Georgina Walsh Business Coaching

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My Biggest…and Simplest, Productivity Tip Ever

Posted by November 29th, 2018

Being able to think clearly. See the wood for the trees. Concentrate on what really matters – these are things I hear so often from people who want to improve their productivity.

And the answer to be able to do all of these? Quite simply, Clear Your Head.  It produces amazing results, and best of all isn’t too hard to do.

Our brain is brilliant, but not totally brilliant. It’s great at holding everything we need to do, but not so good at keeping it all organised.  This means thoughts pop up in your head like toast in a toaster. So just when you are sitting down to focus on a big bit of work – pop – your brain reminds you that you need to send that email to Sarah.

Your brain thinks it’s being helpful, and you can’t blame it for trying – you had indeed not quite remembered to email Sarah, but it has also distracted you from what you had just started to focus on.

It can take over 20 minutes to refocus on a task if we are interrupted.  And your brain has just interrupted itself.  Not an ideal situation for productivity or thinking clearly. Although Sarah might get that email a little sooner now.

So, do your brain and your productivity a huge favour.  Get everything out of your head; it relaxes your brain and helps it think in a bigger, more organised and productive way.  It literally stops sweating the small stuff when it knows that you have noted it elsewhere, and so it focuses better and thinks bigger.

Here are five simple steps to get you there:

1.Choose your Medium; Whether pen and paper, an app or a spreadsheet. You need something that will allow you to write a list of everything you need or want to do.

It’s best to choose something that allows you to list tasks and sub-tasks. Be wary of procrastinating because you can’t decide what to use – in which case, just start simply with a pen and paper.

Once you have it all out of your head you might find it easier to decide how best to manage it.

2.Find An Hour; Just an hour, or maybe 90 minutes tops. This is so little time compared to the boost it will give you. Try to find an hour in a nice, settled environment.

3.DO IT! Start by writing down each area of your work life and your home life. Every area you can think of, and then below those write down the things you need to do in each, going into further sub tasks or lists when needed.

Squeeze every last thing you can think of out of your head, if you need to get new batteries for the TV remote – put it down.

Once you have everything out of your head you may be saying  “OMG, that is so much to do, help!” or  “There doesn’t seem as much there as I thought, why was I in such a panic” or somewhere in the middle. What I can guarantee is that your brain will be feeling lighter and more settled knowing that you now have a solid list of everything it has been carrying around for you, and you’ll now be able to tackle it in a more organised way.

4.Create a Simple System: Here the important word is Simple. Whether using an app or a paper to do list.

  • Keep making a note of the new things you need to do as soon as they come to you, so they are immediately taken out of your head – I have an app that syncs with my phone, desktop and ipad so wherever I am I make a note.
  • Have a little review at the end of or start of the day, so you start work each day knowing what your top priorities are.  As everything is out of your head and therefore easier to see this should now be much easier for you. Ensure you are realistic about the length of time things will take.
  • Enjoy getting things done in a more orderly way, and take note of which bits of your system are working for you which aren’t. Continually tweak how you run your system until it’s perfect for you.

Lastly, keep with it.  Do not get this far and then fail to keep up with getting things out of your head. Changing your habits can be hard. But once you are up and running it is so liberating, and gives a great feeling of being in control with a solid list at your finger tips.

Your brain will love you for it, and repay you by putting all its superb energy into thinking in a bigger, more strategic and focused way.

Good luck and let me know how you get on!

Goal Setting to End Your Year with a Flourish

Posted by September 12th, 2018

How did it get to September?! The nights are drawing in and with a plethora of blackberries and apples ready to be picked I have a cheery autumnal Sunday lunches with delicious fruit crumbles on my mind.

Crumbles aside, I find this is the time of year to take stock, a great time of year to think back but also to think forward.  We are approaching the final quarter of 2018 – so what do you need to do over the next 3 months to ensure you end the year on a high? To make sure you see 2018 go out with a bang and the pop of a champagne cork?

Follow my 5 Minute Coffee Break Goal Setting Formula to ensure you end 2018 as you would like to. Grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea (or a glass of wine or beer if it is that time of day) and a clean sheet of paper, or clean sheet of ipad.  Then jot down the answers to the questions under the 5 minute prompts below:

Minute 1: What have been your successes over the first nine months of the year? Write down all the good stuff you have done – often people start their goal setting by focusing on the negative – what they haven’t achieved – let’s start with all the good stuff that you have achieved.

Minute 2: Now think about what you have not achieved but would have liked to – don’t beat yourself up about this, just use it as a realistic assessment of your progress so far in 2018.

Minute 3: Sit back and close your eyes and take yourself to New Year’s Eve 2018 – what would you have liked to have achieved by then that would really make you feel proud, delighted and generally rather chuffed with yourself.

Minute 4: Formalise that general chuffedness into 2 or 3 clear goals (Make them as SMART as you can Specific, Measureable, Relevant, Achievable and Timebased).

Minute 5: Break those goals down into smaller goals to achieve in each month October, November and December

Lastly, Minute 6, give yourself a cheeky extra minute to think about what New Year reward you will give yourself for having achieved these goals.

Now you can start to plan each week between now and Christmas with tasks that work towards your monthly goals and ultimately towards your ‘Finishing 2018 with a Flourish Goals’.

Good luck and let me know how you get on!

Want to Think Big? – Get Off Grid

Posted by May 24th, 2018

I have just come back from a wonderful, wonderful time in Morocco where I managed to clamber up Jebel Toubkal the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains.

Beautiful scenery and a physical challenge where two of my main motivators, but there was the added bonus of disappearing ‘Off Grid’ for two days.  I realised it was ages since I was truly away from the modern world AKA the internet and email.

With a big sense of freedom and wonderful open blue skies, my brain felt free and open and that led to some great big new thoughts and ideas.

So maybe you can’t head up a mountain anytime soon – but how could you get yourself Off Grid and get that sense of freedom and tranquillity to do some big and different thinking?

Where’s the place?  I would suggest it isn’t at your desk, identify somewhere you find peaceful and relaxing.  Maybe you want to be walking or doing some other physical activity, or maybe it is about being truly still and calm?

What do you need to do to truly get Off Grid? Your can’t often think big or blue at the flick of a switch, you need time to relax and you need to limit distractions, so build in a good dollop more time that you think you need.   Go ‘Off Grid’ by switching devices off – no cheating by switching to vibrate – turn them OFF…..and then KEEP them off.

What’s your brief? A free and relaxed mind still needs a bit of direction, so make sure you have some areas you want to think through or explore.  You will probably find that once the thoughts start flowing you have additional ideas in other areas too.

Need some questions to free and push your thoughts?  Here are some to get you started:

  • Where do you want to be in 3, 5 or 10 years’ time?
  • What is the one thing that could make the biggest difference for you / your business?
  • What would you / your team do if could not fail?  If money was no object? If you weren’t scared or had nothing to prove?
  • What would your most admired competitor or leader do?
  • What could make something twice as effective?
  • How can you do less and achieve more?
  • What ‘shoulds’ can you let go of?
  • What important but not urgent things are you neglecting that could really push you forward?
  • And finally keep asking yourself…..What else?

I hope that produces some good thoughts for you.  Let me know how you get on and in the meantime I’m off to plan my next mountain climb.

Spring Forward

Posted by March 21st, 2018

It’s the first day of Spring with sunshine breaking through the clouds and some furious nest building in the trees outside my window.

Spring is my absolute favourite season,  full of promise, green shoots, new ideas and growth.

Are you ready to use the change in season to Spring Forward?

What better way to do that with some Big Hairy Goals to really push you into a big spring forward. Big Hairy Goals are the sort that feel rather daunting but you’d be so thrilled to achieve:

  • What Big Hairy Goals would you like to achieve in the longer term either 1,3, 5, or 10 years time?
  • To achieve those longer term goals what Big Hairy Goals would you like to achieve by the end of this year?
  • To achieve those  end of year goals what Big Hairy Goals would you like to achieve by the end of Spring / beginning of Summer?

Once you’ve got your goals make sure you put them into action – no procrastination! In thinking how to achieve them here are some things to ask yourself:

  • What is the main habit that slows your productivity – how could you lose that habit forever?
  • What could you turn on its head and approach how you do something in a totally different way?
  • How would your mindset or actions be different if you had nothing to prove or nothing to lose?

Get out of your comfort zone, get Big and Hairy and go for it…..and enjoy the results of Springing Forward!

January is for Planning, February is for action!

Posted by February 1st, 2018

Do you get all fired up at the beginning of January to make the coming year a brilliant one?  Lots of plans, bright ideas and enthusiasm?

Yesterday, I spoke to two people who were just like this.  But everyday business and life had begun to swallow up their bumper-year plans.  They were in danger of not prioritising and getting new things done.  The result; a similar year to last year, good but not great, when they really wanted their year to be bigger, better and brighter.  Does your January run in a similar vein?

So I helped them get their bumper-year planning finished, and they’re now already for Action:

If you need to get ready for action and shake up your year, here are some pointers:

  • Get your planning done! Be strong, be selfish and carve out the time you need.
  • Get it done this week, by the end of next at the latest.
  • Then it’s time for ACTION – particularly anything new and different you want to achieve.
  • Concentrate on a bit of micro-planning so you get some good momentum going. Break down what you want to achieve each week for the next month.  Be clear and specific and push yourself out of your comfort zone.
  • Create broader goals for the next couple of months.
  • And then broader goals for the next two quarters.
  • Think about the resources you need.
  • Include in this the mindset you need – this is crucial and will make all the difference!
  • And the support you need – again, this is so important, from simple accountability to expert knowledge and guidance.
  • Get this all in place as soon as you can and get going – no excuses!

Wishing you a fantastic and bumper year!

The Stress of being an Information Magpie

Posted by September 22nd, 2017

Are You a Magpie? Do you pick up every nugget or bit of shiny information that will help you and your business go further?

Like me, do you find that you can go over the top and gather up too much information, too many interesting articles and subscribe to too many sites?

This leads me to never manage to work through or implement everything I have collected.  The pile on my desk, and the pile sitting in my computer weigh on mind, clamouring for my attention, and often not receiving it.

So I have developed a simple way of gathering and using information; my On Off strategy.  I have a four month period when I magpie away to my heart’s content. Subscribing, downloading, collecting lots of ideas and inspiration to help my business along.  I then enter the ‘Off’ period of my strategy. I send the magpie on holiday and have four months when I don’t collect, download or subscribe.  (At times it can take some constraint to resist temptation!)

I then use the time to ingest, reflect and put to use everything I collected in the previous few months. Much better than collecting and never implementing.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on!