Paul Weston

Episode Description

Sometimes we feel like things aren’t going our way. Not getting your printer to work, being late because of somebody else, or just taking more time than usual to open a package of batteries. Pretty frustrating, right? Feels like things aren’t working the way they should be. But what happens when we remove the “should be” factor from the equation?

Today in The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast, I’m SO HAPPY to be coaching Paul Weston, President & Head of Solutions at Andrew Jane Consulting. In this episode we discuss the effect that an accumulation of tiny events have on our mood, how people can make excuses to feel bad, and how the “should be” way of thinking can control us and our actions.

On top of ALL that, Paul and I also talk about his most recent book Running in the Rain, which is about creating strategies for a more productive and fulfilling life. You can also check out his new Distraction Freedom program, where you’ll be able to discover how working in a distraction-free environment can help you not only get better results, but increase your quality of life and reclaim more time to spend with your loved ones as well.

Have you experienced this kind of frustration or grumpiness from situations like these? Share your story! If there's a challenge you'd like to discuss here on the podcast or privately, please reach out to me at:

kim@frameofmindcoaching.com

Episode Transcript

Kim Ades: [00:00:05]
Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades and I am the president and founder of Frame of Mind Coaching, and you have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching Podcast, where we invite leaders from all over the world to join us to get coached live and in person right on the podcast.

Today it's my pleasure to introduce to you Paul Weston. He is the President and Director of Solutions, I think that's it, of a company called Andrew Jane Consulting.

Paul, welcome.

Paul Weston: [00:00:36]
Welcome, Kim. Head of Solutions, if you like.

Kim Ades: [00:00:38]
Head, head, head!

Paul Weston: [00:00:39]
That's okay. Director, Head, doesn't really matter. But yeah, very glad to be here.

Kim Ades: [00:00:44]
So where are you joining us from today?

Paul Weston: [00:00:47]
Just up the road from you, Kim, we're in Newmarket. Snowball, Newmarket. But I grew up in Yorkshire, in the North of England, as you can probably gather, which means I'm the guy on the call without the accent. I'm an English guy speaking English.

Kim Ades: [00:00:59]
Right.

Paul Weston: [00:01:00]
Yeah. So I've been in Canada for about 15 years and yeah, live up the road from Newmarket, Ontario.

Kim Ades: [00:01:06]
Wow. Okay. So what is Andrew Jane Consulting? Tell us all about it.

Paul Weston: [00:01:11]
Well, we're a company who incorporated my company and my old company and my wife's company about a year ago. We haven't quite got to where we expected to get this year, with everything that's going on in the world. But I spent many years in the military in the UK.

My big passions throughout life have been music and sport. And I managed to do those in the military for many years. I joined the music branch in the Royal Marines and then got a commission to Officer and got to travel around the world. And when I came to Canada in 2005, I took what I learned as a Military Officer to the business world, as a consultant, predominantly with a company called Crestcom International based in Denver, Colorado.

I worked with the Ontario Crestcom team here. And now Andrew Jane Consulting. We focus predominantly on helping people in a variety of ways. We do some sales consulting, but more importantly, especially over the last year, we started helping organizations with their time and energy management.

We help them become more functional, more efficient with their processes. We also help individuals get more out of their life by giving them some time back-- hours and hours of their time back by getting them to be more efficient with what they're doing.

I've just finished a new book: Running in the Rain, which is going to be available in the new year. And that's all about creating strategies for a more productive and fulfilling life, because running in the rain for me is a metaphor for life. You always move forward and avoid doing it because it's raining, which is a poor excuse.

Kim Ades: [00:02:34]
So go back. And I'm just curious 'cause I think our audience would be interested. Give us one or two strategies that would help us reclaim a few-- even a few minutes of our day.

Paul Weston: [00:02:46]
Yeah. So I have a very important theory that we spend every minute of our day in one of three, what I call Energy Zones.

First one is Professional Energy Zone. You and I are in that now, and most of our listeners probably are doing something that makes us money, it puts a roof over our head and food on the table.

The second one is Personal Energy Zone, and that can be, do something that's purely on your own. It could be reading a book, going to a yoga class. Just spending time on your own. It's just me times. If you like meditating or those sorts of things.

And the third one is what I call Social Energy Zone, where you're with your friends or colleagues, doing family things or going for a drink or a meal. Parties, barbecues, Thanksgiving, those sorts of things. Now, if we dilute those zones, we lose time, because if you're in your professionals zone and you start entering social media posts, or if you're sitting at home reading a book and you answer work email, you start to dilute these zones.

And if we don't sort of block them off and put them into their separate places... And it's okay to check an email from your wife or your husband when you're at work, we just don't do it every minute. Check it every now and again. By ring fencing those blocks of time, you will get so much more fulfillment from that time and you'll get so much more energy back and you'll find life is way more productive if you can just ring fence those blocks of time.

Kim Ades: [00:04:02]
Well, let me ask you a question. 'Cause I just got off another podcast with a gentleman who says, "well, no, I run a security company and I must pick up the phone when the phone rings, even it's fits during dinner. My family understands. It's what I do". What's your take on that?

Paul Weston: [00:04:18]
Well, that's fine if he's a one-person operation, if he's the only person in your organization who runs everything that they do, then he has to pick the phone up. But I'm betting he isn't. I'm betting he has other people. And has probably a level of... I don't want to say trust, but autonomy, if you like, and accountability.

And if... You know, what happens if he was indispensable at that time? What happens if he was driving his car and he didn't have, you know, hands-free? What happens if he was, you know, heaven forbid, in a hospital or on a flight somewhere? Somebody else would have to pick up the phone.

Kim Ades: [00:04:45]
Or taking a shower.

Paul Weston: [00:04:46]
Or taking a shower. I bet he didn't answer the phone when he was talking to you, Kim. You know, if he's on a podcast with you, he's probably not going to be answering the phone. Exactly. So there are times when he can't answer the phone and does the company survive? Of course it does.

There needs to be other people there who can take some of that off, and trust are the people with some of those roles to free up what you do. You might find they do a really good job and they feel a little bit more engaged in the business, because they're taken on a little bit more responsibility and they, therefore, ring fence that time for themselves. Of course they have to do that.

Kim Ades: [00:05:14]
So it's a new term for everyone who's listening, rig fence. We've never heard that term before. It must be some UK term.

Paul Weston: [00:05:20]
Yeah, ring fence is rather...

Kim Ades: [00:05:22]
Ring  R I N G? Or R I G

Paul Weston: [00:05:25]
R I N G. Ring fence something. Yeah, it's kind of a farming term. I grew up in the North of England and surrounded by farm land, and ring fence is putting a fence in the field to separate say, when you're dipping your sheep or you're branding your sheep, you want to keep them apart 'cause you don't know how many you've done. So once you branded them or you've treated them for bugs and lice and then you put them into a ring. To make sure that they're separate from the other parts of the flock and so, ring fence them. Yeah. So you should do that with your time. You know, I'll have specific jobs to do in certain times of the day.

Kim Ades: [00:05:52]
Okay. I learned something new. Thank you.

Paul Weston: [00:05:54]
There you go!

Kim Ades: [00:05:54]
Okay. So you're here because you are open and willing to getting coached. What is your greatest challenge that we could help you with today?

Paul Weston: [00:06:01]
So, as someone who loves to get out and get stuff done, and that's the whole, you know, the background to my book and my life really, is not sitting back in. Life's not a rehearsal, you get one go at this. For me, probably the area that I find, knocks me back is patience and frustration. And I'll give you a couple of analogies, if you like.

One of the areas of life that really frustrates me and really challenged my patience is packaging. I bought a battery pack a couple weeks ago, and I almost start to get my chainsaw out of the basement to get into this thing, to get the batteries out.

There's so much thick plastic surrounding it. You know, I'm... Late fifties, pretty fit healthy guy.  I can't imagine what elderly people, with perhaps arthritis, go through. And, you know, so it just frustrates the hell out of me.

And so tied in with that is, is sort of technology as well. You know, when things don't work. Every day, I have to reset my printer. I don't know what's wrong with it. I have to unplug it, plug it in and it works fine.

And just people as well, who don't get on and do stuff. I mean, I'm a triathlete. I've done Iron Man triathlons and I love triathlon is an individual sport, but I hate group rides. I love cycling and I used to be members of cycling clubs, but you meet on a Saturday morning for a group ride and it's supposed to be eight o'clock we start.

So I'm there at 7:45 at the Tim Horton's, I get a coffee, I go to the bathroom, I've come out, and people are still arriving at 8:30, 8:45. "Guys, it was eight o'clock. We should be on the road now!" And those people who dither and hold back, and I find it very, very frustrating.

Kim Ades: [00:07:29]
Okay. So these are all funny. And like they seem insignificant, right? They seem like little unimportant examples, but when they add up, they become invasive and they start to set your mood and they start to have control over the way you feel and the way you think and the way you operate every day. And there are so many reasons to get frustrated and I totally get the battery pack problem.

But... So, for me, there's a few things and as I listen to you, let's go with the example of the fact that you're supposed to leave at eight o'clock, but people aren't even showing up until 8:30. And so there's an idea for you about the way things should work, right? Like you said, "we said we were leaving at eight. It's eight and now we're not going".

And so things aren't going as they should go. "The printer's not working as it should work".

Paul Weston: [00:08:23]
Yep.

Kim Ades: [00:08:24]
"It shouldn't be like this. It shouldn't be so hard to open a battery pack".

Paul Weston: [00:08:27]
Yep, exactly right..

Kim Ades: [00:08:28]
And so that concept, that "should" creates for you an area of contention or a reason for stress. Okay. So, what I like to do is say, "where are people having this belief that things SHOULD work the way they're supposed to?"

Whenever they have that belief and things fall off course, they get rattled. Right? So really what this is about, and you probably already know this, probably preaching to the choir, is the way we feel, which is frustrated, impatient, annoyed is a function of how we think about what's happening as opposed to what is actually happening.

So when we think something should be different than the way it is, we feel upset. So it's not because it's different. That thing in itself isn't bothering us. It's because we think it has to be or should be a different way. So let me back up for a minute, 'cause I think this is important.

So if the way we think affects the way we feel... Here's the really interesting piece, is that we actually have control-- we don't have control over the battery packaging, but we have control over the way we think about the battery packaging. Except most of the time we aren't conscious of the fact that we have control over that and we give up control.

So in the case of... Let's call it the bicycle gang, right? The cycling group.

Paul Weston: [00:10:03]
Yeah, yeah.

Kim Ades: [00:10:04]
Right?

Paul Weston: [00:10:04]
Yep.

Kim Ades: [00:10:05]
You show up early, you're ready to go. Nobody else is ready to go. And so you... I have this expression is what are we using as our excuse to feel bad? In your case, you're using the fact that they're not ready to go to feel bad, but the choi-- the reality is that you have choice in that moment.

Paul Weston: [00:10:25]
Oh, yeah. 'Cause I'm grumpy. For the whole ride I don't talk to anybody, I'm miserable.

Kim Ades: [00:10:29]
Right.

Paul Weston: [00:10:30]
And they say, "Oh! Hi, how are you?" "Yeah. Okay. We should have started at eight. It's now nearly nine", and I'm miserable for the whole ride. Yeah.

Kim Ades: [00:10:36]
Right. So, what are you using as your excuse to be miserable. And so while you're really disciplined about being on time and opening packages quickly and doing all the things efficiently and effectively, where you're losing it is in controlling the way you think. Because what you are doing, for a guy who really wants to maximize time, is you're losing time by continuously thinking thoughts that are not aligned with what you actually want.

Paul Weston: [00:11:06]
Yeah. And I think in a... I hear exactly what you say. And I say in a business context as well, and I'm sure you're the same as me, where you've met with a prospect, you've maybe done a pitch and you presented an opportunity to work with them.

And they said, "yeah, we'd love to do this". And they sit on it and they sit on it and they sit on it and you reach out and you don't know whether to book them or leave them. And, you know, you reach out, "are you ready to get started?" "Yeah. Yeah. Just give us another couple of weeks". And then it's almost a year before you actually engage in the partnership with them and they say, "Oh wow, this is really great. We should have done this last year". Well, DUH!

Kim Ades: [00:11:39]
Right.

Paul Weston: [00:11:40]
And that whole year has been one of frustration for me because, you know, I know I can help you. I know I can improve your quality of life and the efficiency of your business.

Kim Ades: [00:11:48]
Right. But here it is like, here's... Okay. This is so beautiful. You're the guy who wants to improve quality of life. Right? But if you're sitting for a whole year feeling frustrated, what's the quality of your life?

Paul Weston: [00:12:02]
Oh, I get that. Yeah, yeah.

Kim Ades: [00:12:03]
Right?

Paul Weston: [00:12:03]
Yeah. I've got to learn to let that go and say, "Hey, you know, I've got no control over this, so..." Yeah.

Kim Ades: [00:12:08]
Right. But also, so there are lots of options and I really want to talk about like, what choices do we have right here, right now that we're not taking.

So you're at the cycling group place meeting point at 7:45. You've done the bathroom thing. You've done the Tim Horton's thing. You're ready to go at eight. Nobody else is ready to go. You have a choice. One choice is to cycle alone. Another choice is to wait and chat and socialize and hang out and have a good time. Another choice is to go home. The choice you're making is to be grumpy.

Paul Weston: [00:12:41]
Yeah.

Kim Ades: [00:12:42]
Right? And so, just like we have a choice about how we dilute our time, we have a choice about how we show up, and how we make those choices is dependent on how we want to feel. So very often we choose the grump factor over enjoying ourselves or doing a different thing, because it feels righteous to be grumpy.

Paul Weston: [00:13:07]
Yep. Oh yeah.

Kim Ades: [00:13:09]
There was something in it for us, right?

Paul Weston: [00:13:11]
Well, I would set off. After three or four weeks of that eight o'clock. I said, "guys, I'm going, I've got to get back. I got an appointment at 12. It's a three hour ride and I've got to get home afterwards". And I found four or five other guys said, "yeah, yeah. Why should we wait for the rest?"

And certainly we started going to eight o'clock, but yeah, I made a choice. You got it right.. Rather than be grumpy is "we're not leaving at eight, you know, you can come with me or wait for all these slackers". So...

Kim Ades: [00:13:32]
Exactly.

Paul Weston: [00:13:32]
Yeah.

Kim Ades: [00:13:33]
And then in the case, in the case of the company who's not ready to pull the trigger, what you want to do is have like, you know, I dunno 50 of those, who are not ready to pull the trigger, every month, right? And so eventually it doesn't really matter. They're in your pipeline and it's part of the process. So you don't get rattled, bothered or frustrated with the fact that they're delayed because you're so busy and packed that, hey, you barely have time for them anyway.

So it's like this ideology that we have a choice every moment of every day, about what comes our way. And are we making choices that are consistent with living a life that's fulfilling? Are we making choices that are consistent with being righteous and being grumpy? Right? And being frustrated.

And so that's where you're at and it's fun to talk to you 'cause you know this already, right?

Paul Weston: [00:14:25]
Yeah, I hear what you say, but it's something you could always work on, I think. You know, my wife's always telling me, well, you know, if I'm grumpy about something, she said, "well, you choose to be grumpy. You're the one who's decided to be grumpy". So hearing it from another source is always sort of recon or confirms, reiterates it, a very good point you make. And I think we can all learn from that. Yeah, totally.

Kim Ades: [00:14:43]
Well, and just to drive the point home just a tiny bit more, so you are generally grumpy when other people are irresponsible?

Paul Weston: [00:14:53]
It really depends. I mean, if I see somebody drop litter, I'll head off to them. I'll pick it up and I'll say, "Hey, you know, I'll put this in the garbage". That really, really annoys me, you know? And I'd rather do something than come home and complain.

"I saw somebody dropping litter".

"What do you do?"

"Well, I just walked away. I picked it up and put the garbage."

"Did you say anything to them?"

"No."

"Okay. Well say something don't complain to me. You know, do something about it."

So, yeah, I think I'm not always miserable about that. And for me, the end of it is...

Kim Ades: [00:15:20]
But I'm saying, what bothers you is when people aren't being responsible.

Paul Weston: [00:15:24]
Yeah.

Kim Ades: [00:15:25]
Okay. And so what I want to say is that the epitome of responsibility is a person who takes care of their emotional state.

Paul Weston: [00:15:34]
Yeah, exactly.

Kim Ades: [00:15:35]
Right? And so, you're the responsible guy. And so what you want to do is notice when you're feeling a negative feeling, 'cause that's an indicator that your thoughts are pointed away from what you want, and that's a moment when you're being irresponsible. In that moment you're like, "Oh my God, I'm the same guy as the litterer, except what I'm doing is I'm littering my brain".

Paul Weston: [00:15:57]
Yep. Definitely hear you.

Kim Ades: [00:16:01]
Right?

Paul Weston: [00:16:01]
Another good example is that the bottom of our stove, we've got this tray that all the panels go into from the stove and everything. And they only just fit, there's only one way of putting them in and it sounds like I'm having a fight with the stove to slam these in. And my wife thinks... She's like, "are you angry?" I'm like, "no, I'm not angry, just very noisy task". But getting these things in is a nightmare. Once they're in, it's done. Okay. I feel good. But often I exude that perception of being in a really bad mood, which is not healthy.

Kim Ades: [00:16:28]
Yes, that drawer of yours might need a little padding so it's quieter, right? Well, Paul, I hope that gave you some food for thought. I hope I gave you something to think about kind of when you have a conversation with your wife later on tonight, I really appreciate your challenge.
I don't think you're alone. That packaging, man, they should think of a better way, right?

Paul Weston: [00:16:49]
Yep.

Kim Ades: [00:16:49]
But thank you for being on the podcast and sharing your challenge.

For those of you who are listening. If things are bugging you, start paying attention to where you're allowing litter to clog your brain. If you have a challenge that you want to share on the podcast, please reach out to me.

My email address is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com

And if there is a challenge that you're not so willing to share on the podcast, please reach out to me anyway.

My email address is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com

Paul, before we go, how do people find your book?

Paul Weston: [00:17:22]
Oh! If you go to www.andrewjane.com you'll find some information about the book there. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn, Paul Weston, and we also have a program all about Distraction Freedom, how to get away from distractions, which really SAP your time. And you can find information there www.distractionfreedom.com and that's a new program we launch in January.

Kim Ades: [00:17:46]
Amazing. Thank you, Paul

Paul Weston: [00:17:48]
Thank you, Kim.

Kim Ades: [00:17:48]
Until we speak again.

Paul Weston: [00:17:50]
Yeah, thank you.

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