A real world guide to get clear, find purpose and become the boss of busy.
The traditional -9 to 5' working hours no longer exist. We're now plugged in to our devices 24/7, and losing sight of ourselves whilst drowning in the doing. In a relentless change environment everyone is busy, but the heavy focus on productivity over the past two decades has dismally failed. Too many have checked out, are burnt out or are freaking out " and we're all suffering as a result. It's time to reclaim our health, happiness and sanity; even amongst the busyness it's time to Stand Out.
Written by psychologist and best-selling author Alison Hill, the forthcoming book Stand Out is a practical guide to getting clear on what matters and stop doing the stuff that just doesn't. Having worked with clients such as PepsiCo, McDonalds, Siemens, Sydney Water, BHP Billiton & Bond University, Alison's research unpacks simple models, robust diagnostics and practical strategies to help readers create change to live with real purpose and progress. She shows how to:
Treat self-care as an imperative for success
Connect to what's important here and now
Stop being distracted by busy and put purpose to action
Take control of your day, your path and your life
Accessibly written with plenty of relatable anecdotes and examples, Stand Out empowers readers with the tools, tips and strategies needed to stop being 'busy' and start getting ahead.
Alison Hill is Australia's coolest psychologist. A regular on mainstream TV and in print media, she is the co-founder of Pragmatic Thinking, a behaviour and motivation strategy company that carries a client list such as Pepsico, Suncorp, McDonald's and Siemens, to name a few. An international and in-demand keynote speaker and even more in-demand mum, Ali is also the best-selling co-author of Dealing with the Tough Stuff.
Author: Alison Hill
Question: What inspired the concept of Stand Out?
Alison Hill: The concept behind Stand Out was inspired by my own experience struggling with the overwhelm of busyness, and hearing this from the multitude of executives and leaders I was connecting with in my work. The reality is that busy and change is not going away, so waiting for calm is useless hope. We need a different approach to being able to get stop drowning in the doing. In the book I tackle the following questions:
How can I stop the wave of overwhelm?
Why do I get to the end of a day, exhausted but still feel like I've got nothing done?
Does setting boundaries push others away?
How can I tackle perfectionism, procrastination, and people-pleasing in order to make progress?
Question: What are the main signs associated with being 'burnt out' from a busy environment?
Alison Hill: Individuals, teams and organisations who struggle in a relentless change environment do so because of one of two reasons; either they:
Lose sight of a bigger purpose; or they
Stop making progress
The main signs of being burnt out from a busy environment include the sense of just going through the motions, feeling a sense of losing who you are amongst the overwhelm of what needs to get done, and questioning -why am I doing this?'. It's key to reconnect to what really matters to you.
Question: How can we connect to what is important here and now?
Alison Hill: Great question, and the reality is that somedays the thing that really matters here and now, is just making sure you have lunch; the fact that's a healthy lunch might be a side bonus. Or getting a good nights sleep rather than working til 2am in the hope of -getting it all done'. Or calling a friend for a good belly-laugh. It's the everyday things that nurture your soul that you need to prioritise.
For me the imagery is like being in the middle of a mosh-pit at a concert, when you want to move forward you've got to quietly, gently, whilst still firmly elbow and nudge your way forward. In the same way you've got to nudge space and time to hit reset, recentre to what you need, and re-energise even amongst the busyness.
Question: What advice do you have for those of us who are easily distracted?
Alison Hill: Ah, the divine lure of distraction is a net that catches so many, including myself. Distraction can be digital, but it also can be getting busy doing the little things so that we don't have time to focus on the big stuff. Distraction is a subtle influencer on where our time goes throughout a day.
The biggest advice is to not beat yourself when you notice that you've gone down a rabbit warren you didn't need to. Pay attention and notice it. At the start of day clarify what's the ONE THING that if you were able to nail it today it would feel like today was a success. Then do that thing. And when you do inevitably get distracted, come back to the question -what's the best use of my time right here and now?'.
Author: Alison Hill
Interview by Brooke Hunter