2016 July

Productivity: A Guilt-Free(ish) Alternative To Balance

07 31 2016

A bit later than scheduled…. but we’re back from a weekend at the beach where we’ve been enjoying the sunshine (sun here in the UK believe it or not).  It really was family time at it’s best.  The only thing on the agenda was to just be.  How refreshing!

Have you ever had that feeling where you’re doing one thing and feel guilty that you’re not doing the other?  Feeling like you should be with your family when you’re working and then mentally running through your list of things to do when you’re having some time-off with your nearest and dearest?

Yep, I know that feeling very well.  We’re old friends.  But a new way of looking at it all has shifted the guilt (well, at least some of it) for me.  So, this weekend I was able to enjoy and be present without my mind running ten-to-the-dozen.  (This is a major breakthrough for my Type-A brain!)  Want to know the secret sauce?

There’s a bit of science to it but let me give you the distilled version: create seasons to go after your big goals and to enjoy.

Sometimes, you have to go all out.  You may be going for a promotion, you may be launching a business, or leading a big project.  The thing matters to you – you want to do your very best, and so you’re going to go all in.  Your focus, your energy and time are going to be skewed in it’s favour.  

The toughest part is accepting that, for a defined time, other things will have to take a back seat.  But there’s the magic – it’s for a defined time.  Mentally you know there’s a time when you’re taking your foot of the gas.  You know the seasons will change.

It might be followed by a season where you focus on fun and pleasure and time out.  Your focus, energy and time is used entirely differently.  The pace is slower.  The perspective may be more inward – focusing on replenishing your energy, feeding your soul.

The big red flag here is that it’s not about stopping and starting in areas, it’s just that you can’t do and be everything at once.  It’s a recipe for burnout and guilt in huge doses.  But what you are doing is giving the biggest share of your attention to one area at a time.

And I’ve been trying it out.  You see, I’ve been fighting the losing battle of trying to be supermum and grow a business (and the many other things fighting for my attention) and I felt like I was doing a crap job at all of it.  The proverbial Jack of all trades, master of none.  After a busy 12 months of trying to do it all, more recently I’ve been in a bit of hibernation mode for the “winter” season and taking more care of me, focusing on revitalising my ‘reserves’ and soon I’ll be ready to go again.  (It feels like spring is coming!)

And so this weekend I made my peace with taking time out.  This is exactly where I was meant to be and what I was meant to be doing…. and with the people I care about.

What ‘season’ would you say you’re in at the moment?  And can you see how you could apply this to your life (and take a bit off the pressure off trying to do it all)?

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The Time Management Lesson I Learned From My Sick Bed

07 24 2016

Stuff happens, eh!  I had exciting plans for the week, and the English summer finally arrived… and then I came down with a chest infection and felt rotten.  Those sunny-day plans went out of the window.

With two little ones there are no ‘sick days’ as a buffer.  I powered on (albeit in low-gear!) taking care of the essentials – all fed, watered and entertained.  Same hours in the day but the priority was very different…

And here came my lightbulb moment.

Outside of caring for the boys, my priority was rest and repair.  I culled my planned-out week.  Tasks, chores, outings HAD to be cancelled or postponed.  Getting back on my feet was the aim of the game so (when I could) I slept, I watched movies, I ate better, I had bubble baths.  I was generally a lot kinder to myself than usual.

A typical week would have these ‘indulgent’ things way down the pecking order.  The tasks, chores, errands would come first.

But could I get the best of both?

With a bit of time management, hey?!  Or, how about this, how about a bit of purpose management. 

See, we can’t actually do anything about time.  It’s a definitive – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Always has been, always will.  (I’ve heard this so many times but it’s never quite hit home.)  So if I’m managing my purpose with the time I’ve got rather than robbing hours here and there (yet often feel I’m running half an hour late for my life!), maybe I’ll start making time for the things that count.

And yes, my own health and wellbeing count.  Yours too.  But I’d bet my bottom dollar it’s not reflected in how you currently manage your time. 

So, how about if you manage your purpose rather than your time?  What is it you’re wanting?  How do you want to live?  And love?  And feel?

If you were to take obligations out of the picture for a moment, just imagine what you would purposely choose to do with your time.

So, Sunday night is the night of my ‘weekly review’.  As I go through my usual routine (planner, calendar and a glass of wine all essential!), I’ll be looking at my week with fresh eyes.  And I encourage you to too.

Let me hear what you think.  What would this week look like if you started with purpose first?

To a week that sparkles (with purpose!), Emma x

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3 Ways To Deal With Changes & Life Transitions: Coaching Call

07 14 2016

The ‘average Mo’ has about 10-20 transitions in their lifetime.  I reckon I’ve had my fair share in the past five years alone!  How about you?

I see transitions as those BIG things – marriage, moving home, babies, career changes – as well as those smaller internal shifts which can have just as much impact.  Really, it’s a matter of perspective – whatever feels like a big deal to you IS a big deal.  

This coaching ‘hangout’ was designed to give you some reassurance that you’re NOT losing your marbles – there is a science to coping with change.  I also share some tips and tools to help you as you ride the rollercoaster!

You can watch the recording of the first Cocktail Hour coaching call below.  

Think back to times of change for you: how did you negotiate the change?  Share your tips to help someone else!

NB: The Cocktail Hour will be a monthly get-together.  Submit your question for next month: hello@emmagwillim.com

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Cocktail Hour: Join Me Live

07 10 2016

If ever there was a week when I wanted to reach through the interwebs and give a big group hug, this week has been it.

I’ve been so touched by messages that you guys have sent this week following my no-holds-barred admission of being in a bit of transition at the minute.  As it turns out, I’m not the only one and I feel really privileged that you shared your current wobbles with me…

Some of you said that it helped to hear that you weren’t on your own and so a few are bravely letting me share their words with the gang:

“I feel like I’ve lost a piece of myself and I don’t know where it’s gone”

“I sometimes feel like I blend into the background now, just someone’s mummy.”

“What happened to me?  I used to be so driven and knew what I wanted and I’m progressing at work but, over the past 6 months or so, it’s all felt so empty to me.  But the problem is I don’t actually know what I want instead.”

“I’m still the same person, with all the same hopes for what I want.  And now I’ve got a baby that hasn’t changed… but I’ve definitely lost a bit of confidence since I’ve been away from work.”

How do you feel reading those words?  I’m sure you’re like me and just want to rally round and cheerlead these beauties on.  One thing I know for sure…

YOU ARE SUPPORTED

That is, if you ask for it.  What I’ve seen over the past week is that people want to help and support and cheer you on.  People are good, they care.

And so, I want to return the favour. I’m planning a live Cocktail Hour Q&A.  Bring your tipple of choice and your burning question and let’s chat.

Tuesday 12th July, 8pm BST

If you want to join us**, click here to RSVP

(**And if you can’t attend but want a question answered, click the link so you get the recording)

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Times They Are A-Changing: A Note On Being Authentic

07 03 2016
Things here feel in ‘transition’ at the moment. Have you ever had that feeling that you’re getting ‘tugged’ inside to make a change?
 
In the (almost) five years since we got married, and had our two boys, it’s been an ongoing transition… and I feel like the bigger transition has been INSIDE ME. 
 
If you’re a mum, you might be like me – what you want to create for yourself and your family has shifted a little.  YOU have shifted a little.  Yes, you’re still that same girl at heart but maybe the 2.0 version!
 
How about you?  What was it that you felt called to do or be pre-kiddos?  And how has that shifted now?  Who were you before and who are you now that you’re someone’s mum as well as YOU?
 
One thing is crystal clear for me – that’s who I want to help and my BIG WHY. 
 
But how I want to work and create that has (and is) shifting.
 
So, I’m going against the grain.  The ‘perfectionist’ in me wants to only present the finished product to you, once I’ve worked it all out, but I’ve decided to share the behind-the-scenes with you as I work through the process of change…. (I’m sharing this behind-the-scenes with my gang in a secret group – click here to get in)
 
So, my ‘why’ (aka the thing, the purpose, the cause that inspires me to do the thing I want to do) is:
 
I want to help mums to be seen as who they really are.  Helping you to rediscover your true you, who you want to be and what you want to be known for.  To use my mindset expertise to help you clear the ‘stuff’ holding you back.  And then to help you design a crystal clear ‘personal brand’ so you can be seen and shine – and inspire your children to do the same.
 
This is awkward.  I can usually find the words I want but here I struggle to put it succinctly.  (Personal brand sounds superficial as it’s way deeper than that…. Hmmm?) So, how about this? 
 
“My purpose is to help women be seen for who they really are so they can nurture their passions as well as their family – and be role models for the little eyes watching”. 
 
What do you think to that?  That’s what inspires me and I’m going to be in ‘creation’ mode as I evolve what I can do to help do that (and craft a clearer way of articulating it!).
 
I truly value your opinion so if you have something to say comment below and share your thoughts.  When it comes to how you feel about you, what is it that you struggle with or have a negative feeling about?
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