Tag Archive for guide

Put Your Blinders On

horse-blindersWhat are blinders?

blind·er

(blīn′dər)

n.

1. blinders A pair of leather flaps attached to a horse’s bridle to curtail side vision. Also called blinkers.

And what do these have to do with you? I believe they are a good illustration of an idea to decrease distraction in the work life. There’s so many of them, from the internet, to other jobs, and of course family and personal life. Obviously, it’s good to step away from your work sometimes, or to change the task you are working on to achieve some perspective. However, finding a way to achieve focus is equally important.

For me, the best way I’ve found to do this is to put on the aforementioned ‘blinders’. I create a space that has nothing in it but my work. My phone is in another room, I have no browser open, (Sometimes, on a particularly distraction-filled day, I have unplugged my internet cable as well!) and there’s no TV or other distractions. Then, I set a timer for the task I want to work on.

The timer helps address another problem I run into-I think too far ahead. While I’m working on one task, I will think about the 5 other things I want to do that day, and it’ll impair my efficiency on the current task. When I set a timer, I can turn any skip in my focus into how much time I’m working. I find that I focus better that way.

So if you need some help getting your focus lazer sharp, try putting some blinders on!

Pulling The Trigger: 5 Ways to Find Momentum

triggerIn the past two entries of this series, I’ve discussed the problem I’ve seen with lots of voice talent–they have the idea to improve their career, and they know it’s a ‘should’, but they never actually get to it. They don’t pull the trigger. We’ve defined the issue, broken it down, and now comes the last major problem.

Momentum. Keeping it going. Everyone, at least once in their life has made a change. They’ve started something new, felt great, and moved forward. But three months down the road? Six months? The minutia of daily life and the ruts in the road have them squarely back in ‘the old way’. How do you overcome this? How do you stick to it? Remember the following things:

1. Everyone falls off the wagon.

Whatever that wagon might be, we all have a tired day, or a busy day, or any one of a number of things that prevents us from doing what we know we’re supposed to be. You’re not alone. Don’t beat yourself up-that’s a waste of time!

2. It’s never too late to get back on the horse.

So you stopped that one thing a week ago. A month ago. A year, or five or ten. Who cares? It’s never too late. Don’t say well, I’d really like to, but….just do it! (Yes, I’m visiting cliché land, but I think you know what I mean!)

3. Do whatever it takes.

To remind yourself! Post its, lists, an app, a friend, whatever. Build the structure you need to keep moving, give yourself something to hold on to. If something isn’t working, change it! Don’t get wedded to a system that won’t help, clear the slate and try something new. There’s always another organizational method out there.

4. Make like Nike.

And just do it. No excuses. Don’t say, but, don’t say I’ll do it tomorrow. Just do it!

5. Be all that you can be.

Remember that you’re always more capable than you think you are. You never know where you’d be if you stuck with it. You CAN do it. Don’t think of the reasons why something won’t work. Think of the reasons why it will!

Check out the next post in this series here, and the previous here!

Pulling The Trigger: Making The Time

triggerIn my trigger series so far, I’ve talked first the idea of pulling the trigger. Then, the idea of defining exactly what you need to do, breaking down big new-years-resolution-ideas into something that is easy to do, easy to understand, and is most of all specific. The smaller you can break it down, the more easy it will be to actually do something about it.

And today what I write about is one of the most persistent problems of the modern world. Time. Having enough time, allocating the time when you do having, and utilizing it to the best possible extent.

So, how do you do it? How do you have enough time? Again, the answer is in something we’ve already covered. Break things down. Make a (flexible) schedule. Write it, but in pencil, as we all have our last minute “oh crap!” situations regardless of our type or level of work.

For me, timers are a big help. I suffer from an ADD-like problem where I will worry about what other tasks I have to do than the one I’m doing, so I’m not mentally present enough to work efficiently. So, I do a 2 timer cycle, 45 minutes, then 15 minutes. This allows me to accomplish more than one set of things per day, and also means I can trick my brain into focusing on the amount of time I have to work, rather than the list. I’m able to do other things (like write this post!) and stay far more focused than I do otherwise. What works for you may be something totally different, but keep trying things until you find your ‘fix’ for a broken or ineffective schedule.

One important note though-whatever you do to make yourself use time better, forgive yourself. Everyone has off days, and it’s far better to say, well, I messed up here, and this is how I’m going to make it better, than to spend a lot of time kicking yourself for what you didn’t do.

So, specificity and schedule fixing are two big keys. Start on one of those small tasks during your day, chip away at it. Most of these things don’t need to be finished all in one go, and making progress leads to more progress as the mental kudos stack up. Sometimes getting things accomplished also can mean asking for help. Can you hire or train someone to do something you need? Remember, you really don’t have to get everything done yourself.

When it comes to your ‘should’ list, don’t let it lie, don’t forget about it, and don’t allow yourself to get so caught up in the daily minutia that you never get started. You never know where your career would be if you actually went for it.

Check out the next post here, and the previous here!

Pulling The Trigger

trigger“Karen! I have got a project in mind for us. I’ll be in touch with you soon…”

If I had a nickel for every time I have heard someone say this, I’d have a few buckets of nickels. 🙂 Voice talent always have an idea for something they need to do-any entry on their list of ‘should do’s’. Actually, I think it’s just a people thing, not only voice talent. But at any rate, they see me at a convention, they read a post of mine, and they say, Hey, I need to do this. Karen can help me with something. Sometimes they do call me, and the funny part is they need help figuring out exactly what they want to do. They know they can be better, more efficient, but they aren’t exactly sure of how to get there. Or they just don’t call at all.

In the next couple of posts I want to talk you through how to pull that trigger. How to figure those things out, take that next step, and move onward and upward with your career. Look for the trigger posts to get my ideas on how to define your needs, take action, and get something done that you can be proud of. I have distilled my experience with dozens of voice talent over the years I’ve been working and come up with some good thoughts for you. I’m excited for you to read the posts ahead! Come back on Monday!

Next post here!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers