A Messy Life Is a Lot of Work.

Last week, I talked about how much work it takes to create clarity and calm, and I shared the example of cleaning up my kids’ closets.

This week I want to talk about the hard work it takes to not put the effort in to create clarity in our lives.

When I don’t have clarity in an area such as a closet, I can get by for a little while without feeling the effects of it. However, it catches up with me. And it usually catches up with me when it really matters.

It’s usually when all six of us are trying to get out the door, and we can’t find that one shoe.

Or all the categories in my kids drawers are flowing into each other so they can’t really identify and access what they need quickly. 

These few minutes didn’t seem to matter when nothing big is happening, but you know how it is… things aren’t a big deal until they’re a big deal.

Do you know what I mean?

It’s usually those five minutes that makes you awkwardly late for something so super special!!  You would never have consciously traded those priceless five minutes of watching your niece perform her dance routine or arriving early to grab the opportunity to chat with the CEO before the meeting…

You would not have thought… “I choose to be disorganized and unintentional over those things.”

But there it is.  That’s exactly what happened.  You missed it.  You can’t get it back.  The opportunity was there, and now it is gone.


I think the same holds true for how we organize our time. We can overcommit for a while, and we don’t feel the effects.  Our life becomes like a messy sock drawer.  We just don’t know exactly where things go.  Sometimes we can find a lucky match.  But sometimes we can’t.  And we don’t always know when we will slip by by the skin of our teeth and when we will fall flat on our face.  :/

Because we didn’t put the time and effort into creating clarity, we’re just really shooting from the hip—not really being intentional about the results of our actions.

This may work for a while, but eventually the effects will show.

  • Our work maybe come sloppy.
  • Our health may decline.
  • People who would open up to us and share was going on in their lives may not simply because of our lack of eye contact and perceived disinterest…since we are consumed with being overwhelmed. 
  • The nutrition, rest, and exercise that we need to thrive may not be a part of our regular routine. 
  • We may be doing the wrong thing at the wrong time or a good thing instead of the best thing.

This type of living leads to that feeling of being under an endless pile of to dos. A lot of work is being done, but because the high results activities are being done first, there’s just not a lot to show for all the effort it’s been put into the activities.

This type of living is exhausting.

It’s reactive instead of proactive.

It simply does not produce the results anyone wants.

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We would not choose to do this hard work again because of the fruit it did not bear.

We don’t see fruit.

We are just exhausted.  And there is little or nothing to show for it.

It is a lot of work.

But, it does not lead to peace.

And, it is not productive.

It’s just hard work.

That’s it.

It’s the result of putting in the hard work—the wrong way.

It doesn’t have to be this way, but for so many people it is.


To learn more about how you can step out of this cycle of working endlessly without getting the results you want, check out our Think Time Life-Coaching Planners.  The insightful questions and space to be creative allow you to clarify what matters most to you and live your life focused on it.

The process guides you to put the hard work in to develop clarity so that you can have peace and productivity after the hard work of creating clarity.

Why keep doing hard work that only causes you to spin your wheels…exhausted and getting nowhere!?! 

There is a better way, and it can be learned. 

You do not have to live another day reacting, working hard, and getting nowhere.

Are you ready for a change?

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p.s. Have you ever wanted to have a life-coach, but didn’t know where to start?  A little think-time can change your life.

DSC_0051.jpgThink Time Life-Coaching Planners guide you through the process of clarifying who you want to be and creating an actionable plan to get you there.

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Dream in High Definition.

“Dream in High Definition.”  This is the way Chris Hogan explains it. 

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Chris helps people to plan for retirement.  But.  He doesn’t do it in the traditional numbers, spreadsheets and lines format—which is why he is so compelling.  

He coaches his people to dreamto dream with a vision so clear that will change everything about the way they do everything.

What type of life do they want when they retire?

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Do they want to travel?  Do they want to generously give?  Do they want to leave an inheritance for their families?

I recently listened to him share this idea with an audience of entrepreneurs. 

To illustrate this point, he described an experience of going into a store to pick out a new TV for his house with his son.  He said some of the high definition screens were so big and so clear you could see the sweat drop on the football player’s face before it left the pore. 

That’s.  Real.   Clear.

This is how clearly he wants his people to see their dreams.

The reason Chris encourages people to get clear on their dreams is because he knows that once you have clarity on your dreams, everything else changes. 

Without the dream, nothing changes.

What is your dream?

Are you moving through the dream phase in your Think Time Life Coaching Planner each week to add clarity to what you really want?  This is THE starting point for real life change and growth.

This is the only way you will get there.

Give it some think-time.

Your dreams will change everything.

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p.s. Have you ever wanted to have a life-coach, but didn’t know where to start?  A little think-time can change your life.

DSC_0051.jpgThink Time Life-Coaching Planners guide you through the process of clarifying who you want to be and creating an actionable plan to get you there.

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What’s The Bottom Line of Your Life?

So much thought and effort is put into determining the bottom line of corporations and organizations.

 

Each department has an allocated budget of resources, personnel, time, and money; and for best results, every department needs to be operating well.

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Every effort and expenditure in the following year is directed by these bottom lines, and they are determined by a clear vision of where each department wants to go.

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The same is true with your life.

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Have you thought lately about the different areas of your life?

Have you taken time to create a clear vision of where you want to go?

Do you recognize that if one area is not operating well, all of the other areas of your life will be impacted?

What are the bottom lines for each area of your life? 

Do you have the tools that will help you create a realistic plan that will strategically get you there?

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Think Time Life-Coaching Planners include an exercise that prompts you to consider what you really want in eight key areas of your life: spiritual, health, money, work, personal, family, relationships, and service. 

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This exercise, called Think Zones, is included once per quarter and once per year to help you to really clarify what matters most to you in each of these areas.

Getting clear on what you really want is the first step toward defining your “bottom line” in each area of your life. 

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The rest of the Think Time process helps you to create a strategic plan to get there.  

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Your life certainly deserves as much time, attention, and intentionality as any organization.

Want to try the Think Zones exercise?  For a limited time, it is available as a one-page PDF download in our store.  Get it here.

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p.s. Have you ever wanted to have a life-coach, but cannot afford it?  A little think-time can change your life.

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Think Time Life Coaching Planners

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Life is moving fast.  You are losing valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps you to dream bigger, get more time for what matters most, and become who you want to be.

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Imagine a Place…

Imagine with me for a moment.

Imagine a place of purpose and productivity.

Imagine a group of people in the habit of being creative.

Imagine a team that works toward a common goal with a common language.

Imagine a department that has a clear vision of success in the mind of every member.

Imagine a company where every person completes the most important task first.

Imagine an organization with a language that fosters clear communication.

Imagine a group of people who are in the habit of being thankful.

Imagine a team that had an understanding of which activities were the most important.

Imagine a team that actively purged time-wasters from the schedule.

Imagine a meeting in which every member was prepared, rested, healthy, and present.

Imagine a culture that values both relationships and results.

Imagine the results of an organization that often asked, “How can we make this even better?”

Now, imagine if the tools and the training for such a place were at your fingertips.

Here they are.

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Think Time Purpose Planners

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Infuse your place with innovation, purpose, productivity and life balance with our Think Time Purpose Planners with online training and ongoing support here.

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Life is moving fast.  You are losing valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps you to dream bigger, get more time for what matters most, and become who you want to be.

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Five Ways to Value Relationships

Well-lived lives leave a legacy of both great results and great relationships.  This is why the “Do” Phase of Think Time prompts you to consider both when you make your plans.

Over a decade ago, Mark Miller, now VP of High Performance Leadership at Chik-fil-A, generously shared a new book he co-authored with Ken Blanchard with my classmates and myself in my small graduate Creativity class in Dallas.  His book, The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do contains a million servant-leadership gems.  I wholly recommend it.

Within the book, Miller lays out a model of what great leadership looks like.  He describes how great leaders “S-E-R-V-E.”   While I will encourage you to buy the book to discover the rest of the secrets, I will spoil one of them for you here.  The “V” in his model is that great leaders Value Results and Relationships.

This principle is a core theme in the Think Time 3DR Process.  Every time you mind-dump or brain-storm your to-dos, you are also encouraged to do the same for your to-bes…the activities that build into your soul and make you who you are.

The last thing you want to do is reach your goals…alone.  You want to bring other people along.  You were designed for relationships.   Psychologist Henry Cloud says that our brains were made to run on three things: “oxygen, glucose, and relationships.”

While there are millions of positive ways to value relationships, I have pulled together five quick and applicable ways that you can value relationships in your life today.

1. Initiate. People want to get together. Unfortunately, however, most people are reacting to circumstances around them and are not being proactive to initiate being together.  This is especially challenging in our digital age.  Be the one who initiates getting together with those in your life. If you are lonely, and even if you’re not, initiate regular connection with those in your life. Go to coffee. Go golfing. Catch a game. Do dinner.

2. Put Your Phone on Airplane Mode.  When you get together with other people, remember that our brains and bodies are wired for connection with others through eye contact and responsive communication.  Studies are showing that when we are distracted, we can misinterpret body language and intentions.  This misinterpretation can lead to inaccurate responses and decreased connection.  So, while you are in the presence of others, BE in the presence of others.

3. Don’t Gossip. When you have an issue with people in your life (which you will if you are living closely and honestly in connection with others) do your best to resolve your conflict directly with the other person.  In their seminal work Boundaries, Dr Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend describe a type of communication that is a relationship-killer.  It is called triangulation.  Essentially, when Person A and Person B conflict, triangulation occurs when Person A does not resolve directly with Person B.  Instead, he or she talks about the conflict to Person C.   While it can feel easier in the short run to get things “off your chest” and to have people “on your side,” it is better in the long run to honor the other person with timely, gentle, and direct communication with a focus on resolution.  Be careful not to gossip.

4. Forgive.  As you seek to resolve conflict with another person, at times the relationship will be fully restored.  At other times it will not.  Either way, it is imperative that you do the difficult work to forgive.  Unforgiveness is poison to your body, your soul, and your relationships. Do the hard personal and spiritual work to ask yourself if you are forgiving others when (not if) they wrong you. This inner work will pay amazing outer dividends.

5. Have Fun.  Do things you enjoy with the people in your life.  Life is moving fast.  If it feels like you don’t have time today to do what you love with those you love, you need to pause and consider your priorities.  If you don’t have time today, , you probably won’t have time tomorrow.  So, carve out the time today to prioritize having fun with people in your life.

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Think Time 3DR Program

Life is moving fast.  You are losing valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps you to dream bigger, get more time for what matters most, and become who you want to be.

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Learn how to value relationships when you make your plans with our Think Time Programs with online training and ongoing support here.

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4 Reasons Why You Need to Delegate from Your Team’s Perspective By: Bryan Miles, CEO and Co-founder of BELAY

It’s easy to get caught up in your new ability to delegate, that you forget about the other side of equation — how your team feels when it comes to your delegation. Have you ever wondered what they might be thinking as you entrust your tasks and responsibilities to them? Their perception is a key part of the delegation equation.

You’re ability to delegate to others is only one side of it. When you delegate to a team member, you must remember to keep your team’s perspective in mind, too.

Delegation From Your Team’s Perspective

In the journey of working to create ideal working relationships, we stopped and asked ourselves a very hard question … what is it like to be on the “other” side of my delegation?

Below are the top 4 things I have discovered that employees wish their leaders knew:

1)  Employees really hunger to know the WHY behind the WHAT of the tasks they are being asked to do.  Helping your employees to know and understand the WHY will most-always produce successful outcomes.

2)  People don’t mind being led as long as they feel appreciated along the way.  Be conscience to show your gratitude for their time and efforts and celebrate their accomplishments.

3)  Know what makes your team tick.  Is it words of affirmation, a flexible schedule, public recognition, or time off?  Take the time to know and understand your team and their needs and you will create a strong working relationship and a loyal employee.

4)  Be someone your team and or employees WANT to like and they will follow you and support you in all you do.

Remember, don’t forget that you are successful on the hard work of others. If you have their back, and they believe it, they’ll have your back!

Ready to start delegating? Download the Delegation Matrix

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Bryan Miles, CEO and Co-founder of BELAY

A Virtual Assistant Company Helping You Climb Higher

Easily identify the tasks that only you can do (and what others can do for you) with Belay’s Delegation Download.

Special Offers from Belay and Think Time:

Watch our free webinar with Belay: “The Art of Delegation.”

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On Life Balance: Protect Your Time

 

Time is the great equalizer.  All of us have the same 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week.  What we do with our time determines the money we make, the relationships we have, and our ability to live our lives on purpose.

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How can we guard this most valuable resource?

Here are some practical steps we can take:

  1.  Know where you are going and why.  An ancient scripture says, “Without vision, the people perish.”  If you do not know where you are going, you will not know from what you need to protect your time.  You won’t be able to identify the time-stealers and the time-wasters because you don’t know the good uses of your time.  Everything seems equally important and equally urgent.  So, know where you are going and why.
  2. Say “yes” carefully.  It has been well said that this new era of productivity is less about what you say “yes” to, and more about what you say “no” to.  None of us likes to say “no.”  However, if we casually say “yes” to too many things than we may accidentally be saying “no” to some of the most important things.  So, be sure that your “yeses” are well placed.  The last thing you want to do is wonder where your time went while what matters most to you is left untouched.
  3. Create a “time budget.”  Have you ever gotten to the end of your month and wondered where all of the money went?  You didn’t feel like you overspent.  You actually felt frugal.  Yet, all of the money disappeared…again.  Well, the last thing you want is to feel that way about your time.  Just like we have less money than we think we do and we need to be choosy about our purchases, we also need to be super-careful about how we “spend” our time.  We may be feeling like we are being careful, but if we do not oober-carefully create a plan for where every moment is going, we run the risk of looking back having over-spent in some areas and under-invested in others.
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Lead yourself with Think TimeTM. The 3DR Process walks you through multiple time-protecting filters so you will never wonder where your time went again. You will know you spent it exactly as you wanted. Shop Undated Purpose Planners at think-time.com. (Already have a planner? Great! Think TimeTM is the process that helps you decide what to put on your calendar. It integrates seamlessly with every electronic and paper system out there.  It’s the process before the planner that helps you make the most of your time.)

 

What are some ways you have found to protect your time?

 

We are in the middle of a series on protecting your health, time, energy, and focus so we can serve others better.  Next time, we will talk about how to protect your energy.  Don’t miss it!

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Christine M. Wilson, LPC
Co-Founder, Think Time

Tweet and Share!

  • Know where you are going and why.  http://ow.ly/ihCn30jOBux
  • If you do not know where you are going, you will not know from what you need to protect your time.  
  • Identify the time-stealers and the time-wasters. http://ow.ly/ihCn30jOBux
  • Know what are the good uses of your time.  http://ow.ly/ihCn30jOBux
  • If everything seems equally important and equally urgent, you need a clear vision.  
  • Say “yes” carefully.  http://ow.ly/ihCn30jOBux
  • This new era of productivity is less about what you say “yes” to, and more about what you say “no” to.  
  • If we say “yes” to too many things than we may accidentally be saying “no” to some of the most important things.  
  • Be sure that your “yeses” are well placed.  http://ow.ly/ihCn30jOBux
  • The last thing you want to do is wonder where your time went while what matters most to you is left untouched.
  • Create a “time budget.”  http://ow.ly/ihCn30jOBux
  • The last thing you want is to wonder where your time went. http://ow.ly/ihCn30jOBux
  • We have less time that we think we do. http://ow.ly/ihCn30jOBux
  • We need to be choosy about how we “spend” our time. http://ow.ly/ihCn30jOBux
  • We need to create a careful plan for where every moment is going, or we run the risk of looking back with regret.
  • With no plan for our time, we may over-spend in some areas and under-invest in others.

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Think Time 3DR Process

We have a serious problem.  We are losing valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps people to dream big, get more time for what matters most, and become who they want to be.

Find out how Think Time can help you achieve your goals while improving your life balance at think-time.com.

Shop Purpose Programs with online training here.

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When the Coffee No Longer Is Working…

It’s time to get some rest.

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Christine Wilson, LPC

Co Founder, Think Time

 

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We have a serious problem.  We are wasting valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps people cast a clear vision for their lives so they can live their lives without regrets – focused on what matters most (including taking care of yourself).

 

Shop Think Time’s 3DR Process now at think-time.com.

What is your YES?

As I write this, I am flying on a Southwest flight from Dallas to Atlanta.  The back of my cocktail napkin says, “In a world full of “NOs”, we are a plane full of “YES!”

These people are marketing geniuses!  They know every one of their passengers wants to hear “YES,” and they are soooo right!!

Isn’t “YES” what all of us really want to hear?

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We are tired of roadblocks and barriers.  We want to set a course and move with all of our being toward a desired goal, and…

above all…

We don’t want to hear, “NO.”

While some might see this trait as stubborn or as a negative, I would like to suggest that this trait in each person is reflective of an important reality.  Each of us has an innate design to be in charge—to make important decisions that define our lives.

This design is reflected in our biology.  Deep inside our brains, we have a little area that specializes in freedom of choice.  It helps to regulate our motivation and drive.  When we feel freedom of choice this little part in our brain actually increases our motivation and drive, and as a result, we are more engaged in our own lives.

Conversely, when we feel we have no say in our lives, when we feel that no matter what we do the results will be the same, we can become more apathetic.

This week, I encourage you to take a moment to exercise your freedom of choice and identify some “yeses” that are important to you in your life.  To do this, use the following questions as #ponderprompts as you #taketimetothinktime.

Who do I want to be?  What are my big “YESes?”

What do I want to do?  What are by big “YESes?”

 

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Christine M. Wilson, LPC

Co-Founder Think Time

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Think Time 3DR Process

We have a serious problem.  We are losing valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps people to dream big, get more time for what matters most, and become who they want to be.

Find out if Think Time is a fit for you at think-time.com.

 

Of course, exercising your freedom of choice, boosting your motivation, and identifying your big yeses are woven into Think Time’s 3DR process.  Don’t have your Think Time yet?  Shop here.

The 80/20 Rule

One question I get often is, “Can you explain the 80/20 Rule?”

At Think Time, as we help people focus on what matters most, we use the 80/20 rule in all of our systems.

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The one thing I can say about the 80/20 Rule is that when you get it…you GET it.  And, you will never go back.

There is an interesting history behind it, but the Big Idea is that it teaches us to look at activities—not for how much effort we put into them, but for the results that flow from them.  Do they move the needle toward our goals?

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We can work really hard at something that doesn’t return a lot of results.  We can also strategically place small, targeted efforts toward something that yields enormous results.

This is the tip that helps us to stop spinning our wheels and start making traction.

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Why is it named “The 80/20 Rule?”  The rule derives its name from the discovery that in life about 20% of our activities generate 80% of our results.  The converse is also true.  About 80% of our activities yield only 20% of our results.

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The 80/20 Rule is regularly used in business training to boost profits and skyrocket results.  For instance, salespeople regularly use this rule to close more deals.  If about 80% of sales come from 20% of the customers, then calling the list in alphabetical order from top to bottom will not be as fruitful as taking a moment to identify the high yielding 20% and to contact them first.  Less effort yields more results with the 80/20 Rule.

At Think Time, we are big on results—not only professional results but also personal and relational results.  So, we apply the 80/20 Rule to everything from creating agendas and budgets at work to household responsibilities and even our relationships.

Following are some examples of how the 80/20 Rule may integrate with your daily life.  A 20% activity is an activity that yields HIGH RESULTS.  An 80% activity yields LOW RESULTS–no matter how much effort you exert.

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A 20% activity could be taking  a few minutes at the beginning of the day to identify your key priorities and to purge potential obstacles to accomplishing them.  Top performers do this every day because it yields such great results.  This move changes every action following it.

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An 80% activity could be trying to complete “everything” on your list.  Remember that all of your activities are not high-yielding and often “good” activities steal time from the best.

A 20% activity could be having a clear agenda created and floating it by everyone before a meeting.  This simple step maximizes the minutes during the meeting, prevents running over due to sloppy discussions, and prevents countless add-on e-mail interchanges after the meeting.

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An 80% activity may be always saying “yes” when someone stops by your desk to say, “Gotta minute?”

At home, a 20% activity could be training your toddlers to clean up.  You are not only getting the toys cleaned, but you are building a sense of responsibility into a citizen of the world.

An 80% activity could be picking up your four year old’s toys again and again and again.  You are exhausted.  They feel good while their character worsens.  Their future co-workers will wish you had required them to pick up after themselves.  And, as a cherry on top, you will get to do it all over again tomorrow.

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An 80% is telling your kids to be kind to each other—unkindly.   

A 20% activity is modeling kindness in tone and action while teaching.  

If your spouse’s love language is “words of affirmation,” it may be an 80% to clean the dishes to show them you love them.  In this instance, a 20% activity may be instead writing a specific, heartfelt compliment.  

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My final example will be a counselor joke:

“How many counselors does it take to change a lightbulb?”

“Just one – but the light bulb has to really want to change.”

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Trying to help someone who does not want to change is an 80%.  Targeting my effort to invest in someone who is wanting to grow: 20%.

By using the 80/20 Rule as part of deciding what goes onto your calendar, you will never have to wonder if you are focusing on the most important thing again. 

Add the 80/20 Rule to your daily decisions and transform your life.

Does this help?

Please comment below and let me know!

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Christine Wilson, LPC

Co-Founder Think Time

 

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We have a serious problem.  We are losing valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps people clarify their vision so they can live their lives focused on what matters most.  

Shop Think Time today!

Blog Highlights:

Look at activities—not for how much effort we put into them, but for the results that flow from them.

Do my activities move the needle toward my goals?

About 20% of our activities generate 80% of our results.

All of our activities are not high-yielding and often “good” activities steal time from the best.

Use the 80/20 Rule.  You will never have to wonder if you are focusing on the most important thing again.