2014 February

Can you be more productive in less time? The 4 surprise pay-offs of doing less.

02 23 2014

Tell me, my dear Glitterati girls, have you ever had one of those days where you feel like you’re running half an hour late for your own life?  You’re over-committed, busy and trying to get way too much done in too little time?  You somehow manage to pull it off (you are a super-woman after all!) but end the day exhausted, mentally and physically.  How frequent are those days?

I’ve been at high-speed since new year.  I admit that I kind of like it like that – it makes me feel like I’m being productive, making progress. Sometimes though it means I’m hurriedly ticking things of an endless to-do list, hurtling forward yet not looking up to see where I’m heading.

This past week I instinctively felt like I needed to slow the pace a little and breathe.  It goes against the grain for me.  Unless I’m doing something I feel like I’m wasting my precious time.  But, I’m learning, slowing down can make you more productive.  

Would you try to slow the pace a little this week?  Here are four reasons to give it a go:

  • You can hear the penny drop: When I wasn’t racing at a hundred miles an hour, I started seeing some obvious answers to things I’d been working on.  Obvious, stare-you-in-the-face answers.  Forehead-to-palm-of-hand moments of realisation.  I could see what I’d been doing right and what I needed to differently.  I could have wasted hours being busy but, by taking the time to just let it simmer, the answer was there in a fraction of the time.  
  • You get to be a human being: Catch me ‘in the zone’ and you’d see me quiet, concentrated, busy.  In my own little bubble. Stepping away from the doing has meant I’ve had more time to connect to people.  Actually talking and sharing and relating a little more.  Some of these conversations have led to opportunities that I could never have planned for or created from my busy ‘doing’.  By allowing myself to ‘be’, doors have opened that I’d have missed before.
  • You realise you can’t do it all on your own: Just crack on and get it done.  Sound familiar?  What if you can get it done with a little help. Is there anything you think you should be doing that you could get a helping hand with?  I’m a technophobe but I’m also pretty independent so, when it came to trying to solve a techie problem, I was tempted to default to my usual I-can-work-it-out-for-myself attitude. And I probably could have with a LOT of Googling!  But, instead, I posted a question in a Facebook group and very quickly got an offer of help – a techie angel appeared, gave me 30 minutes of her time (out of the goodness of her heart) and, bingo, I had my answer. People are kind.  People love to help out.  Slow down and share more and you never know who might swoop to your aid.
  • It’s flipping nice: How about, it’s nice to slow down because it feels better than the usual break-neck speed? Yep, it gets my vote too.  I spent Friday – a work day! – enjoying  some  quality time with my friend.  We drank coffee, had a leisurely lunch and chatted.  It was a complete tonic.  

Now, as uncomfortable as this might be, it’s your turn.  Can you slow the pace this week?  What time can you earmark for yourself to cast the to-do list aside and switch off?  I’d love you to share in the comments below.

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My one big learning from running a business… so far

02 16 2014

I worked in the corporate world for eleven years.  It was all I’d known of my professional life, except for a short spell of freelancing.  I was part of a team, I was managed, I was a manager.  My working life was shared with people.

Fast-forward to this evening.  I’m sat at my desk in my home office, just me and my laptop and a cup of tea.  Were it not for the company of Jake Bugg playing in the background, you could hear a pin drop.

I like to work this way.  Actually, I LOVE it.  I can spend hours happily ‘in the zone’, as my hubby calls it.  I do my best work this way.  But, it has its pitfalls and there was one biggie holding me back.

This past week I ran my first live webinar, The 4 Secrets of Successful Working Mummies.  I’d had this on my plan since last October – four months ago!! – but I kept putting it off.  It was new and daunting and well out of my comfort zone so it got shunted down the priority list, week after week.  As I mentioned recently, I’ve been working with a business coach and, during my coaching session on the 14th January, I committed to hosting the webinar less than a month later.  And guess what?  I made it happen.  And guess what else?  It wasn’t close to being as nerve-wracking as I thought.  I actually enjoyed it. 

As I treated myself to a bubble bath later that evening, I reflected on how the webinar had gone and asked myself what had stopped me doing it sooner.  The simple answer was fear.  I was worried about what people would think.  I knew my content inside and out.  I was confident that I was sharing great value with people BUT I had no-one to reassure me.  I realised that I missed the input that I would have had if I’d been part of a team.  A senior manager to make suggestions and revisions.  Peers to encourage and motivate.  And the simple truth is I was putting off facing into these fears because I could.

It’s not the first time in my career I’ve done something that pushed my limits.  In fact, it doesn’t compare to some of the fear-inducing situations I’ve faced BUT I couldn’t shy away before.  It was my job, my responsibility and I was accountable.  Bingo!  The light went off: I hadn’t been holding myself accountable.

I looked at the other non-movers on my to-do list and recognised the same pattern.  If something was new territory or a little bit scary, I was avoiding it.  With no senior bod to report to, I was letting myself avoid things.  

Decision time.  I realised I had a choice.  I could scratch the ‘scary’ things from my plans completely OR I could face them head on and see where they lead me, personally and professionally.  If you know me at all, there was no decision to be made… I’m all about overcoming the mental blocks and hurdles to design a life and business that sparkles.  So, watch this space.  In the words of the song, from now on every day I’m hustlin’

Now it’s your turn.  What are you putting off?  I’d love for you to share in the comments below what one thing you’ve been avoiding and why… AND what action you can take to make it happen. 

P.S. Don’t you just LOVE this mug by Ashley Brooke Designs in the picture?  I think I need to treat myself to this little beaut as a daily reminder…

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Featured on... WorkingMums.co.uk

02 15 2014

If you’re a new mum thinking about going back to work, the chances are that you’re pre-occupied with two big decisions: what working hours will allow me to have my ideal work and family balance? and who will I trust with the responsibility of caring for my baby?

I know all too well that, in reality, there’s a lot more to the return-to-work decision than that: there’s the financial necessity – often the main factor in the decision, the logistics of nursery drop-offs and pick-ups, the ‘Plan B’ for the inevitable poorly days, the support offered by your employer, but too often the mum’s own career wants and needs don’t factor.

I’m featured on WorkingMums talking about putting a new perspective on the return-to-work decision.  Read the post HERE.

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New mum anxiety: one year on

02 09 2014

Let me give it to you straight.

I’m a lucky girl. I have a beautiful family. I’m doing work that I LOVE. My life is full of special people who support and encourage me. I know I’m blessed.

BUT…

Even with so much to be thankful for, this time last year was a low-point.

I’d quietly been struggling with new mum anxiety since Louis’ birth, unable to share with the happy mums I was meeting, and I’d isolated myself. I was negotiating a part-time return to my pre-maternity corporate role while my confidence was at rock-bottom. I felt removed from the true me. I motored through the routine of my day-to-day and had little interest in doing anything more.

My passion is encouraging women to discover and LIVE their sparkle… yet, my own sparkle was waning.

It turns out I wasn’t alone.

I needed role models. I needed mentors to look up to. I was looking for examples of women who’d made the adjustment into motherhood yet still had an identity that was authentic to them… Their sparkle.

I decided to extend an invitation to women I admired – I asked them to share their secrets, their tips and their honest accounts of the challenges they face.  I was inspired.

I began to share some of these inspiring accounts in my Secrets of my Success series.  And I have other gems lined up for this year.  The more I shared my story with women and, in return, they shared with me, the more I realised that there were common threads. Common challenges. Common worries. Common traits of success.

So I decided to put together a free “class” where I’ll be sharing The 4 Secrets of Successful Working Mummies.

If you’d like to learn the 4 “success sappers” to avoid, as well as the success traits of these women, click HERE to register for your spot.

The details:

Tuesday 11th February @ 7.30pm GMT

RESERVE MY SPOT NOW

 

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Join me for free webinar: The 4 secrets of successful working mummies

02 04 2014

Do you feel like you’re constantly ‘spinning your wheels’?  Are you striving to be the best mummy, employee/entrepreneur, wife/partner, friend and feel like you’re failing at every turn?  Are you struggling to make peace with being a working mummy?

When you’re living with the unpredictable demands of mummy-hood, there’s no such thing as “work/life balance”.  But then feeling frazzled, out of control and guilty isn’t much fun either.

There is another option…

Join me for the live webinar The 4 Secrets of Successful Working Mummies where I’ll be sharing:

  • The 4 sappers of your success and energy!
  • The one big reminder that you’re not on your own
  • The 4 “secrets” that successful women swear by to design a style that fits their work and family

Reserve your place —> HERE

I know how it feels when you’re spending all your time and energy striving for your ideal yet missing the mark.  I know that it can get you down!  I also know that it IS possible to create the working lifestyle you desire so you can work on your terms and nurture your family too.  I’ve been learning the secrets of some really inspirational role models and can’t wait to share their insights with you!

Join me February 11th, 2014 @ 7.30pm GMT —> CLICK HERE

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Stop waiting: a celebration

02 02 2014

Once I’ve got a slimmer waist, a tauter tummy, slimmer thighs, clearer skin, glossier hair… THEN I’ll feel attractive.

Once the house is cleaned, the laundry is washed and ironed, the beds are freshly made and the fridge is fully stocked…. THEN I’ll feel like a domestic goddess.

Once my children are fed a nutritious, home-cooked meal, entertained with creative play, nurtured with quiet interaction, bathed in nasty-free bubbles and settled soundly…. THEN I’ll feel like a good mummy.

Once I’ve got that promotion or secured a new business partnership, been recognised by my peers, increased my income…. THEN I’ll feel like a professional success.

Once I’ve made the perfect romantic gesture, created quality time to talk and listen, shown gratitude for the positives and shown patience with the frustrations… THEN I’ll feel like a good wife/partner.

Once I’ve done a regular 30-minutes cardio three times a week, 20-minutes conditioning, 15-minutes meditation and drunk my daily green juice… THEN I’ll feel healthy.

Once I’ve called my friends and family, recognised birthdays and celebrations with thoughtful gifts and meaningful sentiments, spent quality time with all the important people in my life… THEN I’ll feel like a loving friend/daughter/sister/auntie.

…..

What if you stopped waiting until THEN?

What if you chose right now that you are enough?

How about choosing that you are the perfect version of yourself right now?

You are right where you are meant to be.

This is your story.  Celebrate it.

What happened yesterday has gone.

What will happen tomorrow is yours for the taking.

You are who you are and where you are right now for a reason….

You can choose.

You can choose to feel attractive.

You can choose to recognise all you do to create a nurturing home, be a nurturing mummy, a loving wife, a professional success.

You can choose to BE the you that you want to be right now.

Imagine what that would feel like.

How would you act differently?  What would you choose to do right now?  How would you choose to be with the people around you?  What would be important for you to have in your life?  What wouldn’t be important?

You are doing the very best with what you have. 

My lovely, you are doing a great job – be gentle with yourself.

 

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