Tag Archives: New approaches

Speed up to slow down

by Petra Lehner

Shailia and Pat asked me to contribute a blog post about “when to slow down and when to speed up”. Here are some of my ideas on the topic.

Today, we face  a lot of situations where one simple ability is not enough to successfully fulfill the job we have been asked to do. More and more, we are required to become multi-taskers and quick-workers. Information-overflow, workload pressure and increasingly technical and/or complex matters are commonplace these days.

The dark side of the game is that doing more and more things will cause stress, illness and emotional breakdown (best known as burn-out).

Now, as we all are coaches, no matter if we are employees, mothers, fathers, leaders, students… let’s quickly change our perspective and look to the: „what can we do“ side. And it is a sunny side!

It is easy to become a multi-tasker/quick-worker in your daily life just by training your brain to stay focused. This will lead to channeled energy and concentrated work. And the key is this:

Slow down and you will accomplish more.

While holding seminars on speed-reading, mental training and excellent learning (which is all about excellent communication with yourself!), I found out that the brain loves to learn and work quite long if it is allowed to take enough little breaks in -between.

Also important: before you start with whatever you need to do, declare what you are going to do!

Most of the time, people begin doing their work only to be interrupted by the cellphone ringing or the mailbox beeping. In an instant, concentration is gone. Instead of reconnecting after the interruption, many people start to do some new work while the first point of the schedule is still open in the unconscious mind. So there is a piling-up of activities never finished and the poor brain does not know where to focus.

Your brain loves to think fast, complex and in a big variety of colourful chaos mixed-up with structure. Yet it can only process information from one channel at a time.

Brain research has found that learning or reading while doing sports at a pulse-rate of 90 to 100 beats per minute is a real turbo-boost and happens absolutely fast and long-lasting. Try it out! If you have a home trainer or a treadmill  grab a book, watch a film or listen to a learning course. Whatever you choose, you will discover, that you have focused attention and remember almost everything after the end of the session.

Sometimes it is too much. Did you know this? You need to write an article, carry out research for a new customer, call some clients, do household chores etc. It is essential that you take a healthy rest.

If you find yourself not sleeping well, this proven, very effective and powerful tool may help: make daily notes.

Get a notebook or some lined paper and write down whatever comes to your mind for 20 minutes. Recall, reflect or just let the paper be the counterpart for your inner voice. Do not censor yourself. Just keep on writing for 20 minutes. After a couple of days you will discover a massive change. Your focus will have become clearer and stronger.

And then: take a break. Take a mind-break, a brain-break. If small but constant breaks are like a routine for you, you will have created your own mental island on which to recover at any time.

Start with a 5-minutes-break. Do nothing else but breathing. Make at least three of these 5-minute-breaks every day and schedule them!!!

If you are interested in speeding up your reading-rate, here is a little Christmas present for the readers of this blog:  Lesegeschwindigkeit erhöhen (PDF in German).

For today, take a break and enjoy the following:

Thank you for your focused attention 😉

Petra Lehner


About Petra Lehner

Petra is a coach, trainer and book author living in Salzburg, Austria. Her areas of specialty are speed-reading, excellent learning, mental training and coaching as well as mental alignment and communication for peak performance. She works with private individuals and business clients and hold seminars on these subjects regularly.




Further information:

MetaMind homepage: http://meta-mind.at/

Petra’s MetaMind Blog: http://meta-mind.at/Blog/index.html

Petra Lehner on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Petra_Lehner


Meet Daniel Jennewein

An up-and-coming illustrator of childrens’ books, Daniel Jennewein is certainly doing something different than most. He is living his dream. In this post, he shares the story of his career move from graphic designer to book illustrator. We are thrilled that he is the first person to be featured in our DSD (doing something different) career series.


Daniel’s Daily Drawings

I could say it all started with my blog danielsdailydrawings.blogspot.com.

Illustration 531I’d been a web designer since 1999, a job I enjoyed at times but mainly had so I could pay the bills. In the beginning I learned a lot, which was fulfilling enough, but as time went by and I realized I spent more time doing than learning, I started to feel bored.

In order to exercise my mind, I began experimenting with personal side projects.  The first task was a childrens’ book that I planned to develop with my wife Lenore, who is a copywriter. It didn’t take us long to notice that it was a difficult thing to do and that it required a lot of energy – energy which is difficult to unleash while working full-time. After a long time period of working nights and weekends on our book, we finally had a dummy and sent it out for critique.  The feedback made us realize we’d need to dedicate more time to it, and we put it on hold indefinitely.

From this experience I learned that I shouldn’t put more on my plate than I can handle and looked for a personal project that I could tackle while having a demanding full-time job.  It had to be a project that wouldn’t require me to take off work for days or weeks to get the job done but rather short, regular sessions – i.e. something I could do in the evenings after work even when I was very tired.

Illustration 682Many designers and artists keep sketchbooks, but I thought this might not have enough structure to keep me drawing often, which is how the idea for my blog was born. The title Daniel’s Daily Drawings already forces me to publish a drawing a day. However it doesn’t place restrictions on how rough, how funny how  good or how bad a drawing has to be. Here I have all the freedom in the world to draw whatever I feel like but I am also obliged to follow a strict routine.

In May 2007 I visited the Children’s Book Fair in Bologna and had the opportunity to show my work to Art Directors from renowned publishing houses. At that time, I already had quite a few drawings up on my blog and chose the 3 best ones to show. To my surprise, my drawings were highly praised and I ended up with a two book illustration contracts with HarperCollins. This experience gave me the confidence I needed to embark on my new career path as a freelance illustrator.  I doubt I would have dared to take this radical step without having had this encouraging experience.

Sometimes we just need little pushes and kicks to follow our true destinies.



Daniel JenneweinAbout me

My Name is Daniel Jennewein.  I live in Frankfurt with my wife Lenore and 2 very spoiled Birman cats. My first picture book (written by Audrey Vernick) “Is Your Buffalo Ready For Kindergarten?” will be released in summer 2010. In addition to drawing, I love to travel and hang out with inspiring people like Shailia.

Revolt and put down your pens


Last week in our Trinergy trainer seminar Roman Braun told the story of a little boy who asked, “Why does the moon make black light and the sun make blue light?”

Can you remember when you were very little and still completely naive about the workings of the universe? You know, when you were not yet tainted by the so-called facts. When you had no knowledgeable point-of-reference and were still asking ingenious questions.

And can you recall when it happened that the world ceased to appear undiscovered and you stopped seeing all the possibilities? You know, when most questions had been adequately answered and you decided there were only two or three ways of doing things anyway. When you became complacent and began getting the same predictable results – good and bad.

As a coach, one of my main premises when working with clients is this: If you keep on doing what you have always done, you will pretty much get the results you have always gotten. If you want something new, do something different.

Dr. Richard Bandler based NLP largely on this idea. He also said, “The greatest personal limitation is to be found not in the things you want to do and can’t, but in the things you have never considered doing.”

Last week my good friend and counterpart, Pat Medros, wrote a “work in progress” blog post in German, kicking off our “Do something different” (DSD) initiative. In it she paid tribute to “Dick” Fosbury, who did consider doing something he had never done before and, in doing so, revolutionized the high jump event. His idea: jump back-first instead of front-first (now a standard called the Fosbury Flop).

I am kicking off the “Do something different” initiative with my own very simple idea that you might want to try…


DSD Idea Nr. 1: Revolt and put down your pens
I used to be a very detail-oriented note taker – in classes, in client meetings, etc. For the last three nine-day coaching and training seminars I attended, I decided to put down my pen and see what would happen. Here’s what I got:

  • Instead of stooping over my notes, I sat upright or leaned back into a relaxing position. This increased my field of vision and I became aware of the things happening around me and on-stage which I had been missing.
  • I couldn’t rely on reading my notes later, so I paid more attention and re-oriented from “learning later” to “learning now”.
  • That lead me to experimenting with visual memory techniques. One whole day I imagined a monkey running me through the process we had just been introduced to. What a trip!
  • My other senses kicked in and I began to unconsciously link information to things I had seen, heard or even tasted on that day. My knowledge of “pacing” is connected to an orange breathe mint I had in my mouth while listening to the trainer speak about pacing theory.
  • I realized I couldn’t miss a thing even if I had missed something. Because everyone around me wanted to talk about what they had or hadn’t understood . I was constantly getting new information and repetition from them.
  • Subjectively, I feel like I can comprehend and retain far more information –  compared to before with note taking.


When is the next time you could put down your pen?
And what something new might you get?

Until we meet,

Fosbury it!

Fosbury FlopHello everyone! As Shailia already mentioned I will write in german this time 🙂

Mein erster Post ist eine Einladung an Dich.

Shailia und ich haben vor einigen Wochen festgestellt, dass wir unabhängig voneinander den gleichen spannenden Versuch gestartet haben,  mit dem wir unser Lebensspielfeld erweitern, verändern, umgestalten und sogar in eine neue und andere Qualität bringen können. Das Prinzip, dass wir dabei verfolgen, ist ganz einfach: Do something different!

Vermutlich kennst du die nervige (und bisweilen gemeine) innere Stimme, mit der Du (!) Dich gern davon abhältst, Neues auszuprobieren, ungewöhnliche Wege zu gehen oder den mutigen großen Sprung ins Ungewisse zu wagen.  Wir möchten hier einen Platz schaffen, der dazu inspiriert, zur Abwechslung mal keine gute Figur abzugeben, sondern  spielerisch zu experimentieren und einfach zu wagen, zu springen und die Erfahrungen die daraus entstehen mitzuteilen.

Wir laden Dich daher ein, mitzumachen und Deine Erlebnisse  zu teilen. Und wir freuen uns über Geschichten von dritten, die Dich inspiriert haben, weil sie so anders, mutig, zweifelhaft und ungewöhnlich waren – und gerade deshalb so revolutionär, erfolgreich oder schöpferisch, dass sie neue Wege geebnet haben.

Getreu dem Prinzip “just try something else” haben wir dieses Mal keine Strategie, keine Regeln und keine Messlatte.

Unsere Vision sind unzählige Anekdoten, Interviews, Schnipsel, Aphorismen, …, die diesen Blog füllen und eines Tages ein Buch, das wir gemeinsam an andere Pioniere verteilen können.

Just try something else oder spring doch mal andersrum!
Hier als erste Inspiration

Fosbury it!