What gives you your Focus Fix?

 

Focusv2

What makes you focus the best?

It’s a constant struggle these days for us to stay “in the zone” and to filter out the things that we don’t need. Or rather filter out those things that don’t matter for that particular moment in time. We are constantly bombarded with information, news and updates and when we are not being bombarded, when it doesn’t come to us, we go seeking it. It’s as if we’re not quite happy with the peace and quiet anymore, we are so used to living such frantic lives that we don’t know how to be in the moment. We have so much going on, we can be a part of so many things that it’s hard to switch off from the external noise and just focus on one thing.

I am most certainly guilty. I am a huge over multi tasker. My brain is always on three or four things at once and I often end up either flitting between them, half doing them or returning to them later in a not entirely productive way. As a working parent I juggle family life with my business. To this I add the fact that I am an absolute expert in getting myself involved in things I most definitely don’t have time for! The consequence is that I often find it hard to really focus.

And I have this belief somehow that if I stop juggling all of this there will be some kind of catastrophe.

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Or will there?

Actually I know that stopping the juggling for a short period to focus on something important is enormously rewarding. It’s like a breath of fresh air.

For me one of the things that I stop the juggling for, to establish a lazer like focus on something that needs my entire being is when I do a workshop. You can’t half do a workshop. Well, not if you want to do it well.

Workshop Essentials

It is one of the things I love most about delivering workshops, it necessitates absolute and total dedication to the moment. When I give a workshop, I am in the zone. I am utterly focused. I have full concentration on what is going on in that workshop. I am 100% in the here and now.

After the workshop it feels like I am not quite ready to think about other things and want to enjoy basking in that bubble of being “in the zone” for a while longer. I get an enormous buzz from the intensity of the moment, the adrenaline that comes with the focus. It’s like I’ve put a “Do not disturb” sign on my head. Do not bother me with anything that is not to do with the inner heart of this workshop, or else……….you probably won’t get much sense out of me.

So that’s my thing. That is the time when I focus the best. I come out from the workshop and get back to my normal juggling. I see that the balls are still there, no catastrophe has occurred. I continue with my multitasking because that’s who I am and that’s the way I do things. Until the next time.

Anyone that has focused so intensely on something like that will tell you it’s pretty exhausting. It’s a good kind of exhausting if there is such a thing, like feeling tired because you’ve exercised rather than just tired through lack of sleep. And with a little time to regroup, plan, prepare and arrange the next workshop, it’s never long before I’m ready to do it all again. It’s  the thing I need, the antidote to the multitasking and most definitely my Focus Fix!

If you want to learn more about how I do my workshops, and watch my highly focused self in my element, come along to one of my next Workshops!

 

The A-Z of Workshop minigems Part 2 – Group work to Listening

If you’re not in the zone for my workshop yet, take a look at part 2 of the A-Z series of mini gems! These are small nuggets of information, to let you know some of the things that I consider important when doing a workshop. Some of them more obvious that others, but it’s all about helping to you think about some of the basics which are easy to overlook.

Of course we’ll be looking at the real meat of a workshop during the course, but these are just to whet your appetite…..

Today we’ve got G-L, Group Work to Listening. I’ve been publishing these daily on my facebook page and twitter feed, so look out for more coming up.

And if anyone would like to give me their own workshop top tips, I’d love to hear them!

Group Work

 

Handouts

 

Icebreakers

 

mini gems J Juggling

 

mini gems K Know your audience

 

mini gems Listening

If you think you’re ready to sign up then here is where it’s all happening:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/workshop-essentials-the-skilled-approach-to-outstanding-workshop-creation-tickets-18652884279

Why should you hold a workshop?

As we have already established, I love a good workshop. I love giving workshops, and if they are done well, I love being a participant. I love sharing ideas, having discussions, learning while doing.

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Lots of people do workshops. It is a term that has become a bit of a catch all for those situations where you get a group of people together in the same space and work with them. I know people who do workshops on Social Media, Finance, Sales and Marketing, Business Development, Nutrition and Mindfulness to name but a few. Most of the people who do them are not trainers or facilitators in their own right. They are not necessarily people who work predominantly with groups for a living. They are people who are experts in their field, have a wealth of knowledge to share and have decided to do a workshop as part of their business offering. The topics are vast and the things you can learn amazing.

But it’s not easy doing a workshop. And it’s even harder to do a good workshop. It’s fairly nerve-wracking the first time, standing up in front of a group of people and telling them what you know, watching a lot of faces full of expectation looking to you for the answers. But once you get over that hurdle, it feels fairly do-able. After all, you are the expert.

The hard bit is doing it in a way that maintains a good audience of attentively listening, actively involved, motivated participants. Being creative enough with your worldly knowledge so it is accurately and effectively imparted to a group of paying guests is not something to embark upon lightly. You’ve broken through the “everyone’s listening to me” thing, now you have to keep all those eager faces from drifting away, not sticking to the programme, losing interest. That’s the killer, much worse that everyone looking at you!

So, nothing to worry about at all then. Perhaps I’m not selling it well enough, the idea of holding a workshop. The how, is most definitely something you need to work on. But the why, well that’s much easier…….Continue reading

The A-Z of Workshop Mini Gems Part 1 – Aims to Flexibility.

In order to get everyone in the zone for my workshop I thought I’d get going with an A-Z series of mini gems! These are small nuggets of information, to let you know some of the things that I consider important when doing a workshop. Some of them more obvious that others, but it’s all about helping to you think about some of the basics which are easy to overlook.

Of course we’ll be looking at the real meat of a workshop during the course, but these are just to whet your appetite…..

Today we’ve got A-F, Aims to Flexibility. I’ve been publishing these daily on my facebook page and twitter feed, so look out for G tomorrow…….

And if anyone would like to give me their own workshop top tips, I’d love to hear them!

Mini gems A mini gems B mini gems C mini gems D mini gems E mini gems F

Embracing those Workshop Fears and Remembering the Metaphorical Hug.

In my line of work I do find myself talking a lot about workshops. After all, it is what I do. Get me going and I can be talking about them for hours…..

I have however come to realise that not everyone shares my passion. That’s okay. The idea of standing up in front of a group of people (whether large or small) can be quite daunting. This is particularly true if you haven’t actually done it before and it is probably the IDEA of doing it that frightens you most. That’s often the way, it is the thought, the notion, the imagined experience of doing something that often frightens us most. In reality, these things often turn out to be not quite so bad.

I do remember my first ever workshop, although fortunately I wasn’t alone. I did it with a colleague of mine and we were delivering a training session on communication development and disorders. It was a topic I knew inside and out and we had planned the content meticulously. We had all sorts of interesting activities in mind, and had consulted and brainstormed so we felt we had it pretty well organised. We knew what we wanted people to learn, and the level of knowledge of our participants. We spent hours planning to get it right. And I was still scared.

Continue reading