Jun 112020
 

Greetings!

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

These are important questions – and given the unique circumstances Covid19 has presented us with – maximizing our time is even more of a priority.

If you are chalk-full of time management strategies, but continue to feel overworked and overwhelmed, here are three ideas that may help you gain more control. They include creating your time philosophy, activating time policies and towing your own time party line.

Let’s talk about your time philosophy.  Most of us don’t take the time to think deeply about our time. But if you want to maximize your time it’s crucial you know the answers to the following questions:  How do you view your time? What do you want from your time?  How do you want to spend your time?  How do you want to feel as you spend your time?  Your answers to these questions will help you form your time philosophy.

My time philosophy is, “I’m better when I’m rested, focused and clear”.

Here are some 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,
  • I have the freedom to choose how I spend my time,
  • 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?

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 time policy I’ve had for well over 15 years, is that I don’t work on Fridays. When my kids were little, I took Fridays to volunteer in their classrooms. Now that they’re grown, I use Fridays to attend my favorite writing group.  By honoring this policy, I’m able to focus on and attend to the 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 I’m available to meet.  When you take control and honor your time policies, you’ll find that you have enough time to focus on what’s important to you.

More policy examples I’ve heard clients 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?

Now that you have a philosophy and policies around your time, let’s focus on your party line.  Your party line is a sentence you repeat so often that 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 is a challenge in many ways and it is not common practice. But when you master maximizing your time, you’re the one in 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 Myth of Time Management HERE.  And, if you enter Coupon Code MYTHBONUS you’ll get it for free!  😉

Have a great week!

With gratitude,
Erin

 

 

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

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

Hey, don’t keep this information to yourself! If you like what you read here, pass it along! Just share this article using the links below!

Apr 152016
 

 

We all mess up.

It’s part and parcel of being a human being.

You miss a deadline;

You flub a speech;

You hurt feelings;

You fail a test;

You forget important dates or events;

You blow an important job interview;

You send a nasty email out of anger;

It happens.

How you handle mistakes or failures makes a big difference.

When you beat yourself up, rehashing the situation, over and over, like a movie reel playing the same old scene in your head, you tend to stay stuck.  And although it’s healthy to acknowledge mistakes, when you stay in that space, it can quickly become toxic.

Choosing to find the opportunity in the failure, on the other hand, empowers you, enhances your resilience and creativity, and allows you to learn, grow and make better or different choices in the future.

Here are a few tips to help you process failures and move forward:

ONE

Ask, what’s the learning for me here?   What can I take away from this and do differently next time?

There is always learning in every failure, every mistake.  Isn’t that magnificent?!

Take time to discover the learning, and then use that learning as you continue to move forward.  Maybe you need to tighten your schedule, or say NO more often, or maybe you need to hire an assistant (or delegate) to relieve some of your workload.  The learning is yours, and it’s there for you if only you take the time to seek it.

TWO

Own it.  Some failure is due to others’ actions and some is due to our own.  Acknowledge your role in the failure. No one likes an excuse-maker, or a blamer, so own your role, make amends, if necessary.

Then, give yourself the space and time to pick apart what went wrong; take an honest account of the situation.  This isn’t a license to dwell and brood.  This is time to really, honestly, authentically reflect on what went wrong so that you can keep from making the same mistake next time.

THREE

Shift your perspective. Most of us look at failure as the worst thing that can possibly happen.  Not so (from my perspective).  Failure is evidence that you are moving forward, taking risks, and stretching yourself.  Growing.

Everyone makes mistakes.  Lighten up on yourself (and others!).  The key is the learning you take away and then moving forward and using that learning to take better action.

FOUR

Acknowledge your progress.  Too often we are so focused on our lack of progress that we fail to acknowledge how far we’ve come, all that we’ve accomplished.  Take the opportunity to write down all of your accomplishments, all of your strengths, all of your learning’s and discoveries.  You might just be amazed at all the great stuff you’ve learned and accomplished, despite a failure or two!

FIVE

Be easy on yourself.  I’m going to say it again (in case you didn’t hear me the first time); we all make mistakes.  Are you going to continue to grow, try, learn and expand by being hard on yourself?  Probably not.  Well at least not with ease and grace.  So go easy on yourself; pat yourself on the back for trying something new, stretching beyond your comfort zone, being honest.

And remember, “Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”  Henry Ford

Good luck & have fun playing with these concepts.

Erin

And, hey, don’t keep this information to yourself! If you like what you read here, pass it along! Just share this article using the links below!