Archive for 2013

How 10 Minutes Can Build Your Willpower Muscle

Posted on: November 1st, 2013 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

Although ten minutes doesn’t seem like a long time, waiting just ten minutes can make a big difference in building your willpower muscle. In The Willpower Instinct, Kelly McGonigal explains that a ten-minute delay before you indulge in something tempting helps your brain process this temptation differently. Your brain will treat this temptation as a “future reward” and that takes away the powerful impulse to choose your immediate gratification.

Dr. McGonigal says that it’s the “immediate” in immediate gratification that hijacks your brain into indulging or doing something you really were trying to avoid. She advises taking a mandatory ten-minute wait before giving in to the temptation.

Our brain processes immediate rewards differently than it processes a delayed reward. Immediate rewards trigger the older, more primitive reward system in our brain. When we delay that gratification, even for ten minutes, it gives our prefrontal cortex the time to think rationally and resist the temptation.

If you’d like to learn more about building your willpower muscle, you can join the next FREE Making Time for Success call on Monday, November 18 at 4 p.m. Pacific Time. To register, go to to get a flier with more details.

Self-forgiveness and the Willpower Instinct

Posted on: October 31st, 2013 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

When you think about improving your willpower is self-forgiveness the first thought that comes to mind?

If you’re like most people, you probably find the idea of self-compassion to be ludicrous. But that’s not what research shows.

 In The Willpower Instinct the author, Kelly McGonigal, shares numerous studies that show how forgiving yourself for a transgression improves your chances of developing your willpower rather than reduces it. She says, “Study after study shows that self-criticism is consistently associated with less motivation and worse self-control.” (pages 148-149) Self-criticism is more likely to cause you to do exactly the opposite of what you want to do.

Self-compassion is associated with more motivation and better self-control. Self-compassion actually makes you more accountable and more likely to take personal responsibility.

Dr. McGonigal explains that forgiveness takes away the shame and pain of thinking about what happened.

Throughout her book Dr. McGonigal offers Willpower Experiments. She titles the experiment for self-compassion “Forgiveness When You Fail.” She suggests thinking of a time when you gave in to temptation (or maybe procrastination). 

  • First, ask yourself, What are you feeling? (Notice if self-criticism comes up.)
  • Second, remember You’re only human and that everyone struggles with willpower challenges. (A setback doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you.)
  • The third step is to ask yourself, What would you say to a friend? (You’re likely to encourage your friend not to give up. Can you do the same for yourself?)

If you’d like to learn more about the willpower instinct, join the next Making Time for Success call on Monday, November 18 at 4 p.m. Pacific Time. We’ll explore how developing your willpower muscle will help you take back your time. To register for this FREE call, go to


Posted on: October 16th, 2013 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

As part of ADHD Awareness Month, I want to share a quote from Temple Grandin that appeared in the October 7, 2013 issue of TIME Magazine. The title of the article is “What’s Right with the Autistic Mind.” But I believe that Grandin’s perspective applies to all brain-based conditions, especially ADHD.

Grandin says, “For me, autism is secondary. My primary identity is as an expert on livestock. Autism is part of who I am, but I won’t allow it to define me. Some people’s difficulties are simply too severe for them to ever have the same opportunities I have. But for so many people on the spectrum, identifying their strengths can change their lives. Instead of only accommodating their deficit, they can cultivate their dreams.”

The TIME article was adapted from The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin and Richard Panek (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013).

As a coach who specializes in working with individuals diagnosed with ADHD, I invite everyone to appreciate and apply Grandin’s perspective to ADHD too!

Celebrate strengths! Explore the possibilities for areas of challenge! Cultivate dreams!

ADHD Awareness Month

Posted on: October 1st, 2013 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

October 1 marks the beginning of ADHD Awareness Month. It’s time to celebrate and raise awareness about ADHD!

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder-sometimes also called ADD) occurs in one of twenty adults in the United States meaning ten million adults are affected. Seventy-five percent of those adults were not diagnosed as children. Only twenty percent of adults with ADHD received treatment during the past year.

Many organizations provide support for individuals with this diagnosis:

Another great resource is ADDitude Magazine, I’m attaching a poster created by ADDitude Magazine a few years ago, but its title sends a powerful message, 25 Things to Love About ADD.


If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with ADHD/ADD, I encourage you to appreciate these 25 things to love. I invite you to learn more…

As a coach who works with many clients diagnosed with ADHD, my goal is to help these individuals learn to work with their brain so they THRIVE rather than just survive.



Overcoming Procrastination

Posted on: August 15th, 2013 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

Did you know that one of the most effective ways to overcome procrastination is to create a “behavioral script” according to J. Russell Ramsay, PhD?

Dr. Ramsay is the author of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adult ADHD and I recently heard him present a teleclass titled the “Adult ADHD Toolkit.” Although Ramsay is an expert in the field of adult ADHD, his strategies apply to anyone who gets stuck.

Ramsay describes the behavioral script as a “coping script” that helps whenever you find yourself stuck. He recommends writing down the steps you need to take when you become aware that you are procrastinating.

The steps need to be small and specific so you know exactly what to do. The steps need to be realistic so you can gradually ease into whatever is causing you to be stuck. Keep this script where you can easily view it. It is your emergency kit!

Overcoming procrastination requires constant effort! It’s not about “being in the mood.” If you wait until you are in the mood, you’re likely to stay stuck!

Learn to tolerate discomfort! Reframe your discomfort by challenging your assumptions about what you can’t do. Reframe your expectations. The steps in your behavioral script make it easier for you to engage. They help you ease back into the task you’ve been avoiding.

Engage in doing rather than thinking. Thinking when you’re stuck will tend to magnify your negative perspective about getting started. And that will make it even harder to get engaged. You may let the ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts) described by Daniel Amen, MD, take over your thinking.

Are you ready to create your own behavioral script?

What’s holding you back?

Why does getting it in writing matter?

Posted on: July 31st, 2013 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

When people write something down, they tend to live up to what they have written. That’s the conclusion in a recent article in the Harvard Business Review (July – August 2013) titled “The Uses (and Abuses) of Influence” (pages 76-81).

Putting something in writing seems to make people more conscious of their choices. Identifying next steps is another facet of this strategy about writing things down.

The article is an interview with Robert Cialdini who is considered the leading social scientist in the field of influence. He is the author of the book Influence published in 2001. Cialdini also suggests that individuals will be more likely to follow through on their commitments if they schedule another conversation with the individual to whom they are making the commitment.

This process is about making commitments more concrete.

The previous blog post about visual cues placed on a computer that one of my clients uses to start her day fits with this idea of making tasks and commitments more concrete. Another client designed a visual control chart that not only reminds him of key tasks he wants to complete each day, it also provides him with a record of his success in keeping these commitments to himself.

What could you put in writing that would help you keep commitments with the most important person in your life, yourself?

Cues to Start Your Day

Posted on: July 15th, 2013 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

Many of my clients describe how they immediately jump into work once they arrive in their office. But, taking time for a bit of planning can create a more effective way to start the day.

Brian Tracy in the Focal Point suggests that one minute of planning can even save up to ten minutes in execution. That’s a pretty impressive return on investment these days!

J. Russell Ramsay,  an expert in working with individuals diagnosed with ADHD at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, proposes a strategy that can help anyone begin to create a new habit or routine. Ramsay suggests creating a behavioral script to help yourself get started. This behavioral script describes each step you want to take.

When you open the attachment provided below, you’ll see a clever strategy one of my clients recently developed that combines both the strategies proposed by Tracy and Ramsay. She created five visual cues about the first steps she wants to take every morning before she starts work. She attached these visual cues to the front of her computer so she couldn’t miss them when she sits down to start work each morning.

Can you decipher her code?

Clever Cues to Manage Your Time



Making Better Choices

Posted on: July 3rd, 2013 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

Do you struggle making decisions?

If you do, or even if you don’t, I invite you to read the strategies that Chip and Dan Heath suggest in their new book, Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work. (They are also the authors of another great book, SWITCH, How to Change Things When Change Is Hard.)

They use the acronym WRAP to describe the process of making more effective decisions:

  • W=Widen the options
  • R=Reality check
  • A=Attain some distance
  • P=Prepare to be wrong

When we Widen the options, they urge considering more than one option. Reality check is about testing your assumptions, not just with friends or even pundits. They suggest testing your assumptions with those who have pursued a similar course in the past. To Attain some distance, they recommend stepping back, involving more than your first emotions, and taking the long-term perspective. Prepare to be wrong by setting “trip wires.” This idea is to identify some parameters you’ll used to revisit and re-evaluate your decision at some point in the future. This strategy helps prevent getting stuck going down an unsuccessful path.

One specific suggestion in attaining distance when you’re stuck is to ask yourself what advice you’d give a friend in the same situation. Time and time again this strategy results in a quick response and helps you get around the immediate emotions that are paralyzing you. I actually tried this strategy with a client during a recent coaching call and the results were exactly as they described.

If you’d like to learn more, then visit their website at Once you register, a wealth of FREE materials are available for your use including podcasts and even a workbook that goes along with Decisive. (I signed up a long time ago and I’ve never been inundated by emails from them.)

Another great resource is Daniel Pink’s website: The link listed here takes you to FREE podcasts that Pink offers regularly. It was on a recent podcast that I listened to his interview with the Heath Brothers and was inspired to blog about this topic of making decisions.




My other suggestion

Is There a Whiteboard in Your Future?

Posted on: June 20th, 2013 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments
  •  Do you think of whiteboards as something only fit for a cubicle?
  • What if there were a whiteboard that looked fabulous?
  • What are all the ways you could imagine using a fun whiteboard in your home, or office, or garage, or…?

Think about the possibilities…beyond utilitarian notes to your family.

  • What if there were a place to capture amazing creative ideas that randomly pop into your head or to announce the menu for a special meal?

Whiteboard Reinvented is a new company that’s been “thinking outside the whiteboard!” I invite you to take a look and imagine how much fun it could be to add one or more of their whiteboards to your life. When you explore their website, you’ll learn more about the story of this young company.

If you’re intrigued with that link to their website, then you might enjoy watching a brief video about this product on YouTube.

As an organizer coach I can imagine so many ways that a classy whiteboard could help individuals get organized and stay organized.

FULL DISCLAIMER: I don’t have any association with Whiteboard Reinvented. I recently received an invitation to an advance preview and was impressed with the many ways I could imagine people using these delightful whiteboards so I decided to share these links on my blog.

Take a look for yourself! I invite you to share how YOU might use a jazzy whiteboard.


Redefining Success

Posted on: May 30th, 2013 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

How do you define success? What if there were a third metric?

In her recent commencement address to Smith College, Arianna Huffington challenged graduates to explore a new definition of success rather than buy into society’s definition as money and power. She proposed that we need a third metic that includes a definition based on “well-being, wisdom, our ability to wonder, and to give back.”

Huffington stated that the current definition of success isn’t really working for anyone – whether it’s women, men, or polar bears. She explained that the only folks this current definition works for are those who make pharmaceuticals for stress, diabetes, heart disease, sleeplessness, and high blood pressure.

The new definition of success will include deciding what things you want to put energy into and what things you don’t. (This perspective meshes perfectly with the next Making Time for Success call on Thursday, June 27 titled Take Back Your Time – How a STOP DOING list can help you take back your time. See the Events page on this website for details.)

Huffington invited graduates to not just take their place at the top of the world, but to change the world and lead the third women’s revolution. If we don’t redefine success, the personal price we pay will get higher and higher. She urged them to change the world and the definition of success by going to the root of what’s wrong and redefining what we value.

I invite you to read the entire speech by following this link:

I invite you to join the call on June 27.

I invite you to begin your own redefinition of success by exploring where you really WANT to put your time and energy and where you don’t.

What’s holding you back?