#Life lessons 101 – How to find your balance and ride the wave when life starts going wibbly wobbly


Sometimes life just goes wibbly wobbly. You know what I mean. There hasn’t been a big trauma or drama, you are not having to fight for survival. Things are just out of balance and you can’t seem to get on top. Your energy goes low, you feel out of sorts, restless and frustrated. Personally I have been feeling wibbly wobbly all week. And I am not alone. Almost everyone I have seen this week is in a similar place. Now this maybe a seasonal epidemic as we transition through autumn or it may simply be a case of attracting what I sending out into the universe. Who knows? And more importantly how do I get my life back together anyways? 

Well funnily enough surfers have the answer.

Life going wibbly wobbly is just like a bad day of surfing with inconsistent swell patterns and messy waves. On days like that surfers miss easy waves, sometimes even smack themselves in the face with their boards and generally decide they are the worst surfer in the world EVER. Just like me in my wibbly wobbly life they can’t ride the tide and the feeling makes you want to give up. 

But as any surfer will tell you the key to riding that tide and coming back from a run of bad surfs,  is finding your balance. And that means getting out of the water and off the board. It’s the same thing that helps you to find the balance when life is going wibbly wobbly. 

The only way to stop this wibbly wobbly feeling is to break the cycle, re center, re:root and find my point of balance. 

We all have a point of balance. It’s different from person to person, but it’s there. Physically and emotionally. But how to find it? 

Personally as I practice seasonal spirituality I tend to take my cues from nature. So looking round right now nature is in transition. Autumn hasn’t really hit and winter is already creeping in. I am stuck between wanting to hibernate and fighting to move forward. Balance is about navigating transition – rather than trying to ‘nail’ a spot and (desperately…er…um) gracefully hoping to stay in it or stay on my board. Balance is my core and center. The point inside me where everything is interconnected. Life being wibbly wobbly means that somewhere something is off inside of me and that’s where I have to focus to be able to ride the tide. And what nature is telling me right is that I need to let go just as it is letting go of its leaves. I need to wind down as the sap begins to slow down it’s flow. I need to strip back to my essence just as the trees are beginning to show the skeleton of their trunks and branches. In essence to find my point of balance I need to stop fighting so hard, let go , slow down and connect with my essence. And that for me is sleep, hearth, home, yoga and creativity. And that is what intend to focus on.

That works for me but as I said everyone’s point of balance is different. So how do you find your point of balance? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Get off the board and out of the water

Take a tip from the surfers and get off your board and out of the water. If things are going wibbly wobbly that the universe is trying to tell you something. You are not going to hear the message if you just keep on going. Stop. Whatever it is you are doing. Turn off the phone, close down the computer and reconnect with you. Ask yourself what is causing me to be out of balance right now? A great way to do this is to use the Wheel of Life Tool. It’s a great check in tool which will help you quickly identify what is going on. 

Here is a free online Wheel of Life you can use in less than 2 minutes to check in with your self.

Do a physical MOT

For finding my point of balance for me often means looking at how am I taking care of my body. Like when your car gets an MOT we need to got through a checklist of self care. 

Have I been sleeping enough? 

Have I been eating properly? 

Have I been winding down enough? 

Have I been moving my body enough?

Basically do a check in with you physiological needs. If you are fulfilling one of those needs then that is where you have to focus right now. The car won’t run without a regular intake of fuel oil and water. Neither will you. Make sure you are taking care of your personal engine. 

Find what balances you

In order to be inbalance you need to know what balances you. Have a look at both when you last felt in balance and the things that make you feel grounded and in yourself. It could be that being in nature re balances you or spending time with the family. It could be that it is important for you to get things done or to live in keeping with your values. Or it might be meditation or talking with your best friend. Brainstorm a list and then take a look. When did you last do these things? Choose a couple that you feel are the most important to you and do them. As soon as possible. This week. Even right now!

——————————————————————————————

Rebalancing takes time and energy.  You have to consciously choose it and prioritise it. As I was writing this article, I made the decision that for the next few hours work can wait. I need to wind down and recharge. So now I am laying on squishy pile of cushions with my duvet at hand and candles lit. As soon as I finish this I am going to take a nap and then do some yoga. Learning from nature letting go and winding down so that I can ride the wave tomorrow.

How will you connect with your point of balance this weekend? 

Have a lovely weekend

<3 Emma-Jane

Advertisements

#Lifelessons101- Recovering from a week of Hell

It’s been a hell week. One of the toughest I have experienced in a long, long time. Here’s a quick break down. 

  • The sauna and swim break I planned as a re boost on monday morning didn’t happen as the swimming pool closed for repairs
  • The important event for my business got double booked and hence people didn’t come – now risking me not being able to run a workshop program I love teaching in Copenhagen 
  • Then I got attacked at a train station (I am ok just shooken up a bit)
  • Then I managed to get locked out of the house in the wee small hours. (Luckily my keys returned)
  • And then the project I have been working on all year, one of my major life goals has in the course of one email gone from looking amazingly positive and going to happen to probably not going to happen after all. 

To top it off this has all been in the middle of the 10 busiest days of my autumn so I am running on empty. And bugger me I woke up to a low blood sugar this morning and had to deal with the hypo. And consequentlyI  feel both physically and emotionally battered. 

It has not been my week!

I am sure you have been there. The week from hell where the universe is just piling up crap all at once and you feel helpless. Personally I want to hide under the duvet and lick my wounds and have people bring me crumpets and chocolate. 

However, I know that the only way I am going to feel better it’s to take charge of my recovery and see if I can’t turn hell into happiness.

Me. And only me. Is going to turn this around. (Of course if someone has a desire to bring me crumpets and chocolate I am not going to say no!) After a week of hell I know that both a combination of practical self care and mental boosting is going to get me over this bump and feeling happier. 

Here are some of the strategies that I am applying right here and right now to find some happiness after hell. I hope they help you if you have been battling the universe throwing crap at you this week.

The Pollyanna

If you saw the film, or read the book, you will know that Pollyanna always tried to see the good in a situation and played the glad game to make herself and others feel better. It feels impossible until you try it. For every bad thing try and find something good that came out of it. I might not be possible with everything but give it a go. So here’s mine:

  • The double booking I managed to understand a new way to communicate and I met with 2 lovely people.
  • The attack- Well I actually got to sit in first class and drive a train because a kind guard took pity on me and moved me to a place of safety. And by reporting it to the police someone who is obviously psychologically ill (attacking a stranger for nothing) will maybe get access to the help they need.
  • The Key – gave a chance to cry and let go of my frustration. I really needed that.
  • The project – ooh this is hard I am so disappointed. Well I guess I got one step closer to my dream becoming a reality which means I can get there again.

Those things I can honestly feel glad about despite it all. 

Aggressive Self Care

When it’s been a hell week you HAVE to prioritise your physical and mental health. Let me stress that again prioritise your physical and mental health. Going to that party and drinking will probably help in the short term but not in the long term. Treat your recovery from a hell week the same as you would treat recovery from being ill. Cancel your plans. Delegate as much as you can. And keep the things that are you absolutely have to do to a minimum. Invest time into your recovery. Have a hot bath, order takeout instead of trying to cook a huge dinner, ask your partner if they could take the kids so you can have some alone time. Even if that is just to sleep. Do simple things, tasks that give you energy and give yourself a break.

Mr T and I were supposed to be going to the annual local animation festival tomorrow and spending a whole day out. I always love it. But this week I just want to sleep and be cosy in the garden. We might pop down to see the retro games lounge but seeing lots of films and visiting exhibitions is not going to make me feel great right now. Pootling in the garden on saturday, listening to jazz and wearing PJ’s all sunday, watching WALL-E on my sofa and having a facemask will.  So that is exactly what I am going to do. 

Boost your self confidence

One of the worst things about a hell week is the way it leaves you feeling like you can’t do anything right. That you are powerless in your life. It’s a horrible feeling. And if we are not careful it can give a beautiful opening for a ‘poor little me’ victim complex to take over. Leaving us feeling bitter and tired. The only way you can get over this is too remind yourself how great and accomplished you are. Grab a piece of paper and look back through the previous year. No matter how you feel right now there will have been something you have achieved this year. Brainstorm those achievements. They don’t all have to be BIG. Anything you feel proud of yourself for put it down on paper. Now have a look. See this is just a glitch. You can do a lot and don’t you ever let anyone, including yourself, tell you any different!

———————————————–

A hell week is of those rubbish, crappy times that  we all go through. But that’s the point WE DO GET THROUGH IT. By investing time in your recovery from a week of hell is going to get you through it 10 times quicker than pushing yourself to work even harder or block it out with booz or other vices. 

These rubbish times are the bits that make the beautiful parts of life even more beautiful. I know that sounds like a cliche but it is true. When you get over this you will feel so much better and stronger.  And you will get through it.

So pave your way to feeling happier by allowing yourself the time you need to recover from the week of hell. 

If anyone wants me this weekend you will find me in my garden or my pillowfort, you are welcome to pull up a blanket and join me in some healthy recovery r and r. 

Wishing you a happy weekend 

Love  Emma-Jane <3 

# Life lessons 101 -How to avoid burnout and re prioritise RnR when you are insanely busy

This week has been the start of my hella stressful 10 days. I have periods of life like this occasionally where my days are just unavoidably  jam packed and that’s the way it is. Since I started working with time management these insanely busy times are less and less. But it’s like Christmas hols with a lot of family parties or the 3 deadlines that coincide with your child’s 11th birthday and your best friend’s 40th birthday sometimes you just can’t get out things that are happening all at once. And if like me you have a time pressured life already, these intensely hectic busy periods can leave you exhausted and burned out. And we don’t want that. The answer to avoiding this post hyper-active busy period burn outs is relatively simple

When you are insanely busy that ‘s the time, more than ever, that you need to prioritise RnR

I know. I know. It seems impossible. But trust me if you can learn this art you will probably still end up tired, that’s unavoidable yet, you will be less tired and will ultimately avoid burn out. 

The key is all about how you prioritise both the things you have to do and your R and R.

Take my next 10 days. In this time I have 32 coaching sessions, am teaching 4 workshops, travelling up and down the country, have 3 articles to publish and won’t be at home for 6 nights. By anyone’s standards this is insanely busy. But here I am on day three and to be honest although I know I am busy I feel relatively relaxed and grounded. How?  you ask. Well it’s the result of some major planning. When I have a busy period coming up I have a few planning tricks that get great results and give me the down time I need to get me through it. 

If you have a busy period coming up these tools will help you glide through it without creating intense or worse, irreversible time pressure stress damage. 

Pre busy period preparation

9 times out of 10 we know when a busy period is coming up in our calendars. Which means we can take advantage of some tactical planning. Look at the weeks before and after the hella busy point and schedule in your calender times before and after where you can recharge your batteries. For example I have refused all social activities for the last 2 weekends to give me time at home. 

And don’t just stop at planning your time. You can use these weeks to get you prepared for the busy time. You might not have time to do any major house cleaning during your busy time so do it before then you can be happy with putting a minimal effort when life get’s hetic. I for example knew that I wouldn’t be able to do washing due to not being home so I did the whole damn lot before I went away so it won’t seem insurmountable when I get back. Ialso know that when I get back I won’t have much energy to cook for the week after I return so the freezer is now full of easy dinners for me to heat up such as lasagne, jacket potatoes and quiche. 

Basically the pre busy period is about being aware of where your energy will be during and after and preparing what you need to make life simpler during that time. 

Cut down non-essential tasks

Before your busy period decide what you can cut out during that time. Is it really that important for you to go running every morning during that hella busy week or is it more important to make sure you get the sleep you need and run 3 times less? Do you really have to tidy the whole garden or can you get away with just cutting the grass? Which tasks can you put on pause or spend less time at work on, to make sure you can put your energy into meeting your deadline? You have to be really honest and sharp in your prioritising here. And don’t you dare designate all r n r moments as non-essential. Yes you can cut them down but DO NOT remove them! During my busy time I have cut my training down from 2 times a week. It’s given me 2 extra evenings to recharge and go to bed early.

By making the decision to cut down on non essential tasks beforehand, you will avoid the guilt loop during your busy time. You won’t be thinking ‘oh I should be doing this, that and the other’ because you know that you are doing what you really need to do and there will be time later for that. That guilt loop takes a lot of energy by removing it you will have more energy for yourself.

Plot in your R n R buffers

The R n R buffers are important for pre, during and post busy time. Don’t just leave the periods of down time empty. Plot a few activites in that you know will give you an energy boost. Last weekend I dedicated a little time to doing a jigsaw puzzle and watching a series. It’s not something I do often but it gave me alot of energy without taxing my brain too much. I also popped in an extra swim and sauna last week knowing I would be not training as much in the next 14 days. I have another weekend planned with nada, nothing which will be dedicated to some easy creative projects, the dark crystal series and cosy time in my garden to recover.

The most important R n R buffers are of course during the busy time. Look at your schedule and block out sometime for yourself. Wether it’s an hour before bed where you wind down, setting yourself the goal of completing one thing that will make you happy and putting time aside for it or simply designating a 30 minute earlier bedtime so you can unwind with a book put it in and STICK TO IT! 

So for example my  r and r buffer is going to be a morning off for a swim and a sauna during my busy week and making it important to unwind after 21:00 each evening. It’s these little things that really help to keep your energy up and burn out away.  

Check in with your energy

During your busy period you have to check in with your energy levels. When we think of be productive we often plan after out tasks rather that whether or not we have the energy to complete them. That there. Right there. Is the recipe for burnout. I check in with myself in the morning when I look at my todo list and once again at the end of my working day. When you check in you ask yourself where is my energy at? What can I cope with today? And prioritise after that. If you are low and have an intense day then it is totally ok to drop making dinner from scratch and order a takeaway (and we are so lucky in this day and age that there are many healthy takeaway options).Do I have to call my friend tonight or can I use that ten minutes to do something my body needs like yoga or meditation?

Planning after my energy levels has seriously been the most effective tool I have found in managing my busy periods and staying mentally healthy. It allows me to think realistically and accept what I can do, what I can’t and focus on the former. 

———————————————————————————————————-

Prioritising your R n R during an insanely busy period is one of the most valuable gifts you can give yourself

Surprisingly it makes you more effective in your life, brings peace of mind and lightens up times that could have been so stressful. These tools take no longer than 5 – 10 minutes of your time and are simple to implement. After a while you won’t notice you are doing it. 

What you will notice is that when you prioritise your R n R in a  hectic life period you will have less breakdowns and be happier – and after all isn’t that what we all want in life

How are you going to prioritise your R n R in the next busy period? Let me know in the comments below

Have a wonderful weekend 

Emma-Jane <3

#lifelessons101 – Frustrated? Try the healing power of whimsy

Under a fair amount of stress at the moment I am finding many things frustrate me. This week I had one particular incident with a company who has provided me with bad products and bad service. Now normally that would annoy me but in my current frame of mind, I exploded with frustration. It was like some hidden cave troll boiled up from the deep recesses of my soul and even with using anger management techniques,I could not let it go.) Until that is I stumbled upon James Veitch’s video “The agony of trying to unsubscribe” and got a great reminder of the perfect tool to stop feeling frustrated.

Whimsy

Seriously whimsy. Jame’s video advocates instead of being frustrated and annoyed with the bane, pointless, or boring points in life, that you find the game. Find the fun and whimsy and focus on that. So I tried. And instead of being p*ssed off I took the Veitchian approach and found the fun. Which actually resulted in me making myself laugh as I delighted in wasting the time of the people at the printer company who had frankly been mucking me about. (I mean who sends a printable return label to a customer you sent dysfunctional ink cartridges)  It felt great. So I thought this whimsy thing. Maybe I can apply it to other annoyances in my life. That led to an exploration of whimsy that is turning both my life and my stress around.

You want to try it? Of course, you do! I mean who wants to be annoyed when you could be smiling and light-hearted right? I adopted what I call the Vetchian Principle which is

Annoyed? Frustrated? Look for the game and bring whimsy back into your life!

Ergo whenever something really annoyed me, I would look for a fun way to turn it around. (Similar to the way the Riddikulus spell works in Harry Potter where you have to turn a fear into something funny.)  It Is BRILLIANT and IT WORKS. Here are a few of the whimsical ways I have been turning around my frustrations this week I hope they inspire you to your own ways of using the healing power of whimsy and basically having a happier existence.

Handling the illogical and frankly stupid bad customer service by turning into the stupid naive and illogical customer wasting their time and giving me a great laugh. (This one is pure Veitch!)

Making a pyramid of finished cardboard toilet rolls that Mr T leaves consistently in the bathroom to remind him of the need to take them out.

Incorporating stupid insults and gestures into arguments. So instead of yelling at each other, an argument became a Monty Python-esque battle of stupid insults and much blowing of raspberries.

Equally starting a pillow fight mid row to break the tension.

When my patience is tried by other people I have been responding to their pure idiocy with nonsensical sentences (Fry and Laurie are great for inspiration here).

Finding random and bizarre gifs to respond to annoying facebook comments.

Working in a pillow fort rather than at my desk to prove I can be both childish and a proper grown up

The ultimate thing with this principle is that it makes you laugh and diffuses tension.And we all know that one of the best stress relievers in the world is laughter. Try a 7-day whimsy challenge. Look for the game in the irritation and you will find that you, your life and your stress load is lighter. In the comments please, please inspire me by telling me how you turned your frustrations around this week by introducing whimsy into the situation.

Have a wonderful whimsical weekend <3

What is life without whimsy_.jpg

#Lifelessons101 –  Changing to a positive attitude (inspired by Gretchen Rubin)

Recently I got a wake-up call. And it wasn’t a nice one and kinda scary to admit in public. Ok here goes. I am in reality a pretty negative person. Not in my professional life, where I inspire others to see the bright side of life. Not even my public life, with friends or on social media. But at home behind closed doors, I can be, and regularly am a pessimistic, grumpy stress head. Not a great realisation. However, it is a constructive one as it’s a starting point for change.

I realised this at a recent Lammas workshop where we were talking about sacrifice and the concept that if you want to make something new in your life you have to let something go. (Or sacrifice it, just as the wheat gets cut down to become our bread and brandy) One of this year’s goals for me it to have a healthier, happier relationship with Mr T. Our communication has taken a downwards turn of late so I wanted to improve this. But as the year has gone and stress has been rising if anything my negativity and negative communication with the man I love has got worse. Definitely a glowing neon universal sign that something needs to change.

And of course, that change starts with me. In that workshop, I identified that one of the reasons I was being a snappy cow was because I had too much control and responsibility in our lives and that made me unconsciously resent Mr T (who bless him is sublimely oblivious to this fact). Secondly, I was having trouble letting go of frustrations, little niggling things, like the fact he can’t put the cardboard from a used toilet paper in the bin (WHY??), blind me to all the good and sweet things he does. So letting go was a big key to changing my negativity to positivity. But how? That’s the magic question.

Luckily one of my favourite author’s Gretchen Rubin came to my rescue in her wonderful book “The Happiness Project”. It seems Gretchen had exactly the same issue as me. Always jumping to the negative rather than the positive. In fact, it’s a common issue for many of us. To combat this Gretchen took a whole month to consciously work on her attitude, focusing on the positive rather than the negative. I love this idea, it really spoke to my structured loving mindset. So for the next four weeks, I am going to focus on my attitude.

And this is how I am going to do it:

Identify how you want to change

To not make this a sweeping declaration (a la Marshell Eriksen) I have made a plan. Firstly I have identified how I want to change :

  • I want to understand my negative reactions and use that to help me turn them into positivity.
  • I want to use positive language
  • I want to feel less angry and frustrated
  • I want to think positively even under stress

Make resolutions

Following the Gretchen recipe, the first step is to make resolutions. The idea is to find specific areas to focus on to reach your goal. So my 4 resolutions for this month are:

  • React positively
  • Use good manners
  • Let go of things that don’t serve me
  • Find my joy

The surreal thing is that as always the universe is listening. And lo and behold the moment I set these resolutions I began to find ways to keep them.

Catch the negativity, analyze it and find a positive way to react

If you find that like me you often react negatively, the first step to change is catching yourself at it. Ask yourself why you re reacting this way and then find a way you can react positively.

As I have been writing I could hear the annoying piercing scream of the hoover my Mr T is using. Immediately my first reaction was one of frustration. The noise is too loud. I can’t concentrate. Why the heck does he have to do this now! Normally I would let this spiral on until my next interaction with Mr T and then this frustration would be thrown at the poor unsuspecting man. However, in the spirit of reacting positively, I didn’t. Instead, I took myself outside away from the noise, caught my breath. And therein remembered that we have some neon green noise cancelling headphones. So now I am sitting here comfortable in the lack of wailing noise and appreciative that my lovely man has cleaned the house and I don’t have to do it. (Note to self: Be grateful and say thank you.)

Use good manners

Now this one is lifted straight from the book. As I read I could really relate to the fact that I don’t always use good manners in the way I speak to people. Well, correction, in the way I speak to Mr T. One of the curses of a coach is that you use a lot of energy helping others to feel good and grow, which can mean you don’t have much energy left. And often I find that manifests in me being rude to  Mr T. Well they do say “We hurt those we love the most” which is stupidity if ever I heard it. I didn’t want to hurt Mr T. I wanted to treat him best of all persons. So I have started to find ways I can use good manners towards him. Assuming less and asking more. Using please and thank you. Not rolling my eyes when he is annoying (one of his pet hates). Doing actions of love. Basically being nice.

If you want the world to feel nicer you can’t expect it to hand it to you on a plate if you aren’t willing to be nice too. Good manners are something we can all work on in every aspect of life. Ultimately it’s about being kind and the world is always better for a little kindness.

Let go of things that don’t serve me

Mr T is frustratingly good at this. In a situation, I recently found hella frustrating and a bad experience, Mr T simply focused on the positive things and found the same situation as a great experience. He let go of the bits that didn’t serve him and kept the bits that did. Oh to be able to do that in the blink of an eye! I seriously struggle with letting things go. Partly because I have an expectation of how things should be. And partly because it niggles inside me. So my work here is two-fold.

Firstly I need to use the five-minute rule. Give myself 5 minutes alone to be cross, frustrated, sad, whatever I feel. Then ask myself “can I do anything now?” If I can then do something. If I can’t I have to let it go. However in order to do that I have to find the positives from the challenge.

Secondly, I have to let go of my expectation of how something should play out and enjoy the moment. So what if a date night ended up being a discussion about our finances. At least we got that sorted. Simply looking for the positive here is going to help. Also letting Mr T know I have an expectation is a great way to make sure disappointment is avoided.

There are many different ways you can work on letting go of that which does not serve you. Ask Google for inspiration. As always Google knows!

Find my joy

When you are stressed it is easy to lash out at our nearest and dearest. It’s normal. But I hate it. I always feel like I am the worst version of myself when I do this. So to release the pressure I want to focus on finding my joy in the stressful times. Whether I need some time alone, to draw, to write, to have a walk, to dance, to laugh. Basically, instead of lashing out I want to find ways to make me feel good.

pollyannaGretchen had a great suggestion for this the Pollyanna week. If you haven’t seen the film or read the book, Pollyanna plays the glad game. Basically, whatever happens to her she finds a reason to be glad. Gretchen took a whole week of being glad. I used to play this game a lot as a child. As an adult, it has transpired into my golden rule, if you can learn from a situation it was a good situation. But to just be glad seems like a much simpler and joyful way.

Instead of expecting others to give us joy in the down times find ways you can lift your own spirits and connect with your joy. In times of stress connect with yourself and ask you what do I need right now? How can I feel my joy?

————————————————————–

In essence, the recipe to turn your negative attitude into a positive one is quite simple:

  • Identify how you want to change
  • Make resolutions
  • Find ways you can make those resolutions a reality
  • Follow your plan

I hope you find this as helpful as I did writing it. How do you guys turn your negativity into a positive attitude? Let me know in the comments below.

Have an amazing weekend <3

I am in charge of how i feel and today i am choosing happiness.jpg

#lifelessons101 -My Tips and tricks for healthy time management (3 min read)

Time is our most valuable asset. We all feel as though we don’t have enough of it and we all want more. However the fact is that you can’t get more, there are only 24 hours in the day. And everyone on the planet has exactly the same amount of it. Kind of mind-boggling when you of you think of it like that. So how is it some people seem to have bags of time to spare and some people are always playing catch up? The answer is simple. Time management. The theme of this week’s focus has been time management and one Monday I showed you a week by week process of how you can become a master at time managing and give yourself “more time” by planning your time. (Read on here…)

It’s great to find a system to help you with time management. However, managing your time is as much a  mindset as it is a practice. So this week #lifelesson101 is full of tips and tricks I have found that changed my mindset to improve both time usage and time management skills.

Use your surplus time

You might be thinking what surplus time?! We all do in fact have time that we can put to better use it just takes changing your attitude to it and being aware of the opportunities. So have a look at your day. Where are you surplus time blocks? Travelling to work? Eating breakfast? The 45 mins between ending work and picking up the kids. These small points during the day can become great assets if we use them wisely. Breakfast time is a great point to throw in day planning activities, listening to podcasts or checking your email (no answering just checking). Commuting time can be used for ringing people on personal errands or just time to relax in an otherwise busy life. I love how my 2 hours commute became me-time when I live outside of and worked in Copenhagen so much that I actually avoided people I knew on the train to get that time to myself! When your plans go awry and suddenly you have some surplus time ask yourself how can I best use this time?

Energy patterns

You might not be aware of it, however, our physical energy usage has a pattern to it. And being aware of your energy makes for productive time management. For me, Thursdays are the day of the week where I have least energy so I minimize what I need to do on a  Thursday. Over a few weeks make a record in a diary of how you use your time and your energy levels. I recommend using the 1 (lots of energy) to 10 (no energy system). Just pop keywords in your diary and then note your energy down three times a day with a number. After 14 days have a look at your recordings and see if you can see a pattern. Knowing what you can and can’t do on certain days means you won’t plan in a way that pushes you into overwork mode.

Write it down

Whether you do this manually or digitally write your time management plans down. I use a combination of the two. I have a monthly to-do list in a book, a handwritten week schedule and then my favorite to do list app (Todoist) for my daily list. The point is you need to put your plans somewhere so you can free up your brain to focus on doing what you need to do.

Prioritise

Prioritise your time (and please relate it to how much energy you have). I recommend using the ABCDF system which is my own interpretation of Brian Tracey’s  ABCDE Priority system. It works as follows

A= has to be done today

B= can be done tomorrow

C= can be done next week

D= delegate

F= Forget it (this is not necessary right now)

However, I insist that when you use this system that A tasks also include self-care/ family time. We often tend to set work as an A task however you are the most important thing in your life. Without you these things won’t get done.  I use the 2 to 1 ratio. 2 A tasks for others (work/family etc) means one more A task to take care of me.

Do the worst thing first

We all have that big task hanging over us we keep putting off. Just get it done. Seriously nothing will make you feel better, lighter and happier than getting it out of the way. And when it’s done reward yourself by doing something you find fun!

Remember downtime

Take breaks. As I said earlier the commuting time might just be that you get 15  mins a day to read a book or talk with a friend. If you don’t plan and give yourself breaks you won’t have the time to recharge. If you are working on something that takes a lot of concentration take a 5 minute break every 25 minutes to keep yourself at optimal energy level. You can use apps such as Tide to help you remember when and how long for you need to take breaks.

Plan your social life as well as your work life

In a busy lifestyle it is easy to remember to plan work stuff, but it is easy to forget about your social life. How many parents out there schedule their children’s social activities but not their own? Pop social events into your calendar. Remember to include a skype or phone conversation with a friend you haven’t seen for a long time once a month.  Make sure your social activities are planned with breaks in between so you don’t get overloaded, or worse become that person that is always canceling. Buy planning your social life you keep it important.

Get support (remember to delegate or ask for help)

Being able to ask for help and delegate are two of the most important things we all need to learn. You are not a superhero (even though sometimes you are). Let me correct that,  you are not a superhero every day. Superheroes also need help, that’s why they have sidekicks. Delegating some of your load and asking for help when you need it is going to make your life easier and make sure you get more done. Your friends and family want to help and you’d do it for them. So ask.  

Saying yes to something means saying no to something else

As an entrapreneur this is hard to stomach. However, it is important to realise that saying yes to something means saying no to something else. As we said before time is infinite. You have to pick and choose your activities. Being aware of this simple fact will make you very conscious of when to say yes and when to say no. Use your ‘Yes’ wisely.

Remember you can’t do everything

Be kind to yourself. Time management is not about stressing you out or making you feel guilty for not doing things. The best-laid plans can go wrong. Life throws a curveball quite often. And we don’t have the same level of energy every day. So if you don’t manage everything it’s ok. I use the 70% is equal to 100% guideline. If I have done 70% of my days’ tasks I am happy with myself. Less than 30% is not the time to start beating myself up about not doing stuff. Less than 30% is a sign that I need to check in with myself and see if I am ok or not. It’s ok not to be able to do everything and if you aren’t able to do much then take care of yourself and your needs first.

——————————————————————————-

If you have a time management tip or trick that works for you please share it in the comments below. That way we can help ourselves and each other to make the most of the time we have

Have a great weekend <3  

Become the master of your own time.jpg

#lifelessons101 Bringing balancing to your life with the Spring Equinox

It’s finally spring! Even though you might not be feeling it where you are in the world, however with the Spring Equinox we are now officially shifting into the warmer part of the year. (So hang on there it is coming).  Equinox is one of the most powerful points in the solar journey of the year. A time where day and night become equal. A point of light and dark balanced. The moment just before the world bursts into life and the winter becomes a distant memory. Just take a moment when you are outside to look at the trees, the buds are opening, in the air even through the ice and the wind you can smell spring is here.

Equinox comes at the end of the tumultuous weeks at the end of winter. For me, the three days surrounding the Spring equinox is always a turbulent journey. As the day and night grow closer to balance point which is equinox I experience both the Ying and the Yang of my life. And then comes equinox that moment of calm after the storm. It brings a renewal of energy the proverbial spring in my step which just makes everything just a little bit easier.  When you work with nature spiritually or physically this journey is very clear. If you don’t make the passing of the seasons in your life just think back over the last 2 weeks. Can you see it? Often people find when looking back before the equinox (21st March) that they were struggling, challenged or simply just a worn out. And then after the equinox, they experience a surge of energy or a feeling of light relief. The challenges are still there but are not so bleak.

Equinox energy is a great revitaliser.  If at no other point in the year this(and autumn equinox) is the time where you can access a point of balance in your life. A moment of zen in harmony with the planet you are living on. It’s the time to bring yourself out of hibernation and give yourself a boost of spring energy.

Cleansing

Over the winter we tend to batten down the hatches, hibernating indoors. Now I don’t know how it is in your home but in our’s the winter journey builds up a lot of clutter.  No matter how much I intend to keep on top of it by Spring Equinox everything needs a good shaking up and clearing out. Spring Cleaning is a worldwide tradition and for me is a very practical hands-on way of cleansing my own energy. As we tidy up around us we tidy up on our insides too.

However, cleansing doesn’t just have to be about cleaning and clearing out the home, or the office, or in my case every handbag I have used over the winter. I tend to feel physically gunky after winter and in need of freshening up. Spring cleaning can also be a cleansing of the body. A sauna, a detox, a facemask, a sweat lodge, or a white sage smudging are powerful ways of cleansing the body both physically and spiritually. Choose what works for you. Even simply opening the windows can bring a freshness back into your life and help you to awaken with the spring.

Balancing

So after clearing away the winter, it’s time to rebalance. Like with cleansing there are many ways you can do this. I love to balance my chakras at Equinox. If you would like to try you can try this chakra visualization to get you started.

Another great way to rebalance is to take the time to check in with your life balance and see where you are out of kilter. An easy tool to use is a wheel of life. This gives a really quick visual guide to where you are right now in your life, what is going well, what is not and if you are balanced. If you want a more in-depth look then Re:root offers a life quality assessment coaching session where you gain both insight and guidance to rebalance your life.

Ultimately if you want to balance yourself then one of the best things you can do is give yourself a break. Luckily the Easter holidays are just around the corner and the majority of us will be getting some time out. Now I know we all tend to cram Easter weekend full of activities however you need to get in touch and wind down too. So for your own sake make some time for a timeout. Wind down and step off the merry go round for one day. Nothing will make you feel refreshed like a day without responsibility and pressure.

Moving forwards

Spring equinox brings balance however it also brings with it a call to action. Energetically it is a time to become active and inspired. After you have had your moments of zen it’s time to move forward with the spring. Take the time at Spring Equinox to choose 3 personal goals that you are going to set into action after the break. Get inspired to take your balance forward make the three goals reflect different aspects of your life. For example, pass my exam, go on holiday with my girlfriend and boost my self-confidence. It’s a great idea to have one of your goals focusing on you as a person (not you as a mum or you as a boss). Put your goals where you can see them and do a little something each day on one of your goals.

Get outside. Nothing gives us a boost like sunlight. Whenever you can get in contact with sunlight. The more rays you catch the happier you will feel and your energy levels will rise. Another great way is to simply open the windows and allow new air into your space when you feel in need of the spring boost. A fresh oxygen supply clears the brain and boosts the spirit.

—————————————

Taking the time to connect with the equinox energy by balancing yourself and stepping into the spring consciously will be the best revitalizing gift you will give yourself this year. And the great thing is unlike a spa holiday you don’t have to pay through the nose to do it! I hope this inspires you to go out and find a zen moment for yourself this weekend and awaken in the new light of the spring

Have a happy weekend <3

Sometimes you just need to step outside, get some air

#Lifelessons101 -Reluctance to change – how to bust through that big old block in 6 easy steps!

We all have those things we do that we would like to change. I know I do, the list is actually quite long. And if like me you have such a list it is so easy to get into a routine of self doubt, guilt and shame around the inability to make the positive healthy changes we know would benefit us and our life. In my life the biggest most glaring item on my list is my lack of exercise. I can seriously get into my stuff on this one. The guilt spiral runs deep and it has become a huge block of beating myself up (mentally) about my inability to commit to myself, my body etc etc etc. It has got so bad that when my wonderfully supportive man Mr T tries to suggest ways in which I could easily exercise he is more likely to get his head bitten off by my impression of the tasmanian devil than receive the (rightfully deserved) gratitude he should get for his support and care. In short it’s become an issue. A lifestyle habit I want to change and yet don’t seem to be able to make that shift. Until that is until this week.

I was doing so research into new coaching techniques and I stumbled upon a fantastic video by the energetic coach Jeannine Yoder on 4 questions that really investigate the blocks behind our reluctance to change in a powerful and insightful way. The technique is built upon the premise that any behaviour INCULDING negative behavior gives a form of positive benefit and value to our lives. It’s so logical. If we didn’t get something out of the behaviour we wouldn’t keep doing it. The NLP technique she described in her video is based upon 4 questions to help you analyse your behaviour from this perspective of positive value instead of negative judgement which makes the change so much easier to make because you come from a place of wholeheartedly accepting the change. I was blown away

I immediately implemented this technique into my coaching and my own development. Especially using it to look at the mental blocks I had to exercising more in my life. I tweaked and developed the technique a little (as every coach does).  And I now have this effective and brilliant formula for handling reluctance to change and smashing through the blocks to changing out negative behaviours which can be easily applied to anything you want to change. Already through my own experiences and my clients experiences in using this techniques during this week I have been amazed at how effective it is in manifesting new habits for change in a personally created bubble of motivation and I couldn’t wait to share it with you all.

So if you want to make a change in your life and are struggling to do so here are 6 easy steps you can manifest a new behaviour that serves you and your life

Step 1:  The positive things

Ask  “ What are the positive things that this behaviour is providing for you?

Dig deep and find out what it is you get from this behaviour. I was extremely shocked when I discovered a benefit for me  of not doing exercise was that it gave me the opportunity not to fail. I did not see that one before. This thought process really helped me get clear around why I liked not to exercise.

Step 2: All the benefits

Ask “ What else do you get out of this choice? What are all the benefits?

Dig even deeper and make a list of all the benefits this behaviour gives you. Keep writing them down until you can seriously not find more. My list was challenging to drag out. It took some big self admissions and yes it hit that pile of self doubt and shame. However rather than going there I kept going motivated in the knowledge I was being proactive to resolve the dramas and challenges I had.

Step 3: Keeping benefits

Now look at that list and ask yourself “ Which of these benefits do you want to keep?

Some of these benefits are things you really don’t want to let go of. For me with the exercise I knew that I needed to keep the benefits of affordability, giving myself time, the experience of not failing and the lack of pressure on myself. Circle these benefits in your list so you can really see what is most important to you.  These are the positive needs of your habit.

Step 4: Meeting positive needs

Now ask “ In what ways can you meet each identified positive need?

This is the behaviour changing part. You now look at each positive need and workout how to fulfill that need by positive behaviour. So I had to identify a form of exercise that I could easily put into my schedule, didn’t pressure me and that I would enjoy to give me a successful experience of exercise. Make a list of ideas of all the ways you can fulfill your positive needs in a healthy and beneficial way.

Step 5:  Embracing change

Identify “ Which behaviour can you wholeheartedly embrace?

Change doesn’t happen if you don’t really want it to. You have to feel in your heart of hearts that this is right for you. So from you list of ideas circle the ones that you really feel you can wholeheartedly set into action. Follow the feeling in your stomach, if something makes you feel reluctant then don’t choose it now, it maybe that you come back to it. I had written down thai chi as a potential exercise form that might work for me however it doesn’t feel right for me yet so I have chosen this. Going for walks however is definitely an option.

Step 5: Manifestation

Lastly ask “What positive actions do I need to take to create my new habits?

The last step is simply a list of the actions and agreements you make with yourself on how to move forward and manifest your new habits. So for me putting the dates in my diary of when I want to take a walk is a step for example. Make these steps achievable and realistic. If you want to start running don’t have as the first step  say sign up for a marathon. A realistic and achievable step would be plan a route and get some running shoes. 

———————————————————————————————————————

As I said before these is my own interpretation of Jeannie Yoder’s NLP technique found here on youtube. My clients and I love it. It brings an objective and fresh perspective and a judgemental free system to create new and beneficial habits that serve us in our lives. I hope you enjoy this process and after you have tried it let me know in the comments the new actions you are going to be taking to make your life a better experience!

Have a happy weekend <3

Old habits won't open new doors