When You’re All Over The Place (WT671)

When You’re All Over The Place (WT671)


WT 671 When you are all over the place

I have a feeling this week’s thought will resonate with many of you.

Let’s talk about how to focus when you’re all over the place; when you’re feeling overwhelmed and you have too much to do.

You know that horrible feeling you get when you just can’t focus. You can’t seem to prioritise or get into your tasks.

What do you do?

I have a few “go to” strategies that I turn to:

  1. I tap. (I use Emotional Freedom Technique, not tap dancing.)
  2. I breathe.
  3. I meditate.
  4. I go for a walk.
  5. I sit and have a cup of tea and stare out the window.
  6. I chant the phrases for Ho’oponopono.
  7. I write.

When we’re in this state, which David Bayer calls the “Primal” state, we can’t think. 

We can’t solve our problems.

We’re not creative because all our body and brain are doing is looking to survive.

Should I stay and fight? Should I run? Should I freeze?

When this happens, the first thing to do is to stop what you are doing and notice that you are in the primal state.

Awareness is the first step to moving out of it.

Take a breath. Calm yourself.

It sounds counter intuitive because you have so much to do and yet you’ll achieve far more and be more efficient and effective if you take a few minutes for yourself.

Another strategy that helps me is what I call my “Data Dump” method. I list everything that’s on my mind.

If I can, I use the whiteboard.

When I can see it, I can prioritise it.

I create a plan for when things have to be done.

I look to see who else can help. What can I delegate or request support for or negotiate an extended deadline?

Allowing yourself to stay in the primal state is a choice. It’s similar to worry.

There are many strategies and tools that will help you to focus and get back into the “Powerful” state.

What will you choose?

If you’d like to learn more, our next Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience starts next week or you may prefer individual coaching.

Remember, next time you can’t focus and you’re all over the place. Stop. Become Aware. Choose.

P.S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox.
Go to https://shirleydalton.com/weekly-thoughts

Don’t Wear Long Pants in the Shower (WT592)

Don’t Wear Long Pants in the Shower (WT592)


WT 592 Don't wear long pants in the shower

Over the past two and a half years of travelling in the motorhome, I’ve seen many many amenities blocks in caravan parks.

The last one we stayed at before heading back to Newcastle with a “For Sale” sign on the back of the motorhome was most impressive.

The cubicles were much larger than usual and there was plenty of pressure for the hot water. They were new and clean.

As I emerged from my cubicle another lady commented on how good the amenities were.

She mentioned the difficulty she normally has with small cubicles, especially when she’s trying to pull on her long pants.

As she was telling me, she was demonstrating how she would lose her balance, doing her best not to get her pants wet or fall over.

“Don’t wear long pants in the shower”, I thought to myself.

I learned that lesson a long time ago.

It doesn’t matter how cold the outside temperature is, I always wear shorts.

I’m often surprised to see people wearing long pants or worse, leaving their slippers and thongs under the door, instead of wearing the thongs in the shower.  Yuk.

Not wearing long pants for me is about being pragmatic and having foresight.

It’s a simple thing, but if you think about your objectives you can always find an efficient way to meet them.

For example, I only ever take clean underwear, a towel and a bar of soap with me, unless I have to wash my hair, then I take a “dilly bag” with shampoo.

I’m often amused and intrigued at the size of the bags that others take to the shower along with wearing their long pyjamas and long dressing gowns. There’s nowhere to place it, that isn’t at risk of getting wet. The less you take, the less that can go wrong.

Of course, this story is a metaphor for looking at situations and being creative to solve problems and increase efficiency.

Why take extra things that I don’t need like deodorant and cleanser and moisturiser when I can use these things in comfort back in the motorhome.

How about you?

Do you invest the time to look at situations and think about them beforehand?

Do you identify the potential hazards, barriers and obstacles?

Do you look for the most efficient and systematic way to complete a task or do you simply carry out the task without thinking; without stopping to think whether it could be done quicker, better or more efficiently?

In case you’ve never thought about it, my strong recommendation is “Don’t wear long pants in the shower”.

P.S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to https://shirleydalton.com/weekly-thoughts.

Everything is Draft – Until it is Final (WT576)

Everything is Draft – Until it is Final (WT576)


WT 576 Everything is Draft Until it is Final

You know that I do a lot of systems and procedures work for clients.

One of my mantras is “Everything is draft – until it’s Final”.

I often say this to my clients because they can be reluctant to provide feedback if we haven’t quite gotten the procedure down pat.

I don’t take offence.

I prefer to get the procedures correct rather than having unhappy clients because they don’t speak up.

What I’ve found is that often we need to encourage people to speak up. Many won’t speak up because they are afraid of hurting our feelings.

Once I give people permission and even encouragement to speak up, I can see them visibly relax before they share the changes.

We can’t fix what we don’t know about.

What would you rather? Would you rather someone be polite to you and not tell you or would you rather them share what’s going on for them so you have a chance to resolve any issues?

This seems like such a minor concept; getting people to correct some procedures, however it leads to a much more critical and major concept and that is a concept known as “Group Think”.

MindTools.com describes Group Think as “a phenomenon that occurs when the desire for group consensus overrides people’s common sense desire to present alternatives, critique a position, or express an unpopular opinion. Here, the desire for group cohesion effectively drives out good decision-making and problem solving.”

One such example was the team of engineers working on the Challenger Space Shuttle. They knew that the O rings were faulty and yet said nothing because they didn’t want to delay the project or risk bad press. Unfortunately, we know how that ended.

If you’ve got something to say; if you have information to share, I encourage you to be courageous and share it. You might be surprised at the response you get. You might find that even though your message might not be exactly what people want to hear, they will respect you for speaking up and having the courage to get things changed.

Your challenge this week is to speak up. Go ahead, say what’s on your mind. Share what needs to be shared. Nothing can be improved or resolved if you don’t.

P.S. This month’s free online training is scheduled for Friday 16th July at 11:00am Sydney Time – Discover the Secrets to Finding, Hiring and Keeping the Right People. You can register here: https://shirleydalton.convertri.com/finding-hiring-keeping-the-right-people

P.P.S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to https://shirleydalton.com/weekly-thoughts.       

Just Press A Button (WT568)

Just Press A Button (WT568)


WT 568 Just press a button

“If he’d gone 2 feet further he would have missed it completely”, lamented the caretaker at the caravan park.

He was referring to a guest who wiped out the security gate as he attempted to turn the corner and enter the park with his caravan in tow.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to fix it over the last 6 years”, he added.

I shook my head as Ross recounted the story.

There are actually 2 gates side by side on the entrance side.

When you arrive for the first time, the receptionists press a button to open the gate closest to the office to let you into the park.

When Ross finished sharing what had happened, I asked, “Why don’t they change the procedure?”

“You won’t change how people drive, so change the procedure. Just press a button. A second button, that is.”

“Why not just open both gates instead of just one?

This reminds me of what Dan and Chip Heath had to say in their book “Switch”. They advocate making the path easy for change.

In this instance, and I accept I don’t have all the facts from the reception team, I would simply change the procedure and open both gates, especially if it has been happening consistently for 6 years. Opening both gates would surely prevent having to keep fixing it.

So how about you?

Are there things happening in your workplace or even at home that have consistently caused problems for a period of time?

Is it time to look at changing the procedure? Could it be as simple as just pressing a button?

P.S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to https://shirleydalton.com/weekly-thoughts.

Pin It on Pinterest