Procrastination – Stop the Madness

Procrastination – the biggest killer of productivity.  many things get put off in life, like difficult conversations, goal setting, not going to the doctors/dentist, changing jobs.

What are the reasons we do this?

1.A fear of failure

2.Not knowing where to start

3.Allowing distractions that interfere with focus

4.Avoidance of unpleasant tasks

A fear of failure

The surest way to achieve success and not failure is to model someone who is already successful. If you don’t have good models, find someone who is the best in your chosen field and emulate them. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel – simply learn from the best. Someone has already discovered how to get it — and you want to figure out what they are doing right. Saving you the time and pain with their knowledge they have gained.  Success leaves clues.  Follow their strategy and you sow the same seeds, then you’ll reap the same rewards.   Failure is about learning,

Not knowing where to start

Schedule milestones, chunk out the information.  Simply begin with the deadline, then work backwards to block off time periods on your calendar to work on the project pieces.  Set deadlines on every milestone.  How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time…dipped in chocolate. What does this mean? It means splitting big projects into small parts and making them more enjoyable. Perhaps playing lively music will help motivate you to tackle the project. Or, promise yourself some other treat after each small part of the task is complete.

Allowing distractions that interfere with focus

We are factually our biggest distractor…….Let me make a case for this with just this one question…..Do you randomly check email/social media/Pinterest/Instagram/your bank etc.?  You are simply creating a stop start stop start pattern, what I mean by that is for every distraction you lose a few minutes of focus time.  We re-focus then we allow ourselves to be interrupted with that feeling of ‘I must check’.

Schedule specific times for checking or making a drink for you.  Remember if you want to have that laser vision focus, you have to own it and protect that time.

Don’t invite interruption:  Silence cell phone, Create custom voicemail, Unplug from the internet.  Protect your time.  Tell others that you are in ‘the zone’ in focus time, whatever you want to call it.  Don’t stay in an area of distraction.  You don’t have to work where you have always worked.

Our brains are finely attuned to distraction, so today’s digital environment makes it especially hard to focus. “Distractions signal that something has changed,”

Avoidance of unpleasant tasks

Why are you spending your time doing tasks you hate?  Is it something you can delegate?

Ill give you an example, I LOVE cleaning, now have a cleaner!  I don’t feel the guilt of not having a clean house anymore and I certainly dont feel guilty about the time that I have saved and can now provide more time to my clients.

Secondly, you need to ask yourself why it is so unpleasant!  What is it you don’t like about it, why do you do it?  Do you understand the value it brings?  If you are doing a task that isn’t of high impact or value to you or your work or your business, then DITCH IT!

Ella Bates – MASTER TRAINER.  I’m a believer in taking massive action to master a topic, dream or goal. 

On my team, we model success and utilize systems proven to fast-track achievement, and our unique approach to efficiency always results in reduced waste with our Guaranteed Corporate Training system.  If you are looking for * Reduced Staff Turnover * Real Competitive Advantage * Increased Corporate Capability * Higher Attraction for New Talent * Boosted Driving Leadership & Enhanced Skill Sets for Staff, we can help!  To find out more and read our proprietary TrainincX3 method, just send me an email at Ella@EllaBates.com.  

 

Summer is Coming!

Ok its not here yet, but…….Summer is just around the corner, AND we know if we dare to blink, it’s over before you know it!

Have no regrets and start off efficiently planning for YOUR best Summer Yet with my top tips

Get your Home Ready Just one of your summer maintenance plans MUST be to check your Air Conditioner.  Maybe even replace your air filter (we always do in the summer)  Don’t get stuck on the first sticky day with a house full of dusty debris and a potential HVAC visit!

Get your Skin Ready Start buying the sun cream whilst it is on sale!  Not only that, your poor feet have been hiding in socks all winter.  Now’s the time to give them a big soaking and moisturizing treatment or even book yourself into the Nail Salon!  You only have one set of feet to walk on, let’s look after them

Prepare your Garden It’s super easy, like me, to get carried away at your nearby Plant Centre.  Be sure to save money and make a plan for your garden.  Get out the notebook and make a plan for anything new you would like vegetables to start, mulch, plants, areas for maintenance.  Get green fingered and get going!

Prepare your Closet Time to dig into your summer clothes box and see what needs to be donated and kept.  Find your sunglasses (don’t get caught out on the first squinty day!)  Flip flops and summer sneakers always go on sale at the end of spring.  Put your winter coat into storage (just make sure to give it a good clean up first!)

Try Something New Summer is a great excuse to try something new as generally, the weather isn’t a great reason to procrastinate!  So many outdoor activities not available to us the other half of the year thai chi, outdoor yoga, archery, tree-top trekking.  Doing something new can be super invigorating!  Get it scheduled in and revitalize yourself.

Make Plans with Family and Friends We all so often go into hibernation over the colder months, make plans now to have days out with family and friends, having fun plans in your diary can give you milestones to work towards

Get ready for summer now, it’s coming!

Have more questions? Contact Ella Bates at ella@ellabates.com and let’s determine whether pre-planning your business year is right for you!

If you are feeling busy and not productive or even overwhelmed…or if you are working from a reactive state and procrastinating, we can help! Ella Bates has helped numerous businesses work more productively for over 20 years by teaching them the strategies they need to succeed. Our highly interactive and engaging courses, coaching and products are without a doubt the boost your business needs to stay on top in today’s constantly changing world. 

 

 

Every Project is Like Christmas

Yes we are 1/3 of the way through the year and quite probably, you wont want to hear the word Christmas, especially since there are also many many holidays, projects, adventures and challenges in between.

Each year, I watch more and more people feel the heat towards these times.  Preparing your gifts, social media posts, family activities, organized time off, customer/family visits.  Yet the holidays come around every year around the same time and we are NOT ORGANIZED!

Every evergreen project that happens, a holiday or a seasonal time for you in your business/career is going to happen and can be addressed early, as I always say “Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance”,

For example, the workshop you intend to do in November this year to help your team/clients get ready for the new year.  Why wait until October to design it?  Have a trello board, inbox folder, envelope, any way of storing the information you can collate in the meantime.  Have a low energy point in your day?  Use this for research time.  Need to book a caterer?  Book them early.  80% of success is in the planning, do it early and your future self will thank you for it.

Here are some quick ideas

Want to write more blogs this year?  Have a blog page in your journal and each time you are inspired by a title write it in, then on your low energy days, write those blogs without the need for looking for inspiration.

Know that June is your quietest months?  Start a list of planning projects you wish to start as they come to you.  Have a financial contingency plan started.  Start scheduling in time to do the projects you “never get round to”.

Want to have a thanksgiving appreciation party for your clients, book the date in your calendar, write a to-do list, use your low energy times to pop in and tick something off your list.

Launching a product?  Use low energy times to write a to-do list and chunk out into manageable pieces.

 

Going on vacation later in the year?  Start a coin jar, slip in all your unused coins at the end of the day.  Use this money towards your airport money, excursions or keepsakes!

Want to make sure you don’t get caught out next winter?  Replace that old car brush now while they are on sale, organize at the back of your garage, shed and be sure that you have everything you need now, saves getting caught out in the first snow fall!

Opening a trailer next summer?  Start to compile a list of things you need (dried goods, containers, foil, BBQ items etc) and buy them when they are out of seasonally on sale!

Want to be organized for Christmas?  Use a bullet journal, notes app on your phone, back of your planner to write ideas as they come to you for gifts, it will make purchasing easier.

Rememer, Proper Prior Planning, Prevents Poor Performance!  If you like this blog, you will love our newsletter, subscribe here

Have more questions? Contact Ella Bates at ella@ellabates.com and let’s determine whether pre-planning your business year is right for you!

If you are feeling busy and not productive or even overwhelmed…or if you are working from a reactive state and procrastinating, we can help! Ella Bates has helped numerous businesses work more productively for over 20 years by teaching them the strategies they need to succeed. Our highly interactive and engaging courses, coaching and products are without a doubt the boost your business needs to stay on top in today’s constantly changing world. 

Revel in your success

I want you all to know that Today and Tomorrow that you DESERVE and you CAN be the person you want to be, you CAN live your life the way that you want to by learning how to change your thinking, making lifestyle modifications and being super productive.

What is your reason for not going out there and chasing your dreams?  What is your excuse?  Do you even know why you don’t?

Have you ever used the phrase, “I don’t have the money” or “I don’t have the time”?

If this is something you really, really want to do, you WILL, you CAN and you Shall have the power to take charge of YOUR life.  You may have to jump some obstacles and face some challenges.  Let me share something with you.  I had the privilege of watching the Motivational Coach Tony Robbins speak a few years ago in Toronto.  I’m going to copy one of his exercises, please follow me:

Open both arms wide and clap, open again and clap and hold it there.  Notice and be aware of which thumb is on the top.

Now when we clap again, I want you to purposely place your thumb the opposite direction.  How does it feel?  Maybe slightly weird, uncomfortable?  That’s how change and new adventures feel at first.

We watch shows daily on TV about how someone overcome adversity to achieve their greatness.  Articles daily on Social Media on how someone conquered a goal that before was unimaginable.  We watch people we never in a million years thought would achieve what they have achieved.

Have you ever reflected on where you have been?  What you have achieved?  Do you realize that out there someone right now on the streets, from school, an old employer, a friend on Social Media, someone is looking at YOU and wishing that they too could have gained what you have gotton?

Here is a fun exercise for you, You will complete 3 columns.  Column one:  What successes have you achieved so far.

For some, this may be the first time that you have reflected like this exercise.  Maybe you made and grew a healthy baby, maybe you passed you driving test, learnt to swim, learnt a foreign language, overcame an emotional scenario, lost weight, maybe you provided care for an elderly person, passed high school, gained a diploma, a degree, a certificate, a master.  Did you open your own business?  Did you buy your first house, buy your first car, treated yourself to your first diamond, fancy purse?  Every and any success, no matter how small and insignificant you believe it to be, if you had successes WRITE THEM DOWN!

In the next column you will write.  Who have I helped achieve success?  Maybe you helped others with the successes we just talked about, maybe you helped someone to ride a bike, became a sounding board for someone’s idea, helped a friend with their homework for a major test, sponsored an event to raise money for a worth cause, who have you helped?

The next column, may take a little more time and this IS ok!  I want you to know that any goal you write in this column is ok.  I want you to write What successes/goals would you like to achieve.

For today I want you to revel in your successes!  Remind your self all that you have achieved, all that you have overcome!  Share with us your biggest or favorite success in your life, let us celebrate with you!

If you are feeling busy and not productive or even overwhelmed…or if you are working from a reactive state and procrastinating, we can help! Ella Bates has helped numerous businesses work more productively for 19 years by teaching them the strategies they need to succeed. Our highly interactive and engaging courses, coaching and products are without a doubt the boost your business needs to stay on top in today’s constantly changing world. Be part of the hundreds of others who get efficiency tips to their mailbox here.

Desk Paper Clutter

Are you a “keep just in case” paper collector?  There are so many places you can keep paper items digitally now it’s quite wonderful! Example articles, blog ideas, clippings can be snapped and stored on your phone or posted to an app like Pinterest.  If you keep receipts for business, there is an app for that!

What about those “need to deal with it” letters and general mail?  Do you have a landing strip in your house?  Get yourself a catch all box or even a command centre, you can find some great examples at the links.

So to de-clutter, take out the paper you have the time to deal with.   Always ask  yourself…could I get this information if I needed it again?  Important information on the paper? Place it in the deal with it box to be shredded(never dump sensitive paperwork due to fraud) if not dump it (remember to recycle)

Start asking yourself if you have a process for when this paper enters the house, if not consider starting one.

Are you finding yourself using the phrase ‘busy’ and not so much “productive”?

If you are feeling busy and not productive or even overwhelmed…or if you are working from a reactive state and procrastinating, we can help! Ella Bates has helped numerous businesses work more productively for 19 years by teaching them the strategies they need to succeed. Our highly interactive and engaging courses, coaching and products are without a doubt the boost your business needs to stay on top in today’s constantly changing world. Be part of the hundreds of others who get efficiency tips to their mailbox here.  Contact us at ella@ellabates.com

 

Get Scheduling

Print yourself off a calendar you can find one here Write down EVERYTHING you dedicate yourself to on a weekly basis each day.  Next schedule in what you WANT to fit into your busy schedule.

Schedule time for interruptions, don’t be the time nazi and block all your time. Block out realistic times for example block out when you have lunch or you know this is when you like to spend time with your family.. Take 30 mins every-day to plot your day out adjusting with known obstacles etc.

Protect your time. If that’s your time blocked for self care or making calls to clients. Place yourself in an area of productivity. Away from interruptions, your phone, family, social media, tv etc.

Now onto the dump it, deal with it.  Are you spending your time on what serves you ? Once you reflect maybe you will see that there are simply too many activities for the children or not enough down time. That you have 0 time for your relationships and friendships. Things that are meaningful for you. It’s ok to dump one of the networking sessions and make it bi-weekly.

It’s ok to only volunteer at the school quarterly and not monthly. It’s ok that you don’t unload the dishwasher immediately afterwards. You hold the power over your time .  It’s easy to plan but are you planning smartly around what is important to you.

A few years ago I saw a friend who owned a part time business with what I can only described as a planner of beauty. It had accessories, stickers, extra to do sections, family sections, note pages. It was like planning on pretty steroids! I had to have one. Firstly know I’m a stationary geek and secondly I consider myself a productivity whizz. Having had some many projects on the go and been formerly trained in project management and effectiveness I knew this would be the tool I needed as a mom, a dedicated career woman, a wife and an entrepreneur this would be my new bible.

Planners come in many forms, the cork board, the calendar, the diary, the smartphone app the magnetic to do list on the fridge. Whatever it looks like you NEED one. You aren’t looking at this blog because you don’t need one, I am hearing that you want to be free from panic, stress, the wonder of what day it is!
Remember it’s impossible to clear off the to-do list altogether, it’s doing what is practical in the amount of free time you have.

Have more questions? Contact Ella Bates at ella@ellabates.com and let’s determine whether pre-planning your business year is right for you!

If you are feeling busy and not productive or even overwhelmed…or if you are working from a reactive state and procrastinating, we can help! Ella Bates has helped numerous businesses work more productively for 19 years by teaching them the strategies they need to succeed. Our highly interactive and engaging courses, coaching and products are without a doubt the boost your business needs to stay on top in today’s constantly changing world. Be part of the hundreds of others who get efficiency tips to their mailbox here.

Be really HEARD by your Ideal Clients

 

Did you know that being a Guest Speaker and being right at the front of the room is one of the FASTEST ways to gain credibility & business marketing without having to have a sales pitch!

There are some Biz owners who 100% rely on their speaking engagements for Client Leads!  Just look at TedEx!

Don’t think this applies to your business?  What better way to establish you as an expert, really elevate your brand and go public using your niched business.

We all know it to be true that conversation is one of the best way to connect to your clients, showcasing your expertise and building the trust and rapport with your ideal client.

Where can you speak? Clubs, Organizations, Groups and Charities often have speakers to add value to their meetings.  They will need you as much as you need them, as they will likely want to fill their speaker slots!

For example, a caterer could speak at a mom group talking about easy meals.  An Electrician could talk at a local hardware store.

You may find you are flexible with your message to suit the venue.  If this attracts more business for you at he same time as attracting business for them, then it’s a win all round!

Don’t not invite yourself in to share your fabulous experience with your ideal client who are just waiting to hear amazing tips from you!  If you can find the courage and you are ready to share your knowledge and build your business through speaking, start to source the engagements!

Want to be able to write a fabulous presentation that keeps your audience, engaged and interactive with a compelling presentation?  Check our our next Designing Superior Presentations Workshop here

Are you or your business suffering from terminal ‘Busy-Ness” and lacking productivity?  Ella Bates has helped numerous businesses work more productively for 19 years by teaching them the strategies they need to succeed. Our highly interactive and engaging Training courses, coaching and products are without a doubt the boost your business needs to stay on top in today’s constantly changing world. If you think being efficient is what YOUR business needs, contact us at ella@ellabates.com

 

 

Get your music flowing!

Have you ever noticed that the first few bars of a song can transport your mind back to the past to another time in your life…a good or a bad memory?

Not only that singing creates super charged brain activity in both sides of the brain (rarity)  meaning that you are exercising your brain muscle more than normal which is why it feels great!

Music can shift your mood completely and very very quickly, generally because it requires no real mental processing which is why its used so much in therapy!

So I’m encouraging you right now to go back to your music tastes and have a good sing song and get those feel good happy feelings flowing!

Have a fabulously musically enhanced day everyone!

Enjoy the link to my favorite music era the 80’s and 90’s!

 

Are you finding yourself using the phrase ‘busy’ and not so much “productive”?

If you are feeling busy and not productive or even overwhelmed…or if you are working from a reactive state and procrastinating, we can help! Ella Bates has helped numerous businesses work more productively for 19 years by teaching them the strategies they need to succeed. Our highly interactive and engaging courses, coaching and products are without a doubt the boost your business needs to stay on top in today’s constantly changing world. Be part of the hundreds of others who get efficiency tips to their mailbox here.  Contact us at ella@ellabates.com

Are you skipping your breakfast?

Do you start your day eating right?  So you may have to set your alarm a little earlier, but I challenge you to go eat breakfast somewhere before your day starts.  You are a lot less likely to be eating amongst couples so great if you aren’t super comfortable with eating alone.  Choose one that is on the way to where you start your day.

We all know that Breakfast is the most important meal of the day…let me tell you why.

If you skip breakfast it throws off your body’s rhythm.  You need to get fuel from food, otherwise you will have no energy and you will be more likely to overeat in the day. 

It actually kick-starts your metabolism which give you a super boost of energy and helps you burn calories throughout the day.  Studies have linked eating breakfast to better memory and concentration amongst other health benefits…so what do you have to lose?

 

Are you finding yourself using the phrase ‘busy’ and not so much “productive”?

If you are feeling busy and not productive or even overwhelmed…or if you are working from a reactive state and procrastinating, we can help! Ella Bates has helped numerous businesses work more productively for 19 years by teaching them the strategies they need to succeed. Our highly interactive and engaging courses, coaching and products are without a doubt the boost your business needs to stay on top in today’s constantly changing world. Be part of the hundreds of others who get efficiency tips to their mailbox here.  Contact us at ella@ellabates.com

Fall in love with your work

My first job I was so blessed to be given a position in a prestigious company that would eventually lead to being a barrister in a law firm.  Everyone was so very very proud of me and would talk incessantly about how I was a Trainee Legal Executive. I felt proud, what a title I had! I got to wear power suits (it was the early 90s!) and walk around in charged heels and stand in court with lawyers all day representing the people.  I became depressed, fully dreading every day.  My bosses were just awful.  Cruel in fact.  Talking to their staff without respect.  Micro Managing.  Casting fear over all that walked their way, including their clients!  I stayed for a full year, feeling that this is what the full-time workplace was all about.  Then I made friends with a wonderful woman on the bus each day who would tell me how much she loved her job, she was passionate about the company she worked for, she felt such reward from the work that she did and felt like a family with the people who she worked for with the mutual respect of the company.  Then I realized that no longer did you have to put up with what no one deserved, but a job that you DO deserve!

I found a job within a week as a legal secretary and much to the surprise of the company for leaving the “opportunity of a lifetime” I left, I left the world of “I am stuck, this is just the way it is!”

Now, am I here encouraging you to leave your position if you are unhappy?  No, not at all.

I’m here to remind you that what you do for work should inspire you, help you to feel fulfilled, be rewarding, be contributing to you and the people around you and to provide you with financial security.  You have ONE life (that we know of) and YOU DESERVE to feel nothing for joy for your days here.  So here are my tips for you.

1.       Do you love the work that you do?  If you do, share with others how you got there.  How you made it work that you love…. If not why not, could you challenge the process and introduce a way of doing the work that would be more enjoyable to you and the people around you?  Let’s be clear, it’s a little bit like doing dishes (not the most fun) but joy can be found in most work.  It could be your time to think during the mundane tasks, daydream?

2.       Do you realize the bigger picture of what you do?  Do you understand who your work touches?  Who it affects.  Sometimes we believe that the perceived smaller tasks have no worth.  Ask yourself/your boss, how does this affect the business.  Once we understand its worth, it automatically becomes much more rewarding.  As adult thinkers, we love to ask why! Go ask the question!

3.       Do you love your work environment?  What do you love about it, did you create it, was it created for you?  Do you dislike the environment? What can you do to change this?  Is it the work space?  Can you brighten this up, fill with your reasons for working, photos of your dream house or your family?  Is it a dangerous/cold/unrewarding environment?  As yourself where would you rather be, is this where you deserve to be?

4.       Do you have a dream of becoming or creating a position one day?  What are you doing to work towards this?  Are you allowing yourself to feel stuck?  Speak up to your boss about your career aspirations, start to look at opportunities out there where you believe you should be! Start the process.  Gain the knowledge, speak to the right people.

What percentage of your day are you at work?  A HUGE percentage, right?  I hope you are reading this and feel every ounce of joy in your career, if not let’s do something about that! Love the job you are in, or find the job you love, YOU DESERVE It!

 

Are you finding yourself using the phrase ‘busy’ and not so much “productive”?

If you are feeling busy and not productive or even overwhelmed…or if you are working from a reactive state and procrastinating, we can help! Ella Bates has helped numerous businesses work more productively for 19 years by teaching them the strategies they need to succeed. Our highly interactive and engaging courses, coaching and products are without a doubt the boost your business needs to stay on top in today’s constantly changing world. Be part of the hundreds of others who get efficiency tips to their mailbox here.  Contact us at ella@ellabates.com