Archive for taking action

Mar
22

What Are You Waiting For?

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I am becoming more and more aware of all the waiting I do in my life.

At the beginning of last week I exchanged a few emails with Ed on the mentoring programme and felt confused as a result. Rather than check out what I understood by them I made assumptions that kept me stuck and waiting for Friday when I was anticipating the week’s webinar would clear things up.

I was right about the clarification but not in the way I’d imagined.

One of the key points of the webinar was to fail in the field rather than in your head. To stop trying to work everything out, in other words, and to stop waiting for perfection. But just to get on with it.

I realised then that what Ed had been saying earlier in the week was not, as I’d thought, to do more research but was instead, to just get on and use the research I’d already done. Because I was looking for perfection and trying hard to get it “right” I was failing in my head and not taking action as a result. So, feeling inspired after the webinar, I just got on with it and put up my new internet marketing coaching website, warts and all. And that got me to thinking how often we fail in our head instead of in the field of life.

When we don’t take action and get out there, all we’ve got are the thoughts in our heads and fears in our bodies. We have no idea if what we imagine would happen is true or not. Without testing our assumptions and taking action we are stuck. Waiting. But what are we waiting for – more money, more time, more motivation, more energy, more courage?

Sitting around waiting for those things, or thinking about them, is never going to attract them to us. We have to create them by taking action.

So, today, ask yourself what you are waiting for. Where are you failing  in your head?

Then, make a decision to go for it anyway, despite your fears, despite not knowing how it will turn out and take immediate action towards it.

Please leave a comment and let us know how you get on.

Categories : Creating My Life
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Mar
10

Do The Next And Only Thing

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“When you end a day with the feeling that you would have lived it the same if you had the chance to repeat it, you gain a sense of gratitude that helps you focus on what’s really important to you. When you end the day with a feeling of regret or loss, you gain the awareness to try a different approach the next day.”
Steve Pavlina

Yesterday I spent coworking, which means I was pretty much sitting at a desk all day. By the time I left for home I was feeling frustrated with myself as I’d not produced much. My focus had been all over the place and I’d forgotten my own 45/15 rule for productive work. I’d dipped in and out of emails, written a blog post, checked stats, looked around some forums, messed around with a keyword tool, chatted on messenger, chatted to colleagues etc. etc.

By early afternoon my energy levels were dropping and I was feeling bored but I ignored my feelings and continued “messing” around.

So, as in the quote above, today I get to try a different approach. Here’s my intention for how it will go:

1.  List what I want to get done today. (Completed)
2.  Work with my 45/15 rule.
3.  Focus on the next thing and the next thing only.

So, that’s me. I’m off . . .

Categories : Working Better
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Feb
23

45 Minutes for Hours of Productive Work

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Many of you will have heard of the Pareto Principle or 80/20 rule which basically says that approximately 80% of the effects of many events, come from 20% of the causes of those events. The original idea came from looking at Italy’s income and wealth where Pareto noticed that 80% of the wealth was owned by 20% of the people but it has been observed in many other situations since. For example, 20% of the world’s population control 82.7% of global income, we dress in 20% of our favourite clothes about 80% of the time, and we spend 80% of the time with just 20% of our friends and acquaintances, etc.

I use a similar principle when I’m trying to get things done but rather than 80/20 it’s 45/15. It’s simple. I work/take action for 45 minutes and then take 15 minutes “off”.

I started doing this when I was at college and came across some research (the source of which I’ve long forgotten) that said that the maximum time we are able to work at top efficiency, is 45 minutes. I experimented with this when I was writing essays or revising for exams and discovered that I could study for longer overall and accomplish more when I applied this rule.

Nowadays, I apply the idea in many of areas of my life, especially if there’s something I’m finding it hard to motivate myself to do. But I find it particularly invaluable for when I’m working on the computer. When I’m at home, I will set an alarm for 45 minutes and then start working. When the alarm goes off I’ll get up from the desk and do something completely different such as putting on a load of washing, changing a bed or posting a letter. Then it’s back to the computer and another 45 minutes of work. The great thing about this approach is that I not only work more effectively but I’m also able to get through a load of chores without noticing I’m doing them.

If I’m working away from home I still set the alarm and use the 15 minute breaks to get a drink, walk around the office or chat with a colleague.

Strangely, I find the biggest challenge with the 45/15 approach is being disciplined enough to stop when the alarm goes off. It’s very tempting when things are going well, to keep working. However, experience has shown that working on past 45 minutes brings diminishing returns so I’ve developed the habit of standing up immediately the alarm goes off. Then it’s easier to move away and do something different. If it’s absolutely essential to finish off something I’m doing I’ll do it standing up!

If you spend a lot of time at the computer this has the added benefits of resting your eyes and moving your body so you’re putting less strain on your spine and muscles.

Also, you’ll find you come up with some great ideas in your 15 minutes “breaks” and you may even find solutions to problems you’ve been stuck on and unable to think your way out of.

I’d love to hear your experiences with the 45/15 rule so please give it a go and then leave a comment on the blog.

Categories : Working Better
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Continuing from planning from the present – a quick recap:  I’m finding that being without direction is very demotivating but the last project I tried to create didn’t keep me on track.
Then, last week, an opportunity occurred that I would normally say “no” to since it’s in the internet marketing (IM) field and I thought I’d left that behind. But recently I’ve been working on my old websites because I’m finding that taking any action is better than moping around or waiting for the discovery of what I really want to do with my life.

So when Ed Dale,  internet marketer extraordinaire, came onto my radar, offering a mentoring programme, I decided to ignore the “nay sayer” voices in my head telling me:

  • you’ve tried that so many times before and it never works
  • he won’t want to work with you
  • you won’t get in anyway
  • you’ll get bored with the work like always and find an excuse to move onto something else
  • blah, blah, blah

and look for all the reasons to say “yes”.

The more I thought about it the more attractive the idea became. A full 12 months when I would know what I was up to, where I would be supported to stay on track, not to mention the expertise of someone on the cutting edge of a field that, no matter how many times I walk away from it, I seem to be drawn back. Maybe this is an opportunity to combine where I’ve been (internet marketing) with where I want to go (coaching).

Interestingly, at the beginning of the Coaching School when Steve suggested I might like to combine the two I was adamant that I would not. My idea of what that would look like was not something that appealed to me at all and I was feeling very jaded with the whole IM scene.

Fast forward 8 months and, with the benefit of all the insights and experience gained during that time I now see the idea very differently. So, I paid my money and applied for the mentoring. I should know if I’ve been accepted onto the programme (it’s very heavily oversubscribed) in a couple of days but I’ve already made a start on a project. I’ll be posting more specifics (web stats and actions, e.g.) on my other blog so as not to bore those Life Moves subscribers who aren’t interested in such things!

Categories : Creating My Life
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Feb
16

Planning from the Present

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Returning to my blog after a fairly hefty absence, I discovered a comment, left by Chieko, on one of my “I don’t know what to do with my life” type posts, asking “How was your 4 week period?”. Hmmmm. I thought. What 4 week period would that be then? So I went back and looked.

On August 22nd I wrote a post which finished with:

“So, this is what I am going to do for the next 4 weeks. I am going to experiment with creating my life from where I am and without knowing where I’m going. I’m going to pay more attention to what is present and, when opportunities occur which I’m not sure about I will say “yes” rather than “no”.

Bottom line I’m going to have 4 weeks off from being concerned about not knowing what I want and see what happens.”

Well, the truth is, I seemed to have forgotten this idea pretty quickly, referring back to it just once more a few days after the original post. But it still appeals and it still inspires me. But more about that later.

On Oct 15th I mentioned a new project which I intended to write more about but which also seems to have been forgotten. And then there was the final burst – a new 28 day challenge I set for myself which would last until my return to Phoenix and the end of the Coaching School. But . . . you guessed it . . . that fizzled out too.
So, in answer to your question Chieko, my 4 week period disappeared down my good intentions plug-hole, while I was wandering off to pastures new. Actually, I wasn’t so much wandering off as lying down – literally!

The last time I posted, on Nov 13th, I said:

“So, now I have a choice, do I want to stay stuck and pretend to be playing the game or will I take the next step and create a plan? I choose to re-engage in my project and create a plan. So, once again, I reset my commitment to enrol 10 people on my 6 month coaching programme called – ‘When You Don’t Know What You Want – Make It Up!’.”

Hmmmm. Dropped the ball on that one too. I think it was the word “plan” that finally did me in because I had another really low period and even took to my bed for a few days. Not to worry though cuz, here I am again. Once more into the fray and all that.

So, back to that perennial question, where to from here?

Well, I think I can safely say that creating a 6 month coaching programme, right now, is a step too far for me. I don’t want it enough. But coaching itself is most definitely not off the agenda. It’s just the form it will take that’s uncertain.

Having a plan was enough for me to take to my bed and yet I’m finding that being without direction is equally demotivating. However, I think I may have found a way to have the best of both worlds and it involves returning to what I said in August: “I’m going to pay more attention to what is present and, when opportunities occur which I’m not sure about I will say “yes” rather than “no”.

More on that in combining past and future . . .

Categories : Creating My Life, Mood
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Life Moves Archives

Gillian Pearce – Life Moves

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About Life Moves

Life Moves is an unfolding story of my journey to discover and create what I truly want from life. I hope you will find my writings helpful, inspirational, encouraging, amusing or, at the very least, usually worth reading. Please feel free to comment on any posts about which you have an opinion. Or make one up. I do it all the time and it can be very dull, alone in cyberspace.

Bon Voyage!

Gillian