This morning as I was enjoying my swim, I was reflecting on how much I enjoyed the previous day’s speaking engagement (I presented “Multitasking Makes You Stupid” for the Redmond Rotary Club) — how much I appreciated the interest and participation of the audience, how grateful I am to be able to help and witness people learn something new and beneficial that will help them be less stressed and more successful, and how I am looking forward to my next speaking engagement. That got me thinking about how, as an extroverted introvert, I used to occasionally feel nervous about public speaking. Standing at a podium speaking into a microphone for a large audience could at times be a recipe for butterfly soup.
When I thought about the various reasons why I had such a positive experience, I realized that one, perhaps the most foundational, boiled down to positive thinking. I am so often reminded of the incredible power of positive thinking (and conversely, the power of negative thinking). I approached my engagement and my day with a positive attitude, so, not surprisingly, I had a positive experience. I told myself it was going to be fun and successful, and, guess what…it was! Had I instead told myself it was going to be difficult, or dreadful, then chances are it might have been. What’s great about positive thinking is that we are 100% in control of that ourselves. While we can’t control the weather, the traffic, the unforeseen interruptions or problems that may arise throughout our day, we can control our attitude. Establishing and maintaining a positive attitude makes all those un-pleasantries so much more bearable! With a positive outlook, things that might otherwise seem difficult or frustrating may even be re-framed as beneficial opportunities.
What does this have to do with “framing”? For me framing is the definition and structure (and sometimes self-talk) we create around something — an experience, a thought, a plan, a task — anything can be framed. I framed my day with a positive outlook (and good planning) which helped me have a positive successful experience.
Framing also helps increase productivity. A “framed” day has structure and planning. By framing our day with a daily plan for the tasks we intend to accomplish to work on our goals, we vastly increase the likelihood that we will achieve what we hope to. Without framing (planning), our day can easily become reactive, putting out fires, responding to emails, and suddenly the day is over and we’ve made no progress towards important goals or tasks. Framing is preparing; the more prepared we are the more successful we are (and the fewer butterflies in our soup).
I like to frame my day with several steps that start with exercise, a cup of tea, expressing gratitude (journaling, writing a thank you note or expressing thanks to someone out loud or in person- a great way to exercise that positive thinking muscle) and then writing down my to-do list for the day (with one section for calls to make, another for emails to send and another for project tasks). With my body engaged through movement, my positive thinking tank filled up and my to-do list in hand, I am ready to start painting the picture of my day.
How do you frame your day? If you could use help creating more structure to get the most out of your days, we can help. Contact us to learn more.