Thursday, January 10, 2019

Will you be busy this year?...or productive?

If you’re like most business owners and professionals you’ve started the year full of great intentions… just like last year.  Then reality hits and dealing with your day to day “busyness” takes the place of working on your great intentions.  Our lives are filled with so many areas vying for our attention that the only way that you will get to where you want to be by the end of 2019 is to identify your goals and then put systems in place NOW that will clearly identify where your attention of time, energy and resources need to be.

First things first:

What are your 3 main objectives for 2019?  You can’t do it all!!!  And the more you try to do on your own, the less you actually achieve.  Create a document that outlines your 3 objectives… I’ve created mine in Canva…pretty and colourful works for me 😊  …then put that document where you can see it EVERY day.

Once you’ve figured out your main objectives you need to create a plan to get you there.  The activity in that plan are your PRIORITIES!  When you prioritize on a day to day basis ask yourself these few questions:

1.      Is this in line with my objectives?
2.      What is the result or reward of doing this?
3.      What is the benefit of doing this?
4.      What is the consequence of not doing this?
5.      Do I need to do this myself or can someone else do it?

I teach a whole process around the 4 Ds

1.      Delete it
2.      Delegate it
3.      Defer it
4.      Do it

You’ll notice the that DO IT is the last option.  Most of us tend to do way too many tasks that are just part of the “busyness”, or that can be deleted, delegated or deferred.

If you’re interested in finding out how to be more focused, productive, confident and efficient check out the 10 week Time Management & Productivity Course I will be delivering at Safety Services NS.  This is open to Nova Scotia business owners and professionals and is an initiative of the NS Workplace Education Program and is free of charge.

To learn more or to register contact:

Dakota Wallace

(P) (902) 454-9621 Ex 229
(F) (902) 454-6027

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Less is More

I'm currently delivering an 11 week course on Time Management and Productivity.  Each time I create a new course there's tons of research that has to happen every week.  The research and creation of this course has been so helpful to me and my business - I'm so much more focused and am saving hours a week... which I can use to do the stuff I love like hiking along the shoreline or spending time with a friend.

I've also come to some conclusions.  We are a society of hoarders!!!!  We have storage units to hold the stuff we hoard.   We have walk-in closets to hold the clothes and accessories we hoard.  We have google docs, dropbox, evernote, etc to store the documents we hoard.  We have bigger and bigger email storage to save the emails we hoard.  We have app after app on our phone for instant access to information and entertainment we are hoarding.  Overwhelm and an overabundance of stimuli has become our norm.  So much so that when we actually aren't busy, sit still, or are simply quiet with our thoughts something seems wrong.  It's like we're missing something...we become guilty about not being busy...we suffer from FOMO - what are we "fraid of missing out" on?  We feel guilty because we should be "doing" something.

  • getting rid of old stuff clears clutter in your life and in your head
  • having stuff around you all the time, including on your computer, keeps you scattered and lacking focus
  • our body has a visceral response the overwhelm around us
  • constant sound and noise has a negative affect on our health
  • silence let's our brain "reboot"... it releases tension from our brain and our body
  • we're more creative and more productive with less going on around us
  • "less" of everything... stuff, information, sound, stimuli... reduces stress and increases calm and joy
  • the research is clear... people who take time to be quiet, be in nature, meditate, thinking time... are happier, healthier AND more productive.
Do yourself a favour and get rid of some stuff - stop wearing "busy" like a badge of honour - disconnect - take time to think, breathe and reconnect with yourself.  Remember...we're human "beings", not human "doings".

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Planning Equals Freedom

Many people become lifestyle entrepreneurs because they want to live to the beat of their own drum.  And with that they want the freedom of time and flexibility to work when they want to, and to spend time on other things they enjoy when they want to.  

This is an "argument" I hear often when I'm working with clients when it comes time to creating an implementation plan.  When it's time to figure out how all the activity and tasks required to grow a business are going to get done.  This can be an overwhelming exercise if you don't buy in to a fundamental truth - planning and the discipline it takes to implement that plan will actually create MORE freedom in your life... and more money!  When you know in advance what you want to happen and how you're going to make that happen, you're not making decisions on the fly and falling into the whole "busy work" trap.  You will actually be spending your time focused on the things that matter, the activities that are bringing real positive results to your business.

Following are 7 tips to help you create more guilt-free time, while still getting the right shit done!

1. Create a 90 day rolling action plan.  This means knowing what needs to happen over the next 3 months...what do you need to accomplish? How are you going to make that happen?  What people and resources do you need?  

2. Book your free time, business planning days, mastermind days, training and learning days... all those days that are important to you and the growth of your business.

3. At the beginning of each month complete this exercise for the next 90 days...if that's too much for you do 60 days.  This way you will know what your priorities are going into each month and where your time is best spent.

4. When determining where to spend your time and resources ask yourself these questions?
  • what is the reward or result of doing this?
  • will this generate leads and sales?
  • will this grow meaningful relationships?
  • what are the benefits of doing this?
  • what are the consequence of not doing this?
  • is this in line with my overall business objectives and goals?
5. When you're creating an activity plan for yourself you need to know, or estimate, how long each activity will take you.  It's of no benefit to be optimistic by underestimating how long your tasks will take you.  You'll only end up working longer, or not accomplishing what you want to either.  Either is not going to move you or your business forward.

6.  When you're honest with yourself about what you want and where you want to spend your time, that will allow you to determine what other resources you need... people?  technology?  automation?  systems?  You CANNOT do it all yourself!!!!  Plus, you're not even good at everything!

7.  Do what you do best, what you love, your secret sauce, what will make the most contribution to getting you to your goals.

Getting what you want is about identifying what you want, creating a plan to get you there, and then figuring out what you need to make that happen.  When I started my business over a decade ago one of the top priorities was having more time off.  I take the equivalent of about 14 "corporate" weeks of vacation... meaning 70 working days.  That doesn't just happen...I need to plan for that.  The first things I schedule are my time off and then my mastermind days.  Then all my other activity needs to get done in the remaining time... Parkinson's law is the adage that "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion".  When you know what you need to do, and schedule that, you tend not to waste time on stuff that's not important...(is anyone hearing "Facebook" echoing in their mind right now????)  By doing what I need to do when I need to do it, that allows me the time to play  ....  A LOT!!!

Being a Lifestyle Entrepreneur should mean that you're living the kind of life you want... on your terms, and reaching the goals that you have set.  And that is sooooo doable with some planning and the discipline to follow through... discipline doesn't mean a lack of spontanity or creativity, it just means a commitment to do what needs to be done by the deadline that you've set.  It's all about your pre-decisions.

I'd love to hear from you with any tips that you have to share that have helped you on this wonderful journey of being a "Lifestyle Entrepreneur".

Monday, May 29, 2017

12 Tips To Be Your Best You When You Work From Home

  1. Start your day from a place of energy and inspiration – start your day by preparing your mind and body for a productive day.  Exercise, meditate, journal, do affirmations – whatever moves you.  Create a morning program that addresses your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs.
  2. Have an office or workspace that you want to be in – design it so that it’s functional but decorate it so it speaks to you.
    3.     Have a daily action plan that is driven by your overall goals and objectives.  Create your to-do list by the results you want to achieve.  Having no overall plan IS a plan – just not a good one.
    4.     Schedule your time – batch similar work, “Eat That Frog” – do the work you don’t want to do first so it doesn’t take up valuable headspace for the day.  Create focus on a project by setting a timer.  And have business hours.  A lot of folks that work from home have a harder time NOT working than working
    5.     Schedule time for email, social media, phone calls etc.  Most people organize their day around other people’s agenda, not their own.  You need to do the important stuff that will move you forward towards your goals.
    6.     Small habits = big results.  What do you need to do on a daily basis to be the best version of you?  Figure that out and stick to it!
    7.     Plan to Connect – get together with like-minded entrepreneurs.  Work together somewhere… go for coffee or lunch… create a mastermind group… join a networking group.  Do whatever it takes to be motivated and inspired.
    8.     Don’t do it all!  Figure out what YOU need to do, then delegate, eliminate or automate the rest.
    9.     Have a system of accountability – try an accountability partner, a mastermind group, a board of directors or hire a professional to keep you on track.  This is probably one of the most important aspects for ANY professional… not just those who work from home.
    10.   Learn to say NO – just because you work from home doesn’t mean that you have the time to be the family’s errand chick.  It’s great to have the flexibility to schedule your work around your life, but not if it means you’re still up at midnight trying to get stuff done because you couldn’t find the time to do it during the time you scheduled for work.
    11.   Understand that you are the master of your technology and stop letting the technology rule your life.  When you’re working on a specific project and have a timer set, let’s say for 45 minutes… then turn off everything that would interrupt you… phone, email, social media etc.
    12.   Invest in the right technology to help you streamline your activity and keep you productive.  There are TONS of technology solutions made specifically for small businesses that will help you automate your business and increase productivity.

    Do you have any tips to share?  Any technology or programs that make your life easier?  I'd love to hear from you!