When motivation is lost...

Every now and then you're going to have off days. Days when you're not in the mood to maintain your productivity system, days that just seen to be so busy you don't have time to write things down or capture them in your digital capture tool. When this happens do not despair, this is perfectly normal among productivity ninjas. Here's what you can do when you experience an off day.

Lost Motivation

The first thing you need to realise is that this happens to everybody at some time or another. For me whenever I find I'm not in the mood - quite often on a Friday evening - I just leave my to do list un-checked. By un-checked I mean I do a quick scan to see if there is anything really urgent, if there isn't I just leave it. All the tasks I didn't do will still be there tomorrow morning, and 99% of the time the next morning I'm back in the mood and ready to go.

If you do lose complete interest in your productivity system for a number of days, weeks or even months I would suggest that you turn off all recurring tasks. This will make it much easier to go back to your system later when you have your motivation back.

However, losing complete interest in your system for days, weeks or months means there is a problem in your system somewhere that needs sorting out. What usually causes this is an overcomplicated system. Capturing ideas takes too many steps, finding the things you need to do that day involves hitting too many buttons or the application you've chosen just doesn't inspire you. Remember your productivity system is all about helping you to get things done. Your productivity system should not be taking up most of your working time. You need to be able to capture things quickly and easily, to be able to process those captured things quickly and your system needs to give you a list of things to do that is easy to see, and I think very importantly, shown in a very intuitive and well-designed way.

So if you have found yourself with a lack of motivation and inspiration for a number of days, Then I suggest that you go back into the App Store of your choice, have a look at some alternatives to your current system.  I would also suggest you grab a pen and piece of paper and write down all the things that you want in your system to make it smoother faster And more efficient. There will be an app out there for you. 

It's hard being organised and productive everyday, I'm sure even David Allen has difficulty somedays. But if you have everything in your system and you trust your system, then knowing that when you're back in the mood you just need to look at your system and you're ready to go, should give you all the motivation you need to be comfortable taking a nice well earned rest.

The Art Of Being A Modern Gentleman

The late  David Niven . A true English Gentleman

The late David Niven. A true English Gentleman

Being a gentleman is about behaviour, wearing the right clothing for the right occasion and showing the appropriate manners at the appropriate time

There is a lot of rubbish written about what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world. Often we are told that the "Gentleman" has died, that there is no place for a gentleman in today's society. Other times we are told that being a gentleman is old fashioned and out of date and that feminism means that both men and women have to be treated equally. Some articles even suggest that to be a gentleman means over dressing and being a 'dandy'. 

The truth is that the term "Gentleman" has been completely mis-understood. Being a gentleman is not necessarily about the way you dress or the actions you take in different situations. Being a "gentleman" is about behaviour. It is about the way you interact with the world around you and it is about being empathetic towards the people you come in to contact with everyday. Being a "gentleman' is more important today that it ever has been. 

Today, people walk around with their eyes glued to their smartphone screens, interrupt a face to face conversation to answer a call from an unknown number, tweet and Facebook when they are out having dinner with their friends, dress in jeans and a 't' shirt in the office because it is 'cool' to do so. The list is endless. All these things are most defintely not gentlemanly behaviour. Indeed, much of this behaviour is just plain rude. 


So, here is a list of 'behaviours' that a modern, twenty-first century gentleman follows:

1    A gentleman focuses all his attention on the person sat in front of them. Their phone is hidden away in a pocket or bag and on silent. (Not "vibrate mode" - real silent)

2    A gentleman is always aware of the people around him. He cares about the well being and comfort of the people he is with.

3    A gentleman always gives up his seat for a lady or elderly person. He does this without fuss and without drawing attention to himself. 

4    A gentleman is always dressed in the right clothes for the occasion. In the office he wears a smart suit or smart casual clothing. When invited to a dinner or party he makes sure that he gets to know what the dress code is so that he is appropriately dressed for the occasion.

5    A gentleman does not draw attention to himself. He does not show off, or brag about what he has achieved. 

6    A gentleman does not walk around like an advert for designer clothing. His clothes are smart, but understated and do not show off designer labels on every surface.

7    A gentleman is knowledgable about many things and is well read. He can engage in interesting conversations on a variety of subjects. Not just the ones that interest him.

8    A gentleman does not express extreme emotion. He does not scream and shout at other people and remains calm in a crisis. Equally, a gentleman does not get excessively drunk in the presence of ladies and does not engage in drunken fights at the end of a heavy night's drinking.

9    A gentleman is never late. Usually arriving ten minutes early. 

10    A gentleman is honest. When he makes a promise he keeps it. And if circumstances force him to break a promise, he tells the other person immediately and explains the situation.

11     A gentleman is culturally sensitive to other people' perspectives. He understands that other countries do things differently and is perfectly happy doing it the way the locals do it when in a foreign country. 

12    A gentleman is loyal to his family, friends, company and country. He would never dream of betraying them in any situation. 

13    Finally, a gentleman in a pleasure to be around and is quite probably your closest, most loyal friend.