Jul 162022
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Procrastination Clock

It’s the night before a project is due, and you haven’t even started on it. Now, you’re going to have to stay up most of the night to get it done. You make the excuse that you always do your best work under pressure. But really, is that true? Wouldn’t you have done a better job if you’d put the project together earlier, when you were well rested and then fleshed it out? And now, you’ll have a sleepless night and be tired when you turn in the project.

Procrastination is a major cause of stress and anxiety, and lowers the standard of your work. You may miss deadlines and, as a result, undermine others’ respect of you. In addition, this habit reduces your productivity, effectiveness and can cost you money. The chore you’re trying to ignore is always in the back of your mind, taking up emotional and spiritual energy. If you’re like most people, you probably feel guilty and beat yourself up when you avoid a task.

Reasons Why You Procrastinate

Most of us procrastinate to some degree or other, but there are some to whom this is a destructive and chronic habit. To address the issue, you must become aware that it exists, and why it’s a problem for you. The following are some reasons you may be procrastinating.

Resistance. It’s not a task you want to do, so you put it off until the last minute. Because the chore is boring or time consuming, you resent that you must complete it.

Perfectionism. You wait to gather as much information as you can, and hope to find the inspiration to put it all together. But because you never get everything you hope for, you delay starting the task until the deadline looms. 

Fear. You’re not sure how to proceed or to get it done. You don’t believe you have the knowledge or skills to do it effectively.

Overwhelm. It’s a huge task, and you don’t know how to get started, or the scope of the issue is overwhelming you.

Disorganized. You don’t have all your notes or details together. Or maybe, you’re often interrupted so you don’t have time to pull everything together.

Uncertain. You don’t know what to do, so you put off making any decisions or taking any action until you have no other choice.

Ways to Overcome Procrastination

Procrastination is a choice. You decide to put something off, something that’s unpleasant, so you focus on something less important, and easier. Once you recognize your issue, you can find solutions.

Break the chore into smaller pieces. Outline what you must do to get the project done. Make sure each item on the list is bite-sized and easy to manage. Being able to handle small pieces will lower your stress and anxiety.

Schedule the chores. Put each small task on your calendar and make sure to keep your appointment with yourself. Each time you can mark one task done, you’ll get a surge of good feelings because the reward center of your brain is triggered. This gives you motivation to keep your next appointment.

Prioritize your lists. If you have a to-do list (as most of us do), prioritize the items and schedule them in accordance with their importance. Again, as you accomplish them, your brain receives a reward and you have a stronger incentive to repeat your action.

Dedicate 5-minutes. If you really feel overwhelmed or resistant, set aside just five minutes to work on your chore. It’s easier to dip your toe into the pool than to dive in head first. This will allow you to chip away at the tasks, and feel productive. If five minutes becomes easy, extend it to ten or fifteen.

Procrastination is a habit that developed in your life over time. The habit won’t be overcome in a day or a week. It took time to create it, and it will take time to break it. Breaking it takes time, dedication, consistency and focus. When you realize that you have the choice to procrastinate or take action, then you’re empowered to choose what’s in your best interest.

Affirmation:

At every moment, I’m Divinely guided with every step I take. As I take a step, the Universe ensures the next one appears. The Universe provides me with everything I need to complete my tasks. I am confident, inspired, uplifted and empowered to take action and fulfill my goals.  

Watch the accompanying video, 3 Tips to Overcome Procrastination.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Do You Suffer from the Shiny Object Syndrome?

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Jun 062022
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Shiny Pennies

The Shiny Object Syndrome has many names: bright and shiny syndrome, bright penny syndrome, squirrel, or just plain scattered. Mainly, it’s a condition in which you’re distracted from working towards an objective by something new and different. This means that you don’t complete what you were working on because you’ve abandoned it for something more attractive.

The Shiny Object Syndrome has also been called by its initials, “S.O.S.” This term originally meant, “Save Our Ship,” indicating a ship was in distress and urgently needed help. The same is true of the Shiny Object Syndrome. It’s a signal to you that there’s something amiss with your vision or plan, and you’re going off course personally or professionally.

What Can Detour You

There are so many opportunities, ideas and temptations to divert you from your goal. Many times you get lured from a goal with a shiny object because you’ve gotten bored, stuck, dissatisfied or hit a snag. Rather than working through the issue, and sticking to your plan or practice, you jumped to something different that caught your attention and seemed to be more interesting.

For instance, you’re cleaning out your garage, and get distracted by a lawn chair you want to fix. After pulling together all the materials for the repair, you find some old magazines you want to go through. You get sidetracked by each item you find, and don’t finish the garage cleaning.

Or, in your business, you find yourself going through a dry period. Instead of doing what you know will bring you clients, you’re introduced to a new marketing technique. While learning about and executing that new tactic, you decide to also add another service or product. All the time spent with the latest idea is time away from the tried and true, which means the original problem gets worse.

Why You Get Distracted

Your brain loves the excitement and stimulation of something new. That’s why, when you’re bored, you seek out a more exciting activity. Anything novel triggers the reward centers of your brain and makes you feel good. It could be something as simple as checking your email or getting a text on your phone. But it’s a false sense of accomplishment and won’t help you in the long term.

The problem is that when you chase the new and different, it creates confusion and stress. Rather than deliberately following through on your plan so you can learn and grow, you react to whatever shows up in your immediate vicinity. Your chaotic thinking keeps you from being deliberate in your decisions. Instead, you react based on old programming and information, and stay stuck in the same old rut.

How to Overcome S.O.S.

There are some definite steps you can take once you’ve noticed that you’re spinning your wheels and getting nowhere. Here are some questions and steps to take.

Clarity. Figure out how you got off course. What’s at the core of the issue? Are you avoiding something? If so, what and why? Once you’ve determined the issue, get clear on what it is you want.

Vision and plan. Your vision evolves from what you want. It’s your destination in a year to three years. From that, you determine your plan of how to get there. Without a vision and plan, you’ll continue to chase shiny objects.

Focus on priorities. What you focus on at any moment becomes your priority. Is your priority going to chase something new that triggers your reward circuit in the short term? Or are you going to work on more practical tasks that will allow you to get to the next step of your plan?

Dealing with the Shiny Object Syndrome isn’t hopeless. With understanding of the cause, and some direction of how to tame it, you can overcome S.O.S. Recognizing the syndrome when it happens, and taking immediate action, will allow you to take charge and fulfill your goals and vision.

Affirmation:

When I’m scattered and distracted, I become aware of it. I recognize it simply as a signal that something is amiss. The signal allows me to take stock of what I’m doing and what I want to achieve. The Universe guides and directs my thoughts and actions. As I focus on my desires, the Law of Attraction provides me with all I need to be successful.

Watch the accompanying video, Defuse the Shiny Object Syndrome.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Is Your Attention on Your Intention?

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Apr 202022
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Where are you putting your attention? Is it on your intention, vision or what you want to create in your life? There’s an expression, “Energy flows where attention goes.” Whatever you’re focusing on will be the direction your energy will go, whether it’s towards your dream or away from it. This is true whether you want to start a new habit of meditating every day, write more, or follow up on leads for your business. Is your attention on what you want or do you get sidetracked?

To achieve your goal, you need to have a plan and benchmarks to follow. But you may get distracted or scattered as you try to act on them. It’s inevitable that crises will happen and unexpected tasks get shoved into your schedule. This only becomes a problem if these issues become chronic. Your subconscious may have been trained to keep you off track by creating problems. The solution is to refocus on what’s really important first and deal with the unexpected later in the day.

Establish Your Priorities

A plan is necessary and you have to work your plan to achieve success. Establishing your priorities is an integral part of fulfilling your intention. You have to make your next step or goal your primary mission each day. If you don’t, you’ll allow life’s diversions to pull you off course. It all depends on where you put your focus. Because wherever you put your attention makes that task or situation your priority.

For instance, let’s say you want to finish a project. But when the phone rings, you answer it, interrupting your work. By answering, you’ve allowed your phone to take precedence over your task. And you give your subconscious the message that the call is more important than your project. That means your subconscious will create more interruptions because it follows your lead.

On a personal level, you may want to lose weight. But you’re tempted by indulging in a bowl of ice cream. If you decide to eat the ice cream, your attention has shifted from weight loss to treating yourself. You’ve made pampering yourself your priority and have undermined your intention of losing weight. Do this more than a couple of times in a short time frame and you’ll create a habit that will destroy your original goal.

Your Intentions Are Important

In a professional capacity, many people will set their interests aside to help a coworker work on a report. The coworker is capable of doing it by themself, but they want help. Instead of taking the responsibility of handling it, the coworker finds someone to assist or support them.

Unfortunately, the person who has agreed to help ignores their own priorities to fulfill the other person’s goal. In helping, they’re acting on someone else’s agenda and not attending to their own. This occurs when you don’t let the phone go to voicemail, frequently check your email or don’t put a sign on your door saying, “Do Not Disturb,” when you need to complete a project. When you don’t focus on and stand up for your intention, then you allow another person’s goal to take precedence over yours.

Focus on Your Priorities

In general, women especially tend to put other people’s wants ahead of their well-being. Their focus is to try to make sure everyone else is happy and satisfied before they address their own intentions.  They forget that others are just as capable of fulfilling their own desires.

How often do you give an employee a task or train a coworker and say to yourself, “It would be easier and faster to do it myself?” When you fall into this trap of doing the work yourself, you’re telling them that you don’t believe they can do their job. You’re also instructing your subconscious to keep you overwhelmed. Again, you’re setting aside your priorities to handle someone else’s.

When you give your employee a task and allow them to complete it, you’re helping to build their confidence. Once trained, a coworker will be able to take some responsibility off your shoulders. This will give you more time to focus on your priorities.

How to Be Intentional

Every day, you have hundreds of decisions to make. Many of those have to do with your intention, vision or dream. To stay focused on it, you have to stay conscious and mindful, and not fall into the trap of just reacting to whatever shows up. Whenever you have something unexpected occur, ask yourself, “Is this someone else’s agenda?” and “Will this interfere with my intention?”

If the answer to these questions is, “Yes,” then you have to choose what’s more important, your intention or theirs. But remember, the only way you’ll be able to fulfill your dream is to keep your attention on your intention.

Affirmation:

The Universe supports me in all my endeavors.  I keep my intention in mind at all times. Whenever anything unexpected takes place, I stay conscious and mindful and make decisions that support my intention. I realize that everyone has the ability to take care of their own challenges. By attending to my agenda, I’m empowered and empower others to handle their own.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

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Mar 272020
 

Manage Your Attention, Not Your Time

So many stimuli compete for your attention each day that by the end of it, your brain feels like scrambled eggs. You can prevent that from happening by being more conscious of how you divide your attention over specific tasks. Here are three ways to keep your focus flowing.

5 Habits That Turn Off Negative Thinking

Negative thoughts only affect you if you give them power. But all too often they catch your attention and disturb your effectiveness. But you have the ability to turn that around and reduce their damage. You have control over your mind, and this article gives you some direction on how to take charge.

Impostor Syndrome: Why Success Makes You Feel Like A Fraud

The imposter syndrome typically happens to high achieving individuals who have a hard time adjusting to their success. It refers to the fear of being found out that their success is due to luck and not their abilities. This article explores this syndrome so you can understand it more fully and suggests ways to combat it.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

How to Manifest Your Ideal Life

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Feb 032020
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Do you know what your ideal life would be like? I don’t mean that you’ve won the lottery and are living the life of a multi-millionaire. That would be nice, I know. But I mean a life that is realistic and that you can create for yourself through your thoughts and actions.

You’ve already created the life you have now, through your thoughts, beliefs and behaviors. These have either been programmed in the past or were of your deliberate choosing. The Law of Attraction took that programming and brought you the life you now have. To create your ideal life, take charge and mold your life into what you want it to be.

As you consider your ideal life, you develop clarity about what it would consist of. Contemplate a life that delivers all you need to be happy, healthy and fulfilled. Although it needs to be realistic, don’t aim too low. Really dream about a life that would bring you joy. Once you’ve begun the process, it’s time to get specific.

Six steps to create your ideal life:

Create the vision. Your vision gives your subconscious and the Law of Attraction a destination. It’s where you want to end up. As you develop your vision, consider how your life could flow smoothly. Imagine that all you need is provided. Reflect on what you want in the way of harmony, health, travel and relationships. What kind of schedule do you want to keep? This is the time to really dream.

Focus on one area. If you try to work on too many goals at the same time, you spread your energy too thin. Your subconscious and the Law of Attraction will get overwhelmed. You’ll be able to advance a little bit on some of them, but it will be so small that you’ll get discouraged. Instead, pick an area that you really want to change, and focus on that first. You’ll reach it much sooner and then be able to move on to your next goal.

Develop the steps. What do you need to do to create your ideal life? Break your steps down into mini-steps, making them easy to accomplish. How much of it can you achieve in 90 days? Make that your goal. When you have a vision, it may seem too distant and unattainable. Breaking your vision into 90 day goals makes it much more approachable and doable. Then attend to your immediate goal every day, accomplishing one task toward its achievement. This convinces your subconscious and the Law of Attraction that you really are dedicated to your goal.

Construct a visualization. Visualization isn’t just “seeing” something in your mind. Write out your vision completely, as if you’re scripting it. Include how you act and feel with it being accomplished. This gives your subconscious and the Law of Attraction a model to follow. As you do, you may discover that you want to change some habits or attitudes about yourself or your vision. Also script how you accomplish your next step. With this visualization, you’re rehearsing your actions, which make it easier to follow through with in life. Read your script every day.

Check your progress. As you move forward, you may get detoured or distracted. This is normal. Life happens. Every week, take a few minutes to evaluate how far you’ve come and whether you’re still on course. If not, adjust your course to get back on track. Plan out your week, and schedule your next steps. Continually committing yourself to your vision means that you will accomplish it and empowers the Law of Attraction.

Celebrate your achievements. No matter how small the accomplishment, give yourself a mental pat on the back. It feels good to acknowledge that you’ve taken a step. This rewards you for your efforts and encourages you to keep going. Since you want more of those positive feelings, you’ll stay focused on your next step so you continue to feel good.

As you work through these steps, you’ll discover information and resources that you need. Your focus allows you to notice ideas that you would have ignored before. You may also discover you need to shift your priorities or give up outgrown ideas or relationships to accomplish your vision. You deserve your ideal life. Open the door to receive it.

AFFIRMATION:

The Universe supports my endeavors and helps to keep me focused and on course. I deserve the best life that Life has to offer. I now envision it and give myself permission to open the door to succeed. The Universe empowers me to take each step, knowing that each step brings me closer to my ideal life.

Read the accompanying video, Guided Meditation to Create Your Ideal Life.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

How to Stay On Course with Your Priorities

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Oct 032019
 

By Linda-Ann Stewart

Train Tracks

Recently, I had a day with a lot of priorities and deadlines. They all had to be done before a video meeting I had at the end of the day. I started out well, focused on getting my first task done. But then, life started intruding. I had a couple of clients email and message me with issues they were having. As happens all too often, I got lured into dealing with the immediate and distracted from from projects with a close deadline.

I could have postponed answering the messages for an hour and finished one of my tasks. Instead, I bounced from answering the messages and coaching them to handling my priorities. But, as I multitasked, I started to feel stressed and like I was scrambling to keep up. Fortunately, I finished my last task one minute before my video meeting started.

Priorities Get Forgotten

Have you ever had a day like that? Or worse? Life happens so fast nowadays that our priorities fall to the side as we get too busy, scattered, and just deal with one crisis after another. Your priority could be to get your work done, stick to your diet, establish a healthier routine, or be more even tempered. But your priorities get forgotten as you get stressed and off course.

Priorities are what you consider the most important to you, and they can be personal or professional. You make those decisions when you’re relaxed and considering what you really want. But when you get stressed, you start to react to what’s in front of you. Because your mind is full of other issues, you can’t make the best decisions. You fall back on habits or what’s worked in the past. And usually that completely undermines your priorities.

When you have too much going on, the Law of Attraction doesn’t know what to draw to you. It gets confused about what you want. Without clarity, the Law of Attraction acts on the average of your thoughts. And confused desires bring muddled results.

How to Get Back on Course

An easy way to open the valves to clarity and better decisions is to take long, slow, deep breaths. The best way to achieve this is to inhale to a count of four, and exhale to a count of eight. Just a couple of minutes of this will allow you to reverse the fight or flight response that stress activates. Research shows this technique releases a natural tranquilizer into your system. When you’re able to trigger a calmer state of mind, you can remember your priorities and decide whether to follow them or deal with what’s immediate.

When you want to reduce weight, and you’re faced with a temptation, such as a donut, stop. Take a couple of minutes and breathe. Then ask yourself, “What’s more important? Do I want to stick to my diet or eat the donut?” Research also shows that this deep breathing technique improves your decision making ability. At work, you can use it when you’re faced with emails and deadlines. Do you answer the emails or work on the project? In the evening, decide what your priority is, watching TV or exercising?

What’s Most Important?

Before any point at which you might automatically react to a situation, stop, breathe, and ask, “What’s my priority here?” “Can this be delayed until I’ve finished what I’m doing?” “Do I really want that piece of cake and destroy my diet?” When you’re angry, the traditional advice has been to count to ten. Instead, take a couple of minutes to take deep breaths, with longer exhalations, and then ask, “Will lashing out help the situation?”

Taking those deep breaths brings about a greater sense of balance. You’ll feel more centered and be more mindful of your choices. You’ll be able to reconnect with Universe and create clarity for the Law of Attraction. On my crazy day, I didn’t take two minutes to calm myself down. But I frequently took slow, deep breaths to refocus my attention on my priorities. Although I felt a bit frazzled at the end of the day, I didn’t feel like I’d run a marathon. Respond to the stress in your life by making the time to breathe. You’ll make wiser decisions and feel better at the end of the day.

Affirmation:

At every moment of time and every point of space, the Universe is guiding and directing my decisions and choices. I simply need to clear away the mental noise of daily life to listen to that still, small voice. I stop, take a few moments to inhale deeply and exhale slowly. This calms my mind and body, opening the channel to hear my Higher Self’s guidance. And this guidance is always for my Highest Good.

Watch the accompanying video, Reduce Stress and Anxiety Quickly and Easily.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Trending Articles of the Week

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Sep 132019
 

Success gold key

A Stanford University psychologist’s elegant three-step method for creating new habits
New habits are hard to initiate and maintain. They need to be something you really want for yourself. Then, create small steps that can take you there a little at a time. This article explains the other steps to take to establish that new habit.

The 10 Mindsets of Highly Productive People
Successful people are organized and manage their time, albeit in different ways. It all has to do with their mindset. When they manage their time, they feel more in control and they’re happier people. To be more efficient and productive, use these 10 tips on how to approach your time management.

What If You Don’t Do the Things that Matter Most to You?
You tend to do the things that are most important to you every day. It shows by your results. But are your results actually helping you to achieve the goal that is dear to your heart? What is a goal that you’re reaching towards? Be inspired to make it a habit to establish it as a priority.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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Apr 192019
 

Sunset Crater plant How to Train Your Brain for Positive Thinking
Most people don’t need to reprogram anything; they just need to program for the first time. You have patterns and habits that have been formed when you were younger and didn’t know any better. Now, you act on these automatically. But now, you’re more mature and can make different decisions. You can choose your thoughts, and by doing this for 30 days, you can change your life. Read the article and watch the video that describes how to do this.

Here’s How to Know (Within Seconds) If Other People Trust and Like You, According to Science
Are you making a great first impression? Science says you can tell if you are and what to do if you aren’t. If you think people are going to like you, they usually will. There are six nonverbal signs to show if you’ve developed a rapport with the other person. Pay attention to what you’re signaling to them and pick upon their signals. You have a great deal of control in creating a good impression.

A 5 Step Guide to Overcome Distractions
Everyday distractions detour you from getting your priorities done. And with social media and the internet, distractions abound. But if you want to make progress, achieve your goals and be more successful, learn to fight the temptation. Here are tips on how to become aware of distractions when they arise and how to get more focused on what’s important to you.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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Sep 212018
 

Hand holding seedling

How to Make Others Feel Significant
You want to appreciate others for their efforts and contributions. But there’s a big difference between appreciating people and making them feel significant. Because sometimes you don’t actually show them how much their support has meant to you. When you actually do things to show them how much they matter to you, then they feel significant.

How to Make Your Priority a Priority
Many times, you think you have a priority, but you don’t treat it that way. It gets shunted aside for something more immediate or convenient. It’s all too easy to get distracted and sidetracked. This article has 5 timely tips on how to actually make your priority a priority so you make sure you act on it.

12 Powerful Tips to Overcome Negative Thoughts (and Embrace Positive Thinking)
It can sometimes be difficult to maintain a positive attitude when there are other people around you who are negative. Or when you’re having a series of setbacks or obstacles. If you take just one of these tips and practice it, it will make it easier for you to be positive. They help reframe situations and thought processes to make a real change in your life.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart