Making Changes

You must lead the change

You must be a change agent. You must sell the change. People around you are happy with the way things are. They don’t see the need to go to all that trouble of making changes. It is up to you to sell them on the idea; to show them how to do it, to help them replace the old ways and to keep them motivated and moving ahead.

Fear of the unknown

People cling to the status quo because it is known. Even a very bad situation is better, to some people, than an unknown, maybe better one. Making changes triggers this fear of not knowing what to expect. Paint a picture of the way it will be. Make it clear that things will be better and let people (and yourself) know what that will look like.

Good is the enemy of great

If things are okay it is very hard for people to overcome that inertia. Don’t fix it, if it ain’t broke. But good enough, isn’t great. If things aren’t improving, then it’s time to shake things up so they can get better!

Fear of making mistakes

That is why capacity is so important. By having some capacity, you can afford to make some mistakes. If you are up against a deadline, or don’t have spare cash in the bank, a mistake can be devastating. Build some capacity in your business so that you have the room to try new things.

Making a change involves doing things differently

That takes conscious effort. Most of us run on autopilot most of the time. We have to. Can you imagine rethinking everything every day? Making changes means rethinking and doing things differently. Stay with it. You will have to think about it every day until it becomes automatic. They say that takes 30 days. Make a 30 day challenge for yourself. Chart your progress. Tell other people.

Making a change is really about creating new habits

Leo Babauta has made a study of habit creation and has a great post about it here.


Overwhelmed? Don’t Panic!

What to do when you are overwhelmed
I had a dream this morning. One of those anxious, nothings-working dreams. As I was waking up, The thought came: ‘they will know your mind’. In the dream, it wasn’t fully a good thing, it was a double edged sword.
I still haven’t figured it out fully, but as I was thinking it through, I got the idea for this post.

Don’t Panic
Douglas Adams had it right on the cover of the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Universe. When you feel overwhelmed your body releases adrenaline and you respond with the fight or flight instinct. This is not helpful when your overwhelm is caused by a staff or customer problem! Unless there happens to be a saber toothed tiger bounding towards you, all else is manageable. This response was designed to deal with saber toothed tigers, not a mix up at the bank. Remember: you are the boss of you. You can control this.

Take a deep breath. Close your eyes, Smile. Smiling releases endorphins and makes the people around you respond by smiling. We mirror the people around us as mechanism to fit in. Again, this is a pretty ancient survival tactic. If you weren’t part of a tribe, you died.

Slow down
I know, it seems counter-intuitive that you need to slow down to go faster.
When you go fast, you mess up, you drop things, you make mistakes and you don’t do a good job. This means it takes longer or you end up doing it again.

When you slow down, you think it through, you get it all, in the right order and faster. Your mind opens and you are creative, brilliant and you do a great job with it.

Life isn’t something you get through so you can get on to the real fun. This is it. Life ain’t no dress rehearsal (I love that line). If you are not enjoying yourself, then why bother?

One of the big changes I made in my life that paid off big time, was to give myself the gift of the first hour of the day to work on whatever projects interest me. This book, blog and community is one of those projects. We all have ideas that we plan on getting to ‘once we get all this working well and under control’. I’ve got news for you, it will never be under control. Start your projects now.

Single Task
This isn’t even a question anymore.

Build Capacity
This means have more resources than you need so that if something happens, you have the ability to deal with it.  Sleep, health, money, people, contentment, joy, time, love.

Even your best work, the work that only you can do and that puts you into flow can’t be sustained all the time. You hit a place of diminishing returns. You get tired and depleted. You need to surround it with white space, a palate cleanser, rest.

The more you do this work, the more productive you are. Ideally you set up your life so that you do this work in several intense spurts through the day, with breaks to do other fun, yet different and productive work.

We all get overwhelmed at times. Try these tips and let us know how it went
Please share your best tips for dealing with being overwhelmed