On Living with Productivity and Purpose: Two Simple Questions Bring Clarity

When you look at your large list of to dos, oftentimes you may feel overwhelmed and not sure where to start.  The question may come to mind, “How can I get this done?” 

To boost your productivity, turn the question around just a bit.  Productivity guru, Kevin Kruse, recommends asking yourself instead the following question: “How can this get done?”  Do you see the one word that is missing?  That’s right.  The tiniest word in the English language.  “I.”  Take “I” out of the question, and open up doors of creative problem solving.  You may be surprised to discover how many things you can achieve if you tweak this one self-question.

Remember…

The most productive people delegate as much as possible.

So, see what needs to be done.

Just free yourself from having to “do it all.”

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This leads us to the next question, for surely we wouldn’t want to delegate everything.

That’s right.  We want to delegate as much as possible to enhance our productivity.  However, if we delegate everything, we run the risk of delegating ourselves right out of the role of living our unique purpose.  The question to ask yourself when you want to live your life on purpose is, “What can only I do?”

This question brings tremendous clarity as you consider what only you can do…or only you should do. This question may lead you to think of your unique design and giftings.  It may lead you to think of your unique experiences in life.  It may prompt you to consider the way you are uniquely situated in your professional position or in a relationship.

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You may be moved to fulfill a vision only you have or to be there for someone uniquely dependent upon you.

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The same productivity guru mentioned above, Kevin Kruse, not only delegates as much as he can, but he also sets time aside for purposeful activities that only he can do.  In fact, he has spent a large portion of this year planning a special father-daughter trip to Italy for his daughter who will soon go to college.  While delegating as much as possible, he has recognized his irreplaceable position as “father” to his daughter and is orchestrating his life to support this unique role that only he can fulfill.  This is living on purpose.

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Remember…

Countless things can be done by anyone.

Very few things can only be done only by you.

Identify these few and bump them up in your priorities to live on purpose.

 

These are my thoughts…  What are yours?

Please share in the comments below!

 

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Christine M. Wilson, LPC

Co-Founder, Think Time

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Think Time Life Leadership System

Make the most of your time. 

Shop now at think-time.com.

 

 

 

 

Trash Bags and Tough Calls

Recently, my husband Keith and I ran out of trash bags.  The next day, I went to the grocery store, and what do you think was the one item on my list I missed?  Of course…trash bags.

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So, for about two or three days, I was making due with smaller sacks, but mostly, I just allowed our recycling bin to pile up and eventually to spill over.  I literally was stepping over empty apple sauce containers to get to the laundry!  Simple tasks seemed difficult.  Our rooms were seemingly becoming smaller!  My trash cans were growing full as I sought to utilize every square inch of space remaining in each little white “tall” kitchen bag.  At some point, I think I started to smell something.  Ew.

Thankfully, this didn’t last very long.  It was just long enough to be uncomfortable and to be quite thankful when the new trash bags arrived.  Keith swung by the store on the way home from work, and we quickly removed all of the excess trash and recycling that had uncomfortably accrued.  Wow!  What a contrast.  I felt like I could move more freely in my own home.

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This experience caused me to reflect on the importance of constantly and intentionally removing things from our lives.  When we don’t, even for a moment, “life” begins to build up and we start to feel crowded.  Our schedules are packed.  We bounce from activity to activity.  Our actions become inefficient.  It takes more steps to do a simple task.

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Do you have a process to regularly remove things from your calendar?

It sounds funny, doesn’t it?  We usually say, “I am going to put that on my calendar,” not  “I am going to take that off of my calendar.”

This week, as you take time to think time, consider, “What items do I need to remove from my life?”  “As I have drifted, what has crept its way onto my schedule and into my life?”

Here are a few easy ways to get started with this:

  1. Clarify what is important to you.  Identify your top priorities for this season.   You can use our Rosebush tool or simply create a graph, web, or list.  When you have clarity on what is important to you, it is a LOT easier to let go of actions that do not support these priorities.
  2. When you are evaluating the lesser important things, ask yourself if they fall into the following categories.  If they fall into these categories, you may do well to make the tough call to purge them from your life.  Are they…
    • Obsolete.  Something is obsolete if it served a great purpose in the past, but those goals are no longer relevant.
    • Unproductive.  Something is unproductive if it produces some results but not with the “bang for your buck” that you really need to reach your goals.  
    • Good, but not the best.    Some things are  genuinely good, but not the best.  There is only so much of us to go around, so we must choose carefully and wisely.
  3. Double check your calendar to see if you have removed enough.  While you may think that you have been ruthless with your tough calls, the truth may be that you need to go back and double your effort to cut some more.
    • Place your top priorities in your routines.
    • Evaluate what habits you can develop that support your goals.
    • Schedule your chosen activities.
    • And take a good look.
      • Did you leave enough free space to absorb the curve balls that life brings?
      • Did you remember to include margin for maintaining health, balance, and relationships?
      • Do your scheduled actions support your most important priorities?

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Good job!  You have officially done the hard work of making tough calls that will free your life for what is most important to you!

The only thing left is to look ahead and decide how to regularly evaluate your priorities and purge what does not support them.  If you already use our Think Time journal-planner, you are doing this on a yearly, quarterly, monthly, and weekly basis in our seamless dream, decide, do, and review process.  The habit of constantly prioritizing and purging is becoming second nature.  As we like to say at Think Time, “We are the only planner that encourages you to cross things off your to-do list before you do them–simply because they are not the most important.”  

If you do not yet have a Think Time journal-planner, you can buy one today or you can schedule reminders in your current planner to incorporate this practice into your more intentionally lived life as you take time to think time.

Because..your time is your life and it matters.

 

These are my thoughts…  What are yours?

Please share in the comments below!

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Christine M. Wilson, LPC

Co-Founder, Think Time

2016-5-6-tt-logo-gray-cropped

Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to plan your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.

All You Need is Love

 

If you were to ask anyone what the world needs, you would likely start singing with the Beatles,All you need is love. Da da da da da… Love is all you need.”  And, you would be right!  Kindness, compassion, and love.  These have been identified globally throughout the centuries as the most game-changing characteristics that can belong to a human being.

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Another word that can be tossed in that top notch mix is empathy.  Empathy can be defined as “the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within the other being’s frame of reference, i.e., the capacity to place oneself in another’s position.”   While an empathic response is not the equivalent of love, when we put ourselves in the shoes of another person, we are in an excellent position to move into kindness, compassion, and love.

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Here, then, is the million dollar question: How can one grow in empathy?   Is there anything that we can do practically on a regular basis to boost our chances of having an empathic response toward those around us?

Interpersonal Neurobiologist, Dan Siegel, suggests that “self-understanding is foundational to empathy.”  Dr. Siegel studies interpersonal relationships and the way we impact each others’ bodies and minds.  He has found that as we grow in self-understanding, we can actually avoid behaviors that harm human relationships and move toward actions of kindness and compassion.  In essence, when we are in touch with ourselves, we are better able to be in touch with others.

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So…

To grow in love, grow in empathy.

To grow in empathy, grow in self-understanding.

But, how can I grow in self-understanding?

 

We are glad you asked!

 

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When we take time to think time, we allow our inner selves to emerge onto paper and into our lives:

  • We evaluate our personal experiences when we reflect on our highs and lows individually or with others using our Timeline Tool.
  • We acknowledge our aspirations when we ask ourselves what “wild success” looks like using the Envision Box.
  • We identify and validate our desires when we ask, “What do I want more of?”  “What do I want less of?”
  • We face our failures and successes squarely when we take time to review, asking ourselves “What worked?” and “What didn’t?”

 

Thus, when we think time regularly, we are promoting our own self-understanding. 

 

And, as we grow in self-understanding, we grow in our capacity for empathy.

As we grow in empathy, we grow in our capacity for love.

And, all we really need is…love.

 

These are my thoughts…  What are yours?

Please share in the comments below!

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Christine M. Wilson, LPC

Co-Founder, Think Time

2016-5-6-tt-logo-gray-cropped

Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to plan your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.