Many of us have more to do than we can get done. To improve personal productivity, the solution isn’t to find better ways to do more but to find ways to do less . . . of the unimportant things.
Choosing The Right Thing To Do
“As Jesus and his disciples went on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha welcomed him in her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat down at the feet of the Lord and listened to his teaching. Martha was upset over all the work she had to do, so she came and said, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to come and help me!’
The Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha! You are worried and troubled over so many things, but just one is needed. Mary has chosen the right thing, and it will not be taken away from her.’” ~ Luke 10:38-42 Good News Translation (GNT) [Bible Gateway]
Continue reading “To Do More, Do Less”
Having a talent for a specific endeavor does not insure that you will do it. You must exert effort to transform the talent into a skill. Turning the talent into skill does not insure that you’ll achieve your objective. You must exert more effort to transform the skill into achievement.
A Failed Dream
I was 6 years old and excited to have the chance to take piano lessons. I loved music and dreamed about playing – hymns in church or songs for my family to sing together. Although they didn’t have a lot of money, my parents bought a nice new piano and had it placed in our living room. A friend of our family, Miss Pritchard, who played piano at church, agreed to give me lessons.
The first book was a breeze. Simple songs to start my understanding of the techniques of the piano. My teacher wrote numbers over the notes and then numbers on the corresponding keys of the piano. It was a simple matter to match the numbers on the page to the numbers on the keys.
Miss Pritchard also gave me scales to practice. But for this part, I wasn’t as diligent at practicing as I could have been — I found it boring to play the same 8 keys over and over. But I practiced my songs and when we had our first recital, I was a star! I performed the best and Miss Pritchard gave me a big hug when the recital was over.
Continue reading “Passion And Perseverance: How Effort Leads To Achievement”
Setting goals is a requirement for achieving your best life and living out your potential. Goals give you direction and focus. They are important for another reason as well — setting and achieving goals improves your well-being and positivity. But keep in mind that all goals are not created equal — some motivate you more than others. Choose goals that add to your positivity and keep you motivated to achieve them.
A Life Changing Gift
When I was in my early 30s, I was introduced to the man who changed my life. That man was Earl Nightingale. Of course, I didn’t literally meet Mr. Nightingale, but I received a program on audiotapes called Lead The Field as a birthday gift. In this series of audiotapes, Earl Nightingale provided numerous ideas on what it means to live a successful life. He expanded and expounded on the ideas he originally articulated in his program, “The Strangest Secret“.
I had more or less stumbled upon a career that I enjoyed but it was more by accident than by design. Through Lead The Field, I was exposed to a number of ideas that I had never been taught before. As I say, it was a life-changing experience for me. And it began my journey of learning and implementing ideas for self-growth and self-improvement. One of those ideas to which I was newly exposed was the concept of setting goals.
Continue reading “How To Increase Your Goal Motivation”
Accomplishment is one of the elements of well-being theory. We sometimes pursue accomplishment for its own sake, as well as in conjunction with the other elements – positive emotion, engagement, positive relationships, and meaning. Using deliberate practice to develop talent and skill is one path to accomplishment.
“Can You Swim?”
A professor was being ferried across a large river. To pass the time, he struck up a conversation with the boatman.
The professor asked the boatman, “Can you write, my good man?”
“No,” answered the boatman, “I never learned to write.”
“Then you have lost one third of your life,” the professor said. “Can you read?”
“No, sir,” replied the boatman. “I can’t read.”
“Then you have lost half of your life.”
Suddenly, the ferry scraped across a large rock and it tore a hole in the bottom.
Continue reading “Practicing Accomplishment”
To reach any BIG goal, you must grow to the person who can achieve it. You grow by taking one small action after another. In this way you prepare for the opportunity when it appears.
Do you remember the movie, Cast Away, where Tom Hanks is stranded for several years on an island in the South Pacific? In the movie, Hanks is a time-obsessed trouble shooter for FedEx. At a Christmas dinner with family, he is called to resolve a problem in one of their foreign offices and leaves the dinner to catch a flight on a FedEx plane.
Continue reading “Castaway”
To achieve any worthy goal, you must decide what is vital to the project, then structure your days so you can devote large chunks of time to those vital activities.
A Tale Of Two Workers
“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” ~ Charles Dickens, A Tale Of Two Cities
Andrew and Angela worked for the same company. They were hired at about the same time to join the company’s sales team. And there the similarities end.
Angela developed a habit of coming in to work at 7:00 AM, about an hour before most of the sales team arrived. She always had a list of tasks which she had prepared the night before. She came in, sat down, and went to work on the first task on her list.
Continue reading “Make Productivity A Habit”
“Show me someone who keeps getting in your way, and I’ll show you someone who keeps making excuses.” ~ Note From The Universe — Mike Dooley
What Is Holding You Back?
What’s holding you back? What is keeping you from reaching your goal, fulfilling your purpose, and creating your best life? Given the opening quote, you probably suspect that this is a loaded question and you may be reluctant to trot out your usual litany of excuses, er, umm, I mean “reasons”.
Don’t get me wrong. Nobody that I’m aware of follows a straight, open, easy path to success. (If they do, then they’ve set their sights too low. They should aim higher.) All of us encounter obstacles, bumps and potholes, detours, blocked roads and locked doors. That’s part of why we are here and one of the big reasons for having goals in the first place. It’s called “Learning”.
Continue reading “What’s Holding You Back?”
What did you come here to do? How could you do more of it?
A Late Bloomer
I am a late bloomer. I did not follow a straight path to success or happiness or fulfillment; as a matter of fact, I am still walking that path. But over the years I have gotten closer to what those things mean for me.
My journey has been a circuitous one. I went about life for many years not really concerned about what my “purpose” was, or even if I had one. Like many people, I kept busy with work, helping to raise a family, being a husband and father, dealing with aging parents — all the every day stuff that can fill our lives.
I didn’t take much time to contemplate the larger questions: What did I come here to accomplish? What is my Job (with a capital “J”)?
Continue reading “How Purpose Leads To Accomplishment”
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” ~ Yogi Berra
“We’ll eventually get somewhere.”
Imagine you are embarking on a cruise. You’ve spent months thinking about, planning and preparing for the trip. Your imagination is dancing with thoughts about the places you’ll go, the people you’ll meet, and the things you will see. You are ready for this adventure and ready to go.
As you settle into your stateroom, the captain’s voice comes over the intercom. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We are minutes away from leaving port. We have a beautiful destination in mind but we don’t have any idea how to get there. So we’re going to get started and see what happens. We’ll eventually land somewhere and I know you can’t wait to see where we end up.”
What do you think of your cruise now? Continue reading “Your Personal Goal Achievement Plan”
“You often see people who appear to be busy all day long but seem to accomplish very little. This is almost always because they are busy working on tasks that are of low value while they are procrastinating on the one or two activities that could make a real difference to their companies and to their careers.” ~ Brian Tracy
You Can’t Do It All
You have more to do than you can get done. The pace of life is increasing and the demands on your time and energy are growing. Reports to write. E-mails to respond to. Groceries to buy. An exercise regimen to follow. Clients to call. Dishes to wash. Books to read. Children to care for. Phone calls to return. Customer complaints to address. A spouse to spend time with. Oh, and selfies to upload and Facebook posts to like and comment on. Continue reading “5 Ways To Get More Done”