11/6/18

There is never a right time. Or a wrong one. Just do it!

"Once I have made x amount of money I will start my business"
"Once I own my own home, I will start a family"
"Once I have concluded university I will get myself a dream job"

Are you waiting "until" before you do something you really want?

Remember there is no such thing as "the right time".

You can start that business before you have the amount of money you envisioned.

You may find yourself pregnant and willing to start a family before you own a home.

Your dream job may show up before you have concluded university

There is no such thing as the right time. Or the wrong time for that matter.  So if you really want to do something - just do it!

This is the advice of Jenni Bush; Mother, marketing consultant and business owner.  In the video below she and I talk about daring to start your own business. Jenni also shares a funny and unusual way of cleaning the floors together with your children.

Enjoy!



10/30/18

"I can never work under a boss again"

When Evelien was young she didn't want to have her own company. She saw how hard her parents worked in theirs.

Now she is a business owner since several years and she doesn't think she could ever work under a boss again.

Listen to her story in this interview



For more information about the Timefinder package that helped Evelien beat her habit of procrastination, click here.


10/23/18

You can run but you can't rush

"Sometimes I l am late when I go and pick up my daughter from day care. Then I run. I enjoy running. I make sure I don't feel stressed though. If I am  stressed I just transfer my stress to her."
I was very happy when I heard one of my Holistic Time Management program members say this. It indicates a good understanding of the holistic part. You don't only manage your time, you look at the whole when doing so.

For many there is a connection between running and rushing. Between being fast and being stressed.

Trust me. There is no such connection. Unless we create it.

When I lead one of my first major projects, many asked me:
"Annika, how can you be so calm?"
It was as if I was supposed to be stressed since the project risked delaying production start for a new car model. This is very costly and I was aware of that. I also knew that stress would make it worse - not better.

A few projects later I went into the room of a colleague and asked him about something that my project needed. He picked up the phone and called someone else. When talking to the other person he turned to me. When he saw I had taken a seat in his office he said:

"Yes, it seems to be really important because Annika is actually sitting down."

It took me a while to understand that this meant that I normally was up and about, moving from one place to another to do whatever it took to get my project where it needed to be. I was always on the move. So when I sat down I showed I wasn't going anywhere until I had received what I came for.

Many get surprised about how I can get so much done, yet be so calm.
There is no contradiction.
Actually there is a connection.

 I get a lot done not despite being calm - but because I stay calm.

Speed and stress are only connected if you connect them.

Don't be afraid of speed, just make sure you keep stress out of the picture.




The basket ball coach John Wooden expressed it very well when he said:
Be quick, but never hurry.

10/9/18

Don't hide behind your high standards

"I am not sure anyone even reads my status reports."
I was talking to my mentor, airing my frustration about the time I spent writing status reports I wasn't sure were read.
"Next time, prepare your report, but don't send it. Send the old one. If anyone says something about it you can just go "Oh, I attached the wrong one" and then you send the latest. If no one notices - well then you know it is not worth your time and effort to write them anymore."
I followed my mentor's advice. It turned out that my report, one of many in a large multi-site project, was not read.

When I talk to people who want to find more time in their everyday lives, many tell me they are perfectionists. They have high standards and are unable to do all the things they want to do, since they want to do each thing very well.



I understand the feeling. I also believe in high standards and always doing your job in a way that makes you proud.

There is only one catch:
Not every task is worth your highest ambition level.
I often refer to the expression:
"Whatever's worth doing, is worth doing well."
This should not be confused with "whatever you are asked to do is worth doing well."

There are times, like in my example above, when we are asked to do things that are not worth our time and effort. In an ideal world we shouldn't do them at all. But at times, refusing to do them may have consequences you are not willing to take.

That is when it is time to look beyond your high standards. Look beyond them and adjust your ambition level to the task at hand.

If you want to do everything at the same ambition level, maybe you can fit in 10 great things in your glass of time. If you adjust your ambition level to the task, maybe you can fit in 13.

The choice is yours.

Don't hide behind your high standards and say "you don't have time" to do more than you do today.

When you make conscious decisions about what to do and how well to do it, you have taken a big step towards mastering your time. Be the chess player, not the chess piece.

10/2/18

What makes you think you know?


Why do ticks even exist?

Peter Wohlleben describes in his book The inner life of animals,  how he - to his surprise - often gets this question.



As a dog - and cat owner, I do not like ticks. They are annoying, they spread diseases and I find them gross. But I am as surprised as Peter about the question.
Just because we do not know what value or purpose a tick has in this complex universe, doesn't mean it doesn't have one.
The same is applicable for unexpected events in our lives.

Many things happen during a lifetime. Extraordinary things, small ordinary things.  Some events we love, others we hate. When life changes in a way we did not want or expect, we often wonder:

Why did this happen to me?

Why is life so unfair?

Why can life never go according to plan?

These questions lead nowhere. Remember:
Just because you don't know why something happens in your life, doesn't mean it doesn't have value. 
We don't have to like everything that happens. And we for sure don't need to like ticks. But when we think that a certain animal does not have value, or that life is no good if it turns out differently than we had expected, we make the universe and life smaller than they are.

Let's not limit the wonders of universe and life by our current understanding.

There is so much we haven't understood yet, so much left to learn.

Isn't that an inspiring thought?

9/18/18

The person you envy is not an apple

The apple felt bad, sitting in the wooden box at the market. Just hours ago it had been all happy. Happy to be picked, happy to be transported to the market, happy to soon be bought. But then this other apple came. It was lying there, looking all perfect in the other box.

Suddenly the apple felt naked. The apples in the other box were all wrapped in thin paper. Why did they have paper wrapping? The apple would have loved to be wrapped in paper too, to cover up the brown spots. Even with paper, it wouldn't have looked as good as the apple in the other box. That apple looked big and perfectly rounded, not bumpy as the unwrapped apple.

Who will ever want to buy me, when there are beautiful apples just next to me?

And sure enough, when a woman with a bubbly laughter came to the stand, she immediately picked the beautiful apple. She opened the paper to look closer. When she did, the apple almost rolled out of the box with surprise. The beautiful apple wasn't an apple. It was an orange.



That colleague / neighbour / sibling you envy and compare yourself to, is not an apple.

Whenever you compare yourself to the image you have of someone else, you will inevitably compare apples and oranges.

Care - don't compare, and be proud of your unique appleness. 


9/4/18

A poem for mindfulness today


Do you, like so many, have a hard time being really present and enjoying what you have here and now?

Today I share a poem called An orchard at the bottom of a hill, by Maurice Manning to help you enjoy the silence.

Why don’t you try just being quiet?
If you can find some silence, maybe
you can listen to it. How it works
is interesting. I really can’t
explain it, but you know it when
it’s happening. You realize
you’re marveling at apple blossoms
and how they’re clustered on the tree
and you see the bees meticulously
attending every blossom there,
and you think the tree is kind of sighing.
Such careful beauty in the making.
And then you think, it’s really quiet,
but I am not alone in this world.
That’s how you know it’s happening,
there’s something solemn and wonderful
in the quiet, a slow and steady ease.
Whether the tree is actually sighing
is beside the point. It’s better to wonder,
you needn’t be precise with quiet,
it just becomes another thing.
It isn’t a science, it’s an art,
like love, or a dog who’s pretty good,
asleep in the grass beneath the tree.