Erin Mecseji

Nov 142019
 

Greetings!

As human beings we are designed and driven to preserve our relationships. And, one of the ways we do that is by saying yes – often at the expence of our own time, choices, and sanity.  But here’s the thing; if you want to live a life of engagement, purpose and passion, you need to be able to say NO more often, so that you can focus on what’s important to you.

Listen to my thoughts on my own relationship with NO in this week’s video:

What's Your Relationship to No?

And, if you’d like more ideas to increase your confidence, download my free publication 27 Ways to Say No.

Enjoy!

With gratitude,

Erin

Nov 122019
 

Greetings!

I see it all the time, clients who work really hard every day but make very little progress towards their goals. The frustration is palpable. They show up for their call, defeated, and absolutely at a loss for what to do differently to get the results they want.  The first thing we do is identify their action afflictions – those actions prohibiting them from gaining traction and achieving their goals.

There are typically three types of action afflictions:

  1. You’re taking too much action – it’s unfocused and works against you;
  2. You’re taking too little action – you’re unsure of how to move forward, so you take action in haphazard and intermittent fits and starts;
  3. You’re taking the wrong action – you’re busy doing lots and lots of things, but not the things that will lead you where you want to go.

 None of these is good.

But taking effective action is actually a simple two-step process, that when followed, allows you to accomplish your goals more easily, quickly and confidently.

Step One: Planning the action.  Unfortunately, most people skip this critical phase and jump straight into the action part. But skipping the planning process is setting yourself up for failure. Planning the action is taking a moment to reflect on what you want to accomplish, determine what you need to focus on to accomplish that, identify most important action steps you can take, and then finally, determine what obstacles might get in your way so you can mitigate them.

Step Two: Taking effective action. As implied, taking effective action is all about motion, traction and momentum. It’s designed to get you where you want to go. Once you’re clear about what you want to achieve and the best way to achieve it, you can jump into action and simply work your plan. There is no more deliberating or deciding, no bouncing or spinning, because you’ve already spent your time planning.

By investing just minutes to the planning process and then taking targeted action, you can shave hours, weeks and even months off the time it takes you to reach your goal.  And, you do better work, avoid burning out, and take control of your time and focus.

What are your action afflictions?  Before you jump into action today, pause, and take some time to reflect and to plan.  I think you’ll find you get way more done – and as I said before, more easily and quickly!  Give it a try!  And, let me know how ti works!


If you could use more strategies (and support and accountability) to help you be your most productive self, please consider joining Getting an Edge.  The next program begins January, 2020.  You can find more information by visiting Getting an Edge Program.

AND…if you join before December 31st, you’ll receive a complimentary 1-hour strategy session with me (a $350 value).


Enjoy!

Erin

Oct 232019
 

Greetings!

I work with clients every week to help them maximize their time.  We talk about strategies and practices they can use to to get their work and obligations done easily and quickly.  And even then, they often come back and ask, how do I make it workhow do I preserve my timehow do I make sure other people respect the time boundaries I’ve set?

If you are chalk-full of time management strategies and still feel overworked and overwhelmed, here are three ideas that may help you gain more control. They include: philosophypolicies and party line.

ONE

Let’s talk about your time philosophy.   How do you view your time? What do you want from your time?  How do you want to spend your time?  These questions help you form your time philosophy.   My time philosophy is, “I’m better when I’m rested, focused and clear”.

Here are others I’ve heard:

  • I make the most of my time,
  • My work time and home time don’t overlap,
  • I make time for me every day,
  • I have the freedom to choose how I spend my time,
  • The perfect is the enemy of the good,
  • To waste time is to waste life.

Without a time philosophy, my calendar can quickly grow gangly and out of control, and I can find myself facing busier days, working longer hours, and quickly feeling tired and burned-out.  As you can imagine, that way of working doesn’t support my coaching client work, where I’m at my best when I’m fresh, focused and completely present.

What is your time philosophy?

TWO

Once you have a philosophy, you can craft your time policies. Your time policies are the decisions you make about how you’ll use your time, what boundaries you’ll set, and what you will and will not agree to.

One policy I’ve had for over 15 years, is that I don’t work on Fridays. When my kids were little, I took Fridays to volunteer in their classrooms. Today, I use it to attend my favorite weekly writing group.  By honoring this policy I’m able to focus on, and attend to, the important task that doesn’t always get my attention during the week– writing.  On Friday, no work, just writing.  If someone wants to schedule a meeting on Friday, I offer other days that I’m available to meet.  When you take control and honor your policies, you’ll find you have enough time to focus on what’s important.

More policy examples my clients have set:

  • I don’t schedule meetings before 9 or after 4pm,
  • I turn my computer off until the kids are in bed,
  • Never open my email before planning the day.

What policies could you set around your time?

THREE

So now that you have a philosophy and policies around your time, let’s focus on the party line.  The party line is a sentence you repeat so often it rolls off your tongue easily and effortlessly.

My party line is, if it’s not on the calendar it’s not going to happen. Here are some other examples of party lines that I have heard from clients:

  • Every agenda needs to have an objective,
  • Before we meet we need to know the outcome,
  • We only meet if everyone is present,
  • We never double book our meetings.

What is your party line?

Maximizing your time with a time philosophy, policies and a party line gives you back control of your time and how you use it.

If you’d like more strategies to help maximize your time, download my special publication The Myths of Time Management HERE.  And, if you enter Coupon Code MYTHBONUS you’ll get it for free for a limited time!  😉

Enjoy!

Apr 192016
 

 

Picture this. Your boss asks you to work late but you promised your son you’d be at his soccer game that evening.  You say yes to your boss and walk away with a pit in your stomach.   As you walk back to your office thoughts like ”why didn’t I just say no…what’s my son going to think…why is it so hard for me to honor my boundaries?” stream through your head.

This is never an easy situation.

Saying NO to someone (no matter who it is) is never easy.  But it is “easier” when you have clear, healthy boundaries.

Boundaries are like an invisible fence.  This invisible fence keeps in what you do want in your life — things like hard work, family, health, trust, happiness, commitment.   At the same time, this special fence keeps outthose things you don’t want in your life – things like stress, disappointment, overwhelm, struggle, heaviness.

The problem is that most of us don’t have this fence because we haven’t established strong, clear, healthy boundaries.

In my experience clients start out in one of three boundary categories: No Boundaries, Squishy Boundaries or Rigid Boundaries.

No Boundaries.  This category somewhat speaks for itself.  But it’s safe to say that people who fall into this category suffer greatly because they don’t know how to say NO and their focus is typically on pleasing other people at the expense of their own peace of mind.  People with no boundaries often feel and appear like the victim.

Squishy Boundaries. People with Squishy boundaries are inconsistent with maintaining their boundaries.  Whether or not they enforce a particular boundary depends on their mood, the situation, or the person challenging their boundary. People with Squishy boundaries often merge with other people’s boundaries and because of this they are easily manipulated.

Common statements from clients with squishy boundaries sound like:

** I feel like people take advantage of me,

** I feel guilty for saying “NO”,

** My time is often highjacked by other people,

** My choices are often dictated by what others want,

** I often feel like the victim,

** I often feel anxious or afraid.

Rigid Boundaries.  With rigid boundaries there is no grey area.  There is only black and white.  I like to think of rigid boundaries as barriers because they don’t allow for connection — they keep people out, and prevent closeness and developing relationships.  Rigid boundaries are created from a place of fear and/or control.

Comments from clients with rigid boundaries sound like:

** I feel confined,

** I am unclear about why they are setting a boundary in the first place,

** I feel in “control” but not in a healthy way,

** I feel isolated,

** I feel angry (again, because they’re not sure why they are sticking to a particular rigid boundary).

The goal when I’m working with clients one on one or presenting a workshop on boundaries is to move clients away from boundaries that keep them stuck to more flexible boundaries that allow them freedom and choice.

Flexible Boundaries When a person has flexible boundaries it doesn’t mean that they change with the wind.  It simply means they are set with love, intention and self awareness, and that they get to choose what to let in or what to block out.  They are at choice.   These are the strongest healthiest boundaries.

Now, listen to what clients with clear, well-thought-out, flexible boundaries often say:

**I live with intention,

**People respect me more (ironically),

**I know what’s important to me and I honor that,

**People know they can count on me,

**I feel at peace,

**I feel comfortable with myself and my choices.

What a difference!

So what do you choose?  Do you choose the struggle of living without boundaries?  Or do you choose the power of taking control of your choices and of yourself?

And, remember, the strongest and healthiest boundaries are set from love not fear.

Stay tuned for my next newsletter where we’ll explore boundary types and areas to look at when setting your boundaries.

And, check out this free download of questions to help you determine where you might need stronger, healthier boundaries in your life.   You can access it here:  http://www.encompass-coaching.com/OrderCreatingBoundaries

Good luck & have fun playing with these concepts.

Erin

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Apr 162016
 

 

Are you living your passion or just going thru the motions?

Going through the motions looks like being frantically busy but feeling like you’re not accomplishing much.  It looks like struggle, anxiety, overwhelm, indecision, static, limited, heaviness.  Picture paddling up stream with only one paddle.  It looks like following other people’s rules, ignoring your inner-voice.

On the other hand, living with passion looks like living with a sense of excitement, possibility, creative energy, enthusiasm, motivation, and a focus and drive that are hard to derail.

When you live with passion life flows; it has meaning and purpose.  When you ignore your passion life is complicated, full of roadblocks (perhaps the Universe trying to tell us something?).

Going through the motions feels like the Winnie the Pooh character Eeyore. Although a loveable character, he seems to be followed by misfortune and a dark gray cloud overhead.

Living your passion feels like Woohoo!  It’s one heck of a roller-coaster ride.

Realizing and living your passion, though, takes dedication, courage and commitment. It’s not always easy.

With so many competing ideas, opinions and options available to us, it’s difficult to stay the course.  Following your passion means saying no to the nay-sayers and yes to yourself and what you want for your life.

Living your passion means you might even disappoint people in your life – your family, friends, co-workers, boss. You might even anger some people who are resistant to your change.

This is where the commitment to yourself comes in; continuing to honor and work towards fulfilling your dreams and your passion even though not everyone agrees with you.

So by this time your probably saying to yourself, “Sounds great, Erin, but how exactly do I find my passion?”

Here are some ideas.

ONE

Slow down.  In this increasingly busy world, taking time to sit quietly and breathe sounds like fantasy.  The thing is, it’s really difficult to connect with your passion when you’re mind and body are in constant motion. So, give yourself a break (literally). Take time to breathe deeply, slow your mind and reflect.  Here are some questions to ask yourself:

What do you dream about that is so audacious you dare not tell anyone?

What are you longing to do?

TWO

Think big. You are more than your job or your title. You are more than your familial or your financial status.  You are so much more!  So think beyond just you and your sphere. Think about the city or state in which you live.  Or, really challenge yourself and think globally.  The idea is to think outside yourself and ask yourself what’s important.  Here are some prompts:

What causes are important to you?

Where do you volunteer your time and resources?

What about these causes is important to you?

THREE

Embrace your strengths.  We all have strengths; those things we do particularly well, often without much thought.  Do you know what they are?  If yes, that’s great!  If not, get to know them.  Your strengths can point you in the direction of your passion.

What specific talents do you have?

What do you get lost in doing?

What activities are you passionate about?

FOUR

Have fun. Although finding your passion is serious business, it’s important to tap into the lighter side. 

What activities bring great joy, laughter and inspiration to your life?

What do you want more of in you life?

FIVE

Embrace Fear. Yep, I said it.  Embrace fear.  Fear is crucial to finding your passion for two reasons.  One, it lets you know you may be onto something. And, two, it inspires action.  If you face your fear, if you’re curious about what it’s telling you, you’ll have the chance to move beyond it to what’s waiting for you on the other side…passion.

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

What is your fear telling you?

What is your authentic self telling you? (at this point the Gremlin usually appears with a whole list of why and how it won’t work. This is great and generally means you are on to something!)

It’s never too late to pursue your passion! Don’t let fear, negativity or other people stand in the way of you fulfilling your dreams!  The cost is too high!

However, the payoff of living a purposeful and passion-filled life, one filled with commitment, inspiration and motivation is priceless and well worth the effort!  Dream big!  Live large!

And remember…The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

Enjoy your learnings.

Erin

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