Make Today Your Own

Every day is unique. Although we can’t control everything that affects our day, we can impact how we approach it. Here are the three perspectives that drive me each day.

1. There is always more to do than time allows. We do not have unlimited time, so we must make the best of the minutes and hours we are given.

2. There is always some time needed to disconnect and recharge. I have a habit of disconnecting on the weekend. I stay away from work email, and I rarely do any type of work on Sunday. For me, it makes a big difference in my effectiveness throughout the week. I have had periods in my life where I worked non-stop, day after day. Recharging helps us keep perspective. If you continually work tactical actions, you will potentially lose sight of strategy.

3. Being effective with your time is also work. We like to think we are efficient. But I have found that if we rely on systems and our own tricks to be more productive, then possibly we become stuck in a routine that is temporarily effective. If we pause to evaluate all the resources we have available and adjust to take full advantage of an ever changing environment, we have the ability to become more effective.

These are three perspectives that help me stay positive and engaged every day. What attitudes help you stay at the top of your game?

Time to Move On?

I recently observed a situation where a person was promoted into a new role, but was struggling because they were stuck in their old role. Not that they needed to fulfill their old role, but because they didn’t want to give it up.

I have had many working assignments over my career, each one presented new challenges, and opportunities. Some of my success has come from determining the skills I needed at the particular moment and focusing on being better at them.

I started my career in an assignment writing software even though my degree was Industrial Engineering. I eventually moved to an Industrial Engineering role, and I took my software development skills with me. However, within a year, those skills were no longer relevant to my success. I had to learn new skills.

That pattern repeated itself over the next 30 years. I learned skills, moved, adapted, and repeated. The adaptation is what can be difficult if you are not aware of the need to adapt.

When you transitioned into your current role, what skills became more important? What skills became less important? Have you adapted? Are you continuing your learning?

We build experience and skills over a life time. You don’t have to give up what you learned to move to a new role, but you probably will benefit from shifting your focus to the new skills needed for success.

Why Is Self-Discipline Difficult?

Success requires self-discipline. It is the method by which you convert your time into action on a regular basis. People who are great at self-discipline enjoy the results. People that are poor at self-discipline fail to consistently achieve. Because self-discipline is difficult, most of us fall in the middle.

Here are three methods to improve your level of self-discipline:

1. Set your priorities and goals. When I decide it is time to make improvements in my life, I typically review how I spend my time, and then I make adjustments with new goals. Often I try to adjust too many things. It is more effective to define just one or two priorities and then focus link it with the top change you want to make. Your more likely to stick with it.

2. Create systems and routines that provide daily focus on your goals. Discipline is all about practice. The habit you want to create is easier to maintain if you think of it not as a daily task, but as practice with the intent to improve every day. Stop just checking the box, and challenge yourself. Set up a system for tracking progress and also a system for rewards.

3. Find someone to hold you accountable. For me, the simple answer is find a coach. But that won’t always fit in a person’s budget. An accountability partner is anyone that can provide the motivation for you to follow through on your commitments. It could be a friend, a spouse, or a co-worker. You can also connect with someone with a similar interest or goal and challenge each other to continue.

Self-discipline is difficult because success takes time and we often lack the patience success requires. How can these three processes help you build the foundation for your future success?

The Satisfaction of Achievement

If you can master a task in less than thirty minutes, at best it will provide very short term satisfaction. But when we spend our time, money, and effort to master a skill over years, the satisfaction that it brings can be life long.

Why can we be so impatient when it comes to achievement? At times I wonder if the pace that we demand achievement has damaged some of our foundational values.Know what you want to achieve.

1. Know your yourself and your achievement goals. Do you have the right goal, and are you equipped to achieve it? Where can you grow yourself and your knowledge to increase your ability to achieve?

2. Invest the time. Make time every day to take one step closer. Twenty minutes a day of effort is over 120 hours a year. If you spent this time dedicated to growing yourself towards your goal, what would be the impact? What if you spent twenty minutes a day for ten years? Do you have the commitment to yourself?

3. Enjoy the process. Be happy about the time you spend growing yourself. Find an alignment that makes it enjoyable, not a chore. Make it fun, and it will become a journey that fills you with satisfaction.

Make a difference in your environment by linking your foundational values with your achievement goals. What are you working on today that brings you satisfaction?