Honoring your scheduled promises? For me, this title brings up feelings of respect and love and also an uncomfortable sense of things getting real. I mean, talking about honor and promises in relation to my schedule? What’s your initial response?
Honor as a noun means honesty, fairness, or integrity in one’s beliefs and actions. High respect, as for worth, merit, or rank. Synonyms for honor are integrity and sincerity.
Promise as a noun is a declaration that something will or will not be done, given, etc by one. An expressed assurance on which expectation is to be based. Synonyms for promise are agreement, assurance, commitment and word.
How do these qualities relate to your schedule?
Whether you told someone you would stop by their house to pick them up, you told a friend you’d pick them up at the airport, signed up for a yoga class for a little zen time, planned to meet friends for happy hour, signed up to be a speaker at a networking event or planned to read a book, it all comes down to honoring a promise – a promise to show up to others or a promise to show up for yourself.
Admittedly, I viewed honoring a promise to others differently than honoring a promise to myself. If my commitment (aka promise of time) involved another person, you can bet I’d be there. However, if I planned something for myself, it wouldn’t be uncommon for me to snooze, slide or reschedule whatever the activity was.
Here’s where this becomes a slippery slope:
Believe me, I’ve ready many personal development books that let me know this is all backwards. I need to honor myself – put myself as a priority – take care of myself first. One of the instructions we hear before any airplane flight takes off is put the air mask on yourself first – and then assist your child or others you may be traveling with. I don’t think I’m alone with this being easier said than done, am I? Whether you’re a caretaker of children, aging adults, or a growing business, I think you can relate to the challenge it can be to shift a way of being from “It’s okay, I’ll go last” to “I am honoring myself, I’m going first”.
All of these situations – and there’s many, many others – relate to honoring a scheduled promise, with others, with business agreements, with yourself.
In the book Girl Wash Your Face author Rachel Hollis talks about promises to yourself. I haven’t ever really considered events on my schedule as promises to myself. And what’s deeper for me is that I hadn’t consider dates or goals for myself, whether it be a new health activity or reading a book or drinking ½ my body weight in ounces in water or following a business process consistently as a promise! I thought it was just a goal that I wasn’t serious enough about and it wasn’t a big deal for it to slide.
After reframing any intentions that are important enough to me to either make it on my calendar or become a plan that I’ve invested time in formulating, I can see that what I say yes to is a promise to myself. It’s a reflection of me in how these things are executed, whether others see them or only I see them.
Here’s 3 ways to Honor Your Scheduled Promises
1. SAY NO
Be more intentional about what you are doing, where you’re going and who you’re hanging with. When everything on your schedule is aligned with who you are and what you’re doing in the world, it’s much easier to enforce boundaries and honor your scheduled promises. It may take time to weed out and detangle the appointments or people who are on your schedule that you don’t really want there but stay with it. One thing at a time.
When you are in a situation that feels like there’s less at stake, practice exercising your new honoring muscle. For the adults in your house, invite them to serve themselves so you can sit down at the same time they do so you can enjoy a warm meal. Leave washing the dishes to later or ask them to help out. At the start of a phone call with your chatty friend, let her know that you have an appointment at the top of the hour and you’ll only be able to chat with her for the next 20 minutes. Set a time. Honor your promise to yourself for your next appointment/activity.
3. SCHEDULE TIME FOR YOU
Create an appointment in your schedule for reading that book. Leave time in between appointments for breathing, decompressing, reflecting, appreciating and honoring all you do. How you live matters. It speaks volumes about who you are. Be in integrity – with others and with yourself. You are a person too and deserve your own respect. Others watch how you manage your schedule and when you’re late and when you flake out, it speaks about who you are. Be mindful of the promises (appointments) you have made with yourself and with others.
When you’re making commitments, consider using the word promise instead and see if it helps you shift how you show up and follow thru on what you’ve committed to. Honor yourself...respect yourself...the same way you do others. See what you accomplish and how you feel.
Are You Satisfied with the Results of your On-line Program/Course?
You created an On-line Program or some Email Drip Course. Are you seeing the results you wanted?
You have people who have purchased your program. Yay!
Are people completing your course?
Are you having a conversation for Next Steps/other package/program offerings with them?
Awareness is the 1st step in making improvements.
In this case, what are the individual components of your program and are you able to track clients progress?
No shame or judgment in any of this!
Offering content in this format as a means to have people learn more about you
and a way to leverage your time is no small feat!
And to be of the highest level of service and have clients receive the most value of your content,
you need to have a finger on the pulse of your course results.
In my assessment, you'll gain insight into the specific aspects of your course
and see where you can make even the smallest change for more efficiency!
Click HERE to complete the assessment.
Identify Time & Energy Leaks Questionnaire
Do you want to be and feel more productive? Work with more ease and efficiency?
Awareness is the 1st step in making change.
In my questionnaire, you'll gain insight into how you work currently (taking a current inventory)
and see where you can make even the smallest change for more ease!
I trust you'll see some ways to work smarter and not harder to accomplish your tasks.
Click HERE to complete the questionnaire.
First, let’s get clear on what I mean by a rude speaker at networking events. If you asked to be, signed up for, paid for a spotlight speaker position, are a sponsor of an event with speaking time or are the primary presenter and you go over the agreed/scheduled time, then it’s likely you are a rude speaker.
Your content might be spot on and a topic that the audience is hungry for. You may be impeccably dressed and your hair and makeup done to your brand. You may have the most impressive worksheet or handout material. But if you go over time, it’s likely people will consider you as being rude.
Rude as an adjective means discourteous or impolite, especially in a deliberate way. It is also not properly or fully developed, raw or unevolved. Synonyms are abusive, crude, impolite and insulting. Whoa! Does that feel harsh?
Now, you may not be any of these words above and may not be intentionally speaking for more than your allotted time, however there is an impact to speaking longer than your scheduled time.
If you signed up for a 5-minute spotlight and you talk for 7 or 8 minutes, that is rude. A couple extra minutes doesn’t seem like much but in this example it is 50-60% MORE! If you wanted a cup of coffee that was advertised as $5 you wouldn’t be thrilled to be charged 50-60% more ($7 or $8!) Viewed this way, you can see the significance when your talk goes over! You may be considered to be disrespectful. The facilitators of the agenda have budgeted time for all the different aspects of the meeting and by you going over time they have to play catch-up or shave time off something else to compensate to ensure the meeting ends on time.
It also creates this sense of “if she can do it then so can I”. When someone is witnessing another person achieving a goal that they also want to accomplish like running a marathon “if she can do it then so can I” can be encouraging however, when it’s modeling something that isn’t good practice then it sends a message that the meeting facilitators don’t care about keeping time and others can get away with more speaking time as well.
Here’s 3 ways to Overcome Being A Rude Speaker
Practice your content and target finishing BEFORE your allotted time. Doing this allows for you getting sidetracked and going deeper into your content. It happens. We know what we know and how valuable it is to the audience and can get caught up in wanting to share more and tell stories. While all that is great and valuable, holding the details of your program or personal experience to post meeting conversation or follow-up 1-1 chats allows you a place to share more.
2. USE A TIMER
Have a timer visible front and center to you while you’re speaking. Seeing how much time you have left helps you tailor your remaining content so you wrap up within time.
3. CONSIDER YOUR AUDIENCE
Considering the effect of your actions on your audience will help ensure you show up in integrity and respect. When you go over time, your audience will make judgements and assumptions about how you do business that may not be true. This can be hurtful to your credibility and reputation. If you don’t respect time during a meeting then they will wonder if you respect time during sessions/working with them as a client and if you will deliver on time.
If you identify with being a rude speaker, know that it’s not the end of the world. In our culture of story telling and desire to be seen, we can get a little wordy when we have the mic.
While I’m not an expert in helping with speaking content nor speaking presence, I do attend quite a few networking meetings and this is one thing that I’ve seen often. One of the areas I do support female entrepreneurs is with scheduling and allocating (recurring) time for specific tasks and types of activities to increase productivity with efficiency.
So, be respectful...to yourself of your own time, the meeting facilitators, the agenda and your audience.
Increase Your Productivity by Identifying Time Leaks
At the end of the day, do you feel productive or frazzled / frustrated because you didn’t get the things done you wanted?
Do you want to learn where you can be more efficient by creating more structure and single-focused blocked time?
Do you want to stop wasting time and draining energy through "all over the place/multi-tasking"?
Do you want to confidently declare new/modified business hours (aka set boundaries)?
Do you want to learn optimal days of the week and times of day to schedule certain tasks using time-blocking / repeating events (i.e. best time of day for admin tasks, writing, client work, etc)?
As a Productivity Strategist, I help female entrepreneurs convert chaos to success, overwhelm and inefficiency to freedom, more space, growth and productivity.
Setting and protecting boundaries isn’t always easy when you’re a business owner (of one or more than one business!!). But knowing when and where you work best helps with time-blocking tasks that are similar and can be grouped together.
Knowing the environment that you work the best and what time of day tasks come easier than others helps in setting a more ideal schedule for getting work done. If you are toast by 2 pm in the afternoon, make sure you’re working on important client work first thing while your mind is fresh. If creativity flows when you’re at a coffee shop, then schedule time to work from there when you’ve got writing or content creation to do. You’ll gain time with the ease and quickness in completing your project.
USING APPS EFFICIENTLY
A common place for streamlining is using tools/apps that support you in tracking work without complicating things. Having multiple tools that do similar things can create complexity ... too many reminders, multiple apps to keep straight, visual overwhelm with badge notifications, etc. Schedule time to take inventory, listing pros and cons of each and decide which tool/app will serve you best and remove the others. You’ll gain time with the simplicity.
Sometimes for more efficiency it’s about time-blocking. Sometimes it’s about knowing when to say NO. Sometimes it’s about knowing when to start delegating, off-loading or outsourcing. By listing ALL the things you do daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually, it’s a great way to see tasks that can be batched – perhaps setting aside one day a week for Admin tasks (i.e. NO client meetings). Focusing on similar types of tasks keeps you focused and in the same lane so to speak – less multi-tasking and hopping from thinking to doing to creating – more efficiency, more ease, more productive. Also, when you’re delegating work to a team member, believe in their capability to do what you hired them to do. Yes, oversight is still necessary but trust your decision in hiring someone to get the job done. You hired them to gain time for you to work more in your Zone of Genius. Let them work in theirs.
USING AN EGG TIMER
Keep yourself on task by using a timer. With much of our time and work on social media, it’s pretty easy to ‘get lost’. That time is gone and can create a domino effect of being behind schedule coupled with unloving self-talk. Set a timer for allowing yourself some social media surfing. If your work is on social media, be intentional about getting in there, doing what needs to be done, then surf later - with a timer.
BUSY VS ACTUALLY DOING
Be aware of your to-do list...and those tasks that you put off and then move to the next day...that get put to the bottom of the list the 2nd day and then gets moved/rescheduled to the 3rd day. You’ve been thinking about this task for 3 days. Add up the minutes that it’s been on your mind. When you complete it, how long did it take you? It is one of those 30 minute tasks – that you spent 3 days and 30 minutes thinking about? If that was a billable task, you billed for ½ an hour but you’ve spent much more of your time than that. Life will happen and there are days that all of what you’ve planned just can’t get done however when you aren’t efficient in scheduling and batching your work or you are putting off a task because you don’t like doing it, it ends up being more time and more energy consuming than necessary. When you have an encouraging conversation with yourself to stop thinking about it and commit to doing it, you’ll feel good about completing the task and increasing your productivity! Remember, there’s a big difference between being BUSY and being PRODUCTIVE.
"It's not about the To Do list. It's not about whatever the process is, it's about the 'what do I think about that? and Where am I limiting beliefs?' "
Any entrepreneur who used to have a corporate career has a "leaning out" story.
Take a listen to my interview and leaning out story with Felena Hansen, found of Hera Hub.
It’s no wonder entrepreneurs struggle
to see their productivity and personal growth.
It’s common for entrepreneurs, especially female entrepreneurs, to put enormous pressure on themselves to do the right thing, critique themselves at every turn and do lots of that.
I wrote a great article over on the Hera Herald page at Hera Hub...read more here...
I can describe last week as an emotional roller coaster- a ride rich with joy and learning moments.
I'm grateful for my life and the choices I have for work, self care, unplugging and friends!
One thing that I'm very proud of myself for is knowing when to say when;
My recommendation to you is to check in with yourself often...
Be kind to yourself...and then be kind to others.
I get excited about new beginnings; Mondays, 1st of the month, new projects. Something about a clean slate - fresh canvas - to begin to make a mark in and co-create what is my life.
This past week marked the beginning of another year of being married to my best friend. We've learn so much from each other and about ourselves individually and as a couple over the past 25 years+. Our anniversary cards to each other used the words "our dreams for the future" and "look forward to new adventures" and doing this in partnership! I'm so excited to BE on our path TOGETHER and looking ahead with a sense of adventure and collaboration :)
This past week was also the beginning of the month. Something about turning to a (relatively) clean calendar that is on the refrigerator. I also have a couple personalized photo calendars around the house and I enjoy flipping the page to see a new photo that reminds me of beautiful memories.
I like planning out a new month - what do I want to CREATE. Among the appointments that are currently scheduled, what am I re-evaluating to be phased out, where am I consciously wanting to spend more time and doing what activities? What else do I want to add/schedule in that will bring me closer to my goals and enrich my month?
* I've upgraded financial coverage for myself by partnering with Nicole Caplette at Anchor Financial Division of Five Rings Financial. Feels good to experience gentle guidance and education from Nicole and have this additional support in place!
* Continuing to take care of myself physically, working with Katy Charlson at San Diego Structural Integration receiving easily understandable explanation and education on the inner structure of the body and adjustments to areas that are out of alignment all for operating from a solid, grounded foundation.
* Asking for and receiving (perfectly timed) business and mindset coaching from Tara Sage Steeves at Create Your Life! and feeling empowered and ready to implement when the opportunity presented itself THE NEXT DAY! So grateful for the clarity and celebration of where I am in my own business right now and the guidance that I receive and how that fuels and empowers me to be the best I can be to my clients!
* I'm so grateful for my clients! Their curiosity and willingness to show up, owning where they are and getting excited and clearer on where they are heading - each of them willing to find and see the cracks in their personal and business foundation, noticing the cobwebs in the corners and feeling supported in doing so. I'm honored to be part of these exciting conversations in reframing how now after identifying what's blocking them moving forward, to committing to repairing the cracks that will support them in going to the next level (next floor in their inner home) and deciding to clear out the cobwebs instead of putting up a pretty barrier (removing what's no longer needed once and for all). Yes these were actual visuals in our sessions this past week :)
* I enjoyed wrapping up the week by attending an intimate workshop learning a little about how my own surroundings reflect and have an influence with how I feel and what happens in my life. Valerie Sorrentino educated us with some Feng Shui basics. It was nice to be in Dr Brandey's office space for this workshop that was full of amazing intentions, tips and gifts.
* Loved being part of my friend, Kristen's birthday celebration! New restaurant for me. Always nice to see people again and meet new ones. Aligned human connections - fuel my soul :)
What are you beginning this month?
What are you clearing out/getting clear with?
What are you deciding to put in place as you wrap up 2016 in a way that shifts and empowers you for 2017?
Do you feel like you are ALWAYS WORKING? Read more about how common this feeling is and one suggestion I have in moving towards a more balanced schedule…
I love what I do! But I find myself feeling like I’m ALWAYS working. I want to do things with my friends and family but I feel like I “should” be working instead since I’m a solopreneur and there’s so much to do.
First, please hear me when I tell you that you are not alone with this sense of ALWAYS working! I’ve heard from many solopreneurs who think being a successful business owner means they have to ‘work the grind’ and ‘give it their all’ and ‘make sacrifices’ and ‘work hard’ to be successful.
Second, I’m not hearing that you want to decrease your effort – what you want is to have some boundaries around your work…create a schedule that feels like you have time allocated to working your business AND you have time allocated to NOT working your business (social time with friends and family, exercise time, time to read a book, attend a soccer game, etc, etc).
What I have found that allows a shift to begin in feeling like you CAN have time to yourself (time where you aren’t always working) is to give yourself permission to establish a start and end time to your work day. Again, your effort will not decrease. What I suspect will happen is your effort will become more focused because you don’t have all day to spend working. I find this true for myself – when I have say a doctor’s appointment, I find myself more focused and intentional in what I’m working on during the day since I know I have a cut-off time. Make sense?
To start, I would suggest you create a work schedule for yourself for 1 week – and see how it goes. Create your own work day cut-off time. And if you find it challenging to honor your new work cut-off time, plan a non-work activity that you’ll be going to; set a coffee date with a friend, sign up for a yoga class, something that will support you with the “What needs to get done before the end of my work day so I can do that other thing that I want to do?”
Where to next?
=> If you want to find out how I can support you further, click here and schedule time with me - we'll figure things out together :-)
Janina Goldberg has been a Process Management Master and Coaching expert for over 25 years! Over the past 5 years, she has refocused her expertise in helping entrepreneurs who want to up-level themselves personally and their business. She really listens to your big goal ideas and helps you distill them into achievable plans with inspired actionable next steps. She also co-creates the (behind-the-scenes) foundational documents for everything business owners do so they feel more empowered as a business owner. Janina transforms the “It’s all in my head” activities that business owners do week after week into organized, centrally accessible documents with step-by-step details and templates for ease in consistent execution.