Posted by on January 29, 2016 | 0 comments

Stop Multi-tasking!

I used to pride myself on my ability to multi-task, to juggle a number of different tasks and projects at the same time. That was round about the time I kept burning out. Multi-tasking is like cutting yourself up into multiple pieces and hoping that each piece will do the work of a whole person. It can’t happen! Here’s an analogy to illustrate my point: Imagine the rays of the sun falling on a piece of paper. Pretty unremarkable, isn’t it? That’s exactly what multi-tasking is – multiple rays of activity on the canvas of your life, with very little overall impact. Now imagine placing a magnifying glass between the rays of the sun and the piece of paper so that the rays are directed towards a single point on the paper. Boom! Combustion; impact; transformation. In his book titled “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World”author and computer science professor, Cal Newport, writes about the value of what he calls “deep work” – those focused...

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Posted by on January 26, 2016 | 2 comments

How to Beat a Funk

Let’s face it – we all have dark days, some days darker than others. And when those moments come it can seem like all the great work we’ve been doing has come to naught. Here’s what NOT to do about it: Give yourself a hard time. If you’re anything like me you probably hold yourself to a very high standard and are intolerant of suboptimal performance. Trust me, beating yourself up isn’t going to help. Keep focusing on the problem that’s got you stuck. Looking at the same issue for the hundredth time isn’t going to move you forward. Make the funk mean something about you. Or take it as a “sign” that you’re bound to fail. It isn’t. Allow the funk to linger indefinitely. If you let it an innocent funk can quickly turn into a slump which can ultimately lead to doubt and paralysing fear. Suffer in silence. It’s very tempting when you’re feeling low to want to turn off your phone and crawl under the duvet....

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Posted by on January 21, 2016 | 0 comments

How to Stop Sabotaging Yourself

It’s the same every time. I’ll be on a roll with my work – developing great content for a leadership course I’m facilitating; tweaking a talk I’ve been asked to deliver; or writing an article – when out of the blue a crazy thought will pop into my head. And not the fun kind of crazy. It’s usually something more sinister, like tripping onstage, missing a critical deadline or an accident involving one of my children. At first these thoughts would freak me out. What’s happening? How can I go from such a high to a sinking low? Is this some kind of disorder? (I still think like a doctor, even after all these years). Then I began to notice a pattern: these dark, hopeless thoughts sneaked up on me when I had my guard down, when I was excited about what I was doing, and especially when I was having a breakthrough in a particular area of my life. It was as if they were warning me to...

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Posted by on January 19, 2016 | 0 comments

How to Use Fear as Fuel

The other night I had a pretty spectacular dream. In the dream I was at home, casually minding my own business when an intruder came into the house. It was a woman and she was angry about something. She was shouting at me, and I noticed she was holding a gun in one hand. I didn’t feel particularly scared of her or her gun. I figured she was just trying to intimidate me, and I responded to her accusations calmly and rationally. Suddenly it all changed. She decided that she’d done enough talking and she told me in no uncertain terms that she was now going to shoot me. And you know what? I believed her. I sensed in my bones that she intended to kill me, so I did the most sensible thing I could. I ran for my life! You know how in dreams running away from someone is often so difficult? The will is there but the legs just don’t move fast enough? Well, not in...

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Posted by on January 14, 2016 | 0 comments

A Different Kind of Goal Setting

We all know the process of traditional goal setting: You identify a goal. Decide what needs to be done to get there. Map out each action step. Take action, ticking off each step as you go along. This is all good and well, except for one major problem: it doesn’t work, and only leads to frustration and an experience of having failed. You see, life doesn’t work in clear, measured steps. Stuff always happens – glitches, disappointments, delays. If you are determined to stick to your rigidly outlined steps you will end up pulling your hair out in frustration. Here’s a more empowering way of setting goals: Determine what you want to achieve. This step is critical because it defines the context for your journey. Don’t bother doing anything else before you’ve clearly defined your goal because you’ll be wasting your time. It’s that important. Define the first few steps (or even just the first step). Then get going. You don’t need to have the entire journey perfectly mapped...

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