Your secret weapon for battling interruptions

InterruptionsIt was a dark and stormy night when Sally was working on a project for a very important client. She could see the deadline looming just ahead, but it was always just out of reach. The notorious and sinister interrupter was in hot pursuit, stealing away her precious time.

Can you relate?

Do you feel like you can’t get your work done because you are constantly being interrupted throughout the day? You may be in the middle of working on a client project or writing your next amazing blog and then BAM! – an interruption comes from out of nowhere and destroys your attention, pulling you away from the task at hand. [Read more…]

Scary stories about running your business

business

The tale of the haunted graphic designer

It was a dark and stormy night when I heard the cry for help from Jennifer, a successful graphic designer. What she told me sent shivers down my spine.

“The piles of things (mostly bookkeeping) that are backlogged in my business are alarming and highly intimidating. What can I do?”

Having a scary mountain of mundane tasks that keep slipping to the bottom of your never-ending To Do list is a nightmare. Especially when you would rather spend your time doing what you love in your business.

Unfortunately, those hair-raising routine To Dos must get done. So, I shared with Jennifer, 3 productivity boosts to battle her terrifying tasks. [Read more…]

Are you at risk of becoming a productivity zombie?

ProductivityHalloween is my favourite time of the year. While it’s fun to see the houses decorated and the kids in their costumes, most of all I love the mini chocolate bars. So many kinds, so little time.

This spooky time of year also reminds me of the dreaded productivity zombie. If you’re unsure of what one looks like, here are three key features:

  • Reduced speed of movement relative to normal humans
  • Profoundly reduced or absent cognitive function
  • Ignores or is oblivious of fellow zombies

What has turned these once A-type go-getters into productivity zombies? It’s hauntingly simple. They have succumbed to bad habits. Sometimes the transformation is gradual and often goes undetected.

If you think you might be turning into a productivity zombie, here are 10 traits to be aware of: [Read more…]

5 powerful ways to show gratitude

GratitudeThanksgiving is a special holiday in North America. Historically, it commemorates the harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621 where thanks was given for the bounty of crops.

Fast forward to present day. As a business owner, do you give thanks to those who support you and your business? Do you celebrate all that you have accomplished?

With the hectic pace of running your business, having time to reflect rarely happens, yet it is essential to your overall state of mind and ultimately your productivity.

So how do you create gratitude systems to ensure appreciation and giving thanks becomes a habit?

Here are 5 powerful ways to show gratitude in your business. [Read more…]

​​​​​​​3 drinks to boost your productivity

3 drinks to boost your productivityThe end of summer means a few extra pounds have found their way to my waistline. I blame it on too much ice cream and wine! Can you relate?

I was whining about it to my BFF, Carol. Her solution was simple: drink.more.water.

Sounds easy but I find water incredibly boring to drink. That is, until I discovered it directly affects my productivity.

It turns out water makes your brain run more efficiently. When your brain is operating at peak performance, you get more accomplished. When you become dehydrated your brain tissue actually decreases leaving you feeling sluggish.

So in my quest to simplify water consumption, I came up with three drinks you can include in your day to help you stay energized and hydrated. [Read more…]

Be inspired by these 20 Olympians

Inspiring Olympic quotesHave you been glued to the Olympics? I have to admit, I’ve taken a keen interest. It’s so inspiring to see the determination and dedication of all the athletes, regardless of which country they represent.

If you’ve ever wondered what drives the competitive spirit of these athletes, I’ve rounded up 20 inspirational quotes from Olympic medalists and their coaches.

Perhaps some of these will resonate with you as you grow your business, serve your clients or just go about the race of life.

[Read more…]

3 reasons why a DIY business won’t work

Orange fronted hard hatDo you remember the day you decided to start your business? Remember the excitement and anticipation you felt knowing you were going to share your talents with the world, have an impact and make a difference?

You thought to yourself, “Finally, I’m my own boss … the CEO of my company. I’m finally in charge of my destiny!”

Then reality hits you like a cement truck.

You’re on your own. It’s all up to you now. Generating income – or not — is ALL on your shoulders.

“If I want something done right, I’ll do it myself.”

These words become the mantra for running your business. This is your new belief system. It’s what drives you to stay up late putting out your newsletter, to skip a weekend because you have to create another slide presentation, to postpone a vacation because your business needs you.

You want things done your way and you believe it will take you longer to tell someone how to do it than if you just did it yourself. Not to mention, your belief that you’ll save money.

And that is how your DIY business is created.

The reality is this … doing everything yourself is impossible, impractical and it’s no fun AT ALL. More importantly, it isn’t sustainable for you or your business.

Here are 3 reasons why running a DIY business won’t work for the long term: [Read more…]

Your checklist for unplugging from work while on vacation

unpluggingThe definition of vacation is “taking a break from work” or vacating the office. There are three very important reasons for taking a vacation from the busyness of work: to relax, renew and rejuvenate.

You need downtime, otherwise, stress and burnout will come knocking. Tweet that!

A recent HR management study showed that 40% of workers “feel more productive and better about their job” when returning from vacation. Stats or not, think about how YOU feel when you return from time away from your office.

It’s likely you feel a sense of wellbeing that comes with giving your brain and your body some time away from the daily routine.

The truth is it’s getting harder to completely disconnect from work while on holiday. Expectations from clients and colleagues may have impeded your ability to feel guilt-free when you’re offline.

Here’s a quick and easy checklist you can use to prepare for your off-the-grid downtime and make unplugging easier so you can enjoy your time away. [Read more…]

How to setup your mobile office

How to setup your mobile officeAre you looking for more freedom in how you work? Do you dream of travelling to exotic destinations and still being able to run your business?

At some point, all of us need to work remotely. Whether it’s from the Champs Elysee in Paris, your summer cottage or the corner coffee shop.

Having a mobile office isn’t difficult. In fact, it’s simple and can be highly productive. A 2013 Stanford University study found that workers are 19 per cent more productive when they work remotely.

Here is your five-step guide to making your mobile office run smoothly and efficiently. [Read more…]

Low tech tools to manage your paper piles

low tech tools to manage your paper pilesThis is the first of a three-part series called The Paper Chase – How to conquer the paper piles in your workspace.

If you were stranded on a deserted island with only three weapons to defend yourself from the paper monsters that inhabit it, which ones would you pick?

Let’s face it, while you live in a highly digital world, you still do battle with these insidious sheathes that infiltrate your office space. Before you know it, you’re surrounded and if you don’t address the issue, soon you are drowning in it.

Here are three must-have weapons for your arsenal so you can do battle and win against the paper beasts that stalk you. [Read more…]