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Time Management Tools

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Teleworking: Pants or Pajamas?

Teleworking with my feet up

Do you relish that you don’t have to shave before clocking in? Do you rejoice because you don’t have to put on makeup after you wake up? Is it hard for you to decide if you should wear pants or pajamas to work today?

Teleworking, or telecommuting, has quite a few perks–certainly including relaxed standards on dress code and personal hygiene. But for those of you who know the joys of holding your very own weekly beard-growing contest, there are a few things we should attend to before you hand out any prizes.

Read more at destroy Distraction…

Prayers, Devotions, and Meditations — OH MY!

One of the keys to staying focused, avoiding stress, and being productive is keeping the many facets of your life in balance. That’s easier said than done, right? You are busy with kids’ priorities, work beating at the door, and juggling to find time with your significant other… And that’s just the start of your day!

While it’s easy to get sucked into the routine day after day, I’ve found that stealing away for a little time before each day starts to be a keystone in lowering my stress levels and framing my mission for the day. Regardless of your own spiritual beliefs, I think it’s time that you consider some time dedicated to getting centered before you get started.

Read the entire post now…

Gain More Control and Reduce the Stress

Have you ever heard the saying, “If you don’t know your destination, then any road will do?” In other words, if you don’t have a plan for your day, your day will have a plan for you.

It’s important to have a sense of calm and control over your daily activities. I continue to see that we are bombarded an overwhelming sense of loss of control and unhealthy levels of stress. If these challenges are part of your daily diet, then this post is for you.

In this article, I provide a real world tool that I designed and use to gain control in my life, reduce stress and contribute to my sense of daily achievement.

Read more on destroy | Distraction and download your free Weekly Time Block Worksheet.

My Secret to Success in Goal Setting

It’s funny how much running imitates life. In the Marine Corps, we ran a lot. I’d usually run at least nine miles a week, and found that the key to staying the distance was simply keeping my hope alive.

After several years of running the equivalent of a 5k each time I ran, I picked up quite a few little tricks like pacing, breathing and how to build endurance. But the greatest lesson I learned was that to keep my mind active and engaged, I needed to set very immediate goals. You see, the more you run the more you realize you have to keep your mind focused on something. Otherwise, you wind up focusing on the pain and giving up or just getting bored and burning out.

I’d tell myself that I’d get to that tree, or this sign post or that curve in the road. When I did, I was already on the hunt for the next goal. Doing this made the goal more tactile and immediate, and kept my hope alive and well. It made time seem to go faster, and gave me a rush of achievement when I did. Over time, I developed goals that pushed me to pace faster and harder; running was always a race, and you are always in a race against yourself or someone else.

“Do you enjoy what you do?”

I once believed that simply looking forward to something (more than you didn’t) was the key to enjoying life. There are good and bad times, but the balance of good would outweigh the bad.

I bought into this as an employee. I told this to my team as a manager. I even subscribed to this idea as a husband and father.

However, there are two problems with this point of view:

  1. This view puts you in the passenger seat far too often.
  2. This view favors the destination over the drive to get there (when both are equally important).
Each of us has a spark in us. This spark is our hope, comprised of those dreams and desires that we cling to when all else is stripped away. It defines us and can often defy the cackling majority. But somewhere along the way we trade, sell or even give away our dreams in exchange for some shadowy wisps and wants.

 

But there is hope. The practical advice I can offer you is that you must view life like running. Find your tree, your sign post or your curve in the road. Set your sights on the clear and immediate goal that is the next small step in fulfilling your dream.

 

Take a deep breath and enjoy the feeling of hope once again.

4 Tips to Drop the Guilt of Overcommitment and Broken Promises

You’re productive. You get a lot of stuff done in a day. I do. But have you made a commitment to get something done and let it slip past you?

How many things you have started and not finished for one reason or another?

Pat (Smart Passive Income) sent a really great email to me today that was right on target with why I created destroy|Distraction in the first place. He opens his email with:

“Let’s face it. It’s extremely easy…

Read more on destroy | Distraction…

3 Time Management Tools to Stay Focused

Between professional and personal responsibilities, it’s no wonder you are having a hard time staying focused. It seems distractions are everywhere, and a lot of them can make you think you are doing important work.

The one question you have to ask yourself is, “Am I on plan?”

It’s a clarifying question, and when you know the plan for that new product launch, customer deadline or even your upcoming family picnic it distills your decisions and helps you stay focused. But from time to time, it’s easy to get lost in the weeds, right?

Over the years, I’ve found a time management tools that really help me stay focused. Since this is a site dedicated to helping professionals like you stay focused and motivated, I thought I would share 3 of my favorite tools to help me manage my time most productively.

Read more on destroy | Distraction…

Did You Make My List? My 10 Twitter Lists

Are you experiencing information overload? Are you using new media, especially social media like Twitter, as effectively as you can?

Everyone enjoys being on the in-crowd, in the know and on top of things. With all of the information floating around, it’s become a necessity to have a great filter to look through. In 2008, Clay Shirky gamed Alvin Tofler’s famous phrase ‘information overload’ by saying, “It’s not information overload. It’s filter failure.”

Indeed, the answer you seek clearly sits hidden in plain site. It is up to your filters (friends, experiences and media channels) to help you connect your desires and needs to the context of data relevant to that very end.

I decided to circle around and update my lists on Twitter. Why’d I do this?

I’ve been pretty slack on interaction over the past few months, and I realized that I’m not getting as much useful information out because I’m not using the filters to enhance the relevancy to me. I know you always share the most choice content on Twitter, but there is a lot chatter from everyone else!

Here’s the deal:

I want to listen to you more closely and find out what’s relevant to me today (and what will be relevant to me tomorrow)! To that end Twitter has a great option to create lists, or groupings centered around an interest topic, like music, love, or Bob Dylan.

You can add people to multiple lists, or an individual list. Others can then follow your list if they find the content useful (and you are now a curator).

Did you make my list?

I’ve created several lists around areas that I focus on. In other words, I’ve created little media channels to watch as well as engage with. I encourage you to check these out, and if you think you should be on here, follow me on Twitter and let me know. I’ll get you added in after reviewing your Twitter stream for some relevance and context to what I or my followers might find useful.

  1. Humor: Funny stuff and/or funny people. You take your pick…
  2. Business-Sales: Things relating to business and sales.
  3. Financial Times: Financial news and other little tidbits relating to money.
  4. Quotables: Folks who often offer quotes and things I like to RT.
  5. Marketing: Folks I enjoy reading on the topics of marketing, SEO and so on…
  6. Time Management Tools: Time management tools and techniques. Things to help you stay productive.
  7. Friends: Pretty self-explanatory, but this is the one list that I don’t just add anyone. I actually have to know you, and be friends with you.
  8. Tech Injection: All things tech…
  9. MPS-MDS: Managed print services (MPS) and managed document services (MDS)
  10. News-makers: Tweeters making or breaking the news.

The lists have been great so far, giving me the ability to digest chunks of my followers traffic. From their I can refine results by more customized searches. Oh, and the great upside to applying this simple method to help me be more productive and share better content, my followers have increased by close to 15% in the past week.

Hmmm… it’s pretty amazing that when you listen more, people enjoy listening back!

If like the content you read here, think about following me on Twitter.

Stay Focused: The Little Things That Matter

Do you ever feel a little overwhelmed – or a lot? Do the mountains of to-do’s seem overwhelming or the projects seem daunting?

Sanity comes from being able to maintain productivity in highly demanding environments. If you wonder about the magic of how people take on huge projects and complete them so effortlessly, there is a simple secret:

Take it apart and break your desired outcome into achievable parts, called milestones. This has three overall positive results:

  1. Sense of accomplishment: You feel like you are really in a zone of productivity when you can check off item after item you have completed.
  2. Ensures project success: By completing each milestone you take one step close to completing your quest while destroying possible obstacles to success.
  3. Lessen stress: In Aikido, I learned the phrase “Mizu no kokoro”, or mind like water. In simplest terms, the concept is that you react exactly like you should in the given situation. When you are able to focus and deliver results, it’s a great way to reduce the stress.

However, one key component of the “break-down” is that you maintain the context of your milestones in relation to your overall vision. That is, all of your roads (milestones) must lead you to Rome (your outcome). Get everything else out of the way, or set a time when you know you can focus.

“You’ve got to think about the big things while you’re doing the small things, so that the small things go in the right direction.” – Alivin Toffler

All too often, in our daily activities, we allow ourselves to lose focus of our vision and focus on the problems at hand. This causes us to replace our original goal with a smaller much less meaningful goal that was originally  stepping stone in our project; it just seems to find it’s way in!

It’s easy to get stuck in the proverbial weeds; When this happens, I’ve always found it best to step back and ask that clarifying question, “Why was I doing this again?”

Only when we overcome these tasks in the context of achieving our grander plan, do we feel as if we are truly progressing towards a path of accomplishment.

Stay Focused: The Little Things That Matter

The little things that matterDo you ever feel a little overwhelmed – or a lot? Do the mountains of to-do’s seem overwhelming or the projects seem daunting?

Sanity comes from being able to maintain productivity in highly demanding environments. If you wonder about the magic of how people take on huge projects and complete them so effortlessly, there is a simple secret:

Take it apart and break your desired outcome into achievable parts, called milestones. This has three overall positive results:

  1. Sense of accomplishment: You feel like you are really in a zone of productivity when you can check off item after item you have completed.
  2. Ensures project success: By completing each milestone you take one step close to completing your quest while destroying possible obstacles to success.
  3. Lessen stress: In Aikido, I learned the phrase “Mizu no kokoro”, or mind like water. In simplest terms, the concept is that you react exactly like you should in the given situation. When you are able to focus and deliver results, it’s a great way to reduce the stress.

However, one key component of the “break-down” is that you maintain the context of your milestones in relation to your overall vision. That is, all of your roads (milestones) must lead you to Rome (your outcome). Get everything else out of the way, or set a time when you know you can focus.

“You’ve got to think about the big things while you’re doing the small things, so that the small things go in the right direction.” – Alivin Toffler

All too often, in our daily activities, we allow ourselves to lose focus of our vision and focus on the problems at hand. This causes us to replace our original goal with a smaller much less meaningful goal that was originally  stepping stone in our project; it just seems to find it’s way in!

It’s easy to get stuck in the proverbial weeds; When this happens, I’ve always found it best to step back and ask that clarifying question, “Why was I doing this again?”

Only when we overcome these tasks in the context of achieving our grander plan, do we feel as if we are truly progressing towards a path of accomplishment.