Thought for the Week – E is for Environment

I hope you had a great weekend and are keeping well.

Last week’s Thought for the Week was “D for Determination” and if you are Business Owner or a Business Leader, you will have thought about this a lot!

So, this week is about “E is for Environment” and this something many of us don’t consider.

Think of it this way. When you have a really important deadline, where are you more likely to be productive? In your office, a meeting room, or a quiet room at your local library, or sitting on your sofa with the TV on?

The answer is going to depend on how you work best—in silence or with background noise.

Where we are affects the way we behave, but of course, it is all dependent on our personality and preferences.

If you want to use this secret of success, put yourself in environments that are likely to create the behaviours that work best for you.

For example, if you want to improve your physical stamina, a gym is probably better than your bedroom. If you want to improve your spirituality, a yoga/meditation studio may be a good choice.

Some follow the principles of Feng Shui – others will not be into that kind of thing at all.

Create your own success formula through the environment you create for yourself …

And this is not just about how aesthetically pleasing your office is (we will look at this later) …

Have you ever started on a big goal or path and been really motivated, but somewhere along the line you fell off track?

I have been there, believe me! It is only through learning from these moments that we master them and propel ourselves forward.

One big mistake many business owners and leaders make that leads to falling off track is not having a good system to measure their progress, and celebrate their success along the way.

I used to do this a lot with my health regime … I’d spend hours and hours each week making the effort to get to the gym and work out. But I wasn’t really feeling all that good about it!

Every time I stepped on the scales I’d dread seeing the result. My progress was up and down, and I didn’t understand why. The fact was, I was leaving too many variables on the table and didn’t appreciate the importance of tracking and coming up with a regime that would actually work for me.

I was not tracking my business either as well as I could have and let’s face it, sometimes we “can’t see the wood for the trees”, when we are in it, right?

After working with a coach, I realised that I needed to pay closer attention to my systems and I started tracking each one carefully and quickly noticed when I was less productive.

Essentially, what we measure, we manage.

How to apply it …

As a business leader, you will have KPI’s and these give goals to aim for.

As a business owner, you will have a business plan.

Many of you are already successful and doing great.

Whatever it is you’re working towards, ask yourself; how can I track and measure my progress even more successfully along the way?

If you are not feeling successful, then what milestones can you put in place? And how will you celebrate your success along the way?

For example, if you want to increase the number of clients you work with, set yourself milestones each month that are realistic and yet still stretch you to go that bit further than you may believe you can.
And then put your strategies and systems in place and diarise your projects and tasks.

Just say that you want to learn an instrument, you might record a video each week of you playing the same song then watch it back to see how you have progressed and you may also track how many hours you practice in a log.

As a business leader, 6 ways to foster a positive work environment are:

  1. Prioritise team onboarding and training.
  2. Create a comfortable work environment for everyone and recognise the importance of having fun as well as working hard.
  3. Let your employees know they matter – have regular check-ins with your people and make it easy for them to be open and honest.
  4. Encourage collaboration and communication.
  5. Develop a strong workplace culture of positivity and growth with a strong “Why” you do what you are doing. For instance; research has shown that millennials are driven less by profits than purpose. It found that those workers were likely to stay in their jobs longer if they were satisfied with a workplace’s sense of purpose. Now that millennials dominate the workplace, connecting employees with purpose has become more crucial than ever.
  6. Facilitate opportunities for learning and development. Leaders need to encourage employees to follow a path of personal and professional development.

And as for our physical environment …

Whether we work from our desk in an office, or from home, I thought I’d share 9 ways to create a happier and more inspiring workspace …

  1. Declutter for a clean workspace. Clutter can be a significant source of stress. Create more space through a good filing system where you can easily find things again and using containers on your desk.
  2. Make comfort a priority. Ensure you have a good seat that supports your back, your desk is the right height for you and your monitor(s) are adjusted properly to prevent strain.
  3. Drink enough water! When we are busy, it’s easy to forget. If it helps, make your water more appealing by infusing it with fruits and herbs and keep it where you can see it.
  4. Think about getting a laptop desk so you can move and change your environment for different tasks if you chose to without having to put your laptop on your lap.
  5. Ensure you have good lighting to brighten your work space. Ideally next to a window if you can. If not, then choose lighting that supports your vitality and wellbeing.
  6. Add seasonal touches to your work space and bring the outdoors in. Use colours to create a cheerful and inspiring ambiance and mix something natural with elements you already have.
  7. Think about having an energising aroma in your work space, such as aromatic oil or a candle.
  8. Create a ‘Snack Nook’ away from your desk and take a break!
  9. Create an inspiring ambience. Last but not least, use your work space to inspire you and bring you joy. As well as photos, this could be your favourite quotes, your plans for the year ahead.

If you have found even just one golden nugget from this Thought for the Week, then great!

As always, if you haven’t already, I invite you to book your free clarity session with me HERE.

Have a great week!

With very best best wishes for your success.


Find out more about “The A to Z’s of Success”

What is Your Hurry Today?

23 Oct 2020

I hope you are keeping well.

Like many people, you will feel overwhelm and the need to rush around at some point, if not every day?
Of course, I have been there and when I discovered “working with ease”, everything changed.

So, I would like to share some thoughts with you for the weekend …

EASE: Offering freedom from internal rush or urgency

Ease creates; urgency destroys 

Ease, an internal state free from rush or urgency, creates the best conditions for thinking.

But Ease is being systematically bred out of our lives.

Ease is seen to be the enemy of the fast metrics, the you-are-what-you-have and the whom-you-control working world. The world seems, in fact, to select the urgency-addicted leaders to drive our organisations.

Other models of leadership are ‘sterilized out.’ However, if we want people to think well under impossible deadlines and inside the injunctions of ‘faster, better, cheaper, more,’ we must cultivate internal ease.

This takes the particular discipline of a Thinking Environment, and it takes a preference for quality over the rush of adrenaline.

Ease = Offering freedom from internal rush or urgency.

When it comes to helping people think for themselves, sometimes doing means not doing.

This all happens inside. Not outside. Sure, it would be wonderful if we could stop the everyday madness around us, the squeezing and lunging and accelerating that pass for normal at work these days.

But this external state shows no signs of letting up. That will probably not happen until Ease takes over our internal selves first. 

So, ease in a thinking environment is an inside thing.

You slow down.
You still your internal day.
You focus.
You notice that you exist and that you are in this very moment and in this very room and with this very person.
You see them.
You let yourself let them be.
You say how long you have.
You keep that boundary clear so that you can be fully there with them, letting distractions deflate.
You will get to the ravenous iPhone right after this. This human in front of you is more important. 

But surely Ease will take too long?

Surely problems cannot be solved without fear and tension and the fist-pounding panicking proctors of our production line of overnight outcomes.

Surely, we should hurry up?

One speaks about the power of Ease in generating independent, excellent human thinking, too. Why, then, do we see Ease work its wonders on the human mind, but return to hurry in such a hurry? 

What is it about 120 steps a minute and tight jaws and pounding hearts that drag us back in such a flash?

Why can’t we see how brilliant Ease is in our genius and brilliance?

Why can’t we see that brilliance from each person is the point of our work because everything depends on it, and that rush kills it dead, and that because of rush and the death of thinking, the world, not just the valley, is in flames? 

We bought an equation, that’s why.

Rushed = Important.
Tense = Focused.
Tight = Professional.
Pressured = Alive.

And not one is true. But they infest our way of being with each other. Not every culture is un-easeful, of course. But where are those cultures in the collective league table lore of successful, leading, take-them-seriously cultures of the world?

Try it. REALLY be with someone today. Ask them what they think about something and decide that for up to ten minutes you are going to be interested in what they will say next, that you will breathe out, keep your eyes on their eyes (or whatever your culture does with eyes to demonstrate attention), and that if they stop thinking and are looking to you for the answers, you are just going to ask them what they think.

Breathe out again, smile a little, pull your eyeballs off the screen or the ceiling or the pencil you are threatening with a broken back. Just be with this person. Take them in. Notice them. They are thinking. And the more at ease you are inside as they do, the better they do it.

But I am a fire fighter, you say, rushing is crucial. No. Even fire fighters fight fires better, they tell me, if they are at ease inside, so they can think! So, they can listen to each other and to the thousands of bits of information speaking to them from the scene.

Ease inside allows us to think about the emergencies outside.

And never mind fires. Even our tense conversations feel like emergencies. When Ease disappears from these conversations, usually right at the beginning, thinking stops.

Ease works easily. Storms may rage outside. But inside we can be still.

And with our attention the person thinking in front of us will, almost certainly, begin to think well.

But strangely, after experiencing Ease from us, they do not automatically do it for others. lt is as if they don’t see what is happening. It is right in front of them, but they don’t recognise it. They don’t inquire about it, take it apart, understand it. They love it, but without instruction they don’t learn it.

What if you could make Ease conscious, and offer it to people as a skill, a competency, like skydiving or SWAT analysis?

I am glad I did, because teaching it works. People can learn how to generate Ease, particularly when they see first-hand, often dramatically, how much better people think around them as a result. People want to be around Ease.

So, yes, after experiencing it, they step back into their ways; interrupting, criticizing, tensing, overtaking in order, they think, to get ahead. 

What is the cost of NOT being at ease?
How much are you losing?
How much is at stake for your business?

I invite you to book a complimentary review with me to see how you can make a REAL DIFFERENCE in your world.
You can book either 30 minutes, or 60 minutes, whatever works best for you …

30 min Call
60 min Call

Have a great (and EASY) weekend!

With warmest wishes,