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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On Life Balance: Protect Your Health (2/6)

One thing we can never delegate to anyone else is protecting our health.

Only we can control what we eat, when we go to bed, and how much we exercise.

The necessity of protecting our health is just about as much of a scientific “law” as gravity.  Sure there are variables, but the big picture is–ignore your body’s need for health and it will break down.

Rather than repeat what other writers have eloquently stated regarding eating better foods, sleeping adequately, and exercising well, I am going to share with you two stories in the next two blogs.

Two thought leaders I really respect have stories of seasons in their lives in which they thought they could cheat the “law of health.”  These seasons of their lives became pivotal points of change and dramatically altered the rest of their live’s timelines–their mission and their audience

I will tell you the first story today.

It is of a pastor– Tommy Nelson.

Tommy graduated from my alma mater and spoke on his experience when I was a student.  He is a globally known pastor and teacher.  Among other things, he is known for his series on the Song of Solomon, leading a top notch mentorship program, and a definitive country accent.  Extremely driven and disciplined, for years, he kept an incredibly rigorous schedule.

…until he got “hijacked” by something.

He had no idea what it was.

Before he experienced it, he didn’t know it existed.

After going through “it,” however, he discovered that theologians Charles Spurgeon and Martin Luther, scientist Sir Isaac Newton and many other world-shakers had experienced the same thing.  A recent Newsweek article stated that half of the fortune 500 CEOs had had it.  Next, 80+ billion dollars was lost in one year due to lost wages and time off of work because of it.

He described “it” as a “joyless, agoraphobic black hole… a hopeless, despairing spiral.    It is scary.  It is lonely.”

Tommy had pain all over his body.  He found himself unable to think.  He was on a fetal position on the floor.  He went to the hospital twice but was told his health was perfect.

“I couldn’t sleep from May until November.”

He expected it to go away, but instead over months it only escalated.

Though initially resistant, he finally sought help with a counselor and a psychiatrist.  The psychiatrist told him that he was “a garden variety of depression and anxiety that comes from hyper-stress over years.  Finally, your body says, ‘That’s all.'”

His psychiatrist educated him about the neurotransmitter Serotonin.  “Serotonin allows your central nervous system to function.”  Stress depletes Serotonin.  Continued stress will eliminate it.  “It’s like an engine that doesn’t have oil.  The phenomena is called, ‘depression’ or the flip side is ‘acute anxiety.'”

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Tommy shared, “I didn’t know you could get totally burned out doing something you loved.”

He kept an insane schedule every day of the week writing books, counseling, mentoring, and speaking all over the country.

“I was at the top of my game.”

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The doctor told him he would need to deal with his schedule.  He also started him on medicines called SSRIs that prevented the reuptake of Serotonin so his body would not continue to deplete its supply.

Tommy also saw a counselor who “had been there.”  He said the counselor could help “talk him down because he understood.”

After about a month of the medicine, Tommy said, “Something lifted.”  A month later, he experienced “feeling good” again.  The next month, he began preaching again.

“You don’t feel different.  You feel like you.”

I had to cut out about 60% of my schedule, but the happiness came back.

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“What did I learn from this?”

“I learned to rest.”

“I learned that you can get completely burned out doing what you love.”

“I learned that we can’t take anything for granted.  You can get screwed up really quick.”

“Finally, I learned empathy.  So many people have gone or are going through this.  I had pastored the church since 1977 and people in my congregation came out of the woodwork.  They described the same ‘fetal position on the floor’ experience I had had.”

 

What did Tommy want people in the helping professions like the pastors and counselors in our school to learn?

#1 “Rest.”

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#2 Be aware of your culture.  “Our culture produces stress like sweets produce decay.”

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#3 Be aware of yourself. “Quite often people fall into this out of feelings of great responsibility.”

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Tommy also shared that he wanted people to not be resistant to taking medicine.  “Our mind is not a given.  It is not this separate entity.  Our mind is affected by a lot of things.”

Years later, Tommy later shared with his congregation that he was still unable to get off of his medicine.  He felt like this would be something that he may need to deal with for the rest of his life.

At times, a prolonged season of stress–this can stem from unresolved grief, doing too much of what we love, emotional stress, or simply always being over-busy–can impact the rest of our entire lives.

Tommy’s counselor shared with him that many of the people who go through a depression like he experienced also go through a divorce during that time.  “When they said ‘for better or for worse,’ they weren’t thinking this.”

Tommy expressed thankfulness that his wife stuck with him through the entire experience.  (Maybe it had something to do with all of his decades of work in applying what he taught on Romance from the Song of Solomon.)  ; )

What are your thoughts?  Is it a new idea to think that too much of a good thing could bring such a dramatic health crisis to your life?  Have you walked through this with a loved one?  Please comment and share.

Next time, I’ll share a story about how pushing too hard led to a physical health crisis and what one man did about it.

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

Tweetable  Blog Highlights

One thing we can never delegate to anyone else is protecting our health. Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz

Only we can control what we eat, when we go to bed, and how much we exercise. Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz

The necessity of protecting our health is just about as much of a scientific “law” as gravity. Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz

“I didn’t know you could get totally burned out doing something you loved.” –Tommy Nelson @dentonbible

[I was not expecting this.] “I was at the top of my game.” –Tommy Nelson @dentonbible Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz

“Our mind is affected by a lot of things.”  –Tommy Nelson @dentonbible Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz

Stress depletes Serotonin.  Continued stress will eliminate it.  Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz

“Rest.” –Tommy Nelson @dentonbible Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz

Be aware of your culture.  “Our culture produces stress like sweets produce decay.” –Tommy Nelson @dentonbible

Be aware of yourself. “Quite often people fall into this out of feelings of great responsibility.” –Tommy Nelson  @dentonbible

At times, a prolonged season of stress can impact the rest of our entire lives. – Christine Wilson @taketimetothinktime http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz

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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 how Think Time can help you achieve your goals while improving your life balance at think-time.com.

Shop Purpose Planners here.

 

 

Just Start the Conversation

Have you run into a friend and heard yourself say, “Hey, we should get together sometime!”
You run into them a year later.  “Yah, we should do that sometime.”
Years pass, and you know you would love to get to know them better, but you never do anything.
And more years pass.
It could be family.  It could be friends.  It could be like-minded side-hustlers or colleagues.
You just feel a connection and want to hang out.
The next time you sense this pull to connect, recognize that you were designed to live life in connection with others.
One of my favorite authors Dr. Henry Cloud, says “Our brain runs on three things: oxygen, glucose, and relationships.”
Our biology screams for connection, and we literally break down when we fail to honor this important facet of ourselves.
Here’s my suggestion: The next time you run into someone that you want to hang out with, just start the conversation.
“Hey, I’d love to get together sometime.  What days/times work for you?”
And, then, (if they also think it is a good idea) put something on the calendar–right then, if you can.
You can always move it later, but putting things that are important to you on the calendar is part of living your purpose.
Don’t go years without building relationships and seeing people you love.
 
Just start the conversation.
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Christine M. Wilson, LPC
Co-Founder, Think Time
“You were designed to live life in connection with others.”  – Christine Wilson @thinktimetweets
Years pass…but you never see them.
Just start the conversation.
“Our brain runs on three things: oxygen, glucose, and relationships.” -Henry Cloud @drhenrycloud
“Hey, I’d love to get together sometime.  What days/times work for you?”
Putting things that are important to you on the calendar is part of living your purpose.

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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.

The 80/20 Rule

One question I get often is, “Can you explain the 80/20 Rule?”

At Think Time, as we help people focus on what matters most, we use the 80/20 rule in all of our systems.

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The one thing I can say about the 80/20 Rule is that when you get it…you GET it.  And, you will never go back.

There is an interesting history behind it, but the Big Idea is that it teaches us to look at activities—not for how much effort we put into them, but for the results that flow from them.  Do they move the needle toward our goals?

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We can work really hard at something that doesn’t return a lot of results.  We can also strategically place small, targeted efforts toward something that yields enormous results.

This is the tip that helps us to stop spinning our wheels and start making traction.

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Why is it named “The 80/20 Rule?”  The rule derives its name from the discovery that in life about 20% of our activities generate 80% of our results.  The converse is also true.  About 80% of our activities yield only 20% of our results.

80 20 Rule

The 80/20 Rule is regularly used in business training to boost profits and skyrocket results.  For instance, salespeople regularly use this rule to close more deals.  If about 80% of sales come from 20% of the customers, then calling the list in alphabetical order from top to bottom will not be as fruitful as taking a moment to identify the high yielding 20% and to contact them first.  Less effort yields more results with the 80/20 Rule.

At Think Time, we are big on results—not only professional results but also personal and relational results.  So, we apply the 80/20 Rule to everything from creating agendas and budgets at work to household responsibilities and even our relationships.

Following are some examples of how the 80/20 Rule may integrate with your daily life.  A 20% activity is an activity that yields HIGH RESULTS.  An 80% activity yields LOW RESULTS–no matter how much effort you exert.

Here we go!

A 20% activity could be taking  a few minutes at the beginning of the day to identify your key priorities and to purge potential obstacles to accomplishing them.  Top performers do this every day because it yields such great results.  This move changes every action following it.

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An 80% activity could be trying to complete “everything” on your list.  Remember that all of your activities are not high-yielding and often “good” activities steal time from the best.

A 20% activity could be having a clear agenda created and floating it by everyone before a meeting.  This simple step maximizes the minutes during the meeting, prevents running over due to sloppy discussions, and prevents countless add-on e-mail interchanges after the meeting.

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An 80% activity may be always saying “yes” when someone stops by your desk to say, “Gotta minute?”

At home, a 20% activity could be training your toddlers to clean up.  You are not only getting the toys cleaned, but you are building a sense of responsibility into a citizen of the world.

An 80% activity could be picking up your four year old’s toys again and again and again.  You are exhausted.  They feel good while their character worsens.  Their future co-workers will wish you had required them to pick up after themselves.  And, as a cherry on top, you will get to do it all over again tomorrow.

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An 80% is telling your kids to be kind to each other—unkindly.   

A 20% activity is modeling kindness in tone and action while teaching.  

If your spouse’s love language is “words of affirmation,” it may be an 80% to clean the dishes to show them you love them.  In this instance, a 20% activity may be instead writing a specific, heartfelt compliment.  

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My final example will be a counselor joke:

“How many counselors does it take to change a lightbulb?”

“Just one – but the light bulb has to really want to change.”

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Trying to help someone who does not want to change is an 80%.  Targeting my effort to invest in someone who is wanting to grow: 20%.

By using the 80/20 Rule as part of deciding what goes onto your calendar, you will never have to wonder if you are focusing on the most important thing again. 

Add the 80/20 Rule to your daily decisions and transform your life.

Does this help?

Please comment below and let me know!

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Christine Wilson, LPC

Co-Founder Think Time

 

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We have a serious problem.  We are losing valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps people clarify their vision so they can live their lives focused on what matters most.  

Shop Think Time today!

Blog Highlights:

Look at activities—not for how much effort we put into them, but for the results that flow from them.

Do my activities move the needle toward my goals?

About 20% of our activities generate 80% of our results.

All of our activities are not high-yielding and often “good” activities steal time from the best.

Use the 80/20 Rule.  You will never have to wonder if you are focusing on the most important thing again.

 

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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Think Time Life Leadership System

For People Who Want More Time to Focus on What Matters Most

Check out our Free E-book How to Discover Your Purpose

Shop Purpose Planners at think-time.com.

 

“Mommy, hold me!”

“Mommy, hold me!”

If you are a parent like I am, you have heard this urgent plea from your baby or toddler.

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When they get a little bit older, it becomes “Watch me!”

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Then, they become a little bit more sophisticated and ask, “Did you see that!?!?” with excitement in their eyes.

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Our attention and our affirmation and our affection build deep feelings of worth into our children that last a lifetime (even on a neurological level).

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Whether you stay at home, work at home, or work outside the home, you know like I do that there are many things fighting against these precious and irreplaceable moments of connection.

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The amount of distractions we face feel insurmountable in this current Information Age.

ShoppingWe all feel it.

We’ve all talked about it with our friends and colleagues.

It.

Is.

So.

Hard.

Focusing on what matters most is truly at a premium.

 

Focusing on what matters most is truly at a premium.

 

Keith and I have been setting aside regular time to identify and focus on what matters most for about two years using the tools of Think Time.  During this time, the pressures have not subsided–in fact, they have dramatically increased!

However, we do feel like we are making great headway in planning for and creating special routines that allow for regular, unhurried and focused attention with our kids…even during busy seasons!

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If your life is anything like ours, then you know this is a major win.

It’s been a journey of trial and error for us, but we feel like we are getting there.  Slowly but surely, these precious moments are increasingly a part of our lives.

The pressures haven’t changed, but our actions have!

And this has made all the difference.

Blog Highlights:

Our attention and our affirmation and our affection build deep feelings of worth into our children.

There are many things fighting against precious and irreplaceable moments of connection.

Set aside regular time to identify and focus on what matters most.

Plan for and create special routines that allow for regular, unhurried and focused attention.

Make headway–even in busy seasons!

It.  Is.  So.  Hard.

Focusing on what matters most is truly at a premium.

The pressures haven’t changed, but our actions have!

Taking action has made all the difference.

 

Please tell me, if you could do anything, what would you do first with your kids?

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Christine Wilson, LPC

Co-Founder of Think Time

 

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Think Time Life Leadership System

We believe in your dreams.

Shop Purpose Planners and more at think-time.com.

 

 

Can One Person Really Make a Difference?

Can one person really make a difference?  Let me tell you a story about one man who noticed something important and took action.

Thomas Dodson stood in the checkout line at a grocery store.  He noticed that his daughters, 6 and 8 at the time, could not stop looking at the pictures on the covers of the magazines.  He kept looking at them.  They kept looking at the magazines.

Dodson knew that he was about to walk out of the store, and the kid-level images would be gone in a moment.  But, what if they had constant access to the Internet?

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Dodson remembered the first time he logged onto the Internet—at 20 years of age.  “At twenty, I had life experience…young people these days don’t have the luxury of life experience.”  Today’s teens and tweens face cyber-bullying, sexting, and more.

In a recent survey of teens, Dodson discovered that—even with the amazing pressures of Snapchat, Tumblr, and Instagram—only 15% of teens talk to their parents about their online lives!

To change this, Dodson co-founded Above the Fray to address the numerous issues young people face online.  “Our goal is to educate parents and teachers about what life is really like online for young people, and to give adults the tools they need to begin meaningful dialogues at home and at school.”

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With real data from targeted focus groups, Above the Fray offers tangible solutions to real life issues  “that will help keep children safe.”

Above the Fray is meeting a need that didn’t exist a few years ago.

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By creative thinking, awareness to the needs around him, and staying true to his purpose, Dodson was able to recognize a need and meet it.

Now when parents wonder how to empower their children to be safe online, there are downloads, presentations, and consultations ready and available on Above the Fray’s website and Facebook Page.  There is a place to go!

 

What about you?

What are you noticing?

What change in the world is on your heart?

 

Bring your dream into reality today.

Live your irreplaceable story.

We believe in your dreams.

 

Blog Highlights:

Can one person really make a difference? @thinktimetweets

Only 15% of teens talk to their parents about their online lives! @beabovethefray

What are you noticing? @thinktimetweets

What change in the world is on your heart?  @thinktimetweets

Bring your dream into reality.  @thinktimetweets

Think creatively, be aware of the needs around you, and stay true to your purpose.  @thinktimetweets

Today’s teens and tweens face cyber-bullying, sexting, and more. @beabovethefray

Empower your children to be safe online. @beabovethefray

What need will you meet that didn’t exist a few years ago? @thinktimetweets

 

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Christine Wilson

Co-founder, Think Time

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Think Time Life Leadership System

We believe in your dreams.

Shop Purpose Planners and more at think-time.com.

What is Essential?

Recently I asked myself a simple question: “What is essential?”  

If you have traveled with a baby or have seen anyone travel with a baby with piles of belongings in tow, you may appreciate the unique challenge implicit between the lines of this blog.

My two and a half month old daughter was my traveling companion for this weekend visit to my hometown.  We were returning for a very special wedding.  

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The trip only lasted a day and a half, so I thought I could do it.  I thought I could live on the bare minimum.

To pack for two in a backpack, I asked myself, “What is absolutely essential?”  

Of course, I packed my Think Time, a pen, my phone, and a charger. Then, I added my most essential makeup items, our clothes for the wedding, my baby sling, diapers, wipes, and a few more things.  I evaluated what items I need not duplicate as I stayed with my family.  I wore layers, and I chose one–yes, just one–pair of shoes for the weekend.

It was shocking how little I was able to pack to successfully travel-even with a baby!  

Oddly enough, the book I was going to bring with me did not make the cut. 

Can you guess the title?

That’s right!  How did you know?

Greg McKeown’s new New York Times Best Seller–Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.

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This refreshing book is full of solutions that involve saying a careful “yes” to only that which is essential.   

While many of us feel frazzled, directionless, and overwhelmed as a way of life, McKeown refreshingly encourages us to pursue only what is essential.  Like my backpack (plus car seat) vacation, what is essential is much less than we think. 

In this blog, I will walk you through some of the tools of Think Time that guide you through evaluating what is essential.  

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The Envision Box: 

When you create a clear vision of where you are going, you can immediately see what actions align with your vision.  High results activities that support your vision are essential.  

The Rosebush: 

When you identify your priorities and actively decide what you will prune to maintain energy and resources for those, you can immediately identify what is essential.

The Serenity Circle: 

When you sketch or write on the inside of the Serenity Circle what is within your responsibility, you can further clarify what is essential.

The Decidere Grid / Decision Columns:

When you filter your actions according to those that give you the most return on your investment, you can immediately see what is essential.  

Calendar Tool:

When you live off your calendar and not only from your to do list, the limited space in your real life again clarifies what is most essential.

Identifying what is essential is “essential” to living a life focused on what matters most.  To do this, allow Think Time’s Dream, Decide, Do, & Review process to guide you through selecting what is essential in your life.  To go deeper on this aspect of taking time to think time, we recommend to you McKeown’s excellent book, Essentialism.

What are some things that are essential in your life?

What is absolutely essential? @thinktimetweets

Many of us feel frazzled, directionless, and overwhelmed as a way of life. @thinktimetweets

The tools of Think Time guide you through evaluating what is essential.  @thinktimetweets 

Use the Envision Box to visualize where you are going.  High results activities that support this vision are essential.

Use The Rosebush to identify your essential priorities. @thinktimetweets 

Actively decide what you will prune to maintain energy and resources for what matters most.  @thinktimetweets 

Use the Serenity Circle to sketch or write what is within your responsibility to clarify what is essential.  @thinktimetweets 

Use the Decide Phase of Think Time to find which actions give you the most return on your investment.  These are essential.  @thinktimetweets

When you live off your calendar and not only from your to do list, the limited space in your real life clarifies what is most essential.  @thinktimetweets

Identifying what is essential is “essential” to living a life focused on what matters most. @thinktimetweets

 

Christine Wilson, LPC

Co-Founder, Think Time

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Think Time Life Leadership System

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Use your whole brain to live your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.

Achieve Your Goals and Feel Good About It!

Did you know that you are designed to feel good while you achieve your goals?

 

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It’s true!

Wired in your biology is a feedback system that allows you to feel “good” while you pursue what matters to you.

In this blog we will discuss how taking time to Think Time can utilize the dopamine feedback system to boost your energy and improve your motivation as you pursue your goals.

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Dopamine is a biologically based chemical that provides energy and motivation.  Stated simply, when the dopamine reward system is activated, you are biologically encouraged to repeat what you just did.  At the same time, the memory centers of the brain are activated.  They seem to be saying, “Pay close attention to what just happened!  We want this to happen again!”

One of the healthy ways in which you can engage the dopamine reward system is by moving toward clear goals.

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When you take tangible steps toward a goal you clearly have in your mind, you get a shot of dopamine.

This is why setting a clear goal and accomplishing it feels so good.

This is why crossing things off your to do list feels so good.

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This is also why we write things down just to cross them off when we forgot to put it on our to do list.  Crossing it off gives us a shot of dopamine!

This seems too easy.

What’s the catch?

The catch is that you must see your goal clearly.

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None of us pursues vague accomplishments.

Can you imagine it?

“On your mark, get set, go!  Run for a long time!”

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No!

We train to run exactly 13.1 or 26.2 miles!

…and as each mile marker reinforces that we are closer to our goal, we get a shot of dopamine!  This boost enhances our performance by providing energy and motivation toward our clear goal.

We pursue goals that are clear and we feel happy about our accomplishments.

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What do we do with this information?

Now that you know that your brain is giving automatic feedback and energy boosts to areas with clear goals, take some Think Time to assess the clarity that you have created around different areas of your life.

Most of us have clear goals at the gym and at work but we have no clear goals when it comes to marriage, parenting, personal growth, spirituality, money, service, and relationships.

Build clarity in these areas of your life with Think Time’s Think Zones, and notice the difference in how you feel as you pursue your goals.

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Think Zones are included in the Yearly and Quarterly Think Times in Think Time Journal Planners.

Chances are, you are going to feel really good and…

you are going to want to do it again!!

Christine Wilson

Think Time Co-Founder

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Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to plan your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.

 

Blog Highlights

You are designed to feel good while you achieve your goals.  @thinktimetweets 

Boost your energy and improve your motivation as you pursue your goals with Think Time.  @thinktimetweets

When you take tangible steps toward a goal you clearly have in your mind, you get a shot of dopamine. @thinktimetweets

We pursue goals that are clear and we feel happy about our accomplishments.  @thinktimetweets

Your brain is giving automatic feedback and energy boosts to areas with clear goals. @thinktimetweets

Most of us have clear goals at the gym and at work but we have no clear goals when it comes to other important areas of our lives. @thinktimetweets

Assess the clarity that you have created around different areas of your life. @thinktimetweets

Build clarity in more areas of your life with Think Time’s Think Zones. @thinktimetweets

You must see your goal clearly. @thinktimetweets