When You Tend to Overcommit

When You Tend to Overcommit

A recent survey showed that 80% of people take on more than they can or should handle. Does that sound like you?

Find out how to break free from sentencing yourself to over-commitment!

Struggle to Meet Deadlines?

Struggle to Meet Deadlines?

Are you somebody who misses your deadlines? Or maybe you actually hit your deadlines, but it’s because you pulled an all-nighter. Or over the last few days prior you’re running around like a crazy person, grabbing all of these last pieces and barely sliding in at the last moment. Maybe you’ve beat yourself up for it. You’ve thought to yourself, “I’m lazy, why do I always procrastinate?”

Well, the reason may not be as kind of guilt-ridden as you believe. In fact, psychologists call this “the planning fallacy,” where you go in with the best of intentions; you really do want to hit that deadline, but you’re a little bit too optimistic. You’re too optimistic that everything will run smoothly, that you’ve got plenty of time.

Instead of having this planning fallacy, I want to give you a five-step process to help you meet your deadlines, and hopefully do it in a less frantic way.

All right, number one is to confirm requirements. Make sure that all parties involved are confirmed, that you know exactly the specs, the requirements – what needs to be done, who needs to be involved. Make sure you’ve got a really clear picture of every single requirement it will take in order to complete this project. Number two is to then brain dump.

Now that you know everything, you’ve synced up every micro-task that will be associated with each of the requirements, just dump them out, get them down on a piece of paper, just type them, write them, whatever you need to do. Once you’ve got that list, then go ahead and put them in chronological order; your brain dump will end up being in order. Number three, estimate time. Now you’re going to go through each one of those tasks and estimate how much time.

You’ve got to be realistic, especially if some of those tasks mean other people need to be involved. So if it normally takes somebody 24 hours to get something back to you, maybe you add a buffer of 48 hours on that – two and a half times maybe, maybe even more if you know that historically their estimates are off. So estimate that time. Number four, plan and plug. Now you’re going to take that list based on the time, and you’re going to start to plan out where they would fall on your calendar. And you’re going to plug those into your calendar; they’re not going to stay on this list, they’re going to become time slots on your calendar.

What’s beautiful about this is now you can see your time holistically.

So maybe some or one of the tasks only takes two days, but where it would fall on your calendar is where you are in a two day seminar. So you’ve got to move that up. That’s why you need to actually plug those into the calendar. My tip is, write it in pencil or do it electronically, so that you can move it and make those adjustments. Then finally, number five is promptly begin. As soon as you’ve got this, dive in! Even if it’s not due for a substantial amount of time out, immediately begin on that first task. What happens is, as soon as you begin, your brain subconsciously continues to work on the project.

Even if you only start one or two steps and you step away before you go to step number three, during that step away time, your brain is still working on it. It may allow you to come up with something new, or create something better along the way. So begin promptly, you want to start right away. Doesn’t mean you need to finish right away. So implement this five-step process. I’d love to hear from you! How do you hit those deadlines? What are some additional thoughts or feedback you have? If you try this five steps, let me know how it goes.

Break Free of the Monotony

Break Free of the Monotony

You wake up at the same time every morning, you have the same morning routine, and then you get to work. Everything’s the same; same tasks, same co-worker, same boss. You come home, it’s all the same; same chores, same dinner, same taking care of the same family members. Everything is the same, day in and day out. Now, look, I am a huge fan of routines. Routines are proven to build a framework in order for you to maximize your resources, and to be as productive and efficient as possible.

So I don’t want you to ditch the routines, but how do you move out of this monotony?

In past videos, one of the strategies I’ve talked about is planning something for the future, something you can look forward to. But if today you’re sitting here saying, “Colleen that’s great, but I’ve got to move out of this monotony right now. I cannot plan something in the future, I’ve got to make some changes or I’m going to go a little bit crazy!” If that’s where you are today, I want to offer how you can do that without breaking up or disrupting the foundation of your routines. Because we want to stay as productive as possible, but how do we shake things up a little bit?

Recently at the gym, as you know, I’m an instructor and I teach just one format called Body Combat. Well, a fellow instructor’s on vacation for a couple of weeks, and she teaches completely different formats than I do. But they were having trouble finding some coverage for her classes, so I said, sure, I’ll come in and cover – however I can only teach my format, not hers. We made tons of announcements and tried to let all of the members know, but inevitably I show up to cover her class and of course, there were a couple of members who didn’t realize that it was not going to be a weightlifting class, but it was going to be a mixed martial arts inspired cardio class – completely different.

I shared with them, “Hey, have you done this before? Why not stay and check it out? I won’t get offended if you stay for 10-15 minutes and it’s not the right fit, then leave.” One of the members, an older woman, said, “You know what, how are we going to know if we like it or we don’t like it if we just don’t try it?” This woman, including several others, stayed for the entire hour class. And that woman came up to me afterwards and she said, “That was so much fun! When else do you teach that class? I can’t wait to build that into my routine.”

Look, she would have never known! She wasn’t going outside the structure of her routine, she was showing up the same day and same time, she just decided to try something new in that time slot. And that’s what I offer for you. Where can you, in the framework of your current routines, just tweak something small? For example, if you read at a particular time each day, could you change the genre that you typically read?

If you exercise at a certain time each day or certain days during the week, could you try a new format? If you cook dinner every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, could you try a new recipe, or even not just a new recipe but a new type of cuisine? For me, I had never really experimented with any type of Indian based dishes, those kinds of spices, and it completely changed up how our family enjoys dinner and our food selection.

So keep your routines – keep your routine so you stay productive and you don’t drive yourself crazy that you’re trying to completely flip everything upside down.

But where in your current routines can you make a small tweak to try something new, so that you can move out of the monotony you may be feeling today? Post in the comments below, I’d love to hear what that thing is going to be for you in the coming days and weeks ahead.

When You Tend to Overcommit

When You Tend to Overcommit

Look, I love to be able to support new things! Whether that’s new assignments, new projects, professionally, personally, or supporting a friend – I love to be able to do that. If a client comes to me and says, “Colleen, can you execute this new training?” I am thrilled for that! When I was in my corporate job, if I was invited to be part of a task force, I couldn’t wait to collaborate with new people. Or even a friend who’s getting ready for a celebration, I want to be able to support them in preparation and setting up, and being there that day.

I always want to say “yes.” And in the moment I’m thinking, “Wow, I’m really busy right now. How the hell am I going to make that happen? Oh, it’s okay! I’m going to get everything done, that thing’s not for another week, or I’ve got two months to work on that.” Like I’m going to get everything done. Yeah, you know how that story goes!

Then all of a sudden the time comes and you’re still way busy, thinking, “Oh my goodness, I can’t let this person down.” So you sacrifice sleep, you sacrifice your own personal time, whatever it is, in order to fulfill on that commitment you made. I recently saw a survey that 80% of people over-extend themselves; they take on more than they can possibly handle. And I’m sure you’re very much like that, especially if you’re a woman.

As women, we have this intrinsic desire to help everyone, and oftentimes you have a hard time saying “no.”

As you probably know, I teach a group exercise class. It’s a format called Body Combat, and I love it; I’ve been teaching for years. I also take a complimentary class as a member called Body Pump, and I often have other members and instructors tell me, “Colleen, you should also get certified in this Body Pump class!” And when they say that, I get that feeling in my stomach, like, “Oh yeah, that would be really cool! How exciting, that’s something new! I feel confident I could be good at that.”

But then I have to stop and say, hold on. That would be over-committing myself. And so how I’ve been able to check that box, be able to resist the urge to say “yes” or jump into that new thing, is simply by saying, if I say yes, does that align to where I want to go in my future? When I look ahead and think about everything I want, what my vision of my life is, professionally, personally, with my family, alone – would that align to that?

If I said yes, would that be a smart use of my resources? My time, my energy, my money? Would that get me closer to where I want to be in the future? As exciting as it would be to be a certified Body Pump instructor, as much as I know I would feel successful and have joy doing it, it doesn’t really get me closer to the future vision of my business and my personal life.

So, instead of sentencing yourself to over-commitment, just stop and ask, if I were to say yes to this, even though it feels kind of exciting, it feels like something you would be good at, if you were to say yes, is it really getting you closer to where you absolutely want to be? I offer that for you today, so that you can stop over-committing yourself, stop finding yourself in this spiral of business and panic and lack of sleep, and whatever else it is that you sacrifice when you feel you have to make right on a commitment that you probably shouldn’t have taken on in the first place.

How to Save Time and Repeat Success

How to Save Time and Repeat Success

I live and work by two PR rules. And no, I’m not talking about public relations or press releases. I’m talking about two simple words that begin with the letters “PR.”

The first is “process.” Now if you know me really well, you know I’m a process freak; I have companies and individuals hire me so that I can help them develop processes in their businesses and in their personal lives. Now, if you’re not the type of person who likes to have processes and you think it takes too much time, don’t check out, stay with me!

Because while processes take some energy upfront, they not only save time on the backend, but it’s what can help you uncover what is and is NOT working.

When I was in sales and we had a sales process, if we changed just one variable and something didn’t work, we knew where we could go back to uncover what was happening or what the challenge was. So the more that you have processes in place, the more you can determine what’s working and what’s not working; where you can make small tweaks to develop or deliver better results.

Not to mention that when you have a process, it becomes repeatable. It’s something that will save you time on the backend. So I live by process for efficiency, as well as the discovery – being able to uncover where things are working and not working.

The second PR rule I live by is “preparation.”

In my personal and my business life, I am always in preparation mode. Whether it’s preparing for the video for you today, or I’m preparing for a talk or a training. Or even in my personal life – every single weekend, I sit down and prepare what we’re going to be eating for dinner during the week. As silly as that may sound, those few minutes are lifesaving during the week.

Again, both personally and professionally. No longer do I have to feel rushed to end my workday in order to figure out what we’re going to eat for dinner. No longer am I nervous that I’m not providing a good, nutritious meal for my family; I’ve already done the preparation.

Not to mention that when you are spending an adequate or above-adequate amount of time preparing professionally, you are going to rise.

You are going to be standing out above everyone else. The more that you prepare, the more successful you will be. It’s evident in everything that you do, how much preparation you put into it. What are your PR words? What is it that you do? I would love to hear from you, comment below!