Feeds:
Posts

Archive for June, 2017

Saturday was “the big day” for my son Henry and his bride Lisa when they got married on the Nooitgedacht farm just outside Stellenbosch. The ceremony was simple yet elegant, the wait outside while photographs were being taken was very cold, and the evening of toasts, speeches, good company and good food was most enjoyable.

One of the striking themes in their very unique vows, was to give each other space to be who they are as individuals and not (my words) live in each other’s pockets.

Travel well together, Henry and Lisa. Your shadows are unique.  At times, you will cast a single shadow in which your own shadows won’t put up a fight to be recognised, but then you will again cast your own unique shadows for which you are being given the space to enjoy.

It’s so easy to fall in the trap of living to please other people – and suffer losses yourself.

During the wedding ceremony, I thought of one of my individual clients who had difficulty saying “no” and protecting her boundaries and her own space.  I asked her why she struggled with that, and she said: “Because I want people to like me.”  The result was that she was doing other people’s work and things that she should have delegated, all of which was eating into her own productive time and results!

I just read a piece in one of my favourite books The Art of Living that fits this line of thinking:

Seeking to please is a perilous trap

In trying to please other people, we find ourselves misdirected toward what lies outside our sphere of influence. In doing so we lose our hold on our life’s purpose.

 Content yourself with being a lover of wisdom, a seeker of the truth.  Return and return again to what is essential and worthy.

 Do not try to seem wise to others.

 If you want to live a wise life, live it on your own terms and in your own eyes.

 For this week, understand and communicate your priorities.  You have then earned the right to protect your boundaries.  To say no.  To take charge of your life, because if you do not take charge of your life, others will.

Quote: “I refuse to please others at the expense of my emotional well-being. Even if it means saying “no” to people who are used to hearing ‘yes.’” — Unknown

What’s Happening?

 Productivity Breakthrough Masterclass – let’s take a test drive!  I will be running a virtual BETA masterclass over a 6-week period and I want YOU to help me design in. You can participate at no cost.  The dates have not yet been finalised but it will kick off towards the end of July.   It will be an online event and I will record the sessions for your convenience.  The only commitment I ask from you, is that you will participate in one or two surveys and give feedback on what you enjoy, what you don’t like and what I can improve.  If you are keen to join, click here and I will be in touch.

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.

Individual Productivity Coaching If you would like to discuss one-on-one virtual or in-person productivity coaching, click here to let me know, and I will be in touch.

Enjoy your week within your intact boundaries!

Read Full Post »

Good day from Durban, where I have just listened to a beautiful piece of music – Johan Strauss Sr’s Radetzky March with Herbert von Karajan conducting the Vienna Philharmonic – and the audience!  It was recorded at the New Year’s concert in 1987 – but remains timeless.  Listen and watch it here.

 

What struck me was the relatively little effort Von Karajan uses to convey his message and get the orchestra and audience to respond.  Small hand movements result in big changes.

 

But that would not have been possible (I think) without having practiced it, explaining what he wants when he does what.

 

I think it is fair to say that we want to live our lives and achieve the things that really matter to us with as little effort as possible.  I mean, if you can achieve the same or better result at an effort level of 4 rather than 9 out of 10 – why not?

 

But that does not come without preparation.  Using little effort during execution requires preparation.  It requires thinking, planning and organising your work so that when it is time to execute, you are ready and get things done relatively effortlessly.

 

It’s number 7 of the 8 productivity principles our work is based on – Slow Down to Speed Up.

 

Why don’t we make this week a week of slow down to speed up, and do things at their appropriate “pace”.  Speed reading and speed typing sounds good, but speed yoga and speed meditation?

 

Look for opportunities where you can take more time at the front end and save time when it comes to doing.  In this way, you will make fewer mistakes and reduce rework.

 

Never rush to make a mistake!

 

Quote: “Stop rushing. Slow down and enjoy the beauty of life.” ― Debasish Mridha

 

What’s Happening?

Productivity Breakthrough Masterclass. I read something over the weekend that made me think – and that is maybe the reason for the creative procrastination on launching the masterclass. I will be running a BETA masterclass over a 6-week period and I want YOU to help me design in. You can participate in the beta masterclass at no cost.  The only commitment I would like from you, is that you will participate in one or two surveys and attend all 6 sessions and give feedback on what you enjoy, what you don’t like and what I can improve.  If you are keen to join, click here and I will be in touch.

 

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.

 

Individual Productivity Coaching I would like to be your personal productivity coach to support you in achieving your productivity goals.  If you would like to discuss this possibility, click here to let me know

 

Have a fun week!

Read Full Post »

When putting in petrol yesterday, I asked the attendant why he thought all people were not millionaires.  He gave me a very interesting answer: “Because I think then we will not care for each other anymore.”

 

There may be many Rand-millionaires around, but do you think it is safe to say that there are not too many “productivity millionaires” in the workplace?  If that is true, let’s see how we can still care for each other productivity-wise.

 

See whose life you can make easier today – it does not matter what you do.  Here is a suggestion: Listen to the words that people use and when you hear unproductive statements like “I don’t have the time”, “I cannot say ‘no’”, “It has to be perfect”, or anything beginning with “I have to…”, ask the person if they usually believe a lie.  They will probably say that they don’t.  Then ask them why they believe the lie they just told you.

 

Following the general flow of the self-inquiry developed by Byron Katie, ask them if their statement is true, and help them formulate the opposite of their statement and check how things will be different if they believed the new statement.

 

You are probably familiar with a few “turn-arounds”:

 

“I have to” – “I choose to”.

 

“I don’t have the time” – “I have all the time I will ever have and choose carefully what I do with it.”

 

“It has to be perfect” – “Good enough is good enough.”

 

And take good care of yourself first.  Remember: If you don’t take charge of your life, the rest of the world will.

Read Full Post »

While strolling on the promenade on Sunday morning, the rusted guard rails caught my attention and made me think…

When they were first put up many years ago, they would most probably have been shining examples of what new guard rails should look like!

But even as their appearance changed over the years of silently making the promenade safer for people, they still fulfill that function today.  And they don’t care whether you like them or not – they still do their job.  They don’t care who you are – they still do their job.  They don’t care whether the sun is shining or whether it’s raining – they still do their job.

It’s the same with your “productivity guard rails”, or let’s call it “productivity principles”.  They will do their job whether you like them or not, irrespective of who you are and what your job title is, and they will never stop working.

For example, the principle of clarity.  You will be more effective and productive if you make your work visible and actionable.  Your Inbox is not your work – until you have processed your new emails into actions and projects which you manage in your Calendar and Task list.

Or take the productivity principle of “slow down to speed up” – people who rush (so I have read somewhere) make up to 25% more mistakes than people who don’t rush.  Never rush to make a mistake!

Or the principle of alignment: do your daily reviews, starting with revisiting your personal and business mission statements and making sure that everything on your “to do” list supports that.  If it does not, your performance will suffer.

Or the principle of completion: finish what you start, otherwise those “open loops” will come back and haunt you all the time. The same principle also “guards” you against procrastination and perfectionism.  At the end of every day, review your day and check if you have any “closing” phone calls to make or emails to send.  Carry things forward that you did not complete.

Like the guard rails, we also age over time, and may even become a bit rusty!  But by working true to the productivity principles we teach in our programmes, you can ensure optimal productivity at any age:

  • Think “productive”
  • Clarity
  • Alignment
  • Focus
  • Flexibility
  • Completion
  • Slow down to speed up
  • Continuous improvement.

To get my article “Productivity Breakthrough: 8 Work Habits to Rapidly and Sustainably Increase Productivity” in which I discuss these productivity principles, just click here to send me an email with “Article” in the subject line, and I will email it you on the same day I get your request.

Have a fun and productive week!

Read Full Post »