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What's in Your Luggage?

Posted By Terri Sinclair, ATD Greater Tucson, Friday, June 24, 2016

Yesterday, I purchased a new hair styling brush. I threw out the one I had been using for 13 years. (Yes, I did wash it regularly.) I do think of myself as being frugal; yet, some might say this was the extreme. The old brush worked alright. I didn’t see the need until a screw came out, which made the brush dysfunctional. As I’ve bee reading Marshall Goldsmith’s latest book: Triggers, I started to wonder: where else am I accepting ‘alright’ when better technology is available? It reminded me of the book by Julia Morganstern who talked about ‘what’s in your luggage?’ Am I packed for my future, or for my past?


If you’re reaching for higher levels of success, It would make sense to pack what’s needed, and leave behind what doesn’t work. You probably wouldn't need a bikini if you were traveling to Alaska in the winter. I’ve been pretty good at getting rid of outdated objects as I’ve moved through the years. For me and my clients, the harder baggage to let go of is the intangible. 


Questions I often ask my clients to help  “Who were you known as when you were growing up?” Were you known as the responsible one, the smart one, the lazy one? Does that definition still fit? Does it fit all the time? I’m not opposed to being known as the curious one, and are there times when maybe I’d rather be something else. It’s not that the definition is bad, it’s just that it can be limiting at times. 


And what if the label is perceived as negative by you or others? I often think of the Stephen Covey phrase, “Argue for your weaknesses, and they’re yours.” Especially when I’m coaching people on presentation skills, I will often hear, “I’m not good speaking in front of people.” How is that belief going to help you on your journey to being who you want?


There are a few labels I’m going to ‘unpack from my luggage’: I’m controlling and I’m impatient. These are not needed on my travels. I’m replacing them with: I’m accepting and I’m improving my ability to be patient every day. My luggage feels a lot lighter.

Tags:  bad habits  breaking habits  business owners  creating new habits  entrepreneur  habits  small business  stress  stress management  success  time mastery 

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Urgent or Important?

Posted By Les Taylor, Outperformers International, Monday, June 8, 2015

We live in a time when we think we’re productive based on the number of items we can check off our to do lists. Most of us are on the run from the time we wake up in the morning until late in the evening when we click off the late night news. Our days are a blur. Our weeks become a blur as well. Even though we find ourselves being extremely busy, we realize we’re not very productive.

We all agree that being busy and being productive are not the same thing, yet we continue to crowd our calendars with one activity after another. Or, worse yet, we don’t even have a calendar, we just go, responding to one crisis after the other.

Busy people do have options regarding their time and, specifically, what they do with the precious minutes and hours in their day. We can have more control over our days and our time that we give ourselves credit for. When we do, good things happen; we’ll have more productive lifestyles; we’ll lower our blood pressure; and we’ll have heightened self-esteem.

Here’s how to take control of your day:

Understand the difference between urgent and important.

Urgent tasks are typically those things that must be done right now or within the immediate future. An unexpected project from the boss, for example, is a good illustration of an external source of an urgent task, but urgent tasks can be self-inflicted as well. Putting off a project or a report until the last minute creates urgency. Being busy makes us feel important. The downside to living in the world of urgency is we’re worn out at the end of the day and frustrated because we let the really important tasks slide – again.

Important tasks are seldom urgent, and there’s the rub. Because they aren’t urgent, these tasks are superseded with busywork or with something we’d rather do first. Important work moves our lives and businesses forward. Focusing on the important requires long-range thinking, as well as taking a hard look at the current realities. As a result, focusing on important matters often forces difficult decisions.

Doing those things that matter most just isn’t as sexy or as much fun as running around at 900 miles an hour with our hair on fire.

Taking Control

1. Take the time to compile a list of those things that matter most. On a personal basis, such a list might involve health or nutrition issues, more time with the family, or getting control of finances.

2. Professionally, the list of important projects might involve the development of a business plan, or a performance plan for your key employees. It might involve think time for new products or services.

3. Make time in your daily schedule to work on one aspect of an important project. Important tasks typically can’t be done in one fell swoop. They need to be broken down into a series of incremental tasks. Turn off the cell phone and shut down email and Facebook; both are tremendous distractions and real productivity killers.

4. Tell a friend or colleague what you intend to do in terms of becoming more productive and less busy. Ask them to help hold you accountable. Start slowly. Pick one important project – break it down into five one-hour tasks and schedule time during the next five days to attack the project.

You’ll be amazed at the results!


Tags:  time  time management  time mastery 

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