Imagine a Place…

Imagine with me for a moment.

Imagine a place of purpose and productivity.

Imagine a group of people in the habit of being creative.

Imagine a team that works toward a common goal with a common language.

Imagine a department that has a clear vision of success in the mind of every member.

Imagine a company where every person completes the most important task first.

Imagine an organization with a language that fosters clear communication.

Imagine a group of people who are in the habit of being thankful.

Imagine a team that had an understanding of which activities were the most important.

Imagine a team that actively purged time-wasters from the schedule.

Imagine a meeting in which every member was prepared, rested, healthy, and present.

Imagine a culture that values both relationships and results.

Imagine the results of an organization that often asked, “How can we make this even better?”

Now, imagine if the tools and the training for such a place were at your fingertips.

Here they are.

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Think Time Purpose Planners

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Infuse your place with innovation, purpose, productivity and life balance with our Think Time Purpose Planners with online training and ongoing support here.

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Life is moving fast.  You are losing valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps you to dream bigger, get more time for what matters most, and become who you want to be.

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5 Steps to Becoming An Effective Delegator

By Guest Writer: Bryan Miles, CEO and Co-founder of BELAY

Delegation may not always come naturally to you, and for some of us, we are constantly trying to perfect this area of leadership. It’s worth striving for perfection because when you have motivated people who trust you, you’ll see your business propelled forward. Simon Sinek says this of delegation: “You have to earn trust by communicating and demonstrating that you share the same values and beliefs. You have to talk about your WHY and prove it with WHAT you do. Again, a WHY is just a belief, HOWs are the actions we take to realize that belief, and WHATs are the results of those actions. When all three are in balance, trust is built and value is perceived.”

Here are a few key points that I have realized over the years to help me perfect my “Art of Delegation”. Take what works for you and make it your own in your journey to building trust with your team.

Start With the End in Mind

1)  Delegation to me is “beginning with the end in mind.”  Meaning … asking those on my team to execute tasks that serve an ultimate purpose and either solve a problem or move our business forward.  Assigning these tasks help me free up space/time in my day so that I can take care of the “one-offs” and critical daily tasks that I, as a Leader, need to attend to.

2)  When you delegate, delegate a result not a task.  What is the end result that you are looking for?  Give your teammate and/or employee the opportunity to work toward a goal and then celebrate the result with them.  Not only will you give them something to celebrate but you have also given them a sense of ownership and responsibility for their projects/efforts.

3)  Don’t delegate things you love doing.  In most cases, the things you HATE to do take more time to do and distract you from the goals you are working toward.  Delegate those tasks to team members who are more qualified and or patient and willing to execute those items so you won’t be bogged down by doing them.

4)  Express to your team the WHY behind the WHAT so they can feel passionate about the projects they are executing. Understand that people will strive and toil … and the WHY can fuel them.

5)  Be mindful of the tasks you ask others to execute (from a timing and knowledge-base perspective) and express gratitude to them when tasks are complete.  This creates a greater relationship with you and your employees and makes you someone they will want to follow.

You don’t have to jump in with all these ideas at once. Try a few out and see what happens when you focus on the why behind your tasks and the ultimate result you want with each delegation assignment.

The art of delegation isn’t just about you as a leader though and how you divvy out assignments. Delegating is about knowing your team and the powerful part they play in the process. When employees know your motivation and recognize your trust, they feel more connected to the mission of your business. When there is trust, you will then see a healthier bottom line, which translates directly into everyone’s success.

In our next blog, we delve into understanding the role your employees play in delegation.

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Bryan Miles, CEO and Co-founder of BELAY

A Virtual Assistant Company Helping You Climb Higher

Easily identify the tasks that only you can do (and what others can do for you) with Belay’s Delegation Download.

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What’s The Big Idea? On Thinking About Our Thinking.

It’s been a great week for me.  I have been doing some mini trainings here in Dallas as well as virtually with some online groups online.  It has been refreshing for me to think “big picture” about our message and distill it into simplicity for those who have never heard about Think Time.

What are some of our big picture thoughts?  Let’s start with a quote from Uncle Al!

“We cannot solve our problems with the same THINKING we used when we created them.”  — Albert Einstein

Take a moment and write or draw some of the successes you are experiencing and some of the problems you are facing in your life.

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Some things are going well, and other things are not.  In the areas in which we are struggling or stuck, we need to develop new ways to think about things.  Then, we can get unstuck.

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Psychologist Henry Cloud notes that 90% of the thoughts we have today are the same thoughts we had yesterday.

While this has worked well for us in many areas in life, there are areas in life in which our old habits are no longer serving us.  Instead, they are actually hindering us.  When we rise above our thoughts and think about our thinking, new neural pathways begin to form and we can begin to get unstuck.

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This is the heart of what we are doing at Think Time.  We are practicing healthy thinking over and over again…sort of “trying on” the thinking patterns of top performers and wise people.  The more we practice these thinking patterns, over and over again, the stronger these new neural pathways will grow, and we can begin to get unstuck.

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Christine M. Wilson, LPC
Co-Founder, Think Time

 

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Think Time 3DR Program

Life is moving fast.  You are losing valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps you to dream bigger, get more time for what matters most, and become who you want to be.

think-time.com.

Get unstuck.  Shop Think Time Programs with online training here.

 

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What Would Your 80 Year Old Self Say?

By Guest Writer, Dr. Emily Shupert

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What are your 2-3 biggest concerns right now?

What keeps you up at night? What issues and fears related to them keep you up at night or create a constant low hum in the back of your mind? Is it about your work? Your finances? Your relationships? Whatever they are, write them out. I’m sure you’d love to have the answers to solve these concerns, right? While I can’t give you an answer, I’m going to ask you a question that will help you gain greater perspective and greater efficiency as you tackle these areas of concern.

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What would your 80-year-old version say to you – right now, as you look at these concerns?

Yes, you read correctly. I know, it’s an odd question to ask but let’s just go with it for a minute because at the end of this exercise you’ll gain two characteristics: perspective and greater efficiency.

Perspective

If you knew that these issues, these super stressful and sometimes all-consuming concerns, would be taken care of and everything would be ok in the end, how would you see the issue in the current situation?

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I’m not asking you to let go and stop working.

Quite the opposite.

But I do want you to gain perspective because when we are completely surrounded by the problem, we forget to look up and see that this problem will ultimately resolve itself.

When it’s all we can see, we make decisions based on our current fears and miss the overall picture completely.  Stress makes us stupid.  No, you aren’t stupid, but your fears often cloud your judgement and cause you to either act out of your fears or not act at all in order to avoid them all together.  So even though you don’t know the answers to the problem, just keep reminding yourself that it will work out will give you more objectivity as you wrestle the issues and create top-notch solutions.

Perspective helps you relax, not be consumed by your fears or become stalled. You will be able to objectively approach the issue.

Greater Efficiency

How are these concerns capitalizing on your focus and precious time?

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I have a super successful business friend who does only “standing meetings” with his team.  It’s called standing because it’s only 20 minutes and not enough time for people to sit down, get comfortable, and spend too much time talking about what they actually need to go out and implement. They enter in the meeting with a problem and exit with a solution. People are prepared beforehand and make the most effective use of their time and others in the meeting. I’m sure it’s a bit of a sprint, but they don’t allow one issue or problem to stump them for an hour, a week or days.

This brilliant idea works because when we get stumped on the current issue, we not only miss out on other items on our list, but we can also have analysis paralysis; we spend time looking for the perfect solution that just might not exist.

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Take advantage of the maxim students depend on when taking their exams: if you get tripped up on a question, make an educated guess, and then move on.  If you can go back, do it, but don’t spend all your time on a tricky question when you have 49 more to go.  What you are facing right now might be critical; if it weren’t a problem, it wouldn’t have come to mind. But if you focus only on this issue, you’re missing out on the rest of your life. Commit a reasonable amount of time and energy to solve this issue but be sure it doesn’t prohibit you from making progress elsewhere.

I bet you’d be pretty relieved when you imagine the 80-year-old version of you, what you’ve done, and whom you’ve become.  But what made you a happy, satisfied, and healthy 80-year-old probably wasn’t finding the answer to this one issue, but because you worked hard, managed your time and resources well, poured into others, and did not allow problems to shape your entire life.

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Whenever you face an issue that feels daunting and unclear, ask yourself what the 80-year-old version would say about the situation, which will allow you to live with greater perspective, efficiency and without regrets.

So now it’s your turn.

Write out a response from that wise, happy, and successful 80-year-old version of you.

See, you’re closer to the answers than you imagined!

by Emily Shupert, Ph.D., LPC, DCC

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Simplify Life in Atlanta 
Counselor and Coach
Dr. Emily Shupert helps clients heal from the past, find clarity in the present, and embrace the future. With multiple advanced counseling degrees, Dr. Shupert runs Simplify Life Counseling + Coaching Services in Atlanta. She works primarily with tweens, teens, and young adults struggling with anxiety disorders. Dr. Shupert is passionate about sharing life-giving insights with individuals through counseling and speaking to corporations.

 

Author of The Happiness Map

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On Battling “Busy”

What gets in between you and living a full, connected, meaningful life?

When Shauna Niequist, author of Present over Perfect, asked herself this question, she came up with one clear answer–being “busy.”

She shares, “A few years ago, I found myself exhausted and isolated, my soul and body sick. I was tired of being tired, burned out on busy. And, it seemed almost everyone I talked with was in the same boat: longing for connection, meaning, depth, but settling for busy…”

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“Busy” is one of the strongest enemies of living on purpose.

But, how do we fight “busy” and win–when everyone and everything around us seems to be moving toward this ever-pulsing beat?

There seems to be no other way…

Or is there?

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Here are a few ways to start your battle against busyness:

Develop a clear and compelling vision of what your purposeful life looks like.  This is the place to start–at the end.  Imagine yourself looking back on your life.  What does wild success look like?

Align your activities to this vision.  Brainstorm ways you can bring this vision to fruition.  Place these on your calendar first.  These activities will help you become who you want to be, so they need to take precedence over “other stuff.”

Say “no” to just about everything else.  This sounds hard, but with a clear and compelling vision of what matters most, it is not actually as hard as you think.  While it is often hard to say “no” without a clear vision,  once you have a clear vision of where you are going and why, the “nos” become obvious, nearly effortless, and often even joyous!

When you look back over your future life, what do you want to see?

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Christine M. Wilson, LPC
Co-Founder, Think Time

 

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Think Time 3DR Program

Life is moving fast.  You are losing valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps you to dream bigger, get more time for what matters most, and become who you want to be.

Find out how you can battle Busy now at

think-time.com.

Shop Purpose Programs with online training here.

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What is your YES?

As I write this, I am flying on a Southwest flight from Dallas to Atlanta.  The back of my cocktail napkin says, “In a world full of “NOs”, we are a plane full of “YES!”

These people are marketing geniuses!  They know every one of their passengers wants to hear “YES,” and they are soooo right!!

Isn’t “YES” what all of us really want to hear?

YES!

We are tired of roadblocks and barriers.  We want to set a course and move with all of our being toward a desired goal, and…

above all…

We don’t want to hear, “NO.”

While some might see this trait as stubborn or as a negative, I would like to suggest that this trait in each person is reflective of an important reality.  Each of us has an innate design to be in charge—to make important decisions that define our lives.

This design is reflected in our biology.  Deep inside our brains, we have a little area that specializes in freedom of choice.  It helps to regulate our motivation and drive.  When we feel freedom of choice this little part in our brain actually increases our motivation and drive, and as a result, we are more engaged in our own lives.

Conversely, when we feel we have no say in our lives, when we feel that no matter what we do the results will be the same, we can become more apathetic.

This week, I encourage you to take a moment to exercise your freedom of choice and identify some “yeses” that are important to you in your life.  To do this, use the following questions as #ponderprompts as you #taketimetothinktime.

Who do I want to be?  What are my big “YESes?”

What do I want to do?  What are by big “YESes?”

 

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Christine M. Wilson, LPC

Co-Founder Think Time

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Think Time 3DR Process

We have a serious problem.  We are losing valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps people to dream big, get more time for what matters most, and become who they want to be.

Find out if Think Time is a fit for you at think-time.com.

 

Of course, exercising your freedom of choice, boosting your motivation, and identifying your big yeses are woven into Think Time’s 3DR process.  Don’t have your Think Time yet?  Shop here.

Start with the Destination

When you are planning a trip, do you start with a roadmap or with a destination?

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Of course, you start with the destination!

Once you determine the destination, then you can start deciding which type of transportation you will use, how long you will stay, what your budget will be, who you will invite along, etc.

And the same applies for making plans in your every day life. You need to know where you are going before you begin making the plans.

This is why we say “start with the #dream, not the #plan.”

Once you know where you are going, all the other pieces fit in place.  You automatically know what belongs and what doesn’t belong. And it doesn’t even take a lot of work.

This week, save yourself mountains and mountains of time by this simple pre-planning step when you #taketimetothinktime.

 

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Christine Wilson, LPC

Co-founder Think Time

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Think Time 3DR Process

We have a serious problem.  We are losing valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps people to dream big, get more time for what matters most, and become who they want to be.

Find out if Think Time is a fit for you at think-time.com.

 

Tweets:

Start with the destination.  @thinktimetweets think-time.com

Know where you are going before you begin making the plans. @thinktimetweets

Once you know where you are going, all the other pieces fit in place. @taketimetothinktime  think-time.com

Start with the #dream, not the #plan.” @taketimetothinktime think-time.com

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Cut Through the Noise

 

 

The Discovery

Some people like to wake up in the morning and check things off their list.

I like to wake up slowly, sip something warm, and quietly enter the new day.

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Some people love powering through projects.

I would rather read a friend’s doctoral dissertation than take on organizing a closet.

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Some people can stay focused on their goal and get it done.

I tend to get distracted by sentimental stuff…

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Three years ago, I found myself as a mother of three kids four and under.  As if all of a sudden, our household required 21 meals a week for 5 people and the organization of a million pieces of clothes—and all of this on very little continuous sleep.  There was nap time, play time, and tummy time—but very little me time.

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I was in over my head.

It was in this context that I wanted to organize our garage.  I wanted to be able to walk in my garage and set my hand on a spring season 6-9 month dress when I needed it.  This time, instead of plunging straight into the task, I was going to try something new.  I had a hunch it would work, and I was getting excited.

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This time, instead of diving in, I sat down and began to draw.  I drew what I wanted to see when I was done.   I created a simple sketch inside the box with shelving and clear plastic bins labeled with the correct items inside.

By the end of the day, I took a picture of my completed project.  It looked exactly like my sketch!  The many inputs that normally would have pulled me off task—didn’t.  It felt as though I had a shield around me off which the fiery darts of distraction bounced.

I had never experienced this before.

I immediately went to my freezer and tried it there.  Success.

Closets.  Success.

Schedule.  Success.

Finances.  Success.

Relationships.  Success.

It seemed I was accessing a part of my mind that I had never been introduced to before.

And, it turns out, that’s exactly what was happening.

I spent the next three years learning more and more about this powerful process.  What I had stumbled upon was a combination technique.  It turns out that this technique we now call The Envision Box was linking a powerful principle, a simple strategy, and a motivation and focus enhancing method—all in one.  The principle I was using was to “Begin with the end.”  The strategy was “Visualization.”  The method was “Drawing.”

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Begin with the End.

When you Begin with the End, you begin, not with the beginning, but with the ending.  You clearly define where you are going and then work back from there—making steps to it from where you are.  Just as you would never go on a trip without clearly marking the destination and mapping out the journey, we should never start an important project—or even a day—without beginning with the end.

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Visualization

Visualization is creating a clear picture in your mind.  When you link this with beginning with the end, you use this process to clearly see and feel the end that you desire.  You visualize as viscerally as possible what your completed goal will be like.  Engage as many of your senses in this process as you can.

The data on visualization is unquestionable.  Olympic athletes are trained to use this method to visualize their performance at the games and top executives routinely visualize their days each morning.

The secret about visualization is that when your brain sees and feels something this clearly, your subconscious moves toward it—even when you are not “thinking” about it.  This is why the fiery darts of distraction bounce off.  Your whole being is moving toward something very specific, and when other inputs enter your mind, you know deep down that they are not part of the story you have written in your mind…and the distractions literally melt away.

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Drawing

Nearly all Productivity Systems for decades have utilized the strategy of writing down your goals with words only.  This process is good and has helped many to achieve their goals.

However, we now know this method is no longer the best.

What if I told you that you could improve on this time-tested process by tweaking the way you write your desires down?

What if I suggested that you draw it clearly before you write it?

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Drawing does special stuff in the brain, to calm us down, to motivate us, and to focus us.  And, in our highly distracting, over-stressed world, this is exactly what you need to give you the edge.

The Envision Box is considered the Keystone Tool of Think Time.  Its power cannot be overstated.  It really is so powerful that it can turn an entire week around in only a few minutes of uninterrupted focus.  It can be used across all areas of life.

 

I still do not consider myself necessarily organized or efficient…yet.  I still prefer a latte to a ledger.  But, I am getting the right things done with improved focus and motivation like never before.  After continuing to test this method and confirming its continuous delivery of results, I felt it was a stewardship to share this discovery with you.

 

And, this is Think Time.

 

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We have a serious problem.  We are losing valuable time.

We have created an innovative process to help people clarify their vision and move it into their lives so they can focus on what matters most.

This is Think Time.

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Tweetable Highlights:

I tend to get distracted.  @thinktimetweets

Create a clear picture in your mind.  @thinktimetweets

Clearly define where you are going and then work back from there. @thinktimetweets

Draw it before you write it. #thinktime @taketimetothinktime

Drawing does special stuff in the brain, to calm us down, to motivate us, and to focus us. #drawit #thinktime

The Envision Box can turn an entire week around in only a few minutes of uninterrupted focus.  #envisionbox

I am getting the right things done with improved focus and motivation like never before. #thinktime

 

 

 

 

A Week Without Think Time

I have said recently, “If we close Think Time, I am printing enough to last me for the rest of my life because I am not willing to live another week without it.”

Truthfully, my life swallows me up in a minute without Think Time.

It is too much for me.

I am a stay at home mom with a business and four young kids (the youngest is 6 months), married to a man who is excellent at what he does.  And, you know as I do, when you are excellent at what you do, you continue to receive promotions—which is another word for more and more responsibility.  So, life is demanding for both of us.  Every minute counts.

Well, we had just finished two weeks of “tummy bugs,” and I was so excited to get back out in the real world and live life again.

Then, I got sick.

Now, it is one thing for the kids to be sick.  It is hard.  It is challenging.  It can stretch me just about more than I can take on top of an already full plate.

However, it is categorically another event for the entire family when Mommy is sick.

This weekend, I came down with strep throat.

Thankfully, this time the worst of my sickness was over the weekend, but I was in bed for a full day, and I was not even considering thinking on a higher level to do my Think Time.

So, like it or not, Monday rolls around.  I am still sick, and now I am caring for four kids too.  So, Monday, I did not do my Think Time.  But, I did make it to the doctor.

Tuesday, I am a little better having started medicine the day before, but still under the weather and still not even thinking about Think Time.

Wednesday, I feel like all of the to-dos of the world are crashing in around me.  Everything feels urgent and important.  Over the past few days, I accidentally promised more than I could deliver to several people.  I just think I can do more than I really can.  I felt like I was swimming in undone tasks—unclear what to do first.  I was making some traction because of good habits stored up over time, but it wasn’t enough.

The biggest clue for me that I am out of balance is when my three year old asks me to play with her multiple times, and I answer her multiple times that it is not the right time to play.

That used to happen a lot.

For years, I felt swallowed up by tasks all around me just staring at me.  All of them seemed completely urgent, yet they were not why I gave my notice at work to BE at home.  These little people were the reason.  Yet, for some reason.  It.  Seemed.  So.  Hard.  To.  Get.  To.  Them.

So, those familiar feelings were creeping in yesterday.  I recognized the red flags, and I pulled an audible.

On top of everything, I could feel the weekend already upon me.  I have special plans for the weekend that required some careful thought to execute well.

So, when the baby went to sleep for her afternoon nap, I grabbed the opportunity!  I sent the big kids outside to play with strict instructions to have fun “outside.”  I kept the window open and peeked out often, so I could still hear them and monitor them, but I was focusing in.  I needed clarity.  Fast.

I grabbed my Think Time, my fine point Sharpie pen, and my big box of Prismacolor pencils and set to work.  Because I had some real time details to quickly assimilate into my calendar, I also had my Mac open.

Within about 20 minutes, I could feel the clarity opening into my life.  Another 10, and I was in the game again.

I knew I was back when I sent an e-mail to postpone an appointment that clearly was not priority in a week that resembled a mile-high burger with sickness on one end and big plans on the other.

Life was still full, but I was back in the driver’s seat—ensuring that it was happily full, but not stressfully overflowing.

I have had many moments like these since starting Think Time.  Sometimes I feel as if my head will just burst with the pressure.  Then, I grab a few moments of uninterrupted down time with my Think Time.  And, my life literally moves from chaos to calm.  It can take anywhere from 5 to 45 minutes depending upon what is going on to get re-centered in the middle of the crazies, but those breathers make all of the difference.

And, just because this is a stay-at-home mom example doesn’t mean that it doesn’t apply at the office.  Everything I do here, Keith does at work.  We both lead teams of people with all types of personalities toward a common vision.  We both have deadlines.  We both have meetings.  We both have interruptions.  We both need to refuel.

We both need to maintain perspective and plan ahead or everything really will crash in on us and on those who depend on us.

If the phrase “moving from chaos to calm” strikes home with you, it is because it has struck our home first.

This game of life is not for the faint of heart.

The struggles are VERY REAL.

We live them every day.

Knowing what matters most and when makes all the difference.

So, next time you feel the crazies coming, be sure you @taketimetothinktime to bring your chaos to calm.

Don’t just keep on keeping on, or the tasks will just keep piling on.

 

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Christine Wilson

Licensed Professional Counselor, Co-founder of Think Time

 

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Blog Highlights:

Life is demanding.

Every minute counts.

This game of life is not for the faint of heart.

Knowing what matters most and when makes all the difference.

Take time to Think Time to bring your chaos to calm.

Don’t just keep on keeping on, or the tasks will just keep piling on.

 

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For people who want more time to focus on what matters most.

Free e-book “How to Live Your Purpose” http://ow.ly/AHrg30figwg

Shop Think Time Purpose Planners at think-time.com

 

Two Simple Words. That Make All of the Difference

I was catching up with a friend of twenty years recently, and she said the most profound statement, “The parent’s ‘you are’ becomes the child’s ‘I am.’”

Of course, I didn’t get it the first time.

“Can you say that again?” I said.

“The parent’s ‘you are’ becomes the child’s ‘I am.’ You know, as we grow up, our parent’s say, ‘You are this and that,’ and we just assume those traits because we believe them. They are our reality. We implicitly believe, ‘I am this and that.’ Our lives begin to tell the story of our parents’ beliefs and words toward us.”

“Ooooh, I hear ya. Tell me more.”

When the parent says, “You are never going to achieve this.” The child grows up and believes, “I am never going to achieve this.” Then, the child fulfills this belief by not achieving things. When the parent says, “You are crazy.” The child grows up to believe, “I am crazy.” Then, the child does crazy things.

As parent of four little people, this foundational process that I have intellectually known for years but had not pondered lately sank in deeply.

What am I telling my little people every day?

What “you are” words am I using?

Do I more naturally speak the negative or the positive?

How can I speak truthful, empowering, and encouraging words to them?

How can I use “you are” sentences to highlight their strengths and to empower them to overcome their weaknesses?

How can I speak life into my little people so they grow up to be thriving, vibrant adults?

We all have days when we are less than our best.  How healing it can be to have someone come alongside us and see us for more than we are at that moment!  It can be so life-giving to have a friend, a boss, a spouse, a parent, or a colleague to remind you of who you really are and of who they believe you will ultimately be.

Michael Hyatt—father of five and purpose & productivity extraordinaire—similarly encourages people in a wonderful blog to simply “lead with positive expectations.”  He recommends, “Don’t look for flaws in people. Look for strengths that you can help build up.”

This powerful concept of speaking words that become reality shapes our environments and our outcomes at work, in our communities, and in our homes.

Ask yourself what “you are” phrases you are using in your relationships.

Are your results in line with your words?

How can you use this powerful relationship hack to tweak the results you are getting?

 

Christine M. Wilson, Co-Founder of Think Time

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