Posts

Amanda Heal on stage

Are You Getting What You Want Or What You expect?

I sayYou get what you ask for, or you get what you expect.

Have you ever noticed that people who speak negatively about themselves and others, act negatively, and expect the worst, seem to have a lot of bad things happen to them? And have you noticed that people who speak kind and positive things about themselves and others, and expect the best, get the best?

I always thought this was a coincidence at, but I’m beginning to see the truth in this as I apply this principal to my own life.

In this podcast, I discuss how expecting the best has affected my life, when applying for a job after being bullied (see also How I Dealt With Being Bullied At Work), and in expecting gods bless ing and provision for my life.

What are you thinking about? Are you getting what you want, or are you getting what you expect?

Man at desk with a keyboard, reading from papers in one hand, about to write with a pen in the other.

Top Tips for Greater Productivity

Time management:
* As time is fixed and energy isn’t, managing energy is far more effective than managing time;
* we are at our most creative when we are most relaxed;
* Most adults need 6–10 hours of sleep per night.

Productivity tip: Manage your energy rather than your time.

Multitasking:
* We don’t multitask, we really just switch between tasks;
* We lose momentum every time we switch tasks;
* We lose 20 minutes each time we switch tasks.

Productivity tip: Do one thing at a time, and remove all distractions

Task lists:
* 80% of the tasks on our lists shouldn’t be there;
* The most important tasks aren’t necessarily the most urgent ones;
* Don’t spend more time managing the list than doing what is most important;
* If a task will take more than 2 minutes to do, don’t add it to the list, but just do it.

Productivity tip: eliminate, delegate or automate as many tasks on your list as possible.

Disorder:
* Disorganised workspaces, hard drives and inboxes increase stress and decrease efficiency and productivity;
* Order makes us feel good, and increases productivity.

Productivity tip: Restoring order, while taking time in the short run, will save time in the long run.

Accessability:
* Being constantly accessible leads to constant distractions;
* Turn everything off when you need to focus – this is only temporary;
* Giving access to everyone reduces your accessibility to those who need it most, so prioritise your accessibility.

Productivity tip: Set aside periods of the day when you are not accessible.

Responsiveness:
* Prioritise who to respond to, and resist the pressure to answer immediately;
* Periods of unresponsiveness are necessary for focus;
* A study conducted by Adobe showed that US workers spend 6.3 hours per day checking email.

Productivity tip: Set aside periods during the day especially for responding to email and social media, and limit responses to these times.

Technology:
* It takes time to adopt new technology , as there is always a learning curve;
* Constant switching can limit productivity;
* If your approach to productivity is broken, new technology won’t fix it;
* New technology doesn’t guarantee improved productivity.

Productivity tip: Evaluate your approach to productivity rather than the device that supports it.

I’ve discovered the secret to success – connection and communication

Personal Development for Career Professionals

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to lead a charmed life? Success in everything they do seems to come to them with little or no effort. It’s almost as if everything they touch turns to gold, and their communication with others is effortless.

I’ve certainly wondered why this happens to some people and not to others, especially me. However, I think I’ve just discovered the secret to their success. It’s the way they connect with others in their communication.

In his book “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect”, John C Maxwell says that people who seem to live a charmed life are usually those who have learned to connect with others. He goes on to say:

“When you connect with others, you position yourself to make the most of your skills and talents. When you don’t connect, you have a lot to overcome just to get to average, a neutral starting position.”

When I read this, I stopped to think about some of the successful people in my life – my cousin, who gets any job she applies for in any country; my school friend who, with no tertiary education, has never been without a well-paying job; and my business colleague who is so successful in her business that she can afford to live her life between 2 countries, despite only being in her 20’s. I thought about these people, and realised that the one thing they have in common is their extraordinary ability to connect with others.

John C Maxwell says that one way to connect with others is to make everything about them. Thinking back to the people I mentioned above, they all do this. They genuinely care for people, and always make the conversation about the person they’re talking to rather than about themselves. When I’m with any of them I always feel specially cared for, and that I’m the centre of their attention.

I’ve always felt that I’ve had to struggle for my successes in life. I rarely got promoted during my Government career, particularly when I was competing against people with equal qualifications. Also, I’m not someone who has ever been good at making, and keeping, friends.

I’ve come to realise that this is because I’m not particularly good at connecting with people. I can certainly talk, but I’m ashamed to say that I’m usually the topic of the conversation, or the conversation is about something that interests me. This has probably stemmed from being an only child, and having a disability. as a child, I’ was usually the centre of everyone else’s attention, and I don’t think I’ve ever really grown out of taking this for granted.

Recently, I attended a book launch and decided, as an experiment, to make every conversation I had focus entirely on the person I was talking to. I decided not to volunteer any information about myself unless I was asked, and to make a particular effort to find out as much as I could about each person I met. It was quite hard work, but ended up being a lot of fun! I met a number of really interesting people, and really enjoyed finding out all about them. This is something I’m definitely going to do a lot more of in my communication with others in the future. My aim is to become like the 3 people mentioned earlier in this post, and become a great connector.

Has anyone ever really connected with you? how did that make you feel? Please let me know in the comments section, or if you prefer, contact me directly.

Are You Compelled To Follow Your Dream?

Moving from Corporate to Business

In my last post, I asked if you had a dream, and mentioned that there were 10 questions that you could ask yourself to determine whether your dream is worth pursuing. This post will deal with one of those questions which is, the question of passion, i.e. does your dream compel you to follow it?

In his book, “Put Your Dream To The Test”, John Maxwell defines passion as:

”… an enthusiasm that not only gives you energy and focus in the present, but also gives you power to keep moving toward the future. It gives you fuel to pursue your dream.”

When I started my first business, after being made redundant, I thought that it was my passion. Everything was all shiny, new and exciting, and I had a great time. However, when things got tough, when I couldn’t find customers and didn’t meet my sales goals, I would get terribly discouraged and would stop working in my business.

One christmas, I got together with a colleague and arranged a product launch. Between us, we invited about 100 people to the launch, but only a handful turned up. I was so upset, that I didn’t do any work in my business for over a week, and considered quitting altogether!

After doing some soul searching last year, I came to the conclusion that, while I loved the products, and enjoyed sharing them with others, it really wasn’t enough to keep me going, particularly when times were tough. I also discovered that my main motivation for continuing with the business was so that people wouldn’t say to me “I told you you’d never succeed at that”. I still exclusively use the products, and am always recommending them to others, but it’s not my passion.

However, in my current business, when things don’t go the way I want, I may still get discouraged for a few hours. But, sometimes I don’t get discouraged at all, and I’m increasingly seeing these times as opportunities to learn, or change direction.

In my first business, i used to toss and turn at night, and try and figure out how I could get more sales. In my current business, I wake suddenly from a sound sleep, with a great idea for a new blog post, or a revelation about how I can better serve my customers. Sometimes I get so excited that I can’t get back to sleep!

It’s almost like my passion won’t let me give up! It’s what keeps me going through the tough times, towards the success of achieving my dream.

Are you passionate about your dream? Does it compel you to follow it? Please let me know in the comments section, or if you prefer, please contact me directly.

I will be running a mastermind on “Put Your Dream To the Test” at the end of August. Participants will have the chance to exchange thoughts and ideas, learn from each other’s experiences, and put their dreams to the test.

If you are interested in participating in this mastermind, or would like more information, please contact me. Places are limited, and will be filled on a first come, first serve basis, so please act now to avoid disappointment.