Life-Work Balance Your 5 minute Quick Quiz

Life/Work

Life and Work,“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life”  http://quoteaddicts.com

I believe we have to put Life first because it is all we have. If we go some way to having a balanced life, then the rest will follow. In truth, not many people reflect on themselves and their needs just everyone else’s.

I ask the question “does balance figure in your life and work?” If not, why not? You need as much ‘Playtime’ as you have ‘Worktime’ Even though you might enjoy your job, you still need time away from it; similar to your personal life you need your ‘work’ to give you an anchor.

Which way does your Balance Tip?

Without a little balance, stressors can begin to creep in, and life moves out of kilter. So, is there anything you might need to change? If so maybe it’s time to ‘Do the Doing’ (check this out)

The Quick Quiz

Just indicate with a yes next to any of these that apply to you and we will see.

Continue reading

Yes, or No…that is the Question!

Shakespeare said, “To be or not to be, that is the question.”  I often think about that quote when I have to make a choice/decision – Yes (to be?) or No (not to be?).

The Bard - Don't you just Love him!

The Bard – Don’t you just Love him!

That is the basic key to decision-making – it all boils down to choice –  “will you – won’t you?”

What are the deciding factors?

Now, do you use Mindful Thinking Time (MTT) or just say the first thing that comes into your head? I hear you, ‘The first thing that comes into my head Diva’ – ‘WHY’ I yell at you? You are a grown up!

  • Conditioning is one reason
  • Fear is another
  • Your needs don’t matter
  • Anything for a quiet life
  • You could add to the list

FEAR!

Fear tend to be the big one…’if I say no what will be the repercussions’? It’s often to do with;

  • wanting to be liked
  • pleasing people
  • be seen as a good person
  • meeting all family needs
  • anything to stop arguments.

Saying YES – moving forward to saying No!

I don’t know about you, but I used to find saying  ‘NO’ to people so difficult when they asked me to do something for them.  The upshot would be that I overcommitted myself and got so stressed trying to spin lots of plates, juggling many balls, eventually I had a break-down.

Interestingly it is always your needs that get left behind. Then you feel animosity towards whoever you had said YES to and angry at yourself for not being strong and declining the request.

Firstly, it’s not their fault if you can’t be assertive and most people aren’t mind readers.  Secondly, you give them permission to continue to keep asking because you have never said NO!

Remember;

‘WHEN I SAY NO

I AM REFUSING

THE  REQUEST

NOT  REJECTING

THE  PERSON’

 

There is no particular time of the year that you find yourself being pulled in all directions (maybe festivities) it can be any day.

So, what to do about it?  Consider why you say YES…do you feel under pressure to do so? Is it often against your better judgment too.  If this is so, then there can be a few reasons why.

  1. You aren’t clear about your own priorities.
  2. You may feel the other person will dislike you if you say no and will become upset.
  3. The other person is a friend, and you always please your friends.
  4. Because you have always done it
  5. It is expected of you – (remember you have been giving permission for years)

check out more;

Reality Check!

Why do you say yes and then regret it; there will be a reason – sort it out! Move forward it’s your life – it’s SELF-CARE!

Remember your priorities should come first, when you say yes then you are often saying no to something else.

Only say yes to those things you want to do. You don’t have to give a reason why you say ‘NO ,’ however, you need to practice saying it as some people (often family) make it hard for us.

One strategy I get all my tribe to use is to say, ‘give me a few minutes and I will check my diary and get back to you.’   You can even say that you will ‘sleep on it.’  That way you give yourself a bit of mindful thinking time (MTT).

You then decide if it is a yes or a no.

YES - NO Decision Time

YES – NO
Decision Time

If it’s an NO, acknowledge the other persons request and what they are asking is important (to them), however, that you have ‘other commitments /priorities’ or ‘you don’t have enough time’ or ‘don’t have the skills.’

You can help the other person solve their problem by making a suggestion of someone else they can ask.  Keep in your head that ‘this is not my problem.’

Remember Some Top Tips:

  • When you say ‘NO’ you are refusing a request not rejecting the person.  State your position clearly and in a positive way.
  • Don’t hang around after coz the other person may think you could be changing your mind.
  • Consider your tone of voice – keep it neutral
  • Watch you body language, is it saying the same as your words?
  • Develop Self-respect for your own needs as it is core to your Self-Care
  • You always have choices about everything you do no matter how hard it may seem.

Your Challenge – Your Life

To get to a stage, I could say ‘NO’  without fear I had to practice; so my challenge to you is to find a friend and have a practice.

Take a situation like an invitation to an event you don’t want to attend and just have a go, listen to the feedback from your friend and Practice, Practice, Practice.  It will take time, but you will feel the benefits.

Yes, there may be a few casualties along the way. However, they may be the ‘Toxic Energies’ you needed to ditch anyway!

Its Your Do you want it?

Its Your
Do you want it?

 

The Payoff

Begin to feel how much more relaxed and empowered you are once you have started to say ‘NO’ – less stressed and have more time for the important things in your life. Just think;

  • MORE TIME;
  • LESS STRESS;
  • LIFE BALANCE

and that’s just 3 payoffs.

Let me know how your challenge goes.

Until next time

Diva X

 

Bet you SWOT your Business – Do you SWOT your Life?

Bet you SWOT your Business – Do you SWOT your Life?

Don’t you love it when someone throws SWOT at you or PEST maybe; what about SPICES; or SMARTA? You smile and think, ‘oh yeah I do that already’ If so that’s great, it’s half the battle won.

I SWOT flies when they decide to grace my home with their presence; they never do an analysis if they did then they would see there was only THREATS and would stay away

Traumatised Fly in Diva house

Traumatised Fly in Diva house

Back to the blog in hand…

My question to you is when did you last SWOT your personal life? You do that already I hear you say, well fabulous, you are probably one of the very few that do.

If I said to your now list three aspects of your life you would like to improve – what would they be? How do you know? Are you sure? Have you ever really thought about it? And when I say ‘aspects of your life’ I don’t just mean money!

Next, I will ask you to bullet point the nice things you do for YOURSELF on a daily basis…if you have to think then really you may need a bit of help as it could mean your LIFE/WORK balance is a bit out of kilter.

So just humour me – Undertake a SWOT Analysis after reading the information:

Personal SWOT Analysis will enable you to maximise your talents, abilities, and opportunities.  It is a powerful technique for identifying Strengths and Weaknesses (think of weaknesses as development needs!), and for examining the Opportunities and Threats you face.

Used in a personal context, it helps you develop your life in a way that takes the best advantage of your talents, abilities, competencies, knowledge, and opportunities.

What makes SWOT particularly powerful is that with a little thought, it can help you uncover opportunities that you are well placed to take advantage of. And by understanding your weaknesses (learning needs), you can manage and eliminate threats that would otherwise catch you unawares.

Carry out your SWOT

To carry out your SWOT Analysis, draw up a sheet with the 4 and write down answers your to the following questions:

Give it a go- you know you want to!

Give it a go- you know you want to!

Strengths:

  • What advantages (for example, skills, education or connections) have you had?
  • What do you do well?
  • What personal resources do you have access to?
  • What do other people (and your close peers in particular) see as your strengths?

Consider this from your perspective and the point of view of others.  Don’t be modest; blow your own trumpet be as objective as you can.  If you are having any difficulty with this, try writing down a list of your characteristics, talents, abilities.  Some of these will hopefully be strengths!

Are you aware of how we fail our children in the UK by telling them not to ‘blow their own trumpet’ (show off).  This can lead to such low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence.  We need to lift them.  I know it can be argued we are getting better at it, but we are back to words again…listen to what people say and the words they use.

Go on blow it, I can bang my Drum

Go on blow it, I can bang my Drum

In looking at your strengths, think about them in relation to the people around you – for example, if you’re a great at organising or managing your/others finances or your time, and the people around you aren’t great then this is likely to be strength capitalise on it. And good manager delegate too.

Weaknesses: (see these as development needs – we all have them!)

  • What could you improve?
  • What should you avoid?
  • What things are the people around you likely to see as weaknesses?

Again, consider this from a personal and external basis: Do other people perceive weaknesses that you do not see?  Could colleagues/friends help you to identify where you could reduce your drawbacks? It is best to be realistic now and face any tricky truths as soon as possible.

I love opportunities. People rush so much in this hectic world and forget to look around corners…you have no idea what you are missing and what about all the signs and symbols you fail to see?

Opportunities:

  • What are the great opportunities open to you?
  • Where are the good opportunities facing you?
  • What are the interests/hobbies you would like to follow?

Useful opportunities can come from such things as:

  • Changes in your skills, knowledge, technology, on both a broad and small scale.
  • Changes in social patterns, population profiles, lifestyle changes.
  • Local Events.

A useful approach to looking at opportunities is also to look at your strengths and ask yourself whether these open up any opportunities for you to share them with a wider group.

Alternatively, look at your weaknesses (NEEDS) and ask yourself whether you could open up opportunities by eliminating them.

Threats:

  • What obstacles do you face? (You/Friends/Family Energy Vampires?)
  • What are the people around you doing? (Blocking your path?)
  • Is your job (or the demand for the things you do) changing?
  • Does technology threaten your longed for lifestyle?
  • Could any of your weaknesses seriously threaten you?

Carrying out this analysis will often be illuminating – both in terms of regarding what needs to be done and in putting challenges into perspective.

Key points:

A SWOT Matrix is a tool/framework for analysing your strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities and threats you face.  This enables you to focus on your strengths, minimise weaknesses, and take the greatest possible advantage of opportunities available. It enables you to maximise your talents, abilities, and opportunities.

A SWOT Analysis is a powerful technique for identifying YOUR Strengths and Weaknesses, and for examining the Opportunities and Threats you face.

Used in a personal context, it helps you develop your  life and career in a way that takes  advantage of your talents, abilities, and opportunities.

What makes SWOT particularly powerful is that with a little thought and time, it can help you uncover opportunities that you are well placed to take advantage of.  By understanding your weaknesses, you can manage and eliminate threats that would otherwise catch you unawares.

Focus on the basics:  

When you’re starting your SWOT, don’t try to do anything clever or elaborate.  And don’t reach for perfection there is no such thing – just enjoy doing simple things successfully and well. Set small goals for yourself, and achieve them. Starting with the small goals you identify will lead you to achieve your main goals and then celebrating that achievement.

Little by little, start piling up the successes and begin to notice you can list three aspects of your life you want to improve as that’s what you are doing; you will be able to bullet point the nice things you do for yourself every day.  Finally, you may find that elusive LIFE/WORK you have been striving for….so what are you waiting for?  Check out Mind Tools for more information

So peeps go SWOT a fly or yourself it’s your life.

Until tomorrow

Diva x

Life or Auto Pilot – Your choice

Life or Auto Pilot? Oh, how the world is changing…years ago I was sharing mindfulness & meditation and the benefits; wherever I went people thought I was Woo-Woo! And now it’s burst through some of that ignorance that held it back.  I was a GURU before my time….I was always light years ahead that’s why I was thought of as a bit eccentric. (I wore scarves and wraps before they became fashionable).

Woo Woo – Thank you, Sonia Choquette

Sonia Choquette has a great set of cards ‘Trust Your Vibes Cards’ when I first got them I asked for the card I needed  yes the Woo Woo one came out. It reminded me that no matter what I have 6 senses and I use them.  It reminded me of the simplicity and synchronicity of the universe. My mantra was; ‘Woo-Woo is where it is at…for me!  If you are ever inspired to buy any cards check these out and pull one a day; reflect on it and make your choice.

Again I digress….(it’s a Diva thing)

How often do you hear people say they would love to move from a daily existence and achieve balance and integration into their lives? Did you know it can be done? It does not cost much other that a bit of time…..and yes you do have TIME if you make the right choices check out my old mate The Time Doctor (Mike Gardner – he gets you on track)

What makes me howl with laughter is how much people pay to learn these natural behaviours’…we can all do it, it’s a matter of choice.  Do you want a life/work balance or not? Simples!

Would you like to……..Gain a life/work balance?

And Reduce Stressors, tension, aid sleep, de-clutter your mind & bring balance into the five key areas of your life Physical, Mental, Emotional Spiritual & Social? If so why don’t you have a go? I’ve heard all the excuses and they are usually linked to fear – well as Susan Jeffers said…”Feel the Fear and do it Anyway” Once you start to become proactive you do reduce the dross in your life. Therefore my top tip today with be: One of the first places to start is to practice becoming mindful.

How many of you reading this spin plates; juggle balls; run around like headless chickens and then at the end of the day have another great list to follow?

I won't load headless chickens promise!

I won’t load headless chickens promise!

We are so conditioned to be on auto pilot by our family, education, society, media and friends it will take time and practice to bring your mind back in charge can take time and yes…commitment  There are no quick fixes people; it can be done, but just like the Williams sisters at Wimbledon, it takes a bit of PRACTICE…. I bet those of you who drive cars can hand on heart say that when you drive home from work or the shops you can’t remember the journey…yes I was like that towns and villages would pass by, and when I got home I couldn’t remember driving through them – that’s auto pilot for you that brain linked to ego…..your mind is I believe linked to the real you.

DO YOU KNOW HOW TO BREATHE PROPERLY?

Did you know that all change starts with the breath? It does.

I have lost count of the many 100’s of people I have had to coach in how to breathe properly again because of their hectic lives; they have learned to shallow breath over a period of years and when I first meet them I introduce them to their belly for a bit of a wake-up call.

Let me introduce you...

Let me introduce you…

When you watch babies sleep; they just appear just to get on with it, breathing in the way we all should do and look totally relaxed – a lost skill for many of us.  Just watch them.

By observing our breathing, being mindful of our thoughts, being aware of what we are doing can enable us to learn to identify what distracts and leads to procrastination. Poor time management contributes, (and don’t we give our time away to others?), observing the wrong choices we make every day too, often doing what others want us to rather than what we need to be doing for ourselves.

Using mindful breathing engages you in observing your physical needs, where’s the tension, asking the question why you are tense, do you need to address something, what has led up to you being tense or have you just forgotten to do your tension checks throughout the day?

Moving on from practicing the breathing general Mindfulness (Focused alertness) is the basis for developing, a greater connection with your emotional needs; what stopping you expressing them? Have you even recognised them? Why not; are you out of touch with them?

Yes I know I bang on about mindfulness, but it is worth cultivating here comes my drum again:

My Diva Drum

My Diva Drum

Remember mindfulness is about being in the moment and concentrating on what you are doing. Moment by moment being aware of the sensations going through the body/mind/soul. It’s about eating/drinking/walking/shopping/making love. Everyday tasks consciously not on auto-pilot that includes housework!

Take one task you regularly do – e.g. drinking something and just stay with that, the taste, the cup/glass against the lips/the sensation of it going down the throat. If your mind wanders off to elsewhere bring it back to what you are doing…..try this for a week.

What about thoughts, positive or negative, do you pay them attention?  Do you watch where they lead; the connections they make and how they drain us; what/who drains your energy?

With Mindfulness the benefits are enormous – health & wellbeing; concentration improves; quality of life increases; inner peace; self-awareness develops; and much more.

One of the immediate benefits of this practice is an improvement in memory.  By focusing on what we are doing when we are doing it, we eliminate general forgetfulness.

Here’s a little challenge for you today  (you will find this in loads of the books and papers out there) those of you with kids get them doing it too – I do it with my tribe, and they usually finish up laughing….

Decide to take 2 minutes time out and quietly sit where you won’t be disturbed.

Take a couple of deep breaths into the belly pause and then out relaxing the body; especially the shoulders and jaw! (they are your pinch point every day)

As you breathe in; just smile to yourself and feel that radiant energy begin because you are releasing those smiley endorphins into the brain.   Yes a real big cheesy grin

Don't be shy

Don’t be shy

As you breathe out, release the smile, relaxing the face and body

And now breathe in smiling again feeling it reach your eyes

And out relax….

Keep this going for 2 minutes and check out how happy and balanced you begin to feel – then continue with the rest of your day.

Do this a few times throughout the day and it’s amazing how your energy changes.

Sharon Salzburg shares in ‘The Power of Meditation’ that “Mindfulness is the ultimate mobile device; you can use it anywhere, anytime, unobtrusively.” and remember it doesn’t cost anything.

I use it all the time. It’s great in the queue when you’re shopping; sitting in the High Street waiting for the kids….I have been asked before now if I’m alright because I look  soooo relaxed, mind you, they back away when I say I’m mindfully meditating lol

You can be more mindful with practice you can let others juggle, spin, let go of headless chickens and take back your power  ……it will bring your life/work back into balance.

Until tomorrow peeps keep breathing.

Diva….X

 

2015 and all that STUFF!

2015 and all that STUFF! Resolutions are so last year peeps, to be in the zone for 2015 just a couple of INTENTIONS is the way to go:
So what are they going to be and are they linked and congruent with your goals and vision for the next part of your journey?
Consider:
• To identify your Intentions you first have to find them so, identify your Intentions and be SMARTA (Specific/Manageable/Achievable/Realistic/Time managed/Agreed

• Remember to ‘Follow your Passions’

• Practice……visualizing how it will feel once you have
achieved an intention – it does make you focus! Alternatively visualize how it will feel if you don’t achieve your Intention!

• Your Intentions are????? Identify them in order; when they
will be completed and how you will reward yourself (unless
the Intention is rewarding enough)

• A little Project to help get creative juices flowing:
Assemble a personal visual representation of what you want
your intentions to be like – just surround yourself with
sensory input that inspires you. Add to it throughout the
year, you could include a vision board with evocative
images (your own photos or drawings, or magazine cutouts);
CD’s or MP3s of your favourite tunes; DVDs and home videos
that spark your imagination; talismanic objects. Remember
to place it where you will see it regularly.

• Now begin to ‘Doing the Doing’

• Share your INTENTIONS with everyone so you get
encouragement.

• Keep reflecting on your progress

Let me know what you Intend….. Until next time keep mindful…..

Donnah x

Where the magic begins…..Self!

Here’s one to ponder:  Question – who are the 3 most important people in your life?  and your responses: Family/Partner/Parents/Friends are the most common

What would you say if I suggested the first should be – SELF?  and that’s not about being selfish its about Self-Care.  Once you understand Self-Care the magic can begin.

Next: Do you have a Life/Work Balance?    Life balance and personal happiness do not necessarily depend on earning more money and being successful at work or in business.

Other things can have a much bigger impact on our well-being such as Self-Care – Self-Care is not being selfish, it’s about looking after YOU then you can look after your life/family/business more successfully.

If you are out of balance then the other parts of your life will be. Obviously these change as you develop/age/once you know the real you and we all need to consider what our own life/work balance means and what it depends on, however this is often forgotten when reflecting and planning in business. 

What makes your life well balanced and happy and how do you ensure you include these strategies in your life?

  • Try to find a Life Work Balance of 50/50
  • Learn to Tame the Mad Monkeys – those thoughts that stay in your head all day every day! Learning excellent breathing techniques works as does Mindfulness

Self Care Strategies which work:

·       A massive key  is how to relax properly and understand the difference between Passive/Focused/Complete  and which can lead to meditative state.

·        Assertiveness and learning to say NO! (not rejecting the other person but just saying NO to the request) is life changing and aids self-confidence

·        Time management/Allocate times to all tasks – did you guess right?

·        Listen to gut instinct/knowingness it is a great guide

·        Build in Time for Self – you do it for TV, i pads, computers, phones others, why not self?

·        No multi tasking – too many mistakes get made

·        Empower others (in other words delegate! lol)

·        Stay in the moment – Mindfulness is key

·        Manage your energy – take breaks, don’t let other slurp your energy either (click here)

 Top tips:

·        Freeze-unfreeze – check for tension then let it dissolve

·        3 minute rule – if it can be done in 3 minutes or less just do it – you get tons of half finished tiny jobs completed

·        Self-care checklist – list what you need to do for you and get on and ‘do it’

It begins to feel like magic as it starts to come together – but small steps peeps one at a time and stop for a bit of reflection……

Until next time – look after Yourself

Warmth

Donnah