How often does someone have to do something over because they didn't listen the first time? If you have kids then the number of times that comes to mind is greater than the average. There is an under-appreciated value in listening skills. When you listen to someone at a party and ask relevant questions you will likely be viewed as a great conversationalist. When you do most of the talking you will likely view the other person as a great conversationalist.
Why is such value placed on listening skills? We think listening is valued not only because people want to be heard, but because when you listen, time is saved. You save the person from having to repeat themselves. You save yourself the time of researching something. If you listen with intent to understand you gain valuable knowledge about the person you are interacting with. The customer that you listen to with intent to understand; you are better able to help solve their need.. The employee you listen to to understand; you are better able to lead because you know where they are coming from. The spouse you listen to with intent to understand; you are more able to communicate with. Take time to hone your listening skills... Listening is a crucial part of good relationships.
"Most people do not listen with intent to understand. Most people listen with intent to reply."
“Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.”
In a digital age it is easy to neglect the pen and paper for a keyboard or stylus and a computer. However, it is important to recognize the importance of writing things down. Here are 5 reasons you should write things down:
These are all reasons why we utilize a paper planner system. Time Managed isn't just a planner; our quarterly planners are a notebook and planner combined (with plenty of room for notes and mind mapping).
“When you write down your ideas you automatically focus your full attention on them. Few if any of us can write one thought and think another at the same time. Thus a pencil and paper make excellent concentration tools.”
We often get asked why we offer a quarterly planner versus an annual or even six month planner. We have many reasons; in fact, we started out with annual planners but quickly found more value in quarterly planners. Traditional business owners naturally think in quarters as they have quarterly financial evaluations, taxes, sales goals, etc. In the non-traditional business of network marketing people need to think in quarters, but often don't. By utilizing a quarter system you are forced to re-evaluate your goals, gratitude, and schedule more than once a year. In network marketing, excitement around goals is often renewed around convention time and maybe again around the beginning of the year. Gratitude we often evaluate every Thanksgiving. Gratitude and goals should be evaluated quarterly and more. We actually encourage looking at your top three goals daily, and writing down things you are grateful daily as well. Another really good reason to keep your paper planner to quarters is that it is easier to keep aesthetically pleasing.
We have thought of some things that are not your traditional tips for effective time management. Time management is all about being more efficient in every day tasks. We would like to share these to encourage and motivate you in your daily tasks.
The topic of this radio interview was "Creating Priorities and Establishing Boundaries." The main take-aways are:
Have you ever had that great idea for something but no time to execute it? So you just let it sit there in your head; distracting you from the work at hand. We call that wasting time. New ideas pop into our head all the time and if we acting on them all, we would truly never get anything done. This is where "back burner" items come into play. Use the last page of notes in your planner as your "back burner" log. Write down those great ideas that you don't have time, or it's not a priority to execute. You may find that the "great" idea that you put on the back burner list wasn't such a great idea after all. You may go back to it when you have time and have even more improvements to the already great idea. The whole point of writing it down, even when you can't work on it, is to get it out of your head so you can focus on the task at hand. Don't let your thoughts distract you; get them out of your head.
Keeping in line with the theme from our last post; there is no such thing as work/life balance. We want to share with you the P.R.I.O.R.I.T.I.E.S. wheel of fulfillment. We believe that you need to prioritize each of these facets and decide what areas you need to improve on in order to live a fulfilled life. So here is what the acronym stands for:
We suggest you rate yourself in each of these areas. 1 being worst and 10 being best. What steps do you need to take to get to a 10 in all of these categories.
Side note: This assessment is what we base our custom project management and increasing productive capacity planner on!
This may not be the thing that you want to hear when discussing work/life balance but it is a fact of life. The reason that we believe that there is not such thing as work-life balance is because it all comes down to a matter of priorities. In truth, life and work will never be equal. The journey to significance is what makes a successful life. We ask you to examine your purpose and from there set your priorities; with your priorities in hand you can then determine what deserves to be on your schedule.
Here are some tips to scheduling your priorities:
Please share your opinions on work/life balance in the comments section below.
"The truth is, balance is bunk. It is an unattainable pipe dream... The quest for balance between work and life, as we've come to think of it, isn't just a losing proposition; it's a hurtful one." - Keith H. Hammonds
Why do you do what you do? How did you get started? What results have you seen? Many of our planners targeted for specific businesses ask you tell your story. We held a live workshop today to discuss why your story is important. Everyone has a story; just not everyone realizes this. When you realize you have a story and start to tell it you will be amazed at what you can accomplish. The more people you can share your story with, the more success you will see.
The acronym we like to use for how to tell your story is INSPIRE.
I = Intentional (have a purpose)
N = Narrative (why/heart, affective, motivation -> shared understanding)
S = Specific (give details)
P = Personal (you know yourself better than anyone else)
I = Interesting (how you tell your story matters)
R = Relevant (does your story have a point? do you connect with your audience?)
E = Ending or Emotion (what is the take away and/or does your story have heart?)
If you came to the workshop, please share what you learned. Everyone has a story and we would love you to post some of yours here!!!
What would you say is your biggest distraction? Likely your biggest distraction has something to do with technology. Emails popping up. Facebook messages causing you to change browser tabs. Cell phone vibrating constantly with alerts. With every distraction you are losing valuable time and productivity. How do you manage your environment?
If your desk looks anything like the one to the left then you are likely not even attempting to manage your environment at this point.
Here are some tips to help you get started managing your environment:
**How to turn off automatic email updates on your iphone: http://email.about.com/od/iphonemailtips/qt/et_checking.htm
"People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that are there. You have to pick carefully." -Steve Jobs
Priorities Activity: Write down a list of your priorities. Now pick the top 8. Next write down the top 8 things that occupy your time in a week. Then write down the top 8 things you envy in others. Finally, eliminate 2 items at a time until you are left with 10. And those are the priorities you should focus on.
Now that you know your priorities. How do we set boundaries? Some suggestions: time blocking, create a daily focus, and don't answer the phone just because it rings.
Boundaries in 7 Steps:
Why we say yes...
ALL of these are FALSE BELIEFS!
How to say no:
"I can't commit to this as I have other priorities at the moment."
"Now is not a good time as I am in the middle of something. How about we reconnect at (x) time?"
"Let me think about it first and I'll get back to you."
"This doesn't meet my needs right now, but I'll be sure to keep you in mind."
"I'm not the best person to help on this. Why don't you try (x)?"
The Local Impact Zone (LIZ) book club read "The Five Levels of Leadership" by John C. Maxwell for January. The owner of Time Managed, Sara Jane Weidner, had the opportunity to participate on a panel reviewing the book for those that cannot attend the physical meeting.
If you have not read the book; we encourage you to. If you would like to hear the discussion go here: http://liz-reads.com/january-leadership-conversations/
If you would like to read a summary of the book go here:
We hope you enjoy the book as much as we did; many of the quotes featured weekly in our planners are by John C. Maxwell.
Resolution: defined as a firm decision to do or not to do something. This time of year is full of resolutions..but it seems our resolutions are not always as "firm" as they should be (or it's our bodies that aren't so firm). We are proposing a new word for the goal setting that goes along with the New Year: Intention. What is your aim or plan for the New Year? Have you created a plan that will help you reach your goals during 2014? How about making a vision board? Have you written your bucket list (101 Goals)? How about refining your bucket list into your top 10 goals and then even further into your top 3 goals? Set your intention for 2014 and put your goals in front of you every day! Let's make 2014 the best year ever!
The week after Christmas and before the New Year is the perfect time to reflect on what has happened in your personal life and business in the last year. What has gone right? What areas need improvement? The other part of these questions is what can you do in 2014 to make it the best year yet? Flip back through you planner... Have you been utilizing your time properly to achieve your goals and dreams?
We encourage people to prepare and reflect before and after each meeting, before and after each day, week, month, quarter, and year! Now is the time to spend on your time management and goal setting plan for 2014.
This quote was said by one of the characters on "House of Cards." It struck us a brilliant; especially as we build Time Managed. We are reminded too, of the country song that has the lyrics "I'm not settling on just getting by, I've had enough so-so for the rest of my life." For some people, surviving is just not enough; and if you are a client of Time Managed then this is absolutely true of you.
There are different levels of realization in business and life (as demonstrated by the image). What level are you on and where are you going?
Time Managed is here to help you reach the level you want to be on. We are striving for more than survival, stability, or mere success. We want to achieve significance through helping as many people as we can; by helping them recognize their priorities, set goals, and create action plans.
How do you spend your "down time," like lunch breaks? Do you plan what you are going to do with your free time or do you simply go with the flow? There is something to be said for the person who makes the most of their time. It is my lunch time right now and it is being spent at the local Barnes & Noble reading business magazines and writing this blog. We would love to hear how you spend your down time? Please comment below.
We received some inspiring words today via email. We want to share them and you should personally insert your name so that you too can become inspired by them!
"Yes, that's right (insert your name), this is exactly how things look before your life blasts off... Houston, we have ignition."
Those simple words inspired us today because we know that Time Managed is ready for take off! We know our next steps into uncharted territory. What are yours?
"Houston, We have ignition."
That is a picture of a vision board. What does your future look like? We recently heard depression defined as a lack of ability to imagine the future. If you are not actively participating in building your future then it is easy to become depressed. Goal setting is a great way to build you future and help motivate you to accomplish things. Rewarding yourself for reaching goals is fun too. Today, we wanted to share some tips for setting goals. A goal is simply a dream with a deadline!
We suggest making a "bucket list" of at least 100 goals; in the Time Managed planner there is lines for 101. Don't be afraid to dream big or write down the smallest task as a goal. For example, one of your goals could be to own a Tablet computer and another could be to own a Villa in Italy. Big or little setting the goal is what matters. Make your big list and then make sure your goals meet the SMART criteria.
T= Time Sensitive
What the SMART acronym basically implies is that your goals should be realistic, have a date set to achieve them by, and be fairly detailed. For example, owning a tablet becomes own a Samsung Galaxy TAB 3, 7" display, by October 28th, 2014. Or owning a Villa in Italy becomes owning a 3 bedroom house in Tuscany by summer of 2016.
Please share your examples of SMART goals in the comments section below.
What are you thankful for? If you are not thankful for what you have; how can you ever expect to get any more (of anything). The beginning of the Time Managed planners has an area to write down 101 things you are grateful for. We encourage our clients to write down the first 20 when we train them on how to do the planner. If you can't write down 20 things you are thankful for in two minutes, then it's likely that you need some practice with gratitude! Try it now... Set a timer for two minutes and write down 20 things, people, etc. that you are thankful for. This is a great exercise to practice with your kids too. Have them write down 10 things they are grateful for; they may give you some good perspective on what you should be thankful for.
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend." -Melody Beattie
Or is it taking the time to connect? Do you talk WITH people or do you talk AT people? Are you taking the time to listen to what people are really saying? You may be surprised at what you hear.
Alan Weiss puts it rather succinctly "We are vanity publishers on social media, voicemail leavers and retrievers, email bumblebees. We tend to deal in messages, not communication." Where has the art of conversation gone? People sit in the same room and communicate via text message!? This should be absurd; but it's a widely accepted practice.
The radio this morning was discussing the practice of "phone stacking;" which is when everyone puts their phone in a stack at the table for the duration of dinner, drinks, coffee, etc. Whoever touches their phone during the meal or meeting has to but dinner, drinks, etc. If no one "breaks down" and touches their phone then the meal is evenly split.
We encourage people to stop playing candy crush, turn off the TV, try phone stacking, and start to really connect with people!
Success magazine had an article in the November 2013 issue about "tiny habits." The principle is worth teaching. The basics are:
The article also suggests breaking goals down into steps. For example, your goal is to run everyday; start the first day by just putting on your running close. On the second day put your running clothes and shoes on. On the third day put your running clothes and shoes on and step out the door. And so on, breaking it into small steps daily help to solidify the habit.
Also, don't forget step 3, CELEBRATE IMMEDIATELY, our brains can't recognize when we wait too long to celebrate. By celebrating immediately we are rewarding the behavior in a way our brains recognize.
Block out the time that you intend to use for social media; a lot of time can be wasted on this method of communication if you are not careful. We all know people who compulsively troll Facebook or Twitter. There are also those that spend hours on YouTube. Social media is a great place to market your business but it can also be a huge drain on your time. It is important to schedule the time you spend on these activities. For instance, blocking 15 minutes twice a day to review friends post and respond. Just like with email, if you are constantly checking it then you are wasting precious time. Schedule it and you will spend less time on it.
Want to save time but be consistent with your posts? We recommend using Hootsuite. You can literally set up your posts for months at a time; and set them to go to multiple social media streams.