Life Coaches and Certified Parenting Coaches deal often with two primary issues: time and energy. The classic secret to time management for an entrepreneur is to show the client how to manage their personal organization and not time. Whereas, managing your energy relates to Full-Wave-breathing, exercise, and movement.
Just as electrical equipment functions best when receiving a solid surge of electricity, so do you. In your case, the power you need is energy, which gives you stamina for the day and the ability to kick into high gear when necessary to deal with a problem. It’s not that you have to be perky all day or load up on four shot espresso coffees to get focused. Yet, you do need to know your energy is at its highest and lowest as the entrepreneur working from home.
When you understand how your personal energy patterns ebb and flow, you use that knowledge to support your time management strategy. Are you a night person, who works late but starts slow in the mornings? Are you an early bird who can get up before dawn, exercise, arrive early at your desk to get organized for the day? Then you are a lark!
Or are you a mid-day entrepreneur who starts slow, picks up speed then tapers off in the late afternoon? These patterns relate to your natural energy flow also called bio-rhythms. Some people chart these patterns weekly and monthly and use them to make their schedule, work, or travel commitments.
Or, you can observe yourself and note which hours are your prime working hours–the hours when you can be highly productive with the least effort or tiredness. Just make a simple chart of the day on graph paper or on a spreadsheet-based graph.
List your waking hours on the bottom and a high, medium, low rating along the side. Then make an “X” for your energy level at each hour of the day. As you connect the dots, you’ll notice a pattern of energy highs and lows. Do this for several days and see how consistent the pattern is.
Knowing your prime working hours (early bird, midday, evening) is extremely helpful in how you schedule the complicated tasks in your workday. If you have a choice in scheduling the time to make a presentation at a conference, and you are a midday person, ask for a time between 11 am to 3 pm.
Don’t say yes to the 8am presentation time. You will wake up sluggish and not be sharp even though you know the material. The same is true for dividing tasks. With a large project, divide the elements so that you plan to work on the creative writing or material calculations during the prime energy time of your workday. Your mind will be more alert and you will have the energy to focus on complicated work.
During your off-peak energy times, gather related materials or do some aspect of the project that is less detailed and does not require a high level of creative energy or decision-making. After using this approach for a few weeks, you’ll see what happened on those days when your time management plan seemed to derail even though you were motivated to do the work.
You simply scheduled the wrong task for your lower energy times and so your output was less than anticipated. As with electrical power, peak periods are more expensive. Peak periods in your workday, as an entrepreneur are more valuable, so allocate them wisely and use that high-energy surge to get the work done faster and better.
Traditionally, many school-aged children love school and look forward to start of a new school year. But for other children, it’s also a time of great stress. In fact, stress—those overwhelming feelings of doubt about ourselves or our ability to handle things—is as common in children as adults. The greatest challenge to parents today is teaching children to manage stress effectively. Children may react to excess stress with behavior that seems immature, inappropriate, or even disturbing. One child exhibits anxiety and tears the night before going back to school. Another child speaks of new teacher and asks her parents questions while trying to imagine the teacher’s personality. Another child enjoys shopping for school clothes and looks forward to seeing new friends. Stress can be terrifying to children who lack the emotional maturity or experience to understand and deal with it. The challenge for parents, teachers, and other caretakers include how to recognize signs of stress in children of different ages, how to know when stress threatens to overwhelm a child, and what to do about it. In Nurture Your Child’s Gift, I offer excellent suggestions to help parents cope with their children’s stress. A stressed-out condition can result from a specific cause or from life in general. Here are some examples:
- At 17, Jen was a high school senior expecting to graduate with honors in the Spring. Just before Christmas, however, Jen’s father lost his job and the family had to move into the basement of a cousin’s house. Jen soon developed a severe allergy, then asthma. The illness cost her so much time from school that she required home-schooling to make up the difference.
- Mark was only two when his parents divorced. Confused, Mark wandered the house, calling plaintively for his father, but weekends with Dad made him cry. Most weekends, Mark developed upset stomachs that were so bad he’d miss preschool on Mondays.
Toddlers need to feel safe and comfortable. Stress for preschool children can arise from a new face at home or at day care, the disappearance of a familiar face, visiting lots of new places at once, or abrupt changes in the family’s structure, relationships or daily routine. During the grade-school years, children become concerned with pleasing people like teachers, parents, guardians and coaches. School life—even a change in assigned seating or having to take a test—brings higher levels of stress every year. And when it comes to peers, even the threat of diminished acceptance is terrifying. Sleep-overs, birthday parties, sporting events and music competitions can trigger stressful reactions. Through middle school and beyond, the pressures kids feel from parents, teachers, peers, society at large, and from within increases. Children have to learn adapt to these pressures. Because they have grown in their intelligence, curiosity and knowledge of community, demands for their attention, time, energy and effort can often feel like a tug of war. As in the cases of Mark and Jen, it is not unusual for life-altering events to express themselves in illness. At the University of Missouri, for instance, researcher Mark Flinn found that a child’s risk of upper-respiratory infection increases by 200 percent for the seven days following a high-stress event. And parents like Miranda’s might confuse what they believe are normal behavior with an expression of anxiety. Children often display their tensions in small acts that have aggressive undertones.
How You Can Help
- There are many ways parents can help their children deal with stress and stressful situations.
- Don’t try to fix everything for the child, and avoid offering advice. Sometimes just listening so that your child feels truly heard may be enough to relieve the stress.
- As you listen, ask questions that encourage your child to think a situation through. “What’s the next step?” or “How would you handle that?” are good questions. Ask a lot of “what-if” questions, too.
- Help children listen to themselves. Nurture Your Child’s Gift suggests quiet-time techniques for children to listen to nature sounds like rain or waves upon the beach, to their own heartbeat, or to recordings of whales, dolphins or birds.
- Encourage children to spend time listening to their thoughts. When they feel free to speak their own thoughts aloud about a situation, things suddenly become clear.
- Nurture Your Child’s Gift details a diaphragmatic breathing exercise for kids and parents. Shallow breathing is associated with the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. Deeper, effective breathing produces feelings of relaxation and calm.
- Use soothing and rhythmic music, even simple drumming, to help your child relieve muscle tension. It works!
- Don’t overlook exercise for releasing stress and tension. It works for your child just as it does for you. Have children walk the dog, get on the treadmill or stretch through easy yoga movements for children. Any movement they enjoy will help ease stress away.
- Parents can do much to alleviate stress in their children’s lives. Effectively dealing with your own stress is the first step. Showing your kids how to release their stress comes next.
Copyright © Caron B. Goode.
Consultants and coaches supporting people through life changes can use these tips.
1. Acceptance The largest and most necessary step to change is acceptance. Life events always change, and expecting and accepting that premise helps us cope more readily. My friend Louisa received a diagnosis of cancer. Through the support of her family and friends, she coped well during the treatment sessions. All of us, who supported her healing journey, were grateful that she was not embarrassed to ask for help. She gladly allowed our small acts of kindness to ease her path. Louisa got over feeling guilty when asking for help, and I got over reminding her that I was there to support her. 2. Learn to Shift Out of Your Comfort Zone Does it seem that changes occur as soon as you are comfortable or set in a routine? Most likely, you don’t expect a major change if your guard is down.
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Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
3. Talk About Your Feelings Towards Change If you tend to let things build up inside, choose now to stop that habit. You may be a person who doesn’t like to share personal feelings. Or you might be embarrassed to share them. If the changes are at work, for instance, consider talking to your manager about the impact of those changes. Present your concerns in a professional manner and stick to purposeful breathing which helps you feeling angry or overwhelmed. 4. Try to Turn the Change in Your Favor The phrase turn lemons into lemonade has widely been overused. However, it’s hard to deny the meaning of it and the impact of that meaning. If you are dealing with change, in one form or another, see what angles you can use to make it work to your benefit. 5. Keep Changes You Can Control to a Minimum If you try to enact too many changes at once, it may overwhelm the people who are affected by them. People need time to absorb those changes and incorporate them into their lives. Sometimes, the changes you put into place may be out of your control. However, if you do have control over them, introducing them slowly over time helps those who affected to adjust and accept more easily. 6. Join Support Groups If you have been affected by changes and needed to talk to another person, then you know that we need each others’ support. This is so true when death or a long-term illness occurs. Are the types of changes you experience similar to others’ experiences. Would a support group help in adjusting? 7. Trust Your Instincts You may be forced into situations or decisions that go against what you believe.. If you find yourself in such a situation, it’s best to go with your gut or trust your instincts. If the change doesn’t feel right and you have no power to counter it, try to remove yourself from the situation. I have counseled others in tough situations, and solutions varied from changing jobs to taking time from work and seeking another person to help you clarify your vision and feelings. If you need help, seek it out. 8. Change Can Lead to Unforeseen Opportunities The whole point of being able to deal with change effectively is acceptance. When you start to focus on change being something that is good, opportunities have a way of finding you. These opportunities may not have presented themselves had the changes not occurred.
Do you know that the tool–creative visualization– allows for manifestation? Using viewing, as it is intended, changes your circumstances and sometimes your entire life. Concentrating and focusing on a particular outcome can, indeed, make it happen because I have experienced it several times in my life.
When I was a divorced mom with a beautiful young daughter, I read the novel Hawaii during the summer months that school was out. The author James Michener, wrote with such fluency that the story mesmerized me. I day-dreamed about Hawaii and what life there might be for a Special Education teacher.
I imagined it often enough that I unwittingly created a marriage to a native Hawaiian teacher. I was not careful what I asked for, and the union dissolved after seven years.
Visualization works. When paired with positive emotional states, it works better.
Goodman was a successful insurance salesman, who was well-versed in creative visualization. He visualized his entire insurance business.
In the 1980’s, a plane crash rendered Morris paralyzed and unable to use any part of his body other than his brain. He breathed on his own with the help of a ventilator.
Doctors were not hopeful. His family made plans to support his limitations as best they could. Meantime, Morris communicated with the staff and his own family by blinking his eyes. What he told them surprised everybody – that he planned on walking out of the hospital on his own.
Morris used creative visualization to see and feel himself breathing and walking without help. He visualized leaving the hospital, and even the very route he would take home.
At one point, he convinced the medical staff that he wanted to attempt breathing on his own. He claimed he had an urge to breathe on his own and he wanted to try. They removed the ventilator tube, and he did breathe on his own.
From that point on, he walked out of the hospital–something that the hospital staff believed they would not see. Morris continued with his successful insurance business, and also became a motivational speaker, proving that it only takes the brain and creative visualization to change your entire world.