25 Aug

The secret to successful project implementation

Starting a new project can be extremely exciting. The thought of getting your teeth stuck into a new venture can literally motivate you to get up and out of bed in the morning. It may even get the creative juices flowing after a dry uncreative spell.
The reality of new projects
The thing about new projects or introducing something new into your life, personal or business, is that it is new. It doesn’t have a place yet in your daily routine.
So after all the excitement and day-dreaming of what you could achieve with this new idea it comes down to asking the realistic question. How will this new pursuit fit into your already hectic life?  And unless you are a hermit living off grid, you do have a full and busy life.
 Making your new project work
How do you achieve this merging of something new into your schedule?
Before we get to the answer, first answer this question. Have you ever tried to add more water into a already full glass of water? Well the logical answer is no and why would you? The glass is already full. By adding in the extra water, it will just overflow.
So why try to do that in your own life? Fill your own already full glass with more “water”? Add more stuff to your already chaotic to-do list?
The secret to not letting the water overflow from your glass, is that you need to take something out of your life first. Remove an existing project from your routine in order to make room and time for the new, exciting venture.
Making space for new ventures
That does seem like a hard ask. What would you give up in order to make room for something new?
By introducing something new into your life you’ll need to spend time, energy, efforts and money on “making it happen”. If you jump in, boots and all, without considering the consequences of how this new project will affect your existing life and lifestyle you will either fail, develop a hatred for the project, or you will lose out on something else in your life. Rather set yourself up for success from the beginning than walk into failure. Rather be in control of the letting go than be forced to unwillingly let go in a pressured situation.
So before adding the extra water into the glass, ask yourself:
1) What am I happy to give up on to allow for this new project to become successful.
2) What am I not enjoying in my life that can be removed to make place for my new project?
3) If I cannot remove something from my life, what resources do I need to make things work?
4) If I don’t remove something from my routine and I don’t bring in additional resources to assist, what will happen?
 If you are going to spend time, money and energy on a new project, make sure you set yourself up to win from the very beginning.
Need some assistance? Contact me nicole@tikumu.co.nz for professional business coaching.
11 Jun

The secret to working smarter, not harder

I am sure you have heard the saying “If you want something done properly you have to do it yourself”. Have you noticed people’s reactions to this saying? Most of them smile, nod, agree whole heartedly and recall stories of undergoing huge personal sacrifices in their own heroic efforts of implementing a project single-handedly . This behaviour is somehow seen  as acceptable and even admired.

What is wrong with this picture? Have we been so severely brainwashed to think that to be seen as productive, successful members of society, we have to be totally self-sufficient in our lives, and that asking for help is a sign of weakness?

Well, whoever originally said “If you want things done properly you have to do them yourself” should be shot!

We are not islands. We do not function to our optimum on our own. In order to achieve even the most simplest of goals we need to interact with people around us. We need to rely and trust people to do their part. We need to ask people for help.

This topic comes to mind as I see this issue over and over again. The following question is relatively common in a coach’s  tool box and one I personally ask on a regular basis. “What type of resources do you have available to you?” 

People automatically think of resources such as finances, materials, time and knowledge. It is quite interesting that the least common resource listed when asked this question is, people.

If you identify with this type of behaviour try reflecting on the following:

  • If you saw someone else in your situation, what would you suggest they do?

Funny when it is someone else. I am 100% certain that your  immediate advice would be: “Ask for help!” Perhaps we should listen to our own advice?

  • Who benefits from you completing the project single handedly?

I don’t believe  this point needs additional explanation. In this situation, there are no winners. You just end up worked harder.

  • What will you lose if you ask people for help?

Strange but true, but most people want to be asked for help. We have this innate need to help people around us. Our friends, families and even strangers sometimes.

The last two questions I will leave to you to reflect on:

  • How would your life be transformed if you asked people for help?
  • What would you gain if you asked for help?

Overcoming the urge to not ask for help can be hard, but putting your pride and ego aside can be extremely liberating and definitely brings a great sense of relief. You’ll wish you had asked for help earlier.

As Sandeep Jauhar said, “The only mistake you can make is  not asking for help.”