Tag Archives: focus

Do you have a ‘ring of attack’?

iStock_000002543406XSmallWhen I speak on “Organize with Confidence” I always bring up the fact that when most people organize they get distracted by things they find that belong somewhere else.

For example – you may be organizing your junk drawer and find a tool that belongs in the garage. Thinking that you are doing this organizing thing right you go to put the tool away in the garage. While you’re there you think that you might as well organize the tools! You completely forget that you were organizing the junk drawer and when you go back in the house you’re shocked at the mess you’ve left in the kitchen. But by that time you need to leave for an appointment so you shove everything back in the drawer and it’s worse than before!

This is where I teach about the Elizabeth Circle. When you organize you need to draw an imaginary circle around your feet called the Elizabeth Circle. You may not leave the circle until you are COMPLETELY done organizing that area. Have a bag marked ‘take to another area’ for items you find that belong somewhere else and bring them away AFTER you are done organizing. But after a workshop a few years ago I may have an alternate name for the Elizabeth Circle.

One of the greatest joys I have as a speaker are the emails I get after my workshops. My latest workshop was no exception as I got the best email! I thought that you would enjoy it, too, so here it is in part with her name withheld to protect the unorganized!

I just had to drop you a note and tell you how much fun I had at your seminar. True to form, I came home all inspired but this inspiration woke me at 6:00am this morning! So, I trotted downstairs, opened the “mom’s going to scream” drawer and started the process. I didn’t move my feet, I had all my tools there, I formed my “put someplace else” pile and didn’t wander from the attack zone. It was all great and wonderful …until … I came upon that one piece of paper … the memory that had to go acknowledged. It was either irony or divine intervention.

I found a printed menu from the very first night my friend (who also attended your workshop) and I hosted our “Girl’s Gourmet” night. Yes, as a group of 12 we were all professional women, some married, only one with kids and lots of time to enjoy a long dinner and lots of wine. Things change and we have changed as a group as well. We have tried cooking schools, nights out, less intense “gourmet” experiences, etc. Finally, we are all too busy and too disorganized to get together. Well, not any more.

The menu was from February 24, 2000 and so my stepping out of the ring of attack I had to call my friend. I got her voice mail and that was best … no further digression or distraction … just left her the message that in our newly organize lives, we will be hosting the 9th Anniversary of “Girls’ Gourmet” at my home and we will even be ahead of the game enough to do a fabulous menu because we won’t be distracted by the clutter and junk in our homes! So, thanks for a fun night and the wonderful reconnection with a wonderful group!

Isn’t that just the best! Notice two things – she got up at 6:00am to organize (which I find amazing!) and she changed the Elizabeth Circle to ‘the ring of attack’. I found that fascinating. I wrote her back thanking her for the email and then asked about the name change. She wrote back “I do believe that future projects will not require such intensity and I can return to the ‘Elizabeth Circle’!”

So, I now have an alternate tool to help you stay focused. If it is an area of great intensity stay in the ‘ring of attack’!

Are you ready to get the 5 Tools You Must have for Business Success in 2012?

I want you to have business excellence in 2012.  I really do!  I’ve been thinking about what really makes the difference in my business and my coaching client’s businesses and I came up with these 5 tools.  Put them into place NOW, please!   

Tool #1:  Track Your Money

If you don’t have a handle on the money side of your business and know exactly where you are at financially all decisions become very muddy. When you feel unclear it’s easy to make decisions you regret later.

Tool:  If you’re not using QuickBooks, start.  You can try it for free online here. You will need some help to get it set up but once it’s going you will know exactly where you stand financially and start making great decisions for you and your business.  Tracey Gritz, one of my coaching clients is a QuickBooks expert and has training offerings for you to get you up and running.

Another must-have tool that I give my SuccessPlus Coaching Program clients is the Numbers Tracking Tool.  When you use this you know exactly what you have booked for the month and where you are at with your monthly goals.  This tool is a fantastic focus tool, motivation tool, and recognition tool.

Tool #2:  Stay Focused

When you write your to-do list every day you have a plethora of choices to write down. Usually very few have anything to do with growing your business.  Instead of asking ‘What should I do today?’ the question you should ask is “What can I do today to put me closest to the money?”  That is an entirely different question with entirely different answers.

Tool:  Use 3×5 cards or I call them Action Cards and write down one ‘closest to the money’ task per card and write down 3 things you can do to put you closest to the money.  Do these 3 tasks first. When you are done it is so much fun to chuck the card into the Recycle Bin!

Tool #3:  The Answer to “What Do You Do?”

Do you stay away from networking events because you are terrified of what to say when someone asks you “What do you do?”  If so you and thousands of others feel the same way.  It’s imperative that you stop answering the question with your title – Professional Organizer, Lawyer, Interior Designer, etc.  When you do that you sound like everyone else in the room.

Tool:  Start answering the question with the answer to this question “What do I (meaning you) want more of?” Do you want more residential organizing clients? Then you’d answer with “I work with busy moms who want to clear out the clutter and spend more time with their family.” Do you want more staging clients?  Then you’d answer with “I work with homeowners who are ready to sell their home and want it to look great and sell quickly.”  Get the idea?!  The template is: I work with ___________________(ideal clients) who want to ________________ and __________________ (2 outcomes from working with you).

Tool #4:  #1 Marketing Strategy 

Would you just love to have your ideal clients calling you…often?! Then you need to get in front of them.  I have 12 years of hard evidence that shows that when you speak often in front of people you’d like to work with your telephone WILL ring.  That is a lot more fun than cold calling, networking (in my opinion!) and the host of other marketing strategies that to me seem like a lot more work.

Tool:  What do you most love to do with your clients?  Prepare a 20-minute presentation on that topic. This is so easy because you live and breathe this stuff. Put together an opening, a closing and 5 minutes each on the 3 most important points you want your audience to walk away with from your talk.  At the end of the presentation offer them a special of your services and you are on your way.

Tool #5:  Leverage Your List

I hope you are sending out a monthly newsletter. If you’re not that is job 1.  If you are sending a newsletter chances are you are sending the same newsletter to your entire list.  Do you really think that your entire list wants the same information?

Tool:  Segment your database into categories. For example: Current clients, past clients, prospects, etc.  Then make a decision that once a month you will send one of these categories a special mailing. For example my coaching clients get my Friday Feature every Friday where I update them on the SuccessPlus Coaching program calendar, other info, and give them a success tip.  Members of my SuccessPlus Community get a Success Secret e-mail every Wednesday.  What group do you want to send something special to each month?

Now is your time. Finish off 2011 STRONG and start 2012 off with a BANG and start using these 5 tried-and-true tools.

 

Organization Tip of the Day

Our brain can only work on one thing at a time. If you’re working on 3-4 projects your brain has to start over every time you jump to another project.

I want you to try something different today. Pick one thing to work on, yes, one. Preferably the most important task of the day and if you have trouble picking ask yourself ‘what will put me closest to the money?’ That makes it really easy to pick the project.

Now you need a Focus Stone. When I give a presentation every attendee gets a pretty stone that I call the Focus Stone. This stone is your reminder to stay focused on one thing and one thing alone until completion. Every time you feel yourself drawn to jump to something else look at your Focus Stone and stay on task.

What are you going to use for your Focus Stone? Perhaps it’s a favorite memento you have on your desk, or maybe you want to go out and find a beautiful stone. Decide now what you’re going to use.

Confidence Tip of the Day

Focus means doing something and thinking about it at the same time. Most of us rarely do that. We’re usually taking care of a task even as we’re thinking about what’s next. Or, our thoughts are on something totally different than what we are doing. Not only does this prevent us from doing our best, it causes a lot of stress. I encourage you to start using my ‘For the Moment’ technique. What can you focus on for this moment? Decide, get it done, and then move on to the next thing.

Day 13 of my 30-Day Commitment: What are YOU waiting for?

I received my beautiful timers the other day from my promotional product rep, Kathleen Dukate, and I love them!  Not only is it a timer that times up and down but it’s also a digital clock.  I think what really makes the timers beautiful is that they have my new logo:

Is this a perfect logo or what?! Especially for a timer.  Think about it for a minute. You’re sitting in your office and you pick up a project to work on and the thoughts start: ‘ Oh, this will take too long’ or ‘I don’t feel like doing this’ or ‘I’ll just check my e-mail first’, etc. etc. Every time you stop something you are postponing your success.

What are you waiting for?  The sun, moon, and stars to align?  Good luck!

The next time you are tempted to procrastinate set your timer for 20 minutes and just do it.  You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done in 20 minutes if you stay focused on one task.  Most likely you’ll get it done!

Start asking yourself “What am I waiting for?”, realize that there is nothing to wait for, set the timer, do it,  and your productivity is going to soar off the charts!

What is Your Focus Stone?

Do you ever get to the end of the day and think ‘what exactly did I get done today?’ What’s amazing is that you worked hard all day and now can’t think of a thing you accomplished.

You’re not alone. When I post that question to attendees in workshops almost everyone nods their head in agreement.

But, what can we do about it? Voila, the Focus Stone!

The reason we feel like nothing has gotten done is because we use our time so fragmented. We work a little on this, a little on that, check a few e-mails (ok, a lot of e-mails!), return a few phone messages, get back to a few things we were working on, etc. etc.

This is called multi-tasking and it doesn’t work.

Our brain can only work on one thing at a time. If you’re working on 3-4 projects your brain has to start over every time you jump to another project.

I want you to try something different today. Pick one thing to work on, yes, one. Preferably the most important task of the day and if you have trouble picking ask yourself ‘what will put me closest to the money?’ That makes it really easy to pick the project.

Now you need a Focus Stone. When I give a presentation every attendee gets a pretty blue stone that I call the Focus Stone. This stone is your reminder to stay focused on one thing and one thing alone until completion. Every time you feel yourself drawn to jump to something else look at your Focus Stone and stay on task.

What are you going to use for your Focus Stone? Perhaps it’s a favorite memento you have on your desk, or maybe you want to go out and find a beautiful stone. Decide now what you’re going to use.

Fearless Organizing Assignment:

Focus = Doing something and thinking about it at the same time.

  1. Decide to give this a try!
  2. Decide what you’re going to use as your Focus Stone.
  3. Decide on the most important project to work on it and START!
  4. Decide to stay focused.
  5. Watch how much you get done!

Focus on One Thing at a Time

It’s important to stay in the present and focus on what’s happening now.

Focus means doing something and thinking about it at the same time.  Usually we are doing this – and thinking about that.

My ‘For This Moment Technique’ is a great tool to use to stay focused.

I first started using this technique back in 1988.  I was running errands with our fourth child, Sean, Sean at 3who was three, about eight blocks from our house, the van died.  Now this was long before cell phones!  I started to stress out about how I was going to get the van fixed, how I was going to take care of the rest of the errands, and pick up the other three children later.  I decided the best thing to do was to walk home with Sean and then call the car dealership. Still stressed, I started walking home. All of a sudden I looked around and realized it was a beautiful day, and I was holding the hand of the most adorable
three-year old in the entire world!  I thought to myself “Right now, I’m going to focus on this time with Sean and let the rest of the day work itself out.”  I did just that.  Sean and I had a wonderful walk home and as I listened to his precious chatter I thought to myself, “Life is good!”

That was a turning point for me.  Now, whenever I start to feel stressed I stop and think, “For this moment, what can I focus on and take care of? What is just one thing I can do?”

Right now, I hope you are focusing on what you are reading and thinking about how this simple mental technique can totally change your life.  I mean totally!

In my keynote presentation “Now is Your Time: The Steps to be Fearless and Extraordinary” I share what can happen when you start to focus on one project and one person at a time.  The results are amazing. The presentation is all about giving my attendees more focus, more momentum, more meaning, and more success which all results in more hope. It’s a beautiful thing!

I feel that you can achieve all you desire in life if you are open to honestly looking at your life and making changes where needed.

Here is my question for you:

What could happen in your life if you would focus on one thing and do it to completion before you start on something else?Focus

First thought – best thought. Do not think too long on this.

Tell me what your answer is. If you want it kept private e-mail me. If you’re ok with sharing with others then post your answer here at my blog. When you answer this question honestly you will know immediately what you need to do. It is truly amazing.  It may be frightening taking that action but you will know what to do.

In upcoming blog posts I’ll share some of your stories (anonymously, of course) and give you tools and strategies on how to take action.

Already have a success story?  If in the past when you gave up multi-tasking and started focusing on one thing at a time – what happened?

ElizabethHagen.com  •  605-310-5764  •  Elizabeth@ElizabethHagen.com

site by :: cruxwire web ::

TRANSFORM YOUR CHAPTER! »