SOAR In Your Zone

By Sheryl Nicholson, CSP

 

Sheryl Nicholson, CSP

Sheryl Nicholson, CSP

Good Morning Sleepy Head!  No?  You’ve been up before dawn, had your coffee and already got 3 hours into your day?  Good for you!  For the rest of us…we too need to find our “zone”.

All of us have zones of energy, creativity, sleepiness.  Does it make sense to work creatively in your sleepiness zone?  Of course not…yet we will schedule appointments and take on projects when we are disconnected from our own energy.  So take a week and make a note in your calendar of the times you feel E for energized, S for sleepy and C for creativity.  Then schedule your appointments around your own zone.

When you’re working in your zone, you never look at a clock for the time…it just flies by.  Personally, my creativity often comes while driving.  To get the most out of that time, I bought a tiny MP3 recorder that allows me to store 14 folders with over 8 hours of creative thoughts.  It’s so much better than the old tape recorder that you had to fast forward and rewind to find what you were looking for.  And this MP3 player allows me to download that file onto my computer and then convert that to text.  Wow!

I’ve also found that when I’m in the mood to write…that’s what I do.  I don’t stop to take phone calls or check my email.  I write while it flows and when the tap is dry…I move on to other things.

I’m NOT a morning person so why would I schedule important business meetings around breakfast?  I wouldn’t.  There are always exceptions.  If the client IS a morning person and requires that time of meeting to be in his or her zone, then I comply.  But I know my energy will be off so I make sure I mentally prepare before that meeting and I follow up with an energized phone call later when I’m in MY zone.

I have a friend who works best in the middle of the night.  She has small children and takes care of them in the day time.  She cooks dinner and “switch hits” with hubby allowing him to play and bathe the kids and tuck them in.  This allows her to get into her zone and work.  After the kids are down for the night and she tucks her hubby in, she gets up and works until 3 in the morning.  It works for HER.  She thrives on that schedule.  It wouldn’t probably be out of anyone else’s zone.  But who cares?  Where in the rulebook of life does it say you have to work 8-5?  It doesn’t.

So find your zone and soar within it!

 

About Sheryl Nicholson, CSP:  CSP Sheryl Nicholson is an International Professional Speaker and Author.  She has been doing training since the 1980s and also has a private coaching business.  She is known as a People Productivity Expert focusing on skill development in sales, leadership, time management, goals, communication, and life balance.  As a private coach she focuses on Successful Presentation Strategies.

Turbulent Times Makes New Talented People

By Sheryl Nicholson, CSP

 

Sheryl Nicholson, CSP

Sheryl Nicholson, CSP

As a Professional Speaker, when I first step on the stage, I’m seeing a lot of “deer in headlights” looks from my audience attendees.  There’s a lot of stress out there.  Everyone’s worried about lost incomes, and/or lost retirement funds.  Then there’s the question of who’s going to pick up the kids, pay for the doctor bills, help with elderly parents and still find time to take an evening class to further your own career?

Stop…take a breath.  Here are 3 tips to get refocused.

1.  List the things you know how to do TODAY that you didn’t know how to do just 2

short years ago.

What counts?  EVERYTHING!  It shows growth.  So a new recipe, rollerblading, taking a computer course, learning about finances yourself, becoming an involved parent, surfing, needlepoint…everything counts!

Life is full of choices each and everyday.  Some days we are forced to make a choice by circumstances beyond our control.  But if we rise to the occasion and can learn from that experience (even if it was a bad experience) then there is GROWTH!  And growth is advancement!

2.  Write down your Worst Case Scenario.

Then create a plan in the event that your worst-case scenario did happen.  You don’t have to put the plan into action…the goal is to feel prepared and then release that fear because you ARE prepared.

Statistically, there’s been a lot of research around worry.  Over 90% of the time our “worst-case scenario” doesn’t happen.  And yet look how much time we’ve wasted worrying about the “what ifs” in life.

3.  Find and Be a Cheerleader.

Who in your life or on your campus begins the day with a whistle or a song?  Find that person and learn from their joyous attitude.  People don’t want to be around tired and negative people and it’s pretty impossible to sing or whistle when you’re tired or negative.  That’s why kids are loved — it’s their joy of life.

And when you’re having a good day, find someone who needs your positive energy.  The ebb and tide of life will guarantee that there will be times when you will be upbeat and times you will be quiet and thought-filled.  When you can’t get an enthusiastic beat going, remember we are often cheerleaders of everyone else in our lives, make time to be your own!

 

About Sheryl Nicholson, CSP:  CSP Sheryl Nicholson is an International Professional Speaker and Author.  She has been doing training since the 1980s and also has a private coaching business.  She is known as a People Productivity Expert focusing on skill development in sales, leadership, time management, goals, communication, and life balance.  As a private coach she focuses on Successful Presentation Strategies.

 

The IDDMs of Procrastination

By Sheryl Nicholson, CSP

Sheryl Nicholson, CSP

Sheryl Nicholson, CSP

I know, I know…I should start an exercise program, I should fix that hole in the screen, I should take the car in for an oil change.  Am I the only one that procrastinates?  I don’t think so.  It’s a topic that comes up often in my seminars.  With some research and discussions with psychologists I was actually able to develop an easy formula to explain why we procrastinate and then tips to stop.  Great right.

So I call these my items of procrastination and we’ll use an acronym of IDDM.  Ready?

I = It’s gotta be perfect.  People often come and tell me they’re going to write a book.  When I ask how far they’ve gotten, they look like deer in headlights.  They haven’t even started…because they’re waiting for everything to be perfect.  If you are an avid reader, like myself, then you know — there isn’t a perfect book out there.  Every book I read has misspelled words, or a page number missing, a page printed upside down, etc.

Solution:  So what’s the cure?  That old saying…”Doing something is better than doing nothing at all.”  Get out of that paralysis and take a baby step.  You’ll find you can take another and another!

D = Don’t tell me!  Isn’t it interesting that some people can ask you to do something and it sounds like a request — while out of the mouth of someone else — we hear it as a command!  I’ve found people don’t like to be told what to do from 2 to 62.  How do you change a command to a request?  Change your ears…and words.  That is what I love about the power of language.  Here I’ll show you.  Fill in the blank I should ______.   Now say it three times…feeling guilty?  Feeling obligated?

Solution:  Now change the word “should” to “choose” and read the sentence three times.  Feel more empowered?  So that’s the solution.  When you procrastinate on something because you feel you heard it as a command, simply change the word and make it your choice.

D = Dessert first!  I often procrastinate of things because they’re no fun.  I like dessert not liver!  And returning phone calls to me runs in the “liver” category!  I understand fully why I don’t like it…being a time management expert — I know that if I call you and you’re working on something and I interrupt — it will take you 22 minutes to refocus at that level after my call.  Emailing is my preferred form of communicating because you pick it up at your convenience.  But I found I was getting a bad reputation for NOT returning phone calls and they began adding up.

Solution:  Do the thing you’re procrastinating on in bite size pieces then reward yourself.  So now I take 10 phone calls and return them…it only takes a few minutes — because all I get is voicemail.  I’ve put the ball back in their court and then I go give myself a treat…it may be a cup of coffe, a walk around the office, a short dance to my favorite music…but it is OFF my list.  Yeah!

M = Maybe it’ll go away.  No it won’t!  That thing you’re procrastinating on is like a big fat ugly toad sitting on your desk.  You work around it all day, hoping if you ignore it, someone else will pick it up and deal with it…whty won’t!  And you’re getting a reputation for being an ostrich…burying your head and ignoring the situation.  That ugly toad will be sitting on your desk and on your things to do list tomorrow.  So how do you handle this type of procrastination?

Solution:  Eat a toad first thing every morning!  You know the rest of the day is gonna be better after that!  That’s right — the thing you don’t want to do — just DO it!  You will feel accomplished and energized the rest of the day.  Promise!

©2008 Sheryl Nicholson

About Sheryl Nicholson, CSP:   CSP Sheryl Nicholson is an International Professional Speaker, Trainer and Author, and rated in the top 6% in the profession.  She is considered a people productivity expert and her articles are published everywhere.  For more information view www.sheryl.com or call 727-729-4937.