Pivotal Personal Best - the ezine
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Issue Number 167
Greetings from the Pivotal Network
Resources for the times when you pivot – change direction – towards your personal best …
Your personal best – it’s Pivotal!
Welcome to the Pivotal Personal Best ezine.
Inspiration for today:
For a long time I have been fascinated by the concept of time management and the systems people develop around it. More recently, this has focused on time management for creatives, partly for myself when I have been creative, partly because the systems seem so very linear and left-brained, when creativity doesn't operate that way.
I think it is something we all face at one time or another, not just when we need to be creative. So this issue of the ezine is devoted to a couple of resources that might give you some new insights into being better satisfied with your time and productivity.
Use Your Rhythm of Life to Get More Done
by Mitch Mueller
Understanding your personal rhythm and working with it will give you more energy and a better mood all day long.
Who doesn't feel they have too much to do, and too little time? We all do. But, while there is a certain reality to this feeling, it is also a self-imposed mood trap, in which we can too easily end up in a negative cycle of feeling bad about not getting enough done, and then, ironically, not getting enough done because we feel bad.
Breaking the Cycle
There are four key factors that add up to your personal rhythm:
Serious problems in your productivity and mood arise when you go 'against the grain' and arrange your schedule so you are doing things that are out of sync with your rhythm.
Siesta or Brainstorm Time?
We all have our slow periods during the day, and other times when it seems we can get 1 hours tasks done in 10 minutes. Are you a morning person or a night person? Or perhaps do your best work in the early afternoon? You probably think most clearly at one or two of these times, are okay for many other hours, and then a real zombie at a least one time. For many people, the zombie (least efficient) period of the day is post lunch. There are sleep rhythm and biological reasons behind this. Many cultures institute the siesta or early afternoon rest for just this reason - they don't fight the early afternoon drowsiness, but work with it to energize themselves for the 2nd half of the day. So rule #1 is to understand your peak and slow periods and fit your tasks to these times.
Short List Your Priorities
It's a false sense of accomplishment indeed when we feel good about finishing tasks that really aren't that important to us, and, in the process, leaving the important ones undone. This can sap your energy - the undone high priority tasks are sitting there in the back of our minds, and we feel bad that they aren't done.
So rule #2 is to be very clear on your priorities. Do this by prioritizing on several levels. Keep a longer term list of your 'big' priorities in life this year - for many of us these might include loving and supporting our family and friends, excelling at work, and having high integrity. Then, once every week or two, keep a list of your medium priorities - the tasks you rate highly for the next week or two. And, every day, be clear on your priorities for that day. These often times might be mundane but essential tasks.
Maximize and Leverage Your Enjoyment
We all work at our best when we enjoy the task. Understand and observe yourself. What tasks do you dread and hate, and which do you enjoy?
Easy enough you say, but what about the ones you don't like but have to do? These are the crux of maximizing your enjoyment - understanding the dark side, the tasks you don't enjoy. First, of course, see if you can avoid doing these tasks. Do they really have to be done? If not, skip them. If they do, can you outsource them? E.g., hiring a gardener.
But for the tasks you don't enjoy but must do, here are two good strategies. First, do them during a peak efficiency time of your day, and make it a personal game with yourself to see how fast and efficient you can be in knocking off this undesirable task. Because you are performing at your peak, you should be able to get the task done quickly and efficiently. Then you can feel doubly good because you finished the task well.
A second strategy is to meter out these undesirable tasks - e.g., do only 1 or 2 of them a day, but be sure to do 1 or 2 every day. You might list them out on your calendar. Then psych yourself up by telling yourself 'I have only 2 of these tasks to do today (the others are scheduled across the next week). I'm going to do them very quickly and efficiently. So I'll just dive in and then feel great about it the rest of the day.'
Leverage Your Environment
Some of us work best in a quiet environment, others of us need the radio, TV and Internet instant messaging all going at once to stimulate us into a multi-tasking frenzy. Understand your needs, and then work with them, suiting them to the task at hand. If the task at hand require concentration, then be sure to only undertake it when you are in the right environment for concentration. Put the Pieces Together
In the end, using the rhythm of your life to get more done is all about understanding yourself, being conscious of what tasks you need to get done, and being conscious and very particular about when and where you undertake the tasks. If you fit the task to your energy level in the right environment, you can easily see the time required cut by 2-4 fold, and the quality will be higher.
Since an important part of getting more done is careful management of lists, you can find third party software sites with online to do list software. Just Google on 'free web to do list'.
Author Mitch Mueller recommends managing your offline and online life more efficiently with task management tools like printable to do lists and online file sharing
Have you created a resource that other people seeking success and personal development could use? Share it here and in the other channels of the Pivotal Network. That's what the Pivotal Network is all about - extending your reach.
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6 Time Management Techniques For Crazy Creativity
At first glance, “crazy creativity” and “time management techniques” seem to contradict each other. Of course it’s not very creative to live enslaved to a fixed schedule. However living surrounded by a “creative chaos”, you can easily become distracted and feel overwhelmed if you have a lot of things that you need to keep in mind. To prevent that from happening, check out the 6 best time management techniques to get your mind clear
Just for Fun
14 Creative and Unusual Beds
My very best wishes for the coming week,
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