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Stress Free Effectiveness is…

Stress Free EffectivenessStress Free Effectiveness is basically this – the ability to focus completely on what you are doing at any given moment, and the knowledge that what you are doing is the most appropriate thing you should be doing at that moment.

The issue for most of us is two fold: firstly it is difficult to completely focus on what you are doing because of interference from others and more importantly your own thoughts; and secondly, confidence you are doing the most appropriate thing at any given moment assumes you know everything you aren’t doing at that moment. The reality is that most of us don’t have a complete inventory of everything we should or could be doing.

The solution is both easier and harder than you may think… here it is…

(1) clear your mind and keep it that way.

(2) get everything you should or could be doing on to lists.

(3) keep those lists up to date and reviewed often enough that you trust the contents to be correct and complete.

Has anyone tried this approach to Stress Free Effectiveness?

Brad Allen is a talented organiser and project manager, whose experience spans over 15 years and reaches into organisational change, business optimisation and emerging technology adoption. Brad's early career was spent driving and managing ICT adoption and change from inside enterprise organisations; since 1999 Brad has been designing, delivering and managing the provision of IT and business consulting. Brad's project experience is vast, having worn the hat of analyst, architect, implementer and leader in over 10 Business Reengineering project, more than 17 software development project and near on 30 ICT infrastructure projects. My blogging explores the things I've discovered and learnt about myself, my world and those I interact with whilst adopting the Getting Things Doneยฎ approach developed by David Allen.

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  • Short and sweet Brad.
    I guess the challenge for business owners is that there’s already a lot on the plate in the sense that one or two people represent every single department in their company. Would lists be the best ways to tackle everything?

  • Stress free effectiveness to me is personal effectiveness. I know I am not doing myself any favours when I allow myself to be distracted, procrastinate, or am feeling downright lazy.
    Lists to me mean any form of self management – whatever works to get things done in the correct order! I don’t believe a program or list can solely organise us – it has to come from within, hence point no 3 is very important.
    We need to buy into the idea of being stress free, and organised. Some would scoff at organisation ๐Ÿ™‚

    I would however, like to comment on your definition. It is compelling, but I believe that whatever a person does or doesn’t do in the moment – is the right thing to do in that moment.

    Great snappy post and the 3 points would be super effective if we could just stick with them all the time. Clearing the mind made me smile – I for one still struggle to clear my mind. Deep meditation is necessary for me but not always practical. So we do our best with what we have, in the time that we have. Clarity does help yes ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Thanks Elaine, for the comments. I also smiled when I read your comments. Because until recently I would have thought the same. To be honest, the reason most people struggle really clearing their mind and keeping it that way is because they donโ€™t process or organise the results (i.e. step 2), and they donโ€™t do step 2 because they donโ€™t trust themselves to regularly review it and keep it current (i.e. step 3). So the key is to adopt a systematic approach that encompasses all three behaviours.

  • Hi Leanne, welcome to Bloggertone, we are delighted that you joined us.
    People are the fundamental difference between success & failure & I have been guilty in the past of criticising companies that lose sight of this, particularly now during times of economic uncertainty. However I think that your point as to why so many executives view human capital as a liability instead of an asset is very interesting & well made. The Human Capital or Employment Development Strategy is a brilliant idea & I simply love the tools that you have highlighted.
    Thanks for sharing,

  • Facundo

    Welcome to Bloggertone Leanne! I liked the idea of “customer experience”

  • Hi Leanne, and well done for a great post. I completely agree with you – businesses do very often fail to have any Employment Development Plan. This is something I find particularly true of small businesses, perhaps because they are so very often reactionary in their approach. Fully agree too that training is regularly not focused on the right things and fails to be “sticky”.

  • Hi Anita, Welcome to Bloggertone, I am delighted that you joined us. It’s a great story, if expensive one but congratulations on your honesty! Choosing and deciding on a domain name for a new business, is now such a big challenge but it remain hugely critical in terms of branding. Strange as it sounds, It gives the rest of us hope when we hear someone like you can make mistakes too! Thank you for sharing.

  • Compelling story Anita. As always, policy, mental notes, procedures, come after mistakes and not before. That’s probably business ๐Ÿ™‚ I guess the good thing about reading other people’s experiences is to (hopefully) avoid some of their mistakes. Definitely some mental notes taken on my side. To your advice I would add for others reading this post that it is very important to also purchase domains which are close to your company name or variations with plurals, typos, regional extensions. Anything you can do to protect the brand & your visibility.

  • That’s a great line “Your business is what develops while youu2019re making plans for a different business”!nnIt’s hard for business start-ups (unless they’ve done it before) to think of brand protection before they’ve built a brand. But, like you say, it’s work to change a domain name down the road, or to obtain one that’s no longer available.

  • Hi Anita, nnOne mistake I made is use my own name as the domain rather than build a brand, which offers more opportunities.nnChris Brogan made the point that if he was starting out again he may not have used his own name and developed a site that (if he wanted to) he could sell on at some point. nnThere are exceptions to this of course, for example, if you want to develop a personal brand. nnThe trick when starting in blogging is sometimes to take yourself out of the equation and see whatu2019s best for the busines. nnNeed to follow my own advice more often :)nnIvan

  • Philip O’Rourke

    nGreat piece of work, Anita. You have my admiration and respect for your tenacity. Far too much of the “It’ll do” attitude in society today, and now we are paying the price. Well done.

  • Hi Anita,nnWelcome to Bloggertone, great article and a lesson for anyone starting an online presence, whether it’s for business or just a hobby…. I think many of us (myself included) have made some boo-boos like this when starting out, but we live and learn ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Hi Phillip, great point! I always say, “perseverance is the #1 secret to success.” I don’t necessarily have brilliance, I just stay with longer than others, and keep working at stuff until getting it right. And fix my mistakes. :-)nn- Anita

  • Hi Ivan, that’s a good point about keeping a separation between your personal brand and your business brand. nnI think it works when you’re a consultant to have the two be the same thing. Because often you’re selling your individual expertise.nnBut for other types of businesses, it limits the potential. Like Chris says, it’s hard to sell a business when it is so identified with you, the individual.nn- Anita

  • Hi Jennie, yes, and many startups aren’t really sure what business they are actually in, until later on. Things often develop differently than you plan. :-)nn- Anita

  • Good post. I think this advice is more poignant than ever. With relevant, short domain names becoming so scarce, I think many business owners may be tempted to abandon any hope of a relevant domain. Your posts points out how the confusion this causes is such a huge issue. It was a $3,700 lesson for you, but it could be a five or six figure lesson for someone in the future. Good advice.

  • Hi Facundo, you make another wonderful point to remember, about purchasing domains and variations that are close to your brand or main domain. nnI own a lot of domains, but at least half are “defensive domains” — i.e., ones that just protect the main domains.nn- Anitann

  • It seems that all lessons learned in business come from previous mistakes – that I have learned the hard way also. Now before I do anything the affects my business I reach out to my on-line groups and ask first. It has saved me from myself on several ocassions.

  • It is also worth buying up side names you might move into OR similar names to deter future competition. I only run 6 sites but own over a hundred domains.

  • Like real estate agents say, it’s all about location, location, location and this rings true with domain names as well! Great article, hopefully many people will learn from your costly mistake!

  • Ah, if we could all simply see the future. ๐Ÿ™‚ On a similar note, when you’re buying that all-important domain be sure to claim at a minimum your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts and the same username in any communities you frequent. If they’re not available you might even want to consider a different domain name so they can all match. nnIf you’re really serious there is a way to claim your preferred username across hundreds of social networks all at once. Having matching usernames gets you recommended and followed much faster because remembering one is simple but having to remember where you are which username is more work than most busy social savvy folks will do.

  • Stratico

    Having a business strategy is also about allowing strategies to emerge (business happens when making other plans) in a way that adds to the original strategy. Sometimes things evolve dependent on which customers ‘pull’ but generally a good level of initial research togethewr with souns strategic planning will ensure faster more effective and efficient strategic development. A strategic consult at the front end may have been cheaper than the domain purchase down stream.

  • Steve Waterhouse

    What a great and fun article. Technology can be a bit overwhelming at times. It’s great to have advice like yours and to know we aren’t all alone out there trying to figure all this stuff out. Thanks!!

  • Hi Niall, glad to finally join you guys over here. You’ve been such wonderful supporters of BizSugar.nnWell if I can give people hope, I’m glad. I have plenty more mistakes where those came from [grin]. Maybe not ones so easy to quantify, but there are enough of them.nn- Anitann

  • Anonymous

    Welcome to Bloggertone, Anita! nnHearing your story really illustrates how important it is to choose and acquire your desired domain name. You’ve got me thinking about what I might need to evaluate as I go forward. When you’re starting off (or starting something new), it can be easy to overlook something such as our presence online is another important piece of our strategic plan.

  • Hi Fred, Yes, the confusion factor is certainly significant. nnIn my case the organization that had the domain (a non-profit organization involved with small biz with a completely different name) didn’t actually do anything useful with the domain. They had it in a strange redirect loop that for years led to one of those “file directory” pages. That was a bit of luck for me, because visitors quickly realized they were in the wrong place. The confusion factor would have been far worse if their organization had had the same name and sent visitors to a site with the same name. nnSo I think it was good foresight on your part to recommend a re-branding.nn- Anita

  • Hi Steve, Luckily I like to laugh and keep a sense of humor. If I didn’t I’d sit down and cry like a baby over stuff like this – LOL. nn- Anita

  • Hi Fiona, I would say for art that domain names can be especially important, particularly if you have unique names. It’s definitely a good idea to think ahead on those things. ;)nn- Anita

  • Hi Gail! That’s a great point about securing your brand for social sites. One service that will check for you is There is another service that does that, too — someone else may know the name of that service.nn– Anita

  • Hi Travis, yes, indeed, it’s also important to get those other extensions. Great point. At least the key extensions that are popular in your country.nn- Anita

  • Hi John, have you done much with typos and misspellings? I haven’t (other than plurals and singulars). But a very common misspelling might be worth it….nn- Anita

  • Hi Garry, I like that: “saved me from myself.” Now if we could all just get saved every single time we were about to step off a cliff or something….. :-)nn- Anita

  • Hi Scott, so true on the economics. As domain names go, given some of the numbers I’ve heard through the years, I suppose I actually got off easy.nn- Anita

  • Anonymous

    Hi Anita. As a long time writer on Bloggertone, I’d like to welcome you, on your first post here. Thanks for sharing your story which is a great lesson that we can all learn from.

  • Hi Anita, welcome to Bloggertone. What a very honest and insightful first post. nnWhen I first bought my domain name the .com wasn’t available (owned by a school somewhere in Africa) and became available April 2010, unfortunately I was away at the time and I missed the slot. It was bought by someone who offered it to me for $10,000 and I refused to bite. He badgered me for a month until I told him to shove it where the sun doesn’t shine, that I would NEVER pay more than the normal asking price for it as I had the .ie, .org, .net, domains and .com really wasn’t that important to me since most of my business was local.nnLike some of the other replies on here, it has been suggested that I trade as my own name too, however that would be really difficult to sell if I ever wanted to, plus as a generic Irish name is is difficult for the average Irish person to spell, never mind the rest of the world.nnMis-takes are the things we do so that we can learn how to do it correctly the next time – an essential part of life. Unfortunately all too often we beat ourselves up over them unnecessarily.

  • Hi Mairead, nnTalk about extortion!!! Good for you for not caving in.nnI also have my name as a domain and used it when I was consulting. Now I have it mainly for reputation management and to make sure my name comes up in search engines. So it’s not a bad strategy to at least have the domain name for your own name, even if you use a company name to conduct business under. nn- Anitan

  • Well hello, Frank! Thanks for the welcome. You’re all so friendly here. ๐Ÿ™‚ nn- Anita

  • Hi Elli, nnYes, you’ve got it right — it’s all too easy to overlook something. nnAnd really, it’s that way with a lot of things when you have your own business and you have 30 balls in the air at any given time. At least one thing is bound to fall on the floor — I always hope whatever I drop won’t be TOO critical or TOO expensive. nnThanks for the welcome!nn- Anita

  • Liran Hirschkorn

    Yes – pricing is based on age, health, and also occupation – so an occupation with more risk would have a higher premium.

  • Good option for finding domain names ownership information, registration data and much more it is Free Whois domain lookup tool.

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