Working to Deadlines: How to Build Up a Head of Steam

My piece for the GuideStar blog was due yesterday. And I spent the two weeks before that deadline fretting and in a state of anxiety. Don't worry... I did write the piece and I got it in on schedule. In fact, here it is! But it wasn't easy. Deadlines Make Excellent Fuel I never find it easy to be highly productive. I write, and do many other things, to deadlines.  I seem unable to function any other way. I know some people who simply do what they're supposed to … [Read more...]

Focus Your Mind and Get Your Work Done!

It’s time to get something done! Stop emailing. Stop cleaning up. Stop filing unimportant papers. Stop procrastinating. Let's get down to some serious, focused work. How Do You Focus? Do you focus for small bits of time throughout the day? Or are you one of those people who can zoom in on a project and emerge hours later dazed, wondering where the day went? Regardless of which camp you fall in, getting down to work requires you to change the magnification … [Read more...]

What it Takes to Create Something Truly Remarkable

Remarkable is not a synonym for perfect. Far from it. In fact, some of the most remarkable things in life are remarkable because of their imperfections, not in spite of them. (Think of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.) For the kind of remarkable I'm talking about, it's your commitment and effort and energy that makes it special... and truly remarkable. What do Remarkable Things have in Common? Here's a personal list of some remarkable things I've seen. A drummer on the … [Read more...]

Setting Clear and Specific Goals to Get You Where You Want to Go

Do you love simple tips that promise to make you more effective? If you're like me, there’s something about bite-sized advice, written in short, compelling words that makes you think it'll help you make your life better. A Powerful Tip to Create a Better Life So here’s the latest bite-sized tip that caught my attention. These from author and psychologist Dr. Ned Hallowell. Set clear and specific goals. Dr. Hallowell suggests setting four sets of THREE clear and … [Read more...]

Stuck in the Fog of Indecision: 2 Strategies for Getting Going Again

I didn't write a blog post last night! I simply couldn't decide what subject to write about. In fact, I couldn't decide much of anything and sat in a dull trance watching Olympic athletes ski down big hills. I was a couch potato because I couldn't make up my mind. Even worse than that, I couldn't even shape clear alternatives. I was in a fog of indecision, and I don't like that feeling! (Who does?) Does Indecision Paralyze You Sometimes? What do you do when … [Read more...]

Can’t Find Self-Discipline? Try Clemetin’s 3-Step Method

Clemetin pays his rent every month. That may not sound like a feat to you, but for Clemetin, it’s a big deal. Who is Clemetin? My friend Clemetin spent more than half of his life in prison. He’s done 27 years of “hard time” in some of the nastiest maximum security prisons of New York State (think Attica). If you've spent most of your life in a cell under the watchful eyes of prison guards, you probably haven't learned many of the basic life skills you'll need when you … [Read more...]

How to Be a More Productive Extrovert

Are you an extrovert or an introvert? To quote a remarkable graphic explanation of introversion and extroversion, people who are introverts make their own energy and, rather than taking it from others, they give it on social contact. They find interaction exhausting and need time to recharge. Extroverts, on the other hand gather their energy from their surroundings. They absorb the “good vibes” of the people around them and need a lot of social interaction. I know … [Read more...]

Six Tips for Writing Better Emails

Have you noticed that you seldom talk on the phone these days? That email and texting have just about replaced voice to voice altogether? For people of every age, that's what's happened. I'm a huge fan of email. I like getting it. I like writing it. I like it's quickness and informality and immediacy. And I love that I can delete an email without reading it and no one will be offended (for contrast, think of the problems caused by hanging up on someone!) Here are … [Read more...]

Overcoming Performance Anxiety: Reduce Stress and Be Your Best

This morning I recorded an interview with Steve Nill, my publisher at CharityChannel Press. He is making a promotional video for my newest book, Asking Styles, and he wanted to include an audio recording. He only needed about 3 minutes. No one listens to much more than that on the fly. But the shorter, the harder because it's got to be right! Right? Just before we began taping, I could feel my heart pound and my mouth get dry.  But then I remembered an old trick to … [Read more...]