You Do Have Enough Time.

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“I don’t have time!”, “I’m too busy”, “There’s not enough hours in the day”

I hear these words every day and I know it’s not true. The truth is you do have time. You can do your work and have a family and social life and there are enough hours in the day. The problem is not with time, the problem is with you.

First, let’s deal with the issue of time. Everybody gets the same number of hours per day. Twenty-four hours. That’s it. You and I are not going to be able to bend the laws of time and physics. Wishing for more hours is not going to help, it’s not going to happen. So rather than praying for more time, we need to use the time we have each day more effectively.

Now out of those twenty-four hours, we need to sleep, eat and spend some time with our loved ones and ourselves. And that should be your starting point. Too often, I see people starting with their work. Their calendars and thinking begin and end with their work. But out of the 168 hours in each week, we spend only forty to fifty hours of those at work. That still leaves around 120 hours.

Let’s say you also need ten hours per day for sleeping and eating, we still have fifty hours each week for ourselves. That averages out at seven hours per day! What are you doing with those seven hours to leave you feeling stressed out and overwhelmed?

Rather than stressing about the time you have available, you would be far better being strategic about how you are spending your time.

The first step to gaining control of your time is to find out what you are doing with your time. What do you do when you are not working? Your work is fixed. For most people that means Monday to Friday 9 AM to 6 PM, you are contracted to be somewhere or doing something. That’s fixed. The question you should ask is what am I doing with the rest of my time each day?

Now there’s nothing wrong with coming home from a day’s work and sitting down on the sofa to watch TV if that’s what you want to do. But if you are doing that every day and complaining about how little time you have for your hobbies and interests you are deluding yourself. The truth is you do have time, it is just you are choosing to use your time in a way that is not benefiting you.

To get control of your time you need a plan. That does not mean you have to plan out every minute of every day, what it means is you begin the day with the intention of accomplishing a number of objectives. For example, if being fit and healthy is important to you, you need time for exercise. There are plenty of people who work ten hours a day and still have time for a one-hour gym session six days a week. There are people like Dwayne Johnson who spend more than two hours a day working on their fitness and still have time to be on a movie set at 7 AM, spend a whole day shooting and gets another session in the gym in. How do they do that?

Yes, of course, Dwayne Johnson has the money for assistants, but he still only has twenty-four hours a day just like you and me. He manages his time by prioritising what is important to him. Dwayne Johnson understands his success is partly built on the foundation of the way he looks so he prioritises maintaining that look every day. There is nothing that Dwayne Johnson does with his time each day that you and I could not do.

Part of getting control of your time is understanding what is important to you. What is it that you want to spend your time doing? Whether it is working out, knitting, studying for a Masters degree or learning to beat match on a CDJ, you do have time. All you have to do is prioritise it and schedule it on your calendar.

If it’s important to you you will find time for it

The key to gaining control of your time is your calendar and the way to do that is to first get all your commitments on to your calendar. That’s your work commitments, your social commitments and anything else such as medical appointments or picking the kids up from school. These are what I call my ‘fixed commitments’ and they need to be on your calendar first.

I recommend you colour code your calendar. Choose a different colour for your work commitments, family and friends and your personal activities. When you do this you can easily see how you are spending your time each day by category.

Once you have your ‘fixed commitments’ on your calendar you will see where the gaps are for your activities. Now you can schedule in your gym time, writing your future best selling novel or time to spend reading. Whatever you have decided is important to you.

Do this every Sunday evening. Sit down with your calendar and plan out your week. You do not need to schedule beyond a week, our lives are not fixed. A lot of unexpected things will come up. Scheduling out your week on a Sunday evening gives you the mental space to objectively design your week. You won’t get it right every time. Your fixed commitments will change — appointments get cancelled at the last minute or events are rescheduled — but you will have the framework in place and you can modify and adjust your calendar as the week goes on. The important thing is you will have a plan.

The final piece is to adopt a golden rule “what goes on my calendar gets done.” This rule is non-negotiable. If it’s on your calendar you do it. You always have the freedom to reschedule, cancel or delay, but if it is on your calendar, then you do it. If you are putting an hour of study time on your calendar for 8 PM to 9 PM on Tuesday and then ignore it, what’s the point of your calendar? You are only fooling yourself and that is not going to solve your time problem. Sure, if you come home on Tuesday and you are exhausted, then you are free to reschedule your study time, but never ignore it.

Time can be your best friend or your worst enemy. How you use your time is in your hands and if you embrace it, use it wisely it will work hard for you. If you abuse it and show it no respect, it will hurt you. So get control of your time. Plan out your week and use your calendar to manage it. You will soon find you have enough time every day to do the things you want to do.


Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit those clapping hands below many times👏 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

How to become more financially responsible.

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This is a guest post by the wonderful Lucy Rose. Once again, thank you so much for doing this, Lucy.

We all reach a stage in life where we realise that it is time to start making an investment in the future. Whether that means getting a deposit together for a house or putting money away each month to save for something big or even for a rainy day, there comes a time when this will start to take more of a priority. The key to being financially responsible, put simply, is ‘living within your means’. This article will give some top tips to help you become more financially responsible, starting today.

The risks of getting into debt

Having the ability to organise your finances and plan and budget ahead requires some level of foresight and maturity. Living from day to day without thinking ahead for extended periods, significantly increases the chances that you will end up in debt with friends, family, or at worst with service providers or credit card companies.

This can be a slippery slope, as yet get further into debt and start missing bill payments it could severely affect your credit rating, which will harm your prospects and limit your opportunities for getting onto the property ladder. It’s a vicious cycle that you don’t want to get into.

Budget your income

This is the first and most important step towards becoming financially responsible, and it is something that you will need to do every month to make sure that you are covering all monthly expenses and outgoings at the same time as leaving enough money left over to buy any essentials you may need to tide you over until the next pay check. This is the basic framework that any financial success is built on.

Make a debt plan

One you start making debt payments and you can see the amount you owe decreasing every month you will start to feel a lot better and more motivated to see it through and keep the momentum going. Getting any debts paid off will be a massive weight off your shoulders, giving you much more freedom with your finances.

The first step is to get in touch with the service providers in question and organise a manageable debt payment plan with each of them directly, or if you prefer and find it easier to manage, there are ways that you can consolidate all of your debt into one and make a regular monthly payment that encompasses all of them.

Control your spending habits

This involves bringing some awareness around your expenditure; what kind of things are you spending the most money on? Are you spending too much money on buying non-essential items, i.e. things you want but don’t need? In the meantime, while you build up your finances, you will need to weed out any bad spending habits such as impulsive buys or getting sucked into sales.

If you are spending too much money on addictive substances, like alcohol or tobacco and you know that this is a massive drain on your finances, maybe it is time to start addressing any addictions you might have and getting into healthier and more sustainable habits.

A brighter future

You will find that once you have better control of your finances, you will reduce a significant source of stress and worry in your life which will leave you feeling much happier, more secure and in control. Being able to save up to buy things you need that will make your life easier or save for a holiday or weekend away to visit family or friends will mean that you can start enjoying your life more and planning for the future.


Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit that like button below👍 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

To be Productive You Don’t Need A Complicated System.

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When Ian Fleming sat down to begin writing Casino Royale on 17th February 1952, all he had was an idea, an old Remington typewriter and a few reams of paper. Every day over the next six weeks, while he was on holiday in Jamaica, he began his day with a swim then breakfast in the warm Jamaican sun and afterwards went into the living room of his bungalow, closed the blinds, sat down at his typewriter and for the next three hours wrote.

He did this every day for six weeks. At the end of the six weeks, he had the first draft of Casino Royale and James Bond was born.

If you study anybody who has created something special, from Ernest Hemingway to Pablo Picasso, you will find they never had a complicated system of task management. There was no hierarchy of projects, contexts, filters or Kanban boards. There was just an idea and a consistent amount of work produced every day until the masterpiece was completed.

Yet many people believe if they create a complex hierarchy of projects and sub-projects with an array of assorted tags, filters and dates they will miraculously become super-productive and all their work will get done.

It won’t.

To become super productive, you need two ingredients: focus and consistency. Focus on the project or goal you want to accomplish. When you begin each day with the sole purpose of working on your masterpiece (the project) and you dedicate time every day to work on it, over a period of time you will have a masterpiece. That is how great things are made. Focus and consistency.

Ian Fleming did not wake up in the morning, check his mail, review a long list of to-dos, have a chat with his colleagues and review his social media feeds (which did not exist in 1952 anyway) He woke up, ate breakfast and began writing.

This consistent routine, repeated every day for six weeks, resulted in a finished draft yet he still had the afternoon to go snorkelling, sunbathing have dinner with his friends and explore the beautiful Jamaican island.

Even in our time, the most industrious people still do not have a complex hierarchy of projects, sub-projects, tags and filters. They have instead a focus on what it is they want to accomplish. Sir Richard Branson, the British entrepreneur, runs numerous companies with multiple projects and manages all this armed only with a little notebook. When he wakes up in the morning he follows a simple routine of exercise, breakfast and work. He knows exactly what he wants to achieve that day and he remains focused on that outcome. He has no need for a complex to-do list manager because he is completely focused on the outcome he wants to accomplish.

To achieve this level of super-productivity all you need is to apply a little focus consistently every day. You do not need to isolate yourself from the outside world. You only need to begin each day with a purpose. A purpose to move forward on whatever project you are working on at the moment. Focus two to three hours on that project every day and within a matter of weeks, you will have a completed project. There is nothing complex about that and there is no need for complex productivity systems. A notebook, a pen and clarity for what you want to accomplish is all you need.

Every Monday morning I begin the day with two objectives for the day. Write my blog post and do my exercise. The first thing I do after waking up and making my coffee is sit down at my computer, open my writing app and begin writing. For the next ninety minutes, that is my focus. Email is off, my phone is on do not disturb and I write.

Likewise, at 2 pm my phone goes back on to do not disturb and I will exercise for about one hour. By 3 pm, my objectives for the day are completed and I still have plenty of time to handle replies to emails, work coming in from clients and any admin tasks that need to be done for the day. That’s just two-and-a-half hours out of a day that has twenty-four. There is nothing complex about that.

People often say to me “ah yes, but I have to be available for my customers and boss” Really? That’s only true if you do not set any boundaries. Ian Fleming regularly had house guests staying with him while he was in Jamaica, yet everyone knew that between 9 am and 12 pm he would not be available and nobody complained because he told them he needed that time to write. From after lunch until bedtime he was available for his house guests. No one complained. Instead, people respected his time.

No one will respect your time until you respect your time. Take control of it and set some boundaries.

If you want to become super-productive, create your masterpiece and still have time to take care of your colleagues, bosses and customers, then set aside two or three hours every day to focus on your most important project. Tell everyone — colleagues, bosses and customers — that you are doing your important work at that time and you will be off the ‘grid’ for a little while and very soon you will be turning in quality work without the stress and overwhelm so many people have today and no one will complain.

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit those clapping hands below many times👏 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

How To Practise Self-Promotion At Work (Without Being Too Obnoxious)

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This is another guest post by the wonderful Lucy Rose. Thank you Lucy, for allowing me to share this post.

Many of us cringe at the mere thought of tooting our own horn. But in the workplace, this kind of confidence is essential if you want to see significant professional growth. Studies have found that confident people generally achieve more in their careers, and this is largely linked to how they assert themselves in the workplace. Self-promotion doesn’t have to come off as bragging; it’s all about being proud about what you’ve accomplished and owning it. However, the line between self-promoting and boasting is quite thin — here’s how to do it without coming off as a total jerk.

Increase Your Visibility

You have the skill and experience to do the job excellently, but unless people know about it, you could miss out on plenty of opportunities. Make sure that people can see what you’re doing by talking to your colleagues, even those you don’t work with directly. Volunteer to represent your team whenever possible, and participate in your company’s events.

Even though you’re not actively looking for better job opportunities, having an up-to-date LinkedIn account, as well as a professionally designed website or online portfolio, is also crucial for career growth. These are easy ways for potential employers to learn about your services, and without them, you could be losing out on career growth. That said, just having a website isn’t enough — it’s also important that you work on making sure that your site comes up on search engines, so it’s also a good idea to take an online course or two in SEO.

Make The Most Of Performance Reviews

Your performance review isn’t the place or time to practise humility. While it’s a good way to understand your manager’s perception of your work, it’s also an opportunity to highlight your accomplishments. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of talking yourself up, all it takes is preparation and practice. Start by writing down a list of your contributions to the team, and practise saying them. It may feel strange at firsts, but with practice, talking about your accomplishments will come more naturally. Plus, it’ll boost your confidence as well.

Don’t Overdo It

While talking about your accomplishments will make you more comfortable at doing so, you also run the risk of coming off as arrogant if you do it incorrectly. Read the room and pay attention to people’s body language. Take into account how you speak about your achievements, and who you talk to. For example, you don’t have to sell yourself to your coworkers: you want their support. Do this by building positivity by acknowledging their good work as well — this shows that you’re a team player. Talk about your accomplishments to people who have the power to advance your career: your bosses, potential clients, business leaders, and so forth.

Tell A Story

While going into the specifics about how you improved your company’s bottom line may be effective on your resume or even in a job interview, if you talk about numbers in a normal conversation, that’s a quick way to make your listener tune out. Make your accomplishments easy to listen to by telling stories that people can connect to. Instead of making yourself out to be a superhuman worker, allow yourself be relatable.

Learning how to promote yourself effectively is essential to career growth. However, there is a time and place to do so. Figuring out the balance is tricky, but when in doubt, focus on staying true to yourself.



Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit those clapping hands below many times👏 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

What’s the best predictor of success?

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This is a guest post by Emily Heaslip and originally appeared on Vervoe.com

I’ve always struggled with the term ‘soft skills.’ Having technical skills (hard or ‘critical’ skills as they’re called) backed up by higher education, along with positional authority, are to a great degree predictive of success. However, it’s been my experience that inter-relational skills (soft) are just as if not more predictive of success. Anything I’ve ever accomplished in my career to this point (both personally and professionally) has been because of an ability to get things done through and with people.

The data backs me up on this perspective and has for some time. These inter-relational skills are critical and are in demand in nearly every company and every industry. A Wall Street Journal survey of 900 executives found that 92% said these kind of skills were equally important or more important than technical skills. But 89% of those surveyed said they have a very or somewhat difficult time finding people with these kind of attributes. Likewise, LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Report discovered that the four most in-demand inter-relational skills are leadership, communication, collaboration, and time management.

Are inter-relational skills a better predictor of success? According to Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence at Work, yes! His research of 500 executives found that emotional intelligence was a better predictor of top performance than previous experience or IQ. Additionally, CEOs at some of the world’s top companies (Amazon, Xerox, and Tesla, to name a few) lead with emotional intelligence and have designed their entire corporate structure around these kind of skills.

The majority leadership style today in this country is still directed authority and those who have this skill often assume that inter-relational skills are only good for creating a fulfilling and pleasant work environment. However, the link between profit and leaders with high emotional intelligence is clear. In one study, CEOs whose employees rated them high in character had an average return of 9.35% over a two-year period, nearly five times as much as companies with CEOs who had low character ratings. The case for recruiting for these kind of skills is strong, and there’s something to be said for balancing good leadership and communication with individuals who have honed their talent.

This is not to say that hard skills should be ignored. Without specifically required knowledge, achieving desired objectives is very difficult. Cal Newport, author of So Good They Can’t Ignore You, believes that to have a successful career, you must develop skills that make you an expert in something. There will always be a market for those with a depth of knowledge in one thing and certain fields will always demand new hires with niche skills and technical training. Newport argues that the more mastery you have in a skill or field, the more control and satisfaction you’ll have over your career.

While it’s true that technical masters do become top CEOs (Steve Jobs and Bill Gates for example), other experts note that eventually, inter-relational skills and emotional intelligence must be learned. Many programmers, for example, have some of the basic hard skills that it takes to run a company but fall short on key EQ traits like listening.

Truth be told, the best leaders that started out as experts in their field, can and do learn and acquire really good inter-relational skills over time.

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit that like button below 👍 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

Moving Toward Success In Life by Focusing on Responsibility

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This is a guest post by the fabulous Lucy Rose.

As Ernest Hemingway once said, “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” Self-improvement is the development of self-awareness, allowing you to change your habits, build the best version of yourself, and as a result, enhance your quality of life. However, it is not a quick fix, and takes continuous and honest effort. Through the help of coaches, books, and communities, you can get what you need to foster self-improvement. The first step starts with you. Invest in a coachread books, gather a supportive community or combine these steps to help improve yourself. But first, determine what needs to be improved.

Looking into the Mirror

One of the best steps towards self-improvement is to self-reflection. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are some unresolved issues that have played a pivotal role in how you go about your daily life? The key to engaging in self-reflection is to be completely honest with yourself. It can be easy to let ego get in the way of seeing what areas of yourself can be improved. It’s important to develop self-awareness and set goals for potential growth. Self-reflection sometimes involves others as well. Asking friends and family for feedback can give insight to how others perceive you. It is always easier to focus on the good aspects of one’s self rather than the negative. However, a key factor in self-improvement involves a careful focus on responsibility.

Learning to be Accountable

Taking responsibility means having accountability not only for your actions, but for your life. Going forth in improving yourself, you have to mature. Stop blaming other people or situations for misfortunes and negative outlooks on life. Life is unfair and although you could have been the victim and those feelings and thoughts may be justified, where does blaming get you? It only leads to resentment and powerlessness blocking you from living a more fulfilling life. In the end, your life is about you, not them. Reclaiming this power will only make your life better.

Accepting responsibility also accepts emotions as a part of daily life. Acknowledge your emotions, the positive and negative. No one can be happy all the time. Thus we have to make sure we realise what actions we are taking when we feel emotions. Taking responsibility of your emotions and being honest with yourself allows you the opportunity to improve yourself.

Responsibility over one’s action and mind means a variety of things. Having a consistent sleep schedule, eating healthy, exercising regularly, avoiding toxic influences, reflecting on one’s self. One of the most important realisations of taking responsibility for your life is having integrity and credibility for yourself and for others. You can’t take responsibility if you do not follow through with actions you determine will improve your life. It’s important to stick to your word. This will help you stay focused on your goals and ambitions. By taking responsibility for you own initiative, responsibility for your own success.


Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit that like button below👍. It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

6 Books That Will Make You More Productive And Change Your Life

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Books are the lifeblood of knowledge. Books go deeper than a YouTube video or a blog post and help us to understand a topic in its entirety. This week, I want to share six books I have read over the last six months that have really helped me to grow and develop myself and I hope in turn they do the same for you.

So here goes in no particular order.

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Ready For Anything by David Allen.

Few people realise that the father of GTD, David Allen, has written more than the productivity bible, Getting Things Done. Among those books, Ready For Anything is the follow up to GTD where David Allen explains some of the finer points of how GTD can work for you and some of the more deeper levels of GTD.

The book is a collection of essays David wrote for the GTD Connect community. It is easy to follow and over time can serve as a quick reference guide for those time you feel a little lost or ‘fall off the GTD wagon’

This is a brilliant read and shines a light on some of the more deeper concepts of GTD. If you do consider buying this book, I recommend you read Getting Things Done first as this will give you the context to take your GTD practice to a much higher level.

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Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

While most people know pilots use checklists to ensure the safety of their planes, few know that checklists are also extensively used in the construction industry as well as in surgical operating rooms.

Atul Gawande explains that the humble checklist can also help us to ensure we are doing the right things at the right time and that we don’t skip essential steps when it comes to achieving our goals and successfully completing projects on time.

I learnt the value of not skipping steps years ago when I sold cars for a living. There was a concept called “the six-month salesman” where after receiving training in the art of sales, a salesperson would grow over-confident and start skipping steps in the sales process at around the six-month mark. When that happened, their sales would begin to fall and their performance would suffer.

The Checklist Manifesto will give you the inspiration and know-how to create your own checklists for those important areas of your life.

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5 AM Club by Robin Sharma

This was definitely my book of 2018. Robin Sharma writes these books differently, choosing to impart his wisdom through the format of a novel. In this book, we are taken on a journey through the eyes of an embattled entrepreneur and a struggling, yet a talented artist.

The book takes us to Mauritius, Rome, São Paulo and South Africa and along the way we learn the power of waking up early, exercise and giving ourselves an hour of power every day. Through the power of story, Robin Sharma teaches us some of his greatest wisdom.

If you only read one book from this list, this is the one to read.

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Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

A scientific book that is readable — a rare book indeed in my experience. In this book, Daniel Kahneman shows us how our brains use two types of analysis when presented with a situation. System one and system two.

System one often leads us to form erroneous conclusions and system two adds the all-important context and analysis. Unfortunately, type two is lazy and will often defer to system one — the less intelligent part.

This book gives us a fascinating insight into how our brains work. Understanding why we think and interpret things as we do and goes a long way to helping us to overcome our worst traits when it comes to productivity.

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The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday

This is a brilliant book to help you keep things in perspective. There are 366 mini-essays of no more than around 500 words and you read one a day — hence “The Daily” part of the title.

Not only is this book inspiring every day, but it also shows us that we control only two things in life — our thoughts and our feelings. When you get control of those and do not allow anyone or anything takes that control away from you, you begin to really enjoy life and focus on the things that will improve you and the quality of your life.

What I find with this book is that no matter my mood, or how I feel about something, with quotes from Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus, this book really helps to set me up for a day of gratitude and philosophical thought and brings me valuable perspective and context when I need it most.

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The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday

A second book from Ryan Holiday and again a book on the Stoics. This is one of those exceptional self-help books that motivates and educates at the same time. The basic tenet of Stoicism is that we cannot control what happens to us, all we can control is how we react to what happens to us.

This book shows us how by taking obstacles and bad events that happen to us and turning them around we can gain insights and knowledge that improve us as people. We can use the three disciplines of Stoicism — perception, action and will — to take these negative events and use them to build stronger and better lives.

When I began reading this book, it was a book I couldn’t wait to pick up again the next day as it inspired and energised me.

With around six months to go this year, these six books are worth a read. That’s just one book a month, reading these books will not only improve your productivity but also your perspective and understanding of life.



Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit those clapping hands below many times👏 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

Are You Focused on Process or Outcome? Why Project Success depends on this Question.

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I work with a number of large companies and it always strikes me as crazy that at certain times of the year someone decides it’s time for a sales campaign and then a flurry of meetings begin where everyone throws in their ideas about what type of campaign they will do and how it will be measured and who will be responsible for it and then they do exactly the same campaign they did last year.

A lacklustre campaign is then developed and run and at the end of the process, it’s never mentioned again until next year.

This scenario is repeated year after year and no one ever stops to ask if this is achieving what they want it to achieve. It’s as if because it has always been done this way they have to keep doing it.

Many years ago in the U.K., we all looked forward to the annual Boxing Day sales (26th December) all the big stores began an ‘everything must go’ sale that ran from Boxing Day to usually the first week of January. In most cases, it was the only sale a store had all year and we all got excited. We even saved money just for the sales.

Then some clever person came along and thought, why don’t we have a sale at the end of every season? And so began the end of season sales and then the every week sale.

The problem with having a sales campaign every week is nobody looks forward to the Boxing Day sales anymore. Nobody saves money to spend in the sales and stores have become so desperate, they begin their end of year sales at the beginning of December, and in many cases even earlier.

What has happened is a loss of sight of the outcome — to clear out the old stock to make room for the new stock. — It has just become a process. Something they now do at the end of every season. There’s nothing special anymore. Nothing for the customer to get excited about. But the question still needs asking, why? Why are we having a sale? Because the competition is doing so? Because we want great short-term sales results? Because sales performance is not very good and we need to boost our figures?

In our own personal lives, we often do something similar — New Years resolutions and the desire to lose weight before going on holiday — We plan the same things year after year and eventually lose sight of why we are doing it. We just go through the motions and when we just go through the motions, the goal becomes irrelevant and we just follow the process we followed last year so we can say we tried and we failed again.

When you stop and think. Get clear about the outcome you want to achieve and know exactly why you are doing it, your outcomes improve. The “how” becomes obvious and your energy and enthusiasm for doing your projects increase and you know, with clarity, when you have achieved it.

That’s the secret to accomplishing anything. Understanding your “why”.

If you are doing something ‘just because’ you are either going to fail or your results will be poor. Unclear outcomes and unknown whys never achieve very much.

It is true, the process is what will get you to the result you want. But before you begin the process you need to take a step back and clearly define the outcome you want. Start with “what is it we want to achieve?” And “What will successfully achieving this outcome look like?” Write the answer’s to these questions down and make sure everyone in your team fully understands them.

Next comes the why. Why are you doing this project? Ideally, this needs to hit an emotion. “To safeguard our jobs” might be a bit extreme and does not really hit the right emotions — fear is never a good reason for doing something. But “to make it more affordable for our customers to receive the benefits of our products” works better. Particularly if you are sincere about wanting to help your customers.

Likewise on a personal level. If your reasons for losing weight and getting fit is to look good in your swimwear, you will probably find vanity is not such a good motivator. But if you want to lose weight and get fit so you can spend more time playing football with your kids, now you have a strong personal why. It also becomes apparent that this is not something you should start thinking about at the beginning of the summer. This is something that should be built into your daily life as a matter of course.

In both our personal and professional lives, being very clear about what we want to achieve and why is crucial to our success. Clarity of outcome and strong, emotional whys gives us the right motivation to push forward when things don’t go according to plan and that is why it is vital we spend enough time defining the task and knowing why we are doing it so when things do go wrong we have a strong fallback position from which to launch a big push.

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit the like button below 👍 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

How Your Reasons For Doing Determines Your Level Of Happiness.

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Your happiness comes from your reasons for doing whatever it is you are doing. It’s your reasons for doing it that ultimately leads to you feeling happy, satisfied and fulfilled.

When we get our first job, most people do it for the money. We fall into the trap of get a well-paying job, buy a nice house, buy a nice car, go on nice holidays etc. It’s all about the money and what money can buy us.

At some point, though, we discover having that nice house, car and those increasingly expensive holidays no longer give us the buzz they once did. So we buy more and more expensive luxuries and the thrill we feel having those new things lasts less and less.

So what really is the secret to feeling happiness, joy and fulfilment? It’s your purpose — your reasons for doing whatever it is you are doing. When you do something for someone else and you see the smile and gratitude on their face, the feeling of happiness stays with us all day. When you give a friend a piece of advice and they act on it and it enriches their lives, the feeling we have, knowing we helped them — even in a small way — is lasting.

If we are doing a job for the money, we soon begin to hate the job. We resent having to go to the office every day. Our commute becomes a drudge and we spend most of our time complaining about email, our boss and colleagues.

But if you are going into work because you are doing a job that enables people to look their best by designing great clothes for them or you design beautiful buildings that give people a comfortable and safe place to live. That’s a purpose worth going through traffic hell for every morning. It’s your mindset for doing the work that brings you joy. Not the paycheque at the end of the month.

Too often the deciding factor for taking a job is the salary. Yet, that will never bring you fulfilment, joy and happiness. Whether you do a great job or an average job you still get the same amount of money each month. But if you took a job because of what that job will enable you to do to help people live better lives, now if you do a great job your sense of fulfilment and happiness increase massively. Improving the way you work would mean more people benefit from your efforts. That’s an incentive worth getting out of bed for.

Of course, we need a certain amount of money to survive, we need to eat, to have shelter and we need to be able to move around. But a lot of what we use money for we don’t need. We just think we need because everyone else has it. I would certainly not say that money is not important. It is when it becomes your purpose. When it becomes your purpose you will never have enough. And the more money you receive, the pleasure it brings diminishes. Yet when your purpose is about giving and helping others, the joy you feel increases.

How this affects your productivity.

When you look at your projects list, what are the reasons you are doing those projects? Do you have a clear purpose for doing them? When you go to the gym what are your reasons for doing so? Why are you trying to achieve your goals? When you have a clear, higher purpose for doing everything you do, you will find your energy and passion increase. The closer that reason is to helping other people or making the world that little bit better, your sense of fulfilment will improve and so will your enthusiasm for doing the tasks or completing the projects.

This really is a simple mental shift. Rather than focusing on the material benefits to you, focus on the benefits you will give to others. Going to the gym means you are keeping yourself strong and healthy so you can be there for your family. Doing the accounts for the small business that needs your help so they can thrive and support the community by providing jobs and a service people want.

Whenever I sit down to write a blog post, record a YouTube video or podcast, in my mind I see the people I am trying to help. I have a clear vision of the difficulties they are facing and how I might be able to help them with some advice, or a new way of doing something. That’s all the motivation I need to write, record or prepare. Knowing that somewhere, maybe, I have helped someone become less stressed and be able to spend more time with the people they care about.

Every piece of work you do has a higher purpose than money or personal material benefit. It is when you focus on those higher reasons you will discover long-lasting happiness and joy and a passion and drive for what you do.

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit that like button below.👍 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

How Becoming More Productive Improves Critical Soft Skills.

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To get ahead in your career it is not enough to have the right degrees from the right universities. Today, to make sure your career moves in the right direction, you need to develop a number of critical skills that collectively are known as “soft skills”.

Soft skills are skills that are developed through practical experience. Communication, decision making, negotiation and conflict resolution, for example. Skills that cannot be taught from a textbook or in a lecture hall. These skills can only be developed by practice. School and university curriculums are, for the large part, built around the tired old tell teach method where a teacher or lecturer stands at the front of the classroom or lecture hall and tells students what to learn. Not a very useful way to prepare students for the realities of the modern world. School and university do not prepare you for life, they prepare you to pass exams. The development of soft skills — skills that are essential for life — are left to outside influences. Your friends and parents. Life experiences and the skills you get from reading the right books and applying what you learn to everyday life.

However, one skill tops all of them because it is a skill that develops all other skills and that is time management and productivity. Here are six ways improving your time management and productivity skills will improve all other soft skills

Communication.

Most people’s relationship with email is bad. Email is considered annoying, stressful and overwhelming. Yet, it is the primary form of communication in business and being slow to respond to a colleague or customer ‘s email causes delays in projects and important decisions as well as frustration from the people that are waiting for you to reply.

When you become better at managing your time you become better and faster at responding to your emails. You are in control of your inbox and know what’s in there, what needs responding to, reading and deleting and you have time to respond in a timely manner to all important emails.

Decision making (critical thinking)

If you practice a system such as my COD system or David Allen’s Getting Things Done you learn to make decisions quickly. You ask the right questions about what something is: “What is it?” Is it relevant to me? What’s the next action? Etc. With practice, you develop decision-making skills that can impact your whole life.

Asking questions such as “what is it?” And “What do I need to do next to move this forward?” Helps to develop your ability to make decisions based on available facts and information quickly and decisively. The very skills companies are looking for when hiring potential executive level employees

Conflict Management

You might be wondering how being better at time management and productivity can help with conflict management but it does. It does so because when you are better at managing your time you are able to give people better attention. You are not just physically present, you are also mentally present.

Being present and giving another person your full, undivided attention means you are able to listen and understand their perspective and are able to make better and fairer decisions about what to do to resolve issues before they become conflicts. When you are in control of all that is coming your way and have a system in place that allows you to compartmentalise your work, you become much better at managing people and their issues.

Stress management

This may be an obvious one. When you are in control of your time and have your work and commitments prioritised and organised you will experience a lot less stress. Stress in the workplace is generally caused by over-committing to work and increased workloads that pile up. Not knowing what needs doing and by when leads to panic setting in and this causes stress.

When you write everything down and have everything organised in its rightful place you feel in control. You know what needs doing and by when and you do not feel overwhelmed.

Flexibility / adaptability

Having a time management and productivity system in place means you can handle any changes that come your way with ease. All projects change over time. Outcomes change, timelines change and so do the people involved in the project. When you have all your next actions organised in a list you can change them, adjust timelines and adapt.

When you don’t have a system in place any changes to a project you are working creates uncertainty, a lack of clarity on what needs to happen next and a lot of confusion. Being a productive person allows you to accept changes and adapt accordingly.

Leadership

When you are in control and you know what the outcome is you are leading. Too often, we are doing work each day that has no clearly defined goals or outcomes and we just keep out heads down, do the work and not worry about which direction we are going in.

Organised productive people know the outcomes of all their projects with clarity. They know what the outcome needs to be and they lead their teams forward knowing they are going in the right direction. With that clarity of purpose comes clear communication which ensures all team members are moving in the right direction with purpose.

So, If you want to improve your overall soft skills, start by improving your time management and productivity skills. That one skill will lead to improvements in all other soft skills and allow you to build a career of success and fulfilment.

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit those clapping hands below many times👏 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.