Friday, February 19, 2010

Unproductive Times Again

This is a repeat post - but it is one that I think truly needs to be remembered and put out there again and again. So it's time to check in and see if you or your clients are in an Unproductive Phase of Life

While working towards being productive is taking a step in the right direction. Working on being organized and expecting magnificent and tangible results are unrealistic during certain phases or periods of time. I think it helps us to acknowledge when we are in these unproductive times. This acceptance of the situation makes us or the client calmer and more relaxed. This new state of mind then sets the foundation for future productivity efforts.

Know to identify the Unproductive Phases of Life
Having a child in ½ day kindergarten and being the designated driver to pick up and drop off

Those 2 – 3 days waiting for definitive biopsy or health test results

Your third trimester during pregnancy

During a home remodeling project

A parent having 3 children under age 5

Immediately 1 – 12 months after having surgery

A new parent having just born or adopted a child

The year you handle a family, friend or relatives estate

The first 6 months to 9 months after a move

Six months to two years after the breakup of a significant relationship

Serving as primary caretaker to a chronically ill or declining family member

The year following the death of a loved one or friend 

Monday, February 15, 2010

Taxing Times Again

Are you facing taxing times? Certain times of the year are more difficult than others. For me, getting ready for taxes is always like having a big monkey on my back until the tax prep material is delivered to the CPA's office. 

I usually chunk my "tax" monkey into small bites. This makes the overwhelming project seem like a possibility. The last part or the "tail of the monkey" for me is adding up the charitable donations.  I guess I should be making something which is actually positive more so. But at least I know to chunk my monkey and take occasional breaks. Using a timer allows me to limit the "pain" of the process and also sets some specific time parameters for me to complete the task.

So what is all this to do about transitions? I think I need to take my own advice and put a positive spin on doing the difficult parts. Some things are just taxing. By acknowledging that we are likely one step forward toward completion.

So how do you deal with taxing times or tasks?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Routine Reflections

Do you take time to reflect on your past activities, actions or inaction's?

Many individuals have routine times that help encourage reflection. For some it might be the stillness of being in church or temple. For others, it is when they attend a weekly meeting of a group or association. It can also be during an exercise or fitness class.

During this period of specific reflection, one can gauge progress or lack of progress on certain life goal activities with ourselves as well as reflect on our actions or inaction towards these goals.

Let me point out, that this is very different from a calendar review which many do on Friday's, Sunday's or Monday's. Routine reflection is instead a bigger picture process that reflects on major goals.    

If you haven't tried this concept of routine reflection, this might be a good  practice to start. Pick a time, that is a fairly standard constant in your life, and take a few moments out each time to reflect. You may not do it perfectly at first, but beginning is the first step. Once you have done it a few times it is likely to prove it's value to your life.

Personally, for many years I arrived early to my Toastmaster's meeting. I did this so I could spend some time in reflection. I believe it was a key component to my ability to succeed.

When do you do your Routine Reflection?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Making Headway Towards Where We Want To Go

To make headway is to go forward or towards our desired destination.  Getting towards our destination is usually reached by doing physical activities and actions. Yet, getting to where we want to go, often starts in the mind or "head". Thus to make headway, we may often need to first think or use our head as much as taking our physical steps.

I recently came across this quote attributed to Henry David Thoreau.

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.

So, to make headway start with your mind, your steps are likely to follow.