Happiness is a Tide

Happiness is a tide: it carries you only a little way at a time; but you have covered a vast space before you know that your moving at all. – Mary Adams

laughing children

Happiness

As we start our journey into 2011, start by asking yourself a basic question – What truly makes you happy? Do you know? And do you include those things, experiences or people in your life?

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You Better Have an Emergency Plan

planDo you have an emergency plan for both your work and your home?

In this case I don’t mean an escape route or disaster plan. What I’m referring to is what happens when you personally have “an emergency” and I’m using that term broadly to mean anything from the flu to a death in the family to a child who comes down with pneumonia.

You don’t have time to draw up plans or instructions when something unexpected hits. You need to have your emergency plan ready and available ahead of time. It does not have to be a binder with pages and pages of manuals. It can be a file folder on your laptop, a simple printed checklist, or notes written in a folder. You decide what works for you.

What goes in your emergency plan?

That’s also up to you.

What must get done if you are unexpectedly are out of commission for a few days?

  • Maybe a checklist of basic chores with instructions for home.
  • Are there certain tasks that must be performed every day/every week at work? Payments to be made? A database to be updated?
  • Who should be called if you’re out of work? Are there any important clients that need to be taken care of or informed? Is there another colleague that can step in to handle emergencies?

Do you have instructions that someone could follow if they had to cover for you in a pinch?

This is especially difficult if you are a small business or work from home, but there still may be things that can be done.

Try to leave yourself a buffer for project, client or proposal deadlines so you won’t be in trouble if you lose a few days.

Everyone’s emergency plan will be different, but with a little bit of forethought a minor emergency doesn’t have to turn into a major disaster.

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Would You Like to Try Gtdagenda App for iPhone?

Have you tried Gtdagenda?

It’s a really neat technology tool I just discovered to help you up your productivity and get organized. Their website portal combines everything you need in one place; goals, projects, tasks, checklists. You can make schedules and integrate with some calendars. It allows you to use contexts and next actions. You can even prioritize and integrate with email.

Of course there is an iPhone app to go along with it!

I have one promo code to give away for the Gtdagenda iPhone app.

How can you get it?

Easy sign on to our new PLC community discussion forum by Feb. 1, 2011 and tell me you’d like to try it!

I’ll choose one person at random for the free app. I love giving stuff away!

  • GTDAgenda – web project and task management application that lets you accomplish your goals and get your things done (tech2all.com)
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Stop the Negativity

angry finger pointing

Inner nag

Studies show that dwelling on negative thoughts magnifies their power in your mind. This interferes with moving forward as these thoughts get tangled up with truly useful ones. So, try to quiet the negative voices in your head, you know the ones, the if only, the what were you thinking, should have said, should have done, what am I going to do, blah, blah, blah. Give them a name if you want to – I call mine Grace (there’s some history behind that having to do with two nasty women) but you could call yours “Naggy Nancy,” or “Whiny Wendy.” Give it a try, what have you got to lose?

On a serious note, some in the medical field suggest that this is a key reason that more women suffer depression than men. Women are more likely to “overthink,” while men are better at distracting themselves from negative thoughts. This does not let men off the hook, it just means women need to be even more diligent about screening the thoughts we allow ourselves to focus on.

Do you have a name for your inner detractor?

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Set Boundaries

Weekly Challenge!

Think about how productive you are those rare occasions when you are working alone, uninterrupted. Perhaps early in the morning, late at night, behind a closed office door or working from home with no interruptions, your phone switched off, and your e-mail in-tray empty, don’t you get a lot more done?

If you set effective boundaries, others won’t interrupt you when you don’t want to be interrupted, and they will learn not to make unreasonable demands of you.

Some common ways that people with weak boundaries around work lose energy and time include:

  • Friends and co-workers stop by your desk or phone to gossip
  • Family members call or visit at inopportune times
  • Employees, bosses, co-workers, or clients hand over responsibilities to you
  • New projects are piled onto an already overcrowded plate

As you go through your work week, pay attention to where you lose energy and where your focus is broken.

How can you set boundaries? Or who do you need to set boundaries with? Can you close your door for an hour to focus on a project? Could you get to work earlier or work from home? Don’t check your email every 5 minutes (the world will not end if an email sits for an hour.) Turn your phone over to voicemail.

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