How to Decide What Stays on Your Plate and What Gets Tossed

“I have so much on my plate. Something’s gotta give this year.” Each year I set aside time to evaluate and do an overview of how I spend my time. I know that I need to clean house and take some things off my plate. I wanted to evaluate carefully and choose wisely what needed to stay in my life and what needed to hit the road. So I decided that this year I was going to come up with a system to do just that.

I lay everything out on the table much like the concept described in Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

Kondo suggests in her book that you take every piece of clothing you own and put it on the bed or floor. Next you pick up each item and ask yourself these questions.

  • Does it bring me joy?
  • Does it fit?
  • Do I wear it or is it outdated?

By using these tests you begin to eliminate and discard those items that do not bring you joy or serve you well.

This concept also works on things that have a place in our lives and commitments that fill our schedules: book clubs, projects, volunteer work, school, new job assignments, board memberships, church commitments, helping friends, PTA meetings, seminars, conferences, etc….

At the beginning of each year I evaluate what is on my plate and what responsibilities I have ahead of me. Here is the method for deciding what to keep and what to remove off my plate.

The SandiCor Method

TITLE: Take each task no matter how large or small and write each one on a sheet of paper/file or document. One page for each task.

Next add these questions to each page without answering the questions.

  • TIME: Note the time it takes to do this task/commitment. Is is monthly, weekly, yearly? What day of the week? How long will it last and what is your prep time and clean-up time?
  • POSITION: What is your position/responsibilities? What do you do for this organization?
  • COMPANY GOALS: What goal(s) does this group/company/organization have overall? What is their mission statement or purpose?
  • PERSONAL GOALS: What is your personal goal for being involved/participating with this company/organization? What do you want to get out of it? Is it money, knowledge, friendship etc…?
  • CONS: What are the cons? What are those things you must deal with in this position? What is the poop sandwich that you have to eat? What do you have to put up with to get to do the fun stuff?
  • PROS: What are the pros? What are the benefits to you? If it is a benevolence organization, first answer your benefits and then add benefits to others involved.

Once you have filled out each page with the task name, you can begin to evaluate. Start with the smallest consumer of your time, i.e. volunteer work or book clubs. As you move from the smallest to the largest responsibilities you are able to see how much time you are spending as a whole. This will give you more insight as you walk through your year. Knowing what is on your plate and how much time you spend on each event/job helps you make better decisions when faced with new opportunities.

NOT ALL GREAT OPPORTUNITIES ARE MEANT FOR YOU.

Next, answer all the questions and ponder the importance of them in your life. Will it stay? Should it go? Does it have a timeline or a deadline? Touch the paper, review the responsibilities, job descriptions, etc… Meditate/pray/ponder on how you will spend your time for each task. Is it worth the time spent? Does it bring you satisfaction? Does it fill a void in your life? Does it bring you happiness or peace before, during, or after the task?

Do not move on to the next page/organization until you have answered all the questions for the first one. One by one dwell on the benefits and decide if it will stay or go. You may start a pile of “Maybe I will give it a go one more year” or “Heck yeah, I want to do this again.” Wherever you place your tasks make sure you think long and hard about what place it will take in your life.

Sign up for my newsletter here to receive the SandiCor Method Template for free.

The Biggest Challenge as an Entrepreneur and Small Business Owner

Hello Small Biz Owner & Entrepreneurs!

Today on Periscope we talked about the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs.

My biggest challenge as a small business owner is time management. I tend to have so many ideas that pop up and I want to do them all. If you are a go-getter like myself, you engage them and venture in.  Soon you realize that you have all of these commitments and no time to focus on any of them.

My solution for this is a formula I developed to analyze and organize your commitments. It is a formula that will help you decide what stays and what goes. Where are you spending your time? Should you spend your time on that task? I am happy to send you this free tip along with my monthly newsletter here.

Focus was another issue that came up on our scope today, as was finding a solution to not having focus when we sit down to work. If you are like me, all of a sudden you realize that you have to organize the junk drawer or find that missing item.

My solution for this has been finding a quiet place away from distractions. Sometimes it’s not in my home office; sometimes it is at a coffee shop or the library.

When I am at home I try to burn a candle like this one in White Lilac or my new favorite thing: burning sticks called Palo Santo from Peru. They both help me focus to work and calm me as well.

Another great tool is an app called Focus@will. I have used this for years now and love it. This music is set to help your brain focus and better yet to stay focused. Try it out.

We also talked about one of my favorite books by Marie Kondo. No wonder I could not remember the name; it’s such a long one!!! It’s called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I’ve posted links to these items to make it easy for you all to find them, just click on the link to see them.

We ended our time today by talking about one of the most important things to add to your life and business. Developing a routine is so important when running a business. You should develop routines for when you arrive at your office, a routine for Monday mornings, after work routines, and weekly routines. You can customize your own routines to fit your schedule, personality, and work. For example, Amy mentioned that she cleans off her desk at the end of her work day. I like to clean out my laptop bag at the end of the day and file my things away. This helps me get ready for the next day when I need to add new files to my bag for the day’s meetings.

I leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

It’s not about having time; it’s about making time.

What tips can you add to that have helped you work your business?

Aim and SHOOT!

Henry Thoreau said “In the long run, you only hit what you aim at.” So many of us go along our lives without aim.

”I want to be a good person," "I want to have respectful teenagers," "I would like to travel when I retire,” are just a few goals I’ve heard this week. Having a desire to aim for IT puts you 1/4 of the way there. But then you must mark your aim and move forward towards achieving it.

“Yes, I would like to start a business this year but I don’t know how to begin.”
“I would love to quit my job and stay home with my children.”
“I want to retire in Arizona; how can I make that happen?”

Finding clarity and a plan can be a daunting task, but here are a few questions that might be helpful.

Where would you like to be in 5 years?

What is preventing you from moving forward with your goal?

Can you explain your long-term goal on paper?

Where are you spending most of your time?

Do you know someone who can help you in reaching your goal?

These helped me reach certain goals in my life. I spent many years wandering, many months wasting time and countless days doing things I did not want to do. I needed to aim, and shoot for my goals.

If you want a different outcome then you need a new action plan.

Gain clarity

Make a plan

Move towards your goal

Focus your time and energy

Seek wisdom

Please let me know if you found this helpful!

The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly.
— Proverb

3 Tips for Growing Your Coaching Business on Instagram

In 2013 Instagram had 80 million users; just one year later that number grew to 200 million users. Everyone is getting a piece of that pie today. Businesses are using Instagram to promote, sell, and get followers. Many top name brands like Nike, Starbucks and Gucci are active on social media, including Instagram.

Even small business could benefit from engaging their potential clients on Instagram.

Engaging clients

Increase exposure

Gain followers

Increase engagement

So how can Instagram help coaches gain exposure and meet potential clients?

  1. Use Hashtags.
    Use Hashtags often. When posting, use hashtags that pertain to your niche.
  2. Interact with your community.
    Make sure you follow, comment and like other Instagrammers.  Find your target audience and interact with them by sharing tips and info.
  3. Have an Instagram Loop Giveaway with a few other coaches to gain more followers. Coordinate with other Instagrammers and purchase a high dollar gift card to give away. They enter the giveaway by following all collaborators and/or tagging their friends.

These are just a few tips on how you can use Instagram to create a presence for your coaching business. See what works best for you and your coaching niche.

You can find me on Instagram at https://instagram.com/brentwoodlifecoach/.

New Year’s Resolutions: Don’t Bother

Don’t make any New Year's resolutions until you read this.

So many of us make New Year's resolutions and have great intentions to complete our goals and dreams. A resolution is only as good as the resolve because, when the inspiration dies down and old habits return, the resolution reaches a point of dissolution.

Make a Revolution

Create a plan of action with steps and ways to succeed. A coach can help you do just that. Have you been saying yes to a lot of things that were not a, “HECK YES, I wanna do that”? Have you been saying no to things that you knew you were really meant to do? It’s time for a revolution.

4 Steps to Succeed in Your Revolution

1. Set a Target – Ask yourself if your goal is practical and a part of your overall life plan.

2. Steps to Succeed & Achieve - Ask yourself what you have to do and what you need in order to achieve your goal. Plan out your action steps.

3. Time Frame - We all work best with a deadline. Set yourself time limits to fulfill the steps you listed in number two.

4. Make Yourself Accountable This is where a coach comes in. Hire a coach to report your progress to and do follow-ups. A coach will encourage and motivate you to continue the revolution. Declare it publicly. What we pay attention to grows and thrives. This is what makes goal-setting, declarations, and resolutions a sound strategy.

Pitfalls to Avoid

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you will only set the behavior and attitude change will come from within. For real change to occur in any area of your life or business you MUST actively interrupt your current environment. The bigger the goal or intention, the larger the disruption.

Don’t underestimate small environment changes. The simplest of changes can make all the difference.

People in your business or life are the biggest structure to retrain, dismantle, or get support from. You cannot design an environment that is conducive to your growth without including others.

Start Today: Plan for a New Year's Revolution, Not a New Year's Resolution!