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Acheiving Your Dreams or Getting Things Done! : Salon Business Articles
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Acheiving Your Dreams or Getting Things Done!

This section of the forum is where members publish Salon Business Related Articles and How Tos. If you enjoyed reading an article or found it helpful/informative please log in or register to thank the original poster.
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Acheiving Your Dreams or Getting Things Done!

Postby chris the limey » 18 Jul 2007 06:08 pm

I suppose this article could be considered an article to help anybody who feels overwhelmed by the amount of things they need to get done or completed, whether they\'re a hairdresser or not, so maybe this isn\'t the best place for it but hopefully it will help some of you.
My close friends and I often talk about landing airplanes. Considering that none of us are pilots it might seem a strange thing to talk about. In fact considering I\'m frightened of flying it\'s probably absolutely bizarre, but they\'ll all tell you that it\'s because of me they talk about it. What I\'m about to describe has helped them immensely, so it might help you too.

As you sit reading this article, can you think of all the things you still haven\'t gotten around to doing that are actually concerning you?
For some of you it will be getting the accounts done for the tax man, redecorating the guest room, sorting out a new mortgage to save interest, calling the utility company about the extortionate bill you received last month, finally fixing the broken shelving in the back of the salon, getting the car serviced, sorting out the problem staff member, re-arranging the living room, paying off a debt etc. It can be a whole host of things but no matter how you try, nothing seems to get done, or just when you\'ve solved one problem, another comes along so it\'s never ending. It might be causing arguments between yourself and your partner, each blaming the other for the late payment charge at the bank, or the fact that the taxman has written to you again with a final warning etc.

Well; how would you like to be clear of these things once and for all?

You\'re probably excited at the thought, but I bet you\'ve tried and failed many times to get yourself organised. In fact, I bet some of these jobs have been waiting to get finished for at least 6 months! Have you tried the diary system yet? You know, the one where you divide up your day and put each job into a time slot? I bet you have. I bet you also got the same result I did - that you ran out of energy after a week and soon went back to your old ways which meant 5 months later you were no better off - well; apart from the fact you did manage to get the garden gate fixed in that first week.

Well; you\'re not alone...and you\'re not a failure either. You see, the problem faced by all human beings is that we\'re designed to only ever do one thing at a time WITH EXCELLENCE. That\'s right. If you try to do more than one thing at a time, you might finish off those jobs, but you\'ll never be quite overwhelmed with the result - if you ever actually get the result at all. Sound familiar?

You\'re sat here right now thinking about all the jobs you haven\'t finished and how you\'re going to get the result? Well, think about this for a second...imagine an air traffic controller at your local airport. There are 20 planes circling the airfield. Some are jumbo-jets quickly running low on fuel, others are private jets with important celebrities dashing to a press conference and others are small bi-planes holding just a couple of passengers. All of the airplanes are as important as eachother because if they don\'t get landed they will crash, but the air-traffic controller is trained to do something very important, that you haven\'t up until now.
It\'s so important that if the air-traffic controller ignored this part of their training, the planes would never land at all.
So simple, yet so effective. She lands just one plane at a time. As each plane comes near the airfield she acknowledges them on her radar, tells them to circle and then chooses which plane of the 23 to land first. After she\'s landed the plane and ensured it\'s safe arrival, she clears the runway and lands the next one. By the end of the working day, one human being can successfully land all 23 airplanes ensuring the safety of the passengers, crew and airplanes themselves by landing them ONE at a time.

So what about the one human being who is having difficulty calling the utility company, or doing the paperwork, or redecorating the salon? I hope you can see where this is going.

From now on you must think of yourself as the air-traffic controller we\'ve just talked about, and that right now all of those problems and unfinished projects are airplanes circling in your airspace. You know how many you can land at a time right? We don\'t need to go over that again?

Ok, well here\'s your air traffic control training...

1. Buy a book you can write in, perhaps a large diary or hardback journal. You\'ll be using this book all of the time so make sure it\'s not a cheap paperback notepad otherwise it will get damaged.
2. Once you have your book, you need to switch on your radar. Take a piece of paper (perhaps you could do this with your partner?) and write down everything that is yet to be done. Now this is important...don\'t be ridiculous or dramatic (especially if you\'re doing this with your partner) because it\'s not an exercise in making others feel sorry for you with your burden, it\'s about getting things done. So for example, if you need to paint the guest room, don\'t write down : buy carpet, buy paint brushes, get bed linen, look for lamp shades etc. because that\'s called landing the plane before you even get to it and it won\'t help your frame of mind. Just write down - Finish the guest room and that\'s it.

Here\'s an example of a typical list:
Sort out the accounts
Finish Guest room
Take baby to doctors
Sort out clothes for charity
Get new kitchen
Get car serviced
Get new staff contracts done
Get garden landscaped
Pay credit card.

Right, when you\'ve done that (and I\'d imagine your list will be a lot longer than that), you need to open your book and write down the heading: Long Haul Flights.
Underneath this heading you should write down jobs that will take longer than one day. In the list above they would be - Finish Guest room, Get new kitchen, Get garden Landscaped.
The next heading you need is Short Haul Flights - these are jobs or projects that take between half a day and a full day to plan and execute. From the list above I would suggest - Sort out the accounts, Get car serviced and Get new staff contracts done.
Your final heading is called TTD (Things to do) - under this heading you place jobs that don\'t depend on any planning or supplies as such and can be done at more or less any time when you have 2-3 hours to spare. So that leaves - Take baby to doctors, Sort out clothes for charity and pay credit cards.

Lets take a look at our list so far:
Long Haul Flights
Finish guest Room
Get new Kitchen
Get garden Landscaped
Short Haul Flights
Sort out the Accounts
Get the car serviced
Get new staff contracts done
Take baby to doctors
Sort out clothes for charity
Pay credit cards here\'s the rules (and you must adhere to them for the system to work and finally get things done).

You can land only ONE plane at a time and you must start with short haul flights. This rule is very important. TTD\'s aren\'t planes so yes; you can begin doing something from your TTD list at the same time as landing a short haul plane, but you can\'t land 2 short haul planes at the same time, and you definitely can\'t land a long haul plane at the same time as a short haul plane.
We start with short haul planes because they are the easiest and fastest to land. Every plane you land will make you feel good about yourself, so you\'ll be amazed how quickly you turn things around.
You must cross out each plane you have landed. Every time you land a plane you must cross it off your radar list (including TTDs). This will help you realise how quickly things are progressing and keep you motivated.
You cannot take on any more planes whilst your in the process of landing others. Some TTDs cannot be avoided (such as bills or staff leaving etc.) but planes definitely can. Whether it be a short haul flight approaching e.g. your mother-in-law asks if you can redecorate her guest bedroom, or a long haul flight e.g. let\'s open another salon/business, you must always check your radar list before taking on any more planes. If you still have planes to land on your radar list, you must direct all new planes to a different airport (I can\'t help right now Mom as I have a lot on, but perhaps you could ring Darren if it needs doing urgently?).
You must never schedule when you will begin landing planes This is the most common mistake people make and it\'s a deadly one! You will be so excited with your list of planes that you will be tempted to go one step further and put them in a diary so they get landed quickly. That doesn\'t work, ever. Remember, the air-traffic controller only thinks about ONE plane at a time - that\'s what keeps her focused. What you need to do is open your book each day and pick the plane you feel like landing there and then - the one you feel most motivated to land. If you don\'t feel motivated to land any, perhaps pick a TTD item and then enjoy the rest of the day doing something you enjoy. The planes have been circling for 6 months anyway so one more day won\'t hurt. The next day you\'ll probably feel motivated to pick a short haul flight and land it. You can ask your partner and get them involved too. Ask them if they would consider landing a plane in return for you landing one of theirs?

Within a matter of days or 2 weeks at the most, all of the short haul flights will be landed and quite a lot of the TTDs will be gone too. That\'s when you can finally begin landing the Long Haul flights without interruption which brings us back to the beginning of this article - that we\'re designed to do only one thing at a time with EXCELLENCE. When it comes to you landing your long haul flights, you\'ll have no interruptions from the short haul flights so the task/project will not only be enjoyable but you will also achieve a better result, and a finished one too!

I hope this helps some of you finally achieve what it is you want to do, and if you have any questions about the \"Airplane System\" or how it works that I haven\'t already covered, put them in this thread and I\'ll get back to you.

I try to get online to answer forum posts at least once per day. If I miss your post, let me know. :)
chris the limey
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Re:Acheiving Your Dreams or Getting Things Done!

Postby jaslamka » 30 Jul 2007 02:59 am

Crap, I think my plane crashed!:S
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Re:Acheiving Your Dreams or Getting Things Done!

Postby SophieA » 01 Aug 2007 03:01 pm

LOL...Jas. Yeah...some days I can\'t see the sky for all of the unlanded planes!

Very good article Chris. I love the whole concept. I realized when I was reading this that some people are naturals at this, like my husband. He builds huge multi station machines and he\'s very good at it. Part of this I think is his personality, but the learned disaplines like what you talk about above is what makes him Great at it. I would be soooo overwhelmed by a huge job like this...I asked him once...\"How do you do it?\" And his casual reply was, \"It\'s not one big job it\'s a bunch of little jobs.\"

I can honestly say that I had never been taught to think of a task like this and it\'s amaizing how I can flounder or scatter when it comes to big jobs...or at least what I think is a BIG job lol. I will flit from one thing to another...especially housework...I think it\'s my way of avoiding. I will have many unfinished things going at once. After reading your article I realized how unfullfilling this actually is. Feeling good about the finished parts of the job is part of the fullfillment and we all need this to get the job finished.

I think it must be one of the reasons I love hair styling...I get to have many finished fullfilling creations all day long.

Thanks again, great article.
Style On, Sophiea
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Re:Acheiving Your Dreams or Getting Things Done!

Postby Jeni Giles » 08 Oct 2007 03:57 pm

I\'m all about landing my planes- I do have to keep a flight log though or I\'d be overwheld when a bunch of my long haul flights started to crowd my air space. To take this one step further, your plane won\'t always land on the right runway, it\'s landed and it\'s safe, but sometimes will take another adustment from your ground crew to get it where belongs. We joke about this being our detour through life. We often end up in places where we thought we wanted to be but turns out it wasn\'t really. I seem to end up in parking lots- close but never quite where I wanted, usually with help I can navigate my \"plane\" to it\'s desired locale. (I have seen some great parking lots and had fun along the way)

Our landed plnes can do the same thing, don\'t let this take away from the excitement of completion, learn from it and grow. Learn to make the best of your ground crew (family, patner, friends) to help you manage the planes you have landed if they didn\'t land on the right run way.

Any landing you can walk away from is a good one, enjoy the scenery on the ground for a moment before landing another (it only takes a second, a deep breath, a cup of coffee with a friend, a minute on the computr) then go back to landing!!!
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