Monthly Archives: August 2011

Time Management – Efficiency

Certain people are able accomplish many

things while others are unproductive to say the least!

Why do some habitually hit their goals while others are unable to accomplish things or do so at a slow, frustrating pace?  What contributes to the difference?

What do we do with the time we have?

An important component of productivity is time management.

Everyone gets the same 24 hours in a day,  7 days in a week, it is how we use them that makes the difference!

Many people seem frozen by the agenda of things to accomplish and talk about all they have to do but never make a dent in the ‘pile’.  Can we increase our productivity?

The good news is we can all improve our productivity by managing our time, a precious resource that must be tightly controlled.

Three O’s

I witness three areas preventing or inhibited productivity on a daily basis – Over Thinking, Over Blabbing and good Old fashioned Procrastination.

Many people put themselves in the circle of Paralysis by Over Analysis.   They over think the task at hand, wasting precious time thinking of the best way and every conceivable consequence. I am not suggesting you recklessly pursue action but if you aren’t building rockets or working with nuclear materials, make a reasonable assessment and get t0 work.  Stop over analyzing and take action.

Incessant Talking – We are a culture of chatters.  Communication is essential but there is a limit to the amount of time we frit away discussing a task at hand and about totally unrelated subjects.  Two areas of blabbing  to be dealt with.  First, if related to the task at hand, put a time limit (for most subjects 5 minutes) on discussion.  For meetings large or small, require that the participants stand. Don’t let anyone get comfortable.  As for unrelated, ‘small talk’ ban it entirely until the in box is empty!

Procrastination – First be honest with yourself, face the fact you are putting off doing something meaningful with menial diversions.  It then truly comes down to focusing, blocking out your tendencies to avoid doing something difficult, and getting down to work.

The common thread here is simply to take action!  Don’t let another day fly by without doing what you need or would like to get done.

I have an article coming out that will give you actual tos and ideas to increase your productivity.  The ideas work and are applicable to the work environment and in your personal life.

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Social Science Experiment Is Over

Somewhere along the way we lost ourselves. We no longer demanded that you act responsibly, work and civilly participate in society.

No One to Blame but Ourselves

We looked the other way, selfishly enjoying ourselves, while ignoring our responsibilities to parent and teach.  We didn’t set expectations for those dependent on us and attempt to manage the results.  We needed to instill core family values and discipline them, instead, we threw money at problems and poverty and went our merry way. You see it is much harder to do the tough work to form behaviors than to buy them and our conscious off.

We gave things without requiring anything for it.  They had no skin in the game, why are we surprised they feel entitled?

Different kind of Ellis Island

We also compounded our problems with newer immigrants.

What a difference a generation makes!  When millions flocked to our shores for a better life, they toiled hard at work and even harder at becoming Americans.  They learned the language and assimilated quickly.  It was not an abdication of who they were, they still practice their customs and cultures, but realized and desired to be a part of something bigger – AMERICA!  Their contributions are legendary and a reason prospered into a beacon for the underclass around the world.

Newcomers to America are accommodated to such a large degree that they have no incentive to learn English and integrate into our society and culture.  Thinking we’d make it easier for them led to neighborhoods filled with signage in other languages and children unable to learn in school because they didn’t know English, resulting in tremendous disaffection.  (Interestingly, Arizona, now maligned for its immigration policy, actually mandated that children be taught in their native language and ‘imported’ Spanish speaking teachers from Mexico!  It proved to be a colossal failure as Spanish speaking children performed even more poorly.)

Disastrous Results

This disaffection and resentment manifested itself in many ways but some recent events like the riots in England are ringing alarm bells.   In short, we need to turn course quickly in order to have a chance at changing the tide.

In order for a democracy to survive and prosper it needs the far majority of its people participating.  We cannot have the outrageous amounts of folks we have now living off the government!  Fiscal disaster that it is, it is just not sustainable for democracy.

We must make the distinction between those who are unable to take care of themselves and those who are simply unwilling.  Safety nets for legitimate, verifiable reasons should be maintained.  Other programs dealing with poverty must be managed with an eye to outcomes.  If it does not change behavior, leading to independence, it should be changed until it does.  If you get something (Sickness and aged etc aside) from the government or society you should be required to do something. Is there a legitimate reason, that those getting a year or two of unemployment checks not be required to gain a new skill to be employed (or clean a park?) as a condition of getting the check?

Nothing less than the very fabric of our society is at stake.  We need ideas and action now!

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Gratitude – Essential to Happiness and Peace

Gratitude is the Right Attitude

Simply acknowledging things to be thankful for is real a game changer. You will surprise yourself with how your outlook and attitude will improve when you recognize and practice this happiness tool.

I am not an advocate of the ‘It could be worse’ crowd as a way for making you feel good that others are in worse shape.  It takes less energy to remind yourself of the good stuff in your life rather than comparing your lot in life with others.

You are guaranteed to be much happier and peaceful.

“Gratitude is the best attitude.”  ~Author Unknown

Practice Being Thankful

There are no shortages of things to be grateful for.  The problem is we take so much for granted that we overlook them.

You need to be conscious of the good things in your life!

We tend to acknowledge things, like health, only when there is a problem.  How about starting the day thankful you feel good? (Okay, after a few cups of coffee!)

You can see, smell, talk, walk etc.  No small thing at all and it starts the day off in the right frame of mind.

On your way to work or play, take notice of the sun, clouds, trees, flowers, snow.. (opps, went overboard there!)  Being aware of and thankful of nature’s role in our world has a calming effect on our lives.

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”  ~Thornton Wilder

People In Our Lives

Gratitude is a sure relationship builder or saver.

We have many people in our lives, at times they may cause us angst or put a demand upon us.  It is important to balance this ‘heavy’ side of relationships with the other side of it.

First off, no one is perfect, rather than harping on the things a person may do that irritate us, remind yourself of all the good attributes a person may have and be thankful for them.  You will find that the exercise elevates the relationship dramatically and the annoyance factor dissipating.

It IS the Little Things!

Be thankful for little things, we tend to focus on negative things, which create negative vibes. I am sure we all have arrived at work complaining about the traffic, but did we ever use the time to think not of everything we need to get done that day but on someone we love, some pursuit we enjoy, a recent accomplishment….

Being grateful insulates us from the tendency the culture has towards negativity and the focus on what we do not have.

We must practice being grateful and happy with what already have rather than get pulled into the message that we need this and that to be happy.  You will find that being grateful actually enhances your  joy and growth opportunities.

Do it as soon as you finish this article and drop me a line on your thoughts.

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.”  ~Epictetus

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