Monthly Archives: July 2011

Make Your Time Count By Nailing It Down To Concrete Events

26 July 2011, by A. Cedilla

Here’s what I want to say:

  • Find concrete images of what you want to have, achieve or be in your lifetime, and distill them. For example, you want “a happy life.” That’s too vague. What does “a happy life” mean for you and to you? You want good work or a good job, and that means what? Making good money means what? Good health, good relationships…what images or scenarios do these things bring to your mind when you think of them?
  • Once you have your answers, break them down to real events and real-world numbers. Both should be livable, achievable and fiercely alive in your visions.
  • With those as clear goals, work your way back. Make a time-line and pretend you already achieved them:” If this is what I have, what did I do to get here where I have these things in my life, accomplished these things, am this content?” Focus on the answers that come up, and work your way backward in the time-line.

This exercise lets you see the life and lifestyle you want and shows you what you could do to get it, instead of letting your current circumstances dictate your future and your life for you.

Where did this come from?
For someone who often feels like a slave to the calendar, I missed out on more than a few important things because they’ve seemed so far off, I forgot about them until they were breathing down my neck, sending me scrambling.

I’ve also spent hours planning out and writing down my various fitness goals, financial goals and de-cluttering goals…then realizing weeks and months have passed by without me doing anything about them. Where did the time go?

Quick answer: it went on the same way it always has. It was my attention that kept wandering off.
Continue reading Make Your Time Count By Nailing It Down To Concrete Events

Deconstructing Intimidation

18 July 2011, by A. Cedilla

  • A good opportunity comes up through word-of-mouth, but then you take a pass. “I don’t have the time, and I have all I can handle as it is.” And you don’t mention how a similar opening just slipped through your finger because you’re still smarting about that one instead of the one that just landed in front of you.
  • A friend mentions a new venture in the works that might just be perfect for someone with your qualifications, and you regretfully say, “I’ll have to take a rain-check, I’m fully booked, thanks.” Only you’re not, not really. You’re just not ready yet.

Intimidation works one of two ways, and both are a matter of perspective: Either you see what you’re facing as something too big for you to deal with, OR you believe you are not up to the task of dealing with it. E.g, it’s too much, or you’re not enough. Sometimes you can feel it’s both.

Whatever side of this divide you stand, you look at it from a distorted perspective. You’re too small, the task is too big, it’s too much, you’re not enough….and when the inevitable anxiety digs in, you feel so strongly about it that your mind comes up with all sorts of explanations to support your feelings.

What are you telling yourself about this situation? Continue reading Deconstructing Intimidation

Doing Things Without Thinking VS. Automating Processes

11 July 2011, by A. Cedilla

When you think about it, there is a significant difference between doing things automatically and doing things without thinking.

Things I have done without thinking:

  • Poured a teaspoon of sugar into the container of powdered milk instead of the cup of coffee I had waiting.
  • Emptied a powdered drink mix into the trashcan instead of the pitcher of water I had waiting. (I’m sensing a theme here: Be more awake in the morning.)
  • Turned the lights off while there were still people in the living room. (Be more aware at night.)

Things I do automatically:

  • Double-check doors and windows before turning in, as well as check to see all appliances not in use are turned off and unplugged.
  • Set the alarm for the next morning — and place it in the book-case across the room so I would have to get up and walk over to shut it off, instead of rolling over to slap it and then going back to sleep.
  • Write down the next day’s heaviest priorities before turning in for bed, jotting down any incidental things I happen to remember like “Get new supply of binder clips before Thursday, call M to confirm next week’s attendance for the general meeting. Buy aspirin.”

The difference in automatic action lies in the pre-thinking and awareness. Before using anything to automate a process, you have to have an issue with it. You want it to work better. You want it to go smoother, easier, faster, whatever. You want to save time and effort, so you PUT in time and effort looking for the best way to do it.
Continue reading Doing Things Without Thinking VS. Automating Processes

Five Psychic Tips to An Easier Morning

04 July 2011, by A. Cedilla

I’m going to tell you something you already know about making your mornings flow smoother. Ready?

To have an easy start to your day, create a system where you set up needed things the night before. This is the short, polite version of “Prior planning prevents piss-poor performance.”

Even in this economy, people’s lives have a way of establishing equilibrium. We’re hardy little survivors, we are, and life has a way of settling into a state of stability as we adjust to our new circumstances. And whether you’re a free-lance artist, a stay-at-home-parent, a line worker, an executive or an executive assistant, you have a work day: a time of day where you labor.

That equilibrium posits that you have a relatively steady life. For the most part, you can safely expect things to run on a certain schedule. You can assess and prep for the situations you expect, you can prepare the things you need for those events, and you have a hold on what’s going to happen in your regular workday and work week… that’s why you have routines.

Routines grow around things we need to do on a regular basis, everything from how you wake up and feed yourself in the morning, to the way you set up your office and desk, to the things you attend to first as you balance your workload, all the way down to your before-bed rituals.

You know what you’re going to do? Prepare the way for it to go smoothly.
You know what you want to happen? Set it up so it will.
You know what you need to do? Stop over-analyzing it and do it.
Continue reading Five Psychic Tips to An Easier Morning