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Becoming Creative

Becoming Creative

Becoming Creative

 

Once upon a time, creativity was thought to belong to artists and poets. It had nothing to do with the real world and certainly nothing to do with the rest of us. Creativity was something you were born with, and that was that. So how does becoming creative fit in with today’s world? Let’s check this out and see what we can find out!

 

That idea has taken a 180-degree turn and bitten the dust. In our fast-moving times, whether it’s in science or business or many other areas, innovation and creativity are the things that lead to success. Without them, businesses stagnate and fail.

 

So, What is Creativity Then?

 

Two French mathematicians, Hadamard and Poincare, have defined the creative process in the following four steps.

 

  1. Preparation – You discover a problem and try to solve it with established means.

 

  1. Incubation – These methods don’t work so you go off and do something else.

 

  1. Illumination – All of a sudden, the answer appears to you.

 

  1. Verification – You assess the new idea to see if it’s any good.

 

It used to be thought that only two types of thinking led to creativity: convergent thinking where you draw on all your resources to solve a problem, or divergent thinking when you solve the problem by seeing it in a different way.

 

What Do Psychologists Believe?

 

In the last few decades, psychologists have come to believe that there are many different ways to be creative. They think that creativity is simply a state of mind in which a person is ready and willing to entertain new ideas.

 

Psychologists also believe that almost all of us can learn to be more creative. Some of us may be more creative than others, but we can all be creative, especially in the areas of the 10 intelligence types, where we have our own unique strengths.

 

Many times we stifle our own creativity with the little voice that says,” It will never work.” Often we say that about other people’s ideas, too. The thing you need to do is challenge that anti-creativity with a counter-argument. When you do this, you give your own creativity permission to flow.

 

What Do YOU Think?

 

Ask yourself open-ended questions like…

 

– Is there another way to do this?

– What’s the worst that could happen if we tried this?

– Are there parts of this idea that will work?

– What’s good about this?

– How can we make it better?

– What can we do instead?

 

Practice non-judgmental idea gathering to enhance creativity. Do this and watch your creativity explode. I kid you not! It works, for most people, including me!

 

Turning Problems Into Challenges

Turning Problems Into Challenges

Turning Problems Into Challenges

 

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, a remarkable book in which he discusses how our thinking can enhance our quality of life. He explains how a rich, strong, powerful person is no more in control of his consciousness than someone who is sickly, poor, weak, or oppressed.  The difference is in whether he sees challenges as threats or as opportunities for action. This is a very interesting topic, a discussion on how turning problems into challenges can benefit you in your business. What do you think?

There are exercises that can help you think better, faster, more clearly. I hope you find some of them in this book, and here’s a link where you can purchase a copy on Amazon Flow. Geez, that’s amazing, right?

 

The Autotelic Self

 

What he calls the autotelic self refers to someone who has the ability to translate potential threats into enjoyable challenges, and thus has an internal balance. The term autotelic self means a person who has self-contained goals.

And then there are insights that can change your life. Autoletic thinking turns problems into challenges to be met and learned from. It is an approach that will change your life if you practice it. Now there’s the challenge for you, will you practice it?

Definition

adjective: (of an entity or event) having within itself the purpose of its existence or happening.

For most people, goals are shaped by biological needs and social conventions – things that are outside the self. The difference is that the autotelic self, or the person who is capable of defining things for himself, is also capable of transforming threats into non-threatening challenges.

This can be done with a simple change of perspective, a shift in consciousness: that is, seeing a threat as a challenge that you can overcome. Isn’t that interesting?

 

Try a Trial

 

Once you can do that, the steps are simple:

 

  1. Be crystal clear about the goal. Once you know exactly what the goal is, you have an understanding of what is needed to meet it. Then you can decide on a series of actions necessary to accomplish the goal. You can modify these actions as needed in order to meet the goal.

 

  1. Become involved in the activity — This means commitment. This means action. Whether things are going your way or not, you consistently take action with the next best steps. This demands concentration, commitment, and follow-through.

 

  1. Pay attention to what is happening – This really means that the project becomes more important than your own feelings about what is happening. Your concentration is on the results of the project. You invest your energy in the project. You are committed, you are involved – it’s about the project, not about you.

 

  1. Enjoying the experience – the autotelic self is able to set goals, develop skills, be sensitive to feedback, get involved, and look past obstacles. The benefit of learning to be an autotelic personality is that anything that happens can be a source of joy because it is a source of learning and a step to the next goal. In other words, there are no failures, only learning experiences.

 

Transformation

 

This approach to thinking can mean the difference between living life in fear or living life in joy. Developing autotelic thinking will give you the ability to transform random events into learning experiences that eventually result in success.

Life is change – by definition and for everyone. Seeing that as a challenge to be accepted, enjoyed, and built on is the “secret” to successful living.

 

Now you can read the book at your leisure once you’ve purchased it and if you need any help at all, please contact me for a Free Call to see if I might help you with this challenge.

Good Luck!

 

Manage Your Time

Manage Your Time

Manage Your Time – how many times have you heard that phrase? Like it’s been beating you in the head forever, but is it actually registering in said head? You know, you’ve heard it a thousand times but if it’s not getting through, then you’re not really listening, are you?

 

Managing your time is not just good practice but it is also good for productivity, organization, and achieving success with your goals. By managing your time properly and efficiently you can create an organized life.

It doesn’t need to be overwhelming if you follow the strategies below.

 

Get Up Early

 

The most successful people are early risers and have a morning routine in place. Do you have one?

 

Morning routines often include:

 

  • Meditation
  • Visualization
  • Exercise
  • Reading/Learning
  • Healthy Eating
  • Planning/Prioritizing

 

A regular morning routine will ensure that you start your days successfully.

 

To-Do List

 

Creating a to-do list should be a regular habit undertaken daily. The best lists are 10 items or less to ensure that you can complete them. Don’t forget to prioritize the items on the list and review them throughout the day. Checking off items as they are completed will give you a sense of accomplishment and motivation.

 

Sticky Notes

 

Sticky notes are ideal for displaying reminders of tasks, motivational quotes, and visualizations. If you’ve got a pile of letters that need to be mailed and that’s an item on your to-do list, why not put a sticky note on top of the pile with a deadline for posting them? It’ll serve as a reminder to get them posted and cleared out of your way.

 

Record It

 

Of course, you can record your notes digitally using note-taking apps or in a text document, or using pen and paper but have you thought of recording them using a digital recorder? You can get free recording apps for smartphones. By making a voice recording you can replay the recording and listen to your ideas. This will give you the opportunity to listen from a different perspective.

 

Schedule

 

Create a schedule. Using an online planner such as Google Calendar will ensure that you are able to access your schedule on your smartphone, tablet, or computer wherever you are. You can color-code different categories of entry and share with friends, family, and colleagues as necessary.

 

Use Pen and Paper

 

For your most important events, tasks and notes use the traditional recording method of pen and paper with a diary, planner, or bullet journal. You can keep it with you at all times, it won’t distract you with messages or run out of power. You’ll also be able to flick through at a glance to see how much you’ve achieved, past or forthcoming events, and outstanding tasks.

 

Prioritize

 

Be realistic. Not all tasks and events are created equal. Find a way to highlight events that are essential so that you can see them at a glance and be sure not to miss them. On your lists of things to do always prioritize them and complete the most important first. If there are items that aren’t important or not time-sensitive then consider moving them off your current list and on to another day. You can’t do everything!

 

Delegate

 

If there are items on your list that aren’t important then think about delegating them. You don’t need to try and be a superhero and do everything yourself. Kids can tidy away their toys and when old enough learn how to load the dishwasher, set the table, and do other simple chores. By enlisting the help of other household members you can get more accomplished in less time.

 

In Conclusion

 

Managing your time properly and efficiently is one of the keys to staying organized. And, it’s also the way you create success along the way when you are working your business. Take these ideas and use them for both your personal life and your professional life. Then you’ll be able to fit more into your day. And even have time to play with your kids and enjoy time with your husband or significant other. Now that’s what I’m talking about!!

 

Need help figuring out how to create your Time Management Goals? Let’s set up a time to do that. Here’s my booking link to make it easy for you to schedule a time to get together. → Calendar Link  This is a free 15 – minute call to see if we want to work together. And then we schedule a time to work on your project. It’s simple and as easy as that!

I would be more than happy to help you figure things out.

 

 

Become a Better Leader

Become a Better Leader

Today’s article will teach you 21 different ways to become a better leader. I think you will really enjoy reading this article. It will teach you so many different ways on how to be a better leader. Because if you’re going to be a business owner, you also need to be a great leader. Right?

Being a better leader can be simplified down to ‘always thinking of more ways to listen and help’. It is also about modeling strong, positive leadership through example. 

 

Being a Great Leader

 

Here are twenty-one ways to up your game as a positive leader. 

  • Get Out There and Make Connections 

The best leaders are insatiable at learning and improving every area of their lives. Part of this involves just getting out there and networking. Talk to peers and competitors, to find out what’s important to them nowadays. Go to conferences and symposiums and talk to experts. Want to ask someone a question? If you are close enough to have their phone number, just phone and ask!  

Some of the best leaders are also introverts. It’s tough cold-calling or putting yourself out there if you’re one too—but the successful introvert leaders all say the same thing: You just have to do it. (And that it does get easier!) 

  • Be Solution-Oriented 

Weak leaders shame-and-blame. Strong leaders hone in on specific problems and look for solutions. And they’re especially good at thinking up ‘third alternatives’ or out-of-the-box fixes that far exceed the standard solutions. 

  • Be Action-Oriented 

Strong leaders not only look for solutions, but they are also the first to take action on them and implement them. Leaders will find out the best people for specific tasks while others are still discussing possibilities. Leaders will fix plumbing leaks, find caterers at the last minute while others are bewailing a cooking disaster, and generally build up a “get-‘er-done” mentality. 

And that includes getting it done for your people! 

 

Don’t Be a Weak Leader

 

  • Ask for Help 

Part of being solution-oriented and action-oriented is knowing when to admit you need help when to ask for help – and then doing so! A good leader never hesitates to say, “Can you show me how to do this?” or, “Will you explain this to me, please?” 

That’s because a great leader knows his or her own worth but is immune to the ego. 

  • Accept Responsibility 

Leaders and excuses don’t go together. A strong leader never hesitates to admit when he or she is wrong about something. 

  • Be a Lifelong Learner 

Great leaders are voracious learners. They read books, as well as search the net. They are not afraid to go to the source and ask the experts. They listen to podcasts in their cars; go to seminars and workshops; find out how things work and know exactly who to call on for a myriad of needs or situations. 

This type of curiosity is a great habit to develop—and it will keep you ahead of your competition and help you come up with concrete or decisive answers when others are still dithering. 

Do Some Research

 

  • Do Your Homework 

Effective leaders will take the time to do the research. And if they commission other people to do the research for them, they take the time to go over the results and make sure they understand all implications.  

  • Use Mentors and Coaches 

Great leaders never think of themselves as the top of the heap: There is always someone else they admire, follow, model themselves after, or consult. And they’re not afraid to admit it or shout out to their mentors, either. 

Think back over your life: Who was your inspiration? Your mentor? If you’ve let them drop by the wayside, use this as a reminder to reconnect and keep up that valuable connection. 

  • Be Approachable 

Nothing will endear you to your community more than approachability … especially if you protect yourself by making sure you also have clear boundaries around access.  

If people feel you are approachable, they also feel that you care about them. You’ll never be the dreaded “tyrant boss” or coach, and by setting times and ways for contact, it ensures that contact occurs in a controlled manner and doesn’t burn you out. 

 

Do you Have Skills?

 

  •  Actively Develop Your Communication Skills 

Great leaders have great communication skills. They use these to convey visions, inspire people, negotiate a positive way through conflicts, and above all, they are great listeners. But they also actively develop these skills. They know that most people aren’t born with them, and they will go out of their way to acquire the best communications skills they can. 

  •  Use ‘We’ instead of ‘I’ 

When you use ‘I’ statements within a leadership role, you subconsciously set yourself on a pedestal. Are you focusing on tasks and goals to accomplish, including your team by saying ‘we’ and giving them ownership of the task and goal? 

When you do say ‘I’ make sure it’s paired with statements such as appreciation or gratitude statements, or include as many ‘you’ and ‘we’ statements as ‘I’ ones. 

 

Everybody Needs Somebody

 

  •  Learn to Read Beyond What’s Spoken 

Another top leader super-skill: ‘Reading’ people. This means not just listening to what’s said, but being able to accurately interpret other clues, such as tone, body language, and facial expressions. Effective leaders don’t let such things slipstream over them. They are able to instantly recognize when someone is dubious about something they’re in the middle of agreeing to, or being evasive under expressions of confidence—and get to the heart of the matter in a positive and reassuring way. 

  •  Give Your Team the Right Tools 

One of the easiest ways to enable and encourage your team to not only do a great job but enjoy and be inspired by the process is to give them the right tools. Don’t skimp on this: Giving your contractor or team member the pro version of the right tool will increase productivity and speed up the creation process.  

And your team members will really appreciate your support. 

  •  Be Aware of Your Own Body Language, Too 

Don’t just focus on the body language of the people you are speaking to. Check your own body language, too! Do you look people you are speaking to in the eyes? Are you smiling and focusing on radiating a positive attitude? Are you lethargic, animated—or too animated? Are you practice “open” body language (angling toward your guest, for example, not crossing your arms or legs; or using wide-arm gestures that include the audience and bring them in). 

 

Have you previously even thought of what your own body language says? 

 

Are You Creating the Best Experience?

 

  •  Develop an Engaging Speaking Style 

Record yourself speaking on more than one occasion; both informally and formally (e.g. when giving a speech or running through a podcast or webinar script). Play these practice runs back and listen. 

Do you put yourself to sleep or do you do the opposite, and chatter so fast that you sound like a squirrel after espresso? Do you practice good breathing, so that your voice is resonant, not squeaky or ‘thin’? Are you fall back too frequently on meaningless phrases like ‘basically’? Do you repeat clichés and specific words too often? Are you hemming and hawing and stumbling? 

Above all, is your voice real, authentic, clear, and warm? 

Analyze your own voice objectively. Listen for all these things, decide where and how you need to improve and do it! 

  •  Make a Habit of Being Goal-Oriented 

The best leaders zero in on whatever goal they’re working on and move toward it without distraction. 

Learn to cut out tangents and irrelevancies, and focus on your goals, be they huge or small; the ‘big picture’ or a detail. Learn not to allow yourself to be distracted into reactive mode, and get your team members effortlessly back on track. 

 

I AM The BOSS!

 

  •  Don’t Be a Boss: Be a Leader! 

A boss suffers from pedestal thinking: She thinks of her team members as minions instead of fellow professionals.  

A leader doesn’t regard herself as the center of the universe: She shares the spotlight, the problems, and the praise with her team. 

She gives credit, not takes it: A leader steps back to let her team shine. A leader helps people grow and is remembered as an inspiration in years to come. 

  •  Be Prepared to Be a Decision Maker and Take Risks 

Great leaders do something else that sets them apart from other professionals: After they have done the research, analyzed the facts, and brainstormed with their teams, they: 

      • Make decisions 
      • Take risks 

This is because they have taught themselves not to fear failure. Great leaders know that sometimes projects or ideas fall short. 

But they also know that avoiding decision-making and never taking a chance is the real failure! 

Creating Habits

 

  •  Listen for the ‘Wee Small Voice’ 

Great leaders are also not afraid to question themselves and their assumptions. They learn to be aware of that niggling inner voice that tells one that something isn’t right; or simply leads to a hint of nervousness or fear. 

Experienced leaders question this ‘wee small voice’ immediately on becoming aware of it. They get to the ‘why’ behind the doubt or fear and face it head-on. Then they take action to eliminate potential problems that might have been causing the fear. They never let fear rule them or hide in sabotage. 

  •  Be Proactive—not Reactive 

It’s easy—especially when you are an online entrepreneur—to slip into reactive mode, and end up feeling like a chicken running around with its head cut off: Especially when you have many irons in the fire and people depending on you. But be sure to make time for things that matter (like your health and personal life), and be as proactive as you can. Plan things ahead of time. Delegate.  

And once you’ve done all that, learn how to let things go. 

  •  Make Time for the Things That Matter 

Great leaders do their best to avoid burnout. They know they are human, just like everyone else. And they make sure they recharge their batteries with strong, healthy self-care—and they nurture important personal relationships. You should know that they carry the same respect they show in the workplace back home. 

 

Take Care of Yourself

 

So, develop a healthy self-care routine:  

  • Meditate or pray 
  • Eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible 
  • Drink at least six glasses of water daily 
  • Cut down on carbs and alcohol 
  • Cut down on other bad habits that can sabotage your health (such as smoking, inactivity) 
  • Forgive 
  • Be grateful 
  • Take time to notice all your blessings 
  • Do something fun 
  • Focus on your family 
  • Give back to your local community or charities you believe in 
  • Read entertaining books and listen to fun podcasts, as well as business ones 
  • Get a hobby 
  • Relax 
  • Get a good night’s sleep every night  

Do even half of the above, and you’ll find yourself more alert, more focused—and you’ll have more fun being the leader you were meant to be! 

Designate Work Time for your Business

Designate Work Time for your Business

 

Did you know that having an online business has lots of advantages for you? Online business owners can save a ton of money on gas, and they don’t have to worry about dressing a certain way for work. All that is needed is to designate work time for your business. They can even take their work with them anywhere they go, as long as an internet connection is available.

But every type of business has its pitfalls, and online businesses are no exception.

One of the biggest challenges that online business owners face is staying on task. The internet is a big place, so to speak, and it is full of distractions. There are forums, chatrooms, and blog conversations to participate in. Then there are friends and family to send instant messages to. And don’t forget about those emails to check! The list goes on and on. And I’m sure you have a big checklist of things to do for your clients as well!

It’s very easy to get sidetracked when you work online. But it is important not to let distractions affect your productivity. Even if you’re not getting paid by the hour, time is still money.

So how do you designate work time for your business? Do you set aside so many hours a day, so many hours a week or do you just play it by ear? This last one gets you nowhere by the way!

 

Set Hours and Stick to Them

 

One of the advantages of being your own boss is the ability to set your own hours. This is particularly true when you have an online business because you don’t necessarily have to keep hours that are convenient to your customers. But it is important to actually set working hours instead of just working when the mood strikes you.

During designated work time, avoid using the internet for non-work-related activities as this is essential to your productivity.

Here are some ways you can help yourself do that:

  • Segregate your email

Use one address for personal correspondence and another for business purposes. Set your email program up to automatically check the business one only.

  • Write notes to yourself

If something pops into your head that you must attend to online, don’t let it interrupt your work. Write it down and take care of it during non-work hours. A good app for that is Keep and you can get that right in your Gmail account.

Keep

 

  • Are You Open or Closed?

Write yourself a note reminding yourself that work time is for work only, or put up an “Open” sign. It can serve as a gentle reminder that business is the only thing that should be taking place.

 

Use Flexibility Wisely

 

Another great thing about working online is flexibility. If something comes up and you need to attend to it right away, you can drop what you’re doing and attend to it. But it’s crucial to only use that privilege when absolutely necessary.

When you have an unexpected interruption, you lose working hours. If you were working at a regular job, you would have to either take sick or vacation time or lose pay. When you work for yourself, you can make the hours up at a time that is convenient for you. It is, however, important to make them up at some point.

An online business is one of the most convenient and flexible ways to work from home. It also presents more opportunities for distraction than many people imagine.

Online business success requires a lot of discipline, but the rewards are many.

One thing that works really well is to have a daily schedule you can look at to make sure you’re on track for your day. So here’s one you can use to keep you on track.

 

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