Author Archives: Angie Weinberger
3I woke up with a headache and lack of good sleep because my partner was awake at 4 am. I start to get ready thinking “I will get through this day.” My partner reminds me to get toothpaste. Toothpaste is my totem to prove that I am in the real world and not dreaming any longer.
One of the most mundane tasks for me is to buy groceries. I have tried to hand over worldly tasks to others so I can focus on my clients but still there is a small household we maintain. Let’s assume that almost everything in our day is run on autopilot. You only notice that there is toothpaste in your life when it runs out. My coffee powder ran out the same day. I almost got angry at myself for letting it run out. Not having coffee disrupts my morning routine. Coffee is on my mind a lot.
I recalled a podcast I had heard by Tim Ferris where he reads letters of Seneca. The letter discusses the practice of poverty and Tim explains how he transfers the idea into his life.  Seneca wrote that it was necessary to “practice poverty” once in a while. Through the practice, you take out the fearful element. I liked the idea.
This week, I will experiment with everything in my little household and let stuff run out. Our fridge is empty. I will re-use paper in my office. I skied in the oldest outfit and with skiing glasses that almost fall apart. It makes me feel uncomfortable. I try to go out without cash or without a credit card.
[tweetthis] We are used to the luxury of having all our needs fulfilled right away. We are instant need fulfilling junkies.[/tweetthis]
When I look deeper though I see a pattern emerge. I accept that my current state of being is enough. I accept that my life is good. I am for once not over-burdening myself and watch my resources. I give myself a chance to create. I do not know how much time I have left to live my purpose. I live now.
I enjoy my personal life. I feel that I can give more love to the ones I care for but also to people who need support in our society. My heart sees the full glass. My mind suggests that the glass is empty. I tell the mind to shut up and see why it is good to have space. Only the empty space is creative. Only the empty space allows a transition. Only the empty space gives life.

Guest Post by Jackson Hille

When I decided to make the transition into becoming a full-time freelance writer, I was filled with self-doubt. I wasn’t a journalism or communications major in college. In fact, I majored in American Studies as an undergrad. But I always had a passion for writing; it helped me blow off steam and it was something I really enjoyed. Being a people-pleaser, though, it was difficult for me to put myself out there. I was afraid of the idea that someone would hate my writing and that I could upset people.Cd2Tl91W0AAcqaB

The first couple of months was really tough, both in gaining self-confidence, as well as supporting myself financially. I had to frequently underbid my competition to land jobs. I’m not even sure if I was making minimum wage for a while. But I was dedicated to growing my client base and really establishing myself as a premium content creator in the world of digital marketing for tech startups. In doing so, my financial struggles continued and I contemplated giving up. My personal finances was a headache; my income was unpredictable, and I realized I didn’t even know how to file taxes as an independent contractor. Luckily, my freshman year roommate, who became an accountant, was really able to help me out and build me into a more effective businessperson.

I learned that there are a few, key differences between filing taxes as an independent contractor versus someone who is on a payroll. As a freelance writer, I was given a 1099 form from all of my clients. The 1099 stated my earnings from each company for which I did contract work, and essentially, my 1040 reflected all of the 1099 forms I received. I discovered that I was also entitled to a few tax deductions as a freelance worker, which helped to alleviate my financial burden. I learned to look out for myself and understand where I stood to gain.

As I became more established, I learned to stop undervaluing my work and realize how much I was worth. I was afraid of losing clients, but through it all, I discovered who was really loyal to me. Looking back, I sometimes forget how much hard work and determination it took to get to the point in my career I’m at today. It’s mostly because I was extremely passionate in what I was doing and because I had faith in myself. Your path may be very similar to mine or the exact opposite, but believe in yourself and you will get to where you want to be.

Jackson - Author PicJackson Hille is the Outreach Associate for FormSwift, a startup that focuses on providing low-cost, online solutions to entrepreneurs and business for all of their document needs. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, he has a passion for writing about public policy and sports management when he is not helping individuals and organizations find resources that will create a more efficient workspace. Upon joining FormSwift, he was able to put his full-time freelance career to the side, but he still cares tremendously about helping current freelancers find a stable footing in the Gig Economy, which is why he created the Freelancer’s Essential Guide to Business and Taxes.

purpose, preparation...

“When we are clear about our contribution to the world, we will use all channels available to make that contribution happen.”

 

This time of the year we easily get the flu and feel under the weather. While your body needs to accept these attacks once in while it might not always be connected to the weather only. The end of winter is also a time of transition where we often notice that we did not follow through with all the resolutions we had when we started the year. Sometimes we might still struggle with our holiday weight or the lack of exercise. Sometimes we wish we drank less alcohol or spend less money on stuff we don’t really need. Sometimes we wish our dating life was better or that we had found a companion in life.

 

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High performance results from a mix of feeling healthy as well as being emotionally stable.

You need to work with your body as if it was a team member. Too many clients I know have physical limitations that seem to stop them from a fully satisfied life. In my personal experience I know that I could not rely on my body in a time of high-stress almost 10 years ago. Like most junior managers I thought I own the world and that nothing could stop me but in that year I changed my job, flew to New York, got married, went on honeymoon and around three weeks later my disk slipped in the lower back. I had to be in the hospital and then at home for three weeks altogether and I hated it. I was so immobile and unhappy that I never wanted to have this experience again.

This incident might be one of the reasons why I became an executive coach because many times I see colleagues as well who just seem to believe that their body will handle and tolerate everything. Until they are diagnosed with burnout or cancer or they have a heart attack or high blood pressure. Another common thread that I recognize also among highly intelligent clients is a tendency to avoid intimate relationships because they could fall apart.

Many managers do not seek help unless a doctor tells them that it is time to change behavior. Imagine you had an “oldtimer” (vintage car). Would you wait until the garage repair person told you to come for check up or would you take the car to a regular check up to make sure it does not rust? Some of us treat their cars better than their bodies. Frankly speaking, I used to to be like that until I had my three week unintentional break. Since then I have become a lot better at prioritizing health.

Your health might not feel urgent to you just yet.

Could it be that your body  gives you signs that you need to change “something” in your life?

If you read the signs correctly you have three choices:

1) You can ignore this and move on until you have a bigger issue.

2) You can take it seriously as a sign that you need to have a medical check up or

3) You can go and seek an executive coach who can help you analyze where you are overburdened and how you can work better with your existing resources.

Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions about your physical and mental health.

Thank you.

Angie

Read more about how to stay healthy and get productive by ordering Michael Hyatt‘s ebook “Shave 10 hours off your workweek.” It’s a free resource I can highly recommend.

[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@angieweinberger”]Tip of the week: Take a walk every day. #manageyourenergy[/tweetthis]

Take A Walk

You take your phone out as soon as you sit on the train. You skim through your email. Another attachment fail. You forgot to save the legal document before you attached it. Your colleague across the ocean is confused. After three emails you clear the confusion. You clarify your ask to her and apologize. You know you must come across stressed. Even though you know that you have worked at higher stress levels in your life, you know that there is a nagging voice inside you that screams “I need a holiday.” You wonder how this happened as it seems your last holiday was only four weeks back. Could the issue be deeper you ask yourself? Is something wrong with me? Do I need therapy?
 
Then you become aware of all the bullshit that  you need to handle every day in your job. It is not the job itself. You love your work. It is not the team. You have shared your vision, mission, brand and values with your team. They follow you eagerly because they see a brighter future with you. Your team buys into your cause and wants you to succeed but the politics in the management team have become unbearable. The blame-storm that follows every client issue and the loss of ground with your big clients have made you look bad. You are concerned about losing your job, not performing well and not delivering what you promised to deliver. Your wife looks at you for support with the children. Your daughter has behaved difficult lately. She needs your guidance. You want to support but you feel drained on every corner of your life. 
 
You had started a hobby about a year ago because a friend advised you to do “something for yourself”. In the beginning you were so thrilled about the new friends you made there but now it just feels like another obligation, another point on your task list of never-ending topics.
 
You snap when friends ask you if you want to go out for a beer and your mother’s voice is in your head. “You said you would come for a visit with the children on Sunday.” And there is this mortgage on the house that needs refinancing.
 
In short: You feel the weight of responsibility of being the provider. You feel that weight in your shoulders and your back. You identify with it through pain.

 

Stress written all over your body?

 
Many of us have stress written all over their body. Even though you will find a lot of methods of reducing stress when you look online many of us have issues to focus nowadays. There are too many distractions that pull us into different directions every minute. We also have too many “shoulds”. We should go to the gym more often, we should recycle the bottles, we should save money. Our mind spends a lot of time thinking about the “shoulds”. Here are the three quickies to get in control again.

1) Take one hour out of your busy schedule and consult a therapist

Sometimes we feel like we have tried everything possible to please everyone else but lost ourselves in the process. It helps in such situations to consult a therapist. Sometimes you might not really need therapy but in most cases you will. I am a fan of prevention and I know that we can improve our physical symptoms if we seek support early enough. Unfortunately in my experience, many managers look for external support when it is too late as they are stuck in an ideal of playing superhero. Alternatively, they are sent to a business coach. A serious coach should send you to a therapist or doctor as soon as you cannot confirm anymore that you feel psychologically and physically healthy. And some of you might seek a doctor before they seek a therapist, because you do not believe that your psyche could play tricks on you. It’s up to you! Do something about it before your family loses you for good.
 

2) Go for light exercise rather than the gym such as a daily walk outside

If you feel stressed but still in control it can help to prescribe yourself a daily dose of light exercise such as a 20 minute walk. I have written about getting healthy earlier in this post about my favorite productivity hacks. Be sure that you don’t distract yourself with your phone when you go for a walk. Build the walk into a routine such as your commute to work or your coffee run in the morning.
 

3) Clean up your workspace daily and mono-task

It sounds simple but is a commonly known ZEN practice. You can get rid of the constant distractions by developing a regular routine of cleaning up and only working on one topic at the time. The stream of information you are letting in can be directed in the right channel. One example: If you think I should file my documents do it the same day. Spend five minutes every evening before you rush home to clean up your desk. Throw away everything that you don’t need. Before you start your workday write down your top three priorities for the day.
 
Let me know how you handle stress in the comments.