High-Heeled Success® News You Can Use - February, 2016

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February, 2016  

February Newsletter

Woman with hourglass

Unrealistic Expectations

Kay Fittes, February, 2016

Self-expectations are one of the biggest stumbling blocks challenging many women I coach.  Pressure to perform to a certain level on a daily basis in work, career and home or personal life can be overwhelming.  In this month that we celebrate love, I’d like to demonstrate how easy it is to fall away from loving ourselves and suggest some paths back to realistic expectations, which provide opportunities for self-growth and care.  Let’s begin by exploring the ‘ideal’ day.

In your quest to perform, deliver and achieve, are the expectations you put on yourself attainable, or loaded with unrealistic vignettes that fill and overflow your life? 

Click here to get the scoop on unrealistic expectations!

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Kay’s Consulting Corner

Kay Fittes

Each month in this section, Kay offers actionable career consulting tips.

Managing Unrealistic Expectations

In this month’s main article, I discuss the unrealistic expectations we put upon ourselves, and how to conduct an inventory of self-imposed burdens.  Trying to reduce what we feel are necessary priorities can be challenging, if not stressful.  To help with that process, I share with you the E, S, D System – Eliminate, Simplify and Delegate.  This method has helped hundreds of my clients over the years, and once you start to employ it, I promise, you’ll love it too.  The effects of the technique are liberating if not empowering.  I primarily advise women to use this method in the workplace, but it can be applied to all areas of our lives.

Eliminate – An overflowing email inbox, paper piles, cluttered internet browser bookmark bar, overstuffed purse, backburner projects – they clutter our workspace and our thinking capacity.  The most challenging thing to eliminate may be the backburner projects; decide if they are crucial to your work, or a ‘nice to have’.  If it doesn’t contribute to the bottom line, improve a work process or ladder up to a larger work objective, it’s time to put it out of your misery.

Email can be easily tackled by taking all emails 3 months or older and placing it in a folder designated ‘old email’.  Then quickly go through the last three months of email, and either respond, delete or save it in an email folder with the appropriate project name.  Cleaning your inbox to this level will motivate you to stay on top of it going forward.  Most work clutter areas, like those in the home (closets, shelves, basements), can be ‘cleaned up’ with a commitment of focused energy and time.  Set aside one hour a week for the next few weeks to eliminate, purge and tidy clutter at work and home.

Dig a little deeper to discover if you can eliminate something altogether in your life.  For example, you may have signed up for a volunteer position or to be a block captain because you felt you should, but in reality you don’t want to or have the time.  Give yourself permission to stop.

Simplify – Examine your daily routine.  Everything we do each day is comprised of a process that we have created and developed over time, and we that continue to execute it out of habit.  But, are our routines and processes efficient?  Take something as simple as getting ready in the morning for work and deconstruct it to find out where you can save time and be more efficient.  Perhaps it’s selecting an outfit, making your lunch, putting coffee on auto brew, filling up the cat bowl with food, or setting out breakfast the night before.  I always say one minute in the evening is worth five in the morning.  Plan ahead and simplify.

Many work processes are ripe for simplification too.  Research options that can automate reporting, communication, scheduling, email responses, and even social media if that’s in your realm of responsibilities.  If the process or task cannot be automated, can it be streamlined by removing unnecessary steps, or even eliminated?  Maybe it’s as simple as using paper plates two nights a week, especially on those really crazy days.  Streamline to simplify.

Delegate – Tasks that can’t be automated or streamlined can potentially be delegated.  Ask yourself if you are the best person for the task by considering if it requires your strongest skill set, takes time away from reaching goals and objectives, or is repetitious.  If the answer is yes in any of those areas, it’s a task ripe for delegation.  If you cannot delegate to another person in your office, consider employing the help of a virtual assistant.  In the long run, doing so can save your sanity and open up valuable time.

If you share your home with a spouse and children, and work full-time, I do hope you are already delegating tasks and chores.  If not, the time to start was long ago, but tomorrow will have to do.  If everyone living in your home eats, sleeps, makes a mess and produces laundry, then why should only one person be burdened with the task of cleaning and cooking?  This is the most common area where women fail to delegate, and which can be the largest contributor to being overworked and having an overflowing plate.  Just because ‘it’s always been this way’ doesn't mean it’s a statute that has to remain in place.  Delegation in this area can be a life saver.

Eliminate, simplify, delegate — three steps to a simpler, less stressful life.  Try it, and let me know how it works for you.

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Client Case Study – Heather Lambert

Heather Lambert

My company has a long standing relationship with Kay, so when I approached my boss about getting some coaching, she was the first name to come up.  I was excited to get started.  I had always heard great things about Kay, but I had no idea how amazing she’d actually be.

As soon as we sat down it was if she automatically knew where I wanted to go and how to get me there.  I had no idea of the self-sabotage I was inflicting, and her observations of this have changed my work image completely.  Not only have coworkers complimented the changes to my boss, but they have complimented me as well.  It’s been a life changing experience, both personally and professionally.

I completely stand behind Kay and the results she’s given me.  She’s one of the best investments toward my career I’ve ever made.  I couldn’t ask for a better coach and I look forward to our ongoing relationship.

Heather Lambert, Finance Manager, 4C for Children

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