Doing What’s Important

Everyone is more effective when we manage our time better, and everyone can manage their time better.

Better time management is not about getting everything done.  It’s not even about doing more, or getting more done. 
At the heart of time management is knowing what is important and getting those things done.

So the key to better time management then is figuring out what is important, then figuring out how to make sure that if nothing else, you get those things done.

How do you determine what’s important?  Ask yourself what’s important to you.  Then keep asking, “How do I do that?” until you come to a specific physical activity that you can do to move you towards what’s important to you.

Let’s take your health for example, here’s how it works:

1.    Is it important for me to feel good and for my body to function like it’s suppose to?  “Yes!”  How do I do that?
2.    I need to focus on getting healthy. (not a specific physical activity yet) How do I do that?”
3.    I need to eat right and exercise. (still not a specific physical activity)  How do I do that?”
4.    I should figure out a good diet and exercise plan. (still not a specific physical activity yet)  How do I do that?
5.    I know my friend Stacy recently lost a lot of weight and seems to be feeling better I’ll ask him. (closer, but still not a specific physical activity)  So, how do I do that?
6.    I will call Stacy and ask him what he did. (really super close, but still not a specific physical activity)  How do I do that?
7.    I will call Stacy today at 3pm on his cell 222-555-1234. (that’s it!  That’s a specific physical activity)

You’ve just determined what is important.  Here’s the key … What’s important is not “to feel good and for my body to function like it’s suppose to.”  The important thing is to “call Stacy today at 3pm on his cell 222-555-1234” … That’s what you must get done!

Now that you’ve figured out what’s important you now have to figure out how to make sure that what’s important get’s done.  In order to do that you need to have a reliable systematic approach to doing what’s important.  And that is another topic, but here’s the nuts-n-bolts of it:

1.    You need a way to capture thoughts and ideas 24/7
2.    You need a way to get time sensitive things on your calendar
3.    You need a way to track ongoing stuff
4.    You need to recognize and reward yourself when you reach your goals

It’s that simple … simple, but not easy.  But now you know how to do it, let’s be amazing!

7 Steps To Get Out Of And Stay Out Of Trouble

These principles are from Proverbs 6: 1-14

1. Humbly and urgently implore your creditor for a solution (v.3)

Realize that you’re not holding the cards.  You’ve gotten into this mess and you need your creditor’s benevolence.
2. Make it your priority (v.4)
Prove to your creditor with both your time and money that getting out is your first priority.
3. Be intense and focused about getting out (v.5)
Fight for your freedom as if your life depended on it.
4. Have an organized system (v.6-8)
Find or create a systematic way to approach getting out.  Stick to your system until you’re free.
5. Don’t be lazy (vs.9-11)
Love your freedom more then sleep.  You can have a vacation when you’re in control of your life again.
6. Don’t be devious (vs.12-13)
Be sincere, don’t try to game the system or take advantage of others.
7. Don’t harm others (v.14)
Freedom is not a zero sum game.  Someone else does not have to lose in order for you to win.  In fact you’ll get out quicker when you help more people.


7 Productive Things To Do When You’re Brain-Dead

Everyone has those times when our brains are overstuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey.  Sometimes it’s the amount of plates you’re juggling, other times it’s because of stressful life events.  Regardless of the reason, from time to time we all want to just get away, crawl under a rock and hide or take a nap to escape the stress.

During those times we tend to waste precious opportunities to both be productive and re-charge your batteries.  When you do even one of these 7 Brain-Dead activities you will find yourself feeling better about yourself, more confident and productive!  Ready?  Here they are (in no particular order):

1.    Pray – take the time to deepen your relationship with God
2.    Exercise – something as simple as a 20 minute walk will begin to clear your head making room for new and creative thoughts
3.    Clean Something – your desk, a neglected drawer, your purse … it will make you feel like accomplished something and will remove one more of the sub-conscious nagging “to do” items
4.    File Paperwork – most of us have stacks of papers that need to be filed that we’ve been putting off, this too will quite the voice of the sub-conscious nagger
5.    Network – take 15 -20 minutes and have a face to face discussion with someone, find out what’s important in his/her life
6.    Dream – begin a plan to make something on your “someday” list a reality … if you don’t have a “someday” list, make one
7.    Read – get caught up on the reading you’ve been putting off

Often when you feel least like being productive you can accomplish something small that will give you confidence and clarity again.  Any one of these things will refresh you and bring you back to a place of focus.