Stop Letting Your List Make You Feel Guilty

Over the years I’ve spoken to a wide variety of people about their lists, some who always cross every item off their lists and some struggling to make lists at all. But there is one thing we all seem to have in common when it comes to lists – guilt over not getting it all done.

Even when it’s a small item I haven’t crossed off my list I feel compelled to find some reason why. I couldn’t get milk because I left a meeting late or I didn’t go for a run because it was too cold this morning.

The excuses we make always find something else other than ourselves at fault.

It’s not because we are necessarily trying to shift the blame, but because our brains like stories. We understand concepts and ideas better when they are presented in narrative form. So when we miss an item on our list we want to have a ‘story’ as to why it’s still there.

These stories can sometimes have positive effects on our lives, just by believing you’re a more lucky or more confident person you can make it so. But the stories we tell ourselves can also hold us back. We might avoid trying something new or taking on a difficult challenge because we believe we aren’t good enough or smart enough.

Once you release that it’s mostly in your head you can start to break out of these negative behaviour patterns. Read more

The One Priority You Should Be Focusing On

We’re part way through December and the holiday season is truly upon us, all the store fronts are decorated, the malls are pumping Christmas music and Hanukkah begins tomorrow! The thing about December is that it’s easy to get overwhelmed, to commit to too many social engagements or get too many presents for people you don’t really know that well!

As you know I’m a big fan of essentialism and I’ll be treating this holiday season exactly the same. My recommendation would be to think of the one thing you want to do before January (I know, really just one thing!) and put all your focus into that.

You don’t have to forget about everything else, but keep your number one priority in mind. Here are some example priorities and how to make the most out of them:

To spend more time with family – Holidays are meant to be about family, but we can sometimes end up spending more time making awkward small talk with your cousin’s neighbor  than  with your actual family. Politely decline invitations from the people you don’t really need to see and instead make a plan to hang out with your kids or your parents – even if it’s just staying on the sofa and watching Christmas movies. Read more

How Cheating Will Make You A Better Friend

I’ve always impressed my friends by remembering significant events in their lives. I always send a good luck text before a job interview or wish them well before they go on a nice vacation. Over the years many people have complimented me on it, and asked how it is that I am able to remember all these events. Well I’m finally going to share my secret with you.

I cheat.

Whenever someone tells me about an upcoming event in their lives, their favorite drink or what they’d like for the holidays, I write it down. I set a reminder in my calendar to write the person a message about their big event or make a note a few weeks before their birthday or the holidays on which gift suits them best.

It’s really that simple! Read more

5 Ways to Make Working With Others Easier

It’s always an exciting time when you start a new project, especially if that project is a collaboration. It often begins with many huddled meetings in coffee shops, where all the possibilities seem endless. When my friend Terri Trespicio and I set up our business Lights Camera Expert we knew we were onto a winner because our skills complement each other so well. She loves looking at the big picture and I’m into the details as you may have guessed.

We do a lot of speaking and present workshops to experts, authors and entrepreneurs who want to get media attention. We’ve been told time and again that we have great chemistry and play off each other very well. Someone even asked if we’d teach a class on how to collaborate better.  

Sadly not all collaborations work out so well. I’ve been part of a few duds in my time. Part of the issue is being really in tuned to the other person’s work style because there are signs your collaboration might not work out if you know what to look for. Read more

When Too Much Productivity is Bad

When it comes to productivity, I believe it’s important to find what works for you. There is no ultimate one size fits all solution. In fact just because something works for you, doesn’t mean it works all the time. What  you find helpful at work, might be too involved or overly complex for your family at home.

Everything in moderation, as the Greeks would say.

There are many examples I can think of where a good productivity practice can be pushed too far and become unhelpful.

Being too early – This sounds a like a good thing, but this is an absolute pet peeve of mine. In fact it’s gets a special mention in my course Lights Camera Expert, because I know how much producers dislike it when guests are early. There’s nothing wrong with being 5 minutes early to give yourself some time to settle, but I’ve had interviewees show up  over a hour early for a segment. As a producer we have our day factored in down to the minute so when someone shows up early it throws my whole schedule off. I know early arrivers will often say they are happy to wait, but it still creates a frantic energy and makes me feel like I’m trying to play catch up and then have to figure out what to do with you for all that time!   Read more