Saturday, 26 July 2014

Getting the Important Things Done

By Harold Taylor

By now everyone has heard the standard answer to "How do I get all the important things done?" The pat answer is "Take them off your to do list and schedule time for them in your planner." And most people do accept the fact that "To Do" lists are for the things we intend to do; but scheduled blocks of time in our planner are for the things we are committed to do.

But even scheduling important tasks and activities in our planners as though they were appointments for life-saving surgery does not guarantee they will get done. Because they are not scheduled appointments with the surgeon and they are usually not life-threatening. So when something urgent pops out of nowhere demanding our time, that important goal-related activity frequently gets delayed.

There are no guarantees in life. And there is no panacea for ensuring that the important things get done first. After all, we are only human. Regardless of what time management experts may tell you, we all struggle with procrastination to varying degrees. At times we all fall victim to the tyranny of the urgent. And in my 35 years as a time management consultant, I have never met a person with the degree of commitment, focus, self-discipline and cool self-centeredness necessary to ignore the pleas of someone requesting their time. And I hope I never do.

The truth of the matter is that people are more important than projects, and relationships are more important than deadlines.

But there are things you can do, after you have scheduled the priorities in your planner, that will increase the odds of getting them done. Here are a few strategies that I have found helpful.

Schedule priorities early in the day. The demands on your time usually increase as the day progresses. If you are a "lark" or "early bird" and your energy level is at its peak early in the day, this habit is a plus. Choose times when distractions are at a minimum. Similarly, schedule the most important tasks early in the week. The week tends to get busier as it progresses.

Schedule the priorities in ink. If you use a paper planner, that is. There is something tentative about penciled in appointments. And there is nothing concrete about electronic notations either. Do what works for you; but don't make your scheduled commitments too easy to change.

Do first things first. You have already scheduled your priorities in your planner and it's important that you work on these before looking for more. Ignore your in-basket, e-mail, voice mail messages and text messages until after your first scheduled activity. The rest of the day may not go according to schedule; but in most cases you can at least start the day off right. Even one hour per day on the priorities is more valuable than five hours per day on routine and trivial tasks.

Respect your own time. If you would not cancel an appointment with someone else at the last minute out of respect for them, then give yourself the same consideration. Stick to those appointments with yourself wherever possible. Have as much respect for your own time as you have for others. Resist the urge to delay your own projects simply because they can be delayed.

When your schedule appointments with yourself to complete a task, always schedule more time than you think the task will take. Regardless of your self-disciplined nature and your ability to focus, there will be interruptions whether they are in the form of people, mental blocks or other ideas popping into your mind. Allowing time for these contingencies will relieve stress and keep you on target. My general rule is to allow 50 percent more time than I think the task will take. Or in the case of an ongoing project, such as writing a book, 50% more time than I would have to spend in order to keep on target.

Regardless of how well you plan, things seldom go the way you anticipate. That's okay. You'll be a lot more productive than if you didn't plan at all, and simply relied on "To Do" lists. Just as a manager is an exceptional decision-maker if he or she is right 80% of the time, so is a person an exceptional time manager if 80% of the day goes according to plan.

About The Author
Harold Taylor's website

Harold Taylor has been speaking, writing and conducting training programs on the topic of effective time management for over 30 years. He has written 16 books, including the Canadian bestseller, Making Time Work For You. He has developed over 50 time management products that have sold in 38 countries around the world.

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Saturday, 19 July 2014

How To Expand Your View Of Reality And Enrich Your Life

By George Hutton

If you found yourself in a fancy restaurant, that served your favorite food, which would you rather eat, the food itself, or a picture of the food? Or even better, the food itself, or the menu? Yet eating the menu is something we do on a daily basis. We don't even realize that the food even exists. How can this be?

Most people aren't aware that our perceptions of the world are severely limited. Everything we know about reality comes in through our five senses. Sight, sounds, taste, touch, and smell. We make up a "menu" of the world around us by sampling only a small part of it through our sense organs. All of our beliefs, feelings, thoughts, and ideas are based on these "samples" and not the world itself.

Neuroscientists estimate that the total amount of information our brains can consciously process is about 40 bits per second. But the amount of information that is actually hitting our sense organs if far higher. Millions of times higher. We only "sample" a minuscule amount of "reality" compared to what is really out there. It would be literally impossible for our conscious minds to handle all the massive amount of data presented to us every second.

So, what does one do with this information? Simply by realizing that our perceptions are merely a small estimation we can open ourselves up to a much broader perspective. Two people seeing the same event will have two completely different opinions. And these different experiences are necessarily subjective.

This is good news, because it means that any situation you find yourself it isn't stuck in a rigid, inflexible meaning. The only thing you need to do is to change your subjective opinion regarding what's going on, and see things from a different perspective. Most people get stuck in a situation, and then spend all their time and energy complaining about the situation, and hoping it will change.

If you took even a percent of that same effort, and worked on changing your response to the situation and your interpretation of it, you'd free up your precious brain processing time for more important things, like how you can more easily get what you want out of life.

One way to do this is to try on different personalities. Look at the situation from different eyes. How would your next door neighbor view the situation? How would Bugs Bunny view the situation? How would Abraham Lincoln view the situation? By trying on different characters and their perspectives, you'll get a much broader appreciation of what's really out there. Once you start practicing this change in perspective on a regular basis, it will become more and more automatic, and life will bother you a lot less.

About The Author
To learn powerful secrets of conversational hypnosis other free hypnosis resources, head on over to today

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Saturday, 12 July 2014

Ten Decisions Leaders Make Every Day

By Kevin Eikenberry

In the course of your day as a leader you are faced with many decisions. Some come in emails, some in inquiries, and some in meetings. Some you have time to consider, for some you will rely on input from others, and others you must make immediately.

There's no question, leadership requires decision-making.

The decisions described below are, in large part, a different kind of decision. These decisions are not thrust upon you; they are decisions in front of you all of the time. These decisions are typically decided subconsciously or by default likely because you've not considered them at all.

I'll share them with you and suggest a decision. Then you can decide your response.

Decide to focus.

Are you scattered in your approach and thinking? Are you disciplined to stay on task and move yourself and your team in the direction of your goals? Do you know the most important things you and your team need to be doing and thinking about? If you are consciously diligent about your focus, you may not like your answers to those questions.

Decide to trust.

If you want more trust in your working relationships, begin by being more trusting. This doesn't imply blind trust or trusting people to do things they aren't prepared for, but it does imply that trust is a decision. How much trust are you granting to others? Are you happy with this choice?

Decide to set high(er) expectations.

People tend to live up to - or down to - the expectations we have of them. Do your people know what is expected? Are those expectations not only clear, but aspirational? If you want improved performance both of these answers need to be yes.

Decide to lead by example.

People are watching you. They are watching what you say and what you do. The reality is you are already leading by example. The question is - is your example what you really want them to be emulating?

Decide to look for the good.

People grow from encouragement, a focus on their strengths and positive reinforcement. It is hard to share those ideas if you don't see the examples. Are you intentionally looking for what people are doing right?

Decide to create a positive environment.

Environment matters to productivity, job satisfaction, retention, collaboration, creativity and more. As a leader, you set the tone and are the most important regulator of the environment. What environment are you choosing to create?

Decide to engage.

Are you an absentee leader, leaving your team to "do their work"? Do people see you as a part of the team - a caring, participating member? You are not just part of the work product, you must be part of the social fabric of the team.

Decide to start.

Some things that aren't being done won't get started until you go first. That is the role of the leader. What needs to get going? What needs a push? What must you decide to begin?

Decide to stop.

The status quo will continue without your leadership. When did you last consider what no longer needs to be done? When did you last look at the work of your team to determine what work is no longer needed? More personally, what are you doing that is inefficient or counter-productive?

Decide to learn.

Being a continual learner is a choice. Are you pleased with your personal performance? Have you mastered your most important roles and tasks? What else do you want or need to learn? The best leaders are learners. What have you decided is next for your personal growth?

These are not all the subtle decisions available to you as a leader, but they are among the most important.

I challenge you to consider each one individually and make conscious decisions; decisions that will help you be a more effective and successful leader.

About The Author
Kevin is a bestselling author, speaker, trainer, consultant and the Chief Potential Officer of the Kevin Eikenberry Group

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Saturday, 28 June 2014

How To Set Healthy Boundaries That Contribute To A Healthy, Happy Lifestyle

By Debs de Vries

Have you ever wondered why you work hard in some areas of your life but just don't seem to move forward the way you think you should? Does it sometimes feel to you that your energy is going out - but nothing is coming back. It might very well be that you need to assess your personal boundaries in these areas. It's often necessary to negotiate some difficulties when this happens and this article helps you to face the issues and work through them, step-by- step. The liberation and sense of self-worth you can achieve by doing this is well worth the effort.

Firstly, it's very likely that you may well not always recognise the difference between appropriate and non-appropriate behaviour from others. You may get respect in some areas and not in other areas. you may be willing to tolerate rudeness, pain, abuse of your rights and bad behaviour because that's been the norm for you. It may take a while for you to sift through to your true feelings to start to create a picture of what is good for YOU. You may need time to recognise when something hurts you - or damages your self-esteem: your finances: your family: or your physical self, and that's absolutely fine. The main thing to do, is to start the process and treat it as an on-going effort.

But where do you start? I suggest that you highlight just one area in your life in which you are currently unhappy, angry, exhausted or sad and don't over face yourself by tackling the biggest one to start with unless you are ready for a big change . You need to honestly examine the following factors: -

What is it EXACTLY about the situation that you don't like? (e.g. the way you feel: the consequences of it: the effects on others.)

What is making you feel angry, sad, threatened, suffocated or victimized?

What is it that you get from acting the way you do now? (e.g. avoiding confrontation: maintaining peace: feeling safe: etc.)

What could you say or do differently to change the situation without losing your self-esteem? (e.g. speak up for yourself: respond differently: say "no": say "yes", ask for help)

How could you speak up for yourself in a way that feels safe and respectful.

How could you act in a way that supports you and your needs?

What would you do if you were not scared or tired, and how would you do it in such a way that you do not harm yourself or anyone else (and by harm I do not mean you cannot be angry: By this I mean you need to recognise natural feelings of resentment or spite and avoid using them to manipulate, hurt or deceive in order to set your new boundary).

I suggest you do this at a time when you are not 'triggered' by the situation. Choose a time when you feel calm and have some space to think things through. Writing down your answers, just jotting a few key words even can be very revealing and helpful.

It's also a great idea to find people and groups who you perceive as having the kind of attitudes and behaviours that you would like to have, and to ask for support and ideas. I have found that by sharing some of my "stories" with others I learn a lot. Healthy networks and friends can teach and support you in so many ways, if you are willing to share your issues.

About The Author
Debs de Vries is the U.K.'s leading provider of relaxation and guided imagery downloadable recordings and CDs. Her work in the field of wellness and wellbeing includes coaching, and a membership site to show people how to create wellbeing and wellness in their daily lives, with minimal fuss and maximum benefit. Go to: now to sign up for free newsletters AND http;// for samples of recordings.

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