Blogs and Vlogs


 RSS Feed

Category: Goal setting

  1. Something Old, Something New...Finding ways to develop you

    Posted on

    Finally, after a slow start to the year, I find myself in that happy working place where I am busy, but not overloaded. I still have a little free time to use at my discretion. So what am I doing?

    Apart from client commissioned work, I've been working on something old (but with a twist): Creating more Power Hour Bite-Size Training modules, but this time for a new 'Expert' range. This range will cover more complex topics and include more material than our standard modules. We've taken on a new proof-reader to make sure that we can launch the range later this month with ten topics, which you can see here.

    I'm also trying out something new: Using video and Google+ and YouTube. I've responded to a 'Video Challenge' from my friend Becs McNeill and even though this is only my 3rd day, I'm not only enjoying it but already thinking of how it can be useful to my business and my clients. I'm still very much a novice: it's one take with no editing (and I really must remember to do my hair!), but the idea is to get used to using the medium. If you want to see my efforts, check out my Google+ or Facebook Page


    So, having never used this before, after just 3 days I've not only got comfortable with the idea, I've worked out the basics and am thinking about the next steps. But I needed that push. Without the challenge, I would never have tried.

    Attending training sessions can sometimes give us that push to try something different. More often than not though it's the question that SHOULD get asked after the training session..."So what are you going to do?". Publicly agreeing to action (as I have done with this video challenge) makes us feel more duty-bound to do something, so even if you manager doesn't ask, tell them what you are going to do as a result of attending training. You are more likely to do it.

    The other learning I've taken from this challenge (so far) is that 'little and often' gives us stretch without the stress. We are getting daily challenges so we don't feel overwhelmed. They are all short, so I'm not focussing on the 4 hours I need to find overall - just the 10-15 minutes a day. Taking many small steps towards a change is far far easier than trying to take one huge one.

    So...2 minute videos today...1 hour webinars later in the year? Watch this space!

  2. When did you last sharpen your saw?

    Posted on

    This is a well-known story taken from Steven Covey's book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People"... 

    A man was struggling in the woods to saw down a tree. An old farmer came by, watched for a while, then quietly said, “What are you doing?”
    “Can’t you see?” the man impatiently replied, “I’m sawing down this tree.”
    “You look exhausted,” said the farmer. “How long have you been at it?”
    “Over five hours, and I’m beat,” replied the man. “This is hard work.”
    “That saw looks pretty dull,” said the farmer. “Why don’t you take a break for a few minutes and sharpen it? I’m sure it would go a lot faster.”
    “I don’t have time to sharpen the saw,” the man says emphatically. “I’m too busy sawing!”

    sharpen your saw

    Running a train the trainer workshop last week which included practicing running a version of our 'Plan your Time' Module, I was reminded how very BUSY people are at work. Most of them work very hard, yet the majority end the day having achieved little in the grand scheme of things. First line managers in particular seem to rush about in a constant blur of activity, and complain that there is simply too much to do. Maybe there is. Or maybe they need to stop. Regroup. Think. Maybe they need to sharpen their saw.

    Sharpening your saw means taking time out of your day (or week) to set yourself up for success. In the story, a sharper saw would mean the man would use less effort to cut down the tree and get the job done more quickly. In modern businesses sharpening the saw may mean:

    • setting goals and planning so that you don't lose signt of what it is you are actually there to do
    • prioritising your tasks and focussing your energy rather than just reacting to things as they occur
    • delegating tasks to others even though (in the short term) this won't actually save you any time, it will in the long term
    • learning and developing yourself so you become more knowledgeable, skillful and confident
    • taking your holidays! a manager who is tired and stressed is never going to be able to give their best
  3. New Years Resolutions for Business

    Posted on

    As I prepare for the annual Christmas break, I find myself flipping between 'finishing off' this years tasks, and excitedly planning for 2012 - SOOO many ideas, I hardly know where to start!

    So, in that strange period between Christmas and New year that no-one really knows what to do with, I've decided to set aside time for reflection and actual goal setting. All the business gurus tell us to have clear goals, and indeed you probably set one when you started your current job or business. But what happens when your business is up and running or you are established in your role? Are you too busy dealing with day-to-day decisions and and actually DOING the work? When was the last time you reviewed your goals? Are you still on course? Do they still meet the needs of your customers/organisation? Are they still relevant? Do you need new ones?

    Almost everyone is familiar with SMART objectives (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound), and they can be very useful indeed. But what is your goals are not so easily defined? What if they are more personal? Well, you can still set a fashion. Defining a well-formed outcome can really help you to focus on what you want, why you want it, what will happen if you do/don't get it, and how you will know you have achieved it. They go beyond cold, hard stats and instead tap into the more emotional side of goal setting. Because of this, they tend to be something that you commit to more easily. Both types of goals are defined in detail here.

    As Steven Covey states in his book 'The 7 habits of highly effectively people' - we all need to take time out occasionally to 'sharpen our saw'. So as we begin 2012, take an hour out to focus on what it is that you want to achieve. Review any old goals that you set yourself, and/or set yourself some new ones. Use the SMART criteria where you can, but why not also try defining a well-formed outcome. It may be the most worthwhile hour you have all year!

    Good Luck

  4. Time Management and the 'Big Rocks'

    Posted on

    This story about the rocks and the jar has been around for many years, and the chances are you have heard it. But it's worth reminding people of it from time to time because the message is powerful. Our lives are being run at an increasingly fast pace, and at work we are all expected to keep doing more with less. To be successful it's more important than ever to plan our time, be clear about priorities and manage the 'monkeys' that land on our backs.

    So, read the story and reflect. If you want more help with planning your time, check out our training session and key points sheet. We even have something to help you to manage your monkeys and retake control of your life!

  5. Horses for Courses...

    Posted on

    This week our blog is inspired by the world of health and fitness. Having recently discovered too many of my clothes were too tight, I have decided to embark on a diet and exercise programme. Now I'm not the first and I surely won't be the last, but I realise that we all approach this in quite a different way.

    Many people join a gym, get a personal trainer, and join Weight Watchers or Slimming World. They have set their mind to a goal and are giving it 100%. I truly admire these people. Unfortunately, if I joined a gym I would hardly ever go. I just find it difficult to find the time... It's not just the time in the gym, but is the time taken to get there and back, and the time in the shower. When I then start to take into account the restrictions of days and times I could actually go, I'd be lucky if I could get their once a week... Not a good use of my money!

    So, being a realist I have instead invested in "Just Dance 2" for the Wii. It cost me around £25, and I am able to do anywhere between 20 and 40 min every day. It doesn't matter if my kids are in bed, my husband is at work, or I'm waiting for conference call to begin. Exercising little and often just fits better into my life. And yes, I am seeing results. Okay I may not be seeing them quite as quickly as someone who has joined a gym and got a personal trainer, but I am slowly but surely reaching my goal.

    I think this is one of the reasons that I developed Power Hour. I'm not suggesting that you can condense a full day's training course into one hour – of course you can't. But some people find it hard to fit formal training into their lives. They prefer to drip feed their development and make improvements little and often.

    So if you are responsible for running training courses, and find that people often drop out at the last minute, it may be that other demands are being made of their time. Power Hour offers an alternative to traditional training, and may be a way to achieve your goals (possibly not as quickly) but as long as we get there, it shouldn't matter how we do it.