Quote of the Week

"One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty councils."
- Woodrow Wilson

Sunday, January 1, 2023

2023 is now

 This is the day of the year everyone promise to themselves they'll start improving their life.

Few actually do.

Set real goals. Get into a routine. Be determined. Be realistic. Don't stop.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Turns out I still have a blog

 So I'm not very good at blogging consistently. Or at all for that matter.

The last time I visited this site, I stated off the year with a simple post and the intention to post something here daily. That was nearly two years ago...

As 2022 is drawing towards the end with the holiday season upon us, like many, I find myself reflecting on what I have done in 2022 and looking towards 2023 with plans for improvement. Well, no need to wait another month or so before I start making some improvements.

A focus for me in 2023 will be getting my house in order. Both figuratively and literally. Figuratively with my finances being the main focus. Setting and sticking to some savings and investment goals will be the primary tasks. But also literally with home improvement projects and a thorough decluttering of my home. 

Friday, January 1, 2021

Do You Really Think 2021 Will Be Any Better?

 Do you really think 2021 will be any better?

It will for me. I know that. But will it be any better for you? That is entirely up to you.

I've been constantly seeing it online and hearing it in person: "I sure hope 2021 will be better." I'm sure you've seen it too. It's next to impossible to miss it on any social media platform you choose to scroll through. But the cold hard truth is if someone is merely hoping for a better year, they will be sorely disappointed.

Hoping doesn't improve things, doing improve things. 

Don't hope. Don’t wish. Don't make vague and lofty resolutions.

Make meaningful, realistic goals. Make detailed plans to achieve those goals. Track your progress and do the actual things required to achieve the things you want to do that will make 2021 better.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

COVLOG-001 So It Begins

Since things are getting interesting, to say the least. I figured I might as well start a daily vlog.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Don’t Time Block Too Far Ahead

When I started getting into time blocking, I had to fight back the urge to sit down at the beginning of the week and block off time days in advance. Of us who start off each morning with a game plan, know that plan can be thrown out the window within hours. Not to mention what was the top priority at hour one, may not be the top priority by hour two.

What I’ve found that works for me is following the below steps:
  1. Block off the time on my weekly calendar for the important meetings already scheduled.
  2. If any of the meetings require prep work, block off the appropriate amount of time before the meeting.
  3. Make a list of my priorities for the week.
  4. Block off time Monday morning to work on the top item(s) on my list.

I usually leave the first half hour of the morning open to allow time for the miscellaneous tasks waiting for me when I get to work. Process email, etc. I will also leave a half hour or an hour free space between and time I block off for meetings or focused work to allow time for everything and anything else that might need my attention.

Leaving gaps between my blocked time allow me to handle the small fires that might pop up before they turn into raging infernos. The gaps also allow flexibility with my blocked timed as well. If I'm making great headway on a task, I can keep the momentum going for another half hour. Or if I've made enough progress on the task, I can still keep that momentum going by pulling in the next task that I have time blocked off for later in the day.

I try to limit the time block scheduling to only the next work day when planning ahead. As I mentioned above, I'll save time to prepare for meetings, or if I have a specific due date for a project. But over all I follow the same routine.
  1. Plan out a day that morning or the night before.
  2. At the end of the day, start planning the next day base on what I got done and what new priorities emerged.
  3. Next morning, fine tune the night before's plan if required.

As tempting as it can be, try not to plan too far ahead of yourself. It will lead to frustration. Time management has to be a bit fluid in order for it to work. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Time Blocking At Home

Turning off all distractions for a half hour or hour of uninterrupted work does not have to only happen at your work. This can be a powerful tool for home too.

At a scheduled time on your calendar turn off the phone, TV, and email; then spend a half hour tidying the bedroom. Or schedule an hour to give your undivided attention to a loved one.

I know of people who make a calendar appointment to play with their kids. This seems very cold and mechanical. But is it cold to make a conscious effort to focus all your attention to your child, or is it cold to pay half attention to your child and half to responding to a text message from your boss?

Monday, December 16, 2019

Time Blocking Works and I Can Prove It to You in Half an Hour

No matter what your profession or your personal life is like, we all have tasks or projects we've been falling behind. Something always comes up to get in the way.

Time blocking, as in making an appointment for yourself on your calendar can help. If you doubt me, I challenge you to prove me wrong with just a half hour of your time.

Either professionally or at home; think of a project or task that you've been meaning to complete and need to complete, but haven't yet. Now find an open half hour on your calendar and block it off to focus solely on that task.

When the time comes, turn off your smartphone, turn off your email, mute your desk phone, and focus all of your attention for that half hour on the task at hand. If you work in an office environment, reserve an open conference room for yourself if one's available.

You will be amazed at the amount of work you can get done in that mere half hour.

Now just think what you can do if you can block off a half hour or an hour every day.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

The People You Surround Yourself With

The saying goes that you're a combination of the five people you spend your time with the most.

George Washington said: "Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company."

There is also a saying about avoiding negative people, for they will bring you down to that level.

But what if that negative person is trying to "associate with men of good quality" and you're one of them?

Make sure you don't hold someone back who is looking for your help. Just make sure your help is what they're after.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

If You Want the Truth, Just Wait a Minute

"We should always allow some time to elapse, for time discloses the truth." ~ Seneca

Seneca, the great stoic philosopher, as some great quotes if you do a quick Google search. The above is one of my favorites. We all need to slow down at times.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Five Years, Five Minutes. Keep the Big Picture in Mind

We have all let something minor ruin our whole day, or week, or even longer.

Someone cutting you off in traffic. A snide remark from your egotistical department manager. A team member who missed a dead line due to lack of effort. There are countless examples.

Some small thing that shouldn't matter, and in the end doesn't matter, drills into our brain and we can't let it go. I am guilty of allowing this to happen to me. Stress allow.

"No one's happiness but my own is in my power to achieve or to destroy"

The above powerful mantra from the classic Ayn Rand novel Atlas Shrugged ring true for all of us. Don't allow the actions of others to destroy your happiness.

Recently I was introduced to the Five By Five Rule. If it will not impact your life five years from know, don't spend more than five minutes being upset by it.

Easier sad than done. Trust me. But give it a try. When you catch yourself stewing over a snarky comment, step back for a moment and ask yourself how will that impact me five years from now?

Chance are it has zero impact. That should give you some motivation to be the better persona and take full control of your own happiness.