Guest Post by Kathy Vaske
This is not your typical post about planning and strategy because that would be a waste of your time. One quick internet search on the subject, (even a niche search) will deliver so many resources, templates, guides, roadmaps and more that you could tilt into overwhelm in as many seconds as it took to load your results.
So what strategic advice can this 20-year veteran offer that will be of value to you – today’s communication professional?
Just this, a two-step process that most of us forget to do:
It’s not typical, though it should be. While it’s not rocket science, most people do not stop their mind chatter long enough to really— and I mean really think about this — and see the incredible value this process will yield.
So here’s your official nudge to put this into place for 2019 success.
The core of this is to recognize that you are THE KEY to the success of any planning or strategy you put into place. You aren’t a computer program. You are a human being who has a variety of demands placed on you at every moment and too many distractions to remember from one hour to the next.
Your Two-Step Process to 2019 Success.
Step One: Clear your mind from distraction and overwhelm.
Your best winning strategy begins in your mind! When you are calm, composed, and confidently thinking from a mindset of “how do we serve?” (with regard to your audience and your business), you will have set the stage for a clear and aligned message strategy with your audience.
How to do this?
Everyone is unique. So try different ways to bring your mind into focus and clarity. When you find the combination that works for you – make it part of your game plan.
Most of all, you need to get quiet. Do your best to reboot your brain and let it go still for a few minutes. Even a few seconds will make a difference, and if you keep it up, you’ll train your brain to find stillness for more extended periods. Some suggestions:
- Okay, well this first is not a suggestion, it’s a requirement. Turn on Do Not Disturb on your digital devices. Get away from all communication, social media, etc.
- Meditate. If meditation is new to you, it’s not complicated. You just rest your mind from all the chatter – even if only for a few seconds. You can find all kinds of guided meditations on YouTube or on apps like “Headspace,” “Relax Melodies,” “Nature Sounds,” “Insight Timer,” “Mindset Success,” and “Deepak Chopra Meditations.”
- Meditation not for you? Go for a walk, even if it’s just around the building, around the block, up and down the stairwell! Just get away for a few minutes, breathe deeply and slowly. Think of a place where you are free of obligation, responsibility and observe what unfolds in that place in your mind. If work thoughts keep coming up, don’t judge, just mentally let them float away from you on a gentle breeze in your beautiful play place.
- Create a playlist of instrumental music or music in a language you do not understand, music that relaxes you but doesn’t make you think.
Step Two: Energize yourself.
A truly unique and creative strategy calls for more than composure and confidence. That’s why you need step two.
Now that you are calm, composed and confident you need to step up your energy and momentum to activate the truly juicy, creative, free-flowing ideas, words, images that will make your work distinctive and – interesting! Some suggestions:
- Hydrate yourself with water! Most Americans are chronically dehydrated, and studies show dehydration can slow down brain function. You should drink half your body weight (in ounces) each day. So a 150-pound person should have 75 ounces of water a day, or about nine 8-ounce glasses. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, add in lemons, cucumbers, oranges or mint leaves. Personally, I love cucumbers and lemons together.
- Music, create a playlist of music that energizes you and makes you feel frivolous, happy, ready for play.
- If you were taking a walk in step one – add in some energetic music and increase your pace as you head back to your desk.
- Notice what’s positive in your life: when you focus on people, animals, things that you are thankful for and you list out what you like about them, that raises your energy.
- If you work alone, or from a home office (or not, hey, it’s a free country) get up and dance to your favorite song, or do some jumping jacks, or jump up and down while punching the air. Just do something to get your blood moving, increasing the flow of oxygen to your brain.
- Breathe in lemon or essential oils. Citrus or spicy scents stimulate the nervous system and reenergize you. Eucalyptus and rosemary can also have a similar effect.
- If you are your own boss and you’re exhausted, you might try drinking a cup of coffee and then taking a 20-minute nap. The caffeine from the coffee won’t keep you awake, but it’ll kick in just about the time you need to wake up.
Now that you have the most important tool in your toolbox working in peak performance mode, you’re ready to do that thing you do so well!
Kathy Vaské is a Digital Marketing Strategist and Owner of Vaské Marketing Group. For over 20 years Kathy has led the marketing departments for corporate, mid-size and small businesses. Today, she is setting a new standard for delivering high-ROI consistency in marketing. Her commitment to streamlining and optimizing new business development systems is born from her own experiences with half-baked processes in both corporate and small business settings. Kathy specializes in bringing clarity and control to the marketing function. She helps clients develop marketing systems and processes that deliver not only new leads but connection and engagement between departments. Kathy’s company and website are currently in start-up mode but you can connect with her via Twitter @kvaske or LinkedIn.