I don’t seem to get to that wonderful state by working harder and faster


“Folks, can we hear it for sloth, indolence, and procrastination?!” That’s how I have started many of my seminars over the years. And it always gets thunderous applause and raucous cheers. I think it hits a nerve.

I’ve been working on both (self-forgiveness and sense of humor) for decades now, and still find it quite challenging at times. But you know, when I’m in a loving, whole, and healthy state of mind about myself and about life, everything’s cool. Where I am, doing what I’m doing, is exactly where I need to be and what I need to do. God’s on her throne, the mail is coming, my dog loves me, and tomorrow is just fine right where it is, not showing up until then.

And I don’t seem to get to that wonderful state of mind by working harder and faster. Sometimes it helps, but more often it just perpetuates the angst. [Read more…]

Patience Grasshopper. Patience.

foot tapping, funny, laugh, business, multitasking, work, professional,

Michael’s in my head again. Jabbing. Jabbing. Jabbing. Gracefully dancing and landing punches like Sugar Ray. With similar effectiveness. Each one leaving a mark. Punch line popping: You are RUDE.

If you want to pay someone a quiet compliment, give them some serious attention when they are speaking.

I’m in the groove. Making up lost time on a long neglected project with a looming deadline. And, then a colleague with unscheduled “drop-in” meeting walks through my door. My flow is interrupted. “It will just take a few minutes,” was the request. Rather than setting expectations as to my time upfront or scheduling a meeting to accommodate the discussion, I reluctantly shoe-horn it in.
We’re five minutes in. And we are wading. In a swamp. My mind begins to wander. (My foot starts tapping. I start playing with my pen. I sneak glances at my watch. TRIGGERS. Susan’s post intrudes: You see the triggers pal. The alarms are coming at you in waves. Pull up. Pull up. Do not go to the “automated response.”

I’m not going to do it. It’s not a priority.

timeChange your language. Instead of saying "I don’t have time" try saying "it’s not a priority," and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: "I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a priority." "I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority." If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.

~ Laura Vanderkam







Quote Source: WSJ: Are You As Busy As You Think? via swiss-miss.  Image Source: Marcdesa

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I learn more about life when I’m in it…

“People these days don’t know how to just sit in a room or any environment and merely absorb it and take it in. Instead, they have mind-numbing games on their phone to devote their attention to, facebook updates to know about, text messages and tweets to send, beautiful robotically edited pictures to post in an attempt to make their life seem somewhat interesting and from this desire to let people know what they are doing. And they miss the beauty in the details and the little things; they miss living in that beauty.

Sometimes I want to ask them things like, did you not notice the textures and shape of that room, did you not hear what he was really saying, did you not see the large bird molesting the smaller birds in the tree, did you not see that adorable old couple on the bench helping one another to their feet, did you not only see but feel what was going on in that room? Or were you too busy on your phone?

When we look back on our lives are we going to be a collection of meaningless gaming hours, ambiguous updates, cheap tweets and instagram photos? Is that what’s going to really make our memories and keep us living in the moment to make those memories?

Maybe it’s just me, but I learn more about life, myself and others when I’m in it. And I just want other people to be in it and learning with me too. So like all things in life, use your phone in moderation and focus on truly making those memories.”

~ Rex X

Quote Source: Rex X.  Image Source: Crescent Moon

Related Article: NY Times: The “Busy” Trap (Thanks for sharing Lori)

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No God! Please No!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOO…

I am a subject matter expert on very few things (ask my team or my family) – however, I am a Master Craftsman at saying NO! (Ask them about this too! They would also likely say it is hard to distinguish between Steve Carell in this video clip and me.) I believe saying “NO” is critical to FOCUS, to achieving the benefits of Paredo’s Law, to effectiveness, to productivity, to Mastery, to success and to stable mental health. (Well, maybe I should have left that last one out.)  Three of my favorite recent posts on the topic:

James Altucher @ The Altucher Confidential in his post: How to Be More Productive. “…Life is simple. Saying “Yes” adds complexities to that: yes I will buy X, yes I will have sex, yes I will have that meeting and this meeting and that meeting, yes I will do that deal, yes I will buy that stock, yes I will that house. Yes, I will meet for just a drink. Don’t ever do anything you don’t want to do…No. Stop. Do I want to go visit some relatives five hours away. No. Do I want to go make a speech about something boring. No. Every time you say “No” you add to the value of your time. You add to the value of your body. Your mind. Your emotions. Your time, each second.  You add to the value of right NOW. You respected yourself. Every time you say “NO” you put money in the bank. When thoughts are angry and you say “no” to them, your brain gets stronger, more flexible. When you say “no” to the worries of your future, your future leaves open the possibility and probability of more abundance, since most worries are just fictions. So when should you ever say “yes”? When you love something. Then say “yes” to it. That’s it.”

[Read more…]

The Thought-Patterns of Success…

“Elizabeth Grace Saunders is a time management life coach who empowers clients around the world to go from feeling frustrated, overwhelmed and guilty to accomplishing more with peace and confidence.”  Her post in the HBR Blog Network titled The Thought-Patterns of Success is terrific.  I’ve shared a few nuggets below that resonated with me…

[Read more…]

Secrets to time management…

More efficient time management has been on my mind.  Emails piling up.  Project deadlines slipping.  Stress and tension escalating a wee bit.  I can “be” better.

In a recent post, James Altucher answered a reader’s question on “his secret to time management.”  (See his response below). 

I happen to agree with most of his tips (and wonder if post should have been renamed “the Introvert’s Guide to Time Management.”)

A few other tips come to mind that work for me: “Just say no” (to time soaks and matters that aren’t core or priorities).  “Cut the time of your meetings in half.”  “Delegate effectively.”

As Terry Thompson at Leadertank often says: “Join the conversation.” What is your secret(s) to effective time management?” And I’m begging you not to say avoid reading and responding to blogs like this one.” Smile

[Read more…]

Time Management (not)…


Life Goal Aid or Blocker?

Which Way Are You Dysfunctional?

Albert Einstein's Desk The Day He Died

Laura Stack at The Productivity Pro Blog wrote an eye-catching post titled The 12 Dysfunctional Personal Productivity Personalities.  I have a tendency to be a #1/Scrapper (thank goodness for the advent of PCs) – – I’ve have been accused of being #9/an over-emailer” – – and I land squarely in #12/Workaholic-land.  Read Laura’s entire article for her suggestions on how to deal with colleagues who have these personality profiles.

1) Scrappers.  Desk looks like a modern art exhibit, covered in scraps of paper and sticky notes. They write important notes on whatever is close at hand, whether it’s a fast food receipt or the back of an envelope

2) Pilers. Keep everything and file nothing. There will be boxes on the floor and every inch of desk space will be occupied by stacks of paper, generally piled up to the point that an archeologist could use them to figure out what the piler has been working on for the last five years.

 3) Multi-taskers. Aways have a thousand things going on at once and generally take pride in it. They flit from task to task, getting many things started but few things completed. And they often appear frazzled, overwhelmed, and scattered.

[Read more…]

How well do you manage distraction? Take this three minute quiz…

“Do you leave the office with a nagging feeling that you worked all day but didn’t get your most important work done? Do you feel like you aren’t taking advantage of your talents and passions? Are you distracted by little things? Avoiding big hairy projects? Do you interrupt yourself with email and other distractions? Try taking this three-minute quiz to discover where you are distracting yourself the most…”

[Read more…]

How to Stop Drinking From A Fire Hose & Get The Right Things Done – In a mere 18 minutes (Really?)

This book sat in my Kindle queue for 8 weeks before I picked it up a few days before New Year’s Day. Why the foot dragging? I was fully anticipating a tired, re-tread, re-run of the often quoted “me-too” time management disciplines – – get-your-focus-on-the-main-thing-being-the-main-thing, turn off your email and blackberry, delegate better, say no more frequently, stop multitasking, blah, blah, blah. Even the title (18 minutes to solve global warming) had turned me off.

But, just like I had to eat all of the vegetables on my plate when I was a kid – – I bought the book, so I had to read it. And the verdict? I was wrong. This book is so much better than that. (Yes, it helps to have low expectations, but I stand my ground. This book is SOLID.)

Bregman gets your attention from the first chapter and you ride with him all the way through to the finish. Do you find yourself answering yes to one or more of the following questions? If yes, for $12 on Kindle, you’ll get your monies worth and then some.

  • Do you find that you ask yourself where did the day go? Where did the week go? Where did the year(s) go?
  • Do you often find that you do not have the time to get done what you want to get done?
  • Does “stuff” always get in the way of what you need to get done precluding you from finishing what’s important to you?
  • Do you feel that you are on a treadmill scrambling to try to keep up or finish…anxious, or frustrated or unfulfilled?
  • Do you find that you are working harder yet staying in place or falling behind?

[Read more…]

Top 10…

Here’s a list of my top blog posts for leaders that I came across in December.  I’ve included a few choice excerpts to whet your appetite.  Contributions range from Scholars, Writers, VCs, Executives, Bloggers and Students…great prep reading as we head into 2012.

[Read more…]

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