Do You Need To Share The Load?

DO YOU NEED TO SHARE THE LOAD?

As fiercely independent women, we’ve prided ourselves on how much we can do and what we can achieve on our own

We look after the kids.

We build our careers.

We run teams.

We support our loved ones.

We cook.

We clean.

We plan.

We organise.

We do so much.

And while being independent and getting-things-done is a definite strength of ours, it’s also one of our greatest weaknesses.

Why?

Because doing ‘all the things’ on our own is e-x-h-a-u-s-t-i-n-g and, very often, it takes us away from investing time and energy into doing the things that matter most to us.

Many of the leaders I work with desperately want to take their careers to the next level, but don’t feel like they have the capacity (energetically, mentally and practically) to get themselves to where they want to be.

While they look productive on the outside, many of them are treading water on the inside. They’re spreading themselves too thin, and their minds and lives are busy and full to the brim.

I’m here to let you know that there is another way, and that you don’t have to do it all on your own.

What if you were to give yourself permission to share the load?

Here’s how you can begin to share the load and reclaim your time and energy, so you can do more of what’s important to you.

1. Delegate

Whether it’s at work, or in your personal life, delegating will support you to create lots more space in your day!

Let’s start by mastering the art of delegation.  Let go of the sense of guilt that often comes with asking others to take greater responsibility.  Allow your team to build their skills and capabilities by taking on some of what you’ve been holding onto.  

Delegation is one of the key traits of working like a Queen Bee, and it’s this kind of work that gets women recognised and promoted in their workplaces. 

Consider who you have on your team, what their strengths and interests are, and what tasks/meetings/opportunities you can hand over to them.

But don’t just stop there.  Think about how you can delegate a little more in your personal life.  Sometimes as women we OVER FUNCTION allowing our kids, partner other family members to UNDER FUNCTION.  

Let go of the need to control it all. It may mean the washing/cleaning/shopping isn’t done to your usual high standards – and that’s OK!  You don’t have to do everything on your own (nor should you!) 

2. Be okay with saying no 

Just because someone asks you to do something, doesn’t mean you should, or that you have to.

It’s okay to say no to work tasks that don’t fit your brief, or would be better executed by someone else.

And it’s okay to say no to social engagements when you’d rather stay in and relax.

The best thing you can do for yourself, and everyone else in your life, is honour your time and energy, and work in your zone of genius. Saying no to the things that don’t support you to do this will bring you closer to your goals and dreams.

3. Ask for help

You have other people in your personal life, and in your workplace, for a reason … to support you! 

There’s no shame in asking for help. In fact, all of the great women and leaders I know, constantly ask for help.

It takes courage and vulnerability to call on others for support when you’re so used to doing everything on your own, but it’s worth it.

Not only will you have more time and space in your day, by leaning on other people (whether that be your colleagues or loved ones) it will allow them feel valued and important too.

It’s a win-win situation.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic ladies!

If you feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders and are exhausted from doing and achieving (even though you may be great at it!), know that you are not alone.

Please pop on over to our free Facebook Group for mid career professional women, share your experience and join in the conversation! 

Together, we can support one another and find ways of sharing the load. 

See you in the group!

LET'S CONNECT

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Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
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Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

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4 quick ways to create more white space in your calendar (so you have time to think, breathe and lead!)

4 quick ways to create more white space in your calendar (so you have time to think, breathe and lead!)

And the great news is, when you do, you have more of a chance at getting your skills, talents and achievements seen and recognised (hello, promotions and opportunities!) PLUS, you’ll feel far less exhausted!

Mid career professionals are employed as leaders to think, not just do.

Unfortunately, many leader’s calendars are overflowing with tasks, back-to-back meetings and inboxes full of emails. Despite sometimes working nights and weekends in an effort to stay on top of things, they never seem to catch up. They are time poor and exhausted.

When you’re busy, it can be easy to think that you can’t invite white space into your calendar. But you can! 

Here’s 4 easy ways you can create more white space in your calendar, today!

One – Delegate

If you lead a team you have them for a reason, so utilise them! It’s not your job to do Busy Bee work, it’s your job to do Queen Bee work. Having white space allows you to do this!

Consider who you have on your team, what their strengths and interests are, and what tasks/meetings/opportunities you can hand over to them.

Two – Say no

As a leader, you don’t have to say yes to every request that crosses your path. In fact, a leader stands in her power, assesses how doing said task may or may not add value to the organisation, and makes a considered decision from there.

Saying no doesn’t make you weak or incapable, it establishes you as an authority!

Three – Prioritise

It can be easy to want to do everything and ‘close all the tabs’ at the end of the work day/week but the simple fact of the matter is, the work will never be over.

Prioritising what is most important will support you to stay focussed on the work that truly matters and supports the growth of your team, your organisation and your career.

Four – Carve out time

Once you’ve gotten into a rhythm delegating, saying no and prioritising, you can create some white space in your calendar and carve out time to work on bigger and more strategic projects (the ones that get you recognised for the leader you truly are!)

This space will allow you to get your creative juices flowing, solve problems and create new and innovative ideas that will make you stand out in the crowd and put you in a position of power.

Make this time a non-negotiable and treat it with the respect it deserves! 


Want to dive deeper into this topic (and so much more!)? 

In my free training, The Next Level: A 14 Minute Crash Course In How To Breakthrough To The Next Level Of Leadership, Impact and Recognition, I teach mid career professional women, like you, how to breakthrough to their next level of leadership, impact and recognition quickly and easily.

You’ll walk away with practical and tangible steps that you can implement straight away that will support you to create even more white space, move from doing to leading, and be seen as an authority in your workplace.

You can sign up for the free training here.

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
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The 80/20 Rule: Stop Wasting Your Time

The 80/20 Rule: Stop Wasting Your Time

In a world where the most valuable commodity we have is TIME, finding ways to maximise our results with less effort is paramount to our success and sanity.   We seem to be in a constant battle to “get it all done” while struggling against distractions, putting out the spot fires and completing low value busy work that can chew up most of the day.

I am all for finding ways of working smarter not harder… and embracing the 80/20 Rule is one of those ways.

The 80/20 Rule, also known as the Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of our results come from 20% of our efforts. I think we know this instinctively. There are days that we get stuck in the busy work and make very little progress on the things that are going to make a difference. And then there are days when we focus our energy and efforts on the big ticket projects that will have a real impact on results of the team and the business.

It is on those days when you focus on what will really make a difference, that you will get seen, heard and applauded.  It is on those days that you will get flagged as someone who deserves the next big opportunities. It is because of those days, that you will get recognised for what you are truly capable of.

And all too often when work gets busy I see women working harder and longer hours, when really a better solution would be to pause and identify where to target their efforts. Great results more often come from working smarter not harder.

I wonder, are you focusing on the tasks that will produce the biggest results?

Here are my top 5 ways to put the 80/20 Rule to work for you.

1.  Know your core work.   At the heart of the 80/20 Rule is understanding what is the core of your role. By using the 80/20 Rule we can identify the most impactful tasks and understand where to focus our time and energy.

It is all about clarifying those activities and tasks that will get you the best results with the least amount of time and effort. Learning to recognise and then focus on the 20% high return activities is the key to making the most effective use your time.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you to identify the core of your work.

  • What have you been employed to deliver?
  • What are the key outcomes expected of you?
  • What are the few things if done well will mean that you are doing your job well?
  • What are the numbers/KPI’s that matter most?
  • Which aspect of your role does your boss focus on?

Once you know the answer to these questions you will be clearer on where to prioritise your efforts and what things you must never drop the ball on.

2.  Let go of the less important. So for all the perfectionists out there, this may be a bit challenging. But sometimes we just have too much on the plate to do it all. It is time to give up trying to do it all and focus on 20% of tasks that are going to give you the biggest bang for your buck and only tackling the rest once the big ticket items are taken care of.

3.  Learn to say NO. Your value comes from doing your core work… and doing it well. If you get caught up saying YES to EVERY project or fiddly job that comes along, then you will never have the time or energy to do the work that will really make a difference.

4.  Protect Against Distraction. The modern world is filled with distractions with beeping smart phones, Facebook messages, emails that ping even in the middle of the night and people wanting a piece of you at every turn.

To be more productive and focus in on the important tasks we must learn to interrupt the interruptions. We must build a fortress around ourselves and carve out some sacred space for creative thinking and high productivity.

I do this by taking myself to a local café where I DON’T have internet access. It is here that I can focus in on the core activities that will make the biggest difference without the distractions of all things digital.

What can you do to reduce the distractions?

5.  Time slots and Batching. Everyone has a time slot in their day when they do their finest work. Do you know when yours is? Mine is definitely before midday so I schedule a couple of morning blocks of time each week, keeping these reserved for writing, creative and strategic work.

Consider batching the “mindless” busy jobs (eg: responding to simple emails, phone calls) or less intense meetings for your less productive times of the day and reserving chunks of time in your diary for your core work. And YES you will need to schedule it into your diary. If it is not in the diary, generally it doesn’t happen.

Applying the 80/20 Rule is not only about productivity and effectiveness. It is an effect way to maintain your sanity in this crazy busy world and get you recognised for your ability to get extraordinary outcomes. Lets commit to taking the time to recognise what is giving us 80% of our results and focus our attention on that.

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

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3 Easy Steps To Be More Productive

3 Easy Steps To Be More Productive

How is it that we can be busy all day… but at the end of the day feel like we have achieved so little?  The problem lies in the fact that we are so often busy … but not overly productive! Just because you are stuck at your desk all day working through a long list of tasks does not necessarily equate to being productive.Being busy gives us the belief that we are working hard and makes us feel like we are contributing, while in fact we are spinning our wheels going no where fast.

When we are merely busy we tend to get caught up in and focus on things that we think are important and need to be done like responding to emails, attending endless meetings and mindlessly implementing time consuming, ineffective processes.

Being busy may make you appear impressive, and give you an elevated sense of importance, but of course it is nothing more than an illusion.  Being busy does not equate to producing results.  Most often, being busy gets in the way of achieving the results we are ultimately capable of.

Some people, maybe even you, wear their busyness like a badge of honor.  When asked, “how are you?” have you ever answered “busy!” When we respond in this way, I wonder, are we seeking praise, acknowledgement or sympathy?

To be more productive is something entirely different from being busy. 

Being productive is working smarter not harder.  It is about putting your energy where you will get the greatest return on your efforts.   It is having clear goals backed up with a workable strategy to meet your targets and investing in the activities that will get you to your outcome as quickly as possible.

Pareto’s Principle also known as the 80/20 rule, states that for many events, roughly 80% our effects come from 20% of the causes.

When we apply this to our role at work and as a leader, it looks a little like this;

  • 20% of our effort creates 80% of our results,
  • 20% of our customers generate 80% of our sales,
  • 20% of our team produce 80% of the innovation.

So believing this to be true, imagine the results we could achieve if we were to identify which 20% of our work created 80% of our results and spent more time and energy in this area!

Image the impact and influence you could have as a leader by focusing on what will really get you improved results.  And with the improved results comes more recognition, maximising the perceived value you bring to the team and ultimately… hopefully, a pay increase, promotion or opportunity to work on an exciting project.

3 Easy Steps To Becoming More Productive

1.  Review: Take a critical look at how you spend each day.  Record for at least a week how you spend each hour, then classify each task into one of the following categories

  1. Time waster or “busy work”
  2. Required important work with low to medium return
  3. Highly productive work with high return

2.  Identify: Identify the top 20% of activities that generate the highest return for you in terms of results.

Likewise, get brutally honest with yourself about what are your “time wasters,” and decide how you are going to best manage yourself around these.  This doesn’t necessarily mean eliminating them all together.  Some of our time wasters are what add spice and enjoyment to our workday.

3.  Act: Commit today to allocate more time and energy to these high return activities while eliminating or significantly limiting your engagement in “time wasting” activities.

I also find it helps to schedule the high impact activities into your day when you feel most alert and in a productive mood.  For me this is first thing in the morning.  So if this is you too…. resist the temptation to get lost in the mountains of emails you have waiting or engaging in chat on social media and get the important stuff done first!  And by morning coffee time you will be well on your way to a super productive day.

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

Satisfied with work. Concentrated ambitious delighted woman holding her glasses while looking for some good ideas for her new project at work using a laptop in a cozy office.

5 keys to creating momentum for…

Have you noticed that many women underestimate their abilities and fail to shine a light on their performance? Are you one of those women? If you are … you are absolutely not alone. Here’s how to build the courage to step into all you are capable of.

Jane Benston

Successful business women. Well educated female leaders. Young and mature ladies standing together confidently over light wall.

You are already capable

Have you noticed that many women underestimate their abilities and fail to shine a light on their performance? Are you one of those women? If you are … you are absolutely not alone. Here’s how to build the courage to step into all you are capable of.

Jane Benston

Bored young businesswoman holding paper and looking away while sitting on chair against grey background

7 common mistakes women make that…

Being overlooked for a promotion, pay rise or being excluded on a high profile project can be devastating. I’ve seen it rock women to their core, and put a dent in their self-belief and confidence. Here are 7 common mistakes mid-career professional women make that leave them overlooked for promotion.

Jane Benston