What Makes a Great Day? 21 Signals.

21-Point Great Day Checklist. Take some and add your own!

1. You felt energetic and strong

2. You loved someone and had a chance to show or express it somehow

3. Someone loved you and was able to show it

4. You did something productive and felt good about it

5. You solved a major or minor problem

6. You got paid, rewarded and/or acknowledged for your work (efforts)

7. Someone you care about did something positive

8. At some point, you laughed out loud

9. You smiled to yourself

10. You (genuinely) smiled at someone

11. Someone (genuinely) smiled at you

12. You learned something new

13. You made a new friend or connection

14. You did a good deed without any expectation of reward or recognition

15. There was (at least) a moment of serenity, where you were able to totally relax

16. There was (at least) a moment of Awareness, where you were able to feel totally connected to something Bigger

17. You felt energized by what you ate/drank (or didn’t consume)

18. You hugged someone

19. Somebody kissed you

20. You came up with a big idea – experiencing one of those “ah ha” moments

21. You went somewhere new (or old) that gave you a spark or fresh perspective

Posted in Day Bug, Quality Time, Relationships Tagged with: ,

CEO of Me: Board of Directors Strategies

A question came up at a recent workshop about how to engage one's Board of Directors.  It led to a good discussion, which now prompts this note.

I think that it is at the CEO of Me's discretion as to whether to formally disclose information about the Board to all Board members, or keep each relationship private and separate.  As for me, I will choose to keep my Board private this year.  I do have a new Board, with several new members, including one honorary Board member who is not someone that I know very well personally, but an esteemed author and teacher whom I have great respect for.  My strategy in that case is to wonder occasionally, “what would he say or advise in this instance?”  As for the others, I may not even tell all members that they're on my Board – as they are simply people that I trust, that I know care about me and will give me an objective, wise perspective on areas of my life for which I call upon them.  Some will know while others will not.  I will not gather them all on a Quarterly conference call, although I have done so before, and it is not a bad idea if the Board is small enough, and some of the people already know one another.

In spite of my personal choice not to inform all members, letting someone know that they are on your Board, or asking their permission, since you will require some feedback from them on your plans and goals, can open up new doors and forms of support that propel you towards your goals.  I encourage you to consider it.
Having odd or even number of Board members isn't that important, as very few items will truly go to a Board vote.  The Chairman (God or one's Higher Self, however you choose to look at it) has overriding power in the end.  You are the CEO, and also sit on the Board, apart from the Chairman.  The CEO of Me is also the Treasurer and Secretary, in which capacity he or she is responsible for keeping track of one's karma, energy, deeds and Cosmic currency (ref. Dario Salas).  Whether or not you keep track, the Universe does.  There is no escaping Karma – sooner or later, we have to face it, embrace it and work with it, as a good CEO takes hold of his resources and makes the most of them.

Posted in Board of Directors, CEO of Me, CEO of Me Workshop

“Why?” – The Most Important Question of All

In all that we do on a daily basis, we often forget to ask ourselves the most important question of all: “WHY?” This is often a difficult question to ask, but our answers will help guide our lives – from relationships, to our health, to our careers and any one of our passion projects. Ironically, this begs us to ask, “Why is why the most important question of all?”

Our answers may be complex, but the reason we ask is simple: we need to justify our time. On any given day, hour, and moment, we have choices. We also have free will. No matter how difficult a decision, no matter how high the stakes, we are the captains of our own ship. Of course, sometimes the ocean’s current tosses us back and forth, and the winds blow us in a direction we did not plan for. Still, we have the freedom to respond to these unforeseeable experiences. Ultimately, when we ask ourselves “why” we spend time doing what we do, we get to know ourselves better. Even when our answers are unclear, or when we don’t even have answers – the very process of asking this question will direct us, and help to guide our lives in a direction that is an expression of our values, and our unique selves.

As I write this very blog entry, I ask myself, “why?” Of course, I could be writing anything else in the world (I am in fact hugely committed to writing screenplays and novels). Well, I believe that “CEO of ME” is important. I believe that this company’s mission and this very blog entry will help people, especially in their daily lives. Then I ask, “Why is it important for me to help people in this way?”

To which I answer, “Because I personally have struggled with time management. I personally have felt confused about my personal direction, and my life’s mission. And this feeling can become daunting. I also understand the consequence of this lack of clarity; I understand how poor time management adversely affects relationships and ultimately, the quality of one’s life.

I may then ask myself, “Why have I struggled with this aspect of my life?” In which case, I must get out the shovel and get ready for some heavy digging! My line of questioning: Have I always been unclear about my life’s purpose? Has this been the cause of my struggle to prioritize? If so, are there certain things that I am afraid of? What are these things? Why am I afraid of these things?

Note that with every question asked we get to understanding ourselves better, which then translates into time better spent, quality relationships, a sense of health and well being, an understanding of one’s life mission, and a general uplifting of one’s spirit. We can always explore this question, in every aspect of our lives, and in every decision we make.

Some sample “Why” Questions, for starters:

  1. Why do we set the goals that we do?
  2. Why are these goals right for our lives?
  3. Why are we driven to do the things we do?
  4. Why are we motivated by the factors that motivate us?
  5. Why are we driven to succeed at some times in our lives, but less driven at other times?
  6. Why do we take short cuts, when we do?
  7. Why do we have the bad habits that we have?
  8. Why are we unable to rid ourselves of these habits?
  9. If we are happy and satisfied (in any aspect of our life), then… why?
  10. If we are disappointed (in any aspect of our life), then… why?

It’s a simple question that will help you express your ideals. It will keep you headed in the right direction, and keep you feeling good.

So ask why, and ask fearlessly!

 

 

Posted in CEO of Me

Timebug Year Wheel: Welcome to December 2013

Welcome to December 2013, a unique 31-day period that will come and go only once.  It is a privilege to be alive to experience this month, and hopefully, we all (7 Billion on Planet Earth) will make the most of it.

The month consists of 744 hours, and will bring the Year of 2013 to a close.  These hours are a perfect time to make one final progress push with whatever outstanding projects you have set forth in 2013, as well as putting some 2014 vision planning into effect.

Try your best not to let the rush of holiday parties, shopping, eating and vacations take you off track from your true aims in life – your passion projects.  The whole purpose of reflecting on your personal Year Wheel is to comprehend, from a bird's eye view, what your life is about.  How you choose to spend your time, regardless of how bound you feel by family and work obligations, is how you determine the quality of your life.

Time + Energy = Life

With that said, enjoy December 2013 – and make the most of it!

Posted in Year Wheel Tagged with: ,

Timebug Movie Wisdom: In Time

In Time starring Justin Timberlake has some profound scenes that elicit deeper thinking about how we value our time.  By using time as currency, we see how seriously people take their time.  I found this short clip to be thought provoking.

– YouTube http://ow.ly/gWW6i #timebug

Posted in Time in Movies Tagged with: ,

The Concept of Home Base: 7 Steps to Inter-Day Productivity

We all need some kind of home base, a place to take refuge, where we feel safe.  Home base is where we can gather our thoughts, assess what has happened, and regroup.  For some it’s their office, and others, it’s some special room, desk or couch at home.  We may even have a couple of areas where we are comfortable enough to relax and regroup – it is really a state of mind more than a specific location.  This age old concept is central to the Timebug Methodology.  Timebug can be of significant value to us when we are @ home base.  We get to ask ourselves these questions:

  1. Where am I at?  How do I feel?
  2. What do I need right now?
  3. What is important for me to do (if anything) at this moment? (priorities, next steps)  How can I make the most impact (towards my goals and life purpose)?
Personally, what I do right now when I’m at home base (which I am at this very moment) is:
  1. Check In.  Look at my Timebug Log section, and “Bug In” (= bring my time current to this moment); that helps me confirm where I just invested the past X hours.  It’s like checking things off a list (“went to the gym”, “got dinner”, “spoke to my friends”, “submitted the client proposal” – check, check, check, check)
  2. Assess.  Look at my Timebug “Right Now Bug” and “Daybug” prisms, to see what’s on the agenda.  Check my Google calendar as well, just to make sure there are no upcoming meetings.
  3. Get Current.  Take a quick peak at email, without getting bogged down in major responses or reading long messages (unless there is some space for that).
  4. Rework Plan.  Refresh my “Right Now Bug” or “Buggit List” from this moment (Start Time) to the end of this Day (ie. 4am, when I will likely sleep).
  5. Meditate.  Take a few moments to breathe into my diaphragm with positive intention towards this next little “Bug Run” I’m about to make.
  6. Prepare Environment.  Turn off all of my devices and log out of social networks, to avoid notifications and distractions.
  7. Go.  Dive right into the first item on the Buggit List (play on words for “Bucket List”)
Posted in Day Bug, Personal Intelligence Apps, Time Management Tagged with: ,

The Timebug Method: 10 Steps to Getting Things Done

  1.  First, we need to get centered.  Take a few minutes to find yourself, however you do that.  I like to put my hand on my heart, take a few deep breathes and get grounded.
  2.  Start with a blank slate or canvas – that could be a piece of paper, empty Word document, whiteboard – something clean.
  3.  Ask yourself one of the following questions, or a close variation – “What is important?” or “What do I need to do right now?” or “What is in me right at this moment that needs to get out?”
  4.  Write. Draw. Diagram. List. This is Brainstorm Mode.  Many tools are available for this process, including good old fashioned pen and paper.
  5.  Then comes the Bug (or Timebug, which is defined as any period of time).  This is where you create the first frame (of time) within which to “do something”.  It is a point of focus, where our ideas start to get organized.  In the bug, we do the following important things:
  • 5a) Create a Start and End Time (ie. 16 hrs from 10am to 2am).  That is your Timebug Period.
  • 5b) Start allocating hours to various items in your list to estimate how much time you want or need to spend on each within the Bug.  Low/High End (in hours) would be useful, if possible.  My tool of choice is Excel for this exercise (if you have the Timebug Excel Template, use the Day Plan tab for this); otherwise, paper is fine, as long as you’re willing to do your own math.
  • 5c) Write out a bit more detail (1-2 sentences) on exactly what you would like to achieve in each prong (or tentacle) of the Timebug.
  • 5d) Note whether each item is AT (Any Time) or ST (Specific Time) within the Bug.  ST items need to enter your calendar – AT items are optional to enter in the calendar, depending on your preference and how specific you want or like to be with your time.  I like to have as much flexibility as possible within the Bug, so more AT items are good (for me); for others, too much flexibility can lead to procrastination and a false sense of “free time” – so if that sounds like you, scheduling more of your items could be useful.

6.  Now enter a few items (ST especially) in your calendar (Google, Outlook, other).  There may be some items already in your calendar, which you need to acknowledge and take into account.

THIS WHOLE PROCESS ABOVE CAN BE DONE IN 15 MINUTES OR LESS; IT CAN TAKE LONGER FOR PLANNING BIGGER BUGS (PERIODS OF TIME).

7.  Start!

8.  Track and Rebalance as you go along, using your Timebug tools (SHOW HOW via Video, Diagrams – coming in a future entry).  I like to check-in (lingo = “Buggin” or “Bug In”) constantly, but that is not always possible.  Checking in at least once per three hours is a sensible minimum.  Chances are, something took longer or shorter than expected, new demands and distractions propped up, or your “Rebel of Me” (or “Rebel Ego”) made an appearance, to sidetrack part(s) of The Plan.  It’s OK.  Just keep going, and do the best you can to get back on track or move on to the next item with renewed focus.

9.  Close Out the Timebug (lingo = “Bug Out”).  Quick evaluation (how did you do?  was this productive?  how do you feel?); Rollover (Snooze) certain items that didn’t get addressed at all or enough, to another upcoming or future period – OR, throw it back in the Bucket List (i.e. Bucket List = the Wish List or Life List, of items, goals or tasks that doesn’t have a definitive plan or time allocation yet) for future consideration.

10. Start on a new Timebug OR go into Free Flow Mode (where you Consciously choose to have no specific plan or time/task allocations, and instead go with the flow, and see what each moment needs from you; or what you want from those moments).

Posted in Day Bug, Timebugs Tagged with:

Quality vs. Quantity (of Time)

It is hard to be objective about the quality of our time, while quantity is more concrete. Even quantity of time can be tricky, because we’re not always present (mentally and emotionally) where we are. That said, it important to evaluate the quality of our time, which can be gaged best by measuring our energy. How do we feel? Are we more or less energetic than before? These are some simple ways to measure our quality of time. How those around us feel is another gage, although one that we are less responsible for than our own emotions and energy level.

One hour of quality time, in a task or with someone important to you can be more meaningful than a whole day of aimlessness and passivity. So how can we improve the quality of our time, energy and life? Many ways there are, some of which are simple and others that require regular effort to put in practice, such as producing positive energy via exercise.

Posted in Energy Management, Quality Time, Time Management

Multi-Tiered Goal Setting

multi-tiered goalsI am a strong proponent of multi-tiered goal setting.  Set three bars – (MLA) “minimum level of achievement”, (HLA) “high level of achievement” and “BHAG level”.  BHAG = Big Hairy Audacious Goals”.  For example, say that you currently earn around $80,000 and want to earn more money this year.  The Multi-Tiered Goal would look like this: “I want to earn more money this year.  My income for 2013 will be…

  1. at least $100,000.” (MLS)
  2. more than $150,000.” (HLS)
  3. right around $400,000.” (BHAG)

Why not reach for the stars with the BHAG?  Who knows what you will be able to attract by putting out such a bold statement.  The BHAG is definitely one that you should keep in your vision and thoughts, when you make follow-up plans or as you meditate.  Three tiers are nice, because they all represent achievements – it’s like Bronze, Silver and Gold in the Olympics – being on that podium and watching your flag go up is something to be proud of.  That being said, emotionally, we can still use the motivation for Gold to drive us.

Posted in Goal Setting, Money Bug Tagged with: , , , , ,

Parallel Processing: Finish (2012) Strong & Plan Ahead (for 2013)

Welcome to December 2012!  From today, we have 31 days or 8.5% of the year remaining, to make of it what we may.  Whether you intend to spend more time with your family, boost your performance at work, learn a new skill or successfully complete an exercise regimen, there is still time to do it.  The challenges at this time of year are well documented – holidays are upon us, family events, shopping and travel crowd our schedule; meanwhile, tax season is not far behind, while financial questions abound.  Plus, if you’re in the East Coast, it’s getting cold, adding to our list of chores and potential concerns (ie. putting on snow tires, running up gas bills, etc).

Another key challenge is in planning the year ahead, for those of you who do engage in goal-setting and New Year’s resolutions.  In my view, December 1 marks the perfect time to actively engage in the parallel process of evaluating the current period (2012), while envisioning the year ahead; doing so with awareness that we still have ample time in 2012 to make progress and tie up loose ends, is flat out hard.  With the right approach, and by making time for life visioning, we can do it.

Here are a few quick tips that I will leave you with, to hopefully increase your focus as we round the corner into the home stretch.  This whole process will take up two hours or less overall, and can be broken up into three or four sessions.

1. [15-30 min] Reflect.  Get some alone time, to reflect on whatever your goals or aspirations were for 2012, whether or not you wrote them down somewhere.  If you’ve opened an account with goal sites like dailyfeats.com or 43things.com, take a look at them.  Jot a few notes down about how things went and how you feel about the particular goals in play.

  2. [30 min] Release the BHAGs.  Now, at the same sitting or a separate time (before the new period, in this case before Jan 1, 2013), get out your notepad or ipad, and envision the best possible scenario for 2013.  You hit on all cylinders, whatever your heart desires.  Envision yourself attaining all of your possible goals for the year, even if part of you feels that it’s not realistic.  This is what we call BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) – I’m not sure whether Tony Robbins invented that term or borrowed it; but he definitely popularized it.  Get your BHAGs going, and write them down.  Close your eyes for five minutes, and meditate on how that feels, as if it is a concrete reality.

  3. [30-45 min] Create a Plan.  Alright, with these steps under your belt, it’s time to set a practical plan for 2013 (or any period that you want to plan for – this can be a quarterly or monthly process as well).  You can keep the BHAGs in there, but also consider realistic time, energy and resource constraints and set baseline goals, as well as “reach” goals.  First off, put a mark next to any goal that is a “snooze” or complete repeat from the prior year (ie. you listed “Quit Smoking” or “Learn Spanish” and you didn’t even start, or started and fizzled out quickly).  You’ll have to watch these closely and come up with a good reason why it will be different this time.  Try to employ the SMART model for goal-setting by writing down more details for each stated goal:

(S)pecific

(M)easurable

(A)ttainable

(R)ealistic

(T)ime-bound

4. [30-45 min] Share your goals with somebody that you trust.  It could be a partner, parent, child, friend, mentor, teacher, counselor – whomever you feel comfortable with.  Send them or print the document for their review before you meet.  If you are CEO of Me, this person (or people, it can be multiple) is now part of your Board of Directors or Advisors.  Their role is to be an objective (as possible) sounding board for your goals, for your life.

This December, I will be fulfilling some of my own major goals by hosting two workshops on this very topic – it’s called the CEO of Me Workshop, and I strongly believe it can change lives for the better.  The workshops take the processes noted above to another level of detail and depth.  I encourage everyone to participate in this type of workshop, whether it’s mine or another.  If not, there are a number of Do it Yourself books and social networking websites that can be of value, by providing frameworks and support structures for your life vision.  Either way, make the most of this precious month, as both a time for what I call parallel processing – (1) reflection and (2) anticipation; with as much moment-to-moment Awareness as possible.

 

Posted in CEO of Me Workshop, Goal Setting Tagged with: , ,