Organization


April 11, 2021

“You’ve got to think about ‘big things’ while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.” – Alvin Toffler

If you didn’t get a chance to read the last blog (The Balance Myth – Blog 399), I highly recommend you do so.  This blog is a follow-on to the topic of “Life Balance” that we started examining in that blog. 

The unique approach to creating what we think of as “Life Balance” that Gary Keller and Jay Papasan teach in their fabulous book The One Thing involves knowing that it actually takes constant COUNTERBALANCING – making constant, small adjustments on a daily basis  – for you to feel fulfilled and happy in your private life while still achieving purposeful Big Goals in your career or business.

As you will recall, the bottom-line secret, to creating a counterbalanced personal life you love is this: “In your personal life, go SHORT and avoid long periods where you’re out of balance.  Going short lets you stay connected to all the things [and people] that matter most and move them along together.”

In other words, you cannot neglect your health and fitness, your relationships, your homelife or your spiritual life for long periods or they will be irreparably damaged.  You cannot pressure yourself to try to serve everyone and attend to everything that you want to all at the same time, but you CAN prioritize and focus on the ones that need the most attention on a given day. If your child needs you now, that can’t wait. That means de-cluttering your home might have to wait another few days but you will get back it when it’s time to “counterbalance” and make cleanliness and order in your environment a top priority.

However, the authors say, in your career or business, you have to take a much different approach if you are going to reach your Big Goals with maximum efficiency, ultimately allowing more time for your personal life: “In your professional life, go LONG and make peace with the idea that the pursuit of extraordinary results may require you to be out of balance for long periods.  Going long allows you to focus on what matters most, even at the expense of other, lesser priorities.  In your personal life, nothing gets left behind.  At work, it’s required.”

Now, let’s examine the authors’ revolutionary “go LONG” approach that they say will get you to your BIGGEST stretch goals in less time with less wasted effort than most people can imagine. There are two major aspects to this winning approach: developing the Practical tools you need AND adopting the right Mindset for success. 

The practical tools they teach are simple and easy to learn and use and virtually guaranteed to bring you success – as long as you develop the right mindset so you don’t sabotage your best-laid plans.  First, let’s examine the practical tools you can use to achieve your Big Goal:

The Three P’s

The key to producing extraordinary results is to follow the three P’s:

1) First, identify your PURPOSE. Get clear on WHY your Big Goal matters to you — what it is going to bring you? Why is it worth getting up in the morning and pursuing it with focus and drive for however long it takes until you get it?

2) Then make your Big Goal your ONE PRIORITY. “Your most important priority is the ONE Thing you can do right now that will help you achieve what matters most to you.”

3) The third P is PRODUCTIVITY – You must create a clear plan that will ensure you stick with it consistently, day in and day out, until you achieve it. “Write your goals down and keep them close. Knowing your future goal is how you begin. Identifying the STEPS you need to accomplish along the way keeps your thinking clear while you uncover the right priority you need to accomplish RIGHT NOW.”

The KEY to Productivity

The authors believe the ONE great, overriding KEY to productivity is TIME BLOCKING. This is so vital to your success that there’s a whole chapter in the book focused just on how to effectively block your time.

I loved reading that because, in my 16-plus years as a Personal Success Coach, I have always told my clients: If you want to ensure that you have ENOUGH time and are doing the RIGHT things at the RIGHT time (AKA Productivity) you MUST plan your monthly goals and then lay out your weekly and your daily schedule in BLOCKS OF TIME in your planner.

The authors state, “Productive people get more done, achieve better results, and earn far more in their hours than the rest. They do so because they devote maximum time to being productive on their top priority, their ONE Thing.  They time blog their ONE Thing and then protect their time blocks with a vengeance.  They’ve connected the dots between working their time blocks consistently and the extra-ordinary results they seek.”

They go on to say, “Time blocking is a very results-oriented way of viewing and using time.  It’s a way of making sure that what has to be done GETS done… Time blocking harnesses your energy and centers it on your most important work.  It’s productivity’s greatest tool.”

How to Time Block

Time blocking is a simple habit to install, which I recommend to all my coaching clients: Spend one quiet, uninterrupted hour each weekend planning your upcoming week.

First, review your ONE Specific, Measurable Goal for the MONTH – The ONE Thing you vow to accomplish this month that will make everything else you could be doing either easier or unnecessary for reaching your Big Goal.  Then block out time to work on that ONE Thing EVERY DAY during your upcoming workweek.  

If you are serious about reaching your BIG GOAL by the end of the year, you must reach your monthly ONE Thing goal and that means you must work on it productively each workday. The authors’ recommended time for you to FOCUS solely on accomplishing your One Thing is HALF of your working hours each workday. If you work an eight-hour day, that means FOUR hours are devoted solely to working on your One Thing. The rest of your day, you tend to all the other routine tasks that have to be done – answering email, training, meetings, errands, etc. But none of those tasks is allowed to get in the way of your devoted One Thing time.

This undoubtedly sounds like a huge amount of time that you don’t think you have. But remember, you have already asked yourself the book’s Focusing Question about your blocked time: “Today, what is the ONE Thing I can do for my ONE Thing [Big Goal], such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

If you focus on accomplishing the ONE Thing and work productively toward it each day, week and month, a lot of the “busy work” you have been doing in your career, your business or on your passion project will end up being unnecessary. New ways of doing things more efficiently will emerge as you go along. Shortcuts will be found. Serendipity will happen.

You actually will GAIN more time freedom in the end because you worked with single-minded focus on accomplishing the RIGHT things that will get you to your Big Goal more quickly and easily than the haphazard approach most people take and the distractions they allow to derail their plan.

If you cannot devote four hours a day, that’s OK.  Just work as efficiently as you can toward the ultimate goal of spending 50% of your working hours on the ONE Thing that you know that you need to accomplish in order to reach your Weekly Goal, which will then carry you to your Monthly Goal, which will ultimately lead you to fulfill your BIG GOAL for the year that is going to make your life a dream and give you much MORE free time to spend on the people and things you love in your personal life.

We will finish this series on The One Thing next time by looking at the critical MINDSET side of the equation.  It’s great to have a solid plan, but as soon as you begin to work it, all kinds of challenges will inevitably arise that can derail it. Knowing what those pitfalls are and being ready to address them with the right attitude will ensure your success!

Coaching Results:

“I would not have the belief and confidence in myself or my team without Caroll, nor would I be able to bring out the best in my team without her coaching.  You should coach with Caroll if you want to create confidence in yourself, a positive mindset, a successful business and joyful approach to life.” – Lisa Davis, Top Team Leader for Crunchi Cosmetics

I want to be of service to YOU and your friends, colleagues and loved ones! To schedule a F*R*E*E, no-obligation one-hour Success Breakthrough Session by phone that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION on making them a reality, please contact me while I still have openings at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to https://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

March 28, 2021

“A balanced life is a lie…. Purpose, meaning, significance – these are what make a successful life.” – from The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papsan

It feels fabulous to have the time to write a brand new post again!

Since the late fall of 2020, I have had too many coaching resources to study, video trainings to take, new website/branding content to create and other work projects to attend to simultaneously.  On top of that, since my wonderful husband Rick had back surgery in October, many new duties fell to me at home that he had always attended to.

At first, I felt like I was failing in ALL areas of my life because I couldn’t accomplish EVERYTHING I wanted to do for my business and my home life simultaneously.  What kept me sane was remembering to breathe, having faith that God would give me the strength and direction to do whatever I needed to do in the time I had to do it, and making a short list of my top priorities each day. Soon, I learned to be at peace with just getting the MUSTS done and letting the rest go until tomorrow.

Happily, my career is back on a more manageable pace and Rick is doing great with his full recovery.  But this personal growth experience got me intensely interested in the topic of so-called Life Balance, since my life felt completely “out of balance” in both the personal and professional realms.

Achieving an elusive “life balance” is usually the number one thing my coaching clients mention among their top three Big Goals. Women especially feel pulled in too many directions between work and their family responsibilities, with nothing left for themselves. I couldn’t really empathize with them before my own life went off the rails, but now I get it. Believe me!

One of my real estate/entrepreneur clients recently recommended a fabulous book called The One Thing, by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan.  Gary is the co-founder of Keller Williams Realty International, which began as a single office in Austin and is now the largest real estate company in the world.

This book, which is meant to help us succeed BIG in our careers and live fulfilling personal lives, has a whole chapter devoted to debunking the myth that “life balance” exists. They write, “The desire for balance makes sense.  Enough time for everything and everything done in time.  It sounds so appealing that just thinking about it makes us feel serene and peaceful. This calm is so real that we just know it’s the way life was meant to be. But it’s not.”

In order to truly “balance” your work life and personal life, you would have to stay in a “middle” zone, like on a teeter totter. However, in your work and passion projects, “magic happens at the extremes.” If you try to take care of all things all the time, everything gets short changed and you never achieve your Big Dreams.  A life lived in the middle creates mediocre success.

But in your personal life, “When we work too long, eventually our personal life suffers. Falling prey to the belief that long hours are virtuous, we unfairly blame work when we say, ‘I have no life.’ Often, it’s just the opposite. Even if our work doesn’t interfere, our personal life itself can be so full of ‘have-tos’ that we again reach the same defeated conclusion: ‘I have no life.’ And sometimes we get hit from both sides. Some of us face so many personal and professional demands that everything suffers. Breakdown imminent, we once again declare, ‘I have no life!’”

Bingo.  That was my experience exactly. What is the solution, then?

The way to achieve a successful, purposeful and happy life in BOTH your work and personal realms is to learn how to COUNTERBALANCE.

“When we say we’re out of balance,” they write, “we’re usually referring to a sense that some priorities – things that matter to us – are being underserved or unmet. The problem is that when you focus on what is truly important, something will always be underserved.  No matter how hard you try, there will always be things left undone at the end of your day, week, month, year and life….Leaving some things undone is a necessary tradeoff for extraordinary results.  But you can’t leave everything undone, and that’s where counterbalancing comes in. The idea of counterbalancing is that you never go so far that you can’t find your way back or stay so long that there’s nothing waiting for you when you return.”

There are two difference types of counterbalancing: The balancing between work and personal life and the balancing within each.  Work and personal life counterbalancing each require a different strategy, so let’s examine them separately. First, let’s look at your Personal Life and in the next blog we’ll look at what you can do to counterbalance your Work Life.

The authors state, “In your personal world, awareness is the essential ingredient.  Awareness of your spirit and body, awareness of your family and friends, awareness of your personal needs – none of these can be sacrificed if you intend to ‘have a life,’ so you can never forsake them for work or one for the other.  You can move back and forth quickly between these and often even combine activities around them, but you can’t neglect any of them for long. Your personal life requires tight counterbalancing.”

A good example of this principle was uncovered by one of my prospective coaching clients during our complimentary first session.  She felt her job’s time demands were interfering with her family’s happiness.  She longed to bond with her two young children in a special way by spending time at bedtime with each individually, reading to her, listening to her say her prayers and kissing her goodnight.

But her job required her to log into a couple of evening Zoom meetings each week, while other nights, she chose to work in her home office for a couple of hours, seeing it as an opportunity to catch up on work projects. As a result, she felt guilty that her husband often put their kids to bed and read to them most weeknights, while she felt cheated out of having special “Mommy and Me” time with them. Still, she pushed herself to accomplish more work tasks.

This conundrum gave her the opportunity to learn to “counterbalance” between her work and home life!  I reminded her that her kids wouldn’t be little for long and that she couldn’t put off this special bonding opportunity with them and expect it to be waiting for her when she had more time.  In fact, the authors of The One Thing made the same point: “Do you really think you can ever get back a child’s bedtime story or a birthday?…Do you think you can cut a deal with God that time stands still for you, holding off on anything important until you are ready to participate again?”

So we came up with a simple plan: Each weekend, she would look at her next week’s work schedule and PLAN which nights she had to be on a Zoom conference and which nights she had discretion about how she spent her time.  She was able to prioritize several nights each week that she could have precious bedtime bonding with her girls, and the other nights, her husband was happy to cover for her. The next time we spoke she was so happy and the whole family was grateful that they weren’t letting this precious time disappear.

Keller and Papasan say the secret to creating a counterbalanced personal life you love is this: “In your personal life, go SHORT and avoid long periods where you’re out of balance.  Going short lets you stay connected to all the things that matter most and move them along together. In your professional life, go LONG and make peace with the idea that the pursuit of extraordinary results may require you to be out of balance for long periods.  Going long allows you to focus on what matters most, even at the expense of other, lesser priorities.  In your personal life, nothing gets left behind. At work, it’s required.

“Acknowledge that your life actually has multiple areas and that each requires a minimum of attention for you to feel that you ‘have a life.’ Drop any one and you will feel the effects. This requires constant awareness. You must never go too long or too far without counterbalancing them so that they are ALL active areas of your life. Your personal life requires it.”

IMPORTANT NOTE: The blog is taking next Easter Weekend off (for counterbalance!) and will return on Sunday April 11 to examine what it takes to SUCCEED BIG by focusing on your One Thing and “going long” in your career and passion projects. 

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to https://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

*************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ******************

I want to be of service to YOU and your friends, colleagues and loved ones! To schedule a F*R*E*E, no-obligation one-hour Success Breakthrough Session by phone that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION on making them a reality, please email me while I still have openings at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com

April 26, 2020

“Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.” – Peter Marshall

The message that came to me over and over again this week is one that most of us need to be constantly reminded of: Stay present and live each moment of life as it comes.

As I thought about the word “present,” it dawned on me that this one word has at least three main meanings which, while different, are all related.  First, as a noun, it means “gift,” like a Christmas present. It also means “now,” as in this present moment in time.  As a verb, “present” also means “to offer something” (as one might offer a gift).

In all these interconnected meanings, being present IS a gift because it enables us to fully experience and appreciate every precious moment of life.  Now, more than ever, the whole world is keenly aware of the precious fragility of life — that we could be here today and gone tomorrow.

Friday’s daily thought from Joel Osteen also reminded me of what a special gift each moment of life is, especially all the “simple” things we often overlook or take for granted. This is especially true now, during this pandemic, which has forced us to slow down and re-arrange our usual daily routines:

Enjoy the Simple Thingsby Joel Osteen

“Don’t miss a great season in your life wishing you had more, complaining about what you don’t have.  The real joy in life is in the simple things – making memories with your family, riding your bikes together, watching the sunset with your spouse, or staring up at the stars at night.  You don’t have to have big vacations or lots of money to have fun.  Learn to enjoy the simple things in life.

Could it be that you’re at the right place for the season that you’re in, but you’re not enjoying it?  Maybe if you would step back and see it from a new perspective, you would realize that God has you in the palms of His hands.  He knows where you are, what you like, and what you don’t like.  Instead of living discontented, frustrated, always wishing you were somewhere else, embrace the place where you are.  See the good. Be grateful for what you have.”

My job is to help my coaching clients get what they want.  Each has a Big Goal, and I help them with the mindset tools, strategy and accountability that will enable them to reach that Big Goal, even if it seems far-fetched to someone else.

In my 16 years as a Personal Success Coach ™, I have learned that there are TWO fundamental keys to reaching any Big Goal:

1) Focus on what you WANT (not on what you don’t want). Keep your eyes on the prize and use mindset tools daily to strengthen your belief that you will get it.

2) Take ONE step at a time toward that outcome you want. Don’t try to figure out the whole HOW for getting there.  You can count on God/The Universe to help you with that, rolling the plan out for you one step at a time.  YOUR job is to take the step that is in front of you right NOW.  Looking too far ahead will only distract you from taking the right action today and make you doubt that it is possible to reach your Big Goal.  If you just stay in the NOW, focusing on carrying out today’s action step, the next step will come to you when the time is right.

A Case in Point

A week ago, on a coaching call, one of my clients seemed close to having a panic attack.  She was feeling totally overwhelmed by all the tasks she felt must be done simultaneously – caring for her family, staying mostly inside when she wanted to be outside, trying to come up with an entirely new distance learning curriculum for her students, while trying to consistently work her network marketing side business.  I understood why she wanted to stay in bed with the covers pulled over her head rather than try to organize ALL the many steps she needed to take!

During our call, we took a calm look at things and focused on what steps she could take NOW to begin to make progress on her tasks.  As we talked, she thought of some specific resources available to her that she hadn’t been utilizing, and she promised to take just ONE action as soon as we hung up: call her mentor teacher for lessons plan suggestions and emotional support.

She also came up with a brilliant plan for shaking off her paralyzing sense of overwhelm: She vowed to complete just ONE to THREE action items per day — no more, no less.  That number was mentally manageable to her, and she knew that she could prioritize that many items per day and get them done.  Completing them each day would give her a sense of control and accomplishment, which in turn would restore her self-confidence and expectation of success.

When we talked a week later, she sounded like her old can-do self again. She had been carrying out her daily “three things” action plan, and was feeling much better. She was getting up early and enjoying her daily walks with her dog again, and grateful to be able to spend more precious time with her family because she wasn’t away all day in the classroom.  She is embracing where she is” and being grateful for what she has in the PRESENT moment, just as Joel suggests.

We can all emulate my client’s simple approach to creating greater productivity and happiness:  Accept what is going on right NOW, do what we can right NOW, and let tomorrow’s steps unfold in God’s perfect time and way.  When we allow ourselves to be fully present in each moment, we will find joy in recognizing the many precious gifts that surround us right NOW.

PLEASE NOTE: The blog will be taking the next weekend off.  Your next Cup of Caroll will arrive on Sunday May 10. 

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to https://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled!*******************

I want to be of service to YOU, your friends, colleagues and loved ones, especially in this challenging time!  To schedule a NO-obligation F.R.E.E. HOUR of phone coaching that will help you clarify your goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me while I still have openings at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

 

 

February 25, 2018

“What we feel, think, and do this moment influences both our present and the future in ways we may never know.  Begin.  Start right where you are. Consider your possibilities and find inspiration…to add more meaning and zest to your life.” – Alexandra Stoddard

The following is a blog written by the wonderful personal trainer I used to go to who co-owns a popular fitness studio in Sacramento, CA. (www.HealthyHabitsStudio.com)

I believe that her wise words apply to ALL long-term goals — personal and business, as well as health and fitness.  All Big Goals require patient, committed one-day-at-a–time focus and one-step-at-a-time planning to reach.  If you take her advice to heart, and make it your own guiding philosophy, I believe you can and will achieve your BIGGEST personal, business and fitness goals this year.

Today is a big deal!

By Rose Zahnn

“You woke up this morning and began making choices.

You chose whether or not to exercise, to eat a healthy breakfast, or to do something productive. You chose whether or not to eat that donut, to sleep in, or to watch an extra hour of TV.

At the end of each day, the sum of your choices pushes you in a direction.

It could be pushing you in the direction of fitness and health, if your choices were predominantly healthy.

Or, the sum of your choices could be pushing you in the direction of weight gain, health issues and problems.

I find this perspective helpful when it comes to making a major body transformation. It’s tempting to feel overwhelmed about changing your body when you have many pounds to lose and much work to do, since you can’t do it all in one day.

However, by capturing the power of each day by making healthy choices, you will be pushed in the direction of weight loss and health day after day, week after week.

Until, one day, you’ll look in the mirror and see that you’ve arrived at your ultimate destination: a lean, healthy and fit you!

So, embrace the power of each choice that you make today, and allow a momentum of good choices to push you through to your goal.

Do This At Bedtime: The best way to ensure that you will make great choices tomorrow is to plan for it tonight. Before you go to sleep, jot out your plan for the next day.

Today is a big deal.

Today is all you have.

Make the most of today.”

IMPORTANT NOTE: The blog and I are taking next weekend off.  Look for your next Cup of Caroll on Sunday, March 11, which also happens to be the start of Daylight Savings Time for most of the USA.  Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead!

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

*************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ******************

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

January 21, 2018

“Today is unique!  It has never occurred before, and it will never be repeated.  At midnight, it will end, quietly, suddenly, totally. Forever.  But the hours between now and then are opportunities with eternal possibilities.” – Charles R. Swindoll

 I hope you have had a chance to complete your 2017 and create a vision for the brand new year that lies before you. If not, there is still time!  Go to my blog archives at www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and use the past two blogs to guide you in these important steps to lay the foundation for a happy and successful New Year.

If you have completed these two steps, there is one remaining step for you to get your year off to a successful start and maintain order and ease throughout the year ahead – getting organized. If you practice using the plan I am about to share with you, I can promise your 2018 will be filled with more internal peace and ease and more external efficiency and productivity.

(What follows is a lightly-edited post I published in June, 2015 that is definitely worth reviewing to get your year off to a great start!)

One of the biggest challenges my coaching clients seem to face is how to sort out multiple priorities among all the important tasks and projects they want to accomplish each day. With a demanding full-time job and a side business to manage, along with a family that needs their time and attention, how on earth are they supposed to find time for their own personal needs like daily exercise and Personal Development time? Where is that elusive “life balance” everyone wants?

I show them how to prioritize and manage their many accountabilities with ease, using a simple system I learned years ago.  I call it the “Big Rocks” weekly scheduling system, after a memorable demonstration by a time management/efficiency expert.

First, he placed a big glass jar on a table.  Next to it, he placed four glass jars containing rocks, pebbles, sand and water. He asked the audience in which order he should put the four substances into the jar so that ALL of them would fit.  Looking at the four containers separately, it seemed unlikely that the rocks, pebbles, sand and water could ALL fit into the one big jar, but he promised they would IF they were put in the right order.

Finally, someone got it: Put the BIG rocks in first, followed by the pebbles (which filled in the open spaces between the rocks), then the sand that sifted down into the cracks between the pebbles, and finally the water, which seeped down between everything, filling the jar to the top.  Yes, all four items DID fit into the available space, even though it looked impossible when you considered them separately.

The point he was making is that if you take care of your most important tasks (the “Big Rocks”) FIRST, all your other tasks can be managed with ease.  But if you eat up most of your day checking off a long list of meaningless “little stuff” – or worse, spinning your wheels trying to figure out what to tackle first — you won’t have enough time and energy left to accomplish the truly IMPORTANT things that will make the biggest difference for you.

In addition to this great prioritizing insight, I also learned another key principle of productivity from the book “Master Your Workday Now!” by Michael Linenberger. He asserts that, while you may like to think you attend to the most “important” tasks first, the truth is, we all invariably do the most URGENT tasks first, whether or not they are the most IMPORTANT to us.  These may or may not be your personal priorities, but they are tasks with a short deadline that your boss, church committee, spouse, kid’s teacher, Team members or customers say they MUST have your help with right NOW.  You will put out these annoying little fires first because alleviating the internal pressure caused by the feeling of urgency trumps all.

Linenberger believes that, as a rule, we can handle a maximum THREE urgent matters each day. When more than three urgent tasks are competing for your attention at one time, your brain loses the ability to prioritize and accomplish them. Most of the time, attempting to accomplish more than three urgent “Big Rocks” causes your brain to shut down and not finish some or all of them, or makes you to try to get them done in a slap-dash way that produces poor results.

What is the best way to accomplish your most urgent and important Big Rocks tasks each day?  Rule #1 is DO NOT schedule yourself for more than THREE Big Rocks per day. These are defined as tasks that must be done by YOU (meaning you cannot delegate them to someone else) AND must be done or worked on TODAY.  If it can be delegated, ask for help!  If it can be put off to a later time and still be done properly, schedule it as one of your “Big Rocks” for another day.

All this talk of urgency probably doesn’t sound very easeful, does it? So how do you accomplish three Big Rocks, along with the rest of your To-Dos every day with a feeling of ease and control?  Simply PLAN your Big Rocks in advance! Here’s how Mr. Linenberger’s book taught me to do it:

  • For 20-30 minutes each weekend, sit quietly with your long To-Do list of upcoming tasks and projects and your day planner calendar open to the coming week. Study your To-Do list carefully and decide which tasks are going to be your Big Rocks to accomplish during the coming week.
  • Schedule a maximum of THREE Big Rocks tasks per day into your weekly planner/calendar at the TIMES of day you think they should be done. Some Big Rocks will be appointments at set times, such as a conference call with a potential business partner at 10am on Tuesday, a dentist appointment at 3pm on Friday, getting your car’s oil changed on Thursday morning, going to your kid’s soccer tournament Thursday at 4pm, etc. Other daily Big Rocks will be projects and tasks that you must choose the best day and time for YOU to work on. In that case, you will be blocking out times on your appointment calendar that you feel are optimal for you and the results you want, such as making prospecting calls from 10am to 11am each day, writing a report that’s due by the end of the week from 2pm to 5pm on Tuesday, practicing the cello each day from 5 to 6pm, in preparation for a recital in two weeks, etc.
  • IF a conflict arises between a previously-set appointment (which, of course, you wrote in your planner the minute you set it) and a Big Rock task or event that came up later, your weekly planning time alerts you to either change the current appointment OR negotiate a time change for the task or event. Being in integrity requires that you notify anyone else who will be affected by such changes, just as soon as you become aware of them. If another’s expectations are not going to be met, alerting them ASAP allows them time to either get someone else to fill in for you or to negotiate a new time for you to accomplish it.
  • After scheduling the three Big Rock tasks and appointments for each day of the coming week, you then can fill in the rest of the open times with your “Pebble Tasks.” These are not as important as the Big Rocks and/or they can be done at flexible times, so you can fit them in after you see what the Big Rocks schedule looks like each day.
  • Next, come the “Sand” and “Water” items, such as errands. If these small items don’t get done today, it’s not a big deal; you can still fit them amongst the Big Rocks and Pebbles another day. Try to be efficient by looking at your To-Do list for multiple errands that can be done in the same trip and block those out for 30 minutes or an hour in a given day.  TIP: Always have something useful to read or listen to while you commute or are stuck waiting somewhere for a few minutes.  Don’t waste precious time playing games on your smart phone when you could be reading a good book or improving your skills via a recorded training call.

IMPORTANT CAVEATS: In order for this system to work:

  • You absolutely MUST keep a daily/weekly planner that has slots of at least 30 minutes for each day. (My coaching appointment calendar has 15-minute time slots from 8am to 8pm each day.)

AND

  • You must keep ALL of your appointments – business, personal, doctors, kids’ sports, social engagements, etc. on the SAME planner/calendar.  If you have multiple calendars going for different areas of life, you will inevitably double-book yourself for something important and tears will flow.

My clients who faithfully use this simple “Big Rocks” weekly scheduling system report that it really works!  They have a greater sense of control over their time and no more stress and guilt from double-bookings or forgotten appointments. And they have a real sense of accomplishment at the end of they day because they were able to complete the things that really mattered to them, instead of just checking off a bunch of little tasks that can’t help them reach their Big Goals.

Is setting aside time each weekend to plan your week ahead worth the sacrifice of 30 minutes of precious me time or family time? I promise that, in return, you will gain a greater sense of personal control, lower your stress level, and begin to create that “life balance” we all crave. Seems totally worth it, doesn’t it?

PLEASE NOTE: The blog will be taking the next two weekends off for taxes (Ugh!) and Super Bowl Sunday (Yay!).  A brand new Cup of Caroll will appear in your in-box on Sunday, February 11th.

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching!  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached!  And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com and request a complimentary session.

“If you only did the things you don’t want to do, you’d have everything you want.” – Mel Robbins , Stop Saying You’re Fine

First, I want to thank everyone who sent me their lovely birthday greetings and good wishes on my birthday last Friday!  I thoroughly enjoyed celebrating at The Happiest Place on Earth (AKA Disneyland) with my wonderful husband, Rick.  The weather was perfect and we even manifested an unusually small crowd for a summer day.

Because of my birthday and preparing my upcoming six-session “Prosperity Summer Camp” webinar to teach you step-by-step exactly how to create ANYTHING you want using the Law of Attraction, I did not have time to prepare an original blog for today.

However, because I needed some valuable material to share with you, the Law of Attraction (which says “energy attracts like energy”) guided me quickly and easily to a great post by WalktheTalk.com (which I have permission to reprint) about an important topic that has come up a lot lately among my coaching clients: How do you prioritize the many tasks and goals competing for your time to ensure you will accomplish the ones that really matter MOST to you?

The answer follows! I hope you will find it as helpful as I did.

“Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.   In Eat That Frog, author Brian Tracy says that your ‘frog’ should be the most difficult item on your to-do list because, if you eat that first, it’ll give you energy and momentum for the rest of the day.  But if you let the frog sit there on the plate and stare at it while you do a hundred unimportant things, it can drain your energy and you won’t even know it.  Your ability to select the most important task at the moment and get it done will have more of an impact on your success than any other quality or skill.” – WalktheTalk.com

“Apply the 80/20 Rule to Everything” from the book Eat That Frog! By Brian Tracy

The 80/20 Rule is one of the most helpful of all concepts of time and life management.  It is also called the ‘Pareto Principle’ after its founder, the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who first wrote about it in 1895.  Pareto noticed that people in his society seemed to divide naturally into what he called the ‘vital few,’ the top 20 percent in terms of money and influence, and the ‘trivial many,’ the bottom 80 percent.

He later discovered that virtually all economic activity was subject to this principle as well.  For example, this principle says that 20 percent of your activities will account for 80 percent of your results, 20 percent of your customers will account for 80 percent of your sales, 20 percent of your products or services will account for 80 percent of your profits, 20 percent of your tasks will account for 80 percent of the value of what you do, and so on.  This means that if you have a list of ten items to do, two of those items will turn out to be worth five or ten times more than the other eight items put together.

Number of Tasks versus Importance of Tasks

Here is an interesting discovery.  Each of the ten tasks may take the same amount of time to accomplish.  But one or two of those tasks will contribute five or ten times the value of any of the others.

Often, one item on a list of ten tasks that you have to do can be worth more than all the other nine items put together.  This task is invariably the frog that you should eat first.

Focus on Activities, not Accomplishments

The most valuable tasks that you can do each day are often the hardest and most complex.  But the payoff and rewards for completing these tasks efficiently can be tremendous.  For this reason, you must adamantly refuse to work on tasks in the bottom 80 percent while you still have tasks in the top 20 percent left to be done.

Before you begin work, always ask yourself, ‘Is this task in the top 20 percent of my activities or in the bottom 80 percent?’

The hardest part of any important task is getting started on it in the first place.  Once you actually begin work on a valuable task, you will be naturally motivated to continue.  A part of your mind loves to be busy working on significant tasks that can really make a difference.  Your job is to feed this part of your mind continually.

Motivate Yourself

Just thinking about starting and finishing an important task motivates you and helps you to overcome procrastination.  Time management is really life management, personal management.  It is really taking control of the sequence of events.  Time management is having control over what you do next.  And you are always free to choose the task that you will do next. Your ability to choose between the important and unimportant is the key determinant of your success in life and work.

Effective, productive people discipline themselves to start on the most important task that is before them. They force themselves to eat that frog, whatever it is.  As a result, they accomplish vastly more than the average person and are much happier as a result.  This should be your way of working as well.”

Thanks, Brian! Once again, he has proven that the most profound, impactful ideas are often the simplest! If you will just discipline yourself each day to identify and then plunge in and tackle your 20 percent most IMPORTANT tasks (also often known as “Income Producing Activities”) FIRST, you will inevitably create all the success, money, time freedom, happiness, fulfillment and self-esteem you could possibly want.

And once you realize that you really DO stand to gain ALL those goodies, then eating that ugly old frog doesn’t seem so daunting, now does it?

IMPORTANT NOTE: A Cup of Caroll is taking next week off for our USA Independence Day holiday weekend AND so that I can continue preparations for my Prosperity Summer Camp webinar.  On June 19, you should have received the first email letting you know that registration is now OPEN and Early Birds who register by June 30 will qualify for two additional VALUABLE gifts!  If you didn’t get it, watch for the next email about the course that comes out Monday the 26th and jump right in! The six-module Zoom course begins on Tuesday evening July 18. I promise it will be interactive, fun and create lots of new prosperity for all who join me. Your friends, family and Teammates are welcome to join the course.  Please pass my emails along to them and encourage them to sign up too! (If you or they have any questions, please email me right away.)

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

 

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Steven Covey

Last week’s blog drew a BIG response from my readers!  It seems just about everyone recognized that they can use some “lightening up” in their life.  Several commented that they crave more time each week to enjoy family activities or just some relaxing “me” time.  But the challenge is HOW to carve out more free time in an already packed schedule? So I decided to share this lightly-edited blog from one year ago that answers that question:

When one of my clients didn’t call at our appointed time this week, I texted her, thinking she might be absorbed in some task and had lost track of the time. Instead, her reply text confessed that she was sitting in the doctor’s office and had completely forgotten our appointment.

Just the day before, much to my chagrin, I double-booked a coaching slot.  Fortunately, I discovered my mistake well in advance and one client was gracious enough to switch times. Nevertheless, I was quite annoyed because I take pride in being well-organized and detail-oriented.  (My husband and friends have less-flattering terms for this tendency, I’m sure!)

When I notice a recurring pattern among several clients, it’s a signal to me that the issue they are dealing with should be the theme of my blog.  This week, it was not only my clients’ behavior, but also my OWN that clearly signaled what I need to discuss.

Living an “abundant” life doesn’t depend on how much money you have in the bank, although money is certainly a good resource to have.  Abundant living depends on how much you are enjoying your life.  All of my clients are very busy people.  Some run a full-time business from home, while juggling a full-time family life.  Others have a day job AND are working hard to build a thriving business on the side, often with families to look after, as well.

It’s understandable that they sometimes feel exhausted and overwhelmed, so I share tips and techniques I have learned to help them take control of their schedules. Here are seven keys to mastering your own busy schedule and living an abundant, easeful life:

  • Write it down. The only way you can remember all of the “To Dos” that come up daily is to write them down in ONE place. You can break the list into categories if you like, under the headings “Work” “Family” and “Personal.”  Keep ONE list in a notepad that you carry with you and review it at least weekly. Trying to keep the list in your head will tax your brain and make you feel stressed.  Once it is written down, your mind can relax and focus on what needs doing NOW.
  • Schedule it. The items on your To Do list are not going to get done unless you transfer them onto your scheduling calendar. You must keep ONE scheduling calendar that has EVERY appointment and action item from all categories on it – work, family and personal. If you keep multiple calendars for your work and family events, you are inevitably going to double-book yourself or miss some important meeting.  The reason I double-booked my two clients was that I noted the appointment change in one client’s file, but must have gotten distracted and forgot to change it on my actual appointment calendar.  You MUST write appointments on your calendar the minute you make them.  Don’t rely on scraps of paper or sticky notes to remind you.
  • Plan your week. I recommend taking a quiet 30 minutes each weekend to sit with your To Do list and appointment calendar and plan the upcoming week. Schedule up to THREE of your To Dos each day AROUND the appointments you already have.  Recurring appointments include your morning personal development time, exercise time, kids’ sports schedules, etc.  If you don’t write all of these down, you will think you have time for your three To Dos, but will quickly discover that your day is actually already full of unwritten items that you can overlook until you have to do them. If you have blocked time in advance for them, you will accomplish at least 15 important To Dos each week.
  • Think ahead. Years ago, one of my dear friends had to wait by the side of the road for AAA to rescue him when his car ran out of gas on several occasions. When I asked him why this kept happening, he said, “I was late for work and didn’t have time to stop at the gas station. I thought I could make it.”Haste truly does make waste, so instead of flying by the seat of your pants, practice looking ahead 24 hours on your calendar to see what you are going to be doing TOMORROW. Make sure you have everything you will need: Gas in the car, clean clothes, cash, meeting supplies, etc. This habit will de-stress your life tremendously.
  • Focus. Men are designed to be single-focused, while women are born multi-taskers.  I know how easy it is to go into a room for one thing, and end up doing three other things while I’m there.  Many of my clients use social media as a vital tool to market their business and make new connections. Most of them confess that they plan to spend just 10 minutes posting something, and they end up mesmerized reading others’ posts for hours.
  • Discipline yourself. If you have your schedule blocked out in detail each week, you should know how much time you plan to spend on a particular task.  Set a timer for doing the task and when it goes off, STOP and proceed to the next item on your schedule, even if you didn’t finish the first task.  That “stick” will teach your brain to FOCUS next time so you can have the “carrot” of proudly accomplishing everything you planned for the day.
  • Do it NOW. Most of us are born procrastinators.  If we don’t want to do something we must do, we often postpone it until the last minute. But more often than not, our well-laid plans for tomorrow get interrupted by unexpected “fires” to put out that may cause us to miss the deadline.  One of my clients declared her New Year’s Resolution to be “Don’t delay; do it NOW.”  She has stuck with it and it has made her days much more calm and productive.  One of my favorite quotes from life coach Mel Robbins’ great book, Stop Saying You’re Fine, is “If you only did the things you don’t want to do, you’d have everything you want.”   

Here’s a final piece of hard-won wisdom from this recovering People-Pleaser: If you can easily fulfill another’s request, by all means, do so. But if it will suck up your time or resources so that your own dreams, family or personal well-being are likely to suffer, just say “NO!”  Many things we are invited to attend, join, buy or facilitate aren’t something we truly want and keep us from our own purposeful pursuits. If you respectfully decline, the requestor/inviter will appreciate your honesty and will ask someone else for whom it will be a purposeful opportunity.

If you will implement one or more of these tips, I am confident that you will soon experience more ease, productivity and time freedom in your life!

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for a while, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com  or toll free 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.   

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Steven Covey

When one of my clients didn’t call at our appointed time this week, I texted her, thinking she might be absorbed in some task and had lost track of the time. Instead, her reply confessed that she was sitting in the doctor’s office and had completely forgotten our appointment.

Just the day before, to my chagrin, I had double-booked a coaching slot.  Fortunately, I discovered my mistake well in advance and one of the two clients was gracious enough to switch times. Nevertheless, I was quite annoyed because I take pride in being well-organized and detail-oriented.  (My husband and friends probably have less-flattering terms for this tendency!)

Living an “abundant” life doesn’t depend on how much money you have in the bank, although money is certainly a good resource to have.  Abundant living depends on how much you are enjoying your life.

All of my clients are very busy people.  Some run a full-time business from home while juggling a full-time family life.  Many have a day job AND are working hard to build a thriving business on the side, often with families to look after, as well. It’s understandable that they sometimes feel exhausted and overwhelmed, so I share tips and techniques I have learned to help them take control of their schedules.

Here are five keys to mastering your own busy schedule and living a more abundant, enjoyable life:

#1 Write it down. The only way you can remember all of the “To Dos” that come up daily is to write them down in ONE place. You can break the list into categories if you like, under the headings “Work” “Family” and “Personal.”  Keep ONE list you carry with you everywhere and review it at least weekly. Trying to keep To Dos in your head over taxes your brain and creates stress.  Once you write it down, your mind can relax and focus on what needs doing NOW

#2 Schedule it. The items on your To Do list are not going to get done unless you transfer them onto your scheduling calendar. You must keep ONE scheduling calendar that has EVERY appointment and action item from all categories on it – work, family and personal. If you keep multiple calendars for your work and family events, you are inevitably going to double-book yourself or miss some important meeting.  The reason I double-booked my two clients was that I noted the appointment change in one client’s file, but must have gotten distracted and forgot to change it on my actual appointment calendar.  You MUST write appointments on your calendar the minute you make them.  Don’t rely on scraps of paper or sticky notes to remind you.

I recommend taking a quiet 30 minutes each weekend to sit with your To Do list and appointment calendar and plan the upcoming week. Schedule up to three of your To Dos each day AROUND the appointments you already have.  Recurring appointments include your morning personal development time, exercise time, kids’ sports schedules, etc.  If you don’t write all of these down, you will think you have time for the three To Dos, but will quickly discover that your day actually is already full of unwritten items that you overlook until you have to do them. If you have blocked time in advance for them, you will accomplish at least 15 important To Dos each week.

#3 Plan ahead. Years ago, one of my dear friends had to wait by the side of the road for AAA to rescue him when his car ran out of gas on several occasions. When I asked him why this kept happening, he said, “I was late for work and didn’t have time to stop at the gas station. I thought I could make it.”

Haste truly does make waste, so instead of flying by the seat of your pants, practice looking ahead 24 hours on your calendar to see what you are going to be doing TOMORROW. Make sure you have everything you will need: Gas in the car, clean clothes, cash, meeting supplies, etc. This habit will de-stress your life tremendously.

#4 Focus. Men’s brains are designed to be single-focused, while women are born multi-taskers.  I know how easy it is to go into a room for one thing and end up doing three other things while I’m there.  Many of my clients use social media as a vital tool to market their business and make new connections. Most of them confess that they plan to spend just 10 minutes posting something,but end up being mesmerized by others’ posts for hours.

If you have your schedule blocked out in detail each week, you should know how much time you plan to spend on a particular task.  Set a timer for doing the task and when it goes off, STOP and proceed to the next item on your schedule, even if you didn’t finish the first task.  That “stick” will teach your brain to FOCUS next time so you can have the “carrot” of proudly accomplishing everything you planned for the day.

#5 Do it NOW. Most of us are born procrastinators.  If we don’t want to do something we must do, we often postpone it until the last minute. But more often than not, our well-laid plans for tomorrow get interrupted by unexpected “fires” to put out that may cause us to miss the deadline.  A client declared her New Year’s Resolution to be “Don’t delay; do it NOW.”  She has stuck with it and it has made her much more calm and productive.  One of my favorite quotes from life coach Mel Robbins’ great book, Stop Saying You’re Fine is “If you only did the things you don’t want to do, you’d have everything you want.”   

Here’s a final piece of hard-won wisdom from this recovering People-Pleaser: If you can easily fulfill another’s request, by all means, do so. But if it will suck up your time or resources so that your OWN dreams, family or personal well-being are likely to suffer, just say “NO!”  Many things we are invited to attend, join, buy or facilitate aren’t things we truly want and keep us from our own purposeful pursuits. If you firmly, respectfully decline, the requester will appreciate your honesty and will then ask someone for whom it will be a purposeful opportunity.

If you implement one or more of these tips, I am confident that you will soon experience more ease, productivity, joy and success in your life!

NOTE: A Cup of Caroll is taking the next week off and will return on Sunday, April 24.

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for a while, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com  or 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.   

“I learned that we can do anything, but we can’t do everything…at least not at the same time.   So think of your priorities not in terms of what activities you do, but when you do them. Timing is everything.” – Dan Millman

One of the biggest challenges my coaching clients seem to face is how to sort out multiple priorities among all the important tasks and projects they want to accomplish each day. With a demanding full-time job and a side business to manage, along with a family that needs their time and attention, how on earth are they supposed to find time for their own personal needs like daily exercise and Personal Development time? Where is that elusive “life balance” everyone wants?

I show them how to prioritize and manage their many accountabilities with ease, using a simple system I learned years ago. I call it the “Big Rocks” weekly scheduling system, after a memorable demonstration by a time management/efficiency expert.

First, he placed a big glass jar on a table. Next to it, he placed four glass jars containing rocks, pebbles, sand and water. He asked the audience in which order he should put the four substances into the jar so that ALL of them would fit. Looking at the four containers separately, it didn’t seem that the rocks, pebbles, sand and water could all possibly fit into the one big jar, but he promised they would if they were put in the right way.

Finally, someone got it: Put the BIG rocks in first, followed by the pebbles (which filled in the open spaces between the rocks), then the sand that sifted down into the cracks between the pebbles, and finally the water, which seeped down between everything, filling the jar to the top. Yes, all four items did fit into the available space, even though it looked impossible when you considered them separately.

The point he was making is that if you take care of the BIG tasks first, all your other tasks can be done with ease. But if you eat up most of your day checking off a long list of meaningless “little stuff,” you won’t have enough time and energy left to accomplish the truly IMPORTANT things that will make the biggest difference for you.

In addition to this great prioritizing insight, I also learned another key principle of productivity from the book “Master Your Workday Now!” by Michael Linenberger. He asserts that, while you may like to think you attend to the most “important” tasks first, the truth is, we all invariably do the most URGENT tasks first, whether or not they are the most IMPORTANT to us. These may or may not be your personal priorities, but they are tasks with a short deadline that your boss, church committee, spouse, kid’s teacher or customers say they MUST have your help with right NOW.   You will put out these fires first because alleviating the internal pressure caused by the feeling of urgency trumps all.

Linenberger believes that, as a rule, we can handle a maximum THREE such urgent matters each day. When more than three urgent tasks are competing for your attention at once, your brain loses the ability to prioritize and accomplish them. Most of the time, attempting to accomplish more than three urgent “Big Rocks” causes your brain to shut down and not finish some or all of them, or makes you to try to get them done in a slap-dash way that produces poor results.

What is the best way to accomplish your most urgent and important Big Rocks tasks each day? Rule #1 is DO NOT schedule yourself for more than THREE Big Rocks per day. These are defined as tasks that must be done by YOU (meaning you cannot delegate them to someone else) and must be done or worked on TODAY. If it can be delegated, ask for help! If it can be put off to a later time and still be done properly, schedule it as one of your “Big Rocks” for another day.

All this talk of urgency probably doesn’t sound very easeful, does it? So how do you accomplish three Big Rocks, along with the rest of your To-Dos every day with a feeling of ease and control? Simply PLAN your Big Rocks in advance! Here’s how Mr. Linenberger’s book taught me to do it:

  • 1) For 20-30 minutes each weekend, sit quietly with your long To-Do list of upcoming tasks and projects and your day planner calendar. Study your list carefully and decide which tasks are going to be your Big Rocks to accomplish during the coming week.
  • 2) Schedule a maximum of THREE Big Rocks tasks per day into your weekly planner/calendar at the TIMES of day you think they should be done. Some Big Rocks will be appointments at set times, such as a job interview at 10am on Tuesday, a dentist appointment at 3pm on Friday, getting your car’s oil changed on Thursday morning, going to your kid’s soccer tournament Thursday at 4pm, etc.   Other daily Big Rocks will be projects and tasks that YOU must choose the best day and time for YOU to work on. In that case, you will be BLOCKING out times that you feel are optimal for you and the results you want, such as making prospecting calls from 10am to 11am each day, writing a report that’s due by the end of the week from 2pm to 5pm on Tuesday, practicing the cello each day from 5 to 6pm, in preparation for a recital in two weeks, etc.
  • 3) IF a conflict arises between a previously-set appointment (which, of course, you wrote in your planner the minute you set it) and a Big Rock task or event that came up later, your weekly planning time alerts you to either change the standing appointment OR negotiate a change for the task or event. Being in integrity requires that you notify anyone else who will be affected by such changes, just as soon as you become aware of them. If another’s expectations are not going to be met, alerting them ASAP allows them time to either get someone else to fill in for you or to negotiate a new time for you to accomplish it.
  • 4) After scheduling the Big Rock tasks and appointments for each day of the coming week, you then can fill in the rest of the open times with your “Pebble” tasks. These are not as important as the Big Rocks and/or they can be done at flexible times, so you can fit them in after you see what the Big Rocks schedule looks like each day.
  • 5) After that come the “Sand” and “Water” items, such as errands. If these small items don’t get done today, it’s not a big deal; you can still fit them among the Big Rocks and Pebbles another day this week. Try to be efficient by looking at your To-Do list for multiple errands that can be done in the same trip and block those out for 30 minutes or an hour in a given day. TIP: Always have something useful to read or listen to while you commute or are stuck waiting somewhere for a few minutes.   Don’t waste precious time playing games on your smart phone when you could be reading a good book or listening to a recorded training call.

IMPORTANT: In order for this system to work,

  • You absolutely MUST keep a daily/weekly planner that has slots of at least 30 minutes for each day. (My coaching appointment calendar has 15-minute time slots from 8am to 8pm each day.) AND
  • You must keep ALL of your appointments – business, personal, doctors, kids’ sports, social engagements, etc. — on the SAME planner/calendar. If you have multiple calendars going for different areas of life, you will eventually double-book yourself or miss something important and tears will flow.

My clients who faithfully use this simple “Big Rocks” weekly scheduling system report that it really works! They have a greater sense of control over their time and no more stress caused by double-bookings or forgotten appointments. And they have a real sense of accomplishment at the end of the day because they were able to complete the things that really mattered, instead of just checking off a bunch of little tasks that can’t help them reach their Big Goals.

If you will devote just 30 minutes each weekend to planning and scheduling the week ahead, I promise you will gain a greater sense of control, lower your stress level, and begin to create that “life balance” we all crave. Seems totally worth it, doesn’t it?

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching! It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached! And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift! 

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.