Tuesday, March 29, 2016
My grandfather was a farmer, a community leader and he sang in his church choir. When he was alive, he used to write me long letters. Even as an adult, I will get so excited when I saw one in my post box and I would make coffee, sit in a cozy spot and read them. With each word I could hear his voice updating me on his adventures with Nanna; the animals on the farm, and his volunteer work. I loved him deeply and miss him, and one of my regrets is I didn’t keep all those letters.
I still love hand written notes. There is something precious about someone taking the time to write you a note, rather than send an email or a text.
In our busy digital world, sometimes the analogue approach gets more attention and has more impact.
Here are three ways to share old fashioned attention to get results:
- Write thank you notes – no one does this anymore (except Jimmy Fallon). My friend and fellow speaker, Thom Singer does this, imagine how impactful it is for his clients when they receive a hand-written note after he has spoken at their conference. When was the last time you wrote a note to a team member to say thank you, a vendor to thank them for their partnership or a family member to thank them for a memory? Could you carry stamped stationery with you to make the most of those small pockets of time? I call this making time in time.
- Make a phone call – did you know a phone call is now considered a personal touch! That’s crazy. In the world of tweets, texts and instant message some think it’s quicker and easier to send an electronic communication. When is the last time you called a client to thank them for their business, no sales pitch, no requests, just a thank you? The sound of your voice, the action of investing time to call will make a big impact on them.
- Make a date – my goddaughters and I have an annual date to celebrate the holidays, and it involves a show in New York, lunch and of course, shopping. It’s a tradition we keep to create memories. One of the greatest gifts you can give someone is your time and attention. Do you have someone you meant to catch up with? A team member you can take to lunch? A potential partner who can help you serve your clients? Schedule time to share a meal, host a Skype date or a virtual coffee. I schedule tele-coffees (that’s where you make a coffee and I make a coffee and we talk on the telephone). I do tele-cocktails on Fridays – love those!
Show someone you care this week. A note to a team member praising their work, a call to a client to thank them for their business, a date with a friend you haven’t seen in awhile. Give someone your attention.
In our distracted, crazy busy worlds people want to know that you see them and you hear them. Show someone they matter to you today by paying attention the old fashioned way.
Love to hear your stories or ideas if you use these strategies. Share your results in the comments below.
Neen’s Tip of the Day:
Invest 15 minutes writing a note, calling a friend or scheduling a date with someone you care about.
Thursday, March 24, 2016
When asked the question I wasn’t sure about the answer.
It’s no secret I am an ‘all-in’ kinda girl. If I love you, I love you with my whole heart, if someone dares me to run a marathon (apparently) I do, and I also have an addictive personality (dangerous combination).
Realizing I was in a rut, and didn’t have the next big goal to really look forward to, I turned back to running.
Before Spring 2015 I was never a runner, yet in that same year I started running and trained for a marathon in less than 6 months (did I mention I was crazy too).
Now I have a new half marathon (just a half, not a full) on the calendar for October it’s time to begin training (carefully and thoughtfully this time instead of last time where my stubbornness and ‘all-in’ is the only thing that got me over the line).
As I haven’t run for such a long time and my overweight, over-tired body sure does know it, it will be a long process however having hired my running coach again putting it in writing, I am fully accountable.
I like that running doesn’t let me down, clears my head, doesn’t want anything from me…. Just me; the road and my playlist. There is something freeing about the ability to go and run and work out any concerns or frustrations I have.
Because of the lifestyle I choose to lead, running is a good goal for me, a half marathon is manageable and I believe where you focus your attention you get results. What’s your next goal? What’s something you are working towards that you could share with someone else to keep you accountable?
Monday, March 21, 2016
Ever hear you mum or dad say ‘tidy up your room!’ I did. Growing up, my little sister and I shared a room and yet we didn’t share the same idea of what ‘tidy up’ meant. It may not surprise you that I liked to label things, color code and designate specific containers for Barbie doll clothes and toys (I can hear you laughing). To me tidy equals clarity.
I love choices. I love the freedom to choose (which might explain my shoe collection but that’s another topic for another blog)!
Ever feel like clutter distracts and overwhelms you? Does it prevent you from making the clearest, best choices?
The best leaders know attention pays. We need to pay attention to what matters so we can create more significant moments for our clients, our teams and our family.
In order for you to make the best choices, you must pay attention to what matters most in your surroundings. This may result in a need for you to tidy up your space to eliminate distractions and enable you to make quicker decisions.
According to a Newsweek report, the average American spends a year of their life looking for misplaced items… A YEAR! No, thank you! The distractions that come with clutter challenge our ability to be productive and remain calm.
I’m a fan of Marie Kondo book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (you can watch our book review video here). Her philosophy is simple; hold each item and ask yourself ‘Does this spark joy?’ – her follow up book Spark Joy, is a brilliant sequel.
Here are 3 ways to tidy up and improve your ability to pay attention:
- Notice everything – look at your desk as you read this… does it show you are in control? Is it a true reflection of your knowledge? Is it important to you? If not, now’s the perfect time for a quick 15-minute spring to eliminate unnecessary distractions. Notice your calendar. Do the meetings have clear purpose? Are they productive? Do they positively achieve the goals set? If the answer is no, perhaps it’s time to tidy up your schedule. Free time to accomplish tasks and reevaluate the purpose of your committed meetings.
- Give everything a place – invest time to allocate space for the things that are important. After applying Kondo’s strategies, everything should have a designated space making it quicker to find and utilize in accomplishing tasks. It’s a simple strategy with a big impact. Do your team members have a place on your calendar to regularly chat about their development, projects and client challenges? If not, choose a date and time on your calendar to devote to team development.
- Create calm – Organizing your work space and your calendar will create calm for you and your team. When everything has a place we don’t waste time and energy trying to find things. If everyone knows the mission or objective of the team they are less likely to get stressed not knowing what to work on next. The productiveness created by a tidy space and the routine that compliments it creates clarity and peace necessary for success.
Think about what is distracting you right now? If it’s clutter, tidy up. If it’s an unfinished conversation, schedule it. If it’s an overdue thank you, say it.
With this week’s arrival of spring (for my US readers), it is the perfect time to eliminate what you don’t need, clear clutter and tidy up. Schedule a pick up by your favorite charity to donate items others could benefit from using. Start today. Spring Clean. Remember Attention Pays.
Love to hear your ideas below of how you manage to tidy up and pay attention to what matters.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Paying attention increases accountability, profitability and productivity.
Time management is out the window.
Productivity was the conversation of yesterday.
Today’s conversation and the most important topic, is attention!
Yes you guessed it; attention pays.
Over the years, we have shared how to accomplish more and focus on what matters. Here is a fun selection of blogs written to assist you with focus on the people and projects mean the most to you.
Call to action:
Where can you invest your attention this week?
Can you share these ideas with your team?
Share with us which of these blogs were most beneficial to you.
Can’t wait to hear from you
The post Top Tips on Accountability, Attention and Productivity appeared first on Neen James.
Monday, March 07, 2016
I admit sometimes it often drives me crazy… some posts are so bad, I can’t help myself and still read and sometimes I see posts and shake my head. However the positive aspects of Facebook of being able to connect to my family in Australia, chat with friends around the world and see life changing events for others in real time… makes it all worthwhile.
I have been known to say ‘I don’t need to read other people’s crazy to feed my crazy’ #truth.
Here are 5 ways to give attention to others using Facebook:
- Like a post – it’s a simple click of a button and now Facebook offers more emotions like Wow, HaHa, Love or Dislike. It shows someone you read their post.
- Comment on a status – spend a moment to write a quick comment so someone knows you saw it and have an opinion.
- Share a memory – one of my favorite features is Facebook shows old photos of memories shared with others. You can then re-share and remind someone of something fun that occurred.
- Add to a discussion – Facebook has groups where you can add value, share a resource or help someone in a conversation.
- Shoot a video – for people I adore when it’s their birthday, I shoot a little video singing Happy Birthday (I do NOT have a great voice, but it’s fun). Videos allow others to hear your voice, see your face and know you went a little extra just for them.
What would you add to this list to give someone attention on Facebook? Love to hear your ideas below
Tuesday, March 01, 2016
Marie Kondo’s unique KonMari Method of tidying up is nothing short of life-changing—and her first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has become a worldwide sensation. You may recall, I previously reviewed her book, and found it to be a fabulous resource with inspiring words encouraging everyone to simplify their surroundings. In Spark Joy, Kondo shares how to declutter and organize specific items throughout your home and office from work-related papers to hobby collections. User-friendly line drawings illustrate Kondo’s patented folding method as it applies to shirts, pants, socks, and jackets, as well as images of properly organized drawers, closets, and cabinets. This book is perfect for anyone who wants a home—and life—that sparks joy.
When you consider your surroundings, I challenge you to ask yourself: Does this really matter? Does this spark joy in my life? Might it spark joy for another?