Feeling Stuck? Do These 3 Things

For many of us feeling stuck is not a fun or comfortable place to be. Mostly because we don’t know what to do to unstick ourselves. In a world where we feel like we need to have all the answers and constantly be crossing things off our lists and accomplishing our goals it can be challenging for us to take the necessary time to pause and reflect on what’s currently making us feel this way.

Here are 3 things you can do to help unstick yourself.

  1. Take the time to pause and reflect. Really listen to what your thoughts are telling you and write it down. When we give ourselves the necessary time to complete those thoughts, the ones we’ve been too busy to really think about the answer may reveal itself.
  2. Talk to someone about what and how you’re feeling. Now is not the time for action. Remember you’re still flushing everything out. Saying something out loud and getting a trusted confidants opinion may help you understand what’s making you feel this way.
  3. Start exploring your options. The grass is not always greener. Thinking you want something and understanding what that really means can be two totally different things.

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There is No Elevator to Success

As the holidays are upon us, we often see friends we haven’t gotten a chance to connect with over the year. Inevitably, we get the question, how’s the book and Shift & Spark?  And every once in a while, we get the question: “do you have any advice? I’m thinking of starting my own gig.” And while we love to hear of anyone flexing their entrepreneurial spirit it’s important they go in with their eyes wide open.  There are so many misconceptions about what ‘it’ really is. Usually with the assumption that there is only success on the other side without really understanding what’s behind the scenes. So for any of you thinking about that next thing being your own thing, here’s a little advice:

  1. Be prepared for the hard work. The truth is, it’s long hours, its sacrifice and you constantly need to be working ‘it’.  When you don’t, any momentum you’ve had stops. Consistency is key – set goals and make an annual plan, a monthly plan and a weekly plan to keep that momentum moving forward.
  2. Embrace all your successes, no matter how small. For us, it’s an email from a friend saying our book is exactly what she needed or partnering with other woman-owned business to highlight what we do and further the conversation. We may not have a big bank account but our business pays us in other ways.
  3. Be courageous enough to take the first step even if you can’t see the path ahead.  It’s okay if you keep your day job to give you income, health insurance, etc. If you’re serious about starting a business, do your research on what it is you think you want to do, make a business plan (including the financials) then if it still seems feasible,  go for it. In ten years, you can look back and realized all you’ve learned instead of regretting the fact you never started.

For a little more inspiration, you can check out some success really great stories (including ours) at My Founders Story.

 

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How to go from I can't to I can and achieve your goals

What’s stopping you from reaching (fill in the blank here)?

We talk to a lot of people exploring their goals and dreams and their why… They are realizing their need for “something” different. And that realization leads to curiosity (one of our favorite things). However, when the going gets tough it can also lead to “I can’t”:

  • look for a new job
  • follow my entrepreneurial spirit
  • bake that three-layer cake
  • (fill in the blank here)

“I can’t” can be full of excuses, lack of confidence and an inability to prioritize the things to do to start (or re-start) our journey to fulfillment.

When we get a stuck and need to get back on the road to curious, we try different things to get our tough going again and reach our (fill in the blank here). Here’s three of our favorites:

  1. Squash your inner bully: we can be really mean to ourselves saying hurtful things: “I look fat”, “This is way too hard, I can’t do it”.  Would your friends ever say this to you or vice versa? Next time your inner voice starts bullying, turn it around…indulge yourself with kindness instead.  Then keep saying nice things to yourself all day long.
  2. Volunteer: not only are you helping someone else, you are helping yourself. There is a ton of research around this topic, but who needs the research, you know how good it feels and it also helps put things in perspective.  Check out: https://www.volunteermatch.org.
  3. Sing and dance: we like to call it a Dance-a-teria.  Put on your favorite music, close the curtains and have a dance party.  Or put on Wii Just Dance (the one in your basement that hasn’t been used in a while).  Or turn the volume up on your favorite tunes while doing the dishes. Just let yourself go. It is pure energy and just plain fun (especially with friends) and we all need a bit of that positive energy in our lives.

 

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5 ways to be more productive | Job Search Blog | Shift & Spark

Five ways to be more productive (hint, it doesn’t include multitasking)

We have this misunderstanding in our society that to be successful you have to be doing ten things at a time. And if you can’t “multitask”, well, you just won’t prosper.  People wear it like a badge of honor. Interestingly, you can find study after study that disproves this fallacy. It’s actually anti-productive to multi-task.

Has this ever happen to you: you have a project you need to really think about and you’re on a deadline. You are making progress, when an email pops up.  Instead of letting it sit for five (or fifteen minutes) you stop what you are doing and go check the email.

A New York Times article written by Gloria Mark of the University of California, Irvine. She found that a typical office worker gets only 11 minutes between each interruption. While it takes an average of 25 minutes to return to the original task after an interruption. Googling this subject brings up amazing amounts of information supporting this research, yet we keep putting on our multitasking badge everyday.  

Instead, this week dedicate yourself to the art of not multitasking see how different it feels to let yourself focus.  

Here’s five things you can do to help reach this goal:

  1. First thing Monday morning, spend 10 minutes perusing your calendar and start to manage your time.  Don’t forget it is YOUR time.
    • Decline or ask for the host to reschedule double-booked meetings.
    • If you’ve been invited to a meeting and there’s no information about the subject matter, contact the host and ask about your role and if you need to prepare anything.  You may find out you don’t actually need to attend and get an hour back.
    • If you see a big meeting on Thursday, put time on your calendar the day or two before to specifically prepare for that meeting.
  2. Schedule YOUR time during the day.
    • The first and last hour of the day are great times to put “work time” on your calendar. This will allow you to truly focus on the work you need to get done.
  3. Make your daily to-do list.  Put it down on paper, in your phone, on your computer – whatever works for you AND prioritize it.  Keep space on that list as other things will certainly get added throughout the day. This allows you to capture all in one place, instead of twenty.  
  4. Make a plan for email time. We had a friend who only checked email three times a day. He’d use 15 – 30 minutes at 8:30, 11:30 and 4:30 to correspond. That might not work for you but maybe try 10 minutes every hour instead. Whatever your preference, just allocate that time instead of letting the email allocate it for you (as in: whenever one pops up).
  5. Get outside and take a walk.
    • This sounds crazy during a busy day yet you will be amazed at how a little fresh air can add perspective.

Give this a try for a week, and let us know how it went… and please share any other ideas as well.

 

 

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