Posted in Bite size learning, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, Time management

Taking back control…

Don’t just be a follower in the office world, start to lead your behaviours and your thinking.  Take back control of your time and your mental well being.

Challenge your attendance at meetings by ensuring you know the purpose before you attend.  If you are chairing the meeting keep it short and memorable. More than three participants will it really give you the answers you need.

Manage your email by booking an appointment with it, don’t drift in and out of your in-box, a lot will be irrelevant and take your mind away from work.

Type messages on a proper keyboard, nothing is that urgent that you have to resort to a tiny phone key pad or use emojis for real actions.  Everyone can wait.

Always have a proper to-do list and rank the items in order “what if…?” If that task was not completed what would be the worst that could happen.

Be realistic and only write down the tasks you will really complete that day.  Create buckets for the other tasks, e.g. weekly, monthly and overall project list.

Pick up the phone more and speak to a “real” person, often quicker than the email, to get your view across takes many written words.

Ensure that you do not have your phone with you at meal times, enjoy the ritual of eating again. Go a stage further and ask that there are no phones at your meeting, (it will be a lot faster with no distractions).

Give yourself space and time for thinking, book an appointment for it.

Take back control and lead your life.

Please do get in touch for 1:1 coaching or a Time Management workshop bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

 

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Posted in Decision Making, Leadership, mindfulness, motivation

Being a Washington Correspondent…

The St Catherines School auditorium was packed with political enthusiasts waiting for the interview with the BBC Washington correspondent Gary O’Donoghue.

We were only two minutes in before President Trump was mentioned. The special relationship between the UK and the US in Trump’s eyes was helped with us leaving the EU. Although Gary did say it is very hard explaining to everyone in the US that we haven’t actually left yet…

The next term or election in the US will be key to the political landscape. Names to be aware of are Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and of course Trump himself. The encumbancy carries force although there is a feeling that Trump may simply get bored.

How serious is the Muller investigation for Trump, and the answer was not necessarily the Russian collusion, but more importantly the obstruction of justice by firing the Head of the FBI.

The constant turnaround of Advisors and the ability to second guess Trump’s thinking makes for constant instability.

Understanding the gun culture in the US and the 2Nd amendment is hard for us in the UK.   The beliefs for the right to own a gun are engrained. A constitutional amendment will not happen. However awareness since the Las Vegas mass shooting rose to 40% and then more recently with Florida to 50%. There have been and will be more changes around gun control.

“Black lives matter” has been amplified by social media however statistically there is much disparity with length of life still in the US.

The US is polarised on so many fronts, whether it be north/south, black/white, Democrats/Republicans…the list goes on.

Gary was asked how he coped with his blindness in regard to his job. He admitted to falling off 3 train platforms but was still here to tell the tale. He wore down many girlfriends in the early days by getting them to read press cuttings out loud. He is now very liberated by the use of his iPhone.

He explained how he started as a freelancer for the BBC through a friend of his fathers. Commitment and new ideas are the ingredients to being a successful journalist.

How does living as a blind person in the US compare to the UK. In the US you can plug in headphones to cashpoints in the UK you rely on honesty and kindness. Gary showed his notepad which he described as his 2nd right arm.

Cane or Guide Dog is evidently like the marmite question to a blind person. Gary favours cane at this stage in his life, with his job and travel.

Before we led into the numerous questions – Gary introduced the charity for the retiring fund – Clear Vision. The books are for sighted and unsighted individuals so the joy of reading can be shared by both at the same moment in time.

Gary said that politicians in general aim to “simplify and exaggerate” and he certainly as a journalist demystified for the audience the US, The White House, Washington and being blind. It was a privilege to be a member of the audience.

 

 

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Decision Making, Goals, mindfulness

Life and a mobile phone…

This weekend my phone suddenly switched off, and my daughter said “It’s too cold”.  Suddenly the phone did not seem that dissimilar to us as humans.  The functioning capacity was directly affected by adverse weather.

Therefore taking the mobile phone as a metaphor how similar is it to the life you live.

  • It often recharges at night, as we do with a decent 8 hours if we are lucky.
  • When we are lost it is very good at getting us to where we need to get to.  Having goals and a clear direction in life often means you find the path you have chosen.
  • If we have too many Apps/windows open at one time it drains the battery.  This can be compared with too much going on in your mind and losing the ability to make good decisions.
  • Phones can be unpredictable, switching themselves off and always running out of battery when you least expect it.  We often have mood swings which can be triggered by something personal or as simple as a change in our working environment.
  • The immediacy of a phone for communication is good and bad, it is always there.  We are the same with our powers of conversation, we can speak at any moment in time, however the skill of choosing the right time and when to be silent.
  • When a phone is in Airplane mode we can use the functions, but we are not in contact with the outside world.  Should we be in Airplane mode when with our family, we are functioning but not being disturbed by the outside world.
  • Rarely do we go for the full shut down on the phone.  This could be the time when we are on holiday, there is no signal on the beach so why not put yourself into total shut down.

Just like mobile phones we do have the ability to control the choices we make in life, we are the operator of our lives.

Please do contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk for 1:1 coaching or a workshop on communication.

Posted in Change management, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, motivation, personal impact, Stress management

The right attitude…

Last Monday I was fortunate enough to attend a talk by James Shone from the charity

“I Can and I Am”.

James has an amazing story from being a House Master to applying to be a Head and in his words landing the “dream” job.  Part of the selection process was a medical, where James discovered he had a brain tumour.  Surgery and a journey of recovery began with the “dream” job disappearing, James found a new purpose.

He set up the charity, “I Can and I Am” to inspire confidence in secondary school children through inspirational talks.

He started on Monday by sharing his own story and then talking to us as parents about how we can work with our children to give them the confidence to believe they can do anything.

His first top tip UFO Vs DBI, the abbreviations stand for Up, Forward and Out and Down, Back and In.  If we always look up and forward and out, we can see the big sky with all the possibilities.  Down back and in, begins that self limiting inner dialogue and where we over analyse events.

As a teacher he was keen for us to understand the progress made by teaching being evaluated by outside influence e.g. Ofsted.  However we are still focusing very much on a funnel all the good stuff goes in, however the system only focuses on that very tight tube at the end of the funnel, academic results.

Teenagers today are spending so much time on their phones which as we know releases the addictive Dopamine in our brain.  We need to unlock other passions and all of this can start at 14 years of age.

As parents we can look to a 3B continuum:-

  • Between – controlling (when they are young and dependent)
  • Beside – journey with them (understanding their life and the gradual steps of independence)
  • Behind – I am here if you need me – the ultimate interdependence

Every child needs a confidence boost and James used the example of an ordinary balloon.  We can either choose to inflate their confidence or deflate, knocking their self worth.  If they are constantly deflated it is like driving a car with a flat tyre, progress is slow and damaging.

There are four things we can ensure:-

  1. Belong – do they feel part of something, do they have a role
  2. Valued – embedding a growth mindset (Carol Dweck) “I can’t do it” should become “I can’t do it yet…”
  3. Good at something – look at the multiple intelligences by Professor Howard Gardner.  We all have strengths in areas that need to be uncovered by the people around us
  4. Future secure – setbacks are viewed as a springboard.  We may fall down but how quickly do we get back up and focus on the future.

We must give our teenagers authentic praise by ensuring we say:-

  • “I noticed…
  • “I heard…
  • “I saw…

Firsthand commentary of what they are doing well and it is our job to build those affirmations in their heads.

We have responsibility to demonstrate our own love of life be the role model with the right attitude.

We might not have a story as big as James Shone, however we can ensure that we smile and dance when we put the dishwasher on.  Talk about your work with passion and share your life with your teenagers.  Behaviour is contagious lets get them talking and off the screen.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Goals, mindfulness, motivation

Complete a goal on a high…

The achievement of completing a goal can make you feel proud and satisfied, however there is another part of you that mourns the loss of the work.  The adrenalin and energy you poured into the goal can fade very quickly if you have not adopted long term habits that can be sustained you begin to question the accomplishment.   Avoid creating a vacuum when the goal is complete.

The feelings people might feel at the end of the goal are:-

  • Disappointment
  • Feeling lost
  • Exhausted

Disappointment may occur if the goal was to easy or if you were so unrealistic you did not achieve it .  There is a fine balance between stretch and achieveable.  To avoid disappointment ensure that you have milestones in place along the journey.  Those milestones can be new rituals that you keep in place long after the goal.  If you want to increase your revenue you would set a target and the milestones would be to make one new business call a week and one meeting a month (they will stay in place once you have smashed the revenue).

Feeling lost, could well mean there is not enough rigour around the goal.  Did you map it out and plan what it looked like.  Identifying where you want to be at certain points lets you know that you are on track.  If you see setting goals as a journey, you need to know which destination point you have arrived at, and how long it took you to get there.  This often means that you might need to tweak it.  Companies split the year into quarters which is good way of assessing where you are e.g. by Q1 …

Exhausted is very close to exhilaration and elation.  Build into your goal planning, celebrating and relaxing.  If we don’t mark the finishing line the fatigue will run into the next set of goals.

Please do contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk for a Goals workshop.

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, mindfulness

Review of the year

To make the best of 2018 we have stop and ask questions about the year that has just passed.

Take time to think about the answers to the following questions:-

  • What were the 5 best days in 2017?
  • List 3 achievements in 2017
  • Who were the people in 2017 who cared and supported you?

Creating a plan for 2018 is easier once you have the answers to 2017:-

  • Holidays that you are going to take, where and when?
  • 3 Big goals that you are going to undertake
  • Days and events that you would like to happen (might be replicating some of your best days in 2017)
  • Ask yourself how do you want to feel in December 2018?
  • Who are the key people you need around you in 2018?

The exercise is best done visually by using post-it notes so that you create a picture of both years beside each other.

We control our own destinies, make 2018 a fantastic year.

For a workshop on goal setting or personal impact please contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Sleep the new drug…

Sleep is the new drug in town.  We reach for the pain killers and eventually we might take to our bed.  However what if we saw sleep as a preventative drug.

Matthew Walker is the director at the Centre for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley, he has spent the last 20 years studying “sleep”.

“When have you ever seen an NHS poster urging sleep?’ – “when did a Doctor prescribe sleep not sleeping pills, sleep loss costs the UK economy more than £30bn a year in the lost revenue” 

Sleep resets our body and brain by working on the following:-

  • memory
  • emotional stability
  • immune system

When we sleep it is like hitting the save button on your memories.  Studies have also shown that we can learn new facts much better after a good 8 hours.  The Hippocampus in the brain is the memory in-box.   MRI scans of sleep deprived individuals show the lack of activity or using the metaphor of the in-box no new files.

Sleep manages emotional volatility, scans of the brain show the Amygdala has increased activity with sleep deprived individuals.  So for our emotional well being 8 hours sleep a night is the best recovery.

Our physicality is improved with sleep as we have natural killer cells, our immune cells who work during the night.  The World Health Organisation has now identified that shift workers are at risk due to poor sleeping routines.

Sleep resets your body and brain so go out there and reclaim it and make sure it is the full 8 hours.