Archive for Balance

Five Mental Blocks That Sabotage Your Productivity

Disclosure: Posts on AllTheThingsIDo.com contain affiliate links. For more information see policy.

You’ve sat down to work on your big idea. You’ve cleared your calendar for the next 3 hours to focus. You are extremely excited, and then you hit a wall. I mean a big wall, a down the Netflix rabbit hole till 3 am, staring a blank sheet of paper, no closer to your goal, wall.
What happened? You had everything ready. You knew what all needed to be done. You decided to take your training program to the next level by adding a digital training option so you can expand your reach and help more people get in shape! You’ve found

You had everything ready. You knew what all needed to be done. You decided to take your training program to the next level by adding a digital training option so you can expand your reach and help more people get in shape! You’ve found

You knew what all needed to be done. You decided to take your training program to the next level by adding a digital training option so you can expand your reach and help more people get in shape! You’ve found an awesome online program to use for digital sessions that allows you to do everything you’d do in a real life course (sans actually physical contact). You’ve even decided which customer relationship management system you want to use. Now all you have to do is design your coaching packages and set everything up. Seems simple enough but then you just sit there. It’s not that you’ve lost interest in what you wanted to do. It’s not that you can’t do it. You probably found yourself in one of these five mental and behavior blocks that sabotage your time management. Don’t feel bad, they happen to the best of us. Knowing these blocks is the first step to overcoming them.

Five mental blocks and behaviors that sabotage your productivity and time management

Getting hung up on your weaknesses

Okay, truth bomb time. You aren’t going to be great at everything. It sucks when you want to build something and parts of it isn’t perfect, or you have to rely on someone else to make it come to life. I know, gasp, the horror. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve spent many nights fighting back tears while trying to work on website development tasks. I will also admit that while most nights I fought through the desire to give up and forget whatever site change I was trying to make. Other nights I was less inclined to proceed and just stopped working. I don’t mean; I moved on to a different task. No, I mean a full on, “Nope. I’m done for the night. What’s on my DVR,” stop.

I’m not saying that it won’t happen sometimes, but by knowing that I am not exactly Mark Zuckerberg when it comes to development, I can do a few things to decrease these productivity killers.
For me it this looks like this:
Problem: I don’t have a lot of knowledge in website development.
Possible solutions: Hire someone to work on the things I can’t do myself. Take an online development course. Utilize the crap out of SiteGround‘s support team.

What are some things you struggle with but are a necessary part of your business model? Think of 3 different alternatives to help you lighten your load.

  • Hire someone to do it
  • Educate yourself or learn a new skill
  • Find resources or alternative (To go with my example above if SiteGround isn’t able to help, I can do research or even ask a coworker in our development team)

Getting caught up in the things you hate doing

Maybe because it’s so mindless or maybe because it’s part of my day job but I am not the biggest fan of social media. Filling up my social media content each Sunday used to be daunting…to be honest; it still is sometimes. Just trying to search for relevant posts I agree with to share with my audience and stay valuable is a drag. When I first started, I was using the free version of HootSuite for my social media. This meant typing each post out every Sunday and scheduling it. While HootSuite is a great tool, it wasn’t what I needed.
When you have those tasks that drain you like email, social media, bookkeeping, etc. they have to be done, but they don’t have to kill your momentum or motivation.
Just like with the tasks that aren’t your strengths you have to find a way to do the tasks that you hate doing.
I keep my social media content updated with Buffer, not only does it allow me to add posts it schedules them for me automatically in the best time field, allows me to recycle posts and add feeds from my favorite websites quickly with its content feed feature. I still have to make the time to do this once a week, but now I can sit down and watch tv while I quickly feel up my feed.
Depending on the tasks that frustrate you, you need to determine a way to get them done more efficiently and with less pain.
Maybe you develop a reward system. “If I get to inbox zero I can have that Dove candy bar.
Another thought is to schedule them for your most energetic or least active time of the day. Depending on you and your work style, you may find your job sessions are more productive if you do that annoying task first thing and get it out of the way. Perhaps you’re the other way. You know if you do the task you hate first thing you will be in a bad mood and not get any work done afterward. So you do all the stuff you need to tackle then that task you dread at the end. Perhaps you make a game out of it? “Let’s see if I can get five blog post pitches out in the next hour, last week I did 4. Maybe I can beat that record.”

If you are at a point where you can afford staff you can hire someone to do the task. Another option is automating the task or batching it, so you only have to deal with it once or twice a week.

Overthinking and overwhelm

This is probably the biggest culprit for me. I come from a long line of over-thinkers. My mom, grandpa and great grandma all worry warts. While I’m working hard to break that generational curse, it’s still a battle from time to time.
Often we find ourselves with a task at hand and it’s too much. While it’s important to know what the big picture is and what you want your result to be, it can be overwhelming. Remember, little by little becomes a lot. Refrain from trying to build an entire empire in a day.
Fun fact time: Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge took four years but before that construction start date in 1933, the first plan for the bridge was presented and rejected in 1916. It took multiple tries and countless people to get the project up and running. I’m not saying your project will take that long to happen or that you need a huge team of professionals. What I am saying is remember everything takes time. Instead of trying to take everything on at once break it down into smaller parts.
It’s easier to solve a small problem than a larger one. Instead of worrying about all the moving parts break down the big pieces into small actionable steps and get to work.

Spending more time planning than you do working

As a planner myself, I see people fall into this trap often. Yes, a goal without a plan is just a dream but plans don’t make things happen action does. You should regularly make time to plan out your goals and the steps it takes to achieve them but doesn’t over do it. If you are spending two hours every day planning your day you are probably overdoing it.
As a team of 1 with the occasional VA, I aim to do a 90-day planning session that takes about 2-3 hours. Then a monthly planning session that takes about an hour and a half an hour on Sundays to plan out that how to break up that week’s goal into daily tasks.
You need to plan but don’t go overboard. If you spend all your time planning you aren’t spending enough time doing.
It takes action to get results!

You need to plan but don’t go overboard. If you spend all your time planning you aren’t spending enough… Click To Tweet A goal without a plan is just a dream. Click To Tweet It takes action to get results! Click To Tweet

Doing things you don’t have to do

You have to do YouTube videos. 

You need a podcast. 

You should post on your blog every day.

You have to build your email list.

Are you on Instagram? 

You’re snap chatting right?

Make sure you do Facebook Live at least five times a week.

It’s easy to feel like we all have to do all the things but not everything is necessary and not everything will work for you. Figure out what you need to do, not what everyone else is doing or what others are telling you to do. Don’t feel the need to be on every single social media site when you’re starting out. Do what you need to do and as things get easier or more streamlined, then you can test out new things. Trying to do all the things before you are ready can bring on that paralyzing productivity killing feeling. This doesn’t just apply to social media either. If you hate being on video don’t start a YouTube channel, start with live streams and webinars to help you build up that muscle. Before I launched my podcast, I played with audio on select posts to get a feel for it.

It’s easy to let these things stop us in our tracks but if you’re honest with yourself about your strengths, weaknesses, time and direction, then you can push past these blocks.
If your ready to do this snag my Productivity Checklist or if you need more help you can work with me in one of my productivity and time management coaching packages.

Have You Kept Your Resolutions?

I am not a fan of resolutions. I am however a fan of strategic goal planning. Each year tons of people sit down and make this long and ambitious list of all the things they want to do in the upcoming year and very few of them actually do it. My question for you today is have you reached your New Year’s resolutions yet?

Well, it’s July in the year is officially more than halfway over. By now many of us have either given up on those goals, possibly accomplished them or just decided that they weren’t the right goals for us. All of those options are totally normal and totally human but I wanted to talk to you about resolutions during a time where they are probably the furthest thing from your mind to give you some perspective.

Why People Don’t Achieve Their Resolutions

Often the reason people don’t accomplish their resolutions. The thing is resolutions tend to be more lofty goals. You figure I have a year to do this so you may reach for the stars without realizing you need a rocket to get there.
While a year is a long time, it also goes by extremely fast. That’s why you can find yourself in July no closer to your goals than you were in January. If you can’t break down your goals into actionable steps that can realistically accomplish in a year then you may want to rethink the goals.

Here are the main reasons people don’t keep their resolutions.

You don’t schedule the time.

More than likely your resolution has to do with a new activity or skill set so you need to set aside the time to accomplish it. Saying you’re going to take on two new clients a month but not making the time in your schedule isn’t very realistic. You have to set yourself up for success by setting yourself up. If your goal has some sort time requirement, like most do, you need to schedule it into your life and stick to it.

You don’t think of the expense.

Sometimes a goal requires you make an investment. It may be the money you need to hire a coach, obtain a certification, supplies, etc. If you say this year you want to visit 4 states you probably need to figure out how you’re going to pay for gas, flights, room and board. I’m all for trusting the universe but that doesn’t mean just sitting on your ass.

You do it alone.

It can be easy to get off track when the only person expecting you to accomplish your goal is you. It’s sad really but we as humans are way more likely to let ourselves down than others. Depending on the goal it may look like joining a program, getting a coach or just enlisting the support of someone with the same goal or someone with an emotional investment in you, like a friend or a partner.

No plan of action.

You know what you want to do but don’t decide how you’re going to do it. You can’t say, “I’m going to pay off my student loans this year,” and expect that to be enough. Are you going to cut out current expenses? Get a part time job and put that money towards loans only? How are you going to make it happen?

You give up too easily.

It’s February 1st. You said you’d save $500 each month but in January you were only able to say $237 so you give up and decide that’s the best you can do. Even the best plans don’t always equal success right away. Even if you don’t’ accomplish part of it keep trying. After all, you have a year.

How to come back after a failure

Let’s say you have decided to get you fitness coaching certification and start professionally training. That is an excellent goal. You’re an overachiever so you want to do the top package which is $900. Right now you live on an extremely fixed income so you have to figure out how you will pay for it. Let’s assume they offer the courses quarterly, once in March, June, September and December. Your original plan was to save the $900 dollars in January and February and sign up in March. But then life happened, you broke a finger and had to pay medical bills or miss work so you weren’t able to save the money. Instead of saying, “Oh well guess it’s not meant to be.” Figure out how you can save the money and sign up for the June class. Yeah, your schedule has changed but you can still make it happen.
Often the most successful people have had countless setbacks and failures but they are all learning curves. Maybe this way a life lesson, once you save that $900 you can start saving $450 each month to put in an emergency fund so the next time “life happens” you have a nest egg to fall back on.

We all get off track from time to time. Find out how to revive your resolutions any time of year. Click To Tweet

How You Should Look at Resolutions

To reflect on the things mentioned above you need to do several things when deciding your resolutions or any major goals.

  1. Make them realistic. I’m not saying shy away from bold moves but make sure they are attainable in the time given. If they don’t maybe break them up into smaller sets to accomplish the bigger task over a longer period of time.
  2. Figure out how much time you need to accomplish the tasks that make up the goal and plan accordingly.
  3. Think of any related costs and ways you can pay for them.
  4. Find support or help. Accountability is a magical thing.
  5. Create a plan of action and timetable for those actions. Decide what needs to be done, when it needs to be done and how you’re going to do it.
  6. Don’t give up. If you experience a setback don’t call it quits just reevaluate and keep moving forward.
It's easy to set goals, sticking to them is hard. The year is half way over but your resolutions don't… Click To Tweet

How to gauge your progress on goals

It’s important to gauge and track progress. If you don’t you may not know if you’re working on the right things or not. If you want to lose 5% of body fat what does that look like over time? Set up marketers to check in with so you can tell if your current methods are working or if you need to change them.

Life is short and we are all capable of amazing things. It’s so easy to give up and beat ourselves up but remember if you are bold enough to set goals you are bold enough to make them a reality.

How are your resolutions going? Have you accomplished them or are you still working towards them? If not are you going to give them a second chance and try to make them happen in the second half of the year? Let me know in the comments.

July 2017 Goals

Disclosure: Posts on AllTheThingsIDo.com contain affiliate links. For more information see policy.

In college anytime one of us was having a dramatic moment or things seemed like too much to deal with my friend Tania would say, “Oh life.” It was in reference to the R.E.M. song, “Losing my religion,” and the line “Oh life is bigger.” She would say it as a reminder that life is unpredictable and things are always going to happen both good and bad.

June was an “Oh life,” type of month for me. Without getting too into details I’ve been having some problems in my family. It wasn’t all bad I also took a vacation and traveled to San Diego, one of my favorite cities in the world. While I should have planned for the trip a little better I couldn’t have planned for the anxiety and family situation. So without any further ado let’s recap how June went.

June 2017 Goals

Personal Goals

  • Read three books

I am so glad that I am reading more, even if it is partly because of the convenience of Audible. I only read 2 books this month but they didn’t disappoint. This month I read:

If at Birth You Don’t Succeed by Zach Anner 

This book was great. If you are wondering who is Zach Anner maybe this will jog your memory.

If you still don’t recognize the YouTube star, let me tell you about this stud. Zach Anner is a YouTube personality who has cerebral palsy. This book is all about his first 30 years of life. From planning to run away to New York with his wheelchair in tow, dropping out of high school after his illness got really bad, landing his first t.v. show and even his first love. This isn’t a “Woe is me, I’m disabled,” or “Look how inspiring I am,” memoir. It’s an honest look at the world and the human process.Zach does a great job of being very vulnerable and talking about all the trials we face growing up and developing as people. From conflicts with friends, figuring out relationships, chasing dreams and growing up, I found myself constantly relating to this. I laughed. I cried. I thought about my own life and purpose.

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty

I picked this book up by chance but after reading it I seriously believe the universe sent it to me for inspiration and perspective. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes is the story of Caitlin’s time working in a crematorium. It sounds morbid but when you follow the 20something into the morgue you find yourself thinking about life, not just death and burning bodies. Caitlin talks about not just the process of cremation but the way our society handles death. It made me think about how short life is as well as how frightened we all are of our own mortality and how that needs to change. I can’t do this book justice in a paragraph but it’s so well written. I can’t wait for her follow up in October. 

  • Do at least one activity a week for myself that isn’t work related.

Yes! This month has been full of self-care. I’m talking hitting up the cliffs in San Diego, going for runs, writing for relaxation and watching bad made for t.v. movies (my guilty pleasure). 

  • Do my gratitude/goal journal at least 5 days a week if not 7.

This has finally become a reflex. I came home from my friend’s birthday party at 1 am on a Saturday morning and still scribbled out my gratitude and goals for the day. 

  • Do daily affirmations.

Depending on the morning I’m having these don’t always happen in the morning but on those days they happened at night. A little confidence and positive thinking are great night or day. 

  • Meditate every day.

I was recently listening to the new Pursuit With Purpose podcast and in one of the episodes, Natalie Macneil mentions talking to a monk. She asked him how long he meditates for and his responded that he was in a state of constant meditation. While I’m far from there I do find myself in regular random meditation. Sometimes it’s half an hour, other times it’s just 60 seconds but I constantly find myself taking some time to stop, take a breath and get in touch with myself.

  • Do visualization at least twice a week.

Nope. I totally fell off the visualization wagon. I do want to start practicing again. I’ll have to put it into my schedule that’s the only way things get done it feels like. I love my schedule.

Blog and Freelance Goals

  • Have 560 Facebook page likes

550. I am at a standstill. Right now I have other things I’m focusing on and would love to grow it organically while working on these other priorities. I’d like to revisit this and focus strictly on it in another month.

  • Have 3640 Twitter Followers

3775! Continually steady growth on Twitter! 

  • Have 1260 Instagram Followers

1248. Not there but pretty close. I will be honest. June this was something I didn’t work too hard on. I did start two new series I am excited about. One called, “Time Tip Tuesday,” and the other is “Wisdom Wednesday.” You can follow me on Instagram to check it out. 

  • Have 1105 Pinterest Followers

1158! Hell yes! 

  • Post at least 4 times this month

I took the last two weeks off of blogging. I went on vacation to San Diego (see pic in featured image, that’s not a stock photo that is from my amazing trip) I posted 3 times.

 

  • Do auto versions on relevant posts.

Yes! They will be released with Creatives Crushing Anxiety later this month.

  • Go to a live event

I didn’t make it to any networking events. There is a few coming up I might try to fit into my calendar. I really like the idea of making more in person contacts.

  • Do Quarter 3 Planning and Outline

Yes and no. I created an outline in June but didn’t do my hardcore Sprint planning until July 1st. Gotta love when the first falls on a Saturday.

Health and Fitness

  • Make meals at home 80% of the time or only eat out 4 times of the week.

Now that my office is 10 minutes from my house I have gotten even better at this. Pretty much I only go out to eat on Fridays with my coworkers as a “We made it to Friday,” treat.

  • Go to a gym class at least 8 times this month.

I am a horrible gym person. I worked out maybe 3 times this month. More if you count walking around San Diego.

  • Lose 3 more pounds

I am so close to my weight loss goal I can taste it! 

July 2017 Goals

Personal Goals

  • Read three books
  • Do at least one activity a week for myself that isn’t work related.
  • Do my gratitude/goal journal at least 5 days a week if not 7.
  • Do daily affirmations.
  • Meditate every day.
  • Have an amazing birthday!
  • Visit my family.
  • See my boo!
  • Go see Girls Trip.

Blog and Freelance Goals

  • Have 560 Facebook page likes
  • Have 3805 Twitter Followers
  • Have 1260 Instagram Followers
  • Have 1170 Pinterest Followers
  • Post at least 7 times this month
  • Do auto versions on relevant posts.
  • Launch My Services
  • Launch Creatives Crushing Anxiety

Health and Fitness

  • Make meals at home 80% of the time or only eat out 4 times of the week.
  • Go to a gym class at least 8 times this month.
  • Hit my original goal weight

I have so many things to be excited about for July. Finally launching the web show, officially launching my services and my birthday! It’s going to be crazy busy and fun month but that is how July normally is for me. How did your June go? What are you planning and plotting for July? Taking it easy, having some fun or taking over the world? Let me know in the comments.