Tag Archives: time management

Intent of the Day: Tackle the Little Tasks

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Procrastinating? If you’re like us, it’s possible that you aren’t running from a single huge task, but rather a hundred tiny tasks that have been hanging over you. The more you postpone, the more stress and anxiety builds over things that were never meant to take more than a couple moments of your time. What’s the solution? Rather than become bogged down by maintaining our lives,  our intent is to take care of the little tasks.

You too? here are 3 things to help: Continue reading

Success has many friends! Goal Setting is One of Them

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www.insightful-coaching.com

Most people want to be successful, wouldn’t you agree? Whether it is at home, work, affiliations, social settings, etc. most of us want to feel the rewards of success: achievement, happiness and fulfillment, right?

What I have found is that even though most people want all that, a very few are willing to do the work that it takes to create success in most areas, unless you are extremely lucky.

As I worked in various positions in my management career, people said to me: “Oh, you have the easy task-job-position-area of responsibility. That is why you are so successful. Over and over again.

However, those same people were not willing to put in the time, energy, and passion that I was to earn that success. In some of those positions, it took eighty hours per week most weeks and one week it was one hundred hours! I know this because it cost me my first marriage. Continue reading

Getting Past Feeling Overwhelmed and Finding Focus

focusLast week seemed to be Overwhelm Week with my clients. Several were excited for their coaching to work through work and life situations that made them feel completely overwhelmed. And with feeling overwhelmed comes paralysis – they become so aware of how overwhelmed they are, that their energy focuses on them, their problems, the volume and the helplessness, they then have no energy left to get things done (to eliminate the feeling of overwhelm). They are stuck. Nothing happens.

Though getting past overwhelm requires also getting organized and building priorities (what’s urgent, what’s important and what’s both), the key to its undoing is an understanding our personal energy. Here is what I share with my clients about energy and how energy is the gateway to staying organized and getting the important things in work and life done.

Energy is catabolic (diminishing and unproductive) or anabolic (growing and productive). Feeling overwhelmed naturally brings on our lowest level of energy (catabolic) – of feeling like a victim because the situation creating the feeling of being overwhelmed, owns us. We are at the effect of these events – it may be a demanding boss and work schedule; it may be a challenging home situation or a busy kids/household schedule; it may be worn out by caring for someone who is not well or trying to get yourself out of situation that needs changing (relationship, work, etc). The more we focus on how we feel in these events, the more we use our energy to focus on how bad our situation is. We are like a dog chasing its tail – the more we think about it, the worse we feel, so the more we think about it. This now uses up all of the energy needed to make changes – including getting organized, setting priorities and getting things done. We have to free ourselves from this catabolic energy in order to redirect our energy to being productive, or we will find our situation will never change.

People who are masters at getting things done, staying organized and moving things forward are this way because they change how they look at their world. Eckhard Tolle shares in his book, A New Earth, that we should be in only one of these three awakened modalities: acceptance, enjoyment or enthusiasm. Notice that all of these are positive energies. The reason for this is as energy moves from negative to positive (from victim to acceptance) we start to see how to move past where we are. We now have energy to consider how we might be able to organize our space, our work or our emotions. We have the energy to start to prioritize what is around us to get in it in an order that can make things happen. We become unstuck, unfrozen untrapped, and uncaught (I know I made up a few words, but I liked the rhythm…). We move out of victim and into conscious and powerful performer. All this can happen by seeing that we are stuck and choosing to focus on opportunities to get unstuck instead of staying in victim or helpless mode.

In helping my clients, I find our starting point is reviewing the thoughts, feelings and behaviors that are present in victim energy, and the thoughts, feelings and behaviors that are in opportunity energy. Many times by seeing that both of these are choices in the same circumstances, those who are stuck can start to visualize a way out. They are encouraged because they can see what success looks like and feel empowered enough to work through the situations that are creating their victim thinking.

We can’t be victim and optimist at the same moment. So the more we shift our thinking out of victim to optimist, the more energy we have available to focus on solutions, opportunities and possibilities. We stop making our discontentment and feeling overwhelmed the center of our energy. We can then find ways to make things happen.

Achieving means getting things done. Go for the fuel source – the energy. It creates the power to wake up like the person in the Lunesta commercials – ready and raring to go – to face the world – to make the to-do list – to organize their space – to create the priorities – and to get things done.

Why You Should Stop Making Excuses & Cook at Home

IMG_4493As a fitness expert, I know everyone wants to look like a supermodel and eat like Miss Piggy. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work unless you are one of those rare individuals with exceptional genetics and metabolism. Eating out all the time is too tempting and thus we blow our diets. So I recommend that most people cook at home. In most cases I encounter initial resistance, and a lot of “genuine” excuses. From my experience, the best training results from being careful about what you consume and eating a healthy, balanced, protein-rich diet with fiber, healthy carbs, and healthy oils. Unless you have a personal chef, you will need to shop wisely for healthy, affordable food and cook at least some of the time.

Let me share with you some objections to healthy food preparation that I have heard from my clients, along with my own commentary and insights:

“It’s too expensive for me”
True, it costs more to buy healthy food, but at the end of the day, it’s worth it to add a few more dollars to the grocery bill in order to boost your intake of essential vitamins and minerals for the benefit of your skin, hair, body and immune system. There’s no doubt organic food is more expensive than conventionally grown food, but it’s so worth it. It’s your body and you only get one. Even if you buy organic, cooking at home ends up being cheaper when you factor in the cost of health care. Food is prevention; food is a cure to whatever ails us. So many diseases are stopped dead in their tracks by your immune system when you get the nutrition your body needs. We are all exposed to the same environmental stressors (viruses, pollutants and so forth), but not everyone gets sick or to the same degree. Viruses are more likely to thrive in an unhealthy body that is full of pollutants such as chemical additives, preservatives and saturated fats and lacking in vitamins and minerals. Your immune system needs proper fuel to function. Invest in yourself and your health by cooking at home, and spare yourself the days off work, the medication, and the medical bills.

“I don’t have time”
Maintaining health takes time: time to train, to shop, to cook, to research, to plan, to attend workshops, to watch educational or inspirational videos. He who doesn’t invest time in his health will eventually spend that valuable time treating and recuperating from disease. Those who want something badly enough will find the time to accomplish it. If you are a busy person, simply cook for the whole week in advance on the weekend — partition the food into meal-sized portions in Tupperware containers and freeze half of it. Before you leave the house, just grab a container of prepared food and you have a healthy meal ready to eat. If mornings are chaotic and rushed, prepare your breakfast the day before. For example, prepare your shake/smoothie the night before by loading the blender with the various fruits and vegetables and put it in the refrigerator; then in the morning simply take it out, and the ice, liquids (almond milk etc.), powders (protein powder, green powder, etc.) and hit the Smoothie button. Or prepare steel-cut organic oatmeal the night before and reheat it in the morning for a quick and healthy breakfast.

“I have no idea how to cook”
Everyone has family (parents, aunts, uncles, cousins) or friends who know how to cook. Spend some quality time with them in the kitchen and — who knows — you might even enjoy it! Also, we live in the Internet age, with so many recipes, tips, and instructional videos available at our fingertips. With this wealth of information there’s no way you won’t understand how to cook. Be willing to experiment, to make mistakes, and it will turn out fine.

“I’m not a good cook”
This one is a total cop-out. This means you haven’t put enough effort into it. With enough trial and error, you will get to competence. There’s no need to cook gourmet meals to eat well and healthy. Start with something simple, like an omelet, and move on from there. Take it one step at a time, like a child learning to walk. You wouldn’t expect a baby to run long distances at one year old, so don’t set unreasonable expectations of yourself as a cook either. Encourage yourself every step of the way, celebrate your successes, and be patient with yourself. Like anything, the more you do it, the better you’ll be at it. One day you just might surprise yourself by teaching someone else to cook.

You can find me online at www.orionsmethod.com

6 Tips To Start Balancing Your Life Like a Boss

Screen Shot 2013-06-26 at 1.23.25 PMAs an entrepreneur with two young daughters and who holds family time as sacred time, runs a small tech-firm by day and, by night, works passionately building a second venture with a mission to empower others, I am constantly being asked, “How the heck do you balance it all?”

The truth is …. I don’t! And, before you click off this article thinking ‘well, thanks for nothing, lady’, just hear me out here! Nobody does. The word “balance” itself implies that some sort of destination has finally been met where the weight of one’s life has been distributed evenly in every regard: career, family, health, personal growth, relationships, self-care, etc. And, in this line of thinking, since you’ve already arrived, there is no need for improvement in any of these areas. But, it just doesn’t work that way! Even if all things are perfectly balanced for a moment (hooray!) – don’t blink because it just takes one of life’s infamous little curve balls to be thrown our way to completely knock everything out of whack.

So, instead, I personally work towards balancing my life. That little “ing” at the end of the word is oh so important. It implies that an action is taking place. And, balancing your life takes a lot of action. Daily action, even. It’s about developing a strong sense of awareness and checking in with yourself and your beloved ones on a regular basis to identify any areas that can use improvement. Are you getting enough quality times with the kids? Is your spouse feeling loved or neglected? Is your career or business running as smoothly as you would like? How are you feeling physically? Emotionally? Stressed? Are you feeling fulfilled at a soul level?

Keeping all of the balls in the air is no easy feat … especially if you are diving fully into the person you want to be. And, frankly, some days will be better than others. As humans we can only try our best. But, it is important to work consistently towards that sense of balance so that you can help others, take care of yourself, and make your impact in the world as stress-free and full of joy and love as possible.

When any one area of your life is significantly off-balance, it throws you off in every other aspect, taking you out of your “A” game and making you feel a little less awesome than you actually are.

Here are a few guidelines that will help you to maintain the harmony, peace, and balance in your life that we all yearn for!

  • Be your beautiful authentic self. You have to let go of any preconceived notions of what your life is “supposed” to look like. Definitely steer clear of comparing yourself to others. We all have different paths, circumstances, and dreams. What works for others might not work for you. Instead, focus on what you stand for. What is the impact YOU want to make in the world? Learn to be totally comfortable in your own authenticity. If there’s an area of your life that you are not completely satisfied with, then put in the work to change it! But, only do it because it aligns with your soul’s calling, not because it will make somebody else happy. You will never feel peace living the life somebody else has envisioned for you.
  • Accept with Gratitude. Life isn’t perfect. It gets messy sometimes – for all of us. So, we all need to learn how to dance in the storm. Your house is not always going to be spotless, you won’t be able to attend every single social event, you’re inevitably going to let your spouse or your kids down every once in awhile, and you may need to pass up on some seemingly awesome business opportunities. Being okay with that, accepting the imperfections, and seeing the beauty of your life with intense gratitude no matter what will give you that sense of balance even in chaotic times.
  • Prioritize. At this moment, what is most important to you? What or who lights you up? Are you spending a good amount of your time with the people that you love deeply and working on the projects you feel most passionate about? If not, where might you be a little off balance and need to pay more attention? Is there something sucking up a lot of your time that just doesn’t serve you or drive you closer to your vision? It may be time to cut back in some areas. (Yes, I’m talking to you Facebook and TV!)  And, most importantly, are you carving out some time for yourself too? Remember: If you crash and burn from not taking care of yourself, you won’t be any good to anybody else either.
  • Plan. Schedule everything! And, don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ to opportunities. Spontaneity sounds lovely, but reality is that if you have big dreams include balancing all aspects of your life, you must plan accordingly! I use technology to my advantage here with digital calendars that sync up to my apple products. Everything from date night to kids schedules to business meetings and workouts to when I am going to write (which is also planned in a separate editorial calendar) all get put on the schedule. I then have reminders pop up to keep me on task.  Take some of the pressure off yourself by extensively planning your days. Take time to step back and look at your big picture. Then take a step back in and plan out all the details. Whatever works for you, just use it consistently.
  • Check your Slices. A fun activity is to do is a goal wheel where you draw a circle and divide it up into even sections, like a pie cut into slices. Each section represents an area of your life. Perhaps your “slices” would be named: family, career, fun, personal growth, spiritual, relationships, self-care, money, etc, or whatever resonates with you. How much energy are you putting into each area and how satisfied do you feel? It’s normal to have a slice or two that are totally dominating while others are just a few puny crumbs. Identify this and work to even things out.
  • Reevaluate from a Birdseye View. Make sure you pop your head out of the weeds and grab yourself an aerial view of your life on a regular basis so you can get a good honest look at where you’re at. Where are things going well and where do you need to revamp or recharge? If it’s not easy to get your head out of the muck to really evaluate things, than hire yourself a personal coach to help you hone in.  A coach is one of the best investments you can ever make! But, if you just can’t afford it right now, at least get yourself a network of peers, friends, or family members who can help guide your way on. Multiple brains are better than one and sometimes it takes an outsider to really call us out on our sh*t.

Don’t worry about achieving perfect balance because that will never happen –  life just isn’t designed that way. However, making a conscious mindful effort to regularly check-in and evaluate things will help you tremendously in the delicate act of balancing.

How do you find balance in your life? Please feel free to share and discuss in the comments below!

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For more from Dawn, sign up here for Dawnsense delivered right to your inbox!  Please also join the Dawnsense Facebook community for more inspiration and support and visit her website to catch up on past blogs and videos.

How to Maximize the Use of Your Time

Ever feel completely stretched, like you are trying to balance five things at once? (Ever not feel that way?)

In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak Chopra discusses how to maximize the use of our time using a method he learned from UCLA professor Dr. Dan Siegel. The good news? You don’t have to be a superhero to achieve balance in your life; it just takes a bit of organization and planning.

The key is to divide our day up into segments: sleep time, exercise time, work time, down time, creative time, eating time, etc. Plan these segments mindfully (ie. you may feel like you should allow more time for working than for sleeping, but make sure mind, body and spirit activities get their fair share.)

Catching up on e-mail...While you are involved in a certain activity, Deepak advises, give it your full and undivided attention. Try not to check emails while you’re having dinner – a trap we all fall into occasionally but which can prevent us from fully experiencing both the work and the meal. Give this method a try and let us know how it goes!

Which activities are most important to you? Do you think it’s better to multi-task or focus on one thing at a time?

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and read more of Deepak’s tips in The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success!

photo by: Ed Yourdon

Unconscious Communication: Chronic Lateness

Addressing chronic lateness helps us to better honor both others and ourselves.
MeetingBeing late for an appointment or a date can seem like a small thing that really doesn’t matter, but it communicates volumes, whether we mean it to or not. Being kept waiting is an experience that almost no one enjoys, because at best, it wastes their time, and at worst, it indicates a lack of regard. It’s as if we’re saying that our time is more important than their time, so we don’t need to honor them by showing up when we said we would. When we are running late, it means a lot if we call and let the person know, especially if it’s going to be more than ten minutes. However, if we are chronically late, it may take more than a phone call to properly address the issue.

If it’s become a habit of ours not to be on time, we may want to look inside ourselves and see what’s going on. It’s easy enough to make excuses about our behavior, or to project responsibility on the other person, perceiving them to be uptight if they are irritated by our tardiness. What’s more difficult, and more meaningful, is looking at ourselves and asking why it is that we always, or often, show up late. Sometimes this happens out of a lack of self-regard, as if we aren’t really important anyway, so why will anyone care if we’re late, or don’t show up at all. Chronic lateness can also stem from being disorganized, or simply trying to do too much in one day. Another possible reason for being late to a particular appointment, or date, is that we don’t really want to be there. We communicate our disinterest or boredom by not showing up on time.

Whatever our reasons, if we raise them to the conscious level, we have an opportunity to live a more conscious life. As we begin to understand the deeper reasons behind our inability to show up on time, we have the option to communicate clearly and consciously about how we really feel, rather than communicating unconsciously by being late.

photo by: poolie

Three reasons to rewire your brain with daily meditation!

The Chopra Well is launching a new daily meditator show. Watch with your eyes closed!

Take a seat and relax the muscles in your face. Are you sitting comfortably? Now begin to focus on your breath. Let it roll in and out effortlessly. Peace settles on you like a mantle of warmth and comfort. And you’re starting…to…let…go.

Thank Buddha, The Meditator is here. This new, daily show brought to you by The Chopra Well features different personalities in various (and wonderfully random) settings as they meditate. Meditator and location change every day, so you never know quite what to expect. Whether from bed before the kids wake up or from the office between meetings, here are three reasons to make The Meditator part of your day:

1. You’re ready to relax.

Even just for a few minutes every day. This is not the kind of relaxation where you kick your feet up, grab a beer and turn on The Food Network. (As tempting as that sounds…) This is relaxation that simultaneously strengthens your brain, releases tense muscles and aligns heart, mind and soul in total clarity. The latest brain research from the University of California, Los Angeles, shows that regular meditation literally builds the brain. It creates neurons and strengthens the cortex, allowing you to process information quickly and efficiently. By building neurons and focusing awareness, you can rewire your brain to achieve better sleep, reduce cravings, deal with stress, and (fill in the blank!) Now The Meditator is here, like a running buddy, to help you stay focused and get centered. Give your brain the freedom to exercise infinite possibility.

2. You have time.

Before you throw coffee in my face, hear me out. There are 1,440 minutes in a day. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, an employed adult with children gets on average seven hours of sleep every night. I’ll give you an hour free and say you sleep six. Subtract the minutes from a typical eight-hour workday, and that still leaves 600 minutes in your day to eat, travel from place to place, play with your kids, walk your dog, login to online banking and read the news. My point is not that we have infinite, expendable hours. On the contrary, our time is precious. Consider the reality of your day and the activities that fill it. Only YOU know how you want to experience your priceless moments. A challenge: Next time you’re poised to spend three minutes doing something you don’t really care about, turn on The Meditator, instead. A few minutes of daily meditation will improve the quality of every minute that passes thereafter.

3. Your intents demand commitment.

Meditation is one of those things I wish I did more of, like drinking water and running. Commitment regularly wrestles Convenience, and the latter’s strength usually beats the former’s stamina. Since joining The Chopra Well team, however, and becoming familiar with Mallika Chopra’s website Intent.com, I have begun to battle the Convenience Demon. The what? That’s right – the little voice who coaxes and seduces us with, “You can start tomorrow” and “Give yourself a break. You work so hard.” Every time we let an intent fall to the wayside, we lose some of the authority to manifest the lives we desire. I’m making it my intent to be present, not to wait for tomorrow to do the things I strive to do today. Confidence and Self-Respect, I’m committing to you, too. Welcome home.

Will you join me? Subscribe to The Chopra Well and send us your thoughts!

And if you’re ready for even more meditation, check out The Chopra Center’s 21 Day Mediation Challenge!

Don’t Be A Hostage To Time

Most of us in our contemporary society feel as if we are a prisoner to time. Instead of discovering freedom in the wondrous moments of our fragile and short life we dread time and feel like time is a form of oppression. Most feed off a daily mantra of, “I’m exhausted,” and “I just don’t have enough time.” We are so stressed by time. We are overbooked, overworked and overwhelmed!

Chronically feeling that we don’t have enough is an illness we must heal. Time has become an enemy we keep at bay instead of a blessing and freedom. Our children mirror our values and our behavior. We are creating generations of children who experience time as hurried and something to manage instead of an experience of joy and reverence. Time is a gift from our Source and each breath we take we are closer to death. Choose to stop the violence to your soul.

Steps to Take Back Time

1. Your Breath. Once an hour stop wherever you are, take a deep breath to the count of four, hold to the count of four, and release your breath slowly to the count of four. You reconnect with the present moment and the rhythm of time when you stop and breathe in the moment. This is the first step towards mindful living.

2. Your Walk. Notice how fast you walk. Intentionally slow the cadence of your walk. Instead of rushing through your life in a blur, own your life when you walk and connect with our sacred earth.

3. Your Feast. Prepare and cook your food with reverence and respect, slowly and intentionally. When you sit at the table with your food in front of you stop and bless your food, its source, and the workers that brought it to your table. Experience the joy of the scent of your food, its color and shape. Slow down time as you experience the pure joy of your food.

4. Your Community. Slow down and absorb the love and presence of the people you love. Why rush by your child who loves you to do a chore? Why multitask when you are on the phone with your significant other? You are missing the intimate moments that glue a long term loving relationship together over time. Be present and immerse yourself in those who love you.

For more advice and articles such as this, visit http://www.mindfullivingnetwork.com.

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