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If This Is Your Monday Face Read This Post

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Was this your face this morning?  Did you walk into the office and got hit with “emergencies” before you got to your desk?  Did you plan to do some writing today, but your mind is blank ever after two cups of coffee?

Welcome to Mondays.  Well, actually it can be any day.  Last Friday week we talked about getting our life in focus.  We talked about taking a minute, stopping everything, and centering ourselves.

We could easily come up with one thing and work on it till it’s done.  But what do we do when we have a lot of things and don’t know where to start?  I have your solution and it won’t cost you a dime.  Just your time.

You ready?  Write it down.  But not just any type of way.  Grab a pen and sheet of paper and prepare to be more productive.

The method we are going to use is called the Ivy Lee Method.  Mr. Lee was considered the founder of modern public relations.  He is famous for creating successful public relations firms, but most notably for the work he did for Charles M. Swab at Bethlehem Steel Corporation.

Mr. Lee instructed the managers at BSC to write down their top six priorities for the day when they arrived to work.  Once they had them listed he told them to list them in order of priority. When they finished that he told them to begin working on the first one.  Easy enough right?

Yes, but the key was the managers could not move to the next item on the list until the first one was completed.  No matter what.  They had to complete all tasks in the order they set and couldn’t move on for any reason.

See, in the Lee Method there was no multitasking.  No working on multiple tasks and projects at the same time. Why? Because honestly, multitasking simply doesn’t work.  Studies have shown that it slowly lowers your IQ and weakens your ability to focus effectively.

So why do people still like to multitask?  Because society tells us it works.  In the military I always prided myself as an efficient multitasker but honestly looking back I wasn’t.  In hindsight, the projects I worked on never were done with my best ability.  Not when I was juggling more than two projects or missions at the same time.

I learned quickly that if I delegated the majority of the tasks to someone else, they could give it their best and then reap the praise for their work.  The key was having them give one hundred percent of their attention and effort to one task.  And it always worked wonders.

So I want you to try it.  Take out a piece of paper grab the writing instrument of your choice. Now list the top six things you want to accomplish today.  Now prioritize them on how important they are by labeling them one through six.  Done?  Good.  Now remember that you can’t move on to number two until you are completely finished with the first task.

Do it to today and comment below how it worked for you.  What’s on your list?

-alv

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Let Go and Enjoy The Ride

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We have an app to keep track of what we eat throughout the day.  We have another to help us with our to do lists.  Hell, some of us use them to tell us when to drink water.  Or is that just me?

How about we just try to take a different approach this week.  I know it’s going to be hard not tracking everything. But you will survive.  So you ready? Just let go.  Revolutionary I know. Just let go.  I don’t want you to stick to a plan this week.  No, I didn’t say not go to work.  But don’t stick to any to do lists.  Don’t fight the day’s events.

Is there something that you have been putting off?  Something you felt wasn’t important, but you wanted to do anyway?  Do that and see what happens.

Take a long way home tonight and stop by that coffee shop you saw. Go in and have some coffee and relax.  There a book that you wanted to read, but you felt like it wasn’t productive to read it?  Read it tonight before you go to bed.

Just let go and see what happens.  I think you will find that when we do so we actually grow. We become better at being ourselves.  Try it.

What are you going to let go of today?

-alv

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One Way To Start Goal Setting

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Welcome to the first day of June. Welcome to a new month of possibilities and achievements. But all of us aren’t fully there yet.

Someone is still struggling with figuring out how to start. And that’s fine because we all have been there. The point is that you don’t have to figure it out alone.

You want to know the number one way to start?  With the end in mind. It’s that’s simple. Do you want to finish your degree?  Picture yourself walking across the stage accepting your degree

Want to lose some weight?  Picture yourself wearing the size clothes you want to be in.

Looking at the end ahead of time gives you a mental picture of what your achieved goal already looks like.  You seen the end result of hard work and perseverance. You see the benefits of staying the course.

So think of a goal you want to accomplish. Picture the end result and then start to work backwards. List the small things that you must do to accomplish the bigger goal. Make them small enough to be achievable and help to keep the momentum going.

You want to change. You want to become better.  Well, you will want to start with the end in mind. Why postpone happiness?

-alv

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Hustle (MM)

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Are you ready?  You had a great weekend, but it’s time to get back to work.  And by work I just don’t mean your day job.  I mean your life in general.  Don’t just go through the motions in a state of denial about your present circumstances. Continue reading “Hustle (MM)”

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Kaizen (MM)

We live in a world of instant gratification. Of overnight successes and get rich schemes on the world-wide web.  No one tells you that it all takes work. Well, we know it does. We know overnight successes usually take close to ten years. But why are we constantly afraid to put in the hard work?

Regardless of where you are currently sitting right now on this planet, you know what hard work looks like. You recognize it in others when you see it.  You see it in yourself.  But it is never the easiest thing to do.  It takes determination, grit, and an open mind to see things through to the end.  To want to make it to the light at the end of the tunnel regardless how long it is.  But the walls of the tunnel you are going through are lined with hard work.  Instead of tackling the entire task try something different. Try Kaizen.

Kaizen (Kaisen)

an approach to one’s personal or social life that focuses on continuous improvement.

Kaizen or Kaisen is a Japanese word that basically means to constantly take little steps to accomplish your bigger goals.  I like to reverse engineer my goals.  I like to imagine during meditation what it would look like already having accomplished a goal.  I then work backwards outlining what it takes to complete it.  Then I break those steps into days and months so I ca set smaller goals.  This helps my psyche to know that I am consistently talking these goals with the end result being the bigger one.  No matter what method you or I use, the point is the attainment of our goals.

Kaizen my friends.  Kaizen.

-alv

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Surround Yourself with Good (MM)

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   “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”-Jim Rohn 

     We have all heard this quote or a variation of it at some point of our life.  Maybe it was in a class.  Maybe it came from your mother when she questioned you about the friends you kept as a teenager.  But it’s true.  It’s not about stereotyping.  It’s about the company you keep affecting your life and the decisions you make. Continue reading “Surround Yourself with Good (MM)”

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What Are You Chasing Anyway?

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Everyone I know is chasing something in life. Notice I said something and not someone.  There is a clear and definable difference.  Now, I am not talking about your friends in your circle of trust.  Because I am a big advocate of having friends smarter and more accomplished than you. I believe that true friendship and healthy competition makes us all achieve more. Continue reading “What Are You Chasing Anyway?”

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Time For a New Clean Slate (Monday Motivation)

It’s already March and the first Monday of the month.  I don’t know about you, but I have a lot going on this month. Two college classes and a couple medical appointments for retirement from the military.  I also start my Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Class and project.   Just thinking about it can make it seem daunting.  But not enough to make me feel intimidated.  Why?  Because it’s all about operating with a clean slate. 

Continue reading “Time For a New Clean Slate (Monday Motivation)”