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Osmaan’s Observations: Mix Up Your Environment!

By Osmaan Sharif – Rapid Transformation

Have you ever had one of those days where you’ve got loads of things to complete on your ‘to-do’ list but you just aren’t being productive?

From my experience, one of the biggest reasons for this isn’t about what you’re doing (or not doing) but WHERE you’re trying to do it from!

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

So today let’s have a chat about the link between your working environment and your productivity, to see where you can re-design elements of it.

I know for that me sitting behind the same desk doing all manners of different tasks just doesn’t work!  This is because our mind makes associations between our environment & how we feel – without us even realising it.

A classic example of this is if you’ve been summoned to the ‘bosses’ office (or head teacher’s office back in the days), where you were given a slap on the wrists or some bad news (metaphorically of course).  If you were then invited back into that room for a ‘chat’ about your future, you’re mind may automatically be thinking & keeping you in the state of –‘ohhh ohhh – this isn’t good news!’ – even though it may be good news.

Environment Links to Task

So take it back to your working environment now.  Can you imagine if you were having to get your head down to work through a 100000 line spreadsheet and that was your most dreaded task of the week.  You wouldn’t really be finding it stimulating now would you, so you wouldn’t be totally pumped up or motivated, would you?  But if you’ve been there sat at the same place doing that type of work repeatedly – your mind can start to link that desk (or environment) to those types of tasks.  So even if you look at the desk, it could automatically trigger you to have those same feeling!

But would you necessarily get your most creative pieces of work written whilst sitting at that same desk, if your body & mind associated it with being in the ‘spreadsheet/numbers’ zone?  No way!

The good news is that there are so many different ways that you can mix things up (kinda like tricking your mind) – to do different tasks or activities in different places (or even in different way).

For example, I purposefully choose where I’m going to be working throughout the week & the location of where I work from varies.

Plan Tasks Around Environment

I knew early on from being my own boss that I would drive myself mad if I was cooped up in an office by myself every day.  So even though I have an office (& am moving into a new cool office – very excited!!) – I don’t make myself stay there to do everything.  Even around my office, I have different ‘zones’ – where I do different types of work.

Like when I am coaching clients on the phone or Skype – I tend to sit at a different desk from when I’m doing my e-mail & admin work.

When I need to get creative when writing new workshop materials or blogs – you’d often find me in a coffee shop.

I’m also very lucky to have found a co-working/business members place in Glasgow (SocietyM) where I spend some days a week, where I get to surround myself with other like-minded business owners.  This is also where I’ve tended to have meetings.

So I tend to schedule out where I’ll work from in advance & then arrange my meetings or activities around where I’ll be.

It makes a huge difference for how productive I am, so how about you give it a go & see how it can work for you?

Even if you have less ‘flexibility’ in terms of different locations you could work from – how about creating different ‘zones’ in your work place?  (When I worked in the corporate world, whenever I was on a phone call, I would automatically walk around in circles in beside a window (with a view of St Paul’s Cathedral in one of my last jobs!))

Let me know where some of your best places are to work from & also what changes you’re going to make to your working environment, by adding a quick comment below.

Enjoy the rest of your week & I look forward to connecting again soon.

This blog was originally posted on Os’ own site Rapid Transformation


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Osmaan’s Observations: Are You Admiring the Wrong People?

By Osmaan Sharif – Rapid Transformation

Do you ever look at other people and think, ‘gosh I wish I was more like them!’, as they seem to have their ‘stuff’ together and are getting amazing results?

Then you start believing, that if only you could think and act like them, then you’d also have similar successes?

So you start ‘modelling’ them but it just doesn’t feel right – (like it would if you were squeezing yourself into someone else’s underwear (yuck!).

Then you start to saying not so nice things to yourself & putting yourself down, because surely it’s down to YOU and how you’re not as good as them – so why even bother?

Sound familiar to you? 

Well, here’s the thing …. maybe it’s because you’re admiring the wrong type of person for you?

I’m a firm believer that we can learn from other people around us – whether that’s famous folks; colleagues; managers; leaders or even our close relations – but you’ve got to be super choosey when it comes to it!

Its important knowing what your talents are.  Because it means that you can do more of what you’re good at & enjoy – BINGO!  

Sounds simple doesn’t it, but really how much time do you actually spend at ‘work’ doing the things that float your boat?

Talent Dynamics Profiles

From the world of Talent Dynamics, which I share with my clients – it quickly shows how there are 8 different ‘types’ of people – who each bring different things to the party (a.k.a. your business or team).  Each with their unique ways of thinking; communicating; feeling and doing things.  The cool thing is that each of the 8 different profiles are needed to makes the world function and go around.

But here’s the thing … each of the 8 types of people ‘see’ things differently from one another!

It’s all well and good modelling those who are some steps ahead of you in your business or career – or have a particular skills that would be really useful for you …. BUT ONLY IF THEY ARE THE SAME TYPE OF PERSON AS YOU (sorry for shouting but that’s super important!)

Let me put it another way – if you were in a 8 piece band and you played the guitar … but wanted to up your game.  Then go and learn from another guitar player who’s in a band – rather than the drummer!

Follow Your Flow

“Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses.  Follow your flow.” – Roger James Hamilton

For example, in my case, I’m a Trader profile in Talent Dynamics – which is the complete opposite from a Creator profile.  That means that even though I think the late Steve Jobs was super cool because he came up with amazing new innovative ideas, because he’s a Creator – even if I was to put some of his best strategies in place – for me they just wouldn’t connect as well as they would for other Creators out there.

Instead though, if I focused upon some of the things other Traders do, like Sir Alan Sugar, then that would help me to grow, develop & continue to get even better results.

I’m not saying that the other 7 profiles aren’t relevant to you (or me) in our ‘work’ but there may be other people out there in your team (or associates), who you could enlist to help with those parts.

That way they’ll be getting to play the ‘instrument’ that they’re a master of and you get to play your ‘instrument’ and you can make sweet music together (… I think I’ve been listening to far too much music while typing this …)

So enjoy getting to know YOU even more & then choosing more people who are like YOU to admire & learn from – as this is key for you to both LOVE what you do & get amazing results in your working life.

I look forward to sharing even more with you next time and until then bye for now.

This blog was originally posted on Os’ own site Rapid Transformation

Cover Photo: Courtesy of Clelia Serpico


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Osmaan’s Observations: Opposites Attract

I’ve heard the saying ‘opposites attract’ when it comes to finding that special ‘one’, who you’d want to spend the rest of your life with.   But the same is also so true for me when it comes to my clients.

As I looked through my schedule for the week ahead, it struck me just how many of my current small business coaching clients are Creators and Stars!

To a Trader like me it could seem like they are from a far away planet.

The way they naturally think and act is so different from me.  But instead I truly get a buzz from working closely with them.

Dynamo Buzz

It’s because we are like ‘ying’ & ‘yang’.

They’re super innovative and always have so many ideas of what they could do.

I love seeing their reaction when ask I ask them – “when are you going to do it by?’ – it’s like I’ve sworn at them at times.

Instead of standing at the top of the ‘skyscraper’; admiring the view from there and thinking about all the potentials that are out there, Traders like to be at ground level and are very practical minded.

Typically if left to their own devices or without super self-discipline, a Creator or Star’s amazing visions can remain as an idea before the next spark of inspiration hits them (& then the next).

But you can’t really take an ‘idea’ to the bank to get cashed, can you now?

Tempo Reality

So I love helping these talented individuals to take their ideas and do some real stuff with them, so they have a greater chance of happening.

“Yes sometimes it can feel less ‘fun’ for them when they’re having to focus upon the nitty-gritty planning and execution stages. The same can be said for me, when given a blank piece of paper and attempting to come up the next new or novel idea!”

However, when you remember that we don’t have to do it all ourselves and that we use each other’s talents, then things can really start flowing more easily.  And that’s where the real magic is, as when you help other people to get into flow – they help you get into flow too!

What else could you ask for?


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