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Five-Bullet Monday - June 14th

Here is this week’s Five-Bullet Monday

A verse and a quote I am pondering:

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others.”

– Philippians 2:3

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

– Leo Buscaglia

You would have heard of the principle of Servant Leadership. This type of leader focuses on helping and strengthening people that work in their team, doing their best to support them in their profession, knowledge, autonomy, physical health and well being. Applying these principles tends to produce a happier workplace, leading to greater productivity and output as team members feel supported, empowered, and motivated to perform. We could all make our workplaces better by asking the simple question, “How I can help you today?”.

A question I am asking myself:

What good habits have I stopped doing that I need to restart?

I don’t know about you, but I am prone to dropping some of the good habits I have developed and then suffering the consequences down the track. In the outstanding book Atomic Habits, James Clear says we need to make the good habits as easy as possible, so they become semi-automatic. He also says that if you miss a good habit once, make sure you don’t miss it twice (like that gym visit or run), or the habit has a good chance of falling by the wayside. The two habits I am committing to getting going again are my daily reviews of my notes and book summaries I have made and, secondly, my yoga and stretching. What might be yours?

A book I am reading:

Unscripted: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Entrepreneurship - MJ DeMarco

This book is one of the best out there on Entrepreneurship and starting your own business. It has a ton of practical advice and motivation, and it gets to the core of what you need to commit to if you want to be an entrepreneur. The one principle that comes through strongly in the book is finding where people have problems and solving that problem. It always starts with focusing on creating outstanding value for your customers and doing that consistently. After that, the financial reward will flow. If money is the sole aim from day one and the service or product is only a means to financial gain, the venture is likely to, and deserves to, fail.

My highlight from the prior week

Running a Diversity think tank at work on Miro.

The think tank was a highlight on two counts – firstly, it was our first proper company workshop on this vital issue and long overdue for our business. And secondly, we did it in a brand new way; on Miro. For those who haven’t come across Miro, it is an online collaborative whiteboard platform that is awesome for virtual workshops. While it was new for nearly everyone attending the workshop, we all got to grips with it quickly, and what we collectively produced in under two hours was amazing. The result honestly looked like something that could have taken a whole day to produce. Powerful and time-efficient is how I would sum Miro up – check it out.

My challenge to you for this week

Time Prioritization over Time Management

We have all tried our hand at time management to varying degrees of success and consistency. I, for one, went to the extent of 15-minute slots, endeavouring to cram more into my day. Now I realize that it was the wrong way round. Applying time management without time prioritization meant I was doing the wrong things very efficiently.

Time prioritization, at its core, is figuring out what comes first, and then second and then third. It also tells us what might need sacrificing if we genuinely put first things first.

We have likely all come across the rock, pebbles and sand in the jar story. And we all agree we have to get the rocks in the jar first, so the pebbles and sand can fit as well. In reality, however, we don’t do that very well. As we embark on our daily routines, the sand and pebbles are often much easier to deal with, and we feel productive as we diligently knock them off. Meanwhile, the rocks get little or no attention because We’re too busy, they are too difficult, or we can put them off to tomorrow

Time prioritization makes us deal with the big rocks first and not stop until they are no longer big rocks. The pebbles and sand then take their proper place around the periphery of the rocks.

Take email for an example. This year I have set myself the discipline of doing email three times a day and for one hour in total – 15 minutes first thing in the morning, 30 minutes at lunchtime, and 15 minutes at the end of the workday. If that isn’t sufficient, I will work through outstanding email in the evenings. Between those times, the email goes to the background, and I get on with my rocks. Meetings and conference calls can be another distraction – if it is within our power to limit those or at least shorten them, we should do that.

Lastly, I encourage you to ask yourself this big question, “What is the one thing I can do today that will make everything else easier or unnecessary?”. That could be tough to answer, and you might need to think long and hard about it. But if you can define it, you may have found an enormous rock in your jar that needs your immediate attention. Work hard on that, and over time the jar will start to look cleaner and more organized. If that takes three or more hours today and tomorrow, and the next day, it is still worth it! The pebbles and sand, well, they will have to wait.

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