27 Jul

Are you a slave to distraction?

I’m going to assume that losing the use of your mobile phone would be most people’s worst nightmare. Probably for some more than others, depending on how attached you are to it or how much you rely on it.
I liked to think that I wasn’t one of those people who was completely hypnotised by this little device, but alas after my mobile phone went on the blink I have had to come to terms with the fact that after only one day of not being able to use it, I am showing signs of withdrawal. The biggest issue for me, is not knowing. Losing the ability to receive information and be updated immediately.
So whilst developing nervous twitches in my eye and hand, I started thinking about all of the other “things” that distract us during our day. Things that shift our focus from what is important and prevent us from completing and achieving our goals.
 
I hear people complaining about not having enough time in their day or their week to get to important jobs and tasks. I wonder how much of their day is filled with unnecessary distraction, which very quietly steals precious time away from them?
So here is an experiment to work out your ratio. Productive working hours vs. wasted work hours:
1) At the end of your work week document 5 key tasks/jobs that you would like to complete every day for the upcoming week. Or select a goal, which needs to be completed in a week and then break the goal into smaller, manageable goals, which are then distributed into the week.
2) Plot these tasks into your weekly planner for the upcoming week. By completing this it gives you a head start and you don’t feel as though you are starting the week on the back foot.
3) When the week begins you will now have each day planned out for you. After each day, spend 5-10mins documenting your day.
  •  Did you achieve your 5 tasks/jobs for the day?
  •  If you didn’t, why not? What stopped you from achieving the tasks?
  • If you did achieve all 5, well done. Why did you achieve everything on your list?
  • Complete this after-action review everyday and see what the end result looks like.
  • Where and why did you win and where and why were you challenged?
  • What distracts you? Were the distractions people, your motivational levels or your environment?
4) If you had to eliminate or manage those distractions, what would your week look like? How productive could you be?
The other thing which also needs to be raised, is do we necessarily need to know what is going on in the world all the time? How debilitating can the distraction of information overload be on your business and personal life?
My new goal, don’t allow unnecessary distractions from taking over my precious time. How about you?
Need some assistance? Contact me. nicole@tikumu.co.nz for professional business coaching.
22 Jul

When does change happen?

“So when does the change happen?” – A question I get asked a lot. And its often asked in the same manner as someone would ask “When will we be eating dinner?” It seems many people assume that with coaching there is an immediate change, in the same way there is an instant change from being hungry to being full after meal time.

The results of coaching are not instant and it does take a fair bit of time before the desired results can be seen.

When you start off with the coaching process, first you are invited to explore  alternative options and views, which you probably wouldn’t have looked at or even considered before. Deep down inside however, there may still be a desire to stick with the status quo. You may logically know that the change is best, but you are still hesitant to committing to the new way. Rightly so, new is unknown, untrialled and potentially risky. Old habits do definitely die hard and it takes courage to move outside of your comfort zone and make the choice to alter your current situation for the better.

So when does the change happen? Change starts to happen when you stop just saying you are going to change, and you actually do it. When you stop observing the alternatives from a safe distance. When you choose to include those alternative views and habits into your life. When the “new way of doing things” becomes the norm. When you stop looking at the change with fear.

So how do you get to this stage of being comfortable with your change decision and actually doing it?

This is a tricky question and is different for every person. Some arrive at change faster than  others. The following questions may assist or prompt you to act.

  1. What is your biggest motivator for this change? Is your motivator intrinsic or extrinsic?
  2. If you didn’t make the change and everything remained as is, how would it affect your life?
  3. How often do you put off thinking about the possibility of change?
  4. Have you set yourself a deadline?
  5. Who is supporting you with your decision?
  6. What resources do you have to assist you in facilitating this change?

And lastly, what does your gut tell you?

Need some assistance? Contact me. nicole@tikumu.co.nz for professional business coaching.

15 Jul

Are you married to your job?

Are you married to your job? Don’t worry this is not a loaded question to make you feel bad about spending more time at the office than you should. How much time you spend at work is your own choice. You might really enjoy those long hours.

Most of us spend a considerable amount of our lives working, so perhaps I should phrase the question in this way. Are you happily married to your job?

For me, a happy fulfilling marriage or partnership is built on many things. The same goes for a happy fulfilling job. Besides good communication skills, sharing common goals and having a strong self-awareness. A strong foundation for both of these is having a set of shared values .

Now, it probably depends on which stage of life you are in, as your priorities and values at 22 are very different to your priorities and values at 45. A fresh out of school or college graduate will most probably say that having a job is all about getting a pay check, finally gaining independence and building up the required work experience. So in a nutshell they value money, independence and experience above all else.

Now you may maintain these values throughout your career and be perfectly happy. However, as you move through your career your values may shift. This shift is not always known to us upfront, but what we might start noticing or feeling  is that our work satisfaction and motivational levels have decreased. This could mean a host of different things and before you pull your hair out perhaps start by asking yourself these questions.

  1. What was the initial reason for me joining the business?
  2. Have my prioritise or values changed since joining the business?
  3. Are the business values aligned to my current personal values?
  4. Does the business live up to their stated values?
  5. Do I trust that the business will align all important decisions it makes with its values?

By answering these questions you will clearly see if you share the same values, or you may identify an area which needs to be reviewed. For example one of the parties might not be living their values, or your own personal values may have shifted. It may not be about money and independence anymore, it may be about integrity, honesty and trust.

Then like in any marriage or partnership, the crucial question is asked. Do I stay and work through these issues, through good times and bad times, or do I choose to leave? The choice is yours.

05 Jul

You don’t know it all

In the article Screw Mastery, Hannah Rosin writes about a time in her career were she was in a position of all-knowing and mastery. She was successful and had everything going for her. Then she chose to give it all up and become a novice in an industry that she knew nothing about.

These days this type of shift is not uncommon. Some people are in continuous transition, moving jobs, careers, countries and even relationships. People are more curious, less risk- averse and more resourceful. They also view the world differently. They are more open to new concepts and ideas. Not afraid of constructive feedback or failure.

Here’s the big question. If you are in the position of all-knowing, do you have the same openness to alternative  views, constructive feedback and opinions from your fellow colleagues and employees or are you stuck in your “mastery”ways? Are your blinkers too tight causing you to experience tunnel vision?

As a business owner or manager you are often expected, or it is assumed, that you know everything about your business. And you probably do. However, just because you know everything, does that mean you should not consider alternative ways of achieving business goals?

How do you view the opinions of your team or the suggestions they put forward? Are you genuinely open to new ideas, or do you just listen and humour them and then do it your own way anyway?

The lesson here is if you continuously ignore your team’s suggestions, opinions and ideas you will lose them. Good employees don’t want to be “yes-men” or “yes-women”, they want to see that they can add true value into the business. They want to make a difference.

Mastery is a great achievement and anyone who achieves it in their profession should be commended, but remember this, mastery can also be your downfall. Always be open to new ideas and concepts. Remain curious.