Saturday, March 24, 2007

Do you pride yourself on being a magnificent multitasker?
Do you feel as though you can accomplish everything on your list only if you multitask?

There are more and more studies being done about how the brain operates when we are doing more than one thing at a time. Concern over the safety of using cell phones while driving has spurred some of the research. People are talking on their phone, eating or smoking, and driving all at the same time. There is no wonder that errors of judgement are occurring, causing traffic collisions.

Rene Marois and Paul Dux, scientists at Vanderbilt University, have found in their research that even though it seems as though we are able to do two things at once, our brain actually shuts down one of the functions briefly as we're performing the other task. They described it as having all the information in our brain suddenly hitting a bottleneck. This delay is know as dual-task interference.

They have located the bottleneck by using functional magnetic resonance imaging, a technology that shows what areas of the brain are active in mental tasks by mapping changes in the blood's oxygen levels. The scientists studied the brain activity of their subjects who were performing two demanding tasks.

They could see that the neural response to the second task was postponed until the response to the first was completed. Still to be determined is what is actually happening in this "bottleneck" of the brain that is slowing performance.

What does this mean to you as you're working to increase your productivity?

* You may overlook obvious solutions.
* Your creativity will not be accessed completely.
* Most likely work will need to be redone due to errors.
* Your anxiety level may increase.
* It will be difficult to have the satisfaction of a job well done.
* You'll probably miss what others are saying to you.
* You may not notice physical discomfort or tension until it is serious.

What is the solution?


Being mindful means focusing attention on what you're experiencing from moment to moment. It's quite a challenge to be mindful in our hectic world. Studies are showing us that mindfulness is a worthwhile habit to develop.

At the Mind/Body Medical Institute ( and the University of Wisconsin, they found that after mindfulness training, brain wave recordings showed a pattern of activity greater in the left prefrontal cortex that is associated with happiness and optimism. Mindfulness also influenced the immune system of those in the study. The mindfulness students produced more antibodies than the controls.

All of these studies are showing us that multitasking is not the panacea that so many of us think it is to getting everything done.

Instead, we're hearing that mindfulness is a worthwhile habit to develop.
Our safety, happiness, and productivity depend on it!

If you are interested in keeping up with some of the latest research findings on the brain, I invite you to visit The Dana Foundation, and subscribe to
Brain in the News, their monthly publication.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Expert Author at Ezine Articles!

As Featured On Ezine Articles

Today I received word that I am now an Expert Author at
You can go to their site an see all of my articles!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Moving Forward In Your Business With A Retreat

What better way to work on your business plan than to get away from your normal interruptions!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Creating Your Vivid Vision

Creating your vivid vision is the first step to creating your business plan.
You need to have a clear vision of what it is you want to see in your business.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Summer in Phoenix in March?

We're breaking records for having extra warm weather this early in the year.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Joseph Liberti on EQ At Work

Great International Coaching Federation teleforum today with Joseph Liberti. His area of specialty is EQ At Work and his presentation was excellent.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Hours Are Fixed. Energy Is Flexible.

No matter what your time zone is, you have 24 hours a day. It doesn't matter when or if you change to and from daylight savings time. You still have 24 hours a day.
Humans have 24 hours a day. It's the same for all creatures of our planet!

How is it that some people don't seem to "have time" to do anything and others have such full lives?

It used to be we would talk about coach potatoes, people addicted to TV. An even bigger problem for many of us is the number of hours spent in front of the computer.

Certainly, there are wonderful time savers available on the Internet: web check-in for air travel, shopping online, searching for books and information in our library systems, finding out weather conditions, checking news reports, and communicating with friends and family with email.

However, there are many computer users who just can't seem to pull themselves away from that screen. It is amazing to me how I can go to my computer for a specific task and then gravitate toward checking my email and get totally distracted from what I had set out to do. The hours of the clock seem to spin around quickly while I am absorbed in checking all the various messages I've received.

Computers can easily become an addiction, giving us escape from challenging or mundane projects we have on our to-do lists. And as we sit still for such a long time, our energy level declines and we are even less motivated to get things done.

If you're interested in creating the life you would like with success in your professional and personal life, you'll need to figure out ways to increase your level of engagement. When you are fully engaged in your days, you are working hard or enjoying yourself with satisfying leisure activities.

A person with a low level of engagement probably drags himself out of bed in the morning, rushes out the door with minimal nourishment, works as much as is required of him, and then heads home for a night of TV or surfing the net.

If you're feeling as though there is no energy left for you at the end of a workday, it may be time to explore how you can increase your energy levels so that you can engage more fully in your life. There is scientific evidence to show that significant changes can be accomplished in raising your level of engagement in life, the meaning life has to you, and the you find in every day.

The first step in making any change is getting a clear assessment of the present situation. This is certainly true in this situation.

There are some basic questions to ask yourself.

1. How well am I taking care of my body?
2. Do I take the time to determine what I want to be the focus in my days?
3. How aware am I of what is going on with me emotionally? Am I dealing with any concerns or just burying them under the addictions of TV, Internet, and junk food?
4. Am I living the life I really want to live? How aligned with your values is your life?
5. Am I balancing my commitment to others with adequate care of myself?

After some honest analysis and taking down some notes of your answers, it's time to start pursuing solutions to the problems you've observed. Without taking the time to notice what's going on, you'll probably continue with the same patterns of behavior and your life will continue on its present course.

If you're interested in getting more life in your years, it's time to find ways to become more fully engaged.

You won't be given any more minutes and hours than you have right now.

Use the hours we ALL have to find the enjoyment and satisfaction YOU deserve!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Mini Y2K? Early Time Change Wreaks Havoc!

"Mini Y2K" is what they're calling it here in the United States! Changing to daylight savings time two weeks early is wreaking havoc with software set for the previous change date. Somehow we'll all get through it and make the adjustment.

With my international business, this time change gets particularly challenging.
New Zealand, which is already a day ahead of the U.S., makes changes in their time on a different date from the United States.

In Arizona we don't change at all so that means that instead of being on Mountain Time Zone as we are in the winter, we go on Pacific Time for the summer! We am now three hours behind Eastern instead of two during the winter and on the same time as Pacific which is usually an hour behind us.

Try scheduling appointments with people all over the world making changes at various times. CONFUSING!

Enough about time change challenges...

We always are trying to "find" more hours in our day. What was that commercial that promised to give you more time in your day? Someone write to me and remind me...

Friday, March 9, 2007

Are You Dreaming Big Enough?

Dreaming... I'm not talking about idle daydreaming here. It is visualizing seeing yourself with the goals already in place, feeling the effect the accomplishment has on your life.

Sometimes our dreaming is more about playing not to lose rather than playing to win.

I created some six-month goals a month ago. Looking back over those goals, I see that I've already achieved two of the goals. They seemed big at the time I wrote them down and now they seem pretty inconsequential. I am working diligently on the third goal and have made tremendous progress and will continue making it a priority.

I rewrote my other two goals and shared them with the coaching group I belong to. The new goals are much more of a s-t-r-e-t-c-h for me and are definitely "playing to win" goals.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Four Simple Questions For Success

Stephanie Frank is a friend of mine in Phoenix I met through National Speakers Association. She sponsored a teleforum today interviewing Jane Deuber, one of the founders of DSWA, an organization created for women in the direct sales industry.

I liked the simplicity of these Four Simple Questions For Success:
  1. Are you dreaming big enough?
  2. Do you have a plan?
  3. Is there anything lacking in your skill set you need to develop?
  4. Where's your team?
For the next few days, I'd like to look into each of these topics.
I'd love to hear your thoughts.
If you'd like to be part of Stephanie's free weekly teleforums, go to her website to see what's coming up!

p.s. Summer hit Phoenix today. I think we had a high of 88 degrees!
Where did our beautiful spring weather go?

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Michael Gerber and The E-Myth Revisited

Last week I had the privilege of being on a conference call with
Michael Gerber.

He is the author of several books including the E Myth Revisited mentioned later in this newsletter. He talked with us about his new 2.5 day program called the Dreaming Room.

He was a great fan of Walt Disney and followed his lead in using this name.

The Dreaming Room is a place where entrepreneurs can practice a new kind of dreaming--Intentional Dreaming®--which has nothing to do with problem solving and everything to do with transforming your whole life and business in a radically creative and strategic way. The surprising reason that most small businesses fail is not because their dream is too big, but rather too small, too realistic-it isn't big enough to sustain more life!

Michael is also writing a new book, Awakening The Entrepreneur Within.

If his passion on the call is any indication of how powerful the book is, I'd say it is a winner! You can hear his commitment as he speaks. Michael Gerber is about to have his 70th birthday and he is certainly not retiring!

Michael is well known for his book The E-Myth Revisited.

The E-Myth Revisited
Michael E. Gerber

Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business.

Next, he walks you through the steps in the life of a business - from entrepreneurial infancy, through adolescent growing pains, to the mature entrepreneurial perspective, the guiding light of all business that succeed - and shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business, whether or not it is a franchise.

Finally, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working ON your business and working IN your business.

After you have read The E-Myth, you will TRULY be able to grow your business in a predictable and productive way.

Below is an article I wrote for my Exuberant Productivity Journal on this subject:

Are You Working On Your Business or In Your Business?
Suzanne Holman, MAEd

"How did it get to this point? Why am I working, working, working with my head down in my business and feeling as though I don't have a moment to think ahead?"

You probably started your own business to have freedom of choice, to have freedom to create and to have freedom to have limitless income without the constraints of a salary.

You may have left a J.O.B. and now you are feeling as though you are once again at a J.O.B. with your worst boss ever......YOU!

Generally, businesses are started by someone who has a particular skill. You may have done great work with the finances in a corporation so you decide you'd like to have your own financial services company.

Just because you have the skills to do the technical work of a company doesn't mean that you can be a successful entrepreneur. Anyone who has gone through this transition would agree. There are so many different skills needed to run a business!

Until you are ready to delegate the tasks that are not your specialty, you will not be able to fully utilize your best talents.

Creating a system that others can run without you can give you that freedom that was your goal to having your own business. This takes discipline and careful attention to all the details that you are presently handling.

Oh, how tempting it is to think you can handle it all!

Maybe you think you need to get bigger and have more profit before you deserve to have the support you need?

It may seem risky to be paying for the support when your funds are tight, but without the support in place you are apt to stay stuck where you are.

You are also a perfect candidate for overwork and overwhelm. When you are overworked and overwhelmed, the passion that drew you into the business starts to shrivel and die.

Ask yourself, "How many hours am I actually working in my business each week?"
Would you ever have worked that many hours in ANY job you've ever had?
I didn't think so.

The challenge facing most business owners is how to come up with the time to work ON the business so that they can improve the function of their company. Now it's time to look for the time wasters that steal some of your valuable time away.

Is it email? That is a problem for many of us. How easy it is to get sucked into checking email and then get distracted by any number of interesting topics. Disciplining yourself to check email only at certain times of the day could free up some valuable time for your business planning.

Another roadblock to our productivity can be avoiding something (like business planning) because it seems too major of a project. If you can break the project down into smaller segments, it will be easier to fit the work on one of the segments into any free time that you have.

Actually creating appointments with YOURSELF for a change would be a way to create time for this business planning. And keep that appointment!

Show yourself and your business as much respect as you show the rest of the world.

If you have problems in disciplining yourself into making some of these changes and creating a business plan, it may be the time to think about hiring a business coach.

A business coach would be able to support you in getting through this transition into a systemized business structure that will allow you to grow profitably and to have the freedom and creativity you wanted in the first place!