Last week was going to be different. Maybe you made the decision to start exercising, or to more effectively plan your day. You really wanted things to be different. You're tired of the constant pressure of trying to get everything done or feeling like there's something more important you should be doing with your time. Your new activities lasted about a week... and then you slipped quietly back into old habits and old ways of thinking.Read More
One of the parts of speaking at a conference I find so interesting is interacting with the group before I speak. Whether it’s a networking event on the previous evening or just talking with participants who arrive early, I love to watch the reaction when I tell people what I do. When they ask me about what I “speak” on and I respond with “I help with the struggle of too much to do,” there’s almost always a conflicted response.Read More
How often do you spend some time in deep reflection about who you are and where you want to go? A time of sacred idleness when you let those deeper thoughts that have been suppressed by a crazy busy schedule bubble to the surface. Moments when you pay attention to your feelings, questions, frustrations, hopes, and dreams.
If you're like many people, your answer is "rarely."
It seems like there is always a desire to describe the essence of a concept, philosophy, movement, culture, or societal ill as succinctly as possible. In our sound-byte driven world, having just the right catchphrase for one of the afore-mentioned situations gets attention from others. “Knowledge worker,” “millennials,” “#metoo” and the “experience economy” are four that quickly come to mind.
Sometimes, however, these phrases don’t work as well.Read More
One of the reasons for this lack of productivity is the sheer number of distractions and crises vying for our attention each day. These items keep us moving, but not necessarily in a forward direction. But might there be other circumstances causing us to feel so overwhelmed with all we have to do and underwhelmed at what we are actually getting done?Read More
While sitting with my daughter Sydney at a recent violin lesson, I watched her struggle to get the rhythm right with one particular piece. Her teacher was so patient and helped her understand how the rhythm of the piece should be played by focusing on a few measures at a time. Then, when they played the whole piece together with different rhythms, it sounded amazing! (from a proud dad's perspective).
The experience reminded me of how important...
In my book, Juggling Elephants, Todd Musig and I outline how the best way to manage your work and life is like running a circus. A key tenet is that you have three "rings" in your life: A work ring, a relationship ring, and a self ring. The key to success, we believe, is to have quality activities in all three rings... not just one or two.
An interesting part of the training on the book isRead More
I know, I know. No one likes ticks. I can't remember the last time I was sharing a meal with a friend and they said, "You know, I was just thinking about ticks." Like mosquitoes and the IRS, we want to avoid contact with them at all costs. However, if you work outside in the summer months in various parts of the country, staying alert to their potential presence on your clothes or skin is essential to maintaining good health.Read More
If you live in the US, you'll probably hear the words "Thank You" a little more often this week. As Thanksgiving approaches, we tend to recognize the blessings of family and friends a little more and that causes us to think and act differently toward others.
Hopefully. that same sense of gratitude will permeate thoughts about our jobs and those with whom we work.Read More
Read any number of books on how to be successful, and at some point, the author will mention the impact some habit or routine had on their upward professional or personal trajectory. Lots of books have even been written on the topic of routines, and my personal favorite is The Slight Edge.
Over the years I've found that a key to making a routine stick isRead More
Last week I had two unforgettable experiences. The first was the opportunity to spend time with five individuals who I have known for over 30 years. We had not been together as a group for five years, and the chance to reminisce and catch up on what was going on with each of us was just fantastic. That was the first experience.
The second one, while involving this same group, was very different.Read More
While time management is the phrase we use when talking about our desire to be more productive or to be able to get the right things done, time itself is rarely the limiting factor. There are just too many examples of people who accomplish an incredible number of tasks each day and also live a personally fulfilling life. What makes the difference?Read More
"Work is my hobby," he said with a weak smile, and then continued by sharing all he had on his plate at his job. It's a comment I hear far too often. We have become so conditioned to focus on work until some nebulous point in the future when a break will magically occur... but rarely does.
A recent article from Peter Jones also makes the case that hobbies aren't just a luxury but can be essential for our success at work.Read More
Last week I was interviewed by a NY Times writer for an article entitled, Keep Your Apple Picking Plans. The essence of the article was about why people keep or abandon plans for leisure time. They had actually interviewed some individuals about their plans a few months ago and followed up to see if they kept their plans. Some did while some didn't.Read More
Think of all the things you have put off recently. Calling someone to catch up. Working on a big task that seems overwhelming. Scheduling some time for yourself in your week. It seems like we have so conditioned ourselves that there will be time later for such things.
This past weekend I was reminded of the need to think in terms of "one chance."Read More
Focus. It seems like I hear so many people talking about needing to do it... but rarely taking the steps to create an environment where their physical and mental energy can be aligned with their most important work. Some argue that it's their coworkers fault, or they have to be available to their boss, or they have to leave their email notifications on in case of an emergency... the list goes on and on.Read More
You’re watching the train wreck unfold right in front of you. It might be your boss who has so much on their plate, and they are rarely communicating with you or the team. It might be a coworker who is drowning in deadlines or feeling overwhelmed with a new assignment. Having been in this situation yourself, you know the dangers of not taking action, but you struggle with how to have a helpful conversation.
You couldRead More
One of the great joys I have in my work is that I get to have deep conversations with people from all seasons of life. They may just be starting out on their career, anxiously trying to figure out what they want to do to make a difference. Others might have reached a level of success, but find that they want to explore new options, while another may be yearning to start their own business or make a major life shift. What I find interesting is that the inability for all of them to move forward is caused by...Read More
The pain in my hip and lower back was severe. After sitting in a plane seat for a few hours I could hardly get up to walk through the airport. As the pain subsided I rationalized that I must have "pulled something" and chose to try and resume business as usual. Then, when I least expected it, the pain would return. "I've just got too much to do to let this slow me down," I thought. I resisted for a couple of weeks until I just couldn't take it anymore.Read More
Perfectionism wreaks so much havoc in our lives. At work we fail to take action on an issue or challenge because none of the solutions offered are without some negative consequence. We resist learning a new skill because we aren’t “good at it” the first time, or worse yet, we’re afraid to show our mistakes to others.Read More