Boost Productivity and Clear Your Psychic Bandwidth in 3 Easy Steps

“I just don’t seem to have enough time to get everything done!” is a common refrain I’m hearing from my clients. Truth be told, I’ve muttered it more than a few times to myself as well! In a world where information, resources and tools are available at your fingertips, it can be a challenge to walk that fine line between being productive and being burnt out.

A friend of mine I spoke to told me she was struggling to decide on whether to accept a new opportunity in her business and that “I’m not sure I have the psychic bandwidth right now to really take that on!” I loved that phrase, because our brains do operate like computers. Let me share some strategies for good computer maintenance we can apply that can help us become more clear, productive and less overwhelmed.

Step 1. “Defrag Your Brain” Regularly

I loved the phrase “Defrag your brain” which I heard from innovator and thought leader, Andrea Lee. She notes most of us are more habituated to cleaning the lint drawer in our dryers than we are taking the “lint” that can collect in our minds.

The word “defrag” comes from the defragmentation process computers regularly undergo as a means to free up unused space in its memory. Over time, data gets stored in the computer in ways that isn’t efficient, with many gaps appearing between files. The data becomes fragmented, which slows down the speed of the computer.

Tip: Set aside regular times to “defrag your brain.” Beyond just an annual year-end review, I recommend setting aside at least once a quarter for big defrag/review sessions, as well as shorter monthly ones to keep you on track. Block off your next defrag session in your calendar before the end of today.

Step 2. What do I “No”?

We all know that when you run too many programs on your computer, the speed slows you down. To get back to peak efficiency, you need to find those unnecessary programs and turn them off.

A great question I learned from Andrea is “What do I ‘No’?” Even with the best time management, organization and priority-setting systems in the world, we can’t do it all – at least not all at the same time. If you say yes to everything, you end up diffusing your energy and focus. Not only are you spreading yourself thin, but you won’t be able to create the results you want.

Tip: To help defrag your brain, ask yourself what you need to say “No” to. What is on your plate that you know in your heart is not your highest priority, or an expression of your life’s purpose? If you feel a lukewarm response, that really means a “No” or a “No, not now.”

Step 3. Know When to Call Tech Support

Einstein was absolutely right when he said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. If you find yourself persistently in a pattern of procrastination, indecision or overwhelm, you might have picked up a mental virus somewhere along the line! Somewhere in your subconscious programming there is a sub-routine running in the background that needs to be removed or simply upgraded to support the next greatest version of you. Rather than continuing on your own, you can often save time, money and heartache by calling upon a coach or someone with specialized expertise who can help you to breakthrough the pattern. This way you get to clarity, confidence and results much quicker!

Tip: Notice if you feel stuck in a loop where your productivity seems to drop off regularly. If Steps 1 and 2 aren’t producing results, reach out for support from someone else to give you perspective and coaching. Working with a coach, finding an accountability buddy or joining a mastermind group are great ways to break through persistent and stubborn productivity and focus droughts!

© 2010 Carolyn B. Ellis

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Success Strategist, coach and best-selling author, Carolyn B. Ellis, is the founder of ThrivePrinciples.com, empowering you to thrive no matter what your outside circumstances are. To get free tips on turning adversity into opportunity in order to improve your relationships, increase your self-confidence and reach your highest potential, visit www.ThrivePrinciples.com.

Leadership: The One Person You Absolutely MUST Lead

Being a brilliant entrepreneur, a brilliant mom or a brilliant partner requires one thing. To succeed we need to be able to calls forth the best of ourselves every day and in every way.

As the leader of your life, there are so many people who look to you to take their cues: your clients, your children, your partner, your colleagues, and your neighbors. Mompreneurs in particular are often caught trying to find that elusive balance between work and family, between joyful creation and stressful chaos.

But the true test of leadership is this – are you practicing your own internal leadership? Would you be inspired, motivated and decide to follow yourself?

One of my teachers used to say that the first person you must learn to lead is yourself. Attending management courses and reading the very finest leadership literature is good, but the greatest arena for learning about powerful and lasting leadership is … within yourself.

Having a strong and resilient emotional foundation is a key ingredient to one’s success and impact. So I believe we must always be willing to do our own emotional homework to ensure that this internal foundation is strong enough to hold the business we desire.

Here are some tips to help you diagnose and up-level your self-leadership!

1.  Do an Integrity Check

Do a scan of your life to see if there are areas where what you are doing is different than what you are saying. Are there places where things feel out of integrity? Are you tolerating things that are incomplete? Are you walking your talk? It might be finishing up a product, making a call you’ve been avoiding, or letting clutter overwhelm your office. This scan will tell you where you have the opportunity to recommit to the leadership of your life. Write them down and come up with a plan to tackle these areas that are energetically eroding your leadership.

2.  Get in the Driver’s Seat

It’s tough to lead your life, let alone a business, if you allow other people to be in the driver’s seat. Self-leadership requires you to take responsibility for your thoughts, words and actions. When you’re in the driver’s seat of your life, you get to decide where you’re going, the route you’re going to take, and how fast you want to drive to get there. Yet sometimes we subtly concede that driver’s seat position to others – a spouse, our children, a business partner, a demanding client, or a parent, to name a few examples.

3. Perfection is Not Required, Shifting is

Don’t forget that we’re all human, and we definitely make mistakes. So even if you see there are areas where your ability to lead yourself isn’t what you want it to be, don’t despair! Perfection is not required in order to move forward to unleash your brilliance. Self-awareness and a consistent choice to shift out of limiting behaviors or patterns is. Being able to see what’s not working and shift it quickly, and with confidence, is critical so your true brilliance can shine brightly in the world. Learning to lead yourself with confidence and ease is the goal.

© 2011-2012 Carolyn B. Ellis All Rights Reserved

5 Steps to Transform Overwhelm into Productivity

Some of the greatest challenges our society faces today is overwhelm and distraction. It seems like most of us suffer from an inability to maintain our attention and focus on getting our dreams and goals across the finish line. In Part 1 “5 Ways Spiritual Overload Syndrome Sabotages Your Productivity“, I explained that Spiritual Overload Syndrome is running rampant.

One of the serious consequences of our hyper-connected, fast-paced life isn’t just the overwhelm and not getting our goals accomplished. When we are always dashing around and stressed out, our bodies are perpetually being stimulated into a “flight or fight” response. Being constantly bathed in the release of adrenalin, we put our health at risk.

Here are 5 steps you can take to break free from Spiritual Overload Syndrome when it strikes, and transform overwhelm into productivity.

1. Break the Spiral and Get Grounded

When you are stuck in the spin cycle of SOS, you get into a mental and energetic churning state. Worry, doubt and critical thoughts start to run around like 3 hamsters on a wheel, creating a lack of clarity and confidence.

When you feel like you’re in that spin cycle, the first thing to do is stop. Move you body, whether by doing 10 jumping jacks, going for a walk or dancing to a favorite song. Changing your physical state in order to shift your emotional state can work quickly, and allow you to get grounded and see through clearer eyes.

2. Connect

Once you’ve broken your spiral of overwhelm, you’re ready to drop into your own wisdom. Take some deep breaths and imagine connecting to the Brilliant You that you are. Then ask yourself, “What is the highest expression of my brilliance now, in THIS moment?” Stop and listen to what your intuition has to show you or tell you.

Connect to your dreams and vision and remember WHY they are important to you. You want to connect to it not just intellectually. Connecting to your WHY on an emotional and visceral level and let that energy helps move you forward.

3. Braindump Everything

Feeling overwhelmed is often caused by mental gridlock. There are so many thoughts and ideas whizzing through our brain that we get stuck knowing what to do next. You hear the Visionary voice, getting interrupted by the Critic, who then drowns out your Executor voice.

Every voice is of service and brings something to the table. To break the gridlock, do a brain dump of all the thoughts and ideas you are having and write them on individual sticky notes. You can then group like thoughts and ideas together. This exercise will help you to listen to the voices, but in the order in which they need to be heard, so you can avoid the mental gridlock.

4. Choose Your Leverage Point

Once you’ve detangled your traffic jam in your consciousness, you’ll be able to look at things with more objectivity and clarity. Now it’s time to identify where your best leverage point it. Consider how you can best leverage your time, energy and focus to get the maximum impact.

5. Take Inspired Action Immediately

Now that you’ve identified your best leverage point, it’s time to take action. But not just any action. You want to take inspired action.  Decide on ONE inspired action you could take immediately. Choose it and do it right away. Don’t defer it and let procrastination or distraction slip in the side door again. Remember, consistent small steps are far more powerful than the inconsistent big steps.

© 2010 Carolyn B. Ellis

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it:

Success Strategist, coach and best-selling author, Carolyn B. Ellis, is the founder of ThrivePrinciples.com, empowering you to thrive no matter what your outside circumstances are. To get free tips on turning adversity into opportunity in order to improve your relationships, increase your self-confidence and reach your highest potential, visit www.ThrivePrinciples.com.

5 Ways Spiritual Overload Syndrome Sabotages Your Productivity

It’s a busy, busy, busy world out there. So many people I know, friends and clients alike, are feeling truly overwhelmed these days. The internet and our various battalion of electronic gadgets most of us use nowadays can bring an entire world of data, information and ideas to your fingertips within minutes.

Parents run their households and try to find their footing in a crazy mosaic of children’s schedules, community commitments, working their jobs and, oh yes, trying to make time for a personal life. Entrepreneurs who left the corporate world hoping greater flexibility and balance in life would be theirs are working harder than ever. Will there ever come a time when we can just chill out, put our feet up and relax?

We are hitting a point where our ability to keep our focus and stay productive is being seriously challenged. I call this challenge “Spiritual Overload Syndrome” or “SOS” for short. SOS is what happens when you’ve tapped into the flow of your brilliance and creativity, yet you struggle to be productive and focused in actually manifesting your Brilliant Idea in the real world. Imagine running 240 amp service through old knob and tube wiring – chances are something is going to burn out until we upgrade the circuitry of our productivity and work habits….

In the first of a two-part series, I want to share with you some of the common symptoms of this form of “dis-ease” that seems to afflict particularly those of us who have felt our intuition awaken and want to take action on our soul’s desires. See how many you can relate to:

Symptom #1 – You Have Creative Ideas But No Traction

Your Brilliant Ideas seem to always pile up on your “to do” list. You feel really, really busy, but not necessarily productive or making the best use of your time and energy. In order to have any chance of winning the race, you need to cross the finish line. Yet a lot of your Brilliant Ideas seem to end up collecting dust or get forgotten. You find it hard to see through an idea from the beginning right through to the implementation and completion stage.

Symptom #2 – Your Ego Has Become Your Taskmaster

You find yourself working longer and harder than you ever have. In fact, the thought of leaving the blackberry or laptop turned off for even a day makes your palms sweaty. Although you may love what you do, you’re starting to become a workaholic. Somewhere along the line, your ego has slipped in and become your taskmaster, leaving you feeling burned out and starting to resent the very activities you love the most.

Symptom #3 – You Have Indigestion

Like someone who’s visited an all-you-can-eat buffet, you’ve loaded up your plate with more information, seminars, books and workshops than you can really handle. You eat too much, too fast, and you end up with indigestion. You find yourself so busy learning or distracted by the next bright shiny object, you forget to allow time and space for you to fully digest and apply all the wisdom you already do have.

Symptom #4 – You Indulge in Magical Thinking

Sometimes people get very caught up in positive thinking and about principles like the Law of Attraction. They overlook the need to actually DO something in order to make it manifest. It can be tempting to get lost in pie in the sky thinking. This is particularly true when it comes to the kind of relationship we have with money (which in turn impacts how we price our products and services).

Symptom #5 – It’s Hard to Make a Decision

Your consciousness is waking up and you feel like you’re living from a place of abundance, not scarcity any more. Like a kid in a candy store, you are excited by all the possibilities you see. In fact, you see so darn many possibilities it’s a challenge to say “No!” or “Not now, later.” It’s challenging to discern where to put your time and energy. As a result, you’ve become somewhat indecisive because you hate to cut off your options.

So, how did you do? Have you been afflicted by Spiritual Overload Syndrome?

Stay tuned for Part 2: 5 Steps to Turn Overwhelm into Productivity in the next issue of the Thrive Guide.

© 2010 Carolyn B. Ellis

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it:

Success Strategist, coach and best-selling author, Carolyn B. Ellis, is the founder of ThrivePrinciples.com, empowering you to thrive no matter what your outside circumstances are. To get free tips on turning adversity into opportunity in order to improve your relationships, increase your self-confidence and reach your highest potential, visit www.ThrivePrinciples.com.

Productivity and Energy: 4 Strategies to Managing Your Energy Cycles

Are you struggling to become more productive and get ahead of your “to do” list? Do you feel overwhelmed at how meet all of the demands life makes of you? Most people focus on external solutions like time management skills or organizational systems to help them become more productive. An important, yet often overlooked, aspect that is critical to your success is your energy cycle.

In nature, there are many cycles. The seasons change from summer, to fall and then to winter and finally spring. You can count on that. Plants and trees appear dormant for months on end, until the conditions are right for them to burst forward with new growth. We have an energy cycle that is available to us as well. Working WITH our flow of energy instead of AGAINST it can make all the difference between having good results and outstanding success. Here are 5 strategies to help you get the most from your energy cycles…. Continue reading