Category Archives: Consulting

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.

Al Kim Hosts Gary Smith For Rise And Shine Radio Show

Gary Smith was recently a guest of the Rise and Shine Radio Show hosted by Al Kim. WSDK 1550 AM radio station allowed the two radio show hosts to join forces for an on-air segment, and each broadcaster brought their best material to the table.

Al Kim Talks About Achieving Unusual Greatness

Gary discussed his most recent book, “Achieving Unusual Greatness,” and how it was constructed from several blog posts created in the past few years. Gary crafted the book to be read a little at a time or all at once, giving daily lessons that are the “essence” of achieving success.

Gary told Al Kim that he hoped people would use the book almost as a daily inspiration that could be quickly read for motivation. He said it was one of the more powerful projects he had worked on because of the amount of years it spanned.

Macro View Of The Business World

Gary said his background as an engineer in the manufacturing business led him to seek further education to gain a macro view of the business world. He said moving away from providing a small part of a big business has been a great career choice because he understands where those smaller, integral parts fit into the large model.

Looking For A Change Or Improvement

Al Kim commented that the economy in Connecticut was not in its tip-top form, and he asked Gary what he would say to someone who was looking to make a change or improvement. Gary said it’s important to look at your passions in life and what you’re good at before pursuing a job.

He said many people give up looking for work because they cannot find a position in their field, but a simple inventory of what they enjoy doing most in their life can lead to civic activities, leadership roles and much more.

Trusting God To Spur Change

One of the hardest things to do in life is to accept and embrace change. Gary talked to Al Kim about the common nature to resist change and how it can hold people back from their full potential. However, by trusting God and asking him to guide you, you can make major life changes that lead to amazing opportunities.

He said the most important thing to dealing with change is having a positive attitude and trusting God’s hand to guide you to where you belong. Fear is something that will have to be faced in these situations, and Gary said fear can be your best friend or your worst enemy.

Learn From Gary Smith

Whether you’re looking for business success or personal coaching, Gary has helped countless people through the toughest times of their lives. You can contact Gary through his business, Optimum Performance Technologies, to find out how he can help you get through major changes, understand your business specifics better and much more.

Be sure to tune into The Gary Smith Show on WSDK 1550 where he gets his messages out to everyone. He is always looking for new guests to showcase who have different backgrounds and skills than him, giving the audience a good sense of what can be achieved in life if you put your mind to it.

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.

The Creativity Paradox – 6 Ways To Profit From It

Have you ever heard of the Creativity Paradox?  Many have not and, as a result, they continue to believe that getting organized and having some sort of activity management system ultimately stifles creativity.

The simple truth is this: The paradox of creativity is that structure creates freedom. You must focus if you wish to flourish.

Managing The Creativity Paradox

As a personal and business coach, I have worked with a number of people who are either very creative, or who suffer from some form of ADD.  For the most part, these individuals live in a disorganized world and, while they are not happy with their degree of disorganization, they somehow believe that getting organized will kill their creativity – and they also see the “getting organized process” as an overwhelming and daunting task.  Neither of these things is true.

In a coaching session with a highly creative man a few weeks ago, I asked him, “How would you feel if I could magically attach a spout to your brain and drain all of the “stuff” residing in there into a system that would capture and organize it in a way that it would pop up only when and where you needed it to?”  His eyes turned to saucers and that look gave me the answer I was hoping for – he’d be delighted!

Taking Advantage Of The Creativity Paradox

You see, when you empty your mind and, at the same time, have a system to capture, process, and organize that output, it becomes a major source of mental freedom.  No longer is your mind trying to remember stuff – tasks to be completed, phone calls to be made, meetings to attend, agendas to be written or reviewed.  As a result, there is a lot more processing power available to supercharge your creative genius, thus tackling the Creativity Paradox.

So how to we go about taking advantage of the Creativity Paradox?

  1. Learn to embrace the concept of organization.  The problem is not getting organized, it’s in having a system that works for you.
  2. Develop the right system.  This is where a personal coach with experience in organization and productivity can help.  He can work with you to create a system that fits your needs, your personality, and the way you think.
  3. Take the time to learn.  Become a student of yourself.  It is important to know not only what you do, but why you do it.  Understanding your base motivations, drivers, and stressors is major to getting and staying organized.
  4. Focus.  Simply stated, you must focus if you wish to flourish.  Learn to break goals and large tasks and projects into their component parts – like getting to the smallest denominator in a math problem.  Then focus on a single, small task – and then another – and another.  Taking small actions not only moves you in the right direction – it begins to establish a habit – and eventually an ongoing way of how you live your new, productive life.
  5. Give it time.  You didn’t get disorganized overnight, and you won’t get completely organized overnight either.  It’s not how fast you get organized – it’s that you get organized!  Depending on who you are and where you are in life, it may take a few weeks or a few months, but taking persistent, consistent action will yield positive results.
  6. Celebrate.  Take time to celebrate small victories.  It could be something as simple as taking yourself out for an ice cream cone.  It doesn’t need to be huge and expensive, but celebrating does need to happen.  It encourages your heart and compels you to keep going.

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

7 Crucial Keys To Dealing With Enemies

President Richard Nixon’s infamous “Enemies List” contained the names of his political oppositions, which quickly became dealing with enemies for the President.  Originally consisting of twenty names, the list was gradually expanded to hundreds.  The purpose of the list was to punish Nixon’s opponents through the use of tactics like IRS tax audits, litigation, withholding of federal funds, and other means.  The existence of the list was made public during the Watergate hearings beginning in 1973.

How Are You Dealing With Enemies?

As business people and owners, we may not have “enemies,” but I’m sure that we all have people in our lives who are difficult to deal with and work with.  These people can include:

  • Demanding customers who never seem to be satisfied, no matter what we do to please and accommodate them
  • “Teflon” suppliers who never meet their delivery and quality commitments, yet nothing is ever their responsibility.
  • Employees who constantly complain about working conditions and pay, yet are never genuinely concerned about the well-being of the company

I encounter all of these circumstances in my work as a business consultant.  What’s interesting to me, though, is how often business owners are consumed and distracted by these events instead of focusing on finding creative solutions to the problems.

Taking Steps To Dealing With Enemies

Here are some keys to dealing with difficult people in your business life:

  1. Seek first to understand.  The first step in solving any problem is to gain an understanding, a clear definition, of what the problem is and why it exists.  Until you do this, any attempt at a solution is merely treating a symptom, not a root cause.
  2. Get involved.  Nothing good really happens until people talk.  Take the time to meet with the individual or company you are having issues with and genuinely, sincerely communicate about the issue that needs to be resolved.
  3. Leave people out of it.  Simply stated: focus on the problem, not the individual.  Doing so keeps people from becoming defensive.
  4. Listen.  God gave you two ears and one mouth so that you can listen twice as much as you speak.  Listen to what others are saying without making judgments or thinking of a response.
  5. Ask for help.  Make solving the problem a team effort by enlisting the other persons help.
  6. Be grateful.  When you find the solution, be thankful to those who participated and take time to celebrate.
  7. Don’t wait.  Many problems grow to almost unmanageable proportions if they are not addressed immediately.  When you identify an issue, address it just as soon as you can.

Follow these seven steps and you won’t have a difficult time dealing with enemies, and you won’t have an “Enemies List.”

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