productivity

How to get more done with less

You know when you have a looming deadline but everyone is pulling you from pillar to post? 

ARGH!!!  😫

Or when you spend so much time in meetings that you secretly wonder “when will I ever get my work done?” 

Combine that with open plan offices and sneaking time on LinkedIn and you have a recipe for disaster for your productivity.

Which leaves some wondering if creating a career that really counts is all it’s cracked up to be!

10 Productivity Hacks to Help you Focus

  1. Turn off your phone notifications during the day

  2. Tackle the hardest stuff first

  3. Set up an "email response time"... and stick to it

  4. Pomodoro technique

  5. Take proper breaks

  6. Get enough sleep

  7. Don't multitask

  8. Set yourself some mini goals during the day

  9. Get competitive

  10. Make a good old fashioned list

>> READ MORE  - I was interviewed by Claire Isaac on TEN DAILY and here is her article


Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

8 Signs & Symptoms That You Have the Linkfluenza Virus

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If you're reading this, you already know that LinkedIn is incredibly 'in' right now for those wanting to fast track career progress. The platform not only allows you to put up a shop front window for 'brand you' that should keep you top of the pops 24/7 while you sleep, but it also enables you to make great connections, build relationships and position yourself while you are sitting at your desk pretending to work.

But we reckon that there is something sinister doing the rounds on the platform. Maybe it's the new roll out since Microsoft took over. Or maybe it's simply that the number of people signing up to LinkedIn is still growing exponentially and it's feeding the beast.

However, the signs are all there and the following is a collection of symptoms that we've lumped together that indicate one thing - and that's that you have caught a bad case of the dreaded Linkfluenza virus.

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS of LINKFLUENZA

If you tick yes to one or more of the below list then you'd better go see your doctor and get the antidote! ASAP.

  1. You spend more than one hour per day on LinkedIn when it's not your job and you worry when you simply don't have enough time in your day to do more

  2. You refresh your posts over and over again to check how many likes you have on your last share 
  3. You rate yourself and measure your own success by how many connections you have (or don't have)
  4. You get sent to LinkedIn jail every now and then when you are emailing people, and when you log back in LinkedIn asks you if you are a bot
  5. You know all the rules about keeping out (and getting out) of Linkedin jail because you've been there quite a few times!
  6. Your connections on Linkedin mean more to you than your real life business connections - or worse your family!
  7. You feel anxious and have withdrawal symptoms if you can't access LinkedIn for whatever reason
  8. You are always going in to see who has looked at your profile and you've been known to double check your own profile settings if you have no new profile views in a 24 hour period.

Don't mistake the map for the territory. Linkedin is a cool and awesome business and networking tool. It's an even more powerful tool for those who have consultancies. But LinkedIn isn't life. And if you ticked yes to one or more of the above then we suggest that you'd better go out and get one (a real life that is). 

If you liked this article - please share!

And if you've identified any other signs or symptoms or maybe even a cure, please comment below. Let's help our fellow Linkfluenza sufferers sooner rather than later.

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  • This article was jointly written by Amanda Blesing and Russell Boon, both of whom have become accidental LinkedIn ninjas.
  • Hand on heart, we've each suffered from Linkfluenza at various stages.
  • Don't panic - it is treatable.

 

Liked this? Here are some more

 

Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition #success #career #executivebranding #personalbrand #standout #leadership  #executivewomen #careerfutureproofing

Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

Yet another powerful F word - to boost your productivity

Feeling scattered, flustered or a little out of control? Maybe you're working flexibly/remotely, juggling a major project deadline along with kids on school holidays?  

Or maybe you don't have kids but you're picking up on a flustered, guilty sort of vibe anyway as you make like you're a swan smoothly gliding on a lake, when really you're paddling like crazy underneath wondering if you're getting this career and leadership thing right.

Don't worry. I hear you!!! Being a woman in business takes multitasking and juggling to a whole new level.

Your best work?

Firstly we need to get over the notion that our best work is done in the office, in a meeting or at your computer. We all know it, but we haven't ditched it yet.   Most likely your best thinking time is done when you're looking at a view from your 40 story building, or walking by the beach or even taking a shower.

One of my connections on LinkedIn is currently making headlines as she travels Australia with her kids (for a year) and submits substantive work remotely with the connectivity, support and trust of an enlightened employer. Her best working time? Sight seeing. Yes, really.

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And secondly, we need to create ways to prioritise focus.  

  • Focus. When you give a staff member your full attention, tuning into the words they say as well as the body language and the nuance that lies between.
  • Focus. When you create space for intense small project milestones (like bricks in a wall) that enable you to harness the sense of progress without becoming over-whelmed.
  • Focus. When you prioritise the things that are really important and do those things in the quiet time of the morning when your brain is fresh and your attention is less scattered.

Easier said than done

We all know that focus is important, yet regaining control of it is almost impossible. So here is my go to technique for those who want something new. As some of you know, I teach yoga. In fact I've been practicing yoga for around 16 years.  Many of the practices and disciplines of ancient wisdom traditions are now becoming far more mainstream and accepted in the business world. My go to practice when I need to refocus is breath work. Breathing.  In fact I use the 4-7-8 breath technique. It's a super fast, super effective re-calibration tool that works - every time.

  • Inhale for 4 counts
  • Hold for 7 counts
  • Exhale for 8 counts
  • Repeat for 4-5 rounds only. And NEVER do it while driving or operating heavy equipment.

Try it now.
And let me know how much better you feel!
Short and sweet this week, because I know you've got a lot on your plate and you need to focus.
 
#Feminineleadershipsuperpowers+ #focus = #priceless

Vive la révolution! Ambition Revolution.


Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

Five Key Components for Getting Ahead Faster

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Frequently people go about their careers by leaving things up to luck, waiting for “the universe” or relying on someone noticing you. We forget that by taking an active participatory role we get some say in how our working life turns out. Given that we spend a whole heap of time at work, in work environments and with work colleagues – I’d say that having a say in what that looks like is pretty important. And with almost 40% of people citing that they want to start their own business, it would appear that mot people understand this at some level, but don’t really know how to execute these sorts of choices and freedoms with their current employer.  

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work, is to love what you do.
— Steve Jobs

So to help you get started here are five essential components of your career strategy that we talk about at The Ambition Revolution.

1.    Work on your career, not simply in it

Just like with great leadership and working on a business, not in it,  you’ll be rewarded far more and get to where you want to go much faster if you spend time working on your career, not simply in it. This means spending time setting goals and creating plans.

"If you don’t know where you are going how will you know when you get there?"

Be clear about what you want, where you want to be and by when. Then spend time reflecting on what it will feel like when you get there. Perhaps you’re in a career that you did your undergraduate degree in years ago. Or perhaps you landed a role back when the economic climate was less favourable and it became comfortable over time.  Since then you’ve realised it doesn’t actually fire you up and you’ve been yearning for work that was meaningful. Time to start planning.

Setting the goals and planning strategy means you have to be clear about what’s important to you about work and then put some frameworks around it.

As women in the workforce we frequently put our needs, desires and wants second so this can be challenging. We might be biding our time waiting for kids to leave school, the husband’s fast track career or business idea to come to fruition, or perhaps family obligations.  Strategy can be planned while you are waiting.  And having a plan brings you one step closer to execution phase. Start planning now.

 

2. Boost self belief and confidence in advance

According to Katty Kay and Claire Shipman in The Confidence Gap article published in the Atlantic, success correlates just as closely (if not more so) to confidence as competence. Women on the other hand have for years been socialised to do the right thing and are more likely to correlate success with competence.  Given that self belief and confidence are both critical to getting ahead, then why not build confidence boosting systems, processes and critical pathways into your plan

  • How will you remain buoyant when things don’t go exactly to plan?
  • What strategies will you put in place that help you remain steady and confident when you are stressed, tired or worn out? 
  • How will you remain resilient under criticism?  

Get on the front foot and have routines and structures that boost and enhance confidence and self belief firmly in place as preemptive measures.

 

3. Personal productivity - it's the new black hadn't you heard?

This is about establishing routines that keep you agile, confident and focused. We know from research into “fear” that uncertainty and doubt increase anxiety and worry.  On the flipside certainty and clarity (even if it's perceived) help us eliminate worry and anxiety.  So creating structures and routines, tackling big thinking projects in the morning and investing in down time and quiet space to think are all pretty cool ideas that boost productivity.

There are "apps for that", software solutions and systems such as Pomodora technique to name one. There is so much available right now to help you maintain the rage that you are bound to find something that works for you.  Here’s some recent research summarised into 13 ways successful women make the most of their time.

 

4. Right people in your network

Stop trying to be the superhero and doing it all yourself.  Then identify what support you need in your next big career push. Is it accountability? Door opening? Confidence boosting? Technical expertise?  Problem solving? A shoulder to cry on (and yes crying is okay)? Or all of the above?  Identify those in and near your network who can support you in some way – colleagues, family, mentors, coaches, sponsors and champions.  Many of us have the notion we can “pop out of the cake all superheroed up” and we will be welcomed with open arms. Unfortunately it doesn’t always work that way – and frequently requires time, willpower and support .  

 

5. Sell yourself -  or perhaps more accurately create and sell brand you

Your most important sale in life is to sell yourself to yourself.
— Maxwell Maltz

Have you read Forbes journalist Susannah Breslin's thoughts on selling yourself? Hilarious. This woman truly gets it.  However in a nutshell this selling yourself is really challenging for most people. Most of us are uncomfortable in a sales role selling other products, let alone when the product is brand you. Well I hate to break it to you; everyone is the protagonist in their own movie of their own life. You are just a bit player in someone else’s movie. If you want a leading role you in someone else’s movie you you have to grab their attention! And that means pitching yourself.

·      So what is your expertise?

·      What is it that you bring to a role that others don’t? 

·      So what's the business benefit in what you are creating?

·      Where do you contribute that adds greatest value?

·      What makes you exceptional?

·      What demonstrable measurable outcome is going to come about? 

And then rehearse communicating these things out loud with a trusted colleague or mentor until you can hear your now compelling story.

“No matter what job you have in life, your success will be determined 5% by your academic credentials, 15% by your professional experiences and 80% by your communication skills”

 

Because not stepping forward, speaking up or taking charge can keep you feeling stuck and frustrated – draining you both personally and professionally.  This does little justice to you or the organisations/clients you work for. By being more strategic about your career puts you back firmly in the driver’s seat, not only boosting your confidence, but new opportunities will present themselves more effortlessly keeping you feeling more fulfilled about your work and your place in the world.

What components do you have in your strategy?

  • I am the creator of The Ambition Revolution – the science and  art of amping smart and savvy. 
  • I mentor busy professionals to ensure they remain strategic, agile and focused on the bigger game. 

  • I also work with organisations who are trying to increase the profile of women in leadership, but struggling to do so

  • My mission in life is to help women to play a much bigger game – change the world if you will – and do so with big ideas, big vision and big, audacious bucket loads of confidence. 

  • Call 0425 780 336 or email ablesing@amandablesing.com for an obligation free one on one to see if we suit.

Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months