Refresh Your Routine

┬®StockGallery2017-FSPJ17-01When was the last time you took a step back and assessed whether your daily routine is still working for you?  I’m willing to bet, not in a while…  I know I haven’t!

Our lives change so much over short periods of time, so it makes sense that our daily routines should be changed often too.  Sometimes just one simple change can make such a massive difference.

I moved house a couple of weeks ago, and as a result I thought it would be the perfect time to start afresh with my daily routine.  So, I wrote down my old routine and assessed what was working and what wasn’t working anymore.  It turns out that pretty much the whole routine wasn’t working, and as a productivity geek, I could be way more productive with my time.  I always get that butterflies in the belly excitement when I realise new ways to be productive.

Instead of trying to overhaul my entire day at once, I started small – with my morning routine.  I’ve been trying to make myself a morning person for the past year, waking up at earlier times than my body is comfortable with and forcing myself to work when I actually don’t feel like working.

I’ve always been a night owl, and I work best in the evening and at night.  In the mornings I love to read, journal or get inspiration and knowledge while I have my coffee.  For the past year I’ve been fighting that because everywhere you look you get told that the wealthiest, most successful entrepreneurs get up at 5am every morning and do a bit of yoga before jumping straight into work.  That’s bullshit.  I’m calling that out right now.

You will be more successful and happy when you are doing what feels right for you and when you are enjoying the process.  Those people that get up at 5am every morning and thrive, are thriving because that’s what feels right for them.  If it doesn’t work for you – don’t do it!

Instead of setting my alarm for 5am every morning, I’ve started getting up at 8am.  I have a quick shower and get myself ready, then I spend around thirty minutes reading, listening to a podcast or watching YouTube videos from my favourite inspirational people while I have my coffee.

By 9.30am, I am sat at my desk working…  And this way of working feels good for me.  My body feels more in-tune with this way of working, and instead of panicking about my morning, I’m looking forward to it.

I must add that I don’t do the morning school-run, and I know that plenty of mums do.  I’m lucky that my partner works nights, so he does the morning school-run when he gets home from work, while I do the school pick-up in the afternoon.  This allows me more flexibility when it comes to my morning routine.  If you have less time in the mornings, then the simple answer is to schedule less to do in the mornings.

Find what works best for you and make tweaks to your routine over time.  Don’t do something just because you’ve heard that you have to in order to be successful.  Only do what feels right for you and you’ll be well on your way to happier and more productive days.

I’m currently working on a productivity masterclass, which will be launching in January 2019, so if you feel like you need a productivity boost or some help sorting out your time management, watch this space!  You can sign up for my newsletter below or follow me on Instagram to get all of the latest news from Dream Plan Achieve (and some free goodies!).

 

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Podcast Ep.6: Be a Boss and Still Be a Badass Mama

 

Copy of Building an Email List

In this episode of the Dream Plan Achieve Podcast, I’m talking all about how you can be boss and still be a badass mama.  What does it take to juggle building and running your business with family life?  Hint: Planning…

This episode has come at the perfect time for me.  I have just given birth to my seventh baby, and after 12 weeks of maternity leave, I am back to work.  I have to juggle my business, creating the new Ultimate Boss Mum Masterclass, school dates, baby appointments, family time and studying (I study Forensic Psychology).

The only way I get anything done is by planning my week with precision.  I love to use time blocking and I touch on this in this episode.  I find that when I group similar tasks together, I am able to focus more and ultimately be more productive.

Let me know how you plan your time, and if you have any pictures of your planner make sure you send them to me!  I hope you enjoy this episode.

 

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Morning Affirmations

0cd3952b5693191f2b8cb896fff56c81[5181]Your best day will start with your perfect morning, and instead of going through your whole morning routine, I want to concentrate on morning affirmations.

Affirmations are basically little notes to yourself. You can use affirmations to remind yourself how great you are, be grateful for certain things in your life and set intentions for the rest of your day.

In my experience, when I set good intentions at the start of the day, my day flows better and I’m more focused and aware of what I’m doing. Setting intentions or going through your morning affirmations doesn’t have to take up a huge chunk of your morning routine. Just a minute or two is enough – whether you’re writing out your intentions in your journal, or just saying them to yourself out loud, or in your head.

I’ve created a worksheet for you, which includes some of my favourite affirmations and space for you to create your own. To help you out, here’s some examples of how you can start your affirmations:

  • Today, I am…
  • I am grateful for…
  • I am ready to…
  • I feel…
  • Today, I will consciously create…
  • I am mindful of…

Commit to your morning affirmations for a week and see how it effects the rest of your day. And don’t forget to let me know how it went!

 

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Sunday: Style Your Week For Success

IvoryMixJuly2018(3)Back in the day, Sunday was a day of rest… In the ‘laptop lifestyle’ times we are in, Sunday is rarely a day of rest. It boggles my mind that some people don’t have a single day of rest throughout the whole week!

I regularly work on Sunday, but I have strict boundaries around what type of work I do. I think it’s important to start your week right and that’s why I use my Sunday to dream, plan and ultimately style my week for success.

Most weekday mornings I am jumping out of bed into a flurry of breakfast, uniforms, school letters, last minute homework and usually an argument with my seven year old daughter over why she isn’t allowed to wear glitter tattoos to school.

So on a Sunday, I like to wake up slowly. I wake up earlier on a Sunday than I do on a weekday, because I like to have the house to myself before everyone wakes up. I lie in bed for a good half an hour, setting intentions in my head about what my day will look and feel like.

Once I get out of bed, I make my way into the kitchen and make myself a huge mug of very strong coffee. I’ll do some reading (currently reading Being Boss by Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson), and then I’ll write a couple of pages in my journal.

It’s during my journal writing that I usually come up with my plan for the week. Then I’ll get my Passion Planner and Productivity Planner out, write out my weekly to-do list and slot those items into my daily plans. I also give each week a theme or focus. Sometimes it’s something lofty like ‘abundance’ or ‘compassion’ and other times it’s something simple like ‘Get Shit Done’.

Once I have my plan for the week, I feel so much lighter, but styling my week for success doesn’t stop there. I know that in order for me to smash my to-do’s during the week, I need to do certain things to help myself along the way…

I’m one of those people that can’t relax around mess or clutter. It makes me anxious. I am also the Procrastination Queen, so if I have an important deadline looming but there’s housework to do, the housework will get done first. So, I’ll make sure that all of the housework and domestic chores are done to give me the best possible chance of success. I also love to go into my office and have a good de-clutter and deep clean. That way, when I walk into my office on Monday morning, I’ll feel clear headed and actually want to spend my day in there.

All of the above probably doesn’t sound like a day of rest to you, but the satisfaction and peace it gives me far outweighs a day in my pj’s watching netflix and eating junk food.

This Sunday, I invite you to try it. Style your week for success and let me know how it goes. Did you get more done and feel more calm and productive as a result?

 

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Simplify Your To-Do List

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Overwhelmed with your ever growing to-do list? Follow these easy steps to get back in control..

  1. Have a Master to-do list that you can add everything to, and make sure you break down larger tasks into small, manageable tasks (eg. writing a blog post can be broken down into brainstorm, research, draft, polish, create graphic, etc) – but, DO NOT leave this where you can see it throughout the day. This is the Overwhelm list.

2.  At the end of every week (I do this on a Sunday), pull out your Master List and choose 10-12 of those bitesized tasks that are most important – This will be your weekly to-do list.

3.  Every evening, look at your weekly list and choose 3 items that are most important. This will be your to-do list for the following day. Make sure you write them down where you can see them the next morning.

It’s okay to put more on your list if you’re especially busy, but make those 3 tasks your Top Three. Once you have completed those 3 tasks, you can feel like you’ve been productive and your day has been a success.

There you have it!  A straight-forward way of simplifying your to-do list to reduce overwhelm and get you being amazingly productive on a daily basis.

Does anyone else do this, or have any other tips to add?  Leave a comment or send me an email at jenni-ryan@outlook.com

 

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Why the 3-Hour Work Week is Bullsh*t…

why the 3 hour work week is bullshit

I keep seeing coaches on social media posting about the 3-hour work week – boasting that you can run your business by only working for 3 focused hours per week. This may be okay if you have a day job and you work on your own business on the side, but let me tell you now… If you are serious about building and running a successful business, that earns you a serious salary, you can not do this by working for only 3 hours a week!

I’m a massive believer in working smarter, not harder. You really don’t have to work twelve hours a day, seven days a week to make your business a success – but you do have to work. Having a structure to your day and focusing on specific tasks, one at a time, is the key to productivity.

Personally, I work for 5-6 hours a day, 4-5 days a week as a rule – but this is flexible and can change on a weekly basis. I can work more on particularly busy weeks, and less on other weeks. It all depends on my business at the time. At the moment, I am in a flurry of creating content for my new training course, which is launching this Summer, so it’s not unusual for me to work 8-10 hours a day.

It’s important for you not to take what someone else is doing in their business and try and fit it to your own. Your business is unique to you – so the next time you see someone touting on social media that you can run a successful business by working for 3 hours a week, don’t take it literally. If you want to scale your business, make consistent income and reach the success you want, you will have to work hard. There’s no way around it.

Have you got any thoughts or opinions on this subject? Drop a comment below or email jenni-ryan@outlook.com

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How to Deal with Negative People

How to Deal with Negative People

Negative people – Don’t you just love them…

 There will always be some people in your life that put a negative spin on everything.  We all know at least one person who, no matter what you tell them, always see the negative aspects – and points them out.  Spending time with people like that can be draining, and it is hard to stay positive about something if you have someone there, pointing out the negatives at every opportunity.  I have people like that in my family, in my circle of friends and work colleagues…  The trick is deciding which of these people you can block out of your life, and how you can deal with the ones you can’t.

 Let’s start with the people you can block out of your life.  I have a friend that I recently cut from my life…  Now this wasn’t just a casual acquaintance.  We had been friends for over twenty years’ so I felt like I had to keep this person in my life even though I really wasn’t enjoying her company any more.  I would dread our weekly telephone conversations, often cutting them short by pretending there was someone at my front door.  You might be thinking what an awful friend I am, but this person was greatly affecting my mental state.  Every time we spoke she would have a different illness (never confirmed by a doctor) and she would go on for hours moaning about this and that.  She was in a much better financial situation to myself and sitting there listening to her moan about not having enough money drove me crazy.  If I tried to lift the conversation by telling her about one of my goals or something I was working on, she would either ignore it or belittle it…  When I first started Dream Plan Achieve she literally laughed in my face and told me I was wasting my time.  On the flip-side, whenever I felt like I needed a bit of a moan about something, she would go on and on about how happy she was and how well she was doing in the area I was struggling in.  This had turned into a toxic relationship without me even realising.  This went for a number of years and I kept on making the weekly calls and going to visit her just because I thought that was what a good friend does…  I put her before my own wellbeing.

 It wasn’t until recently that I realised I didn’t have to have this person in my life anymore.  I wasn’t married to her and we had no ties…  I could just cut her off whenever I felt like it, and I could do it without shame or guilt because I was protecting my own wellbeing.  This also goes for family members.  Just because you share DNA with someone, it doesn’t automatically give them the right to be in your life, especially if it affecting your wellbeing in a negative way.  I realise that saying it is much easier than actually doing it, but it doesn’t have to be hard.  You don’t have to be cruel or blunt about it.  Gradually reduce time spent with that person and let the relationship fade naturally over time.  

 For the people we can’t just cut out of our lives, for different reasons, learning how to cope and deal with these people is paramount.  For example, I work part-time as a senior carer at weekends, and when I am working the night shift I often have to work with a particularly negative person.  I can’t cut this person out of my life because I can’t choose who I work with, but I can control how I react to this person and learn not to absorb that negative energy.  This particular person likes to scroll through news stories from around the world, finding the most upsetting and catastrophic to share with me.  This person also likes to bombard me with negative facts and statistics relating to anything we are working on.  At first, this affected me a lot.  I would finish a twelve-hour shift feeling emotionally drained and not looking forward to my next shift.  Now I have learned how to deal with this person, I am much happier and I look forward to work again.  One technique I use is to reply to every negative comment or story with something positive.  This usually works, but on the occasions it doesn’t, I just completely ignore the negative comment and walk away.  By using these two simple techniques, it throws this person off-beat and I find that the rest of my shift is much more positive.

 Using positivity to balance negativity is a simple, but effective method for dealing with negative people, and when all else fails, choose to ignore and walk away.

 What are your tips for dealing with negative people?  Leave a comment below or drop me an email at jenni-ryan@outlook.com

 

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Authenticity – Stop Trying to be Perfect!

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Perfection is the biggest killer of both creativity and productivity.  I experience this on a daily basis.  Staring at a blank page when trying to write a blog post because I want the first line to be perfect, or fiddling with filters and captions for an age, trying to make that Instagram post perfect.

The problem with this is that you lose your authenticity – what makes you individual.  You start comparing yourself to others…  In the world of social media, everybody’s life is ‘perfect’.  You rarely see a selfie of someone lying on the sofa with bed-head and zits on show – but that’s real life.

I know that when I’m making connections online, or trying to decide whether to purchase something from someone online, I’m much more attracted to people who are authentic.  When someone makes a mistake and has a laugh about it, it shows me that they are real human-beings and don’t take themselves too seriously.  One of the best examples I can think of is Erin May Henry of The May Collective.  On her YouTube videos, she regularly includes a reel of bloopers.  Not only are these funny, it makes her more relatable and as you can see by the tens of thousands of subscribers she has, it clearly works!

It’s sometimes hard to be yourself online, because you open yourself up to criticism.  If someone criticises the person you are pretending to be, it doesn’t hurt as much as if they criticise the real you – but then I could argue that if you are putting yourself out there online, you should expect criticism and develop a very thick skin – fast.

It is also extremely hard to pretend to be perfect on a long-term basis.  If your ‘perfect’ image slips, just once, you will lose all respect from any following you have built.  Being yourself is so much easier!  Allow yourself to make mistakes publicly…  Someone else might learn from your mistake and thank you for it!

There might be people out there that will absolutely hate the real you – but I guarantee, for every person who dislikes the real you, there will be someone who loves the real you.

Be you!

 

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Have Your Own ‘Miracle Morning’

HBave Your Own Miracle Morning

I completely believe that having a solid morning routine can change your life.  ‘But what if I’m not a morning person?’ I hear you ask…  Neither was I, until recently.  I read ‘Miracle Morning’ by Hal Elrod, which I totally recommend, by the way.  If you look forward to your morning routine, you’re more likely to want to get up earlier and without pressing that dreaded snooze button.

So, what does a ‘miracle morning’ look like?  The answer is entirely personal to you, but according to the book, you should include some meditation, exercise, journaling and learning.

To help you out, I’ve included my own ‘miracle morning’ below.

  • 5am – Rise and shine!
  • Use bathroom, brush teeth – 5 minutes
  • Make Coffee! – 5 minutes
  • Meditation/affirmations – 20 minutes
  • Freewriting in journal (brain dump!) – 5 minutes
  • Exercise (change it up so you don’t get bored) – 10 minutes
  • Reading (personal development) – 10 minutes
  • Review planner and make to-do list for the day – 5 minutes

This routine takes around an hour and takes me to 6am, when the rest of the house wakes up and I jump in the shower.  My ‘miracle morning’ is flexible and I like to change it up regularly to stop it from becoming boring.  The aim is to make your ‘miracle morning’ enjoyable and something you look forward to.

5 ‘Miracle Morning’ Top Tips 

  • Get enough sleep!  If you want to wake up at 5am, going to bed at 2am is a sure-fire way to fail.  Only you know how much sleep you need to wake up refreshed – make sure you get it.
  • Keep your ‘miracle morning’ flexible.  Life happens.
  • Don’t jump in too quickly.  Try waking up 15 minutes early for a week, then work your way to your ideal wake-up time.
  • Don’t give up!  And don’t feel bad if you miss a day or two.  Just get back to it and keep moving forward.
  • Switch it up.  Keep your routine fresh and exciting so that you look forward to jumping out of bed in the morning.

Bonus Tip: Read Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning.

Do you have a miracle morning routine?  I love learning how other people structure their day, so please, share it below.

 

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Burn-Out and How to Avoid It

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When you’re passionate about something – especially when that something is a new business, it’s very tempting to keep working, even when you feel tired. We’ve all done it… You work through your lunch break and sometimes forget to eat all day. I’ve even forgotten to go to the toilet, then at 8pm I realise that my bladder is about to burst.

It’s not good for our bodies and it’s certainly not good for our mind. Working yourself to the bone might get you results faster, but you aren’t going to be well enough to enjoy the success. Your work will suffer and all of that extra time you put in when you weren’t looking after yourself will be wasted anyway.

Here are some of the main signs that you’re heading for burn-out and what you can do about it.

* Feeling tired and lethargic all of the time. This is a sure sign that you aren’t getting enough sleep, but also that you aren’t feeding your body the right things. You need nutritional food to get you through the day, so make sure you are eating small meals regularly throughout the day.  Five or six small meals are much better than one or two large meals. Make sure you are getting enough fruit and vegetables and if you can’t include more in your diet, take some multi-vitamins. Getting enough sleep is also extremely important. Every person needs a different amount of sleep to stay healthy, so I’m not going to tell you how many hours sleep you should have. Experiment with different amounts and see what works for you. For me, 6-7 hours’ sleep is ideal, but whatever your number, be sure you make sleep a priority. It should be just as important as that meeting you have scheduled. Get sleep in your diary!

* You get frequent headaches. This is one of my main symptoms of dehydration and is a tell-tale sign you’re not drinking enough. As with sleep, everyone needs a different amount of water to be fully hydrated, so there is no magic number. Try keeping a bottle of water with you at all times and sip from it consistently throughout the day.

* Forgetting things on a regular basis. Being forgetful and frazzled means your brain isn’t focusing properly and that is a major sign you are heading for burn-out. Take regular breaks, get plenty of sleep and drink lots of water. Taking a couple of days’ off work will do you the world of good and could be the difference between you coming back fighting strong or having a melt-down.

* Getting emotional or your mood shifting rapidly. Another major sign that you’re on the path to burn-out. My top tip for this would be to take a relaxing break. Try a warm bath with aromatherapy oils and a good book or relaxing music, then get plenty of sleep. A good remedy for this is a long walk. Try going for a walk a few times a week and your mood should level out.

Obviously, if any of these symptoms persist for more than a week or two, you should consult a doctor. These remedies are only suggestions to help you avoid burn-out and are in no way medical advice.

My best tip for avoiding the road to burn-out altogether is to plan effectively. If you plan your days in advance and keep your to-do list short and sweet, you are much less likely to get stressed or be worrying about deadlines.

Do you have any tips for avoiding burn-out? Let me know! You can leave a comment here, drop me an email, or tell me telepathically.

 

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