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So the Blitzbokke were eliminated 12-19 by New Zealand in the one semi-final at the Sevens tournament in Cape Town on Sunday.  To us the language of News24, “Mass exit at CT Stadium after Blitzboks knocked out in semis…hours before the final.”

Why did they leave?

Deon Viljoen and I had a fascinating conversation on the Friday before the game, and he introduced me to the thinking and work of Mike Dooley, and The Matrix reproduced below from Mike’s web site.

In my limited understanding, one should attach to things on the left-hand side of the matrix and detach from things on the right-hand side of the matrix – things that are dependent on time, space, matter or others to various degrees.

Back to the rugby – what did the people who left the stadium attach to within the context of the event for which they probably paid good money?  To a specific outcome that was beyond their control (e.g. the Blitzboks to win the title in front of their home crowd) or to having a good experience with friends while at the same time enjoying some good quality Sevens rugby?

On which side of The Matrix are the things you are attached to?  Are you attached to driving a certain type of car, living in a specific city or town, being or becoming a millionaire or working in a specific organisation?  Or are you attached to something like living a productive, happy and fulfilling life?

Let me share these thoughts with you from Mike’s web site, as the quote for today:

Quote: “When your dreams or ‘end results’ are stated generally, in broad brush strokes, like wealth and abundance, friends and laughter, health and harmony, then please, by all means, attach yourself to them. Attach, attach, attach. There is no limit to what you can have and no reason to expect anything less.

But when your end results are specific, like the ultimate car, a hot date, or a home in the country, do not attach, do not attach, do not attach.

Material details and specifics are always ‘how’ to get to a grander picture of your life and are never important in and of themselves. They’re ‘cursed hows’ disguised as end results. Steps disguised as destinations. By all means, think of them, put them in your scrapbook or on your visionboard to remind yourself of the kind of possessions and adventures that are your birthright. But do not give them any importance, through attachment, greater than what you are truly after: a fuller, richer life with all cups running over, the details of which will take care of themselves when this is your end result.

Know the ‘wows,’ not the ‘hows.’  “ – Mike Dooley

What’s happening?

Productivity Mastery: The central theme for this programme is to create, live and enjoy a productive, happy and fulfilling life. It will be a virtual programme of 8 weeks, using a mix of coaching and leaning methodologies, and will be delivered through group and individual sessions for groups of 4-6 people at a time.

If your current reality includes things like uncertainty about what truly matters to you, where you are at in your life, not having a personal/familiy purpose statement, not being crystal clear about your values, fuzziness about who and what you would like to become, and also everyday things like email overload, interruptions, distractions, too much to do and not enough time, inability to adapt to changes in your context, not having enough time for yourself and your family – then you will benefit by participating in this programme which delivers a time-proven system focusing first who you want to be and become, and then on doing what needs to be done to get there.

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

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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According to Gardening Know How, gardenias are notoriously tricky to coax into bloom, but it can be done.

I have a gardenia bush in a pot outside on the stoep, and it took a bit of a beating the last few months with strong winds and also a few pests that made themselves at home.  The whole plant looked very dead, but it responded extremely well after I treated it following the advice of a very helpful lady at Stark-Ayres in Rosebank (Cape Town’s Rosebank).

There are about 20 beautiful flowers at the moment and another 15 to open in the next few days.

Apparently it blooms on new growth, so my almost dead plant must have been the right place for that to happen after I pruned it a bit!

The flowers will give me joy for a while with their beauty and fragrance, and then they will die, and provided I take good care of them, next year this time the flowers will be back.

Fortunately you and I don’t die every year!  But maybe we should “kind of” die to give ourselves the opportunity to become revitalised and produce new growth.  The gardenia does not keep on flowering year in and year out without taking an annual break.

The “big annual South African break” (commercialised and exploited since October by some retail operations) is almost upon us.  What are your plans to stop “blooming” for the year and refresh and revitalise yourself?

People often complain that there is so much going on in their lives so that hey have lots to do and not enough time.  Does it have to be that way, or are we overloading ourselves with unnecessary “stuff”?

Maybe not a bad idea to pack your virtual pruning shears and cut away the things that are sapping your energy.   To quote Bernice Ross: “Whether you’re pruning your trees or your life, you prune first for strength and second for form.

When pruning for strength, begin by looking for habits, patterns, decisions, and choices that rob you of your energy, confidence, or emotional well being.

For example, is there an activity you feel you “should” do, yet the activity saps your strength and no longer serves any useful purpose?   Has your life taken a direction that no longer supports you? If so, it’s much like a large branch growing over the neighbour’s fence. If you don’t cut it off, eventually there’s going to be a problem.

The sooner you take care of cutting away the “erring branch,” the less likely you are to have difficulties.”

While on the topic of shearing, what can you learn from sheep shearing?

(NOTE: Shear Sheep for the Productivity of the Animal (GC: I always thought he main reason for shearing sheep was to get the wool!)

  • Shearing is generally carried out in the spring, so sheep don’t become overheated in the summer.
  • A long fleece is likely to become dirty and drag along the ground, increasing the possibility of flystrike.
  • A bulky fleece decreases the mobility of sheep.
  • In HOT weather, sheep with too much wool are extremely susceptible to heat stress!!
  • Shearing keeps stained wool and mud-contaminated wool separate from new fleece growth.

Be bold between now and when you kick off the new year, and let the shears go click, click click!

Quote: “Everything has seasons, and we have to be able to recognize when something’s time has passed and be able to move into the next season. Everything that is alive requires pruning as well, which is a great metaphor for endings.” –  Henry Cloud

What’s happening?

Productivity Mastery: Group Coaching Programme: The start date for the first 8-week programme of 2018 is planned for 23 January.  Only 4-6 people per group on this virtual programme which has the central theme of living a productive, happy and fulfilling life.

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

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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Eat or be eaten

I visited the planetarium and digital dome at the Iziko Museums in Cape Town on Sunday (great experience!) and then also took a stroll through other parts of the museum.  It was very educational, and I also learned a new word – ungulates.  I was growing up in Hanover in the Karoo at the age that I was probably supposed to learn what “ungulates” are – so I missed out!

Ungulates are any members of a diverse group of primarily large mammals that includes odd-toed ungulates such as horses and rhinoceroses, and even-toed ungulates such as cattle, pigs, giraffes, camels, deer, and hippopotamuses – so says Wikipedia.

 

I found it quite amusing to read that “Daily activities of ungulates are dominated by:

  • Eating
  • Breeding
  • Avoid being eaten”

Especially “avoid being eaten”!

I thought how that can translate into “a day at the office”.

What dominates your day at the office?  Email, meetings, talking, being disrupted, switch-tasking (“multitasking” is a myth), eating…being “eaten”?

How about “avoid being eaten”?

What is the culture like in your organisation?  If it more adversarial than supportive, you may find yourself pulling daggers from your back all the time, and then using your energy to protect your back, or, using the Iziko words, “avoid being eaten”.

This survival energy is negative energy if you look at it from the organisation’s point of view – energy that is not available to move the organisation forward to fulfilling its mission.

It is energy that you cannot use to move your own work and performance forward in a positive way, and can impact negatively not only on the quality of everyday ”life at the office”, but also on all areas of your life and your career, both short term and long term.

Are you (strange as it may sound) maybe even putting daggers in your own back by little acts of self-sabotage?  Like living in your Inbox, not clarifying your work, not saying “no”, allowing the world to disrupt and take advantage of you and take control of your day?

Maybe this is a good time of the year to reflect on the things that you see as “being eaten”.  Then find your belief that causes this behaviour, and turn it around (you may want to look into Byron Katie’s work about one way of doing this) and then act differently and get different outcomes.  “Believe different, get different.”

Quote: “We try to be real nice and friendly to people, but sometimes they take advantage of that.” –  Layne Staley

What’s happening?

Productivity Mastery Programme: In the Productivity Mastery Programme (PMP) you work with me individually and with a small group (maximum 6) of individuals who also want to master their personal productivity.   The first group is scheduled to kick off mid January or beginning of February 2018.

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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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.

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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!

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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!

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