Feeling Overwhelmed?

So this is where I am today!  Feeling overwhelmed and not sure what direction to go in.

I woke up remembering today was Gram’s birthday.  My grandmother would have celebrated her 106 birthday today…. I know she is celebrating in heaven with all of my other angels; BUT this got me to thinking – scary, right?  My grandmother had Alzheimer’s and on any given day, her memory was shot.  With my MS, on any given day my memory is shot.  I think of what a struggle it is for me and I can’t imagine the pain and frustration she felt for so many years….. Yes, I squirreled but this is all part of me being overwhelmed.

This is the month things get crazy – I have craft shows every weekend from now (okay last weekend) till the second weekend in December.  Some week-ends it is both Saturday and Sunday, some it is just Saturday and then there are a few mid-week events I squeezed in.  WHY?  Yes, tis the season of selling angels and helping people make memories BUT I can’t seem to admit things get to be a struggle.  MS has caused me to walk a little slower, my brain is a little foggier and some days I just can’t seem to move because I am so tired.

In the past, my blogs and my focus have been on my business BUT things are changing yet again.  I’m not sure what direction I want to go in and some days, I’m not even sure if I want to keep blogging.  SHOCKING, right?  I have been blogging since 2013 first on a daily basis and then I cut it back to 4 days a week.  Now, even that seems overwhelming.  I wonder if anyone is still interested.  I know my recipes get a lot of sharing so that is definitely at hit.  The problem is, I struggle with finding new and different recipes to appeal to everyone… even ones I would like. So, today I am thinking of trying some of the things I used to do when I was feeling overwhelmed in my business…..

In the midst of all of this craziness, how do you manage to NOT feel overwhelmed in your business or in your life?  How do you manage to not loose your focus at the busiest time of year?  I found an article in The Self Employed which may have some tips to help you….

1.  Reset:  Before you panic (unless you already have) press the RESET button.  Make a list of things which need to be done and rank them by priority.  At the end of each day, give yourself 5 or 10 minutes to relax, reflect on what you did and get ready for a new day.  You can’t change what happened yesterday but you can take control of today.

2.  Eliminate Outside Influence:  Do you have your own business?  Juggling kids and a job?  Juggling a chronic health issue?  Set aside time for it – maybe just a 1/2 hour, or an hour or even several hours.  Finish the most important tasks WITHOUT interruption.  Then focus on your family and enjoy.   Did you know it takes you 20 minutes to get back on track after a distraction.  YIKES!  Definitely time to weed out the distractions!!!

3.  Focus Down One Task – EAT the FROG  – you know the most daunting thing or the thing you hate to do the most.  The quicker you get this done, the easier the rest of the list will be to get done.  Get your productivity snowball rolling down the hill.  That works not only in your business but also in preparation for the holidays. Yup, it is going to be here before you know it!

4.  Ask for Help – alright, I know no one can do it the way you do it BUT they can help.  It doesn’t have to PERFECT but if someone is willing to pitch in, let them.  From helping get ready for the holiday meal to doing the small things in your office.  This is the hardest thing for me to do!

5.  Learn to Say NO!  Novel concept, right but it will not be the end of the world.  Remember you can’t do EVERYTHING.  As John Maxwell says – manage YOU because you can’t manage time, we all get the same 24 hours in a day.

Block time for work THEN enjoy the holiday.  Block off time for family and friends so you can enjoy without the guilt feelings.  What is your best tip for getting through this holiday season or just the every stress of juggling lots of balls without loosing your mind???

Have a blessed day!

 

 

Time Management Ideas

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Time is flying as we head to Memorial Day weekend.  Summer won’t be far behind and with it the pull of sun and fun versus working.  I know you are all thinking – take work with you, right?  Isn’t that why most of us got into direct sales?  We wanted flexible hours, we wanted to make our own schedule,and the BONUS is that we can actually work our business from anywhere.  Everyone needs a tote or thermal to go to the beach right?

We will need to be in our office for a little bit, so why not make the most of your time.  I have been collecting LOTS of tips from direct sales consultants all over the country.  Time management has always been a struggle for me.  I can easily “squirrel” and get side tracked on a new project or task.  So see what some of the top suggestions were:

  • Post reminders of what you want to do where you can see them all day.
  • Sunday night exercise: Think: what are the 2-3 key things I will accomplish this week to make it a successful week?  Have focused intention so that you stay focused.
  • Calendar Blocking.  This ensures that you don’t do anything else until the specified task is done.
  • Set a schedule for yourself and stick to it, e.g. calculate time for trivial tasks including housework.
  • Keep a large “post it note” with the priority front and center on my desk.
  • Take one day each week totally off – no phone, no email to recharge your batteries.  In theory this sounds great but I am not sure that I could do it.
  • Before going to bed, write your accomplishment list (while laying in bed) in order to plan your next day.  Ending the day on a positive note sets you up for success in the morning.
  • Stop obsessing over your email. Open it only 3 times each day – when you get into the office, after lunch, and before the close of day. Must close the email program all other times!  GUILTY!
  • “10 before 10:” 10 contacts before 10 am (live or voice mail) or 10 recognitions of team members before 10 am.  LOVE THIS!
  • Dedicating 15 minutes a day to research or read an article to help you grow your business.
  • Power Hour: 15 minute intervals of working my business – may not always be one full hour at a time.  I wish I could get into the habit of doing this.  It would help with consistency.
  • Have a general list that is the same one every day. The “to do’s” on this list are the ones that should grow your business. Do them each day before making a list.  Book, sell, recruit – as easy at that.
  • No matter how busy and urgent your day seems, spend 30 minutes to an hour with God and the work of God. He will bless and redeem the time.

So what is YOUR best tip for time management?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Monkeys Gone Wild

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Does Spring and warmer weather bring thoughts of cleaning out?  You know “de-cluttering” all of that stuff that had been gathering over the winter.  Our garage is my “clutter spot”.  I can’t wait to get in there and clean out the mess.

Many would say that a cluttered space = a cluttered mind.  I would have to agree because when my office is a HOT mess – I can’t work or even think about what needs to be done.

I love this visual:

monkeys gone wild

Buddhists often refer to an overly-busy mind as the Monkey Mind.  Our thoughts become like monkeys gone wild – running amok, swinging wildly from here to there, with the occasional temper tantrum, and pout.  Why or how do we let this craziness happen?  Here are some reasons that we get “monkey mind”:

  • Unconscious procrastination (something we need to do but don’t want to)
  • Feeling uncomfortable, frustrated, or angry about a situation or project
  • Feeling overwhelmed (tons to do and simply doesn’t know where – or even how – to start)
  • Habit (it’s a coping mechanism)
  • The thing is, though, he recognizes that mental clutter leads him down this rabbit hole of stress and torment and away from focus, calm, and productivity.

Do you recognize when the monkeys have taken over and you are feel like you are in a rabbit hole of stress and torment?

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So, how do we de-clutter our mind? Here are some tips:

declutter the mind

A great list of ideas but if you are like me the biggest obstacle is to “LET IT GO”.  Yes, I am sitting here humming the song to myself.  The key is that we need to de-clutter our minds more often.  As we approach the weekend with an endless list of chores, errands, incomplete work, or kids activities – take a moment to de-clutter.  Make a list of all that needs to be done.  Prioritize that list.  Novel concept – ASK for help (that is part of letting go).  Then be kind to yourself.  I mean what is the worst that could happen if something on the list doesn’t get done – BE HONEST!

Deep breathing, yoga, long walks, running, swimming, or even meditation are magnificent ways to de-clutter your noggin’.  This is also a great way to be kind to yourself.  You will be surprised at how much focus and energy you have when you take some time to gain perspective an de-clutter.

So, who is ready to de-clutter their mind before the weekend?  Share with us how you de-clutter or de-stress.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Are You Killing Your Emails

Do you decide whether to read an email by the subject line?  Do you wonder how many people delete your emails before they even read them?

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I was blessed with Home Office leads this month – people who wanted more information on Thirty One in the form of a catalog or the business opportunity.  As soon as I get the notification, I shoot out an email as a thank you and to let them know what will be coming in the mail.  Although, the email is a set format that gives them an overview of  four opportunities with Thirty One, I always wonder what to put in the subject line.  I mean, I want them to open the email and in an ideal world, click the attached links.

So, I started hunting for some answers and found them in a blog by Amy Porterfield  who is known for trainings in social media.  Here are her 5 basic strategies for effective email subject lines:

Strategy #1:  Focus on the Benefit

What is the end result that your reader wants most?  Answer their question:  “What’s in it for me?”

Example: “See How Easily You Can Learn to ( insert your topic)”

Strategy #2:  Be Specific

Hook them!  How, right? If we knew that, we wouldn’t need these tips, right?  Hint that there is something super valuable contained in your email.

Example: What Every [identify your target audience] Ought to Know About [something specific you will teach them]

Strategy #3: Get Relevant

Relevance means that the email is useful and has timely information. Make a reference to an upcoming event, or trend or possibly even a news item.  If you localize it to your target population or specific neighborhood, city or State, chances are they will open it.

Example: [Bring up something–a feeling, situation or new development your customer is interested in] This [your content] can help you with [upcoming event, season or timeframe].

Strategy #4: Make It Personal

This method is used more when you have a strong loyal following – NOT that new person that you are trying to “hook”.  Let your readers know that you are there to help them will entice them to open the email.

Example: “How I finally stopped (action) skipping my workouts (something your audience wants too).”

Strategy #5: Call Out a Problem

Who doesn’t want to make fewer mistakes or feel more confident?  The key to this strategy is integrity. Steer away from scare tactics—you’re here to offer constructive awareness.

Example: “Here’s How Goal-Setting (fill in the blank) Can Hurt Your Business (fill in the blank)”

So, which one of these would entice YOU to open an email:

  • See How Easily You Can Learn Simple Solutions to Everyday Challenges
  • What Every Woman Should Know About Rewarding Themselves at Little to No Cost
  • Multiple Solutions for Your Holiday Gift Giving
  • How I Regained My Confidence With This Purse Gig
  • Here’s How Purses Can Change Your Life

I have to admit, I am a bit skeptical but I am willing to give it a try.  What do you think are YOUR catchiest Email Subject lines?  Share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

#31 #partywithHope #joinmyteam #RaysofHope #simplesolutions

 

 

Talk is Cheap

Are you good at what you do?  Do people compliment you on your skills?  What happens when a customer makes an unscheduled visit to your office?  Do they find a HOT MESS?  Are they going to remember how AWESOME you are or what your office looked like?

In other words: appearances matter.

Do you always meet deadlines?  Do you do everything that you tell your customers you will do?  Are you routinely late – just a few minutes every time you meet?

Customers notice (and judge you).

Do you want people to rely on you for your expertise?  It doesn’t matter if it is in your direct sales business or in your career, your customers WANT to rely on you.  They want to count on you as the expert and feel like you are in control when you are interacting together.  They want their perception of you to be TRUE.

What would your customers see if they could pull back a curtain and see how you handle your business?  Would they be impressed by your organization and your systems?  Would they be running for the hills because you don’t practice what you preach?  Would they want to be “just like you” or would they be looking for a new consultant?

I have to admit, on some days my office AND business are a “hot mess“.  Papers scattered everywhere, not sure what to do next and jumping 10 steps ahead instead of staying in the moment.

Talk is cheap.”  You need to walk the walk.  Okay, for those of us in direct sales it may seem like it doesn’t matter.  I mean how many times will our customers or hostesses see “behind the scenes”.  When was the last time one of them made an unexpected visit to your home, right?  The truth is to be your BEST YOU, you need to look and feel good.  I don’t know about you but I definitely don’t feel good when I am hunting for things in my office.  My confidence level wains when my office is a hot mess.

So, how many of you said “get organized” for a New Year’s Resolution?  Do you feel like you are any more organized now then you were at the end of last year?

It’s time for action.

Quit talking about how “busy” you are and actually get some important sh!t done?

Take action and make decisions with integrity in every area, professionally and personally?

Up your business game (not just improve your game-face)?

Are you ready for the challenge?  Are you ready to walk the walk and not just “TALK the TALK”? Share with us your next step..

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

#unclutteryourlife #hotmess #organize