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Getting off the hamster wheel of motivation by deadline

September 29, 2014

I used to have it bad. In university I pulled all nighters for my papers, and crammed for exams. I even tried cramming for my Chinese 101 exam – trying to memorise two hundred plus Chinese characters in one night is not something I would recommend to anyone. Let me just say, it didn’t end well.

This last minute frenzy approach to work followed me into professional life and meant that I was stressed out, fighting the clock, and left wondering if my good work product could have been great if I had a little more time to give it. . . .click here to read more.

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Evading the – not enough time – trap

August 1, 2014

Have you ever felt like there just wasn’t enough time to get everything done?

Well this May found me in a panic about a presentation I was giving with a fellow coach for a large group of women lawyers. At the heart of my panic was the thought “there isn’t enough time to prepare” followed by a second thought “and so I am not going to be good enough”.

That thought “there’s not enough time” raises much anxiety and stress in the legal profession and is the root cause of a lot of inefficiency, procrastination and wine guzzling.

The culprit for all this stress is a little almond shaped part of the brain known as the amygdala. It is the “fight or flight” centre of the brain. It is also known as our reptile brain or my particular favorite expression used by brain researchers – the neural back alley.

As my mentor Martha Beck says, the amygdala is all about lack and attack. All your scarcity thoughts come from the amygdala.

Here’s the challenge: The amygdala isn’t your smart brain. The smart brain is the prefrontal cortex located in your forehead. When we are down the back alley we are no longer thinking straight. We are reacting rather than responding. This stress propels some people, like me into panicked action. Others freeze.

My May article for Slaw.ca is all about how to get yourself out of the “not enough time” panic or frozen state and back into productive action.  You can read it here.

Posted in: Balance, Organization, work-life balance | Permalink | No Comments →

Giving my handwritten to-do list an upgrade

July 15, 2014

Old school, when it comes to-do lists that’s me. I’ve tried many of the productivity tools out there but the hurdle for me is I just don’t like typing up and entering my to do’s. I know many people who really like these apps and that is great, but just not for me. Right now I am trying out a new system called Bullet Journal. You can read about it here.  Coach Jill Farmer wrote about it in her summer newsletter and when I checked it out on-line it seemed like a great upgrade of my handwritten weekly list.

Bullet journal is a system developed by Ryder Carroll, an Art Director from Brooklyn New York, for turning a blank journal such as a Mole Skin into a versatile organizational and capture device. I am trying out this system and so far have my little journal contains action list for the month, daily to-dos, a list of blog topic ideas, another list of people to contact, and a handy index and page numbering system. Best part? It only took ten minutes to set up and now I can take it with me everywhere so I can capture things that come up during the day.

So far so good! I will let you know if I stick with the system. If you are a pen a paper organizer then check out the Bullet Journal site. You just might like to give it a try.

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