What’s your focus? What’s wrong, what’s wright, or what’s not working?

Wednesday LIVE with Evie #29

When something unexpected happens in your business or life, what do you tend to notice?

Several years ago I read an article that said that the problem with today’s business culture is that we focus on what’s going wrong instead of what’s going right (ironic isn’t it!).

I was still working as an Implementation Specialist at the time (being project manager, help desk, and computer programmer). And I remember thinking how my clients would be pretty dang upset if I decided to focus only on what was working – especially because a large part of my job was about focusing on what WASN’T working.

So, we talked about the difference between focusing on what’s wrong, what’s right, and what’s not working.

Our 90-minute trip took 3 hours

Nate (my husband) and I spent yesterday evening at my in-laws. My sister-in-law and oldest nephew arrived yesterday to spend a few days with them AND Friday was my mother-in-law’s birthday.

But the trip home is what I want to share with you.

We left about 9 pm and expected to be home about 10:30. We actually got home about midnight.

Here’s what happened.

The interstate that we normally take is under major construction (2-3 lanes of traffic on a 4-5 lane highway are unavailable). So, they’ve moved one lane of traffic onto the other side of the median, making a kind of “express” lane. It’s completely blocked off and safe.

Nate decided to take that lane and then we slowed to a stop.

NO one is moving, but all the other lanes of traffic are fine, we just can’t get there.

I jokingly say to Nate “You chose badly” (referring to choosing the “express” lane).

I had brought my planning notebook that normally stays at home because I hadn’t planned my week yet. I jokingly say to Nate, I’m going to get this out now and do it because as soon as I do, traffic will move.

I plan my week (in record time with no distractions!) and we didn’t move.

Maybe an hour into our wait, Nate (who had to get up early for a work appointment this morning) apologizes for choosing badly. I’m not upset about it, he had NO way of knowing this would happen.

Over the course of 90 minutes, we moved maybe half a mile.

Then, traffic cleared up and we zipped right along.

I realized later that a few years ago this experience would have gone very differently for me. I would have been upset at the delay, upset with Nate, and annoyed that my Monday morning wasn’t going to go as planned (either sleeping a bit more or tired).

However, yesterday, my biggest concern happened once we got moving and it was: how far are we from the oasis so we can stop and use the bathroom?

It made me think of how sometimes we focus on what’s going wrong instead of focusing on what’s going right or even what’s not working.

Let’s talk about that in this week’s Wednesday LIVE with Evie. Check out the Facebook event here.

Update: You can watch this Wednesday LIVE with Evie here.

Are you more productive on shorter weeks?

How was last week for you? Was it a pretty productive week for you?

In my Facebook Group, Productivity for Women Entrepreneurs, it seemed like it was a pretty productive week for people.

A majority of the women accomplished their most important task for the week and got some other things that had been on their list done.

As I was looking at it yesterday, I wondered why that was.

I have a couple of theories.

Theory 1: With the holiday falling on a Tuesday, it was a short week for all of us here in the US or you took the entire week off. This meant that many people were out or probably spending the time in the office getting projects or tasks wrapped up. Both of which lead to having fewer distractions from outside (no one calling you asking for things).

Theory 2: Because you had 3 days to work instead of 5, you were more focused on what needed to be done and the fact that you didn’t have a lot of time to complete it. Two factors that lead to getting a lot done.

Whatever the reason actually was, it seems that it was a good week!

And last week was our first week in July, which means we’re in the second half of the year.

Maybe last week was wonderfully productive, but how about the first six months of the year?

How are you doing on the things that you wanted to accomplish for the year?

Are you on track, ahead of schedule, or maybe a bit behind?

For this week’s Wednesday LIVE with Evie, let’s talk about setting and meeting your goals for the rest of 2017. Check out the Facebook event here.

Update: You can watch this Wednesday LIVE with Evie here.

Decorative walls are hard work

This weekend’s activities included yard work (on our own yard this time) and a 4th of July party at friends.

The party was fun. Our friends are on the parade route in their town, so we got to watch the kids be super excited for the parade (and candy).

The story that I want to tell you more about is around the yard work.

We have two low decorative walls that mark the back edges of our yard. One wall on each side. They were here when we moved in and probably put in before both our neighbors put up their fences. Both walls have fallen over in places.

A friend of ours bought a house in the countryside a couple years ago and is working on landscaping it this summer. So, she wants them.

Nate’s (my husband) plan for Saturday morning is to load them into a small trailer and drive them out.

The process was to load about 8 of the large bricks/stones onto a dolly and take them to the front yard to put in the trailer.

That’s when we realize how many bricks/stones that small wall was made out of.

After 5 trips we’d moved over 40 bricks/stones twice (onto the dolly and then off). And we’re tired.

But there are three problems:

  1. We’ve only removed one wall and the other one is longer and has at least 80 stones to move.
  2. The stones are heavy and Nate’s noticed one of the welds on the bottom of the trailer has loosened.
  3. There are more stones than he anticipated and he’s not sure our friend will want them all.

So, what to do? Nate had anticipated that we’d complete this project on Saturday morning.

Alright, so the decision wasn’t really that hard.

We decided we were done moving stones for the day.

The trailer was able to hold what we had and we dropped it off at our friend’s house. She was thrilled. We asked her what she was going to do with them and she hadn’t quite decided yet, but she wants ALL of the stones that are remaining in our yard (yay for us!).

When she and her husband unload the trailer, we’ll probably spend the following weekend filling it back up for her.

And Nate already has a game plan for how to make that process go smoother.

But you might be wondering, why the heck I’m sharing this story with you?

Have you ever set aside a day in your business to complete a project?

You figure with the whole day dedicated to the ONE project that you’ll easily complete it.

But it quickly becomes apparent that there’s more to do than you anticipated (more stones in that wall to move than you thought)?

So, what do you do?

Often, we push our way through, working a really long day to get as much done as possible.

And that’s not always a bad thing.

However, sometimes, if you take a step back or away from the situation, you might find some alternatives.

In the case of our remaining retaining wall, Nate’s going to borrow a small vehicle that can pull the trailer to the retaining wall (so we’re moving each brick once instead of twice and then he won’t have to push them through the yard either). And he realized a slightly different way we can arrange them in the trailer to balance it better.

In the case of a project for your business, you might need to step away and ask for help or suggestions from someone who’s done something similar.

And sometimes stepping away from something gives us a new perspective on it and we think of a different way to approach it.

As for this week’s Wednesday LIVE with Evie, it’s taking the week off to celebrate the holiday 🙂

However, it will return next week to its normal time of Wednesday at 1pm CT.

If you have any questions or a topic that you’d like to see covered, please hit reply and share it with me!