Health Habits

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Habits, some of us have a regular health habits, some of us are establishing new ones, some of us don’t think about them they are so embedded in our lives.

Do you encourage your staff and yourself to take breaks from your screen? Do you support your team to exercise? Simple tips include having fruit available instead of the traditional biscuits and herbal teas.

There is a significant amount of research on how essential brain breaks are, the difference in productivity when staff are encouraged to have a break from their desks and their computers. In our experience, the simple task of making a cup of coffee or looking up from your screen gives the brain a break and the opportunity to recharge.

Unfortunately, when we get ‘busy’, itis often our health that takes a back seat. We have been lucky enough to experience the benefits of our services, by seeing clients get back into the gym. The tasks that we have taken off them have enabled them to have 30 minutes of exercise a day;this is rewarding as we know what exercise does for us, it is heart-warming to know that our company enables our clients to get that benefit.

Be Vocal

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The art of delegation, how well do you do it? Do you consider yourself a perfectionist? In our experience, this is a tough thing to do.  However, when you discover the flexibility and the benefits of the time freed up from delegating it becomes second nature.  Asking for help and saying no, are not things that shouldbe disregarded, we need to know when we are at capacity.  Some tasks need to be delegated to someone else who has the passion or knowledge to get them done faster.   

You have to ask for help and be vocal for this to happen, in our experience, do this before even the smallest tasks become too much, because it can happen and this is one of the reasons why we formed this company.   

There is an art to knowing when to be vocal and when to sit there and get your tasks done.  Sometimes being generous with your time and demonstrating your skill sets can result in you adding work to your plate.  So be vocal when you need to, remember, your staff, your business partner, your partner and your family can’t read your mind, so you have to be vocal and put your hand up for assistance.  

We are here, to enable you to grow, to spend your time differently, get in touch and let us pick up those tasks that are heading to the bottom of your list.  

How to Manage Your Time Effectively?

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Time, it’s the one thing we can’t purchase and it is the one thing we can’t get back. Once the day is gone, it’s gone. We all have the same 168 hours in a week, the same 8,760 hours in a year but what we do with those hours is up to us. How we use our hours and what we use them for is subject to each individual and their choices. We all have different goals, ambitions and life circumstances but the truth is, some of us simply just use our hours better than others.

Organising your time can be as simple as putting a few routines in place to ensure that tasks or events you have coming up are ready the day before. Is your to-do list with you at all times? Read our 5 simple habits to help you achieve your life goals here. Having a constant working and well used to-do list is the first task that any busy person needs to master.

Do you travel a lot? Having a list of your basics that you want to take with you every trip is a fantastic way to make sure you don’t waste time thinking about what to pack. There’s nothing worse than landing at your destination, realising you forgot something and having to waste a few hours trekking around to replace it. Read our tips on the perfect travel itinerary here.

If you have the ability to control your calendar a great tip for an organised day is to ‘chunk’ your time. If you know you are going to be on the road a lot organise your day geographically.

Chucking is important for so many reasons, you can chunk your meetings, your tasks and your time. Let’s say you are going to work on a particular project for 90 mins. Turn your phone on silent mode, and your email and social media notifications off. I’m sure you all know this, but have you actually tried it? It may take a few extra minutes to go into your phone and do this but think about the time you waste just looking at your phone to see if that notification needs tending to. Just a glance is a break in concentration. Your brain needs to then make a decision on what to do with that notification and even if you don’t act on it you still need to refocus your attention on the task that was previously at hand.

Have you ever actually implemented either of these? Try and it and let us know what you think. In our experience the end result is projects getting finished in a timely manner, with less mistakes due to no distractions and the end result is you will have more time at the end of the day to use however you see fit. If the thought of chunking your day is too much for you, get in contact and we can assist with the small task of calendar management. We are also managing some of our clients emails which is proving to be a game changer. Not sure if this will work for you? Get in touch and we would be happy to set you up with a trial.

Remember, we all have the same 168 hours in a week. Once they’re gone you can’t get them back so how are you using your 168 hours?

DO YOU SUFFER FROM INFORMATION OVERLOAD

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Screens they are everywhere, they increasingly rule our lives.  We have previously mentioned the idea of charging your phone in another room while you sleep, some find this extreme.  Many people we have come across have a lot of trouble sleeping, and yes, believe it or not, there are those who can’t sleep without the TV on, yes I live with one of them, in fact, his entire family is the same.

In a world so dictated by technology, our brains do suffer from information overload, and this reduces our ability to sleep and also think clearly.  We are so accessible to everyone, all the time and it can ruin our relationships professionally and personally.

It is essential for you and your mind to take time out for yourself, it may mean going for a 5km run, meditating for 30 mins, sitting down and reading an actual book.  If you are running, put your phone on do not disturb mode, enabling you to listen to your music but not be distracted this also goes for meditation, exercise, boxing, walking, painting, drawing, time with your friends.  If you have elderly parents or you worry about your family most devices have the ability for you to enable calls from specific people.  Making time for yourself and escaping this world of unnecessary information is imperative.

If you want or need any more tips on some of the other ways we implement this or the recommendations we give our clients, then get in touch.

WHY AND HOW SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE DELEGATE

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The art of delegation, how well do you do it? Do you consider yourself a perfectionist? In our experience, this is a tough thing to do.  However, when you discover the flexibility and the benefits of the time freed up from delegating it becomes second nature.  Asking for help and saying no, are not things that should be disregarded, we need to know when we are at capacity.  Some tasks need to be delegated to someone else who has the passion or knowledge to get them done faster. 

You have to ask for help and be vocal for this to happen, in our experience, do this before even the smallest tasks become too much, because it can happen and this is one of the reasons why we formed this company. 

There is an art to knowing when to be vocal and when to sit there and get your tasks done.  Sometimes being generous with your time and demonstrating your skill sets can result in you adding work to your plate.  So be vocal when you need to, remember, your staff, your business partner, your partner and your family can’t read your mind, so you have to be vocal and put your hand up for assistance.

We are here, to enable you to grow, to spend your time differently, get in touch and let us pick up those tasks that are heading to the bottom of your list.

S.M.A.R.T GOALS AND WHY YOU NEED THEM

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Have you ever written a letter to your 20-year-old self? Or have you ever written your eulogy?  If you haven’t, we challenge you to do this.  If you have the slightest reservation about any goals, where to start or more importantly your legacy, then the two tasks previously mentioned are eye-opening starting points.

What is your legacy? What are your actual goals? Do you do something every day that gets you closer to your goals? Do you have set personal, family and professional goals? In my experience, S.M.A.R.T (‘Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely’) goals are a useful starting point if you have never been prone to writing down specific goals. 

Goals that lead to forming lifestyle habits that then become routine can help to result in lasting changes, for example, instead of having a specific weight goal, have a goal of how many times a week you will exercise.  Doing this gives you flexibility and routine.  It means, that if you want to change walking around the golf course with business associates for a morning walk on the beach, you are not changing your goal of exercising, you are flexible.  

One of the ways we have seen goals make a difference to our clients, is if we know what your goals are and what your key drivers are it means we can help ensure you get that time in your day or week.

HAVE YOU GOT YOUR 'BRAIN' POLICIES IN PLACE?

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What do you do to stay on task? Do you have a set routine you follow everyday? What are your business policies on phones, emails and distractions in general?

People with a full schedule and no structure can sometimes struggle to cope. Darting from one task to the next can get overwhelming, especially when tasks aren’t being fully completed. Until a task is completed your brain keeps a tiny place for it in your mind so when you move onto the next task it makes it hard to give it your full attention. To put it another way, it’s like leaving your computer on and the hard-drive still works away in the background, the unfinished tasks take up memory and brain space until your brain/computer can mark them as complete.

We have previously talked about chunking and how effective it can be, another way to reduce your stress and organise you mind is as Time Ferriss talks about in the 4-hour work week is complete your most important, difficult and possibly emotionally draining task first. This frees up your ‘hard-drive’ and it is a little bit scary how easy the smaller tasks become.

If you feel like your inbox is getting control of you and everything needs to be attended to, let us take care of that. Our PA’s are trained with an eagle eye to flag what is crucial, what needs your attention and what just needs a yes/no response and then everything else is either deleted or put in your ‘interesting information to be read later’ folder.

Let us clear some brain space and give you back your time. Call us today.

TIPS ON ORGANISING YOUR TIME

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Time, it’s the one thing we can’t purchase and it is the one thing we can’t get back. Once the day is gone, it’s gone. We all have the same 168 hours in a week, the same 8,760 hours in a year but what we do with those hours is up to us. How we use our hours and what we use them for is subject to each individual and their choices. We all have different goals, ambitions and life circumstances but the truth is, some of us simply just use our hours better than others.

Organising your time can be as simple as putting a few routines in place to ensure that tasks or events you have coming up are ready the day before. Is your to-do list with you at all times? Read our 5 simple habits to help you achieve your life goals here. Having a constant working and well used to-do list is the first task that any busy person needs to master.

Do you travel a lot? Having a list of your basics that you want to take with you every trip is a fantastic way to make sure you don’t waste time thinking about what to pack. There’s nothing worse than landing at your destination, realising you forgot something and having to waste a few hours trekking around to replace it. Read our tips on the perfect travel itinerary here.

If you have the ability to control your calendar a great tip for an organised day is to ‘chunk’ your time.  If you know you are going to be on the road a lot organise your day geographically.

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Chunking is important for so many reasons, you can chunk your meetings, your tasks and your time.  Let’s say you are going to work on a particular project for 90 mins. Turn your phone on silent and your email and social media notifications off. I’m sure you all know this, but have you actually tried it? It may take a few extra minutes to go into your phone and do this but think about the time you waste just looking at your phone to see if that notification needs tending to. Just a glance is a break in concentration. Your brain needs to then make a decision on what to do with that notification and even if you don’t act on it you still need to refocus your attention on the task that was previously at hand.  

Have you ever actually implemented either of these?  Try it and let us know what you think. In our experience the end result is projects getting finished in a timely manner, with less mistakes due to no distractions and the end result is you will have more time at the end of the day to use however you see fit. If the thought of chunking your day is too much for you, get in contact and we can assist with the small task of calendar management. We are also managing some of our clients emails which is proving to be a game changer. Not sure if this will work for you? Get in touch and we would be happy to set you up with a trial.

Remember, we all have the same 168 hours in a week. Once they’re gone you can’t get them back so how are you using your 168 hours?

BRAIN BREAKS IN THE WORKPLACE

When it comes to the work place, it’s important that good healthy workplace practices are put in place. Everyday studies are showing that long work hours are affecting staffs productivity and wellness and if you’re running a business then you will know that these factors are imperative to your bottom line. Unproductive staff, unwell staff not working to their full potential can cost you time and money.

Do you encourage your staff to take breaks from their screen?  Do you support your team to exercise? Simple tips include having fruit available instead of the traditional biscuits and herbal teas.  There is a significant amount of research on how essential brain breaks are, the difference in productivity when staff are encouraged to have a break from their desks and their computers is not only noticeable but gives staff a chance to reset and become more productive.  In our experience, the simple task of making a cup of coffee or looking up from your screen gives the brain a break and the opportunity to recharge.

Unfortunately, when we get ‘busy’, it’s often our health that takes a back seat.  We have been lucky enough to experience the benefits our services are making in our clients businesses and lives. Clients get back into the gym, having tie to network and connect again with their staff. 

If you feel it may be time to explore the opportunity of having a PA let us know. Our services are flexible, affordable and are quite literally changing peoples lives. Whether is more time to yourself, or more time in your business that you need, we have the solution for you. Give us a call today and see how we can take help.

WHY WE LOVE A GOOD TRAVEL ITINERARY

We have so many choices and options when it comes to everything these days. Thinking about what you use and when to use it takes up space in your brain.

Every trivial decision we make uses resources in the brain that then leaves less there for making decisions in regard to your business, your home life and your family. Decisions like what time to fly, where to stay, will you need a hire car or what restaurants are in the area can be overwhelming and stressful, but most of all time consuming.

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Have you ever thought about how much easier it is to make decisions when you’re travelling? You have limited resources when it comes to deciding what to wear, you generally have an itinerary so you know where you are going and when you are going there.  So really all you have to decide is what you are going to eat and drink.  Decisions are so much easier when your choice is limited.

There are plenty of things that can be done to take the pressure off your travel plans. Business tools and apps are a few ways in which you can help to keep things simple. Use your brain power to work on your business instead. At Instant PA we enjoy looking at ways to streamline your life, get in touch with us streamline your decision making process.  

5 Simple Habits to Help You Achieve Your Life Goals

Everyone needs a little extra motivation! Taking on these 5 simple habits will help you achieve your goals. 

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The dynamics of living in the modern world have had a significant impact on our day to day lives. Schedules are often packed tight, leaving very little room for leisure and recreation. With this going on, it is not uncommon to find that the goals we set for ourselves when we were younger are long forgotten and often remain unachieved. This, however, does not need to be the case. The following are a few simple steps to ensure that you achieve your life goals.

Meditate

Meditation is a practice that is as old as time, but it is also one that is still received with a lot of scepticism in many circles. The credibility and effectiveness of meditation have been brought into question numerous times, and for those who have tried it have reported very positive results. The process requires relaxation and focus for a few minutes of your time every so often. You can commit to 15 minutes of meditation every morning. This will allow you to gain the motivation to face the day and focus on doing the things that you need to do.

Keep Your Eye on the Prize

In the midst of all the busy schedules of work, family and social life, most people keep postponing activities that may not be urgent to a later date. In this case, the activities that you may have chosen to postpone may be the ones that will create a foundation for you to achieve your life goals. To ensure that this vicious cycle is kept at bay, it is important to carry out personal evaluations from time to time to examine your trajectory. When carrying out these evaluations, it is important to remain without bias. This way, you will be able to identify weaknesses and make the necessary adjustments.

Eat Healthily

Health is arguably one of the most important subjects on this list. When one is focussed on getting work done, it is not uncommon to lean towards fast food or skipping meals altogether. An unhealthy diet may save time in the short run but leaves one at risk of contracting lifestyle diseases and may also put one at risk of getting infected with other ailments as a result of a weakened immune system. Fixing this will require time and money which will take you further from your goals. Ensure you eat healthy meals for the better part of your days and throw in some exercise from time to time.

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Make Lists

A lot of people are predisposed to making mental lists when they have things to do. However, it has not been very effective especially when the lists are significantly longer. This affects one's efficiency and the result is a lot of tasks are not completed on time.

Having a notebook where you can clearly write down what they need to do every day and when they need to do it will ensure that you stay organized throughout the day. It is important to be realistic when making these lists. Trying to squeeze in too much may overwhelm and demotivate you making the whole process counter-productive.

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Read Books

Yet another underrated activity is reading books. Whenever we encounter problems in life, our ability to assess the problem and come up with solutions is heavily dependent on how much knowledge we have acquired over the years. Reading books widens our perspective on different matters and improves our attention spans which are essential for problem solving and creativity. Reading more books will put you in a better position to achieve your goals.

Stress vs Stigma

By Rachel Wilson

As we make ourselves more and more accessible to the whole world, we are putting more and more pressure on ourselves.  As we do this we put more stress on ourselves.  I can say this through experience.  For years I was physically at events, be it weddings, christenings, 1st birthdays, networking events or even ‘girls’ trips’ away, but I was not mentally present.  I would have 3 or 4 phones on me at any given time, business phones for Australia, U.K, NZ and my personal phone.  The amount of times I would be at a lunch with all of them sitting there in front of me.  Luckily, I taught myself to always write notes at these lunches or nothing would have been followed up and a business or two would have failed.  

This is when I started to learn the power of an exceptional assistant.  Yes, I did have the best of the best, and slowly but surely she made me realise the world wasn’t going to fall apart if I didn’t respond to that blackberry message instantly.  One of the most prominent things she did for me was literally hide every device I had for 90 mins every evening.  From 7.30 - 9pm every evening I was completely and utterly disconnected.  I laughed uncontrollably, danced like a child and actually knew what was going on in my friends lives.  If I was at a dinner, I was there without my phones.  I was actually there, I was living.  I was reacquainting myself with my friends and business associates. 

Why is there such as stigma to having a personal assistant? Someone who actually makes your personal life better, someone who increases your efficiency and someone who gives you your life back.  

We live in a world where so often the answer is to pop another pill, see another doctor.  How about just giving yourself what you really need and to have an hour or two a day to yourself, being you and living for you.  Take time for yourself and enjoy a stunning sunset anywhere in the world. 

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5 Steps to Healthy Balanced Living

By Rayne Embley

When it comes to healthy living my number one tip is to find your balance. For me, balance is about doing what you can to feel good about every aspect of your life. Balance not only in it’s physical form but emotionally and spiritually as well. 

There are no quick fixes when it comes to health. No super fast weight loss stories and no shortcuts to a long healthy sustainable life. When you think about it in those terms the whole thing can become quite daunting but I’m here to let you know that it doesn’t have to be. There are certain things you can do most days that can not only kick start you on your health journey but will also improve your life and the best part, you can start right now. 

EXERCISE
We all know how important exercise is to our health. It keeps your heart healthy, your lungs in good check and it helps you cleanse and tone your body. It also aids your mental health (hence why I LOVE to punch a boxing bag) by relieving stress. As a mum of three I can find it challenging to find the time to exercise but without making the super easy everyday excuses, there are plenty of ways you can get your body moving everyday. Sometimes all it takes is rolling out of bed and punching out a few push-ups and sit-ups. If you can’t make your favourite class or get out to go for a run then YouTube can be your best friend. There are plenty of in-home videos that will get you up and about in the comfort of your own lounge room. No excuses there! And remember, just 5 minutes doing something is better than doing nothing. 

EATING
I’m really not at all for the ‘diet thing’. Tell me I can’t have something and I will be sure to tell you where to go. I prefer to attack my meals with the approach that food is for pleasure and nourishment. If you look at your diet as a choice and not a restriction you are a lot more likely to choose foods that will benefit your health and help you get the best out of your body. Food can not only effect your mood and energy levels but it also can be very social. A good meal with friends is one of life’s ultimate joys. How do I make good choices? First of all, I make sure that my pantry and fridge is stocked with healthy choices. If it’s not there, you can’t eat it! That’s not to say I don’t indulge. It just means that if I really feel like something, I have to make the extra effort to have it. I eat as organic and fresh as possible. I start most mornings with a healthy breakfast or green smoothie. It’s the easiest meal for me to make a good choice and it also sets me up for a 'good food’ day. We have a rule at home that at every meal we have to have a ‘green thing’ and this has now become our norm. I have eliminated most sugar and processed foods in the house. My kids are so full of energy without sugar, I would hate to have to deal with them full of it all of the time. Meal time is sacred in our home. We sit together, we eat slowly and we are grateful for the food nourishing our bodies. It’s of the upmost importance to have a good relationship with food. 

MANAGE STRESS
Managing stress is essential to your health. Stress contributes to a lower immune system, fatigue and not to mention can accelerate the ageing process. There are simple ways to help eliminate stress and work towards that life balance and one of those ways is meditation. Research shows that people who meditate regularly develop less hypertension, heart disease, anxiety, and other stress-related illnesses. Apart from exercising everyday, I make my best efforts to meditate. Meditation calms me, it helps me stay present and I feel my life generally flows better when I have made the time to nurture my whole being through meditation. 

FAMILY TIME
As a working mother, life can all too often get overwhelmingly busy. Rushing from meetings to school pick ups, after school sports, making dinner and trying to find time to fill up my own cup, it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day rituals of life. The biggest marker for me is usually when one of my kids starts consistently playing up. Of course there can be outside factors but sometime it’s simply due to the fact that they are craving some one on one time. Sometimes all it takes is a puzzle, a baby chino or some time out for a tickle party to re-connect and regenerate the soul. 

H2O AND SUPPLEMENTS
Hydration, hydration, hydration!! Put down the cool drink, juice and cordial and give your body exactly what it needs, water. Being dehydrated can make you feel hungry and tired when in fact you might just be thirsty. Water flushes toxins from your body and ensures your cells are operating at their optimum level. Although I try to eat as well as I can, I’m still a huge believer in supplements. There are many outside factors which affect our health that are out of our control and let’s face it, food these days isn’t as rich in vitamins and minerals as it used to be. It’s important to take a high quality supplement to make up for the vitamins and minerals you may be lacking. I take an antioxidant and a vitality supplement everyday. 

When it comes to your health it’s important to take it seriously but it’s just as important to not put too much pressure on yourself. Make sure you are honest and keep yourself accountable for your actions because what we do today is what really matters.