Ignore the rest

Schedule your priorities, don’t prioritize your schedule.

There's just too much to do. There will always be lots of opportunities, fun events going on and menial tasks to do. There's always another room to vacuum, another email to send, another networking event to attend. But we need to be doing those things that are important and ignore the rest.

We need to consciously avoid spending time on things that aren’t furthering our goals.

We all complain about not enough time, not enough energy and too much to do. Well the solution is simple. Do less.

That doesn’t mean you stop being as effective, that just means you channel the limited amount of time and energy you have into the most important things. You can still be just as effective in a smaller range of activities and projects.

What I learned from waffles

Sometimes the process of thinking about, gaining momentum and transitioning to a different task, is more frightening, and worrisome than actually doing the project. Once you gain momentum you can make progress, but getting things moving can be extremely difficult. My strategy?  Shorten the transition time

If I think I should do something, instead of putting it on my list to do at a different time, and dread starting it, I force myself to quickly start the process. If I can short circuit the struggle for momentum, than I can be more effective, faster.

I discovered this trick through waffles. I often wouldn't make waffles because the process seemed too involved. The thought of getting out all the tools necessary seemed like a large project just to have food.

Well one day I decided within 3 seconds of thinking about it, that I would indeed make waffles and that I would time myself. I set a timer, and started. I got out the mix, put in all the ingredients, started the griddle, made the first waffle, and cleaned up the dishes within 5 minutes.

All those times I told myself I wouldn't make waffles because they would take a long time, but the truth was, the thought of making them seemed daunting and involved. Once I decided to do it, it was extremely painless, and efficient.

Don't make the same mistake I did. Don't handicap yourself from starting things because you allow yourself too much transition time.

Oh and yes the waffles were delicious.

Opportunity Cost

There’s a principle in business called the opportunity cost. Its the idea that everything has a cost that we don’t actually see. If you choose to spend your evenings watching television than the opportunity cost could be that you missed out on the opportunity to start your own business because your time was otherwise tied up.

The same idea goes for someone who works an exorbitant amount of hours a week. It is costing them the opportunity of spending time with their family and friends or pursuing hobbies etc.

Sometimes things that are merely good or beneficial are not what’s best.

Consider opportunity cost before making a decision that will cost you what you don’t want to pay.

Childhood Moments

We can all remember happy memories from our childhood. Carefree days in the sunshine, with no sense of time. Just skipping through our days, marveling at the wonder of life. Sometimes I get glimpses of being a child. Rest days and vacations bring back those memories. As I set aside the normal routines, take a break from all the cares and responsibilities, and just enjoy being alive, that is when I feel most like I did as a child.

How nice that we have the ability to remember that feeling, and recreate it.

Why I’m Excited About The Idea of Lego’s

The other day I found myself in The Lego Store. It looked exactly like a candy store with the brightly colored Legos in containers built into the wall. The design of the store was modern, with clean lines and brightly colored walls. Their were glass cases  displaying everything from Lego key chains to model airplanes. 

There were many adults happily spending money on these Legos. To think that they originated as toys, but were now collector’s items!

I was struck, not by the seemingly frivolous use of money for these plastic trinkets, but rather, by the realization that we are a privileged society to even have the opportunity to do this!

We are privileged to have hobbies. When people have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, there is very little time, energy or inclination to develop hobbies unrelated to basic survival.   Building a Star Wars Lego robot might be dreamed of, but never created.

These things exist because we’ve been blessed with the ability to pursue things that we truly enjoy. Those things which add distinction and definition to each of us.

Every person has basic needs. When those have been met, however, we all enjoy different hobbies or pastimes. We are a rich society. Not just because we have more than enough food, but because we have the ability to choose, and pursue our own weird interests. What wonderful options and opportunities we have! Stop by The Lego Store sometime, Why? Because it exists and you can! Also that robot is quite the engineering feat :)

34 Things you can accomplish in 5 minutes or less!

People waste time because they think they don’t have enough of it to get anything worthwhile done. So why bother to start at all?

Well to give you an idea of the productivity you are capable of, here’s a list of items you can accomplish in 5 minutes or less. 1. Put makeup on 2. Shave 3. Brush your teeth 4. Put in a load of laundry 5. Iron a shirt 6. Write a note 7. Make a phone call 8. Read a chapter in a book 9. Load the dishwasher 10. Take a shower (okay that may be pushing it for some) 11. Scrub the toilet 12. Make a salad 13. Clean out car/purse or a drawer 14. Make your bed 15. Sweep a room 16. Update and throw out old food in your refrigerator 17. Watch a TED talk 18. Do 25 squats 19. Take your vitamins 20. Put on sunscreen 21. Fold a basket of laundry 22. Take the dog or kid for a walk 23. Have a cup of coffee/Tea

24. Learn a new vocabulary word

25. Memorize a scripture verse

26. Clean out your desk or cubicle (depends on how often you’ve done this) 27. Clean out your email inbox 28. Organize your computer desktop 29. Write in your journal 30. Read a chapter of your bible 31. Make a prayer list 32. Review your list of goals and do an action step from there 33. Vacuum a room 34. Weed the garden

Here’s a suggestion; why don’t you set a task and timer for yourself and see what you can accomplish in just 5 short minutes. After you’ve done that once, rinse and repeat. You’ll soon be flying through your seemingly insurmountable work load.

The Truth About What People Think of You

I overheard a conversation in the gym locker room recently, the lady said “I worry so much about what people think. Do they think i’m fat, old, ugly? I constantly kick myself, thinking did I say the wrong thing? Did I take the wrong approach with that? What do they think of me? I hate how self conscious I am, but I constantly worry about how I appear to others.” My flippant answer as I was rushing out the door was “People will view you the way you view yourself. So if you think YOU are confident and beautiful, than other people will too.” Good advice maybe, but a little watered down. In retrospect this is what I wish I’d shared......

We would worry less about what other’s think of us, if we realized how seldom they do.

Yes, unfortunately, gossip is a reality and quite possibly you’ve been the subject before. But don’t assume that you’re constantly being judged. Your self consciousness stems from the idea that you’re so important that everyone is concerned with, and critiquing your every move. It’s awfully self absorbed to think that way. Carly Simon has a song that states “you're so vain, you probably think this song is about you!” It’s vanity to assume you’re so important that people would devote time and energy to analyzing your appearance, your actions and your social graces. You’re not the center of attention all the time. That may seem harsh, but it’s meant well. :)

People are primarily selfish. Just a cold reality. Often they’re more wrapped up in their own existence, their cares,and insecurities to worry about yours. Yes people will make quick judgements, but no one is criticizing your every move except......you!!

Sometimes, you are your greatest enemy.

Yes it’s important to analyze your actions and understand your faults and weaknesses, but only if it’s for positive change and growth.

Another thought..... people who are so concerned about who’s watching, attract even less attention than others because they’re so concerned with fitting in that they take it too far. They begin to disappear! Within their minds, however, they still believe they’re being judged. What a sad existence! Constantly fearful of looking the wrong way, saying or doing the wrong thing, when the truth is, they’re the only ones who notice. Self consciousness does something terrible, it destroys the unique individual, and all thats left is just another person struggling for recognition and acclaim, yet never getting there because they’re afraid of it.