The Captivating Wedding

It happened years ago in Brazil, where we lived at the time, in a little church my dad was overseeing. The modest chapel stood on a hillside overlooking the red clay-tiled roofs of the houses below that spilled out across the valley. On this particular day, he was presiding over a wedding and so we were all invited to attend what turned out to be an amazing ceremony and a valuable life lesson. Looking back now, it was without a doubt the humblest wedding I ever attended, but at the same time one of the most captivating.

We took our seats on the left-hand side of the small auditorium and watched as it quickly filled to capacity with well-wishers. As the ceremony got underway, a young woman came to the podium to sing a special hymn. Unfortunately, she had barely started singing when her nerves got the best of her and she started to stumble over the lyrics. Without hesitation the groom sprang into action and stepping forward he picked up the song where her voice had trailed off, giving her the confidence to keep going. As they sang together, he turned to his bride and then the congregation and motioned for them to join in. Before it was over the packed chapel was filled with the voices of this impromptu choir so much so that the melody spilled out through the open church doors and over the valley.  

If I picture that day in my mind and listen very carefully, I can almost see their faces and hear their sweet song these many years later. The bride looking on with amazement, tears dancing in the corners of her eyes. The groom wearing a plain white long-sleeve shirt standing in front of the alter leading the congregation in the song, his face beaming with the joy and anticipation of this special day when he marries the girl of his dreams. Nothing, not even the forgotten words of a song, can dampen his enthusiasm on this special day!

Couple on their wedding day standing in front of the church doors.

These days there are reality TV shows that apparently shadow couples prior to their wedding in order to document the many activities leading up to the big day. What I gather from the promotional clips is that things inevitably turn ugly as the couples lash out at everyone around them in their attempt to create the “perfect” wedding. Whenever I see an ad for one of these shows I reflect on the young man from Brazil, bursting with joy as he led the congregation in song. He was not worried about the condition of the flower arrangements, there were none. He was not concerned if the stringed quartet was going to show up on time, because he had not hired one. He did not even care that the young singer forgot the lyrics to her song. He was only filled with immense gratitude for the people who had come out on this very special day to share in his joy of marrying the love of his life.

Summary

As we strive for perfection in our daily lives, whether it be a party we are hosting for friends, an attempt to pull off the perfect date with that special someone who might be “the one”, or even our very own wedding day, are we consciously aware of what really matters? At the end of the day what really matters are the people we love, and the special moments they share with us.

So, the next time you are part of an event that experiences an unexpected hiccup, just picture the young groom in the white shirt and beaming face and be filled with gratitude and awe for the people around you that you love.

Resources

Love and Sunshine
Online Business Training
More About Me

P.S. Share with us in the comments below an inspiring event that has shaped your life.

The Best Time Is Now

A new year is upon us! Will this new year just wash over you with whatever it happens to bring, or will your intentional decisions be the force that changes the outcome of the year? What key decisions do you need to make in your life this coming year? Better yet, what is the one significant step you need to take in your life right now to make the new year memorable? If you know the answer, is it something big enough and bold enough that it significantly challenges you? Have you been waiting for the right time, the right opportunity, or even someone else to step in and take action for you on your big idea? I am here to challenge both you and me to make this the year where we take significant intentional action in our lives.

I was recently listening to a successful talk show host explain the benefits of being an entrepreneur and the financial difference he has been able to make in the lives of those who work for him. During the show, a caller asked him when he thought the best time was to start a business, considering the current market conditions and political uncertainty. Without hesitation, the host answered, “the best time is now”. He went on to say that now is always the best time to launch out and create the business you have been dreaming about. I believe this philosophy applies not only to starting a business but to life in general as we really only ever have right now to act.

In the 2018 Walt Disney Pictures film titled Christopher Robin, his childhood friend Winnie-the-Pooh endeavors to teach a now grown-up Christopher Robin how to live in the moment and seize what is right in front of him. In one of his many heart to heart talks with Christopher, he states “Yesterday when I thought about tomorrow, it was too much day for me”. I think what Winnie-the-Pooh was trying to say is that we really only have today to act on the things that matter the most. In another exchange, when Winnie-the-Pooh asks his friend Piglet what day it is, Piglet simply replies “it’s today”. It’s time to seize the moment.

So, what specific action will you take today that will change the outcome of the new year? Is it to improve your health, start a business, invest in a meaningful relationship? If you are not sure, grab some paper and start writing down questions you can then ask yourself that align with the things you are passionate about. Here are some examples.

  • Is there a cause or an injustice that I should help address? Example: Have I considered that 12.9% of the world’s population goes to bed hungry every night? World hunger statistics from the Food Aid Foundation.
  • Am I surrounding myself with people that inspire me? Example: When I spend time with my close circle of friends (top 3-5), do I come away inspired or drained?
  • Is my lifestyle contributing to my long-term health? Example: Are my daily habits improving my health or are they potentially compromising my future quality of life?
  • Am I prepared to invest in a meaningful personal relationship with someone? Example: Am I working to develop the very qualities in me that I would value in that special someone I am looking to attract? Am I generous, forgiving, motivated…?
  • Can I name the top three mentors in my life? Example: Are there people I admire that directly through personal relationships, or indirectly through podcasts or other training venues feed vision into my life weekly?
  • Am I investing in my spiritual well-being? Example: Do I make time in my day for spiritual mediation and inspired reading?
  • Is this the year to start my own business? Example: Have I researched the many opportunities the Internet provides for starting a purpose-driven business that has the potential to change thousands of lives?  

Pick one item from your list that you are ready to focus on and then answer the following questions.

  • What tangible action will I take to see the desired outcome in this area over the next year?
  • How will I specifically measure my progress? You can leverage the OKR (Objectives & Key Results) method if you are familiar with this approach.
  • Can I do it on my own or will I need coaching (who will keep me accountable)?
  • What can I do today to set this plan in motion?

Summary

As I walked from work the other day toward the parking garage, I observed a pigeon hop down a long flight of stairs one by one. I found this interesting considering he was perfectly capable of flying, which he demonstrated when I got close enough to him. While he had no internal motivation to fly over the stairs on his own, he did so once he came in contact with an outside force (me). My question to you is, do you sometimes take the stairs in life when you could be flying over them? Are you waiting for an outside force to nudge you into flight? I trust this article motivates you at the beginning of this new year to do what you are already capable of doing, but perhaps currently avoiding. Don’t hop if you know how to fly. Identify the one thing you are going to take action on, write out your plan, and then act because the best time is always now!

Resources

Here are links to related resources you might find useful. If you find your life is out of balance, take action today to change that about yourself. I heard it once said, the time is going to pass whether or not you act. Wouldn’t you rather spend that time becoming the person you aspire to be?

Increase Your Influence
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P.S. Share in the comments below the one big bold step you are going to challenge yourself with in the new year and don’t forget to subscribe to receive an email notification each time a new blog post is published!

Increase Your Influence

Are you a proactive influencer, or are you more likely to react to your surroundings?

Have you ever used binoculars or a telescope to see something clearly that was actually out of the reach of your naked eye? In order to use these instruments correctly, you have to sometimes adjust the focus depending on how far away the object is you are trying to observe. Becoming an influencer requires us to focus in on the things we can control, and consciously push the things we cannot control out to our peripheral.

Here is a specific example. For the first time in years, I took an extended break from the daily news cycle. Don’t get me wrong, I think we should be involved in society and in our communities and where possible champion positive changes. The problem is, the 24-hour news cycle is committed to keeping us worked up over one thing or another and therefore tuned to their channel. They constantly try to present the most sensational stories possible but in doing so primarily deliver information about situations over which you and I have no control. So, I decided that rather than spend all my energy reacting to what the news outlets think is important (mostly things that are outside of my control), I decided to proactively focus on what I can directly impact. Here is an example of what this looks like.

Outside of My Control
(Reactive)
Within My Control
(Proactive
War
News
Weather
Economy
Other people
Politics at large
Being generous
Living with purpose
Living a healthy lifestyle
Investing in relationships
How I show up every day
My actions & reactions toward others

In Steven Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he describes this concept of what we choose to focus on as the Circle of Influence, Circle of Concern. According to Covey’s model, the outer ring of our focus is referred to as the Circle of Concern and represents the things that are outside of our control or influence, while the inner ring or Circle of Influence are the things we can control and should be focused on. Here is a depiction of what this looks like.

Covey writes “Proactive people focus their efforts in the Circle of Influence. They work on the things they can do something about. The nature of their energy is positive, enlarging and magnifying, causing their Circle of Influence to increase”. In contrast, Covey writes “Reactive people, on the other hand, focus their efforts in the Circle of Concern. They focus on the weakness of other people, the problems in the environment, and circumstances over which they have no control. Their focus results in blaming and accusing attitudes, reactive language, and increased feelings of victimization. The negative energy generated by that focus, combined with neglect in areas they could do something about, causes their Circle of Influence to shrink.”

There are two powerful concepts that jump out at me from this text. First, the positive energy that proactive people produce is part of the formula that increases their overall influence. Pessimists rarely make good influencers but instead spend all their energy placing blame for their circumstances! Secondly, neglecting areas in our lives that we should be working on ultimately shrinks our capacity for positive influence.

Summary

So, which person are you? Do you have a proactive focus or a reactive focus? Is your energy focused on things within your control or outside of your control? I challenge you to identify one area of focus where you can change from being reactive to being proactive. Then, write it down and look at it every morning until it becomes a permanent part of who you are. The more you focus on what you can control, the larger your sphere of influence will become. Let’s increase our influence!

Resources

Here are links to related resources you might find useful. If you find your life is out of balance, take action today to change that about yourself. I heard it once said, the time is going to pass whether or not you act. Wouldn’t you rather spend that time becoming the person you aspire to be?

Find Your Mentors
Home Business Training
More About Me

P.S. Share with us in the comments below one proactive step you are going to take in order to increase your influence.

Maintain A Healthy Brain

For some time now I have been curious about what I can do to maintain and even improve my brain health as I grow older. Like the brain itself, this is a complicated topic. There is no single factor that makes or breaks your brain health, but rather a combination of factors. The good news is, there are some key things that we control that can make a measured difference in our brain’s health as we age. So, let’s dive in and see what they are!

I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal by Anne Tergesen called What Science Tells Us About Preventing Dementia which does a great job addressing key brain health topics. I recommend you check it out, however, if you don’t get the chance to read the article here is a summary of the key points as well as information from additional research I did on the topic.

Tergesen starts by stating “There are no instant, miracle cures but recent studies suggest we have more control over our cognitive health than we might think. It just takes some effort”. What I like about this approach is that it encourages us to focus on things we can control, rather than just worry about things outside of our control (say our genetics for example). A recent Lancet report (Lancet is a medical journal) distilled the findings of hundreds of studies and came to the conclusion that “around 35% of dementia cases might be prevented if people do things including exercising and engaging in cognitively stimulating activities”. On the other hand, the report pointed to factors that contribute to dementia risk including “midlife obesity, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, social isolation, and low education levels”.

So, let’s get right to the practical stuff. What should we be doing to maintain a healthy brain? According to the studies referenced above they are as follows:

BLOOD-PRESSURE CONTROL: Proper blood pressure control was found to reduce cognitive impairment by as much as 19% as well as resulting in less damaging changes in the brain. The stated issue with high blood pressure is that over time, it may damage the vessels needed to deliver blood to the brain. This, in turn, can reduce blood flow and starve the brain of critical nutrition.

EXERCISE: As you know if you read my blog, I am a big fan of exercise regardless of your age! Now we can add one more positive aspect of being physically active to the list, our brain health. According to the study, exercise helps increase blood flow which in turn improves the blood vessels in the brain as well as raising levels of HDL cholesterol (HDL is the “good cholesterol” as it removes harmful “bad” cholesterol from your system). Indirectly, exercise is also known to help reduce stress and anxiety and help you sleep better. These indirect benefits also promote good cognitive health.

COGNITIVE TRAINING: Yaakov Stern, a professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, wrote that maintaining educational and mentally stimulating activities “fosters growth of new neurons and may slow the rate at which certain regions of the brain shrink with age”. Cognitive training (also known as brain training) can be much like physical training where one implements a regular regiment of stimulating exercises for the brain. Medical News Today did a study called Five of the best apps to train your brain that you might find interesting.

DIET: Diets which include fish, fruits, nuts, and vegetables were determined to have a measurable positive impact on brain health. This is sometimes referred to by researchers as the “Mind Diet”. MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. Specifically, the 10 brain-healthy foods recommended to eat are green leafy vegetables, other vegetables (ex: carrots, bell peppers), berries, nuts, beans/lentils/soybeans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil, and wine (in moderation). The 5 foods to limit are butter and margarine, cheese, red meat, fried food, pastries and sweets due to the high concentration of saturated fat and trans-fat.

SLEEP: I am a big believer in the value of getting enough quality sleep every night. I believe western culture encourages a lifestyle that robs us of this very important pillar of health while trying to replace the lack of sleep with caffeine and other artificial stimulants. Some believe that sleep allows the brain to perform important synapses repair, others that the brain washes out toxic substances while we sleep. Regardless of the actual physiological activity that happens to the brain while sleeping, getting consistent sleep is vital to a healthy brain and some even believe it may help fight Alzheimer’s.  

SUMMARY: Tergesen wraps up her article by stating that “there is a growing consensus that when it comes to preserving brain health, the more healthy habits you adopt, the better”.

I hope this summary has inspired you to think about what new habits you can introduce into your daily life that will contribute long-term to a healthy brain. Rather than trying to tackle everything at once and risk discouragement at not achieving them all, I would encourage you to pick one area you know you can improve in right now and work on it until it becomes part of your lifestyle. Then, come back later and add another using these steps one at a time as building blocks to a long and healthy brain life!

P.S. Share your thoughts below on what you are doing to maintain a healthy brain, and don’t forget to subscribe to receive an email notification each time a new blog post is published!

Love & Sunshine – The Perfect Balance

It was an amazing fall day with thousands of brightly painted leaves drifting down from the canopy above through the soft rays of distant sunlight. We had picked the perfect day for a long walk through the woods!

We found some hiking trails on the grounds of an old estate that sits high above the Hudson River and set out on our walk through the woods. At first, the trails brought us past some carefully groomed gardens, around the back of a historical European styled manor, and then on towards the woods where we came across a family pet cemetery. We stood for a moment contemplating the love the owners had for their many pets and then pressed on down a steep hill into the woods. Suddenly, we sprang into a small meadow with a pond flush with tall bulrushes growing at the water’s edge. As we skirted around the left side of the pond, we noticed a dog standing in the shallow water at the far end carefully watching us. We left the pond and pressed deeper into the woods where we stumbled upon a little waterfall and a rickety wooden bridge across the trickling water. After taking a couple of pictures, we continued through the woods and down the hill until we finally came to an opening where the river spread out in front of us in both directions and the stately home where we started stood far behind us high on the hill. It was a perfect day, with the perfect balance of love and sunshine.

The pond with the bulrushes at the water’s edge

When was the last time you set work aside for a day and spent time somewhere peaceful, perhaps even with someone you love, and just walked for a while? It is so easy to be consumed by all the things we must do and to forget the simple things that we really should do. I would like to encourage you to take some time, find a place to walk, and just breathe for a little while.

I thought I would share some of the pictures with you of our perfect day and hopefully encourage you to find a similar place to walk and to be inspired. For the past couple of weeks, we have been sharing on how to live inspired and taking in nature is a great way to do this, and also a way to clear the clutter out of your mind. If you have the opportunity, find a place around you away from the crowds and just walk for a while. See if you don’t find inspiration in the company of someone you love and the beauty around you. If you can’t actually get away, then walk with us through the pictures and be inspired.   

Sunshine Through The Trees
The stream we stumbled upon

Your life is like a stream, always moving but often interrupted by hard things that get in the way and throw it out of balance. If you find your life is out of balance, take action today to change that about yourself. I heard it once said, the time is going to pass whether or not you act. Wouldn’t you rather spend that time becoming the person you aspire to be?

P.S. Share with us in the comments below the things that inspire you and how inspiration shows up in your life.

A Poem of Inspiration

Inspiration

I looked to the rolling hills, and the mountains overshadowed me

I listened to the soft breeze, and a roaring wind spoke to me

I considered the flame, and fire sprang up within me

And then I understood, Inspiration is always greater than my thoughts

Steven Doggette    

I sat down at my computer today, turned on some soft piano music in the background and immediately this poem sprang onto the page. You see, I was not expecting it but there it was just waiting for me to write it down.

In my September 8th blog “Live Inspired” I challenged you to not only be inspired but to begin capturing your inspirations like butterflies so they are not lost. We talked about how inspiration is the genesis of all creativity, and how Inspiration Often Comes Early, Inspiration Sometimes Surprises You, and Inspiration Can Be Lost. But now I understand there is one more aspect of inspiration we need to cover, and it is…

Inspiration is always greater than your thoughts

Like the opening poem, whatever your thoughts are, inspiration always makes them bigger. Whatever creativity you start with, inspiration will always come back in larger form. It’s up to you to take the first step and then let it come back to you larger than life.

So, what have you been dreaming about for your life? Is now the time to improve your health habits? Are you finally ready to commit to that relationship? Is it time to start your own business? What is it that you need to step out and do? Are you living inspired?

I challenge you to find a peaceful place in the near future, perhaps somewhere outside, and dream a little. Then wait for your thoughts to find inspiration because inspiration is the genesis of all creativity.

Summary

Inspiration is always greater than your thoughts. Watch for it to show up, and then grab it!

Resources

Here are links to related resources you might find useful. If you find your life is out of balance, take action today to change that about yourself. I heard it once said, the time is going to pass whether or not you act. Wouldn’t you rather spend that time becoming the person you aspire to be?

Live Inspired
Home Business Training
More About Me

P.S. Share with us in the comments below the things that inspire you and how inspiration shows up in your life. 

Live Inspired

Inspiration is the genesis of all creativity. You first have to see it in your mind, and then find a way to make your inspiration take on some form of reality. Inspiration for me comes mostly in the form of content ideas for this blog or for my business, although I have been known to do some poetic writing as well. What are you inspired by and what form does it take in your life? Do you know how to live inspired?

Inspiration Often Comes Early

When are you most likely to be inspired with thoughts related to the things you are passionate about? For me, it’s almost always in the morning during my quiet time, when I am working out, or even in the shower. During these early hours of the day, while my brain is well-rested, my head is often full of fresh ideas, dare I say inspiration. In the past, this would frustrate me because I was on a mission to get out the door and off to work and my thoughts while inspiring, were also a distraction. But now, I have learned to build a little extra time into my morning routine in case inspiration comes knocking because inspiration often comes early!

Inspiration Sometimes Surprises You

Then there are other times when inspiration shows up when you least expect it. Maybe it’s triggered by a song or a sermon. Perhaps it comes when you are daydreaming or is sparked by someone you see in a crowd. Sometimes it just has a way of sneaking up on you and that’s OK. It is inspiration’s job to show up now and then, and when it does it is your job to somehow capture it. Always be on the lookout because inspiration sometimes surprises you!

Inspiration Can Be Lost

Inspiration is like a beautiful butterfly fluttering around your head one moment and then gone the next. There have been so many inspired moments that I have lost because I was not ready to catch them, but not anymore. Now I am ready for that moment, that thought, that inspiration that is waiting to be caught. My little blue journal notebook has become my butterfly net and every time one flutters by, I capture it with a few words so I can come back to it later and develop the thought. Regardless of how or when inspiration comes, you must always be ready to capture it, because inspiration can be lost!

If you feel dry and inspiration does not seem to come naturally to you, you have to practice making room for it in your soul. Start by exposing yourself to the type of content that you would like to create. Listen to music or inspired speakers. Read books or listen to podcasts in your chosen venue. Make sure you are not unnecessarily cluttering your mind with stressful TV shows or unhealthy online content that will dominate your thoughts and kill creativity. Make sure you are fostering a positive, grateful outlook on life. And finally, make time in your day for it to show up. If you are always rushing from one activity to the next inspiration may come your way, but you will never see it.

So, grab your notebook, write your core values on the inside cover and start capturing your butterflies, one inspiration at a time! Live inspired! 

Resources

Here are links to related resources you might find useful. If you find your life is out of balance, take action today to change that about yourself. I heard it once said, the time is going to pass whether or not you act. Wouldn’t you rather spend that time becoming the person you aspire to be?

Change Your Mindset Blog

Online Business Training
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P.S. Share with us in the comments below the things that inspire you and how inspiration shows up in your life.

Time Management Part 4: Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning

“Most people overestimate what they can accomplish in the short term, but underestimate what they can accomplish over the long term” – Author Unknown

One of the most difficult areas of time management is strategic planning. Generally speaking, most companies have at a minimum a three-year rolling plan in motion at all times. This helps ensure accountability and that business and financial targets are met over the long hall. The question is, how can you introduce strategic planning into your personal life so that your big goals are realized over time, just like companies do? The answer is to start at the finish line and work your way back to now!

When I first heard strategic planning laid out like this, it was like a light went on for me. I always understood the strategic plan concept but never thought of it in the reverse order paradigm. This is how it works. Pick a big goal for yourself that is only achievable over the long term. On a whiteboard or somewhere visible, create a three-year timeline (years represent key milestones) with each year broken up into one-month increments. This will create monthly placeholders for you to map out your action steps within each yearly milestone. Then, fill in your chart as follows:

  1. Start at the end of year three and write out specifically what your achieved goal will look like (what, where, how much, etc.).
  2. Then, step back through each year one by one, noting the big milestone you will need to reach over the course of that year to hit your end goal.
  3. Finally, fill out the incremental steps you will take each month that will get you to your yearly milestones.

Let’s say your goal is to take that special someone in your life on a cruise around the world. Great goal, but really expensive! First, do some research and figure out what the price range is for your dream cruise, taking into account any extra spending money you will need for the journey. Let’s say for the sake of this example that your luxury excursion costs $3,000 and you will need an extra $600 for spending money, bringing the total to $3,600. First, calculate how much you will need to save each year to reach your annual milestones. In this example, that would be $1,200. Here is what your strategic milestones would look like, keeping in mind you need the more granular monthly increments to stay on track.

While this example is simplistic for the sake of showing the process, the more complex your goal, the more this type of visual planning will serve you. You must have tangible milestones that move you in the direction of your destination. You must know what winning looks like for you, or you will never achieve it. Finally, here are some steps to make sure you realize your strategic target.

  • Look at your three-year plan each day
  • Take DAILY action towards your goal no matter how small
  • Adjust the next increment or milestone to catch up if you fall behind
  • Experience the joy of reaching your goal now, as if it has already been realized

So, what big goal do you keep putting off because you can’t find the starting point, much less visualize the finish line? Dust off your goal, pull out a whiteboard and start dreaming. Then turn that dream into a strategic plan and make it a reality! Remember, most people overestimate what they can accomplish in the short term, but underestimate what they can accomplish over the long term.

Resources

Here are links to previous time management articles.

Time Management:
Morning Routines
Time Management:
Love Your Commute

Time Management:
The Short List

P.S. If your big goal is to start your own online business, then I can help. Check out these training resources and start building your strategic plan today!

Time Management Part 3: The Short List

List

It was a hot Saturday afternoon and I was feeling good. One by one I was proudly checking off the long list of household to-do items on the whiteboard in the front hallway. With each checkmark, I would stand back and admire my excellent time management skills based on the progress I was making. Later that day when I came back into the house to check off yet another heroic accomplishment, I stopped in dismay. Someone had erased all of the finished tasks which had checkmarks, only leaving the unfinished ones. I suddenly only had evidence of what I had yet to do, with no proof of my accomplishment to-date

If you are like me, this is how it can feel at work most days. Somewhere between the flood of emails, instant message requests from the boss and meetings as far as the eye can see, we have “real” work to accomplish. There was a time when the multiple streams of work and distractions stressed me out as I watched my day slip by without any tangible progress against deliverables. Not anymore! The answer to time management problems at work is The Short List.

This is how it works. The minute you sit down at your desk each morning, make a list (preferably in red) of the three non-negotiable deliverables that need to get done before you leave work today.  By the way, these should not be softball tasks that would get accomplished anyway in the course of the day, these should be real deliverables. Then, every time you switch from one activity to the next (exit a meeting or finish an email, etc.), review The Short List and look for an opportunity to attack these deliverables. If you happen to miss a key deliverable on a given day, start the next day’s list with that item or eliminate it altogether if it is no longer a priority. Here is an example of what that might look like.

The Short List

  1. Plan the team offsite
  2. Finish/submit Q4 budget forecast
  3. Recognize John Doe for his outstanding contribution

This may not look like much but if you complete the shortlist each day, that is 15 completed deliverables per week. How many key deliverables are you accomplishing now with your current time management approach? We often say we need more hours in the day. The way to have more hours in the day is to have a better time management plan. It’s called The Short List!

Resources

Here are links to related resources you might find useful. If you find your life is out of balance, take action today to change that about yourself. I heard it once said, the time is going to pass whether or not you act. Wouldn’t you rather spend that time becoming the person you aspire to be?

Time
Part 1: Daily Routines
Daily Commute
Part 2: Love Your Commute
Start Your Online Business

P.S. Remember, business success rarely surprises those who achieve it, they show up every day expecting it!

Time Management Part 2: Love Your Commute

Daily Commute

Last week I worked out of the Jersey City, NJ office where you look directly across the Hudson River at mighty lower Manhattan. As I met various teammates that I do not normally see in person, I asked them about their daily commute to the office. Without exception, I was greeted with painful stories of riding the trains and subways for up to 90 minutes each way to and from work. Not one of my teammates had a positive spin on this required chore or a thoughtful time management approach on how to make this time work in their favor. Why is it that no one likes their work commute? I for one love my daily commute to and from work!

Commuting to and from the office is a necessary evil for most of us. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average travel time to work in the United States is 25.4 minutes. If you subtract 4 weeks for vacation, sick time and other missed work events, that is about 203 hours per year or the equivalent of 25 workdays! Imagine what you could accomplish with an entire extra month per year of time? Here is the answer to making that time work for you and how to turn your commute into something you love.

  1. Identify an area of personal growth that is a focus area for you to invest in. Make sure it is something you are passionate about even if it does not directly align with your day job at the moment. You will be amazed at how growing skills around an area of interest will spill over in positive ways into your current work environment.  In my case, that would be learning the skills and mindset necessary for living (and teaching) a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
  2. Identify 3-4 mentors in your field of interest. If you don’t know who that should be, start looking online at leaders in the field and consume some of their content to see if your interests align. From this group, find those who have weekly podcasts and subscribe. If they do not have a podcast, they may have e-books you can download. As you listen to a given mentor, they will lead you to others in the field that you can start to follow and be mentored by.
  3. Immerse yourself in the chosen topic each day to and from work. It will not be long before you start to see the payoff. Not only will you begin to grow in an area you are passionate about, but you will also start to look forward to your daily commute as a treat, and not a chore.

What was 30 minutes of dead time to and from work each day, is now one of my favorite activities. What are you passionate about? What new skills do you want to learn? With a little creative time management, you too will have an extra 203 hours a year to invest in yourself and a commute that you love. Let’s get started! 

Resources

Here are links to related resources you might find useful. If you find your life is out of balance, take action today to change that about yourself. I heard it once said, the time is going to pass whether or not you act. Wouldn’t you rather spend that time becoming the person you aspire to be?

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Time Management Part 3
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