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Joanna Lindenbaum

Posts Tagged ‘time management’

Creating Successful JV Partnerships

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

We’ve all heard it: the importance of creating partnerships in your business. And yet, I don’t know about you, but for me, for YEARS, it was a TOTAL mystery on how to create effective, nourishing and supportive Joint Venture partnerships.

In fact, when I think back to some of my early attempts at creating JVs, I blush a little bit – gosh, there were so many blunders!

Thank goodness I stuck with it over the years. Now, I love connecting with like-minded colleagues and finding creative ways to promote each other. I’ve taken some of the main points I’ve learned about JVs and am sharing them in this week’s article. Enjoy!

And – if you want a little laugh – here is a recent silly picture of my family from Mother’s Day!

With love,
Joanna

Get It Done Special Time Sensitive Offer

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Get It Done Final Video

Oh my goodness – we just ended the Get It Done Project, and it was SUCH a POWERFUL day!!!!

Hundreds and hundreds of folks on the lines all day long getting their biggest project done!

I made this video (you’ll see I am so pumped!) about it, and about the VERY SPECIAL TIME SENSITIVE offer I made at the end of the day.

***To access the offer (do it by midnight 12/8!), go to: www.soulfulcoach.com/yoursacredbusiness.php

big hug,
Joanna

Got Operations?

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Getting clear and systematized when it comes to your Operations is one of the keys to creating a business with ease, freedom, and flow.

What are “Operations”? Operations are all of the behind-the-scenes things – big and little – that help your business function. Operations can include: your scheduling system, invoicing and payment system, referral systems, gifts you may give clients, the process of bringing a new client into your business, the ways that you set up for events or programs, and so much more.

When you apply systems to your operations, things begin to run smoothly. A system allows you to perform the same function over and over again without needing to reinvent it.

The best part of having operations systems is that it takes the emotion and fear out of your interactions. When you don’t have good operations & marketing systems, when you don’t have solid structures around what you want, things can get very messy. When you’re able to implement effective systems well, when you have a clear set of instructions and processes, it becomes much easier to:

  • Be paid on time
  • Receive the time off you’ve been planning for yourself
  • Hold to your boundaries
  • Have clear communications with others
  • Save time and streamline
  • Delegate to team members
  • Not constantly reinvent the wheel

Here are a few of my favorite Operations Systems that will provide you the most bang for your buck:

Scheduling

No matter what your soul-centered project is, if it involves meeting regularly with clients, prospects or partners, having a system for scheduling can make that process run more smoothly.

For example, if you have the kind of business where you meet with clients one-on-one, can you create templates for scheduling? That way, instead of writing a new scheduling email each time you need to schedule or re-schedule, you can simply use your template and change names and dates.

When it comes to scheduling with clients, instead of scheduling week by week, I have found that scheduling out a client’s entire program at the start is much more effective and time efficient. That system helps to create a structure so that you don’t have to schedule session by session. Plus, everyone is clear on the commitment and the framework for the program at the start, which makes for a powerful foundation.

Of course, just because you schedule out your entire program upfront doesn’t mean that there is no room to reschedule. Life comes up for both you and your clients, and sometimes rescheduling is inevitable. So, develop a system and template for that for easy-breezy rescheduling
 
Team Meetings

Another great way to employ an operations system for efficiency is for team, partner, agent or publisher meetings. Can you create a system not only for scheduling your meetings but also for how you run your meetings?

When you have a blueprint for how you run your team meetings, things flow more quickly, and you’re able to cover all of the topics each week or month. With a system and blueprint for team meetings, you can eliminate unnecessary side-talk or digressions, and are invited to focus in on the most important topics.

Another tip for team meetings is to try and schedule them at the same time every week or month. This will ensure that everyone can plan for them in advance, make sure they’re in the schedule without confusion, and give everyone a format for having their work prepared for the meeting each week.

Revenue and Collecting Payment

You may be just now realizing that you don’t have a good system for collecting payment for your work. Are you organized about collecting payment, or haphazard? You might think, “I will just invoice clients when I need to invoice them. Maybe I’ll get the payment at the end of the session. I have to remember to tell that person to pay me.”

Leaving payment up to chance, without a clear system is often stressful – not only for you, but for your clients. It doesn’t work. Believe me, I tell you this from years of experience!

Instead of letting this disorganized payment collection continue, get strategic. Think, “What is the best way for me to invoice and collect payments for my services and offerings?”

You don’t need to come up with the perfect system right away. It’s OK to be always refining. With each level of expansion there is a different kind of system that needs to be put in place. You may start off with private clients and collect a check once a month.
           
As soon as you reach a certain number of clients, having them mail a check doesn’t work anymore. Many checks don’t arrive; people forget. It can be too much to keep track of, so it’s time to look into other methods of getting paid. Here are some examples I’ve used or considered:

  • PayPal
  • Credit cards
  • Automatic bank payments
  • E-billing
  • Advance deposits

These tools can also be used to streamline your expense payments as well, so you can keep all the financial details in one place.

Contracts & Policies

In any business, it is likely that you have contracts with clients, partners, contractors, or team members. If you’ve been “skipping” the contract, my high coach’s request is that you start using contracts immediately! Contracts help formalize your agreements so that everyone is clear on what their responsibilities are. They are SO important.

Create a template for each of the different types of people you work with and have a system down so that you have set expectations and boundaries that everyone signs. Keep the contracts on file.

Homework: What are your needs around scheduling, clients, teams, revenue, and contracts? Make a list. How do you systematize each area? Write it out, and put that into effect. Once you have these operations systems in place, you will be amazed by how much time you have to focus on what you love best—your soul-centered work!

Creating Soul-Centered Systems

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to have every I dotted and every T crossed?

Wonder what it would be like NOT to feel like things are not getting done… or that important details are slipping through the cracks… or that crucial elements of your business are eluding you?

If you can identify with this, you are probably feeling a lot of stress, and it’s because you don’t have systems in place to ensure all those I’s get dotted and every T gets crossed.

When you don’t have systems in place, you will most likely experience some distressing disorganization.

  • For me in my business, with each level of expansion that I’ve experienced, what has come along with that is a whole new level of creating new systems – as well as tweaking the ones I already have in place.
  • Every single time I’ve up-leveled, what has allowed for the expansion to happen has been to create more systems. The more systematized you can get, the more easily things will happen.

What’s this “system” you’re talking about?

A system is a process or task that you do on a regular or semi-regular basis that can be made into a set routine so that you have all of the instructions and steps laid out.

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel each time you do something.

You can create and activate systems in your business that will allow you to:

  • focus more clearly
  • create more time
  • create ease
  • reduce stress & anxiety

There is something that I can tell you with certainty: the more you grow, the more your soul-centered project expands, the more systems are necessary in order for your soul-centered project to run smoothly, successfully and continue to be expansive.

Whether you are just starting out or you have been in business and working on your soul-centered project for years, it’s really hard for it to be successful if you don’t have good, solid systems in place.

Marketing and Visibility

The first system I want to share when it comes to your marketing and visibility is how and when you are using your marketing avenues.

When you first start out, I recommend that you choose about three marketing avenues to focus on. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself because it’s a lot to keep up with. What makes marketing successful is persistent and consistent action. Choose just a few marketing avenues. Do them persistently and consistently instead of choosing 10 and doing them randomly and haphazardly.

The way to create a system so that you can do the three marketing avenues that you choose consistently and persistently is as follows. Determine which are the marketing strategies you do on a:

  • daily basis
  • weekly basis
  • monthly basis
  • quarterly or yearly basis

Daily

Let’s say that one of your current marketing strategies is to reach out to people individually about a new product or program that you have. Maybe you’re reaching out to joint venture partners. Perhaps that’s a daily marketing strategy. You know that each day you will reach out to one new person. Maybe you know that each day you will spend one hour reaching out to individuals. That’s a system.

Weekly

For example, if you have a newsletter, chances are that it will not be one of your daily marketing strategies. It would take a lot of upkeep to send out a daily newsletter. On the other hand, you don’t want to send a newsletter out only once or twice a year. That is not persistent and consistent enough for people to keep up with and follow you.

If you are employing a newsletter as a marketing strategy, you may want to think about that as a weekly or bi-weekly activity. Put that on your calendar so that you know: every Friday my newsletter will be sent to my followers and community.

Monthly

Let’s say that one of your marketing strategies is to network. Perhaps that is a monthly activity. You want to begin to systematize that. You want to look for one networking event that you can attend once a month over the next six months. You want to put that on your calendar as a consistent and persistent marketing strategy.

Let’s say that your blog is one of your marketing strategies. You decide that you want to publish a new blog post every other week. You want to pick the day of the week that you publish the blog post. You want to put that on your calendar for the next six months to a year so that it’s set. You know that you’re working on that blog post during that time every two weeks.

The more that you can systematize your marketing strategies, the more you can be sure that they will get done on a consistent and persistent basis. I want to say something about this daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly system. You might want to think about plugging in one strategy for each. I know that it would take you to four marketing strategies rather than three. You can play around with that.

It’s nice to know, “This is the thing that I’m doing every day.” When I say “daily” I mean the days that you work, not every single day of the week. This is the strategy that I do every day.

This is the strategy that I do once a week. This is the strategy that I do once a month. This is the strategy that I do either four times or once a year. Maybe that strategy is a preview teleclass. Four times a year you will do a preview teleclass for your community. You might do one big event for your community.

I want to take a look at a couple of other marketing and visibility strategies.

Sample System Strategy

A really great vehicle for marketing your soul-centered business or project is a newsletter or blog. You can even apply this strategy if you have mailings that you send out. You want to institute a system for your marketing campaigns. For this example, let’s use a newsletter:

System Level One

The first level is how often you will send out the newsletter and what day of the week or month. Schedule that in your calendar, and let everyone responsible for any piece of the newsletter know what the new timing will be. That way everyone knows what they need to do, and when they need to do it.

Once you’ve established that part of the system, then you want to create a routine or system for the content in the newsletter instead of reinventing the wheel.

System Level Two

This level is about content. You get to the day that you write your newsletter and think, “What should I write about this time? I’m not sure. What should I include?”

You want to have a system in there. You want to think, “What are the components that I want to include in each and every newsletter? How can I systematize that?” My advice is to create an editorial calendar that you map out several months in advance based on your marketing and promotions calendar, so you always know the themes and promotions you need to showcase in your newsletter.

Homework

Make a list of the top three to five systems that you would like to put into place in your soul-centered project. Where are you at when you look at the particular concerns or ways that you are expanding? Where are you struggling? Where are you going to get the most bang for your buck? What are the systems that would need to be put into place soon?

Once you write them out, I want you to star, circle or underline the one that you would like to put into place right away. Which is the system that if you could get it into place you know it would make a big difference for you? Begin by taking the one that you’ve starred, circled or underlined.

I want you to write out what that system would look like. Write out steps one, two, three and four of that system. After that, put that system in place for this coming week. If it’s something that would take more than a week, that’s fine. It could be over the next two weeks. Begin to put that system into place. Work through them system by system, as you need to activate them.

Your Time = Your Business

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Running a business is full of responsibilities and obligations, and it can be easy to lose control of how you spend your time. But how you spend your time determines the success of your business.

If you feel like you aren’t doing what you want to be doing in your business or soul-centered project, chances are good that your priorities do not match how you spend your actual time.

And, if you’re not spending your business time according to your priorities, chances are good that you’ll feel stressed, dissatisfied, tired or disappointed with your work life.

For example, if you highly value developing your network of colleagues, but instead focus a lot of energy and time on operational details, then you are likely feeling harried and disconnected from like-minded practitioners. Or, if your biggest desire is to grow your business, but your time is actually spent running errands and doing paperwork, unfortunately, your life won’t magically open up more time for marketing your business.

You need to prioritize what’s most important & then set the intention to make it happen.

Align your business with your priorities and your values:

1) Clarify What’s Important

Make a list of everything in your business or project that is important to you. This can include expanding your prospect list, developing new programs or offerings, marketing, cultivating referrals, etc. Get specific with this list. For example, instead of simply listing "networking”, perhaps list particular individuals or groups of colleagues who are important to your business.

2) Rank What’s Important

Order your list in number of importance to you. This is now your priority list.

3) Identify Your Top Three

Now, take a look at the top three items on your list. Star them. Ask yourself: Are these really my top priorities in life, or are some of these items "shoulds" or "obligations"? If there are any shoulds or obligations, re-prioritize so that your top three really connect with you on a heart/soul level. Some questions to ask yourself are:

  • Am I excited about this item?
  • How do I feel when I devote time to this item?
  • Is there anything I would rather do than this item?

4) How Do You Really Spend Your Time?

Is the majority of your actual time devoted to the top three things on your list? If yes, wonderful! If not – what are you spending your time doing instead? If that’s not a top priority item: why are you spending your time on it? Do you actually need to be spending time on it, or is it simply a distraction? Can it be delegated?

This 4-step process will help you get clarity on how you want to spend your time versus how you actually do spend your time. It will also help you uncover what’s important and why you spend time on things that are not priorities.

Once you do that, then you can move on to the next level, which is to create a detailed plan of how those priorities will play out week by week in your schedule.

Sometimes, It’s The Little Things…That Boost Your Success!

Friday, April 5th, 2013

In your business or your personal life, do you have a ton of little things constantly requiring your attention?

Things that probably wouldn’t take a huge amount of time to take care of individually, but when added up, seem like they’ll eat up all the hours in your day? These could be annoying little things like dealing with an error on an invoice you need to pay, getting the car tuned up, or returning the printer cartridge that doesn’t fit your printer.

Small things like these tend to occupy and drain far too much time and energy

The longer they remain uncompleted, the more they nag at us and take up more and more psychic space. These chores feel like small potatoes, but when you take the time to take care of them, you’ll discover that they have been distracting you or preventing you from making real progress in your business or your life.

Here’s an example of what I mean: One of my recent clients was tackling how to create more efficiency in her workday. She was having a lot of trouble meeting deadlines and returning all of her emails for her small business. When she took a closer look at some of the sources of her workday inefficiency, she discovered that her slow internet connection was eating up a lot of time.

Because her connection was so slow, she was waiting long periods of time to log onto the internet, to send and receive emails, and to do research online. She had been telling herself that she didn’t have the time to call her online carrier and upgrade her connection. In reality, however, this small distraction was actually costing her and her business both time and money

Once she took a relatively small amount of time to call her online carrier and solve the problem, she made her workday much more efficient.

There isn’t a perfect time to take care of all these distractions, but you can’t allow that to get in the way of accomplishing your bigger dreams and goals with ease and joy. If you want to make room for success, one of the best ways to do that is to clear away these annoying chores and distractions from your business and your life.

Think about the distractions in your life for a moment now. Are they holding you back from some of your BIG dreams and goals? Ask yourself if, on some level, you’ve allowed those distractions to come into being and get in your way.

Are you using distractions to keep you safe and small? If so, I invite you to eliminate them by using my simple, 5-step clearing process:

1. List distractions. Make a list of the top 3 distractions that are draining energy from your work and the top 3 distractions that are draining energy from your life. For work, these might include:

        -Outdated or broken technology such as mobile phone,
         computer, internet connection or fax machine

        -Unanswered emails or phone messages

        -Outdated or inappropriate wardrobe

For life, these might include:

        -Unresolved argument with a friend or partner

        -Unpaid bills or tickets

        -Not having drapes on your windows

2. List what they’re blocking. Make a list of what each top work distraction is holding you back from. For example: If one of your top distractions is an inappropriate wardrobe, this may be holding you back from:

        -Networking events that will bring in new clients
         or opportunities

        -Applying and interviewing for more satisfying and
         higher paying positions

        -Feeling confident enough to have a conversation with
         your manager about getting a raise

3. Own it. Acknowledge that you have been using each of these distractions as a subtle way of keeping you small.

4. Change it. Commit to eliminating one distraction a week. Take note of what opens up for you once you do so.

5. Keep up the good work! Repeat steps 2-4 for your "life" distractions.

I hope this system will bring you beneficial results and clear a path for your bigness. Please share with me what successes you open up to when you use this process!

Get It Done Success and Sacred Business Program Launch!

Monday, February 18th, 2013

I want to thank everyone who participated in Get It Done on February 8th. I was truly moved by the energy and action so many of you took to achieve your goals over the course of the day.

Thank you for all of your progress emails and emails of appreciation! Sending my appreciation right back ‘atcha!

The Get It Done Project was also the official launch of Your Sacred Business. If you haven’t yet checked it out, I HIGHLY recommend that you do. Seats in this high-content program are selling fast, and we’re already over 25% full!

For more info, go to: www.soulfulcoach.com/YourSacredBusiness.php

Despite the busy week, I am so grateful that I was able to participate in One Billion Rising yesterday – a cause that is so very important to me. Here I am dancing with many others in honor of ending violence against women once and for all at Freedom Park in Charlotte. It gives me chills to think of the millions of women who were dancing in parks across this country at the same exact time for the same exact reason.

Fridays’s special article: How to Manage Your Emails! This is a real important one. Enjoy!

With love,
Joanna

Buried In Emails? Conquer Your Inbox In 3 Steps!

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Do you feel like you spend countless hours writing, thinking about, organizing, or reading email? Ever look at the clock after reading emails and wonder where the time went? I know I’ve had that experience.

At one point in my life, I personally was spending so much time on email that I once sent an email to a friend of mine, and the subject heading was "my inbox is going to kill me!"

Did you know that American workers spend 28 percent of their work hours sending and answering email???

Email is a fantastic tool that helps you communicate quickly and efficiently. However, it’s so easy to get stuck in a habit of incessantly checking your emails or using email for personal instead of professional use at the office. This can add minutes, if not hours, onto your work days. You might get so stuck in email mode that you never get to the most important tasks of the day — the ones that really help you move forward.

Sometimes, you get so many emails a day that it’s overwhelming and you avoid dealing with it until your unread emails fill more than one screen.

Not responding to emails leads to missed deadlines, frustrated clients, and broken promises. But you can get out from underneath the crush of email – I promise!

The organizational steps I’ve provided below may seem obvious, but often it’s the most obvious tactics that get overlooked. By following these easy steps, you can become the master of your email!

Step 1: Separate the Personal From Professional

  • Don’t mix business with pleasure. Eliminate personal emails from your work day. Send all personal emails to a separate personal email account that you check either outside of work hours or at a scheduled time during the day.
  • Set boundaries. Ask your family and friends to use only your personal email address, not your work address.

Step 2: Reduce Incoming Emails

  • Block spam. Get a powerful spam blocker and set your email security to the highest setting. You’ll save time by not needing to manually delete those pesky spam emails.
  • Consider a second address. Use a unique email address when signing up for services or registering for products that require you to give that information. For example, when ordering office supplies or setting up monthly utilities payments, you’ll often be asked to provide an email address, and the electronic receipts you’ll receive should not go into your spam folder. When you set up a unique email address for these kinds of registrations, you’ll be able to keep these emails separate, they won’t get lost in your spam folder, and they won’t clog your inbox with non-urgent messages.
  • Don’t put your business email on public contact info. In addition to reducing junk mail, you can reduce the number of random people who want to contact you but who do not need your personal response. On your website, business cards, letterhead, and the like, use an information or general email address that can be answered by a team member. This will help keep your professional email inbox limited to emails that need to be answered by you and you alone.

Step 3: Get Organized

  • Set time limits. Instead of checking your email each time a new message appears in your inbox, set aside certain times during the day that you read and respond to emails. You’ll be surprised at how much time you gain. (You may even want to apply this rule to texting and instant-messaging, which are also huge time-sucks!)
  • Decide what’s important. You don’t have to rush to answer emails, and you don’t have to answer everything immediately or even the same day they’re sent.
  • Delegate. If you have a team, you don’t need to answer all your emails. For me, I got back so much time when I got clear on which emails I needed to answer personally and which I could allow a team member to answer for me.
  • Archive. Don’t let your inbox become a storage facility for email you’ve already read. Use the labeling function to categorize emails by use, and then hit the "archive" button. Your important emails will be safely stored and your inbox will be empty.
  • Delete. This step is often the most difficult to embrace, but when you’re finished with an email, often it’s good to delete it. Of course you should archive any emails containing deadlines, contracts, promises, and that sort of thing. But there’s just no need to retain unimportant emails such as conversations deciding what to order for lunch or emails containing recurring reports. Let them go and enjoy that empty inbox!

Get. It. Done.

Monday, February 4th, 2013

For centuries, the first few days of February were considered sacred days in many cultures. It represents the moment where something magical happens underground, in the earth, after many months of winter and silence: a QUICKENING. The trees are preparing to blossom in the spring!

So, what does QUICKENING mean, exactly?

It means that a SPARK is beginning to build, a tiny burst of activity. It means a new energy is beginning to emerge, an energy that is getting you ready for all of the re-birth and activity that happens in the spring. (So says the Groundhog today!)

Because of the Quickening that happens at the start of February, this is a perfect time to re-commit to all of the goals and intentions you set at the beginning of the year. Ride the wave of that underground spark and prepare yourself to birth your projects very soon.

And what better way to do that than to dedicate a FULL day to working on projects that will help you achieve your goals? That’s why I’m sooooo excited for the Get It Done Project, just one week away!

If you haven’t yet registered, I HIGHLY, highly recommend that you do.

This event is so important that I’ve urged all of my clients to participate in it as well. The reason I’ve been able to consistently grow my business and over double my income again this year is due in part to exactly what we’ll be doing together in The Get It Done Project: setting aside time to get the big stuff done.


You can register here: www.soulfulcoach.com/GetItDone.php

We’ll spend the entire day working on your big project piece by piece and getting it done. And here is what I think is one of the BEST parts of the day: 3 of the most amazing and gifted women I know will be joining us for the day to help guide you, inspire you and teach you how to make headway on your tasks and projects. They are…..

Deborah Kagan: Sensual Lifestyle Specialist
Barbara Biziou: Ritualist, Author & Coach
Kate Siner Francis: Leadership Coach

To learn more about these fabulous women, go to www.soulfulcoach.com/GetItDone.php

So cool, right?

And to get you even more inspired, we’ve got this week’s article on How To Manage Your Giant Tasks.

Enjoy!

With love,

How To Manage Your Giant Tasks

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Imagine yourself at the bottom of a breathtakingly beautiful mountain. The trees are magnificent, the birds are lovely, and the flowers are exquisite. You want to climb this mountain and marvel in the view from the peak because you know it’s one of the most amazing sights in the world.

But it seems like you’ll never get to the top.

The path is steep and overgrown, some loose pebbles make it a bit slippery, and it’s hard to imagine yourself getting all the way to the end of the trail from where you stand because it just seems so far and daunting.

This mountain is akin to that big project you need to finish. Maybe it’s finishing the book you’ve been working on for years. Maybe it’s writing the grant application for your not-for-profit company. Maybe it’s just cleaning out your overflowing closets. You know you want to do it, even need to do it. But the job feels so giant and overwhelming that you can’t envision yourself ever getting it done. Besides, how can you possibly get this project done when there are so many other little things like email and phone calls and bills taking up your time?

Well, today I want to share with you an important piece of information that can make these giant tasks completely approachable, even easy. It’s a tactic that may seem very obvious, but the truth is, most people don’t utilize this incredibly effective tool for moving forward and getting unstuck instantaneously!

This powerful tool is what I like to call the mini action step.

Without mini action steps, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer size and extent of your dream goals. While dream goals can create excitement and enthusiasm, if you aren’t sure how to make those dream goals happen, or don’t know what your next steps are, you can end up very stuck.

In contrast to the enormity and greatness of your BIG Project or dream goal, the mini-action step is the smallest, simplest, itty-bitty, next part of ANY project you are working on, whether it is your business newsletter, your painting portfolio, the re-organization of your home, or your weight loss plan.

The power of this mini-action step is that it is an easy, quick, do-able chunk that takes you from point A to point B instead of feeling overwhelmed and stuck because you are thinking you need to jump from point A to point Z all at once!

Here’s what I mean: Let’s say you want to organize a conference. When you start to think about all of the tasks and details you need to take care of to get that conference up and running – renting a space, hiring speakers, organizing the schedule, securing refreshments, attracting attendees, etc. – it’s easy to get dizzy and overwhelmed, and just decide that you don’t have the time or energy to make this dream of yours come true.

However, if you were to remove yourself from that sea of hundreds of details and possibilities, and begin to get clear on just the very next little step you needed to take – perhaps that step is simply to make a list of 5 -10 possible places to hold your conference – then things would quickly stop feeling so overwhelming, and you would feel confident and ready to move forward.

As you can see, the mini action step is truly TINY, but it can pack a powerful punch!

The key word to remember is "tiny". The mini action step does not include tasks that take more than one step to accomplish, such as "Secure location for conference." And, the mini-action step is not even "Call every possible location for conference." It’s simply and truly the smallest, itty-bitty next step: to make a list of possible locations for the conference. The mini action step shouldn’t take more than 30 – 60 minutes of your time; and it should be the next obvious step that you need to take.

Here are some examples of other mini next steps:

  • Coming up with the idea for your next article (NOT writing the entire article)
  • Making a list of 5 possible speakers for your conference (NOT securing your full roster of speakers)
  • Choosing a healthy and nutritious recipe for dinner (NOT losing 5 pounds by the end of the week)
  • Deciding on which service to use for your website (NOT launching your website)
  • Signing up for an online dating site (NOT making sure you go on your first date within a week)

So, WHY is the mini-action step so important? Because it is an easy-breezy, quick, and uncomplicated next piece that will move you towards your larger goal. It is something that you can put into motion right away, and not feel overwhelmed by, or as if you don’t have enough time for it.

The more you break your big goals down into mini action steps, the easier it will be for you to move forward CONSISTENTLY without getting overwhelmed or feeling stuck in a place of fear around the enormity and difficulty of accomplishing your goals.

The truth is that you DON’T need to know how to accomplish every piece of your goal, and you don’t need to focus ahead on how you will figure out every piece of your goal. You need only focus on the very next task ahead of you, and figure THAT piece out. Then you’ll have moved forward to the next place, and it will be time to simply figure out the next piece after that. Baby steps. Oh, yes!

Activate the Power of Mini Action Steps NOW:

  1. If you are in a state of overwhelm, acknowledge it. You can recognize this if you are telling yourself things such as "I’m just ready to give up”, "There’s too much to do here”, or "I don’t know how to get this all done."
  2. Allow yourself to let go of the bigger picture for a few moments, and ask yourself: "What is the very next step that I need to take here?"
  3. If that next step seems overwhelming, then it is still too large! Ask yourself, "What is the smallest mini action step here?" Remember, this next step should take no more than 60 minutes.
  4. Once you’ve arrived at the smallest next step, write it down, and decide when you will do it.
  5. Focus ONLY on that mini action step until it’s complete. Keep yourself in the present moment with it, and don’t stray towards thoughts of the overwhelming big picture.

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Joanna Lindenbaum is a life coach and inspirational speaker.
She helps women in the following areas: work/life balance, career change, prosperity,
time management, creativity, leadership, and spirituality.

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