One of life’s biggest challenges is personal reinvention. I recently experienced a series of traumatic losses that rewrote my reality. Moving past those moments meant I needed to figure out how to fit into my own world again. This year’s AE Institute in Austin, Texas, gave me an invaluable tool to help me do that at just the right time.
How are you perceived by the people around you? Are you known for getting things done, being reliable, or the go-to person? If not, that’s a great indication that it might be time to reset your personal brand. —Your Someday Is Now. What Are You Waiting For?
It was Gail Lowney Alofsin’s session, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours! Seven Non-negotiables of Customer Service.” It was here where she talked about her book, Your Someday Is Now. What Are You Waiting For?, which focuses is on maximizing your time and establishing your personal brand. The book’s layout is workbook-style, with questions at the end of each chapter and advice from more than a hundred business professionals just like us. I recommend you take your time going through it, making notes and highlighting what resonates with you. There are a lot of excellent points, but I am going to select a few things that helped me break my slump and improve my own productivity exponentially.
But before I dive into that, I want to mention a quick read Alofsin also recommended: Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time, by Brian Tracy.
Procrastination is the enemy of time management, and it affects many of us, preventing us from being the best version of ourselves. Eat That Frog gives a series of 21 recommendations on how to beat the procrastination bug and get things done. It starts with taking the toughest thing on your to-do list and conquering that first. This thing is called the frog.
When I joined the U.S. Army at age 20, one of the first activities was to go into a small, enclosed room and experience the effects of tear gas so that we would be motivated to take the immediate required actions to protect ourselves and our fellow soldiers. It was horrible. After that experience, I could do absolutely anything as long as I did not have to do that again.
The concept of Eat That Frog works the same way. Make that phone call. Organize those files. Type those meeting minutes. You will not have to anticipate them anymore. As Alofsin said, “Your day can only get better from there!”
Now Back to Alofsin’s Book
The first point I loved in the book is a simple reminder that we all have the exact same amount of time in a day, week, month, and year. No more, no less. The only thing in time we can control is how we apply it. Because we have only a set amount of time, it is impossible to do everything. If you have many projects and deadlines, you will have to put some things off in order to succeed overall. This is where “creative procrastination” comes into play. In order to procrastinate creatively, you must pick your projects. Your success will greatly improve if you choose to procrastinate on the things that are easier to accomplish, rather than the more difficult ones.
Chapter 4, “Busy is Not a Contest,” points out that no matter our experience level, there are many of us who just cannot say no. However, a politely delivered no is a vital tool in our arsenal of success. ”Busy for the sake of busy” benefits no one and can burn you out quickly. Instead of running yourself into the ground, perhaps delegating or scheduling tasks for a time when your calendar is less full will help you better meet your goals for success.
Chapters 11 and 12 are perfect together because they focus on who you are. How are you perceived by the people around you? Are you known for getting things done, being reliable, or the go-to person? If not, that’s a great indication that it might be time to reset your personal brand.
Rebranding isn’t an easy process, as anyone who has been through it will tell you. It takes looking at who you are in the moment. Throughout our lives, we might discover ourselves in a rut at one time or another. If that’s the case for you, don’t despair. It just means that it’s time to rebrand. These two chapters give practical advice on where to begin and offer a step-by-step path out of the rut.
This book, and the opportunity to speak with Alofsin at the AE Institute, helped shake off my cobwebs. Rebranding is a tough process, not for the faint of heart, but it is well worth the effort.
For more information, visit gailalofsin.com.