Thursday 7 February 2013

5:1 positive to negative interactions

As a postscript to yesterday's blog I wanted to share more on one other action I've taken and that's to:
  • keep away from things that bring my energy down.
As I've written before the things that bring my energy down even include watching NCIS so they're very unique to me! I can't tell you how much better I feel since I've cut out the murder, shooting and dead bodies! Watching them that is - yes even Midsummer murder was causing a problem!

Last week I realised that reading what was a wonderfully inspiring set of blogs was having a negative impact on me. It's a series of blogs on mental health and included many stories of what mental health means to those writing the blog from first hand experience and from those who support personally or professionally. It's been wonderful to watch the ripples of impact wash out from the blog and I know many many people will have been positively impacted for ever as a result of what been said and shared. I also started to read Life as a widower's blog which again has been truly inspiring. What I have found personally however is I've been getting drawn into the energy - perhaps I've just been taking rapport and empathy too literally. The words were no longer providing me with inspiration and so I decided to take a break from them.

I wondered why that might be and remembered John Gottman (link is to him talking on the subject) who discovered that in relationships we need five times more positive interactions than negative interactions. I wondered if that was also true more generally and was why I needed a break from the blogs. Perhaps my ratio was misaligned! Perhaps rushing every day to read the blogs before I'd even got my 5 positive messages in wasn't helpful. Perhaps because I've been too busy and stressed my ratio needed to be a little higher - perhaps 10:1 (I think this is close to the maximum limit Gottman suggests is helpful).

I'm back to dipping into the blogs but no matter how high my positive interactions I'm not sure I'll ever get back to NCIS however great the banter between characters.

I'll write another blog on what I'm doing to bring in the positivity but for now will leave you with a question - what's your current ratio, and if it's not helping you day to day what can you do to get back to a ratio that supports your daily wellbeing?

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Inspiring collaboration in Purchasing

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Some things I remember and some I forget when I'm busy!

January and February have been very busy months so far - not enough days and all that.

You'd think with all the training I've attended, and even provide myself, on understanding ourselves, doing more of what sustains us, making sure we have balance etc etc that I'd have got it sussed by now. Yet here I am yet again kicking myself for the things I've forgotten to do that might help with keeping me focused, positive and on top of things.

But first let's start with the things I have remembered to do:
  • In the preceding 2 months the house was decluttered - there isn't a cupboard or drawer that hasn't been tidied. Which means no wasted time looking for things.
  • At the same time every broken or damaged item in the house was mended, replaced or simply thrown away. Which means no wasted time with things not working.
  • I got my inbox down to 0. Which means no wasted time looking at an email 30+ times telling myself I'll deal with  it later. If it's going to take less than 2 mins to deal with it I reply then and there.
  • I'm using my ipad to support what I do - To-do lists via ActionMethod, lots of great blogs loaded to dip in and out of to inspire, the kindle app and google drive loaded so that I may read interesting PDF's and books whilst on the move, and so on.
  • I've said no to things that will only add to my schedule.
  • I've booked myself on a yoga course.
  • When I give myself the time I do eat home made juices, soups and casseroles.
But that's the problem "when I have time" - there's lots of things I'm forgetting to do because I've become too busy to remember or because I don't allow myself the time to do them. Essential things like:
  • Drink 8 glasses of water a day
  • Going for a walk and getting some fresh sea air
  • Moving my body frequently (not sit at the PC for 10 hrs straight!)
  • Scheduling time with friends
  • Spending more time with people - as an extrovert I go get my energy from being with others
  • Blogging - because the satisfaction and buzz I get from writing can last me days 
Well they do say we teach what we ourselves need to learn so one day I may just get it!

What do you need to remember to do more of? or less of ? and when will you take the necessary action.

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Inspiring collaboration in purchasing.