Today, I'm delighted to share with you the end of my 20 year epic saga of trying to name my work. I've been looking for the "one word" to encapsulate my teaching and coaching work and it is FINALLY HERE!
What is AgiliZen?
Simply put, AgiliZen is the state of being able to RELAX, guilt and pressure-free, confident in yourself that you will get the most important things done.
The invention of AgiLiZen means unconventional, free spirits who are living evolutionary lives now have a name for how we live that is not derogatory, and does not assume that our differences are "deficits."
It is easy to say, easy to remember, and won't get you stigmatized or labeled as "wierd."
If you can't be happy living a "scripted" life...
If you are driven to make a difference in the world...
If you like to make things better and NOT leave well enough alone...
If you like to take on new challenges, explore new ideas, learn and evolve...
You were BORN TO AGILIZE. If you don't have strong self-control and can't easily order yourself around, you are 90% likely to have the natural aptitude for agilizing.
My ultimate vision is the same...help people heal chronic disorganization, overwhelm and frustration and design a simpler life that fits. I'm still working with the same audience of highly creative, gifted, ADHD or ADHDish, highly technical, sensitive people who struggle with the stuckness of procrastination, clutter, disorganization, depression, anxiety and chronic overwhelm.
To embrace all of us without so many labels...I am experimenting with the terms Neurodiverse, Outliers and Tweakers. It just feels better to have a label that is not a "diagnosis" - it makes it easier to accept myself as I am, not as a set of labels that focus on "what's wrong" with me. Over-identifying with the labels reinforces them. Changing the label changes the way you see yourself. It's powerful stuff.
The Agile Life Design philosophy, mindset, skills and processes is the distillation of everything I've learned about what it takes to navigate the whitewaters of Life 3.0, cultivate personal agility in the age of "perpetual beta" and have a simpler, less pressured more satisfying life.
Going forward...the only way to get new content by email is to subscribe to a convenient, single mailing list...no more subscribing to both a blog and a mailing list. YAY! : ) Thanks to my new email system, you'll have a lot more say in what kind of updates you want to receive from me as well!
UPDATE Feb. 2012
My dream of a single mailing list is not working out too well. My email system (Infusionsoft) is so painfully difficult to use that it's hindering me from easily communicating with you. So, I'm looking into reinstating a "news" blog. Will keep you posted.!
Wishing you much peace and an ever agile heart and mind,
Efforts, no matter how small or disappointing, are the ingredients of every accomplishment. Just a little salt in a soup makes a big impact. From bland to inspiringly delicious. Makes you really want to take the next spoonful, right?
A little acknowledgement of your efforts and ignoring of your disappointments and flaws is like that salt…it makes all the other ingredients taste better, AND it inspires you to take the next little step. : )
Today is my birthday — and I could not have designed a better example of how this works than the effect that all the notes on my Facebook wall have had on me today -
Every expression MATTERS.
Each little note counted. I feel deliciously inspired to keep going in spite of all the things I did not accomplish this week while I I’ve been sick. Each one contributed to illustrating the power of a little "salt."
It's six years old and it's time to graduate to a new platform - in both technology and mission! Instead of moving this blog, I'm just going to let it rest here for a while as the new home is being decorated. I've already done the initial move, and by January 2012 ALL of my new work is going to be published on www.arianebenefit.com.
If you would like to continue with me on this journey to designing a simpler, less pressured, more agile approach to designing life, work, systems and relationships that fit together - I warmly invite you to join my mailing list.
My hope to make it simpler for us to stay in touch...so going forward...the only way to get new content and updates by email will be to subscribe to a convenient, single mailing list...no more subscribing to both a blog and a mailing list. YAY! : )
P.s. Thanks to my new email system, you'll have a lot more say in what kind of updates you want to receive from me as well!
I get questions like this in my email every day and can't possibly respond to all of them individually, so I thought I'd share this post with you and my response in hopes that it might help you figure out where to start too.
Reading your articles is like reading about myself, except that I work in a classroom instead of the corporate world, and I have been a single parent since my daughter was born 17 years ago. I've gone through all the same thoughts about being disorganized, have sought help in several ways, but I have yet to find anything that truly works with me.
With back to school season upon us, this is the time of year I get lots of inquiries from parents about their kids and organizing.
A reader recently emailed me this question:
Do you work with children? I have a friend who recently asked:
I was wondering if you help children learn how to be more organized. My daughter had an auditory delay which affects other aspects of her life, especially organization. I'm working on it and wondered if you had any suggestions.
One of the things I love about my backyard is how my garden is constantly teaching me how to be in flow - in a more healthy relationship with myself. My backyard garden is a LOT like me. Like my garden, I do not respond well to being pressured, punished, bribed or overly scheduled. I love spending time in my garden because my garden gets me. My husband says I have a green thumb - I think its just that I am in tune with the rhythms of my garden.
8 Commitments of a Healthy Relationship with Yourself
Before you say YES to anything, think through the full lifecycle maintenance needs of what it will take from you to nurture that commitment and follow -through.
Before you say "yes" understand how it will fit with other things you have already said yes to, and what you are fully committing to. What prior commitment will have to be sacrificed for you to follow-through on this new yes? Every yes represents a thousand nos. Become more conscious of what you are really saying no to before you say yes and your life will transform.
In a garden, it is very easy to say yes to an attractive plant (like the topiary in this picture) and then find out how very high maintenance it is. So you might be tempted to say yes, but then the plant dies or becomes overgrown from lack of pruning.
Much like a deadline or project we never finished because we didn't realize just how much time and energy it would take to do.
When you say yes to high maintenance things, people, or projects, what often happens is we start sacrificing self-care like sleep or eating healthy. That sets us up to become even less able to perform well and follow through on any of our commitments.
All of life, even the pleasures of sleep and eating start to feel like they are intruders on our ability to get things done, when truthfully, they are the most critical gas we need for our car.
It's funny, when we feel like we need our car to take us more places, would your first reaction be to give it less gas? If a plant is wilting, would you give it less water?
So why is it when you have more to do you tend to skip meals and lose sleep?
This weekend, my husband and I invested time in a Mid Year Financial Review - a Money Check In. Several times a year we review our finances and adjust as needed to feel confident that funds are available for all of our needs.
Some people call it budgeting...I call it keeping my relationship with money healthy and HONEST.
We have lived in our home for 10 years and this year our "big" project is paying attention to our backyard and giving it the loving care it needs to be 'restored to glory" : ) One of the things I love about my backyard is how my garden is constantly teaching me how to be in flow - in a more healthy relationship with myself. My backyard garden is a LOT like me. Like my garden, I do not respond well being pressured, punished, bribed or overly scheduled. I love spending time in my garden, because, my garden gets me. My husband says I have a green thumb, I think its just that I am in tune with the rhythms of my garden.
This weekend I was inspired to start a series of lessons I've learned. I'm going to share them with you a little at a time instead of posting a huge long post.
So here is Part 1.
8 Commitments of a Healthy Relationship with Yourself
When you learn how to take care of your garden - JUST ENOUGH and AS NEEDED, it can teach you a lot about how to treat yourself.
When you care for your garden in a natural, un-forced, unscheduled way, it thrives. And, you do too. The work of self-care does not feel like an obligation or a "chore" when you don't try to force or "should" yourself into say sleeping or eating in a healthy way.
If you tend to lose track of time like I do, timers are an aswesome strategy. But you have to remember to set them. With this tool...you just set up the interval and it goes off regularly for as long you want! Plus you can set up more than one interval and more than one sound.
It's called a "mindfulness bell'. The timer is really meant to chime to stop and take deep breaths, but you can set it to chime every 15 minutes or hour or whatever.
It works on your computer so
There is nothing you have to do or buy.
No equipment taking up your desk space.
Just set up a book mark on your Quick Links bar and CLICK.
If you have a laptop, it travels with you! No need to remember to pack a timer.
This is a clip of a portion of the screen. Could it be any simpler? : )
I'm in love with this as a supplement to the 8+ timers I have all over my home : ) It helps me be more mindful of the time that is passing while I am on the computer or on the phone. Hope it is useful to you, too.
The power of Quantum Productivity is all about the smallest thing you could do to turn "drains into gains." So let's start with the idea of 2 minutes. Two minutes is a lot longer than most people realize...and it's much easier to wrap your brain around in every way.
For me, thinking small is my secret power weapon for outsmarting procrastination. I use it every day to help me get started doing all kinds of stuff I tend to procrastinate about.
For example: If I'm resisting taking a walk, or making breakfast, or answering email, or whatever. I say things to myself like:
"okay...try it for 1 or 2 minutes - then you can stop if you can't really get into it."
P.S. For me, it's really important to include the permission to stop part.
Once the pressure is off, I truly don't mind doing things as much. It's like my resistance just melts. Kinda like when a guy takes you out on a date and stops pressuring you for the kiss, right? Once the pressure is off, you get more in the mood. hmmm...think about that. : )
I may be a freak, but it really works for me and for most people who like me tend to put too much pressure on ourselves and then shut down. : )
With the pressure off, I usually do more than I intended and then feel better about myself in many ways. Doing MORE instead of less than I intended to actually gets me more energized, feeling more optimistic, and then I'm ready to tackle even more challenging tasks.
So yes. I'm going to stand up to all those people who tell you to do the challenging stuff first and offer another way to look at things. I'm not saying they are wrong, but it's only one possible strategy. It may work for them, but it never works for me. So there. I'm sticking to doing the easy, small stuff first and giving myself permission to do just a little. : )
I've had personal trainers tell me it's not good enough to walk for just two- five minutes a day. I just ignore them, honestly. Cuz, at least by doing 5 minutes a day, I
got in the habit of really liking to go for walks.
AND I also feel more energetic
AND I can walk a LOT faster now
AND I can go further in that 5 minutes than I ever used to.
To me...that's plenty good enough for me to feel good about myself and I'm NOT gonna let them or anyone else minimize what an accomplishment and personal victory it was for me to even do those 5 minutes!
Here are some other things you can do with the power of thinking small...or with just 2 minutes.
Pay just 2 of the bills in that growing pile.
File 5 - 10 papers or more? How many can you file in 2 minutes? Hmmm..I dare you to find out!
Clean out just one section of your wallet
Clean only the toilet instead of the whole bathroom - could you do it less than 2 minutes?
Answer just 5 emails - or take just 2 minutes to answer as many emails as you can.
BONUS TIP: Set up a timer to notice how long it really takes to answer each email. Start noticing what kinds of emails tend to take longer...what the pattern? How could you create a "template" that would help you speed up your responses to those types of email?
What could you do today with just 2 minutes to change course and make a difference - in not only your productivity - but in how you feel about yourself and your "little dones"?
I gave an 8 hour Video Webinar Workshop for clients only in March on
"Designed to Change: How to put the FUN back in Functional!"
UPDATE: June 3, 2011
Many of you have indicated interest in this program, and I'm thinking about rebroadcasting the "best of" LIVE over 3 weeks via a "TV" channel and Q & A sessions. If you are interested in getting a free taste of this program and getting more info about this innovative learning adventure, let me know by commenting below! Thank you!
I'm so excited about how this video webinar produced results for the 12 participants that I'm experimenting with unique ways to edit and share the best of this program with people in other ways including self-study with live group follow-ups and even live rebroadcast so we can all watch together and interact while watching.
In the meantime, I would love your feedback on one tiny piece of the program - My new model of a more creative approach to organizing for people with unpredictable frequently changing lives.
(That means ALL of us! LOL)
There are several more photo clips posted in my Facebook Album Please click Like or leave a comment to let me know what you think : )
If you were inspired and had a customized game plan, would more of your potential be realized?
This is a question that myself and many of my fellow "thought partner" performance coaches help our clients think through and strategize every day.
The truth is that managing life as a gifted, ADD or highly creative neurodiverse person is not just about "executive control" functioning. It is a performance development and facilitation challenge.
When you have a high-speed, highly sensitive, idea spewing brain like mine, getting things done is not a controllable process. It's one that needs to be facilitated and agilized.
It's never enough to just decide to do something.
It's never enough to tell yourself to "just do it."
Human performance is complex. It's a recipe of ingredients that all must be in place before you can "take action" and bring an idea, intention and dream to life. Being a gifted, ADD, highly creative or otherwise neurodiverse person means we need more "fuel" and "conscious preparation" to get things done than the average person. Think of like having to pay a "gift tax" : )
We don't have a whole of control over our attention and performance, but we can facilitate both our attention and performance once we understand the "recipe" for agilizing the way we get things done.
Here's a few of the required "ingredients" that must be present to initiate every action or activity you perform.
You have decided WHAT to do (many of us creatives get stuck here)
You have INSPIRATION
- A clear "PURPOSE" for doing it. - You understand what NEED will be fulfilled by doing it. - A strong compelling interest in either the doing of it or in the impact of doing it (You care)
You are both willing and able to say NO to all the other needs competing for your attention long enough to do it. (Focus + Strong Emotional Drive)
You have a "MENTAL MODEL"for doing it.
- You know HOW to do it. (Skill) - You feel CONFIDENT that you can do it without overwhelming difficulty. (Belief) - You have the resources needed (Physical, Energy, Emotional, Cognitive, Time, etc.) - You trust in your own resourcefulness to clear obstacles and acquire resources (Belief) - You anticipate / expect a reward or positive outcome - either immediate or in the future. (Value) - You have patience with and tolerance for the process to move forward slowly - one little step at a time
You have a strategy or "GAME PLAN" for getting it done in spite of the obstacles you may encounter along the way.
When you're stuck or distracted, it means you are "not ready" to get into action. The issue usually lies somewhere in the above recipe or in one of the 10 Mantras of AgiliZen.