How to Quit Procrastinating

How to Quit Procrastinating

All of us know the feeling—the to–do list that’s longer than the hours in a day. Sometimes we get stuck…not knowing how to move beyond procrastination to accomplishment.

“Squeeze the Most Out of Your Day”

About one hundred years ago, a man named Ivy Lee went to the president of Bethlehem Steel, Charles Schwab, and made a deal with him. Lee told Schwab he could increase Schwab’s productivity as well as the workload of all his managers. What’s more, Lee told Schwab he could help Schwab’s executives produce a significant amount more if he could just spend fifteen minutes with each of them. To make the offer especially enticing, Lee told Schwab he wouldn’t charge anything at all unless his advice worked. “Then, after three months,” Lee told Schwab, “if my advice proves profitable, send me a check for whatever you think it’s worth.”

They struck a deal.

Here’s how productive he was–Lee actually spent only ten minutes with each executive. Here’s what he told them: “I want you to promise that for the next ninety days, before leaving your office at the end of each day, you’ll make a list of the six most important things you have to do the next day and number them in their order of importance.”

The executives were shocked that that was all they were asked to do.

“That’s it,” Lee said. “Scratch off each item after you finish it. Then go on to the next item on your list. If something doesn’t get done, put it on the following day’s list.”

Each Bethlehem executive agreed to follow Lee’s instructions. Three months later, Schwab studied the results. He was so pleased, he sent Lee a check for $35,000! (That may or may not seem like a lot of money to you, but this was one hundred years ago. At the time, the average United States worker made $2.00 a day or $4,000 a year. Thirty-five thousand dollars was a LOT of money! Even today, imagine if you spent a few minutes with a group of executives and gave each one the same, simple tip and got $35,000 for it. You’d be thrilled!)

Many people follow Lee’s advice today. The founder of the $2.2 billion direct sales cosmetics company Mary Kay praised Lee’s idea when she wrote the book You Can Have It All: Lifetime Wisdom from America’s Foremost Woman Entrepreneur. Mary Kay Ash boasted that she herself followed Lee’s advice. After all, she reasoned, Schwab was one of the smartest business professionals of his day. If he felt that bit of advice was worth paying $35,000, she ought to try it, too. So, each night she made a list of things to do the following day. But, she added a twist to it. She didn’t just number the tasks in order of importance. She always put the hardest or most unappealing task at the top. “This way,” she wrote, “I tackle the most difficult item first, and once it’s out of the way, I feel my day is off to a good start.”

Follow Lee’s advice! Before you go to sleep tonight, figure out what you need to do tomorrow. Write down the six most important things you need to accomplish. Not only will you start tomorrow ready to go, but subconsciously, you’ll also be working on those six projects while you sleep. Then, follow Mary Kay’s advice and knock those tasks out from hardest to easiest.

Don’t let your time get snuffed out by what appears to be an innocent killer! Stand guard. When you guard your time, you guard your life. For time is the stuff that life is made of.

Om Namah Shivay

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Very useful advice to live happily

A high end hand phone, 70% of the functions are useless
An expensive car, 70% of the speed is not needed
A luxurious villa, 70% of the space is not occupied
A whole wardrobe of clothes, 70% of it is not worn
A whole life of earning, 70% is for other people to use

So we must protect and make full use of our 30% . . .

Go for med exam even if not sick
Drink more water even if not thirsty
Must let go even if faced with grave problems
Must give in even if you are in the right
Must be humble even if you are very powerful
Must be contented even if you are not rich
Must exercise even if you are very busy.
Sometimes, it takes one Prayer to Change everything
All you have to do is just believe, have faith and wait on the Lord. Listen for his voice.
A prayer is like a wish, a wish that you know will be answered, because of the faith you hold in making what is right for you to happen.
The Lord always listens.He answers prayers for all. 
After smoking cocaine for 28 years, I asked God to please take that monkey off my back and He did. It’s been 7 years now and I never had another go to have it, git it, git it now craving. Thanks be to God!
~ Nikita Wilson

How to Deal with Peer Pressure

Sometimes, young people should learn to walk alone. Then you will be more centered and you will know how to be by yourself and not be bogged down by peer pressure. Take a long five kilometer walk all by yourself, or run by yourself. That will solidify your personality.

If you are surrounded by friends all the time, you will feel you cannot exist without friends. But if you are trained to take longs walks and runs, then you know that you can walk by yourself.

The poet Rabindranath Tagore has written a song called ‘Ekla Chalo Re’ (walk alone) and that song inspired so many people during the freedom struggle. Even if nobody comes, you walk by yourself, be a leader. If you get bogged down by peer pressure you can only be a follower, not a leader.

Why do you want company of your friends? It is because you want attention from them, and attention gives energy. And if you are not a leader, nobody is going to pay you attention especially in schools and colleges. So to overcome peer pressure what do you do? Stand up and walk alone.

Om Namah Shivay

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The i in Team

Missing Ingredients for Team Success

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” –Michael Jordan. 

We’ve all heard the old adage—there’s no i in team. But there are several ‘i’s that holds high-performing teams together. It’s what makes them unique and gives them a competitive edge, generating synergy that is the very power of team work. These essential i’s—often hidden from view—are exactly what many low-performing teams are painfully missing.

i is for Interdependence

One of our favorite exercises in team-building workshops is a simulated “survival” activity. We begin by having participants complete a paper and pencil instrument independently, ranking fifteen items in terms of their importance to surviving a crisis event (e.g. a crash landing in unknown territory like a desert, subarctic, or jungle region). The idea of the exercise is to examine how people make decisions, first individually and then as a team. Once everyone has completed ranking the items independently, we form teams and have them repeat the exercise using an interdependent, consensus process. In both cases, the participants select their items based on limited information and assumptions. It becomes quite clear that flawed assumptions can be disastrous in the exercise, just like in real life.

An interesting result of this simulation is that the teams consistently outperform their own average individual scores. In fact, most teams survive (according to a survival expert’s well-researched ranking), while most individuals do not. Why is this? What is the secret? It is clearly more than coincidence.

The answer is interdependent thinking—how can we help one another help one another? How can I help you help me? Where is the creative, win-win solution?

One of the most powerful creative problem-solving techniques we know is to find at least three options for each problem. It is simply too easy for someone to say, “Don’t come to me with a problem without a solution.” We all hear this from time to time. The wise leader suggests, “Don’t come to me with a problem without at least three solutions!”

Why is this important? Because when we explore additional options with an open mind, new insights appear. We may have originally assumed that option A would be best. By searching for an option B, and C, we are forced to think beyond the first “right” answer. This approach also helps teams break free of gridlock and impasse over option A or B. If we can’t agree or come to consensus, let’s look further. There are always alternatives.

Now the question becomes, which option are we likely to go with, A, B or C? We often ask this question in workshops and we regularly get a range of answers from A to C. The more common reality is option D, an option that was not even listed as a choice! When teams brainstorm multiple options to a problem, it is amazing how often the ideal solution is “none of the above” or “all of the above” in some hybrid fashion. Either way, this powerful team-building technique reminds us that we are better off focusing on interests and not positions. Interests are what we generally all have in common (like survival). Positions are conclusions we have made (most often based on assumptions) on how best to get there. Interdependent thinking reminds us to think we-opically and find solutions that are win-win for all. It does us little good to solve one problem and create two or three more problems in the process. High-performing teams use inter-dependent systems-thinking to unite cross-functionally, align with a shared vision and unite as one. Look carefully at great teams in action. You will see another i in play. It is called interdependence.

The i in Team will be a great addition to your leadership library. 

Tap the unique potential, inputs and talents of the individuals on your team;

Create more intrigue, involvement and interaction among team members;

Inspire true, high performance teamwork and synergy;

Cultivate an interdependent, we-opic and shared vision;

Exercise intuition to develop an environment of imagination, ingenuity and innovation;

Build team intelligence;

Foster team integrity;

Increase your return on investment.

“The i’s are like seeds. They must be planted and nurtured to take root and grow. They may not be visible at first, but make no mistake. The seeds matter. There is an i in team. Make the investment. Give your team the lift it deserves. Experience the reward that follows.”

Om Namah Shivay

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You want to be successful

“You want to be successful. Everyone does. But your actual words might be undermining your chances of success. The things you say in the office, no matter how innocuous they seem to you, might be knocking you down the career ladder and putting the top position you dream about out of reach.

Your career is too important to be tanked by a few negative phrases. Here are the seven things you should strike from your workplace vocabulary if you want to achieve the success you richly deserve:”

  1. “That’s not in my job description.”

When you accepted your current position, you had a good idea of what the responsibilities and workload of the role would entail. Throughout the months or years since you settled into your job, however, your role has expanded and changed shape. Some of these changes have probably been good, while others have made you wish for simpler times. When a boss or manager piles another responsibility on your already sore shoulders, it might be tempting to pull out this classic gem of work avoidance.

The better option, however, is to schedule a time to talk to your boss about your role. A specific conversation about your place in the organization is a good time to bring up the particulars of your job description, not when you’re asked to get something accomplished. No matter how stressed you are or how valid the complaint, dropping this phrase only makes you look lazy and unmotivated.

  1. “It can’t be done.”

Throwing in the towel makes you look like a quitter — and quitters don’t get promoted. Instead of giving up on a project entirely, frame your response in terms of alternative ways to get the work accomplished. Very little is truly impossible, and most managers and executives want forward-thinking problem solvers to climb the corporate ladder. If you offer solutions instead of giving up, you’ll be seen as a valuable member of the team.

  1. “It’s not my fault.”

No one wants to work with a blame shifter. After all, it’s just a matter of time before this person eventually shifts the blame onto you. Take ownership of your mistakes instead of pointing out where others have fallen short. Admitting to a mistake shows character and the ability to learn and grow from problems. Pointing the finger at someone else strongly implies you’ll never truly learn from your errors.

  1. “This will just take a minute.”

Unless something will literally take only 60 seconds, don’t overpromise and underdeliver. Saying something will only take “a minute” also has the side effect of undermining your efforts. Most likely the reason the particular task won’t take long is due to the benefit of your professional experience and acumen. By saying it will “just” take a minute, you’re shortchanging what you bring to the table.

  1. “I don’t need any help.”

The rugged lone wolf type might be the hero of most action movies, but they’re unlikely to become the hero at your company. You might think you can go it alone on a project or in your career, but teamwork is essential. Being able to work with others is the hallmark of a good leader; you’re unlikely to climb your career ladder always flying solo.

  1. “It’s not fair.”

Life isn’t fair, and often your career won’t be as well. Instead of complaining, you should look for specific and actionable workarounds to the problems you encounter. Is it unfair a coworker got to run point on the project you wanted? Maybe, but instead of complaining, work harder and go the extra mile. Finding a solution will always be preferable in your professional life to whining about a problem.

  1. “This is the way it’s always been done.”

Doing things the way they’ve always been done is no way to run a business. Just ask some of the companies which toed the line, accepted the status quo, and went under. Adapting to an ever-changing market place is really the only way to survive in an economy constantly being disrupted by the next big thing.

You don’t have to be a slave to the trends, but you also can’t stick your head in the sand and hope things go back to normal. Instead, come up with creative solutions to new problems and innovate, and you’ll soon be in the driver’s seat taking your organization into the future.

Everyone wants to be successful, so make sure your words aren’t holding you back. These seven phrases are career kryptonite — by avoiding them, you can fly into your future and become a successful superstar.

Om Namah Shivay

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The Right to Lead

The Right to Lead is about people who have earned the right to lead others. Because of the courage they found and the character they displayed, other people recognized their admirable qualities and felt compelled to follow them.

What gives a man or woman the right to lead?

It certainly isn’t gained by election or appointment. Having position, title, rank, or degrees doesn’t qualify anyone to lead other people. And the ability doesn’t come automatically from age or experience, either. No, it would be accurate to say that no one can be given the right to lead. The right to lead can only be earned. And that takes time.

The Kind of Leader Others Want to Follow

The key to becoming an effective leader is not to focus on making other people follow, but on making yourself the kind of person they want to follow. You must become someone others can trust to take them where they want to go. As you prepare yourself to become a better leader, use the following guidelines to help you grow:

1) Let go of your ego.
The truly great leaders are not in leadership for personal gain. They lead in order to serve other people. Perhaps that is why Lawrence D. Bell remarked, “Show me a man who cannot bother to do little things, and I’ll show you a man who cannot be trusted to do big things.”

2) Become a good follower first.
Rare is the effective leader who didn’t learn to become a good follower first. That is why a leadership institution such as the United States Military Academy teaches its officers to become effective followers first—and why West Point has produced more leaders than the Harvard Business School.

3) Build positive relationships.
Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less. That means it is by nature relational. Today’s generation of leaders seem particularly aware of this because title and position mean so little to them. They know intuitively that people go along with people they get along with.

4) Work with excellence.
No one respects and follows mediocrity. Leaders who earn the right to lead give their all to what they do. They bring into play not only their skills and talents, but also great passion and hard work. They perform on the highest level of which they are capable.

5) Rely on discipline, not emotion.
Leadership is often easy during the good times. It’s when everything seems to be against you—when you’re out of energy, and you don’t want to lead—that you earn your place as a leader. During every season of life, leaders face crucial moments when they must choose between gearing up or giving up. To make it through those times, rely on the rock of discipline, not the shifting sand of emotion.

6) Make adding value your goal.
When you look at the leaders whose names are revered long after they have finished leading, you find that they were men and women who helped people to live better lives and reach their potential. That is the highest calling of leadership—and its highest value.

7) Give your power away.
One of the ironies of leadership is that you become a better leader by sharing whatever power you have, not by saving it all for yourself. You’re meant to be a river, not a reservoir. If you use your power to empower others, your leadership will extend far beyond your grasp. In The Right to Lead, you will hear from and read about people who have done these same things and earned the right to lead others. Because of the courage they found and the character they displayed, other people recognized their admirable qualities and felt compelled to follow them. The followers who looked to these leaders learned from them, and so can we. As you explore their worlds and words, remember that it takes time to become worthy of followers. Leadership isn’t learned or earned in a moment.

Om Namah Shivay

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How to Apologize-1

An apology is like mending a broken pot. It is restoration of faith.

Fifteen years ago, I was leading a large technology team at a multi-billion dollar media company in Australia. I had just taken over a major portfolio, and a certain issue in the new software was affecting our users and our revenues. As the Tech Lead, it was my responsibility to fix it. We called in many technical experts from various firms but no one could pinpoint the cause. Weeks went by and we were without a headway still. One time, pensive and introspective, I got home an hour past midnight. I stepped into the shower and had an epiphany. I suddenly knew how to fix the error. I couldn’t wait to get back to work and left again after a snooze.

At work, it was utterly quiet in the wee hours of the morning. I fired up my machine, tried the fix, and voilà, it worked. I bypassed our version control system with great confidence, logged in as the super-user on the staging server. (This was where we showcased our software for business approval before rolling it out to the whole world.) I issued a command to cleanup the existing directory so I could copy across the new code. I was particularly happy imagining how amazed the exec team would be to come into work in the morning and hear this good news. Here was a simple fix that worked where hundreds and thousands of dollars had failed.

There was a small problem; after I started the command on the server, I realized my faux pas. I’d executed a command that was deleting everything (including system files) from the root up. It had effectively formatted the server. Imagine intending to merely turn the light off your room but ending up cutting the power-supply of your entire town. My act was even worse — I’d burnt down the power station too.

It took the hardware team four days to restore the server, for, apparently, there was some issue with the tape-backups too. I was deeply embarrassed. There were many excuses to support my mistake ­— lack of sleep, pressure at work, ludicrous working hours, cryptic nature of the bug, deficient networking team and so forth, but they were just that, excuses. I offered none. I simply apologized to all the stakeholders. Because, the truth was, I’d made an expensive mistake. Fortunately, it all ended well. Two months later, I got a substantial raise; one of the reasons they gave me was “the courage to accept, correct, and learn from the mistake.”

Om Namah Shivay

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Leading with Passion

Some people believe there are no coincidences. I am one of them. 

Over the years, I have learned that to inspire others we must be “in-spirit” ourselves—a state of fearless, effortless flow. We must lead with purpose, heart and grace—to name a few. 

“The heart has reasons that reason cannot know,” to quote Pascal. In other words, people need more than facts, data and analysis to emotionally relate to what needs to be done and why. We need context, not just content. Wise leaders get this!

Buddha once said, “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle cannot be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

During my many years of research, observation and teaching, I felt a strong symbolic connection to the idea of sharing the “light.” 

Light a match in a dark room and watch as the light instantly overcomes the darkness. Observe the power and grace of that single, solitary flame dancing with life. Now light several candles or kindle a fire and experience the added warmth and comfort extending from that first, vulnerable flame through others. This is the heart and soul of leadership—the essence of inspiring others. It is about courageously casting off fear, doubt and limiting beliefs and giving people a sense of hope, optimism and accomplishment. It is about bringing light into a world of uncertainty and inspiring others to do the same. This is what we call passion, the fire within.

Passion is a heartfelt energy that flows through us, not from us. It fills our hearts when we allow it to and it inspires others when we share it. It is like sunlight flowing through a doorway that we have just opened. It was always there. It just needed to be accepted and embraced. Under the right conditions, this “flow” appears effortless, easy and graceful. It is doing what it is meant to do. It is reminding us that we are meant to be purposeful. We are meant to be positive. We are meant to be passionate. We feel this when we listen to and accept our calling in life. We feel it as inspiration when we open the door of resistance and let it in.

Inspiration springs forth when we allow ourselves to be “in-spirit,” aligned with our true essence. Stop and think about it: When you feel truly passionate and inspired about someone or something, what frame of mind are you in? What are you willing to do? What kind of effort are you willing to put forth? How fearful are you? Chances are, you feel motivated to do whatever it takes, without fear or doubt, to turn your vision into reality. You grow in confidence. You believe you can do it. You are committed from the heart and soul.

Om Namah Shivay

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