Not too long ago, someone challenged me: “Grace I think you’re afraid of digging deeper, of being known as an expert in one area.”
It wasn’t the first time I had been aware of this. I’ve always been good at most things I put my hand to (except gardening). Quick at picking things up. You could say jack of all trades.
I’ve noticed though with any learning, there comes a point where you need to really push in to continue developing. Where you invest emotionally, physically and intellectually on a whole new level. Yup, that’s usually where I get distracted by the next shiny new thing.
Back to this expert thing.
Ever since I’ve been coaching parents who are juggling business and family, the big question that always comes up is one of time: “How do I fit it all in? There’s so much to do and so little time.” Being a mum of two small children myself, I know exactly where they are coming from.
Which is why I’ve been on a personal and professional quest to get to grips with productivity, to decipher what works for different people.
It wasn’t until last summer that I tentatively embraced the title ‘expert’, when the folks at Screw Work Let’s Play invited me to be their Parent Productivity Expert.
Boy was that a crazy experience. I kept thinking “Any moment now, I’m going to get ‘found out’. I’m not the expert they think I am.” But I kept going. And I was delighted to receive this feedback:
“Grace rocked the Screw Work Let’s Play expert zone as our parent productivity coach. Her tutorial video was so rich with tips and gems of wisdom and advice that I was recommending people watch it about 3 times to really soak it all in. Grace’s calm, clear and sparkling approach to parenthood and making it work so you don’t have to sacrifice your own dreams and enjoyment in life made a big difference to a lot of our participants on the 30 Day Challenge.”
Selina Barker, Screw Work Let’s Play
As if that’s not exciting enough…
I’m now writing a book!!
The title is 21 Ways to Manage the Stuff that Sucks Up Your Time and it’s going to be published as part of the 21 Ways series.
How has that happened? For me it really was a case of taking baby steps.
Baby Steps mean you don’t have to have it all worked out before you start
As a naturally disorganised person, I would never have started with “I know, I’ll write a book on productivity!”
Instead, I focused on helping one person at a time, answering one question at a time. Putting myself out their one little risk at a time.
Baby steps can sneak past fear and confidence wobbles
Do I have what it takes? I don’t know. Can I have a go at just this tiny little bit of it? Yes I can.
In fact that’s exactly what I’ve been doing with running. Imagine for a moment that sport was never your strength. The last time you ran was probably for the bus. And you’ve been driving for 8 years. That was me at the beginning of this year.
The only way to get me running was to start really really small. Get under the radar of my out of shape body and terrified mind. So I did, with a series of 1 minute runs followed by 90 second walks. It’s now week six and I’m onto 8 minute runs.
Baby steps overcome overwhelm and move mountains
It’s all about making things doable. It breaks down big hairy goals into small, specific steps you can focus on and absolutely achieve.
Baby steps bypass procrastination and create momentum
Because you actually get started. You take action. And keep going. Rather than cram, crash and burn. As much as I love being a last minute girl, there’s no way I can get this book written overnight.
There’s a lovely saying that made me smile recently: “Even the snail made it to the ark.”
But baby steps work equally well when you need to get something done fast.
Baby steps give you the focus you need to meet crazy deadlines
My book deadline is the 30th March! Yikes! The only way I know I can make this is if I take baby steps every day.
Which is why I’ve put together this 40 Days of Baby Steps. Because I know I work better with company. How about you? Fancy joining me? We kick off tomorrow with personal brainstorming sessions.