Five Tips for Success by Catherine Connor
Whilst heading to Birmingham on a rather early train, a conversation about ambition, being ambitious and success took place! Jenny and I were assessing how we used our time and how we can gain the most from having little time. As many of you do, we both spend a great deal of time assessing how best we use our skills and resources, all with the mission to grow, achieve and succeed.
As the discussion unfolded about life and running the business, Jen felt inspired to ask if I would share with you all the tricks and techniques I use each day to help Aspire succeed and ensure sanity remains in place.
Here are my tips and suggestions;
1. Plan ahead; I am always alert to the forthcoming week and what it contains. I operate on a 10 day planning cycle and this technique works as my pacemaker. It gives me the opportunity to be realistic about the hours of which I am about to work, as well as the main responsibilities I hold within the week.
2. Be kind to yourself; be realistic about what you can do within a time frame. It’s about being sensible with the level of energy you have available. I often write in my diary “pace”, this gives the team and I an indicator of when time is needed to regain energy and creativity.
3. What you wear is important, (bear with this tip boys!); I need to have the right clothes on for the task of the day! If I have a series of seminars in my diary, or a trip away, all of the outfits will have been organised on to hangers the week before. My girlfriends often think I am mad! Yet the truth is simple; I want to place my thoughts and energy on the training I am about to give, not the house keeping and worries of running a home. This method liberates time, which would otherwise be wasted worrying and even spent washing unnecessary clothes. I always pack in advance because I have to be organised, as travel is a big part of my role in the business. I want my head to be focused on the business! My work wardrobe as a whole is very organised. I have a key colour each season ensuring all pieces easily match, as time is in such limited resource.
4. Maintain a good diary; constantly review the content of your diary and ensure you’re focused on the essentials like the intentions of the business. Be careful about spending time on other people’s ambitions and goals; it’s important to give, yet not all of the time. You need to try and balance your time across each intention of the business, because this is vital to your success. Also ensure you maintain a good work plan and an organised diary. Diary management is fundamental to securing time. My second diary tip is to use a pencil, it is my tool of choice! I hate messy diaries; to me a messy diary equals a messy mind. Your mind has to be clear, and I know as a creative I need a clear mind to think, plot and plan.
5. Surround yourself with positivity! For many of us life can become rather hectic and a positive mindset during these times is the biggest gift you can give the business. Over the years I have faced some amazing dragons, felt fear, dealt with fear and discovered how to move on. The first trick is to always place your energies on solutions rather than problems, you will find this quite liberating. It instantly dilutes the fear, and motivates the mind. Create an environment in which you can perform, while always being cautious of any form of negativity and how it could hijack your dreams and aspirations.
Inspired by Jen and travelling on Virgin trains! Catherine x