We all complain about how little time we have that it sometimes become a competition about who’s got the least amount of time. It’s funny how we’re “bragging” about how inefficient we are!
I used to feel completely overwhelmed by basically everything I took on. I was working constantly and yet I felt like I didn’t get that much done. I was exhausted and I often had brain fog from looking at the laptop screen for way too long, yet I kept going like this, until I met my husband and read “Getting things done” by David Allen, that changed the way I organized my time!
How can we become more productive and efficient so we can start bragging about how much time we’ve got instead?
Firstly, to be productive we need to do something, right? Take ACTION. Taking action does not mean what I used to do: Prepare a cup of tea, put cookies on a plate and set up the cushions before you can start working. Taking action means; sit down, open your laptop and start watching the videos about “How to properly make Facebook ads” to learn how to grow your business, for example. We get caught up with all the fuss around taking action and that everything needs to be just right before you can get started. STOP setting up these hurdles for yourself and just get on with it. Like Nike says; Just do it!
Secondly, have a daily routine you follow to a 100% Monday to Friday, this will set you up for success. A good routine is not that you have a few things in your head that you need to sort out and you have a gap between 1-4pm to do it. A GOOD routine is when you have a schedule of tasks you need to complete today, and when. The more structure you have the better it is! I’ve created a routine for all my daily tasks; everything from when I’m allowed to check social media and emails to when I train and eat. It keeps me structured and is saving me time to knowing what to do, and when.
3 things that has helped me set up a good routine of taking action
Taking ACTION on important tasks related to my life goals and business instead of looking at my phone has seriously freed up hours of time each day. This might sound like I’m spending hours on my phone every day, however the time it takes for your brain to switch to focus on the important tasks after scrolling through the newsfeed on Facebook adds on, as Luke was talking about in this short video:
You think you’re multitasking but the brain can only do one thing (effectively) at the time.
Starting an everyday ROUTINE has made me much more efficient. Ones you’ve learnt your routine it’ll take minimal time to transition to your next task!
These are two simple things you can take ACTION on today. Don’t be discouraged if it feels hard in the beginning, you will feel the urge of jumping on Facebook. Stick to your plan; put the phone away, make a daily routine-list and follow it for a couple of weeks and I can guarantee you’ll feel more productive than you’ve felt looking at your phone every 5 minutes.
Try it out today and let me know how you go. I’m sure I’ll be able to relate to the many struggles you’ll experience in the beginning. ☺
People say that we have never been as bad at communicating as we are today, and yet we are communicating an awful LOT!
Not until, sometime between 12th and 18th of June this year, was this piece of information brought to my attention, to later investigate and analyse my linguistic habits. I was on the Stretch Therapy Teachers course where the lovely Kit Laughlin was teaching us things about stretching, and beyond. The lesson of using language to communicate was a big take home for me.
In 2010, I was living in Halmstad, Sweden, the home city of Eleiko (you may have heard of them, they make competition barbells for Olympic Weightlifting?). I went to university in Halmstad and after 3 years I had earned my bachelor of science from HH and my personal trainer certificate from Eleiko Education. For one reason or another I found myself doing courses with American coaches; Charles Poliquin and The Poliquin Group, which made me imagine myself training people in English. I wasn’t a great English speaker at the time but I had this feeling that I was born to coach in English (To be frank, maybe this was more a part of me dreaming about marrying a big muscly man with a thick American accent? Yeah that didn’t’ happen…). Fast forward 7 years, now I’m speaking English more than I speak Swedish, and I teach fully in this language they call “Australian English”. I got me muscly Aussie man, who can do American impersonations quite well!
As I became better at speaking fluent English I became worse at communicating in both Swedish, the mother language I now started to forget, and in English. My English developed into an exaggerated, long-winded, commanding and do-it-for-me-communication:
“I want you to do split squats next”
“I think that is so bloody awesome”
I’m sure this is not the full story of my linguistic habits, I am yet to dig deeper. What I have noticed so far, which I have come to realise by speaking to Kit and my mentor Dave Wardman, is that I tend to add redundant words like; really, very, a lot, much, freaking etc. These long-winded sentences ended up just short of the meaning or feeling I wanted to get across. However, I have realised now that they weren’t even close to getting the feeling across, the extra words made the sentence mean nothing.
Kit opened my eyes when he told me, that when coaching, the client is there for them not for you (doooh!). This means that all the times I’ve said; “Now I want you to move that knee further back…” it’s been all about me, not them. The communication should be directed to them; “Archie, move your back knee further back…”. (Please give me a gentle slap on the head if you ever hear me say “I’d like you to…” in a coaching session ever again).
My communication has grown non-specific with zero meaning.
One or two years ago I would’ve felt intimidated when writing and posting this blog post as I every single day was concerned about getting my message across when coaching. I have improved my use of language the last 3 months. I feel confident in my ability to further do so and I know that the intention in everything I do comes from a good place, therefore I don’t feel intimidated today.
My linguistic learnings (Ha! “Learnings” is apparently a made up word):
How do you communicate? ?
Over the years of being stressed, ehm I mean over the years I’ve lived in this world, I’ve come to learn a few stress management strategies. If you take the time to really read through and understand them you might find one or two that is just what you need, at this moment in time.
1. Focus on the current task
Or I could say “Stay present”, but staying present is often one of those things you say but then what does it Actually mean? If you instead think about focusing on the current task that automatically means you’re not thinking of anything else and therefore you’re in the present. Use all your senses to focus on your current task; listen, smell, touch, see and taste. All that is required for you to do a good job on your current task!
2. Stop acting on your emotions
I read this book by Pema Chödrön called “Living beautifully: with uncertainty and change” and she was talking about that when something happens and we get an emotion inside of us, that will actually go away in about 90 seconds unless we act on it. So if you act on the emotion to the incident that happened your brain will sustain it as a feeling, for what might be a long time to come. Ex. If you have a chat to your boss who tells you there will have to be people made redundant at work due to financial issues in the near future and the emotion of fear arises in your body, then continuing thinking and acting on (entertaining) this emotion will make you feel worried. In that situation I would stop and just feel the emotion until it has passed. Following that; instead of repeating the incident and feeling worried you can think about what to do to prevent it from happening.
Breathing through your nose will help the nervous system to calm down more than when you breathe through the mouth. The box breathing has helped me many times; Breath in, hold, breath out and hold again for the same amount of time. Ex. Breathe in for 3 seconds, hold it for 3 seconds, breathe out for 3 seconds and then hold it again for 3 seconds. Take 2-5 minutes to do this a couple of times throughout the day and you will feel a difference instantly.
4. Put things into perspective
Whenever you’re facing a situation that makes you stressed/nervous/anxious ask yourself; What’s the worst thing that can happen? Is this a life-threatening situation? If it won’t kill you in one way or another, it is probably not something you need or want to stress about. Things like speaking in front of people is not a life-threatening situation (even though most of the people probably would feel like it going into it! A few nerves could of course be good in this situation but maybe not feeling totally stressed out). Nor is being late to a meeting or a restaurant booking, you simply apologize and plan better next time.
5. Act out of your good heart
Get comfortable with that not everyone in this world will take the things you say the right way. I experienced this last year and wow what a good lesson I learnt. I could sense the energy from a friend of mine and she was not in a good mood and I instantly started thinking of things I said and did, as if it was something that I had done. Without talking about it we went on with our day and after repeating in my head; what did I do to make her upset, I realized that whatever it might’ve been, it came from my heart. I never intend to hurt anyone with my words or acts and this time was not an exception so I changed my mindset and got over it. This realization was a great relief and step in the right direction for me. I now feel comfortable with my best efforts. Later on I found out that she was just having a bad day and it had nothing to do with me.
The thing is that if you are doing your very best to be a good person and all your actions comes from the heart then if those actions are not taken the right way at least you’ve done what you can. I don’t think you should be ashamed of your best efforts, rather think that you learn for next time.
These are a few strategies I’ve learnt the last few years and they’ve become staples in my stress management cup board!
What strategies do you have?
“Knowledge or perception of a situation or fact”
- Consciousness, recognition, realization, apprehension, understanding
“Determine the behavior or supervise the running of”
- Manage, direct, administer, supervise, guide
“One’s own/individual, to take or grasp, sense of the relative position of neighboring parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement”
Awareness and control are two things I’m looking to improve in my clients because I know it will improve their proprioception and therefore strength.
Why? When you know how your body is situated without looking in the mirror you will be able to control where it goes. If you consciously can control where your body goes you will be able to build good proprioception. With good proprioception you can build a strong and powerful body.
How? By exploring as many different planes, angles, situations, positions, movements as you can you will over time build awareness of your body in the different circumstances. Be a beginner and suck at things will develop your brain and body awareness tremendously. Ido Portal talks about the benefit of being in “Zone 1” which means you are an absolute beginner in the position you expose your body to.
What? Exercises that promote increased flexibility, stability and strength that doesn’t involve external load are in my experience great exercises to start with to bring more awareness to your body.
When? By improving the bodies awareness and control; proprioception, at an early stage you will increase strength and lessen the chances for injuries.
With great awareness; consciousness of where your body is positioned, and control; determination of where body parts goes in a movement, your proprioception; ability to respond to external force with correct movement and effort, will improve.