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Green Point Park, you beauty!  In just two hours I was given so many moments of beauty that I can revisit this week wherever I am, just by closing my eyes for a few minutes…

It was a Hadeda that first caught my attention, pushing its long bill into soft soil, looking for food.  It also used its bill to turn over leaves lying on the ground in the hope of finding something to eat.

We were wondering how the Hadeda knows where to “hunt” or which leaves to flip over.  According to the “Birds of Eden” web site , it find its prey by touch, not sight – makes sense!

The Hadeda has a challenge – survival.  It does not go and lie down in a corner in Green Point Park and “pray” for food, but proactively searches for the solution to its need.

If it does not stick its bill into the soil, and if it does not turn over the leaves, it will never discover the solution – and will die.

What challenges do you have? Maybe not at a survival level, but at a level of enjoying a more productive, happier and fulfilling life?

Should you sell your shares? Your house?

Change your career?

Maybe your challenge is your email overload?  Or workload, and you end up spending too many hours at the office?

Or you do not have a personal mission statement and prioritised values to guide your everyday decision-making and therefore makes things more difficult than they should be?

Unless you “stick your bill in the soil and turn over a few leaves”, you will not find the solution to your challenge.  It won’t be delivered courtesy of FedEx tomorrow morning at 8. You have to take action and look for the solution yourself.

Have a fun week, turning over leaves and finding solutions!

Quote: “Great leaders don’t rush to blame. They instinctively look for solutions.” – Nina Easton

What’s happening?

Productivity Mastery Programme: In the Productivity Mastery Programme (PMP) you work with me individually and with a small group of individuals who also want to improve their quality of life, simplify things and get their “right things” done with as little effort as possible.

For more information about the PMP, click this link to send me an email , and I will keep you in the loop as things progress.

Outlook Productivity: Public Workshops.  Get information about our public “Outlook Productivity” workshops in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Bloemfontein.

Outlook Productivity: Custom workshops for your company. Get information about our in-house “Outlook Productivity” workshops customised for your business.

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When I arrived at Three Anchor Bay just after 7 on Sunday morning, it was a clear day, and I watched about 15 kayaks leave the bay and venture out into the bigger ocean.  No more than 10 minutes later the sunshine was gone thanks to a heavy fog.

How quickly things can change… also in our lives, where one moment everything is crystal clear and then something happens that changes everything into haziness and uncertainty.

Your plan for this week and this day may be very clear at the moment, but when last did your week work out 100% as planned?  The reality of changing circumstances and conditions make it important for us to be prepared for the time when things don’t go according to plan.

I am sure that the kayakers had a contingency plan in place for a situation like this.

The last thing you do every day just before leaving your desk, is to review the day and preview and plan for tomorrow.  Your thinking should also include the question “What can go wrong with my plan?” or “What is the worst thing that can happen tomorrow?”  Because right now everything is bright sunshine and crystal clear but be aware that the fog can just be a few minutes away!

I think you will enjoy this article about “How planning to fail can help you succeed”.

Make it a game to create “trim tabs” for the times when things happen that tend to push you off your intended course for the day.

Quote: “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou

What’s happening?

Productivity Mastery Programme: There are many ways to further improve your effectiveness and efficiency.  Our Outlook Productivity programme is a good starting place, as is our Productivity Breakthrough workshop.

The next level is to master your personal productivity – something that 30 business owners, executives, managers and team leaders have already participated in with me.

In the Productivity Mastery Programme (PMP) you work with me individually and with a small group of individuals who also want to improve their quality of life, simplify things and get their “right things” done with as little effort as possible.  By doing this we all life productive, happy and fulfilling lives.

For more information about the PMP, click this link to send me an email , and I will keep you in the loop as things progress.

Outlook Productivity: Public Workshops.  Get information about our public “Outlook Productivity” workshops in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Bloemfontein.

Outlook Productivity: Custom workshops for your company. Get information about our in-house “Outlook Productivity” workshops customised for your business.

Sunday morning found me, Senomi and Richard enjoying a walk on the beach in Strand.  We stopped at the Strand Jetty and just couldn’t figure out why it was still around…

 

 

By the way I used to play and walk on it in the late 50’s and early 60’s! This picture dates from 1953, when the jetty was still “fit for purpose”.

It was built in 1934 for offloading fishing boats, but over the years the weather and the ocean took its toll.  A 2002 CSIR study found that it would not be feasible to repair the jetty because of its age and condition.

10 years ago, in 2007, the City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee, said that the dilapidated Strand Jetty, closed since 2002 because of safety concerns, must be “demolished urgently” – which was welcomed by the “Save The Jetty Trust”.

Well, 10 years later nothing has happened – this surely lends a different meaning to the concept of urgency!

On 2 June 2017 the following was submitted to cch.co.za (Bear with the “legalise”!) Promenade and Central Precinct Upgrade: “The Strand Beach Front Regeneration project is proceeding as planned.  However, the restoration of the Jetty has been placed on hold as the costs associated with the restoration are significant, are not budgeted for in the 2017/2018 financial year.  As such a re-evaluation of restoring the jetty will now be done as part of an overall coastal infrastructure optimisation project as part of the Organisational Development Transformation Plan. Once this has been completed the future of the jetty will be decided in consultation with the relevant stakeholders through standard Council engagement processes. “

Ugh!

How many “Strand Jetties” do you still have hanging around in your life?

Thinking about things and doing things in the same old way even though these thoughts and actions are no longer “fit for use”?

And when challenged about them (by yourself or others) you fall into rationalising it using “funny language” for more than 10+ years after you “urgently” decided to change?

It’s “yes” or “no” to these possible jetties…

Are you still allowing people to violate your boundaries?

Are you still saying “yes” while you KNOW that saying “no” will be better?

Are you still “multi-tasking”?

Are you still using your Inbox as a “To Do List”?

Are you still prioritising your schedule, instead of scheduling your priorities? (Thanks, Stephen R Covey)

Are you still just DOING things without having clarified who you want to BE?

Are you still rushing around without a clear direction?

Only you can demolish your jetties!

Quote: “Feeling sorry for yourself, and your present condition, is not only a waste of energy but the worst habit you could possibly have.” –  Dale Carnegie

What’s happening?

Group Coaching. The new Group Coaching Productivity Mastery programme will be for small groups of 4 to 6 people and will most probably be a blend of small group and individual coaching calls, which will be done virtually.  The common theme for participants will be to master personal productivity and live productive, happy and fulfilling lives.

If this sounds like something you could be interested in, just click this email link to let me know, and I will be in touch as details become clearer.

Outlook Productivity: Public Workshops.  Get information about our public “Outlook Productivity” workshops in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Bloemfontein.

Outlook Productivity: Custom workshops for your company. Get information about our in-house “Outlook Productivity” workshops customised for your business.

Have a fun-ductive week!

Sunday morning early on the promenade brought me face to face with this overflowing refuse bin with the message “DO NOT LITTER” …  At least the overflowing litter was contained to a fairly small space!

It made me think of our “To Do Lists”, or as I like to call them “Option Lists” or “Choice Lists”.  It is very important to put things we want to do on that list rather than trying to remember them – you may remember the phrase “get things out of your head and into your system”.

But we must maintain our lists, otherwise they can overflow and become overwhelming!

Review your To Do list daily or at least weekly, and:

  • Delete what has been done.
  • Delegate what you can.
  • Move it from the list to your calendar if the task is day-sensitive or will take you more than 30 minutes to do.
  • If something has been sitting on your list for more than a week, delete it (because maybe it is not that important!) or move it to your calendar.

Also, don’t make your To Do List a “wish list” – create a different space for those things, maybe even a kind of “bucket list”.

You may find that the Personal Kanban approach to improve focus and flow may help you declutter your To Do list, get out of overwhelm and improve productivity.

Pruning your To Do list is something that you can do in a few minutes, and if I may make a suggestion, do it before the end of the day.  You will sleep better!

What’s happening?

Productivity Mastery: Group Coaching. The new Group Coaching Productivity Mastery programme will be for small groups of 4 to 6 people and will most probably be a blend of small group and individual coaching calls, which will be done virtually.  The common theme for participants will be to master personal productivity and live productive, happy and fulfilling lives.

If this sounds like something you could be interested in, just click this email link to let me know, and I will be in touch as details become clearer.

Outlook Productivity: Public Workshops.  Get information about our public “Outlook Productivity” workshops in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Bloemfontein.

Outlook Productivity: Custom workshops for your company. Get information about our in-house “Outlook Productivity” workshops customised for your business.

Have a fun-ductive week!

What a weekend!  On Saturday friends Senomi and Richard and I went to The Glen in Camps Bay, Western Province is through to the Currie Cup final and on Sunday we had a “brothers and sisters” brunch in Somerset West for which I prepared Scotch Eggs – what a messy process but the result was worth the effort!

At a client workshop on Friday we discussed the importance of protecting one’s boundaries if you want to stay focused on the job at hand, and the impact of interruptions and distractions on one’s productivity.  Someone made a very interesting comment.  “I never say “no”, because I might miss out on something.”

Her words, and the theme of “choice and consequence”, came back to me while walking in The Glen and I noticed the “split” trunk of the tree in the picture.  If you find yourself at the “fork in the trunk” and choose to say “yes” to the climbing the one on the left, you are saying “no” to the option on the right.

And you are indeed missing out on whatever you would have found at the top of the righthand choice!  Stephen Covey’s saying “Begin with the end in mind”, suggests that we do our homework about the possible consequences of our decisions before we make them. Then, choose between outcomes.

The word “decide” comes from the Latin de- “off” + caedere “to cut”. So, when deciding on a certain course of action, you literally “cut off” all other options.  So, when we decided to go The Glen, we cut off all other options for the morning.  Maybe we missed out on some things that could have been more fun and pleasurable than being in The Glen, but if we were going to spend the rest of the day wondering about that, we could not have been fully where we chose to be.

During the rest of today there might be many “forks in the road”.

The quality of your experience depends on which ones you choose to take.

Stick with your decisions and choices for today – tomorrow circumstances may be different, and you could choose differently.  Accept the consequences of your choices – they are yours.

Quote:

“If you pick up one end of a stick, you also pick up the other.” – Stephen R Covey

“I made decisions that I regret, and I took them as learning experiences… I’m human, not perfect, like anybody else.” – Queen Latifah

What’s happening?

Productivity Mastery: Group Coaching. The new Group Coaching Productivity Mastery programme will be for small groups of 4 to 6 people and will most probably be a blend of small group and individual coaching calls, which will be done virtually.  The common theme for participants will be a desire to master their personal productivity and live productive, happy and fulfilling lives.

If this sounds like something you could be interested in, just click this email link to let me know, and I will be in touch as details become clearer.

Outlook Productivity: Public Workshops.  Get information about our public “Outlook Productivity” workshops in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Bloemfontein.

Outlook Productivity: Custom workshops for your company. Get information about our in-house “Outlook Productivity” workshops customised for your business.

Thanks, Oupa!

Saturday 14 October 2017 was International Pinotage Day.  A day to celebrate the red wine cultivar my grandfather, Abraham Izak Perold, created in 1925 when he was professor of viticulture at the University of Stellenbosch.

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the legacy of Prof. Harold Pearson who established Kirstenbosch in 1913, and mentioned his epitaph: “If ye seek his Monument, look around.”

So, I guess, for my grandfather, a version of this could be “If you seek his Monument, drink a glass of Pinotage!”

From what I read about him, he was a genius.    Sadly, I never had a chance to enjoy time with him.  He died at age 61 in 1941, just 9 years before I arrived on the planet.  Imagine what it would have been like to share a glass of Pinotage with him if he would have lived for just about another 20 years or so!

The legacy we leave, the impact we have, our “monument” is independent of how long it takes us to do the thing that creates the lasting impact.  Rather, it is what we choose to do.  Our actions are what matters, not their duration.

Nobody knows, or even cares to know, how long it took my grandfather to create the cross between Pinot Noir and Hermitage, or to choose the name Pinotage and not Herminoir, which was also considered.  All that matters, is that he took the necessary actions.

The quality of your everyday life depends on what you do, and not how long it takes.

Stephen Covey used to say, “The key is not to prioritize your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”  These are “big rocks” or high-impact things in your life… (watch Stephen Covey’s “Big Rocks” video here.)

How about reviewing last week’s calendar and activities – did you schedule and live your priorities, which are the things that have a positive impact on your quality of life?  Or are there parts of your life that run by default and not by choice?

When you sit down and plan for next week, or the rest of this week, review your personal mission statement (if you don’t have one, start here), or your values and then see yourself living it out.  What are the physical and observable actions you are going to take make it come alive?

Enjoy!

Quote: Do you know what the most common regret people express on their deathbed is? It’s “I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” – From the blog of Melli O’Brien

What’s happening?

Productivity Mastery: Group Coaching We just concluded a very successful 6-week Productivity Breakthrough Masterclass series for which more than 70 people have registered, and during the programme I started to think about taking the “Breakthrough” to the next level of “Mastery”.  The Group Coaching Productivity Mastery programme will be for small groups of 4 to 8 people and will most probably be a blend of small group and individual coaching calls, which will be done virtually.  The common theme for participants will be a desire to master their personal productivity and live productive, happy and fulfilling lives.

There’s still a lot of thinking, designing and organising to be done, as well as getting input from people interested in possibly joining.

For now, if this sounds like something you could be interested in, just click this email link to let me know, and I will be in touch as details become clearer.  This is not committing you to anything!

I was so happy on Saturday morning! Not only did I enjoy a refreshing walk filled with reflection and learning on the Sea Point promenade, but also listened to my gut feeling that told me that time on Table Mountain would hold something special – and so it did!

Driving along Tafelberg Road, I had to turn around where the road is blocked, and it’s a bit of a tight space to manoeuvre in.  So, I was happy when someone, who I have never met before, helped me with the reversing by giving me instructions and advice on how far I could still go back before hitting the side of the hill.

I said to him “This is called ‘trust’!”, and followed his instructions.

If I did not trust him, I would have wanted to get out every time he said “more, more, a little bit more” to check if he was right.  The whole experience would have been more stressful and taken much longer.

What is the impact of trusting or not trusting people you live and work with?  If trust is low, things are more difficult, take longer to get done and there is much more stress. Productivity goes out of the window.  If you cannot trust people in your team, you may be using a lot of energy just to avoid and survive the next stab in the back.  This “survival energy” is negative, and unavailable for working together as a supportive team towards achieving organisational objectives.

High levels of trust turn everything around.   You don’t have to keep emails forever “just in case” you need it to defend yourself in the future.  If someone says that he job will be done by 12, you don’t have to keep nagging and checking – the job will be done.

More than 101 million pages show up in a Google search for “building trust in the workplace”, so I am not even going to attempt to point you in that direction!

You may want to check out Stephen M R Covey’s book “The Speed Of Trust”, in which he shows how “trust is the essential ingredient for any high-performance, successful organisation” and describes “a revolutionary new path towards productivity and satisfaction”.   You can download (for free) an 8-page Executive Summary of the book at this link.

A final thought… if the guy who was giving me directions on the mountain made me drive into the embankment, and if I met him again in a similar situation – would I take his advice?

Maybe it’s not a bad idea to take stock of the “trust inventory” in your team/department/division/organisation and identify potential problem areas and then work to eliminate those to make life easier and more productive for all involved?

Have a high-trust week!

 Quote: “You can only trust someone to do what they have done.” – Jerry L Fletcher