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How do you know when it’s time to let go?

holdonto

Growth is painful; change is painful, but nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.

 How do you know when it’s time to let go?

Today we continue our discussion of Who Moved My Cheese by Dr. Spencer Johnson.

Yesterday’s Wall Message:  Having Cheese Makes You Happy.

As time went on, Sniff and Scurry continued their routine of arriving early and inspecting the area for changes; whereas, Hem and Haw’s confidence grew into the arrogance of success – so much so that they didn’t notice what was happening.

As you can imagine, one day they arrived at Cheese Station C and discovered there was no cheese.

Sniff/Scurry:

They weren’t surprised since they noticed the supply of cheese had been getting smaller every day.  They were prepared for the inevitable and instinctively knew what to do.  They put on their running shoes which hung conveniently around their necks.

They did not over analyze things. To them, the problem and the answer were both simple:  The situation at Cheese Station C had changed and so they decided to change.

They were quickly off in search of New Cheese.

Hem/Haw:

They had not been paying attention to the small changes that had been taking place each day, so they took for granted that their Cheese would be there.  They were unprepared.

Their behavior was not attractive nor productive.  Finding Cheese was their way of getting what they thought they needed to be happy.

What is it for you?  Is it having material things, enjoying good health, developing a spiritual sense of well-being?

Because Cheese was important to them, the two Little people spent a long time trying to decide what to do.  Haw became depressed. He had made future plans based on this Cheese.

That night, they went home discouraged, but before they left, Haw wrote on the wall:

The More Important Your Cheese Is to You, The More You Want to Hold on To It.

It’s time for you to reflect on how you handle your cheese:

When changes happen (and we know they do), how do you know when it’s time to let go?

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cheese

On my daily (Mon-Sat) LIVE Facebook broadcast, Transform Your Life in 15 Minutes, we are discussing the book, Who Moved My Cheese? This is a simple parable that reveals profound truths about change.

These are the 4 characters in the book.  Do you identify with one, more or all of them at some time or another?

Mice:

Sniff – The Acceptor: sniffs out change early (before it happens), he senses and responds to change before anyone else, and he gets excited about trying new things and wants you to get excited with him.

Scurry – The Enthusiast: he embraces change and quickly rushes to action, he can run run run and do work from early to late, he gets frustrated when obstacles are in his way but he seeks to run around them.

Little People:

Hem – The Destructor: does not like the idea of change, he sees change as a big threat, and he denies change and resist it out of fear.

Haw – The Resister: he makes noises and challenges the reasons for change, he’s hesitant at first, but he’s open-minded to learning new stuff, and he has the ability to empathize and connect well with others.

These four imaginary characters are intended to represent the simple and complex parts of you, regardless of your age, gender, race or nationality. The mice are simple-minded creatures and the little people have complex brains that has feelings, emotions and beliefs. At times, you may find you approach situations as mice and other times as little people.

In this story, there’s also cheese and a maze.

The cheese represents what you want to have in life.  Is it:

  • A good job?
  • A loving relationship/family?
  • Money?
  • Respect?
  • Good health?
  • Peace of mind?
  • Less stress and lots of success?

What is it for you?

The maze represents where you spend your time looking for what you want. Do you spend it:

  • The organization your work in?
  • With family?
  • The community you live in?
  • In front of the TV?
  • Stalking people (oops, I mean browsing) on Facebook?

Where do you spend your time looking for “cheese”

Join me each day, for the remainder of this month, as we explore life in the maze with Sniff, Scurry, Hem & Haw.

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5 Ways to Bring Restoration into Your Life.

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Whether you are dealing with a long day at work, stressful class, a break up, lost in faith or stalled dreams, here are 5 ways to help you restore yourself:

 Surround yourself with support.

 Do things that make you feel fulfilled.

 Pamper yourself.

 Be grateful.

 Allow yourself peaceful solitude.

Have a Restore-ful Day! ✌🏾

 

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Forgive Yourself!

Are you beating yourself up by saying things like you’re terrible at time management, or that you have no will power or self-discipline – or even saying you’re not organized??

If so, STOP IT! These negative thoughts are not serving you and they are flat out WRONG!

Let me explain why:

There are two types of procrastination:  destructive & productive procrastination.

PRODUCTIVE

Are you working on a creative project that does not have deadline but you find it hard to stay fully focused?  Well, this type of procrastination is part of the creative process! If you’re not getting the results you want, give the project you’re working on a little bit of time.

Set it aside – even if it’s for a few weeks – and focus your energy on something else.  Come back to it later and you’ll have fresher eyes.

DESTRUCTIVE

This is the type of procrastination I’ve been focusing on in my earlier blogs this month.  It’s when you are avoiding completing a task that you know will have negative consequences if you don’t finish it.

But don’t beat yourself up!  Understand that procrastination is not a form of laziness and it has nothing to do with work.  It is actually a coping mechanism for dealing with stress – and it’s not the work stress – it’s much much larger!  These are other stresses you have in your life such as financial stresses or stresses with your relationships.

Here’s a 3-Step Process that will help you eliminate procrastinating:

  1. Forgive yourself! This will stop the never-ending cycle.
  2. Time Travel – Ask yourself, “What would your future self do?
  3. Get Started!

Understand that when you are procrastinating, it’s a subconscious desire to feel good right now so you can feel a little bit of stress relief.  So stop beating yourself up!

Be kind to yourself, forgive yourself, and win or lose – just do it!

 

 

 

 

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Maximize Your Powers

Do you:

  • look for good in every situation?
  • find the valuable lesson in every difficulty?
  • look for solutions in every problem?
  • think and constantly take about your goals?

If you do these things, you are considered an optimist!

Productive people motivate themselves by becoming optimists. This is one of the two powers you’ll want to maximize in order to get things done.

 The second important requirement for being happy and productive is for you to guard and nurture your energy levels at all times. Your energy level declines as the day goes on, so it’s best to leverage your time earlier in the day for your most important tasks.

Did you know that the most productive brain time occurs within 2-3 hours after you wake up?  For most people, this is the time when they are trying to get themselves together to get to work.

This is just one of the reasons I advocate getting up early and using that time to do things that are important to you.

Did you also know that the successful CEO’s of major corporations actually get most of their work done BEFORE going into the office?  They use the early hours in the morning at home – why? Because of what I mentioned earlier….it’s their most productive time and also it’s the best uninterrupted time.

In order to get up early, that means you’ll have to get to bed early.  Productive people also take days off from any brain-work and they even sleep in on the weekends to maintain optimal energy.

Your body is like a machine that uses food, water and rest to generate energy that you can use to accomplish important tasks in your life and work. When you are fully rested, you can accomplish up to 5x as much then when you’re tired or burned out.

So get motivated and become an optimistic energy-hogger who’s fully rest and GET THINGS DONE!

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Identify Constraints

Success people do no wait to act on their goals. They motivate and pressure themselves rather than wait for someone else to come along and do it.

There are obstacles that are preventing you from achieving your goals.  The most efficient way to increase productivity is to identify and conquer these restraints.

You want to figure out what is holding you back and what your “limiting factors” are because they determine how quickly and well you get your task done.

Remember the 80/20 Rule? Well, it also applies to the constraints in your life and in your work.

80% of the constraints are internal while 20% of the limiting factors are external.  These internal constraints could be character traits, competencies, habits or even beliefs.

Often a key constraint or limiting factor is the most important frog you could eat at that moment.

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but no one did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.

The peasant learned what many of us never understand! Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

Imagine what you may find once you remove your constraints!

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Prepare Thoroughly Before You Begin

Today, we are still talking about procrastination – specifically ways to reduce and elimination that time you spend doing it.

No matter what the level of your ability, you have more potential than you can ever develop in a lifetime.

One of the best ways for you to overcome procrastination and get more things done faster is to have everything you need at hand before you begin.

And it starts with you!  Yesterday I mentioned about finding your weak areas and updating your skills. If you are feeling weak or deficient in any area, it’s enough to discourage you from starting the job at all.  Preparation begins with you.  Continuous learning it the minimum requirement for success in any field.

If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse,

Here are 3 Steps to Help You Get Better:

  1. Read in your field for at least 15 minutes everyday
  2. Take courses and seminars available on the key skills that can help you
  3. Listen to audio programs in your car

Now let’s look at your workspace!

  • Clear off your desk or workspace so that you only have one task in front of you.
  • Gather everything you need to complete the task.
  • Make your work area comfortable, attractive and conducive to working for long periods.

When you are fully prepared, you are like a cocked gun or an archer with an arrow pulled back taut in the bow.

You will be amazed at what you achieve in the months and years ahead. You just need one small mental push to get started on your highest value tasks.

Now make sure you take it one oil barrel at a time.  In other words, one of the best ways to overcome procrastination is for you to get your mind off the huge task in front of you and focus on a single action that can take.  Take it one step at a time.

 

Prepare thoroughly before you begin! Starting with you, learn what you need to learn so that you can do your work in an excellent fashion. Then make sure your workspace is organized and that you have everything on hand that you need to complete your work

Personal and professional improvement is one of the best time savers there is.

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Focus on your result areas

To perform at your best, you must become your own personal cheerleader. This means developing a routine of coaching and encouraging yourself to play at the top of your game.

Today we’re going to discuss how to  “Focus on Your Result Areas”. These are the areas that you, and only you, are responsible for.  In other words, if you don’t do it, it doesn’t get done.  These are activities that are under your control.

Typically, people will have no more than 7 specific result areas that they are responsible for.  Once you have them identified, the next step is to grade your performances on them from 1 to 10 – with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest.

The goal is to find the areas in which you are strong and where you are weak.  Instead of avoiding the areas where you perform the worst, you should plan to focus on those areas and improve them.  To help you, ask yourself, “What one skill, if I developed it in an excellent fashion, would have the greatest positive impact on my results?”

Next, pick out three things that contribute the most value to your life, business or organization.  Then make sure you work during the time allotted to work.  This will prevent your work from spilling over in other activities or even in your personal life.

Be aware that the main reason to conquer procrastination is to increase happiness and recognize that 85% of most people’s happiness stems from happy relationships.  Note by focusing on your result areas, this will not only reduce the time you procrastinate, but it will increase the time you work efficiently, and thus prevent your work from spilling over. This way you can enjoy a higher quality of life at home with your family.

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USE THE ABCDE METHOD CONTINUALLY

Are you willing to delay gratification and make sacrifices in the short-term so you can have greater rewards in the long-term. If not, this post is not for you! If so…

Understand I am not being mean when I said that, I’m actually being honest.  Realize that your time is valuable and I recognize and respect it so if your coachability index is low, that’s okay.  Realize that this post will be available when you are ready.  If you understand the value that is being provided then continue reading.

Before we get started, let me ask you, did you take the time this past weekend to set your vision?  Did you make your lists?  If not, why?? Seriously, why not??  Understand that if you want to make changes in your life, you have to change your life and that mean doing the things that you don’t normally do…and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Be aware that planning is critical to proper procrastination.  Understanding the ABCDE method will help you prioritize your tasks which will produce efficient and effective results.

This technique is so simple – the only “challenging” thing – and it’s only challenging if you don’t already do it is this: Think on paper!

THE ABCDE METHOD

Take your daily list that you created this past weekend (or create one of things you need to do today) and go through it labeling each task with either an A, B, C, D, or E with A being the most important and E being the least important task. If you have more than one in any category, use sub-categories, i.e. A-1, A-2, etc.

A: Very important – something that you must do. This is your BIGGEST, UGLIEST FROG. If you have more than one, use numbers as sub-categories.

B: Important – things your should do

C: thing that would be nice to do

D: things you can delegate or get someone else to do

E: thing you can eliminate

The key to making this ABCDE Method work is for you  to now discipline yourself to start immediately on you’re A-1 task and eat the whole frog until it’s completely gone.  In other words, don’t stop until it’s done.

Using the ABCDE Method will help you clarity and organize the priorities you have.  This is key to getting THE RIGHT things done.

CHALLENGE:

Organize your list and starting Eating That Frog!

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PRACTICE CREATIVE PROCRASTINATION

I will tell you a fantastic story on procrastination, tomorrow. Right now, it’s TEA Time

Be aware that you can’t do everything that you have to do.  Understand you have to procrastinate on something. But the key is to recognize this and realize what it is that you will put off.

Think about your activities as you would an investment.

Your TEA (Time, Energy, and Attention) is what you pay, and the return is what the activity does for you.

To help you, let’s talk about creative procrastination.

What is it? It’s about making a decision on what things to discontinue.  It’s when you figure out what to do more of and sooner and when you to do something less of and later – if at all.

If you do this, you can get your time and your life under control – but only to the degree to which you discontinue lower-value activities.

High-value vs. Low-value activities

Look at your tasks. Which ones will move you (or your business) forward right now?  These would be high-value activities.

Examples of my high value activities: my morning routine: meditation, reading/studying, exercising – things that keep me in optimal health both in mind- body & spirit. (This broadcast is my accountability.)

Low-value activities are things that you can procrastinate on. For me, these are things such as washing the dishes, browsing social media, watching Netflix, etc.

If you want better results with less effort focus on your high-value activities!

Be aware that it’s impossible to get everything done all the time. Understand that you will procrastinate, but recognize the key is to procrastinate on the small, low-value tasks.

 

CHALLENGE:

I invite you this weekend to set aside some time to create a vision for your life.  Figure out what you want to accomplish for the rest of this year.  Then figure out where you would like to be in 5, 10 even 20 years from now.

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