Life Coach and Reiki

Slowing Down to Speed Up. The Secret to Efficiency.

I bet you came across this blog as you were scrolling LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram. I am also assuming that I only have a tiny bit of your attention. You are probably also eating, listening to a meeting or podcast, and your kids or pets are also begging for your attention.  Am I right?

We really want to be efficient multitaskers. We want to do it all and do it well.  We truly believe that our colleagues, bosses, friends and spouses are doing a great job of handling multiple tasks at once.  And, truth be told, they go to great lengths to make it appear that way.  But, the truth is, our brains were not designed to multitask. You are working against mother nature when you attempt this and in reality, you will take longer to complete your tasks, they will contain more errors, you will retain less information about the tasks you performed and your stress levels will increase. So, really, what is the advantage?

young working mother cuddling baby and using laptop at home
Multitasking slows you down, decreases concentration and increases mistakes

There is no advantage to multitasking. That is clear from decades of research. One study showed that efficiency dropped as much as 40% when multitasking efforts were performed!  Another study showed the prolonged multitasking actually lowered IQ of study participants to the level that researchers might have expected had they just smoked a joint. The same study also indicated that multitasking lowers EQ levels in the areas of social-awareness and self-awareness. Emotional intelligence is a predictor of workplace and leadership success. So, please, stop it if you want to get ahead!

The reason why so many of us attempt multiple (often contradictory) tasks at once is under the guise of speed and efficiency.  Your thought process might go something like this, “If I can just type this email, while finishing this podcast and getting in my 50 squats at my standing desk, I have achieved three minor tasks at once and I will be ahead of the game before that 8am meeting.”

writer working on typewriter in office
How fast are you really going?

It’s an understandable mindset and it is logical but, unfortunately, it is biologically incorrect. What actually happens in this situation is that your brain oscillates back and forth between the three tasks and so you slow down as you move between each task and your brain takes extra time to re-orient to the new task each time you make the slight shift between listening to the podcast and constructing a sentence.  But let us just say you did all three of these things at once and it felt good.  That’s possible.  But according to research, if we were to go back and check your accuracy or retention of information, the flaws would become apparent.

Your email would likely have typos and you would not be able to share what you learned from the end of the podcast. You may also have sore muscles from rushing through your squats and therefor your form might be off.  So, yes, you may feel good about your accomplishments, but they would not be your best work.  And, if this is how you always operate, your performance will be less than stellar, and you will not be impressing anyone!

person holding round framed mirror near tree at daytime
Slow down. Focus. Concentrate.

So, now what?  As with all habits it will take time to re-train your brain. It will also take effort, intention, grit and focus.  All of these things will feel out of reach, at least initially. You will wonder if you can do it.  Here is the thing… You can do it and you should do it.

Once you are more intentional and mindful in your endeavors, you will see why it was worth it. Your colleagues, superiors and friends will notice the change in your vibe, mood and energy. Instead of the distracted and always irritable version of you that they have become accustomed to, they will notice that you are calm and present rather than ungrounded and absentminded.  They will also notice that you are more accurate with your tasks and more approachable in your mood.  All of these positive changes will likely help you achieve those goals that had you multi-tasking in the first place.

Be mindful and trust your intuition

If you are seeking a promotion or a lateral move in your company, being known as grounded and focused will stand you in good stead against your disorganized, overwhelmed or moody co-workers.  While you and your competitors may have similar work experience and training, your mood and overall pleasant vibe will be attractive to leaders in your industry or company. It’s well known that formal training and skill set are only one small part of making a hire.  Leaders and recruiters are also assessing personality and non-verbal cues to see if you would be a good fit for their specific team, company culture and industry.  Once you start slowing down and becoming more efficient with your energy, everything you do becomes more effective.

It is easy to see how slowing down and being intentional with your time will also work well at home.  Whether you are living the single life or balancing a family with small children or an empty-nester, everyone benefits when you let go of multi-tasking. When you are with your spouse, try to be just in that moment. Put down the phone or the mental to do list or laundry basket and just be present in that one conversation. If you are with your baby or dog, just play with them- making good eye contact, smiling and laughing. Even babies and pets know when they are missing your full attention.  When you are planning a vacation or filing tax returns with your life partner, just stay there in that one conversation without interruption.  Turn off your phone notifications and email pop-ups, you will not need them if you are making an effort to complete one task at a time.   

family making breakfast in the kitchen
Work-Life Balance

Notice how your relationships improve with this intentional act of being present, mindful and focused on one person at a time. Implore your loved ones to try this with you.  Pay attention to how it feels when your partner is focused just on you rather than when they are multitasking.  And pay attention to how it feels to know you are giving your family 100% of your attention rather than 1/10 of it!

With the start of a new year upon us, it is traditional to review the year we’ve had and set goals for the year ahead.  It’s a good time to think about what is working in your life and what’s not. It’s also a good idea to see if the things you are doing are influencing your life the way you had hoped they would. As I said at the beginning of this article, we multitask because we want to be effective and efficient. But, despite our wishes, multitasking makes us slow, inaccurate and forgetful.  So, if you want a different result, try a different tactic.  Give it 60 days and see how it feels after a few months. Assess, reorient, work through the challenges and let me know how it goes.

close up shot of a typewriter
Career Coach & Life Coach | Carrie Mead, MS | 443.951.3986

If you want help with organization, mindset shifts or living with the consequences of adult ADHD, working with a life coach and psychotherapist, like me, can help.  Life is challenging and seeking expert guidance is a wise decision for many people like you.  Whether you are working through a major life transition, changing careers or simply want a change of pace in your life, I can help.  Complimentary consultations can be booked at: https://marylandtherapycarrie.com/contact or by calling me at 443.951.3986.

LETTING GO OF COVID19-ANXIETY

Healing Journey. Transformation Coaching

Welcome to spring 2020. Pollen, bluebirds and…. change is in air. We are muddling through unprecedented, scary, times together. We would rather be enjoying the extra daylight and warmer temperatures, but instead, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID19 outbreak a world health pandemic. Thus, our anxiety heightened to intolerable levels. Collectively, we began to imagine worst-case- scenarios as our retirement funds plummeted, schools closed, and jobs were lost. Our worst fears started to unfold before our eyes and we seemed powerless to stop the destructive path carved out by a tiny virus. Creating a healthy mindset in the midst of chaos is pivotal because COVID19-anxiety is real.

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Workplace Wellness is not Optional

depression and anxiety impact work

When the days draw-in and sunlight begins to wane (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), you may notice a drop in your energy levels, motivation, and mood. This most often rears its ugly head in the workplace.  Maybe it is a missed deadline, a skipped meeting, or a lack of follow-through on a commitment.  Maybe it is increased anxiety about job security due to your poor performance. However it is showing up for you, stress is a problem and you may not be able to solve it on your own. According to the Washington Post [1] depression and anxiety cost the global economy over $1 trillion in lost productivity. In the USA alone that is upwards of 200 million lost workdays every year! With numbers like this, everyone will benefit from workplace wellness initiatives that respect and create a work-life balance.

Continue reading “Workplace Wellness is not Optional”

NEED HELP WITH YOUR STRATEGIC DECISION-MAKING SKILLS?

Have you ever had a difficult time making a decision? Perhaps you have rushed into a decision and then regretted it either instantly or months later. Maybe you are so indecisive that decisions simply never get made and you are left feeling stuck in your situation. Maybe you have made decisions that were in direct conflict with your long-term goals or vision for your life. With the countless decisions you have made in your life, have you ever stopped and wondered how these past decisions have impacted the trajectory of your life?

impulsive vs. indecisive

Continue reading “NEED HELP WITH YOUR STRATEGIC DECISION-MAKING SKILLS?”

The benefits of certified life coaching? Peace, Joy & Success.

We all go through periods of time when we could benefit from some wise, objective, and thoughtful support to reach our goals.  Friends and family can be great for offering advice, but life coaching isn’t about advice-giving.  Life coaching is about empowering you to identify your desires, set your intentions and then, of course, achieve your goals.  

Continue reading “The benefits of certified life coaching? Peace, Joy & Success.”

Do I need a life coach or a therapist?

Carrie Mead, MS
Transitions Life Coach
Curiosity Life Coaching

As a psychotherapist and life coach, people always ask me the difference between my two roles. People are always curious about what I do. They are also want to know how to discern what they need. Basically, is  their problem coachable or therapeutic in nature?

So, with this blog, I want to address frequently asked questions about the differences between psychotherapy and life coaching. It’s not uncommon for people to confuse these two professions and to be sure, similarities do exist. However, these professions are not interchangeable. These waters can become even murkier as many counselors, like me, are practicing as both licensed counselors and life coaches. However, when you a hire a coach with a Masters in Counseling, like me, you can rest assured that the foundation of our work together is rooted in my innate understanding of the human psyche.

It’s important to note that as a potential client, you are not expected to know exactly what you need. As a trained professional, I am here to guide you to the right service based on your needs, capabilities, and desires. That is where my expertise comes in. In any event, it’s still important to be an informed consumer so I have laid out this simple bullet points to help guide you through the decision making process.

differences between counseling and coaching

  • Coaching sessions are focused on the agenda set by client
  • Coaching is action oriented and results driven
  • Coaching takes place in the here and now, not in the past
  • Coaching assumes that you are resilient, strong, capable and healthy
  • Coaching focuses on aligning your strengths with your stated goals
  • Coaching assumes that you are the expert of your own life purpose
  • Coaching is a collaborative process
  • Coaching is credentialed in many different ways by many governing bodies but in reality, no certification or credential is required to call oneself a coach
  • Coaching can take place by phone, video or in person across the USA or worldwide

VS

  • Therapy is process oriented
  • Therapy focuses on emotions, behaviors and thoughts and the root of these feelings
  • Therapy helps the client relate current situations to past traumas or learned experiences
  • Therapy assesses for and diagnoses mental health disorders
  • Therapy provides treatement for mental health disorders
  • Therapists are trained at the Masters Level and are required to be licensed by their state in almost every state in the USA. Each state has their own regulation and reqirements, all are rigourous to ensure client safety
  • Therapy is often considered “medically necessary” and is covered by health insurance
  • Therapy is a medical model which is governed by the laws of HIPAA
  • Therapy can only take place in person or by secure video; most therapy laws prohibit the use of many technologies
  • The therapist is often considered the expert within the relationship
  • The practice of therapy or counseling is regulated by the state board in each state across the USA. A therapist may only practice or do counseling with a client who is located in the state in which the therapist is licensed.

similarities between counseling and coaching:

  • Both professions require specialized trainings, certifications, course work, internships and in-vivo field practice
  • Both professions have the same inherent goal of assisting clients create fulfilling lives
  • Both coaches and therapists are highly trained, empathetic, and intelligent
  • Both professions recognize and honor that each person is different and that there is no ‘one size fits all’ recipe for healing and success
  • Both professions adhere to ethical guidelines which foster safety within the relationship

It’s the job of the coach to help you, the client, understand these differences so that you choose the appropriate service for your needs. As the consumer, you are entitled to understand what coaching is, and is not, so that you can knowledgeably enter the coaching contract. In traditional psychotherapy, we would make this part of the informed consent process. A thorough initial phone call or video call should include: establishing rapport, assessing your readiness for coaching and explaining the limitations of coaching.

It’s my belief that both coaching and therapy are vital and helpful services for many people. There is no ‘better’ or ‘less than’ helping profession. It’s actually this diversity which allows us to have access to the services we need most at a particular time in life.

If you would like to explore the possibility of life coaching or counselling with me, please set up an appointment here. I provide mental health therapy in the state of Maryland only and you can find out more about my counseling philosophy here.

Carrie Mead, MS is a Professional Life Coach, Psychotherapist, and Reiki practitioner based in Maryland. Carrie created Curiosity Life Coaching to help men and women successfully navigate major life transitions such as retirement, divorce, career changes, and loss. Carrie provides guidance, support and empowering exercises to help her clients redefine and enact on their life’s mission following a major life transition. Connecting authentically and compassionately forms the basis of all of Carrie’s personal and professional relationships. Carrie holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from McDaniel College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Gettysburg College. Learn more by visiting www.curiositylifecoaching.com

“Just as the boat is guided to shore by careful planning, following the map and visualizing the light house, we too must have these tools to reach our goals. Without preparation, planning and a vision of the future we are just afloat in the sea at the mercy of the winds”

Carrie Mead, MS, LCPC
Curiosity Life Coaching