Category Archives: Coaching

3 Keys for Responding to the Grit in Life

speed bump

I recently put the following post on a LinkedIn group:

Unless you encounter some grit in life, you will never become a pearl. Grit irritates and aggravates. It pokes sharply at our souls until we coat it and surround it with caring — expressed in service to others. What are you willing to do to change your irritating grit into a beautiful pearl?

In my line of work, I encounter many people who try to avoid the “grit” in life. They will do almost anything to avoid difficult circumstances. It’s almost like they feel that, after years of paying the price for success, life owes them a break.

When we feel this way – and we all do at times if we’re really honest with ourselves and others – we are missing a very key point:

We don’t pay the price for success. We enjoy the benefits of success. We ultimately only pay the price for failure.

Becoming successful is an investment – one that pays amazing rewards if we learn to successfully and cheerfully embrace and deal with the “grit” that life gives us.

Here are three keys to effectively responding to the “grit” in your life:

  1. Maintain Your Focus. Stay focused on your mission and your goals. Realize that the challenges we face, in life and in business, are just speed bumps we need to get over on the pathway to achieving our dreams. Keep moving forward and doing what you know is right.
  2. Don’t Make Mountains Out of Mole Hills. The little speed bumps we encounter can often feel like mountains, especially when they hit us late in the day when we are weary and are already drained from the day’s activities. When this happens, take time to refresh yourself. If the problem will wait, attack it the next morning when you are fresh, full of energy, and can deal with it in the right context. If it won’t wait, at least take a break, reframe your thoughts, and remind yourself that it’s not as big a deal as it first seemed.
  3. When you drive through a parking lot, you can see the speed bumps ahead. Life often affords us the same opportunities if we will keep an eye on the road ahead. Learn to ask yourself quality questions regarding your personal and business situations.   Anticipating often affords us the opportunity to avoid some of the grit in life – or at least it gives us time to prepare to deal with it.

Don’t shun the grit that enters your life. Use it as a powerful tool to change and become better at your craft. You’ll be glad you did.

©2014 by Gary L. Smith and Optimum Performance Technologies, LLC (www.optechs.com). All rights reserved.

3 Keys for Effectively Pursuing Your Goals

Let’s face it – if we are all completely honest with ourselves, 95% of us would have to admit that, as business owners, we spend far more time in reaction mode and than we do proactively going for things.

Strategies For Achieving Your Goals

Years ago, I created a system that allows me to make steady progress toward the achievement of my goals. My secret? Planning my week in advance.  Every Sunday, I spend at least 1-2 hours looking at the week ahead and developing a plan for what I am going to do and where I am going to invest my time.

I highly recommend the following 3-step process for making the most effective and efficient use of your work time.

  1. Get clear on your top goals and priorities for the week.  Remember, successful people know what they want from life and they laser focus on their top goals.
  2. Address each goal as a project.  Plan the project details and timeline (what are the next steps, when do they need to be completed, how long will they take, and how much time are you allocating to them this week).
  3. Block time in your calendar to work on your goals and top priorities.  The time you put into your calendar is a non-negotiable appointment with yourself.  You need to spend time each week focusing on your highest priorities.

Importance Of Doing The Simple Things

Many people claim that they don’t have the time to do these simple things – and that’s why they will never see their dreams come true.  Listen to me when I tell you that: Success involves doing the simple things consistently and extraordinarily well!

You must know what you want, you must have a detailed plan for achieving it, and you must faithfully work your plan. That is the only way to achieve your goals.

Give us a call at 203.599.1467 or email us at info@optechs.com.  We can help you make your dreams a reality!

©2014 by Gary L. Smith and Optimum Performance Technologies, LLC (optechs.com).  All rights reserved.

5 Ways to Stop Hurrying & Start Living

The country music band Alabama has a song about the pace of life that says: “I’m in a hurry to get things done.  Oh, I rush and I rush until life’s no fun.  All I really gotta do is live and die.  But I’m in a hurry and I don’t know why.”

Finding Time To Start Living

Are there times when life feels like a blur as it races by?  As productivity expert David Allen asks, “Are there days when you feel like you’re half a beat behind?”  Are you constantly trying to “keep up with the Jones’” as you run to win the race of life?

Why?  Why are we always running a thousand miles an hour with our hair on fire?  Why can’t we ever seem to catch up?  Why does life seem so complicated and difficult?

A Few Steps To Start Living Differently

Have you tried, somewhat unsuccessfully to answer these questions?  If so, then here are 5 ways to stop hurrying and start living.

  1. Discover your focus.  Have you ever noticed how relaxed and happy really successful people are?  Ever wondered why?  The answer is simple: they are focused on their highest priorities and they’ve used this focus to filter out and discard the unimportant and irrelevant things in life.
  2. Balance your life.  Truly successful people have an amazing sense of balance in their lives.  They allocate time among all of their priorities – work, marriage, family, church, community – and that balance gives them a great sense of inner peace.
  3. Get organized.  How much time do you waste every day due to lack of organization?  You need to make a phone call but can’t find the number.  You can’t remember where you left the file you need for a meeting that starts in fifteen minutes.  Having a dynamic system that captures, processes, and puts everything in your life at your finger tips just when you need it is a crucial part of achieving unusual success.
  4. Set priorities.  Prioritize your activities for each day.  Doing so keeps you focused on your highest priorities and gives you a roadmap for the day.
  5. Relax.  Take time to relax and reflect every day.  Spending time in daily reflection helps you learn about yourself and your world.  It gives you the opportunity to make appropriate changes in response (not reaction) to what’s going on in your life.  Reflecting on today and planning tomorrow before you go to bed at night also clears your mind and gives you better rest.

If you are hurrying and not living, give us a call at 203.599.1467, or email us at info@optechs.comWe have some great programs to help you get you life on track so that you can start living again!

 

©2014 by Gary L. Smith and Optimum Performance Technologies, LLC (optechs.com).  All rights reserved.

5 Ways To Improve Productivity With Your TO-DO List

Most everyone I know has at one time, or currently does use, at TO-DO list to boost productivity.  This list, often hastily constructed not well organized, can be a real albatross, a proverbial millstone around ones neck, if not used properly.

How To Measure Productivity

Janet Choi of iDoneThis cites the following TO-DO list statistics from her organization:

  • 41% of to-do items were never completed
  • 50% of completed to-do items were done within a day
  • 18% of completed to-do items were done within an hour
  • 10% of completed to-do items were done within a minute
  • 15% of “dones” started as to-do items

So what can we infer about one’s productivity from these observations?

  • People are taking the time to write down a bunch of stuff that they never do
  • To-do items are, for the most part, short-term in nature
  • In at least 10% of the cases, people take more time to write down a to-do than it takes to complete it — sabotaging your productivity!

Boost Productivity With A Cleaner TO-DO List

The stats and comments above lead me to the conclusion that most people don’t know how to properly create and use a to-do list.  Here are some things you can put to work immediately to make your to-do list a much more effective and productive part of your day.

  1. Your to-do list cannot be a dumping ground.  Many people use this list as a catch all – a place to make notes and capture items for future action.  Doing so crowds the list with distracting information – and that ultimately hurts your productivity.
  2. Your to-do list should be clean.  It should only contain the items you are trying to accomplish today.
  3. Your to-do list must be focused on your most important goalsIf you are going to be truly successful, your daily actions – those items recorded on your to-do list – must flow from your goals.  Creating goals, and then boiling them down into tasks that must be accomplished each day, is the only true pathway to achieving your dreams.
  4. Your to-do list must be realistic.  Having three pages of action items to accomplish today when you know, at best, you are going to get a half page of them done, is only setting yourself up for failure.  Be realistic with what you can accomplish.
  5. Your to-do list must be prioritized and updated daily.  I recommend reviewing your to-do list at the end of each day to improve your productivity.  Go through what you’ve accomplished during the day, congratulate yourself for all you’ve done, make a clean list for tomorrow, and then prioritize your list (i.e., what you are going do 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.)

Following these simple steps will help you get the most out of your life by keeping your focused on doing the right things, in the right order.  As always, if you need assistance with anything, contact us at 203.599.1467 or via email at info@optechs.com.  We’re here to help you!

 

©2014 by Gary L. Smith and Optimum Performance Technologies, LLC (optechs.com).  All rights reserved.

Give The Gift Of Time

In her memoirs, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told of growing up in an African-American pastor’s family in Birmingham, Alabama.  Despite her parents’ busy schedules, they watched The Mickey Mouse Club with her every day.  One afternoon, an insurance agent came to visit.  “He was the only white man I can ever remember coming into our house,” recalls Rice, “but he came just as it was time to sing: ‘M-I-C-K-E-Y-….’” Mr. Rice politely told the man he would have to wait until they all had put on their mouse ears and engaged in the family ritual of singing along.

“This small gesture was simply one of many that communicated they always had time for me,” wrote Condoleezza.

One Of The Greatest Presents We Can Give Is The Gift Of Time

Most of us interpret this to mean time with our spouses and children – and that’s a great place to start.  But what about other people and places

  • At your church – educating others or using your carpentry, plumbing, or painting skills.
  • At the local shelter or food bank – serving and ministering to others.
  • On the job – listening to those whom you work with and for – and those who work for you – to help them grow, learn, and prosper.
  • In the way you run your business – showing your employees and your customers, through your time and actions, just how important they are and how much you appreciate them.

Remember: Life is not about money and things – it’s about people and relationships. Take the time, starting now, to enrich the lives of others.  In so doing, you will be blessed beyond measure!

 

©2014 by Gary L. Smith and Optimum Performance Technologies, LLC (optechs.com).  All rights reserved.