Monday, July 26, 2010

The Myth of Multi-Tasking

Multi-tasking. Oh, we all do it.
I know *I* sure do! And I KNOW it’s ineffective!

Here’s a perfect example of my morning, today: I have to write this blog for SCAN, I have to write one for my own Just Jump blog, I have to send our NE Executive Assistant my notes, etc, for our EC meeting next week, I have to send my bookkeeper the list of who to invoice for August, I need to spend my allotted 5 minutes/day on each social networking site, and…. Oh, and see clients and run errands and make it to an eye doc appointment. And complete ALL of that today.

So, here I am, at 9am on a Monday morning, and I’m about to tear my hair out, because I have fallen into that trap of MULTITASKING!

Research has shown that multitasking is NOT effective; that we actually can accomplish much more by SINGLE-TASKING. So, although I’ve written about some of this before, I feel it’s never enough to reinforce how best to take advantage of SINGLE-TASKING, by providing some tips.

Ah yea, that chronic time zapper. I love Dave Allen’s approach. Do you know why you will zero out your phone answering machines, but not your email inbox? Read Dave Allen’s book “Getting things done” to learn how to change this.

But, for right now, here are three tips: 1. determine the allotted time for reading emails and stick to that. Then shut DOWN your email reader. Set a timer, if necessary; 2. When you first open your email, do a quick initial scan and delete what you do NOT have to read, or file those for ‘later’ in their respective folders; and 3. Make sure to set up folders and filters. I could not LIVE without them!

Without my list, I tend to forget the most important things and complete tasks that could have waited.

In order to be your most productive, write down what you want to accomplish in the day. Experts say to put the most important first, which I do, but I still find it works if I then prioritize the rest.

HOWEVER, if you have more than ~5 items on your day’s list, stop. If you have too many items on your DAILY list, you will be less accomplished and will feel like a failure at the end of the day. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking EVERYTHING is ‘urgent’.

Read Steven Covey’s book “7 Habits of Highly Successful People” to learn more about this.

Have you ever been in the middle of writing something or creating a new program/project, and are on a great, creative roll, and then the phone rings? What do you do?

If you answer the phone, you have just COST yourself money! If it’s a potential client who just called you, if they are serious, they will leave a message. If you are too worried about this, and business is picking up, maybe it’s time for a phone service! But DON’T ANSWER THE PHONE!

I think I shared this before: My Social Media VA once told me to spend no more than 5 minutes a day on these sites. Pick which ones to spend the most days on, and then stick to that schedule. You know what? IT WORKS!

These are just a few simple tips that can help you move from multi-tasking to single tasking. Give it a try for a day or two and let us know how it works for you! You’ll be amazed.

I now have my list, I have gone through my email, and one of my tasks is now complete. Time for #2 on my list...

Marjorie Geiser, MBA, RD, NSCA-CPT
MEG Enterprises

Monday, July 19, 2010

Physical Self and Business Self- Are they different?

Most of you can relate to working your body for an event or physical challenge. Yet, when it comes to business, you see that as a totally different animal! Are they really?

Let’s compare building your physical capabilities with your business capabilities and see how closely they really parallel each other.

Starting out:
When you start a particular sport, you find coaches and mentors who support, challenge and educate you. You depend on the wisdom of these people to help you learn the ropes of your sport, or even what it takes to achieve success in any physical endeavor. You hang out with people who are doing the things you are doing.

When you start your business, though, do you realize it’s exactly the same thing? But what often happens, perhaps, is you’ve never been exposed to other business professionals, so you feel like a fish out of water!

A good first start is by searching out nutrition colleagues who are also in business. Dietitians often feel intimidated to go out of their field at first, because they haven’t flexed their business muscle, yet! They don’t understand the language or concepts. I know; I was once there, myself! When I’d go to ‘business’ events, I felt extremely unworthy… I knew nutrition and fitness, NOT business, I’d say!

This leads to a good second step: Start reading business magazines. A couple good examples would be Entrepreneur, or Fast Company or Fortune Small Business. Like any new language, it’s going to take awhile to learn. But you are no dummy, so you’ll pick it up. And you’ll learn some new concepts or ideas for your business along the way! Yes, there is a whole other world out there…

But now you have to step OUT of the world of sports and dietetics and into the world of business! This means go to some of the local chamber of commerce meetings to expose yourself to this other world. Also see if there is a local business/entrepreneur organization. Many towns have a local chapter of the Small Business Association, which offer extremely affordable classes AND even free mentoring or support! When I started business school, I became aware of our local Women’s Business Center, which was an extremely invaluable resource for me while taking my business to the next level.

Growing pains:
As time went on, perhaps you found that the training and your events either weren’t as challenging or as fun as they used to be. Something was missing. Perhaps it was time for a new physical challenge! Maybe instead of tri’s, you’re ready to hike Mt. Kilimanjaro, or you’re ready for a century bike ride.

This is the same with your company. Now you are an established business, but the thrill is gone. Or the success you had hoped for hasn’t come. But where it seemed very logical with your physical changes, you’re stumped when it comes to what to do with the business!

For many businesses, if they are to evolve and continue to grow, SOMETHING has to change. Think of every big company who has lasted: Every single one makes changes. Even Google! Who would have thought they’d be offering phones five years, or even TWO years ago? Remember when Apple was struggling: BEFORE the iPhone??? We all wonder what’s next for them. Why are you any different?

This may mean going back to the drawing board and sitting down as if you are starting from scratch. What is your vision today? Maybe it’s different than it was when you first started your business. Who do you imagine working with? Again, this could be totally different than years earlier and your passion has changed! And that’s ok! It’s ok to re-invent yourself, just as it’s ok to change your physical focus from running ultra marathons to hiking or kayaking!

What can you take away from this message? My hope is you can see the parallels between your physical self and your business self.

Marjorie Geiser, MBA, RD, NSCA-CPT
MEG Enterprises

Monday, July 12, 2010

Connections that grow your future

Have you ever sat back and thought of the people in your life who have helped you get to where you are, today?

No one grows and progresses in a bubble. Yea, we’ve heard that one, before. But what does it really mean?

What brought this up for me was the recent conversation I had with my website designer. I’ve known her for over five years, now. And it all started with one of my first classes in the Women’s Business Center when I started business school. I didn’t even KNOW that this center existed when I first started my business back in 1996! Too bad! But in that class, which was a marketing class, our instructor asked if any of us had business cards.

I was quite proud of my cards: I had created them myself and printed them up as I needed. And I was still using MEG Fitness, because I didn’t know what to do with my business coaching, yet.
Well, Olga looked at my card and, figuratively, tore it apart! Why did I have these figures, what do these colors mean, why do I have this line here? Heck, I don’t know; because it all looked good?!
First lesson in marketing – have a purpose and plan.

Oh, and why was my business called MEG Fitness when I was offering business coaching?? Oh yea; good question.

But, I loved it and valued her mentor-ship a great deal. We may not stay in close touch, but we will always stay in touch, and I know she loves to tell that story as much as I do.

But what else came out of that relationship was her introduction to Suzan from Creative Raven, who first started out as my graphic designer. Olga kindly said to me, “You need to contact this lady so she can design a new business card for you.” Got it! But, I knew she was right and thus began a relationship with a wonderful business professional who has helped me grow and refine my image through the years.

Think about every connection you have. Yea, this can be hard. So think of the most recent connections. Where did these people come from? What developed as a result? I bet if you think about it, you’ll be able to think of at least ONE story like what I shared above. Who did you meet at a meeting, who then gave your name to someone else for an opportunity?

Never skip the chance to meet someone or have a conversation with someone. You never know what might develop. I literally could tell dozens of such stories as above.

I’m going to share one last story with you: In a presentation I gave in April, I spoke about my experience with Toastmasters. I believe that ANYONE who speaks, or wants to speak, publicly, should join Toastmasters. Last weekend, as Treasurer of my club, I attended the Toastmasters Leadership Training. In our first break-out session, we each stood up to introduce ourselves. After my table, someone in the next table stood up and shared that because of ME, she had joined Toastmasters! WOW! When she and I spoke later, I realized the impact that my talk had on her AND the impact that this decision will have in her career (which is exactly my mission!).

But, as I gave her and her fellow club officer my cards to invite them to an upcoming book signing event, she shared that she was glad she ran into me again, because she wanted me to come speak at her company.


Marjorie Geiser, MBA, RD, NSCA-CPT
MEG Enterprises

Monday, July 5, 2010

Incorporate coaching for greater client and professional success

Are you familiar with coaching, yet?
Do you realize that coaching is one of the fastest-growing professions in the WORLD? And who better to incorporate coaching tools into their practice than RDs.

But what is it, what’s necessary to call yourself a coach, and how can you learn more?

What is coaching?
Coaching literally is the process of asking questions to guide the client to where he/she wants to go. According to the International Coach Federation, coaching is “Partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.” It is based on the concept that the client is the expert, which is different than what we’re taught in school, where WE are the experts and we will impart our knowledge and wisdom upon the learners and they will be better for it.

Has that worked real well for you each time?
Probably not…

Coaching empowers the client and they start taking action! Oh sure, some of your serious athletes will do anything you tell them (up to a point), but what about the others? How do you reach them?

Coaching is different from therapy because you are helping your client move FORWARD, not look at where they’ve been. Coaching is different than mentoring, because how YOU do things is irrelevant. And it’s taking motivational interviewing another step towards the client, again.

What do you need to call yourself a coach?


It’s like ‘nutritionists’. I once asked a lady what qualified her to call herself a nutritionist. She said (and I kid you not), “I’ve been reading nutrition books all my life!” Oh… well, of course…

However, if you want to stand above the rest of the pack jumping on the coaching bandwagon, get some training! Again, it’s not required, but will give you the SKILLS to coach with competence.

How can you learn more?
The best first place to start is with the ICF. I like to say that the ICF is to professional coaches what ADA is to dietitians. Spend time on their site; check out the schools listed, and what the ICF is all about. ICF does not offer education. They do offer certification, though.

Two credible schools that offer wellness coaching are Wellcoaches and Intrinsic Coaching. I have yet to learn of any others that specialize in wellness that I would recommend, although there ARE other wellness coaching schools, because this is a HOT area of growth potential. (Important point: This does NOT mean there are not other quality general coaching schools, but this is not the place to discuss them.)

Why not investigate if adding coaching to your set of tools would help grow your business or career? It’s a great fit for RDs, and you can’t lose by learning how best to empower your clients!

Marjorie Geiser, MBA, RD, NSCA-CPT
MEG Enterprises

Friday, July 2, 2010

Skipping meal post-exercise: harmful impact

Dinner for Nate G. is a rare event. Post-exercise (his dinner-time), Nate prefers not to fuel his body for whatever reason despite knowing the consequences.

At two-three times per week performing one-hour sessions of intensive weight training and boxing, Nate needs... a turkey sandwich. A cup of chocolate milk. Something... anything!

He is in good shape so his decision to skip is not for weight loss purposes. He understands (or now he will if he reads this post) that omitting a meal within the "post-exercise window of opportunity" negatively affects proper muscle recovery. This is because waiting longer than two hours to eat has been shown to result in 50 percent less glycogen stored in the muscle. Glycogen storage is most active within the first 15-30 minutes post exercise.1 Therefore, he might eventually put himself at risk for serious injury if he doesn't replenish glycogen losses after exercising. And that wouldn't be good at all since he enjoys working out.

Enter: local NYC CafĂ© and Nate inside. Eating. Post-workout. It was a break-through in our sports nutrition eating-recovery ☺ His choice of roasted chicken without skin was better than nothing but not exactly an optimal macronutrient ratio. Ideally, he would have included CHO with this meal in order to stimulate his insulin response, which helps build up glycogen storage faster.

Most experts believe the optimal ratio of CHO-Pro supplementation post-exercise to replenish muscle glycogen is at least three grams of carbohydrate for every one gram of protein.2 If Nate needs at least 20-30g of protein for the stimulation of muscle protein synthesis, then his 3.5oz chicken (30 grams protein) with two cups brown rice (90g CHO) would do the trick. At first this seemed to be a lot of CHO to me. Yet, a hero or sub sandwich is easily 80g carbohydrates. For Nate, a 6" male at 185lbs, four servings of grains to one serving meat or fish is the ideal meal.

-Marissa Beck, MS, RD is the Director of Wellness and in-house dietitian at NextJump. Visit her website at:

1 Betts JA, et al. Effects of recovery beverages on glycogen restoration and endurance exercise performance. Williams MB, et al. Effects of recovery beverages on glycogen restoration and endurance exercise performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2003 Feb;17(1):12-9.

2 Ivy JL, Goforth HW Jr, Damon BM, McCauley TR, Parsons EC, Price TB. Early postexercise muscle glycogen recovery is enhanced with a carbohydrate-protein supplement. J Appl Physiol. 2002 Oct;93(4):1337-44.