Saturday, February 17, 2007

Productivity, Not Just Activity

Here I am at the end of a peaceful and productive day -- much more productive than usual. Today, not only did I do things, but I did the right things.

Someone once told me, not to mistake activity for productivity. Generally I *stay* busy, but am I usually busy doing the right things? Often times not :-) I've had many days where I was busy ALLLLLL day, but when I got to the end of it, I hadn't really accomplished anything. Today... was a good, productive day.

To start, I got up this morning, made my pot of coffee then sat down and made my list, then prioritized it like usual.. You see, I KNOW what to do, and how to do it, and I even teach it, but often I don't do the things I advise others to do. But today... I did it right. I made a list of the things I had to accomplish and did the Ben Franklin A, B, C and 1,2,3 within each letter priority. I decided there were TWO things that I HAD to do, so instead of putting them at a high priority like normal, I actually gave them an appointment time... and set the alarm on my Palm Pilot to alert me when it was time. In between the "appointments" I worked on my prioritized list.

Now... admittedly, fixing myself a nice breakfast was NOT on my prioritize list NOR was it an appointment slot, but after I finished making the list, I was suddenly very hungry. So, I cooked up some CRISP bacon, cheese and eggs, a couple of slices of toast from this soft-crusted, honey apple oat bread that I love, got some Smuckers strawberry jam, a small glass of ice cold milk and a fresh cup of coffee... and just... pampered myself. Then, after breakfast, I was ready to tackle my list.

So without drawing this out *too* long, one "appointment" was returning a phone call about doing a some wedding photography, and the other appointment -- later in the day -- was to clean up my son's room! You know, the wonderful kid that comes home on leave from the Navy, trashes the rooms I cleaned up last time he left, and forgets to clean them up again before he leaves? Yeah. THOSE rooms. And although I did move the appointments BACK a couple of times, I finally did get up and go do it, and for the first time in a very long time, I forced myself to do what my calendar and task list told me to do, in the order that I had prioritized it. So the result is... both my major tasks were completed, and nearly all of my "A" tasks -- but I still have a little time left -- just for giggles -- so I think I can finish all the A's before I go to bed in about 20 minutes.

So, that's my day; and I even had time for some socialization and friend emails, and still got my lists done.

While I was cooking breakfast this morning, I was sharing this plan with my friend Jill on the phone. I told her how I didn't do what I taught other people to do, and Jill -- ever so affectionately -- asked, "What is that quote? 'Those that can, do; and those that can't, teach ?..." Ugh. I hate that quote, but it was good motivation -- she knew it would be; that's why I have friends :-). I hate it, but it is very often true in life. Those that can, do. Those that can't... teach.

So at least today, I decided to be a doer. And I'm looking forward to making the same decision... tomorrow. I think I'll make a HABIT of succeeding this way.

How about you?

Have a great night.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

To Send, or NOT to Send...

If someone mailed you a letter with some information in it, and told you to repackage it and send it to 50 or 60 of your closest friends, and have them do the same, would you run right down to the post office, buy 60 stamps and envelopes, make 60 copies of the letter and send it to your friends? No ? Then how come if someone sends you an email... with the same information in it, you just plop that sucker down and send it to everybody you know, and don't even take the time to see if the information is POSSIBLE -- let known true -- before you send it on ?

Well, without going into all the OTHER stuff I could say about this, I want to point out that I believe we have a responsibility to forward information is true and accurate and for the public good, but I FEEL we also have a greater responsibility NOT to pass on information that is untrue, or that propagates hatred, distrust, paranoia and negativism.

This is just my thing ! If you receive it in an email, and it's NEGATIVE and/or it's ALARMIST and it has a huge EMOTIONAL APPEAL... and it's UNSUBSTANTIATED definitively within the message... there's about 99% chance... its' a hoax, and many hoaxes have been going around for YEARS, just rewritten and modified and resent.

How do you know??? Yeah, good point. So let's pass it on JUST IN CASE! Right? Ugh...

Here's one tip. To check on possible hoaxes and unfounded rumors, I use a source called SNOPES ( ) who's mission is basically to debunk rumors, hoaxes and urban legends, and there is a high possibility that the critical email you just received telling you that the world is ending, is a hoax and if you go to SNOPES, chances are you'll get an education AND save yourself some embarrassment if you check it out at least there first. Just go to SNOPES, type the "hoax" in their search box and see what comes up. Everything from missing children, to the Neiman Marcus cookie recipe, to Bill Gates paying pennies per email sent, to... "Oh they stole my kidney and put me in a tub of ice..." You'll find it here. CHECK IT OUT before you forward these emails.

Email makes it too easy to spread rumors, proganda and hatred, and ignorance. Like my friend Dr. Charles Jarvis said, "People don't think; they think they think !" If an email "gets you going"... the first thing to do is see if it's true, and if nothing comes up on SNOPES and nothing comes up on a general Google search, then it's probably false. Dump it! and refuse to contribute to the world's escalating high blood pressure problem.

Eh? And if it's true, but passing it on is not going to positively benefit the people you're passing it on to... DUMP IT! and find something positive to pass on to your world. Okay? Okay...

Now... Did you hear the one about the new Fountain of Youth Drug that's been discovered ? The manufacturer is sending a free life-time supply to anyone under the age of 60 who checks SNOPES within 20 minutes of reading this blog posting? You don't even have to contact them; they'll just glean your mailing address from your browser when you go to the site! AND they'll send you a Neiman Marcus cookie recipe !!! I heard it. My next door neighbor's cousin, works with a guy who shared the inside scoop... confidentially of course, and he's already 10 years younger. It's even been on Oprah, they say. Didn't you see it?

Have an awesome day.