I am one of those control freaks that like to know exactly where I stand with my day whether it is from a personal perspective (this was taken to the extreme when planning my wedding) or in the working context and that is why I like drawing up lists, not just any list but the dreaded To-Do List! Now, I know that most of us do this and I also know that this to-do list could give Rapunzel a run for her money as it grows longer and longer and longer by the second eventually resulting in you having a panic attack at the very thought of getting round to crushing the list.
At the same time, there are some that might feel that the growing to-do list isn’t too worrying but in fact there are three main reasons why you should be focusing on killing that to-do list.
1. Looking backward doesn’t move you forward
To-do lists are mostly made up of unfinished work from yesterday and that does nothing but deaden your exciting, radical, fun thinking about tomorrow. When you get home at night, you are already unconsciously stressing about all the work still outstanding from that day let alone what might land up on your desk the following day. This keeps you anchored in the past. There is no opportunity to give a sigh of relief and say wow; tomorrow is going to be great because my desk is clear.
2. Your mind doesn’t stop thinking
I alluded to this in the previous one where you just don’t stop thinking about the work you still have to complete. This constant thinking can only lead to unproductiveness and ultimately tire you out.
3. Not doing equals failure
So you haven’t completed the to-do list again, immediately you feel like you have failed yourself. I know personally when I haven’t done all I set out to do that day, I really begin to think that I am not living up to expectations
So how do we get past this, and kill the to-do list. Below are a couple great tips that will help you plan a more productive day and allow you to reign in those annoying to-do lists:
To-do lists are ultimately what gives one a sense of control in a world full of chaos. When you put a solid line through something you have completed, there is that small surge of accomplishment that propels you forward to the next task. So feel free to put together those to-do lists but remember to manage them correctly and don’t give them the opportunity to take on a life of their own.
Now, I have written my blog – tick! One thing off the list, time to move on to the next…
Everything changed when I actually did it. Physical challenges show you your limits are physical things – nothing more. They’re physical things that you’re capable of breaking.
If you keep telling yourself that you “know” you could, you’re lying to yourself. You might be confident, but you can’t actually know until you actually do it. If you’re so confident and “know” you can do something – why not actually go out and do it? What are you hiding, denying afraid of?
Fear – a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. If you really don’t want to do something, then that’s for you to decide, but don’t hide behind that because you’re afraid you “cant” if you find yourself justifying why you “don’t want to” its most likely you’re just afraid you can’t, or that you might fail or your scared of that boundary, the unknown of a new ability – at least skip the talking and start “not doing” all the things.
But if you try – just once – try to push your limits – even on the smallest scale – things will change.
In our goal setting this month we discussed how to reprogram our own image of ourselves, telling ourselves that we already ARE the person we are trying to become. The creative subconscious mind gives us our self-image, it’s the part of our mind that tells, yes, we are a runner (because its what we’ve always done) or it’s the part that tells us, “what are you DOING?” when we start running and never have before….the Creative Sub-conscious informs of things we have done, and nothing more. It tells us who we are, based on things we have done. So the only way to trick this process is to tell yourself “I have run” “ I am a runner” “I can run kilometers and more”
You’ll whine, complain, sweat, cry and maybe even bleed a little trying. It will hurt, it will be scary and it will be freaking hard. Nothing in life worth achieving is ever easy. One thing I can promise you, every moment of pain turns into a victory story when you break that limit and achieve your boundless ability. So what are you going to push? What new ability are you doing to discover?
An extra 500m on your swim/run/walk.
Sign up for a community walk, boot camp, meet a new person, write a blog, do 10 sit ups. ..
Closing the deal on the scary client instead of walking away.
Whatever you choose to explore, push past your ability, internalize that feeling of success and push past it again, every day.
“Limit” the point or line beyond which something cannot be reached… is this truth? Is this what we think it is? Then why push it? Why try? Limit, an all pessimistic, predetermined outcome. For the purposes of this blog entry, let’s look at “ability’ by definition: The quality of being able to do something, especially the physical, mental, financial, or legal power to accomplish something.
Let’s discuss ability, when you push past your ability you increase your capacity and your strengths. You stretch yourself and increase your scope and minimum resting point. A common example of showing how you have increased your ability is with the phrase:
I used to not be able to do _________. Now I can.
When you first start out doing the impossible, you can’t do anything, when you set out to achieve something and break it down into something manageable and not quite so terrifying, you may find yourself using the phrase “I used to not be able to do _____, now I can.”
When you physically DO something you previously were not able to DO, something changes.
If we’re asked if we can do something (which we haven’t done before) like run a marathon, hike a mountain, ride the 94.7 what is the most common answer? “I could never” “oh heck no”, “I can’t do that” but why? If you run a marathon, you can never say “that’s too hard for me to do” because you’ve done it before, you’ve done it, you know you have the ability. you know that it’s possible.
Once you’ve broken the “limit” you believed was there, and you KNOW you have broken it and could do it again, something inside of you awakens and you understand a new potential within you, limitless potential.
Physical challenges help us visualize and experience our limits being broken, when you break through your own limit you become your own reference point and case study that limits do not exist, that it is all about ability, and you are in the real life moment of experiencing new abilities. Everything that you define about your current limit/ability is in your head. Whatever is holding you back is in your head
With physical limits, progress is almost immediately obvious. Try it. If you do, things change. You change. Try it. Here’s what mine looks like.
I literally used to not be able to run more than 2 kilometres. My legs would hurt, I’d quit and go home and tell myself “I just wasn’t a runner.” Then I registered for an adventure race with friends (the insanity that was: 12 kilometres of trail running with obstacles, and a time limit) I started running 2 KMs, then 2.5, then 3, then 4 and now I’ running 5 kilometres and pushing for 7. Am I enjoying it? Absolutely! I never thought I would, but I crave the feeling after a run, I sleep better, I feel better. And all because I pushed a little further every day, I erased my limit and explored a new level every time I ran.
My fiancé received an entry to the 94.7 cycle challenge in 2011, 4 weeks before the race. Not owning a bike, he got one, having not ridden a bike in 12 years, he started training. Having never done the 94.7; before he did it. His brakes locked halfway through the race and he pushed on: 2 hours first half 3 hours 20 the second half. He “gave up” twice, the second time convinced he was done, the pickup van pulled up, retired cyclists on the van, dejection painted on their faces. Seeing what “the limit” looked like, he got up, got back on his bike and pushed through every metre and muscle cramp to the end and finished. In that moment he refused to accept the limit, he discovered a new ability that he had not known before.
Do something tonight, whatever it is, read 1 more page in your book, work an hour longer when you’re tired, do 10 more sit ups, run 10 meters more, whatever your mind tells you tells you, this is where you stop because that what you know you always do, push further.
Check back tomorrow as my next entry discusses how talking becomes doing.
Last month I wrote about how important ‘candidate care’ is to us at DAV. We do not want you to feel like you are constantly being disappointed by regret after regret after automatic response after cliché after apology. We realise that this is what so many candidates can experience and that to the majority it might seem like our industry it set up to let down.
I am referring back to this because soon after writing last month’s blog I experienced a real life example illustrating how much we do care and I wanted to share it with you. It’s a great story.
I was working on a job assignment and the clients requirements made me think of a past candidate who we had successfully placed about 3 or 4 years back. She had since then moved on and we stayed in touch to update details, network and she had also referred some great candidates our way. So I gave her a call to chat to her about this particular job. She wasn’t actively looking, but after I shared the details of the opportunity with her she got very excited. It appealed to a number of her career aspirations as it was with her dream company and the role meant more growth and expansion of her skill set. So she went for it. (more…)
One thing that became clear on meeting Shirley Zinn is that whoever wrote the term “dynamite comes in small packages” was so right. This petite, soft spoken woman has been the most quoted HR Executive in the last decade! She has a Doctorate in Education from Harvard and has been rated as an influencer, top business woman* and a visionary on a number of business platforms across the African continent.
Naturally my first question was HOW DO WE ALL GET THERE? (more…)
In an increasingly competitive market, how do you increase your opportunity? Your competitive edge? What are the factors limiting your ability to be extra-ordinary? What are the enemies lurking in your own mind in social thought and allow you to let yourself settle for Average
Average people lead average lives, not that there is anything wrong with being the model citizen, picture perfect employee that creates no waves or ructions and comfortably drifts along in life, however, average people do not get the competitive edge, average people do not push the boundaries or break records, they do not create legacies or redefine business practices. If being average is your new enemy, keep reading. (more…)
In December I stepped off a plane in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The flight arrived late and a mini-van started our journey through the streets of Saigon. It was 10pm and it felt like it was 5pm on the N1 to Pretoria. Well, minus the high way and add a couple of hundred thousand scooters. And don’t think the fact that December falls part of their cool, dry season keeps the humidity away. I was yet again amazed that even on a school night people are still having dinner on the street, exercising in parks, walking through markets and it felt like the city was still busy breathing life into a day that isn’t over.
In the Pham Ngu Lao District where we stayed there are over 100 hotels in the area. At 9pm you can still have a foot massage, shop at one of their night markets and have fresh food prepared for you while you sit on a little plastic chair on a side walk. This is the central area where you are overwhelmed from early morning until midnight by the flavors of the city. You walk past old ladies preparing flat pieces of banana, putting them on coals to braai and it smells like waffles. You smell bread, noodle soup, meat dishes and the cheapest drink you can order is probably a beer. It is hot outside with the Saigon River veins running through the hustle and bustle of what seems like motorcycle heaven. It is not uncommon to see a whole family on one! Dad, mom, 2 kids and a baby. It’s also not strange to see a rooster in a cage on the back of it. (more…)
So 2013 is off to a wild start and judging from the traffic in the morning there are millions of individuals heading off to work at 06h15 every morning. I always sit in my car and wonder what there days are going to be like and where do they work. I see all those cars with those sticker families proudly stuck to the back window as well as tired looking moms (and dads) consoling a crying baby in the car while trying to apply make-up and conduct a business call all at the same time. I think for most people we are driven by two major factors – your family and your work and it is often here that I wonder how many people are able to maintain the elusive work-life balance.
All these thoughts culminated the other day when I came across a pertinent story about a old professor giving his class a lecture and I wanted to share that very lecture because I think we often forget where I priorities should lie in this demanding age that we live in. (more…)
Seeing that February is the month of love and all things romantic it seems fitting that we apply the love theme to our work. For those of you who have read previous posts from me you would have noticed that I am a bit of a dreamer so I lean towards movies with happy endings, inspirational stories or songs that uplift. If this blog had a theme song it would be “what the world needs now is love” and if it were a movie it would 50 first dates and the book would be Flow. The movie, song and book beside the shared theme of love also have a common thread that involves creating great experiences. (more…)
If you arrive home at 6 in the evening and go to bed at 10pm, you are only 20 hours (awake) at home during the week. Puts it in perspective of why you might as well be a good colleague!
I do believe unconditional love exists, but I don’t believe it is relevant in the workplace and we have to remind ourselves of what just bearable behaviour is and how you can choose to be desirable instead.
Or a combination of any of the above? Once you have made an assessment, you have a choice. You can do something about it or stay the way you are.
Here are some tips to be a better colleague:
Always ask yourself one question: If you weren’t around anymore, how would you want your colleagues to remember you?
Be like this today then. And the next day.