Sunday, April 6, 2008

Getting the Right Stuff Done

A note from:

Welcome to a brand spanking new amazing week.

With all of the feedback from Friday’s video offering, it appears that everyone certainly chose “Love”. I’m grateful to all who shared your “choice”. Thank you.

Choosing love over fear is undoubtedly the choice of leaders. Still, many folks get sucked into fear based reactions simply because they have neglected some practices locked into place.

Our friend and regular contributor, Philip Humbert, gets us underway in this new week with some very sage advice.

Getting the Right Stuff Done
By Philip Humbert

A while back the news program, "60 Minutes," did a segment on Americans working "24/7." They showed a couple where the wife has the "bare minimum" of two cell phones, and the husband multi-tasks all day long, talking with several people, working on his computer and exchanging emails, all at once.

Like most people, I want to get more done, and as a coach I love helping my clients achieve more, earn more, and live better. It's all in a day's work, and it's fun! But too often the strategy people use to "get there" is to work more or harder and, unfortunately, it almost never works. How can such an ineffective strategy be so seductive? Why do we live this way?

Whatever happened to the vision of "leisure time?" Whatever happened to the day when "labor saving devices" would do our work for us? What in the world happened?!

Far too many of us consider a 60, 70, or even 80 hour work week to be the expected standard. Whatever happened to the 40-hour week our parents and grandparents fought for? Read the statistics. Most of us are sleep-deprived. Most of us are in debt. Most of us have high blood pressure, headaches, ulcers or other stress-related discomfort. Diabetes, associated with life-style choices, is becoming epidemic. How did this happen?

How can we change it?

There are no easy answers. We value the income that we think will only come with hard work, long days, and busy lives. That's such a tempting path! But, I think we can manage our lives much better, and some steps in that direction are actually easy and fun. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Learn to say no. Too often we think we "must" explore every invitation or opportunity that comes our way, and that's a mistake. We get endless invitations! You can stay out all night, work all day, travel, do good and important things every hour of the day. But is that how you really want to live your life? Learn to say no, even to good and wonderful things.

2. Spend less than you make. Remember the old saying, "time is money?" It works the other way around, too. If you spend less, you'll immediately be less busy and less stressed. When money is not a "problem," time management gets easier, too.

3. Live your values. Every day, review the things that are vital to you. Re-write your vision or purpose statement, talk it over with your spouse, make a recording describing the life you truly want (NOT just the stuff you'd like to own!), then listen to it every morning.

4. Have a plan. Every morning review your schedule, make a list, write stuff down. Then cross off a few items. They aren't that important, you won't get them done anyway, and you'll have more fun. Be honest. Plan wisely. Do the things you want to do, with very few "have to's." Life's better that way.

5. Have more fun. Meditate or dance every day. Laugh out loud. Leave love notes or send a text message to your kids. Be sure to hug and kiss and tease and play with the people you love. It'll remind you what you're working for.

6. Use time management. Practice "single handling." Work standing up. Put time limits on meetings, calls and activities. Close your office door so you can concentrate. At least twice a year read a book or take a seminar to remind yourself of the life you want. Get very, very GOOD at this!

This is your life. Don't blow it!

It's been said that time is the only resource any of us truly has, and once it's gone, it's gone forever. Work as hard and as much as you choose, then quit! Work can be rewarding and delightful, but don't let it be an addiction.

Earning money, building our businesses and "getting ahead" are things we DO, not something we ARE.

Remember the distinction.

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