If everything is ticking along nicely most people don’t need to bother the Leader. It is only when things get choppy that people turn for help and that generally happens at 3.30pm on a Friday afternoon.

Leighton explains how decisions can be broken into categories:-

Radical decision – when things within an organisation’s control have gone badly wrong and urgently need addressing

Crisis decision – external factors takeover and you are hit by a challenge or a disaster

Opportunity decision – there is a potential takeover or merger

Progress decision – smaller scale decisions that businesses face everyday

These categories of decisions form the basis of part one of the book. The second section is all about “road testing a tough call”. Testing the vision, and deciding whether leadership Vs consensus is the right approach. Most importantly as a leader the moment when it is right to change your mind.

Part three of the book, is “Seeing it Through”. Have you got the right people on board and have you won hearts and minds. Finally are you communicating on message.

We all make decisions everyday. Most of them are pretty straightforward, but every so often there are some really tough calls. In business the choices that executives make can make the difference between success and ongoing prosperity or failure and financial disaster.

We will be reviewing Tough Calls at nuggets book club this Friday at 10.00am. Please do send me an email if you wish to attend bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in coaching, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, personal impact, Relationships, Stress management

Speaking to yourself as you would to a friend…

I recently reviewed the book “The Kindness Method” by Shahroo Izadi who explains how harsh we are on ourselves. She says you would not be that fierce with a friend so why are we with ourselves. This morning I came across this story which completely reinforces her theory.

In his book, Feeling Great, Dr. David Burns recounts a conversation with a carpenter, Frank, who was painting his house. One day, upon returning home, Dr. Burns noticed a change in Frank’s usually sunny disposition and asked if he was feeling alright.

“I’m getting old,” he confessed, fighting back tears. “My body won’t be able to keep up the same pace for much longer. I’m worried that I might not have enough money to support my wife and me when I retire. “I’ve never accomplished anything meaningful or significant in my life.”

Feeling bad for Frank, Dr. Burns asked if he could try something helpful called the double standard technique.

Here’s how he describes it,

“When we’re upset or fall short of our goals, we tend to beat up on ourselves with harsh criticisms. But if we were talking to a dear friend with the same exact problem, we’d do so in a far more compassionate, supportive, and realistic way. Once you’re aware of this, you can ask yourself if you’d be willing to talk to yourself in the same compassionate way you’d talk to a dear friend.”

After asking what he would say to a friend in his position, Frank replied that he would remind that friend that he and his wife would have a decent retirement and be fine even if he decided to retire someday. Moreover, he would assure his friend that he had never once received a complaint about his work, not even once, nor had he ever cheated anyone—and that’s as meaningful as it is significant.

Much to Frank’s surprise, his sadness wasn’t caused by his age, nor his fear of financial hardship come retirement, but rather, his negative thoughts.

The story resonates for the times we are in at the moment we all need to be kind to each other and give more feedback than usual. We need to give authentic praise that has true value within it. Say what the person has done well, but substantiate with evidence and make it specific to that individual. Most importantly try giving yourself some value based praise, we all need a boost.

Please do get in touch with nuggets for a short workshop or coaching by contacting bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk