Failtastic

Yesterday was a pretty failtastic day. I’m almost to 37 weeks in my pregnancy, and I was uncomfortable, and in pain from overexerting myself the previous day.  Because of that fact, I hadn’t slept very well, so I was exhausted to top it all off. I was teaching preschool again in the morning, and pretty much wiped myself out by noon.

I tried to post something on the blog, and it fought me, and wouldn’t work right. The tags were in a weird place, the video wouldn’t play, and half my text was missing, so I deleted it. Sorry.

I didn’t blog. I didn’t touch Instagram, I didn’t update my Facebook group. I didn’t talk to anyone about business related things.

FAIL.

Despite my great failure to accomplish anything, I’m not going to let it get me down. I’m getting back up today, and working hard.

I just wanted to acknowledge my failure, and announce that IT DOESN’T MATTER. I feel just as driven to succeed in life and business. I recently created an image that has great context in this situation.

Some quit due to slow progress, never grasping the fact that slow progress… is progress.

My progress is slow, and some days I don’t accomplish anything at all, but I am still progressing.  One bad day is not going to ruin everything.  It won’t be my last bad day either.  I’ll have a newborn soon, and then things will get really interesting. Haha.  I don’t plan on giving up any time though.  I’m still slowly plugging along. 🙂

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If you would like to learn more about our business or how to market your own business online, you can email me at candidnetworkmarketing@gmail.com or find us on our Facebook group.

Persistence or Talent

The summer before my sixth grade year, I got to meet with the band teacher to try out instruments.  I was so excited, and imagined how great it would be.  I thought the horn or the trombone might be a good fit for me, but I got there, and was discouraged from the horn because so many other students had chosen that instrument.  We tried the trombone, and he showed me the spit valve.  I was super grossed out.  We tried the flute, and I naturally got a beautiful sound to come out.  The teacher praised me for my natural gifts, and encouraged me to go with the flute.

Flattery is hard to evade I suppose.  I chose the flute.

I was very pleased, as I went to group practices, that I was better at it than all of my peers.  In fact, I was better than most of my peers through eighth grade.

Here is where the problem came in.  I never practiced.  I wasn’t persistent about it.  I wasn’t especially passionate about it.  I just liked being successful at something.  Around ninth grade, an interesting phenomenon happened.  I was assigned to be a second flute player, and there were many better musicians around me.  They actually practiced.  They created good habits as they continued through school.  They loved what they were doing.

This is me and a couple friends on a high school band/choir trip.

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I learned a valuable lesson.  Hard work, persistence, passion, and good habits always win out over natural abilities.  It doesn’t matter how talented you are, or what kind of natural gifts you have, if you never do anything about it.

It’s something that I learned pretty early on in life, but I still have to continually remind myself.  It’s one of those things that I know logically, but don’t always put the concept into action as well as I should.

I want it to be something my children understand as well, so I look for opportunities to praise them for their work, or on their persistence when something is difficult for them.

I never did become a master floutist, but I did learn a valuable lesson, so I am grateful.  As I work through my business, most of the skills required are abilities that I have not been naturally gifted with.  It’s hard for me, but as I am persistent, I become better at it.  I have gotten really good at skills that I never thought I would be able to do.  I often surprise myself at what I can accomplish.  My personal development has skyrocketed since becoming an independent business owner.  It is a wonderful feeling to be good at something after a lot of work to get there. Talent is lovely to have, but it is not as important as it is made out to be.

So I’d like to hear from you!

What kind of lessons did you learn at a young age that have helped you throughout your life?  What kind of skills have you gained through hard work, rather than natural abilities?

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If you would like to learn more about our business or how to market your own business online, you can email me at candidnetworkmarketing@gmail.com or find us on our Facebook group.

Perfection leads to Procrastination

Preschool is a high energy activity.  At 36 weeks pregnant, I do not have high energy.  In fact, I was having regular contractions until about 2:30 in the morning.  I thought, “Is this it?  It seems a little early.”

It wasn’t it.  I’m still pregnant, but the potential anticipation kept me awake.  When I woke up, I had to get ready for the preschoolers to come over.

Here is where my title comes in.

Let things go.

Life doesn’t have to be crafty or beautiful all the time.  Four-year-olds don’t notice or care that the kitchen and bathroom are gross.  I do not need to have focused engagement for every second of preschool.  Their snack doesn’t have to be some creative thing that has to do with the lesson.  It’s OK to get out the bag of pretzels.

We learned about Picasso in Preschool today.  These plates were the most involved thing we did today.

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Life isn’t perfect, and you don’t have to be either.

When you learn to let the idea of perfection go, and just get started on things, you’ll be surprised at what you can get through, and how much you can get done.  I have had to keep reminding myself of this more and more as I get further along in my pregnancy.  I don’t have as much energy.  I don’t feel as strong or as capable as usual.  Prioritizing the most important things, and letting the other things go, is how you avoid procrastination.

As a college student, I would have said that I was a “professional procrastinator,” as if I were proud of such a title.  The thing is, it makes life so much more stressful and complicated to have something constantly hanging over you, that you have to get done.  I always wanted my projects to be perfect and beautiful, and better than everyone else’s work.  This often resulted in me stressing about it, and often, not even turning it in.  Can you tell I was a really great student? Haha. We all have our times of growing up. 🙂

Don’t procrastinate.  If all you are thinking about is how impressive your end result will be, you are asking for procrastination and stress.  When you need to get a lot done, don’t try to focus in on the whole project.  Just focus on your first step.  Don’t get distracted from that first step.  When it is finished, move on to the next step.

Do yourself a favor, and let yourself be imperfect.  We are striving to be better.  No one is asking for perfection, so don’t demand it of yourself.  I hope you are all having a beautifully, imperfect day.  Don’t get too down on yourself. 🙂

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If you would like to learn more about our business or how to market your own business online, you can email me at candidnetworkmarketing@gmail.com or find us on our Facebook group.

Are You a Multitasker?

As I sat down to write this post, I opened up WordPress, then I opened up another tab and went to Twitter, intending to come back to WordPress, and then spend some time on Twitter.  If I had continued, I would probably have opened up another tab for Facebook, and might have wandered around Pinterest for a little while as well.  Sound familiar?  We live in a world of multitasking, and it is hurting us.

I am no exception.  I am a mom, which requires some multitasking occasionally… OK, a lot of the time.  I run a home business, I have a lot of responsibilities at church, and I’m participating in a co-op preschool with my four year old.  I have a lot of reasons to multitask my time.

The problem is that it causes more harm than good.  Doing many things at a time isn’t actually helping.  It’s bad time management, it’s terribly unproductive, and can actually harm your brain.

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Research conducted at Stanford University compared gifted multitaskers, to those who were not proficient multitaskers.  You can find more details about it here.  Those who were not multitasking outperformed the multitaskers every time.  Those who regularly multitasked their time could not filter out unnecessary information, and as a result, could not perform the tasks at hand as well.

There’s more:

The University of Sussex released research that shows multitasking may actually be changing the brain:

“A study published today (24 September) reveals that people who frequently use several media devices at the same time have lower grey-matter density in one particular region of the brain compared to those who use just one device occasionally.

The research supports earlier studies showing connections between high media-multitasking activity and poor attention in the face of distractions, along with emotional problems such as depression and anxiety.”

Check out the links.  They’re pretty interesting reads.

The point is, if you want to get something accomplished, choose one task. Focus on finishing that task.  Make sure the task that you choose is actually something that is realistic to accomplish in the time frame that you have.  You will also need to gauge the amount of energy that you have.

Say you have twenty minutes to get something done.  You are emotionally and mentally drained, but you feel OK physically.  Should you write an essay, or go exercise?  Realistically, you won’t be able to get much done on that essay in that short amount of time.  However, you could get a really great workout into your day.

You also need to keep in mind, you will need to plan ahead in order to do this.  If the essay is due in 20 minutes… well, you take procrastination to the extreme, but that is a topic for another day.  Be realistic about your time and energy, then finish the task.  You will feel better when you have one less thing to think about.

So why am I bringing this up now?  I recently read The Compound Effect  by Darren Hardy, and it got me thinking about how much time we actually waste trying to “multitask”.  It is a great book, and I have been so much more productive in my daily goals since reading it.  I don’t get anything from this suggestion.  It’s just a book that has helped me to be a more productive person.  You should give it a read when you get the chance.

So here is my advice: Take one thing at a time.  You will feel better.  There will be a weight lifted off your shoulders every time you cross something off your to-do list.  Give it an experiment for a week, or a month, or the rest of your life.

Let me know how it goes in the comments.  I would love to hear from you.