Sat, 25 July 2015
Sometimes we need a little down-time to just relax, but this isn't the opportunity to fill your mind with worthless garbage
I refer to most mainstream television as "junk food for the brain" because, just like junk food, it fills you up but has very little nutritional value. Television will fill your mind but it has no beneficial value. It's like cotton candy, a lot of fluff that tastes great in the moment, but it brings nothing of substance.
Keep in mind, there's very little wrong with treating yourself to a little guilty pleasure once in a while, as long as it's not the norm. I have people in my life who's daily routine involves several hours worth of junk television. They've litterally run-off a list of TV shows ... "Do you watch this... how about this... or this?" They're amazed when I say "no, no, no." I just don't make it a practice to mentally ingest that. But, I do love to sit and relax and be entertained by other peoples amazing creativity.
Here is my list of 4 TV shows which are incredibly entertaining but also have some redemptive qualities to them. I hope you'll take a look at some of them.
The Profit with Marcus Lemonis
This is probably my favorite TV show.
Marcus Lemonis is the CEO of Camping World, but now he’s the part owner of numerous small and medium sizes businesses around the country, because of this television show.
He heads out to struggling businesses and helps them become profitable, by using his business savvy and industry know-how. He can usually come in and see exactly what's wrong with a business. In fact, I find that in most cases, just about anybody could see what's wrong, but when you're in the middle of it all, it's sometimes difficult to figure out.
One of the things I love about Marcus is that he doesn’t take any crap from anyone. There is plenty of words bleeped out in just about every episode. He will let an owner know when they're making a mistake or being dishonest with him.
You will learn SO much about running a business and the three elements Marcus says are vital to business success, People, Product and Process.
He’s huge on getting the right people into place and treating them incredibly well. Marcus treats the right people incredibly well, rewarding them verbally as wel as monetarily when it's justified.
The product has to be great and you have to focus on the right product, not EVERY potential product. That’s a huge lesson. I've seen so many businesses which have expanded beyond their core expertise and ended up losing so much money on the fringe items, it eats into the profit of that core.
The process has to be streamlined and efficient as well. He’s a master at finding opportunities to become more efficient while raising quality as well. The process is vital.
The Profit is available on CNBC.
You’ve probably seen the Shark Tank. It’s on prime time TV on ABC. In fact, you can head over to ABC.com and stream previous episodes any time you'd like. I'm a huge fan of "on demand" televisions. That puts me in control of my entertainment schedule.
Multi-millionaire and even billionaires sit as “Sharks” while start-ups present their business and ask the Sharks to invest. They ask for a specific amount and in return offer a chunk of the business. But it's very rare for someone to get exactly what they've asked for from the sharks. After all, they're sharks...
The Sharks are
Mark Cuban - Dallas Mavericks owner
Lori Greiner - Queen of QVC
Barbara Corcoran - Real Estate mogul
Daymond John - Started FUBU
Robert Herjavec - I mentioned him in episode 114 - Cyber Security firm
Kevin O’Leary - Mr. Wonderful - all about making money. Made his fortune on software for kids.
You’ll learn so much about what it takes to develop a product that’s attractive to investors. They ask all the questions about finances and patents and marketability.
It's not just business though, the sharks will sometimes key in on someone who has such a tremendous passion and partner with them. They know that passion is something you can't teach to someone, but all the other business stuff, they can. It's a great lesson. But it's not JUST passion.
Take a look at Shark Tank if you haven't watched it yet.
American Ninja Warrior
Even if you don’t workout or play sports, the people competing on American Ninja Warrior will take your breath away.
The best part of this show is that most of these people are just normal folks with normal jobs and pretty normal lives. They don’t have massive sponsors and they usually build crude training facilities in their backyards. They practice after work and on weekends. They show that, if you want it bad enough, you'll find a way to get it.
So, what do they do?
They take on some of the most treacherous obstacle courses ever designed. These are just a few examples. There are usually about 8 obsticles in a city finals. Once they go on to Las Vegas for the nationals, there are even more and the difficulty level goes through the roof.
There are countless other obstacles and some of them seem nearly impossible. There have been times when we've been watching competitor after competitor fail on one particular obsticle and wonder if it's possible. The amazing thing is, once one person makes it, it seems even more follow suit. The amazing power of the mind when we finally believe something is possible.
Some of the stories are incredbily inspriring. One example is Kacy Catanzaro, who is just 5 feet tall but she shocked everyone by being the first woman to qualify for the finals in Las Vegas. She was an animal and I’ll tell you, if you have young daughters or granddaughters, have them watch these athletes compete. It is so inspiring.
This TV show will motivate you to push through and do what you originally thought was impossible. I’m not just talking about physical abilities, but all abilities. If they can push through and make it on this course, you can get through whatever obstacle is standing in front of you.
It’s on NBC or you can stream some of the best runs on YouTube or IMDB
America’s Got Talent
This seems like a circus show on the surface, but there are so many talented people who have stretched to get on this show. It’s so inspiring to me.
it's just a singing competition. These are people who do stunts, dances, magic, juggling, motorcycle acts, and more. Really, just about any sort of talent.
Yes, there are a few of the acts that are just worthless and the producers put them on for the pure entertainment value, but they wisely keep those to a minimum. Most of the performers are amazing.
One thing I really take away from this show is how little difference there is between good and great. One more practice session per week, or just a slight change in costuming or music and an act can go from good to great.
Just like life for the rest of us, the greatest determiner of success for these contestants is perserverence. The ones who make it are the ones who are doing what they love and never stop.
Relax This Weekend
Take some time to relax and be inspired this weekend. There are other great shows, but these are a fantastic starting point. I'd even suggest you open up that DVR and schedule these in so you catch the new episodes.
If there's a show I missed that should have been in here, reach out and let me know. I don't watch a lot of TV, but when I do, I want to make it time well spent.
Wed, 22 July 2015
For years, we’ve been programmed to believe that wanting money isn’t very noble. In fact, having lived most of my life in the Christian sub-culture, I’ve struggled with the idea that money is bad.
When I was 18, I was involved in Multi-Level Marketing and I was turned onto books like Think and Grow Rich, As a Man Thinketh, The Magic of Thinking Big and more. I was given these by Christian leaders in our business… and the books have this quasi-Christian undertone, but …
As I got older and I became more entrenched in the evangelical Christian culture, I heard a different message. It implied … money should be the last thing on which we focus.
Yes, most will say “it’s the love of money…” But as soon as you doing something in an effort to financially improve yourself, you’re made to feel like you’re loving money.
But there was a double-standard that popped up. There was this mixed message that was given.
It Seems Working for Money Is Frowned Upon but Asking for Money is Ok
I can tell you… money isn’t bad when there’s a ministry or organization that needs it. That’s when they go after people with a lot of money; wine and dine them and treat them like gold itself, in order to curry their favor and garner a donation.
I’ve worked in Christian radio for years and been bewildered by the difference in the message between normal days and the days when we’re raising money.
Most days, it’s a message that says life is about a lot more than money and we won’t find any satisfaction in have more money.
Pledge Drive or Share-a-thon days are filled with messages that say “money is the only thing that’s going to keep us afloat” and “we need three more people with a monthly gift of $20 right now.”
We vilify people with a lot of money all year long and then for two weeks we work to gain their favor.
If You Live in the Western World - You’re Rich.
Which makes me wonder, should I be driving around in a $10,000 car (not expensive at all) talking about how working for money is bad or less noble than something else?
I always struggled with the idea that we spend $50 on a night at the movies and convince people they shouldn’t focus on making money. It’s all relative. It all depends on what you believe is normal.
But, is there a permissible norm? If I grew up in a 20,000 square foot home with a parent driving a Bentley, what would I think is “focusing too much on money?"
If you grew up in a public housing project with one car to the family and it was barely running, what would you consider is “focusing too much on money?"
Isn’t it all relative? To one person a brand new Toyota is sacrificing and to another person this is a grand luxury.
So, What Does it All Come Down To?
It comes down to your heart.
All these moral rules we’re give are NOT about segregating those who will die and go up versus those who will die and go down. It’s just not…
All this morality we find about not loving money, is to keep us from mentally living in hell right now.
Loving money will leave you frustrated, in turmoil and and tormented by the chase. Love people, love service, love helping those who have a need.
When you do this, the world has a way of rewarding you with all the feelings you hope to get from having money.
Here’s an important distinction - Having money is great. Having money is an indicator you helped a lot of people get what they wanted.
This isn’t the case for everybody, but for someone who does what we said minutes ago, focuses on service and let’s the rewards come on their own, money is a great thing.
Serve More.. Have More.
But, this doesn’t answer my original question of whether WANTING money is wrong.
I honestly don’t think it’s a question of RIGHT vs WRONG.
It’s a matter of whether you’re doing what is healthiest for you. Is wanting a burger wrong? Is wanting a gin and tonic wrong?
If you want a gin and tonic because you’re hoping it will address your internal pain, it’s not WRONG in a good person vs bad-person kind of way, but it’s certainly not the best thing for you, given your needs.
The same goes for foods and yes, shopping.. houses, cars, vacations.
If you are seeking comfort for your soul in what you have, then you are honestly cutting yourself short of the amazing life you can have. Is that being a bad person or a person who is missing something?
Ask Yourself Today, What’s Motivating Me?
Try to shift to a motivation of service. Serve people. Joyously and generously give of yourself to others as they need. Don’t be foolish, don’t give something of value to you to someone who finds no value in it.
This is the scripture that says “Don’t cast your pearls before swine.”
This is just wisdom. It’s not some magical “I’ll make the God-daddy in the sky happy.” The God-man in the sky is nothing but happy. you can’t make our creator more or less happy.
Wed, 15 July 2015
If I had heard what I'm telling you in this episode, 20 years ago, I would be a millionaire several times over. This is number one thing that's stopped me from reaching my goals in the past. I'm so grateful I figured this out. I can't stress to you enough, learn what's in this episode and it will change your life.
Fears Stop Us
I go over the fears that stop us in a one page report I put together on the 5 Fears which kill out ability to finish. you can get it at PDesmondAdams.com/5fears or if you’re on your smart phone, send a TEXT to 33444 with the word 5Fears (all one word) in the body of the text.
Fear of Failure.. that’s one is easy for people to accept but...
Fear of Success, I’ve found is just as, if not MORE, likely to stop people. But how do you know if you have a fear of success? I go into that in the report I mentioned and a follow email I send just on that topic, but to give you an idea…. If we have a BURDENSOME view of what success looks like, we may fear it.
Fear of Mediocrity is a huge issue for me. If I’m not done with a project, then in my mind, it’s not mediocre.. it can’t be, because I’m not done with it. Think about that.
That’s just 3 of the 5 fears. It almost always comes down to fears which keep us busy but never finished.
Inertia - Don’t Stop Until It’s Done
This whole inertia thing you’ve heard about in science classes… it applied to your projects as well.
When you stop, you will have one hell of a time trying to get it started again.
If you’ve ever run a race you know first hand, when you slow down and eventually stop, you have a HUGE amount of mental and physical inertia to overcome.
Don’t stop… adjust your speed but never ever stop until you reach the finish line.
Take All You Want But Eat All You Take
When I was a kid, my dad always repeated the same thing, every meal.. He said he got it it from the Army (how could it be wrong..? haha): “Take all You Want But Eat All You Take.”
It’s actually a great mindset when it comes to our projects productivity. I mean, it’s not limiting an any way… Take all you want. Start as big a project as you desire. Set your dreams as high as you want. BUT...
Eat all you take. Meaning… if you’re going to pile up your plate, you better make sure you can eat it all. Finish what you started.
Leftovers on our plate, were eaten the next day… cold. Cold liver and onions are not that great… even if you like liver. haha..
I learned how to take a smaller bite… FINISH my plate of food and go in for another serving. Take all you want, but eat all you take.
Success Isn’t About What’s On Your Plate, It’s About What Isn’t.
Honestly, I find myself sometimes trying to impress people with what I’m doing… not what I’ve done, but what I’m doing…
Seriously, that’s not easy for me to admit. Sometimes I want people to think I’m doing something amazing… but I’m only doing it, I haven’t finished it.
If you’re in a food eating contesting, it’s not about how many hot dogs are on the plate in front of you, it’s about how many aren’t when the time is up.
Finish Something Today
Figure out what you can FINISH today. Maybe it’s a big task, a small project, or a major goal you set a while back. FINISH IT.
If there’s nothing within your sights, reset your definition of “FINISHED.”
In other words, grab a smaller plate and FINISH that plate
Tue, 14 July 2015
I don’t know who first came up with this concept, but I saw as part of list of way to get more done, on the LifeHacker website.
Later this month, I’m going to be flying to Ft. Worth Texas to give a quick presentation at Podcast Movement.
As much as I need to get my notes together and get myself prepped, I honestly was thinking “I can always do that on the plane.”
It’s amazing. When I think about what i have coming up over the next few weeks, the most focused time I can see is the time I’ll have while stuck in that tiny metal tube flying for 3-4 hours.
But, why can’t I have that same experience without spending hundreds of dollars and being squished up against the big guy next to me and having the kid behind me yanking on my chair?
Sounds so great… Haha
But I can.
The Strangers Around You
When you’re inside that giant tube, you’re surrounded… even pressed up against all sorts of people. Probably more people than you have in your office.
But you’re not being pestered like you are at work.
People leave you alone… you may get a hello, or an excuse me, but there’s no long conversation about how your weekend went… for the most part.
This is why it’s sometimes more productive to head over to a Starbucks or another public place with Wi-Fi.
I recently had to get my iPhone camera fixed and since they said it would only take a couple of hours, I didn’t really have time to go home and then return. So I went and got an iced tea and sat at the local Starbucks.
A couple of hours of free wi-fi and great passion fruit iced tea and I had a couple of show outlines written. It was great.
Just like in the plane, I was surrounded by people but I wasn’t wasting my productivity time talking with them about nothing of any real importance. It was great.
This is a wonderful way to simulate that airplane isolation in a public place.
Disconnected From Down There
Of course, today, for a few dollars you can still have all the distractions you normally have, but not long ago, being on a plane meant no internet, no email, no phone calls even. Nothing.
As soon as that cabin door closes, you put your phone in “airplane mode” and pull out the in flight magazine.
I’m more a SkyMall kind of guy. But, even that, doesn’t leave much in the way of distractions.
Obviously, it’s incredibly easy to simulate this situation down here as well. Just put that phone on Airplane mode and you will NOT be distracted.
Turn off your wi-fi on your laptop too.
If you need help doing this, you can always install a tool called Anti-Social.
It doesn’t block the entire internet, just the sites that distract you the most. Probably social media sites.
Anti-Social was originally created for Mac but it’s available on Windows machines now too. It’s $15 but it could mean a HUGE boost in income if you used it to be more productive.
You could always just grab an old computer that doesn’t have a built in wifi card and use it only for writing. You don’t need a lot of power to use a text editor. It’s just there to get the words from your head to the screen in front of you.
The World Went On
The weird thing about flying is, when we land and turn on our phone, by and large, the world went on without us.
You may have some “urgent” emails that came in but strangely, some of them have already been addressed before you had a chance to come in and “save the day."
Even when we’re not in the air, we need to remind ourselves.. people can and WILL survive without you. Your adult kids will figure out how to get the tire fixed. Your spouse will figure out how to find where you put the giant frying pan. They can survive. They’ll do ok.
If you dare put your phone into airplane mode, you’ll force this. But you can also just let them know… “Listen, for the next 3 hours, pretend I’m on a plane and you can’t reach me.”
That way, if there’s a REAL emergency, you’re available, but for 99% of the stuff going on, you’re not being interupted.
TRY IT TODAY
Go for an Airplane Day.
Mon, 13 July 2015
I’m sure you’ve had one of those situations in your life where there’s something incredibly irritating to you. I have...
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine came to me and said “Man, I think I’m just not going to hang out with them anymore. I’m just going to do everything I can to avoid them."
But is that best?
CAUTION: Listen, what I’m talking about in this episode is an annoying relationship, not a dangerous one. Remember, if you’re in any sort of danger, you must seek safety. Don’t justify endangering yourself or your children in an effort to “fix someone.” Let a professional do that while you’re secluded in safety.
So, assuming we’re talking about a non-threatening situation… let’s continue.
I hear so many people in the personal development world saying “choose who you surround yourself with. You don’t need to be around people who you don’t want to be around."
But… I’m not sure that’s a response driven by love. Well, it’s love, but love of self or selfish interests.
I share this all the time… we will find peace in our lives when we are driven by love.
So how do we LOVE those who annoy us or those we don’t feel compatible with? Maybe even our enemies… What’s it mean to Love our Enemies?
First… Ask yourself if the your negative impression of the other person comes from your own animosity.
Maybe It’s Just You
One way to do this is to ask others in your social circle if they see the same issues with the other person. If they don’t… you probably need to look inward even more than you thought.
We all… in EVERY situation need to look at what we can improve internally… but some of these situations may require even more internal review.
Pushing Those We Don’t Like Away Is the Cause… not the Solution.
One of our deepest core desires is to feel valued and valuable. When someone becomes difficult to deal with it’s often because they don’t feel valued.
When we push them away, we’re only compounding the situation.
Yes, it’s them who caused the issue but
Create a Security and Negativity Disappears.
It’s insecurity that causes people to react in a negative way to others. Insecurity…
Isolation is not a solution to the problem, it’s simply a removal of it.
Avoiding difficult people, even if it’s just for a short time, is really the act of avoiding an opportunity to improve ourselves.
We all want to survive. Attacking those who threaten us is simply a way for us to attempt survival.
We should ask… what is the threat to this person and why?
Avoiding Resistance Perpetuates Weakness
Resistance makes us stronger. Just like in a gym, it’s when you face resistance that your muscles are strengthened.
It’s when we face relationship resistance that our ability to have strong relationships is strengthened.
A LOT of people who suggest avoiding those we don’t like are also people who may have external happiness or external signs of happiness, but if you ask them, they don’t feel that internal… that deep happiness.
Those You Spot VS Those Who Spot For You
We have to realize the people we hang out with aren’t always our support.. sometimes we’re their support.
Know who you’re spotting for and who you need to spot for you.
Listen, if you don’t want to spot for them, why does someone else, stronger than you, want to spot for you. Maybe you’re their annoying person?
When we realize we’re all connected as one, we understand this doesn’t benefit society as a whole. It’s not improving anything.
Our mission is to love… that’s it. Love.
Thu, 9 July 2015
I recorded this episode after taking a week off from most of my business work. In that week, I discovered a "tool" or even a "resource" which has increased my productivity several times over. It's also helped me with my self-discipline and mindset. I even feel a clearly understanding of my purpose. It's been amazing.
So, what is it? Well, it's the fact that I took a week off.
Seriously, I hope you're not disappointed. No, it's not something that you can download form the App Store, or purchase from the office supply store. You can't make it or buy it or even borrow it. This is one of those things you just have to go get for yourself.
Why It's a Struggle
I set myself up with the idea that I was going to put out a show every single day without fail. I love that I set that goal and I have kept to it, even when it's meant working later or extra days, but I did it. If I hadn't set that goal, it wouldn't have happened.
This past week, I "failed" to get out even one episode, but it was different. Why? Because it was intentional. I didn't just let a show slip by and hope I would catch up later. No, I said to myself (and announced to you on Twitter) that I was going to stop for a week. Then I did.
I set a return time and I held myself to it, which is what you're listening to right now. This is vital if you don't want to let a week turn into a month and eventually into a even longer. Set that return date.
Don't Take a Break in the Storm
Last week, in the past two episodes (147 and 148) I shared about a storm our family was going through at the time. It was part of the reason I needed a break, but I think an important distinction I made was to press on in the middle of the storm, until the winds had calmed and the seas had flattened. It was at that point that I said... "let's rest."
You never rest in the storm. You may not be able to do exactly what you were doing before it hit, but you do not want to curl up into a ball and hope for it to go away. That leads to destruction.
I hope you'll take a listen to this episode, because I share openly and candidly about the emotions I felt before doing this and how I feel now. The written word hardly does it any justice. So, scroll to the top and listen. It's about 19 minutes, so it won't take you that long.
Fri, 3 July 2015
Alan Alda said, “At times you have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself.”
My last episode was an example of trusting and following my intuition.
If you go back and listen, you’ll find out there was a major storm I was going through, brought on by a family member who isn’t dealing with some issues in a healthy way.
Quiet Your Mind
I closed my eyes, breathed deep and focused on that breathing.
If you want to tap into your inner thinking you have to slow down and stop all the noise in your life and your head.
Our lives are noisy - phone, TV, radio, podcasts even. We have constant external chatter and we can’t hear the internal voice.
Slow Your Breathing
Take slow and deeper breaths.
This will relax tension in your muscles and allow your blood to flow at a normal rate.
This will also allow the energy within you to flow freely. Call it what you will
Listening to Your Gut
There’s actually a massive network of nerves in your abdominal area.
Scientists call it your enteric nervous system.
It designed to give almost an instant reaction to a situation.
It’s that ‘gut feeling.’
Listen to that feeling. Understand that your head can influence this feeling and that’s why you need to quiet your mind.
You will find peace… you will feel comfort… when you tap into your inner compass, your intuition it will feel right.
Move forward in this area… trust your intuition and move forward.
Great things will happen. Trust it and move forward.
Wed, 1 July 2015
To many people in the personal development world present a false reality to their audience. They present a view that their life is pretty, clean and packaged perfectly. That's not the way your life is and it's certainly not what my life looks like.
Your life is real. Your life isn’t made up of theories, it’s made up of real situations that aren’t always pretty and packaged up in a neat little bow. Too much personal development advice is presented in this way.
My life is like yours. Real and very messy sometimes.
But your success in life isn’t determined by what others do to you, but how you react to that.
When others bring a mess into your life, you can let that stop you and keep you from where you want to go, or you can bear down and push through and make progress.
When the Storms Raise at Sea
One of my dreams is to take up sailing and spend an indefinite amount of time sailing around the world with no schedule and no agenda.
I’ve learned a bit about sailing, including sailing in the midst of a storm. You try to avoid them but sometimes you find you’re stuck in the middle of one and you have to deal with it.
There’s something called furling your sails. This is when the winds get too strong and you have to shorten your sails to keep the boat under control.
You’re reducing what you expect out of your sails.
You have to do this in your life sometimes as well. This doesn’t mean you head to shore, turn around or just sit there. This mean you continue to move forward but you adjust what you’re expecting out of your sails.
Adjusting My Expectations
I’ve had a storm in life the past 24 hours. Not a storm I sailed into intentionally, but one that just showed up all of a sudden. For me, it’s a family member who’s hurt and not dealing with their emotional pains in a healthy way. You love people but you can’t fix them without their desire to join in on the process.
I’m going on 2 hours of sleep. I’m exhausting and hurting today because of this. But, I also have made a commitment to bring a new show every weekday.
This isn’t the show I expected. I had to furl my sails today. So I’m just going from my heart. I’m trusting this will resonate with you.
Trust Your Instinct
Listen, sometimes we feel like doing less because we should be doing less. Trust your instinct and measure it against your current knowledge and wisdom from the past.
I’m a firm believer that when we trust the spirit within us, amazing things happen and I am trusting this show will have a bigger impact for people than what I had planned.
I wanted to just go to bed. Felt that before?
I said… I’ll just do a 5 minute show and share that life has turmoil sometimes and I’ll mention how we need to press on and do whatever we can. We have to be in control of life not have life be in control of us.
I plopped myself down and just wanted to write a few notes for an outline.
Look at where I am now. I just took one step. Opened up my Evernote app where I keep my notes and I just started to write.
I want this to be an inspiration to you for the days when you’re overwhelmed.
Don’t compound the overwhelm by keeping your sails unfurled. By that I mean, don’t compound the overwhelm by keeping the same expectations.
I furled my sails and I pressed on through the storm… keep in mind, this isn’t about the past, this is what you’re experience live with this episode. This isn’t a cute story, this is reality right now.
In doing that, the stronger wins on my furled sails have taken this episode even further than I originally planned. That’s not uncommon in life.
If today is the day, press on. If today is great for you, remember this episode for the day in the future when you’re in a similar situation.
Tue, 30 June 2015
We’ve discussed the importance of staying in the moment and focusing on what needs to be done right now rather than consternating checking your progress or comparing yourself to others. It’s true, it’s important. but…
As with so many other apparently “non-productive” things like play-time, we make them a vital part of our progress when we’re intentional about them. Down time or play time can be a hurdle for us if we’re not in control of when it happens. But when we do control it, it’s incredibly beneficial, actually helping us get more done during our non-downtime.
Look Up From The Road in Front of You
You may know some people who drive with their eyes only looking about 10 to 20 feed in front of them. That’s not the safest way to drive, but sometimes in life, that’s the best way to get a lot of work done. Just focus on what’s NEXT
To continue the metaphor, this is fine when you know had a break, gotten some rest and your tank is full. You have no reason to stop for several miles.
But, you can’t do this indefinitely.
When you do that, you miss the exit sign, or the rest area, or even the “last service station for the next 50 miles” sign.
That’s why you have to be intentional about pulling over and checking the tire pressure, coolant level, stretch your legs and even take a little potty break.
Ok… enough of the metaphor.
As this episode is released, it’s the last day of June 2015. We’re heading into July and we’re even at a the mid point in the year, so you may want to make extra use of this place to look at how your annual goals are doing.
Review Your Progress
One of the best ways to get more done is to have less to do. That’s a little odd, but just like a cluttered desk, a cluttered to-do list can be overwhelming and distracting, keeping you from focusing on the items that are most important in your day, or in this case, your month.
Is there something on your to do list that’s been there most of if not all of the past month?
Maybe that’s something that really isn’t as important
Estimate what you can do this next month by using last month as your standard - and eventually several “last months” - evaluate what you were honestly able to get done.
Metaphor time… hahaha… I can’t help it. When my family relocated from Washington State to South Florida, we had a great time driving about 3,000 miles across the country. It’s one of my favorite memories as a family. In fact, it’s a driving factor in my desire to someday buy an motor coach and head out across the country again.
When I mapped out our trip, the first day I planned for us to go about 900 miles. In fact, I booked a hotel room for us before we even left. Well, at about 1 am, with blurry eyes I could barely keep open, we finally pulled into the hotel parking lot. Wow… That was a LONG day.
The next day, I planned on going about 750 miles. Still, this was a LONG day. By the 5th and final day, I was planning on doing about 500 (nearly half of my first day) miles.
I had to adjust based on my previous performance. Otherwise, I was setting unrealistic expectations feeling overwhelmed by what lies ahead of me.
So look back at what you did or didn’t get done in the past month. Look at the effort it took and be honest with ourself about how much more or less you should be doing.
Keeping in mind what you didn’t get done from last month, evaluate what you need to do this next month.
Look for items that can be delayed or even eliminated. This isn’t about procrastination, it’s about planning your schedule so you don’t overestimate what you can do. It’s about making sure fully focused on a few very high priority items rather than being mentally scattered.
Are there any new projects starting up this month which require you to be finishing up previous items?
Will those new items be more important in the grand scheme of things?
What can be delegated to someone assisting you so it’s still getting done but you’re free to do what needs your specific attention?
Looking at everything that’s on your schedule or to do list for next month, break them down into weekly tasks.
Your month may look manageable until you realize 90% of your tasks have a deadline at the end of the second week. So manage week by week and look for items which can be shifted without compromising your overall goals.
Keep in mind, even though your to do list looks manageable, you may have family or friends visiting from out of town. Or possibly some travel requirements for yourself which will take over part of a few days at least.
In June I had Father’s Day, my birthday and wedding anniversary all within a one week period. I missed this collision and that’s why I’m publishing Tuesday’s episode on Tuesday evening instead of Tuesday morning. It’s catch up time now. That’s bad planning.
My workload didn’t change, but capacity did. Don’t overlook it. What big events are happening next month?
Make sure you’re investing the time in this process. I realize it can SEEM like wasted time, but it’s not… it’s just like the metaphor about sharpening your saw or ax before heading out to cut down a tree. What seems like a waste of time really turns into a huge investment. The work is done more rapidly and the time invested pays a huge dividend.
Also make sure you’re doing your weekly and even daily reviews. Each one should take less time then the other. Your annual planning may take a full day or even a weekend, monthly planning may be a few hours, weekly planning could be just an hour and your daily could just be 10 minutes.
If you put off any of the items in that sequence, you’re going to compound the problem further down the line.
Take the time and do that monthly review. I hope you had a great June and you’re looking forward to an amazing July. At the end of July, I’ll be heading to Fort Worth for Podcast Movement and even doing a quick 10 minute presentation on Friday. If you’re going, please reach out and let me know. There are few things I want to do there more than meeting you, a listener to this show. Let’s grab lunch, coffee or even a drink. I would love to say hello.