Pace, pace, Lead

Something I read in a book about NLP.

Sometimes I’m a little hesitant to embrace every aspect of NLP because using methods to influence people in your favour is potentially unethical or at least comes across as manipulative.

But other times I find that NLP can provide a useful guide on how to word things when you want your intentions to be clear.

When asking for what you want just blurting it out can sometimes be too aggressive. You need to approach things gently. You need to pace, pace, lead.

Check out changing minds for more information on exactly how it’s done.

The planning process

Or how to get caught in false productivity, when really you’re just wasting time.

You could spend forever planning if you really wanted to. You could write lists, create mind maps and make a 12 month plan. You can do all of those things and make no progress on the project you are planning for.

Sometimes, we hide behind planning because we don’t feel ready to begin.

And it’s not to say that planning is bad, it’s a good thing.

However, a big reason for over planning is because you don’t want anything to go wrong. But eventually you have to get the point where you realise that you just can’t plan for everything.

As much as you can try to plan, It turns out that most of the time we’re better off starting and then tweaking and making things better as we go.

Expectations of others

I think that quite often we expect that those with more money, more opportunities and more freedom then we have should be doing more simply because they have more. I think that’s fine up to a point but it’s also important to consider that each individual has their own desires.

You could have access to a lot of money and a lot of opportunites but maybe you’ve chosen to live a fairly quiet and (what would be considered) a simple life. Perhaps you’re not career focused even though if you were you’d have it easy.

People look down on that because there’s an assumption that if you can do something then you should, almost to compensate for those that can’t. I think it’s so important to not place these expectations on others because we all have our own life paths. Of course some people have it easier than you do but they don’t owe you anything.

I think we should let go of expectations and focus more on ourselves instead. It might be frustrating to see someone with more opportunities than you that doesn’t take advantage of them but maybe that person just isn’t interested. It’s not your responsibility to berate them, get frustrated or tell them that they should be doing more with their lives.

Instead, respect the choices they’ve made.

Getting ahead and falling behind

The trick to getting ahead is to increase your work rate and never go below your usual work rate.

If you want to get ahead long-term then you have to make time to regularly increase your work rate, this gives you the ability to know that you’re always ahead even when you back to your usual work rate.

However, if you want to get ahead as a temporary thing, you can increase your work rate for a period of time and then you can take time time off from working. But before long that time will run out and you have to get back to work again otherwise you fall behind.

The way I work follows the second option, getting ahead temporarily. Every month or so I’ll have a period of time where my work rate increases. This gives me the chance to take time off completely or space to work without focusing on the end result.

Knowing when to quit

Sometimes we back down from situations because upon reflection we can clearly see that the reason we pushed on with vigor and enthusiasm is simple because you felt as though you’d gone too far to turn back.

Or perhaps, you just didn’t want to accept that you were wrong.

But other times we back down because we’re not willing to commit to the cause and take things all the way. It might be a situation that you know will be difficult to overcome but your fear has made you believe that it it’s not worth it.

As much as it’s important to know when to quit, it’s important to know when to keep going.

3 things to do if you’re bored at work

For when your 9to5 starts to feel a little blah…

Work with what you’ve got
Find a way to bring more to what you’re already doing, how can you make it more interesting or do it better? When you’re giving your day to day tasks the bare minimum it’s no wonder you don’t feel good about them. It might help to think about the bigger picture, the contribution you’re making or why you went for the role in the first place.

Speak to people
Ask who needs help on a current project and let people know to keep you in mind for anything they have coming up in the future. Talk to your manager and let them know how you feel (maybe use stagnant or rut instead) and ask them for advice.

There’s a quote from a book called Linchpin that really struck a chord with me ‘You think your boss won’t let you, at the very same moment that your boss can’t understand why you won’t contribute more insight or enthusiasm.’ You might think there’s no opportunity for growth and newness in your current role but your manager might be waiting for you to let them know so they can help.

Look for a new job
Maybe the reason you feel bored is because you don’t want to be there. Luckily for you you don’t have to stay. A lot of people end up spending half a decade in a job that was meant to be a stop gap. It’s fine to stay longer than planned if you’re happy with where you’re at but don’t let laziness, familiarity and fear of fresh starts keep you stagnant.

I’d advise starting at the top and working your way down.

Productive Sundays

Sundays tend to be one of my most productive days, if not the most productive day.

I think the reason for this is because it’s still the weekend so I’m relaxed and can spend my entire day as I please but I also know that work starts the next day so I do what I can to make my week ahead run as smooth as possible.

Instead of focusing on working hard or being productive I think about what will make my week easier and will also make me happier.

Simple things like writing todo lists, meditation, planning meals and planning outfits can make such a big difference to my week.

I spend my Sunday evenings reflecting on the past week and writing a todo list for the week ahead. I’ll write about the good things that happened, a key moment or something I learned and also my focus for the coming week. I then proceed to write a todo list which is always a mix of things I want to do, things I could do and things I need to do.

I spend my Sundays in a way that feels good but also feels useful, the fact that I tend to get a lot done is a great. However, it’s a bonus, not the main intention.

When the numbers get you down

I try not to look at the stats very often because I never want to be too attached to the numbers.

Of course it feels great when the numbers are high, when you’re getting lots of likes, comments and new followers. But when the numbers drop and you’re not seeing as many likes or views than you were getting for previous months, it can be disheartening.

One of the only ways to avoid this is to stop focusing on the numbers. Don’t allow the numbers to get you down.

Sometimes it can feel like you’re trying really hard and dedicating time but the numbers don’t reflect that. But, I feel like so often we forget or overlook one of the most important things when it comes to creating something and putting it out.

You have control over how and what you create, then putting it out for consumption. Its the customers, viewers or readers that are in control of the numbers, consuming your work and choosing to pass it on. You might be able to encourage it but ultimately it’s out of your control.

Responding and reacting

The way you would react when you’re angry, upset, frustrated or annoyed is not the same way you’d respond when you’re calm and relaxed.

Of course this is fairly obvious, yet how many times have you allowed your feelings to get the better of you instead of simply taking some time.

What ends up happening is you regret it later because now you’re calm, now you can see that actually this other person was trying to be helpful, in fact you agree with them. Maybe you look back and feel like the way you reacted didn’t even make sense.

Now that you’re calmer you can play out in your mind, the way you wish you had responded.

And then you can hold onto that and remember it for next time.

Necessary regulations

Sometimes it can feel like regulations don’t give us the freedom that we desire.

Then suddenly, when there’s chaos we call out for the need to be regulated.

The truth is we only want to be regulated when it suits us and that usually corresponds with our safety.

What’s the need for rules when no one is at risk?

But what is often overlooked is the overall benefit that comes from everyone having two follow certain rules and go through certain process. As much as they can be frustrating, they often benefit us much more than we realise.