Procrastination the enemy of productivity – are you guilty?

Procrastination. Everyone is guilty of procrastinating once in a while.

You put off doing that one important task in favour of washing the dishes, doing the laundry, or playing a game. We all have some form of procrastination activity, but it’s the enemy of productivity and in business, there’s no time for it.

Encouraging Productivity

I’m a terrible procrastinator, and I hate it. So over time, I’ve tried to find ways to be productive and also to FEEL more productive.

There’s a plethora of books and articles that will tell you how to be more productive but a lot of the time those tips don’t work for me.

And even when I’m being productive I often don’t feel like I am.

Now I’m not saying what works for me will work for you but here’s what I’ve found helps:

Check Lists

When I have a checklist to mark off I’m able to tell if I’ve been productive and that in turn encourages me to be more productive.

It also works as a bit of a pseudo-reward, I love that feeling of accomplishment when I mark off a task.

There’s an App for that

And of course, in this technological age, there’s an array of apps for monitoring productivity and encouraging productivity.

Personal I’ve got two apps on my phone and a separate program on my laptop for this and I find them so helpful in avoiding procrastination.

My favourite is Habitica which a friend recommended as a way of tracking productivity.

It’s super helpful in that it’s designed to be a little like an RPG (Role Playing Game).  You get experience points and coins for completing tasks so you go up in levels and can purchase new equipment for your avatar.

For me, this format is really encouraging.  It feels familiar and even though the rewards are simply virtual I find them a great incentive for upping my productivity.

The other apps I use to keep myself productive are Anti-Social and Cold Turkey.

Forced time offline

Social Media and the Internet, in general, are some of the biggest tools for procrastination.

We’ve all had that moment where we go to check something on Facebook and then, one hour later, we haven’t gotten anything done. That’s why it’s so important to be able to take time off.

To unplug.

Although often times your work may require you to remain a little plugged in – emails need checking, research needs to be done etc.

For that reason, I’ve made blocking apps a part of my work habit. When I really need to buckle down and focus I turn on the apps and block off all access to social media.

Removing the temptation is a great way to push forward. If I slip up (and I do sometimes) I just get a pop-up that says the site is blocked – a great deterrent!

I’d love to hear about your productivity secrets, so leave me a comment.

Sasha Hanton

 

Facebook Groups – Time Management

Facebook groups and time management can often present a huge challenge.

Running your own group or being part of one can be extremely beneficial for your business.

BUT…

It’s really important to be able to understand what your objective is.

It only works to your advantage if you can control how much time you spend in the group…

AND… you are really clear on your purpose for being in the group.

Identifying your WHY

In order to successfully utilise and enjoy being part of a Facebook group, it’s vital to understand why you are there.

Is it to learn?

If this is the case, make sure that members are knowledgeable and generous with sharing.

Or maybe, you are just there to learn how other people run their groups. That’s fine too, but remember that each group reacts differently and it all hinges on the personalities involved, so what is working for one group may not always work for another.

Is it to teach and share your own knowledge?

Be sure that the admin of the group will welcome what you have to share. This can cause angst if the admin is not generous in spirit and sees you as “competition”.

To find potential clients?

This is definitely the most common reason most business people are in groups – although there is some exception (like our SMART Circle.)

If this is your reason, you need to be prepared to share your knowledge in a non-sales way.

Most importantly have a strategy going into the group.

After all, you want to share but you don’t want to give so much away that no one will need to pay for your services.

Size matters

The bigger the group the more there is to keep on top of.

It’s important not to make the mistake of thinking you have to comment on every post or read everything that goes up.

Big groups are not necessarily always super active. As a general rule, there tends to be a small core of active participants with the rest being “lurkers”.

When you first join a group take the time to look around. Then write a small introduction about yourself. Chances are you’ll get a few welcomes below your post – these are the people who are, likely as not, the most responsive members.

My personal observation is that smaller groups tend to be a lot more interactive than larger ones.

Spend your time wisely

Being active in groups can be a huge time drain. The first step is in recognising and acknowledging this.

Once you know the potential for time to gallop away it’s much easier to guard against it.

1 ) Be firm with yourself

Make a rule about when you will be in the groups.  Plan this into your diary.

What works for me is to pop into the groups I am a member of first thing in the morning and then again in the evening – not every day.

Spending 5 minutes skimming through the content is normally sufficient.

Do not be tempted to read every single comment unless the subject is something you really need to learn about or have expert knowledge on.

2) Build relationships

Commenting on a few key posts rather than hitting like on a whole bunch is much more effective.

A comment is way more valuable than simply liking. By taking the time to comment you are building relationships.

Typically members ask questions in groups. They are searching for answers. Answer the questions that relate to your area of expertise.

3) Know when it’s time to leave

After a few weeks in a group, if you are not getting valuable engagement that is either helping you or your business to grow, it’s time to pull the pin. There is no rule that says you need to stay.

Use the tools available

There are some very handy tools available on Facebook that help with managing what appears in your feeds and your time in the group.

Search

Use the search function to find questions/discussions on topics that you are interested in answering/learning more about. This way you don’t have to scroll through all the posts. It’s especially helpful in very active groups or if you’ve had a short break.

Notifications

When you like or comment on a post, if you don’t turn off the notifications you can end up with a whole stream of notifications pinging your way.

Similarly, if you want to follow a post, simply because you are interested, but you don’t necessarily want to comment, you can turn on the notifications.

Copy Link

Even better than turning on the notifications – if it’s something you want to refer back to – grab the link and paste it into an Excel spreadsheet.

You can then come back to visit it later when you have more time.

Turn Off Commenting

This one is great when you have a post that is getting heaps of engagement, but it’s now way past time the subject closed. You have the option to delete your post or better yet, just turn off commenting. That way nothing else can be added but everyone can still read it.

One final tip

Limit the number of groups you belong to.

Work out how much time you can afford to spend engaging. Then count up the groups you’re in to come up with a realistic figure of what time you can actually afford without it impacting on other areas of your business and personal life.

By limiting the number of groups you belong to you’ll end up being able to offer better value and create stronger relationships.

If found this helpful let me know in the comments.

Fly like a dragonFly like a dragon

Michelle

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Changing things up…for business growth

Business growth means changing things up.

But change is not a natural state. It’s something that often brings resistance.

Our natural state is to want to stay within our comfort zones. It’s what we know, it’s usually predictable. We’re not taking any risks and it’s…

Boring!

Comfortable

There is comfort in waking up each day knowing exactly what you are going to do.

It’s nice knowing what’s going to unfold. How the day will play out. No hidden surprises.

You know what you’re going to be facing when you step into your office/business. You can handle whatever the day is going to be throwing your way. Sure there may be a few little waves of disruption, but that’s okay…you can handle it.

This kind of comfort comes from the familiarity of a set routine.

It’s mundane and certainly not a challenge. It is not an atmosphere for growth!

Challenge

Facing challenges makes you grow, develop new skills and expand your horizons.

I know from personal experience that it is during the times when I’ve been facing the biggest challenges that I’ve really grown.

One of the biggest challenges I ever faced and that had a huge impact on my future business pathway was…speaking in public.

I was always the one in the background. I was happy doing research, speaking to people one on one, writing speeches etc.

I had the wordsmith gift but I was missing an essential ingredient… the confidence to stand up in front of a live crowd. TV and radio were okay because the audience was not actually right there. Not sitting right where I could see them.

For many years I was able to coast along and avoid public speaking.

However, this all changed in 2004. I won the Telstra Business Woman of the Year (NT) Award. Part of the expectation was that I would be willing to speak in public.

It frightened the daylights out of me…

Embracing the Challenge

I listened to experts on how best to tackle the problem of overcoming nerves and what a good speaker needed to do. Tell a joke, warm the crowd up etc and so on went the advice.

I am not a natural at telling a joke. I’m hopeless and forget the punch lines every time, so no way was that going to work for me. I also tried (in the privacy of my home) practising a bunch of other techniques.

The very best advice I got was from a very unlikely quarter.

It came from Veronica Macauley Cross. She was the Queensland representative for BCNA at the same time as myself. Her advice was simply this…be yourself, and don’t ever let anyone try to tell you that catch in your voice needs to go. It’s the emotion that you convey that makes you such a powerful speaker.

It was also empowering to know that people genuinely wanted to hear what I had to share. Veronica passed away in 2007 (she was living with advanced breast cancer from the first day I met her) but I vividly remember Veronica and the very solid advice she gave me.

I changed things up by becoming a (reluctant) speaker because the business needed me to do so. The message needed sharing and there was an eager audience spanning the globe who were all waiting to hear what I had to share.

Business Growth

My work as a breast cancer advocate and founder of Dragons Abreast Australia was definitely business. The business was promoting awareness of breast cancer.

A business can only grow when you are willing to embrace change. You also need to have systems in place. Without systems, it’s a struggle to keep the performance level high – it’s also impossible to effectively grow.

No matter what kind of business you have – regardless of whether it is for or not for profit it is absolutely essential that you are willing and able to embrace change.

Change = Opportunity. Opportunity = growth.

It often means stepping right outside your comfort zone.

The challenge is being willing to step out, to step up and to make changes. To learn. To adapt. To release a little control through automating, delegating and outsourcing… so you can achieve your business goals.

It’s often just a few small tweaks to the way you’re doing business that can make a huge difference in your results.

It can be tough to work out what you need. But it’s definitely worth spending time on.

If you are not sure where to start and need some help figuring it out…reach out to us...you’ll soon be creating and maximising opportunities to take you to the next level. Promise! Don’t take our word for it…check out what others have to say.

Fly like a dragon!

Michelle

 

 

Success…being successful – what does it take?

Success and being successful, whether it is in life or in business, means having a mindset that enables you to move ahead towards your goals.

A bunch of obstacles will always put themselves in your way. That’s life. What separates those who achieve success from those who don’t is how obstacles are handled.

In my experience, one of the biggest obstacles is often of our own making.

It’s called procrastination.

Procrastination presents itself in many different guises. The secret to avoiding being caught by this sneaky little disease is…

Being organised and….being disciplined!

This applies to both your personal and professional life.

Controls need to be in place to help maximise your time. This way you’re moving forward toward the results you want.

By being 100% honest you can easily pinpoint where you can cut down, chop out or build up your schedule.

When you truly want something you make time for it.

How much time do you spend on social media or watching TV, YouTube clips etc?

Ask yourself these two questions and be HONEST with your answers:

1)   Is it really necessary?

2)   Is my business really benefitting from this?

Sure we all need to have time out to refresh, reframe and relax BUT…

Spending a bunch of time watching and reading about what others are doing to move their businesses forward is not really helping you.

Think of it like this…they are telling you what they have achieved, persuading you to buy from them…their business is moving forward, but is yours?

Taking Action

Unless you are actively taking ACTION, rather than just consuming content, you are wasting your precious time.

When I started my career, many moons ago, there were no social media channels online.

Yep, I’m a dinosaur.

Instead, there were hard copy newsletters, conferences and key business events where there would be some top quality speakers. They were expensive – very expensive – so it was important to choose wisely.

BUT…here’s the thing…

Once the event was over, there was no Googling more information, listening to more Podcasts, watching more YouTube clips and more experts.

The conference, the piece you read in the newsletter or the event you attended would inspire you to take ACTION.

And that my friend, is the secret of success…taking momentum building steps each and every day that moves you forward towards your goals. Watching and listening is not ACTION!

This is why being organised and disciplined is so very crucial.

Getting organised

This means knowing what you need to do and when you need to do it.

In the early days of my career, I had a young family at home. Today I have adults in my life that I am caring for. My schedule needs to accommodate the time to go shopping for them, to spent time engaging in meaningful conversation and to take care of my own health.

Unless I am able to organise my work time, family time and “Me Time” there is no chance of everything getting done.

My secret weapon? It’s not exactly a secret…

Creating a plan and then using a MAP – measurable, achievable and progressive steps.

Having a MAP helps you keep on track.

It’s easy to meander – and hey, we all do this from time to time. That’s where the power of the MAP lies – getting you back on track after a meandering moment.

Just like all journeys, you need to plan your route. You need to know how you will get to your destination. By mapping out the key milestones, rest points, the quick look around and linger longer stays on your personal MAP you’ll be able to achieve your goals.

It doesn’t need to be highly complicated. Simple is best. The key is following that MAP once you have laid it out.

Time Management

Unless time is used wisely it slips away unnoticed – just like when you’re driving along and not paying attention. It’s so easy to miss a turn-off, especially if you’re on a busy highway with all the hustle and bustle of traffic flying past. You get in the zone and before you know it…

Darn! Missed your turn-off. You end up travelling further down the wrong road before you can come back in the right direction.

There’s a myriad of different tools and methods to choose from depending on what aspects of your time you are needing to manage. Different systems work for different people.

100-day blocks

One of my favourite methods is working in 100-day blocks.

Why?

Because it is enough to make sure things get done, and not too long that I am able to procrastinate – at least not for too long!

It means deciding in which blocks of time I’ll be implementing ideas and actions identified in my business journal.

It’s quite amazing what pops out of that journal. It’s my incubation spot.  Ideas pop into our heads very regularly.  If you’re like me, then you may not always have the time to implement them, but when you’ve  written them down, they are never lost.

Writing them down gets them out of your mind. It leaves you free to concentrate on tasks at hand. Writing your ideas in a business journal keeps them all in one place. Saves you losing them or having to hunt through a bunch of sticky notes or notebooks.

Concentrating in the present moment not only affords great productivity but allows you to fully focus on what you’re working on at any given moment.

When you focus on one particular aspect it’s very rewarding to see exactly how much you start achieving in a very short space of time.

What Success Looks Like

It’s really important to identify what success looks like to you. The reason being is that unless you know what it is that you want to achieve you will never be able to tell if you have got there.

You need to be able to measure and to identify when you have reached the goals you set for yourself.

And yes, goals can and do change over time.

It’s perfectly okay to set new goals but you must keep track of the ones you have already set, rather than dash off on another tangent. One step at a time is the key.

Life is very frustrating if you keep chasing something that always lies over the rainbow. You must enjoy the moment you are in. By embracing small successes along your journey you’ll start feeling so much more fulfilled, motivated and inspired.

A 360-degree successful life, to me, means being able to have the time to enjoy precious moments.

Moments to spend time with my elderly parents discussing garden plans and reminiscing. Time spent in conversation with my adult son. Girls sessions with my daughter. Going paddling, walking the dog and short sojourns devoted exclusively to me – that’s 360-degree success.

Having happy clients and feeling fulfilled by my work is integral to that life.  The fact I’ve received great testimonials, awards and recognition for my work is just the icing on the cake.

What does success look like to you? Let me know in the comments.

Fly like a dragon!

Michelle

PS You may like to join my private Facebook group The SMART Circle – a place dedicated to helping each other by sharing our knowledge and experiences. It is not a place where there are things for sale or a course to push. It’s simply about authentic connections.

 

When A Dragon Flies

Things have been hectic recently and, as the front woman for Dragon Sisters, especially so for Michelle.

She’s the one who does all the interstate and international travelling for the business. Her kids are adults. Mine isn’t.

Makes sense, yes?

Plus, she is a fantastic speaker, whereas I have the public speaking presence of a bratwurst. I’ve made one tiny appearance on Facebook Live – kind of a cowardly cameo – and I’m as eager to do so again as stabbing a fork in my eye.

A few days ago, I arrived to collect Michelle for an airport run. I gave the horn a quick toot, popped the boot and hopped out to give her a hand with her luggage. I heard her front door slam, so I knew she was bang on time and I headed up the path to meet her.

Her diminutive form came scuttling towards me, holding up an A4 piece of paper, like chauffeurs do at the airport arrivals gate, when they’re meeting someone they wouldn’t recognize from a bar of soap.

My first thought was that she was having a laugh.

It’s a standing joke that it’s a wonder Michelle knows where she is half the time, given that she often wakes up on an aircraft just in time to bolt out of the airport and into the first meeting.

But when I noted that she was talking at the speed of a fax machine – apparently to herself – I did wonder if she’d lost the plot.

Poor lamb.

It’s all been a bit too frantic perhaps.

Jabbering to yourself and charging about holding up a sign … before you’ve even left home base; well, that’s not normal.

Added to which, Michelle looked like she was having an identity crisis, or at the very least, a fashion victim moment.

She was wearing a jumper with a big penguin on the front of it and a pair of large mouse ears.

She looked like an escapee from Walt Disney’s sketch pad. Destined for the scrap that idea waste paper basket, before he came up with Minnie Mouse. (Who started out as Michelle Mouse – not a lot of people know that).

I peered myopically at her sign.

From a distance.

Not keen to get closer than I had to. Whatever was up with her could be catching. Sisterly support has its limits.

Then I read: on Skype with Exxxxxx.

Exxxxxx is a client in Europe. Obviously, the time worked for Exxxxxx in his time zone and Michelle was squeezing in a consult on the run.

Her mouse ears were bluetooth headphones.

And since she was travelling through the night, she was wearing the closest thing to pyjamas she could find.

I’ve always been in awe of Michelle’s time management skill. No one I’ve worked with has ever packed more into a schedule than she does.

Michelle – respect!

Shame I can’t say the same about your penguin outfit, but hey, Exxxxx couldn’t see it and I’m sure the Qantas flight crew have seen greater oddities. At least you weren’t wearing your onesie with the fluffy feet attached ?.

If you’re time challenged too, you’ve maybe already read our tips on the subject, so for a change, here’s a great article for you from Kristi Hedges writing for Forbes.

Fly Like A Dragon!

Yvonne

PS If you’re looking for great accommodation for a good price we always use this site

Time Is On My Side …..or is it?

The Rolling Stones

Time is on my side, yes it is …

Remember those lyrics?

I do!

Except for these days, I’m a cynical old rocker and sing along ‘Time is on my side, no it’s not’. So, sue me. Maybe Mick Jagger will … sigh … ?.

Well, daydreaming about rock gods of my generation doesn’t get stuff done, does it?

Ooh – now I’ve leapt into The Who talkin’ ‘bout my generation lyrics (from their album My Generation).

If you’re following Michelle’s Facebook Live Q&A, on the Dragon Sisters Facebook Page on Wednesdays, you’ll be noticing that managing your time seems to be a common recurrent theme.

We’re all of us always looking for tips, tools, resources to make it easier to keep pace with our super-fast tech-world and digital doings. To give us a hand in keeping up with our business, our clients – and our competitors!

The old saying the early bird gets the worm rings true. But how the hickory-dickory-dock do you get up early enough? With international time zones, it can seem like your clients never sleep – at least in terms of your time zone. And who wants a worm anyway? Not me! But a lively, wriggly prospective client? Sure. I’ll be up for that. And early! And rocking!!

How to keep a rocking

My favourite of Michelle’s tips is

5) Break times – Set yourself designated break times and stick to them. Leave your desk, and if possible go outside into the fresh air.

Don’t eat at your desk, take the time to chat with colleagues or read a magazine/chapter from a book, listen to some relaxing music or whatever appeals to you.

Three guesses what appeals to me … listening to the Rolling Stones, The Who, the who-ever – that’s my relaxation; plus, it gets me buzzing ?. Maybe not quite Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata in D Minor to soothe … but it does it for me. And she did say whatever appeals to you.

By the way, if you like the classics (other than rock classics) I do highly recommend Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata in D Minor. If you’re feeling frazzled that is definitely a go-to.

But for me … rock on!

Fly like a dragon

Yvonne

Effectively Communicating with a Virtual Assistant (VA)

A good working relationship with a virtual assistant (VA) comes down to clear communication that leaves no room for misunderstanding.

Heck, I think you can safely say that good communication is so important on all fronts and facets of life, not just business.

Everyone wants to be cooperative.

But unless you know what is expected, it can be really hard.

This is especially true when it comes to a business relationship and even more so when it exists in the virtual world.

Effectively communicating is the key to success on so many different fronts.

In my Facebook Live Q&A Wednesday I talked a little about using VA’s and it seems that it really struck a chord. Over 6 thousand views.

I’ve been innunated with PM’s, emails and the odd phone call with anecdotes and stories of experiences with VA’s. Some were on the positive side, many were negative and some just wanted clarity on what tasks a VA could do.

VA’s can do almost everything that does not require a physical presence.

However, the key to having a successful relationship is nailing down your requirements. AND communicating them clearly.

This post, on Effectively Communicating with Your VA was written by dear Bibi, who unfortunately passed away earlier this year. Vale Bibi Van Heerden – your wisdom continues to assist so many travelling the business journey.

We’re very fortunate to have a team of excellent VA’s that work with us here at Dragon Sisters.

It’s taken trial and error.

We’ve honed our skills at briefing, and we’re continually learning how better to communicate with our team.

You also need to keep in mind that many VA’s do not come from English as a first language background. So although they have fantastic skills, unless the briefing is clear, the results may not be exactly what you expected (or wanted).

If you have stories to tell of working with a VA, we’d love to hear them in the comments below. Similarly, if you are a VA, we’d love you to share your best tips for successful client relationships.

Fly like a dragon

Michelle

 

 

 

My Secret Weapon

It’s Wednesday, halfway through the week, and rather than an ‘aha!’ moment, I’m having an ‘aaargh!’ moment.

When I was a fledgeling sales person, a trainer told me to avoid making cold calls on a Wednesday. He advised that at the mid-stage in the week, people started to feel a bit on the back foot and would give any sales caller short shrift, sending them marching, before there was the least chance of getting a toe over the threshold.

My problem’s rarely my feet (other than the one I tend to jam in my mouth fairly frequently), but rather, my hands – I reckon I could really rock the multi-arm Hindu goddess look.

Unfortunately, I don’t have multiple hands to juggle the week’s jobs.

Fortunately, I have something even better!

Want to know what my secret weapon is?

A Virtual Assistant.

Actually, Dragon Sisters has several VA’s, who are some of my favourite people on the planet. Especially when I get to off-load jobs I’m rubbish at, slow at, or stuff I just hate doing!

Having a VA is like having a fairy god person complete with a wand to magic stuff for you.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

That’s because it is!

If you want to know more, here’s Michelle’s Free yourself up with a Freelancer article, which applies to selecting a Wunderkind VA too.

Plus, where to find them and how to pick a good one.

Now, I’m off to email my Aargh Moment into the ether where it will be magically transformed into an Aha Moment, by a very talented VA ???.

Nothing like breaking out your Secret Wednesday Weapon ?.

Fly Like A Dragon

Yvonne.

Number One Tip for Better Time Management

Do you struggle with time management? If you answered yes, do not despair.

The good news is that you’re not alone.

Time has a habit of running past all too fast. When you’re in business it is essential to have great time management skills and the reason is simply this – time is money.

Good time management can be achieved through discipline.

It’s not easy, but it is doable and like anything else it takes training.

The more you do something, the more you are training your brain into great habits.

So here’s the thing …..

One of the best way to wrestle more time is to take control of your inbox.

When you control your inbox, as opposed to it controlling you, you’ll soon notice that you’re able to achieve a lot more.

Trust me, this works!

How to gain control

You must TAKE ACTION!

Your own action. It begins with switching off your inbox.

Switching off  your inbox is NOT closing it down.

When you switch off, means you are in offline mode. No new emails can drop in to distract you.

Gain control by working in offline mode.

If you’re not sure how, here’s a little demo clip.

The benefit of offline mode

You still have your inbox open.  This means you can action and refer to the content while working.

You can even write responses, but the responses won’t be sent till you go back online.

By working offline, you are no longer distracted by emails as they drop in.

Yes, yes, I know – you have will power, but that’s not exactly true is it? I mean to say, out of the corner of your eye you will see that email icon. You’ll register at some level that there is new mail.

By being in offline mode you won’t be tempted to take a peek.

Here’s how peeking wastes your time

The moment you peek, you become distracted. When you’re distracted your attention is no longer focussed on the tasks at hand.

Peeking at emails means you spent at least 2 minutes each time (and it’s usually more than 2 minutes) trying to regain your though pattern and get back into the ”flow”.

This is not productive.

Imagine you do this for 10 emails over the course of the day – that 20 minutes you’ve lost.

20 minutes just getting your thoughts back into the flow.

Then there’s the time you spend reading, and I’m betting you didn’t action it immediately, so will go back later and deal with the matter.

So can you see how you’d pretty quickly waste 60 minutes?

That a scary thought, because if you repeat this pattern each day (and you get more than 10 emails) you’ll be clocking up several hours a week of wasted time.

This precious time is something you will never get back. So don’t waste it.

The beauty of good time management

With good habits, you’re freeing yourself up to have more hours to spend on things that really matter.

Stuff like family time, getting out with friends, or just precious time for yourself to veg out with a good book, Netflix or whatever takes your fancy.

When you carve out time for yourself, your business grows and thrives.

The reason is simply this – you are in a better frame of mind. You are relaxed and refreshed, so you are more focussed when you are working.

From a personal perspective, I’m as guilty as the next person of wanting to peek at emails. BUT, I control this urge by working in offline mode – it’s part of my secret sauce formula for day-to-day self management.

How often should you look at emails?

This very much depends on how your work comes in and your day flows.

I suggest 3 – 4 times a day.

I work across the globe, so my routine has to factor in the time differences in the US, Europe  and Australia.

Work out what works for you and start to establish your own routine – there is no one size fits all – because each place of business is somewhat unique.

I guarantee you’ll love this way of working once you get into the habit – although it might scare you a bit at first to be offline.

Got questions about trying this routine? Ask!

I’ll personally respond to each comment and query, so go ahead and leave one.

To your success!

Michelle

PS – you may like to check out the helpful FREE resources on our website.

HOW APPEALING IS BRAND YOU?

Staring down the barrel of the of the last quarter of 2016 can be daunting.

We’re coming up to the year-end sprint finish. Time to turn on an Olympian effort. I’ve got to say I’m feeling less Usain Bolt and more Used Up Burnt.

I need a holiday.

Hah! Fat chance. I’m as likely to get one of those as I am of beating Bolt off the blocks. Snowball in Hell stuff.

I’ve got commitments. A stacked Inbox. A backed up Task Manager. Things to do. People to see. Deadlines to meet.

I’ve got to be on point. Too bad if I’m feeling less than rapier sharp.

Rather than cutting a swathe through it all, maybe I’m bashing along with a baseball bat, but it gets the job done. Perhaps with less panache than I’d like.

But hey, it’s been a big year and I’ve got enough bags under my eyes for a trip to Bali. Eye luggage only.

Truth is, Brand Me is looking a bit tired.

Like a billboard poster left out in all weathers. Not a great advertisement. And I’m not the only one.

Bali RetreatAlmost all my personal and business friends are muttering about needing a break.

So why don’t we take one?

Because we’re women with an inbuilt martyr syndrome?

Because we’re control freaks who won’t trust our associates further than we can throw them?

Because we are our business?

We are our brand.

When was the last time you looked at a brand, one with a weather worn billboard and thought, that looks great, sign me up, I’m in!

Answer – never!

Whether you’re working for someone else, or for yourself, people buy people.

They buy in to Brand YOU. Always.

Maybe we can’t justify a break. But shiny new brand development?

Now we’re talking!

Dragon Sisters & Salty Plum Events have teamed up to run a unique retreat, focussing on Brand YOU refreshing, re-framing and relaxing.

These gals know what they are doing.  Click here to learn more  about what they’ve organised for invigorating Brand YOU!

Yvonne

Yvonne Toering is a business development consultant who has worked with leading organisations and brands including Securicor Group, Vodafone Group, ASDA as well as most of the UK’s major high street retail chains including Marks and Spencer Plc, the National Health Service, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mars UK, and the Grand Metropolitan Group, owners of Burger King, Smirnoff, Samuel Webster Brewers, Haagen Daas, Cinzano and other iconic brands.