Deadlines are Rocket Fuel

Deadlines are Rocket FuelBrian Tracy refers to “The Law of Forced Efficiency.”

Parkinson’s Law states that “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”

I think of it as The Deadline Effect.

The best illustration is what happens to our productivity the day or the week before holidays. It takes off!

I once went on holidays and read a book about this issue. I thought back to why I’d accomplished so much the week before:

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Work Life Balance Question

strategic imbalanceIn a recent post I mentioned a how an email query about work/life balance turned into a discussion about success.

But back to the work/life balance question that started it: “Do you think people who are extremely successful have less work/life balance?”

I have a couple thoughts about this question.

First, some people who make it to the top in business either fail in, or choose not to prioritize, another area of life. Health and family are two common victims.

However, not all do this. In my observation, those who make it to the top and stay there for a long time tend to be taking good care of a broad spectrum of their lives.

“Sustainable Success” is a lot different and more difficult than momentary success.

Secondly, I am a believer in “strategic imbalance.”

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Embracing Death

You do realize the life insurance is actually death insurance?

You don’t get paid if you live. The payout comes when you die, and you aren’t the one who gets it!

And when someone saves another person’s life, they haven’t actually saved a life, they’ve simply postponed a death.

I read about an insurance broker meeting with one of his 80 year old clients, and the client made the statement “If I die….”

If I die.

As if there is an if.

One time I was speaking at the funeral of a friend. I made the comment that death was coming toward each one of us like an unstoppable freight train. At that moment someone’s cell phone went off. And their ring tone was a train whistle.

Sobered everyone right up! It really helped make the point.

But what’s the point?

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Using Evernote for Task and Time Management

enI began using Evernote last February. The initial purpose was to move towards a paperless office and have a better way of storing and accessing the thousands of quotes, stories, illustrations and files that I use in my writing and speaking.

EN has proven to be the answer for this type of data storage. I also use it as my tool for notes when I am taking an online course and can see using it increasingly as my initial location for all note taking. It auto-syncs with both my phone and the cloud so I can always access all my data even if I am on the road without my laptop.

My reason for going paperless was part of a larger quest for simplicity, so I began to wonder about using EN as a replacement for the time management program I have used for over a decade, Time & Chaos. I really like T&C, it has been the most used, always open program on my computer for years. I appreciate the ability to customize it, the option of using color coding and the tight integration of contacts, calendar and tasks. It also has an email client (in its Intellect version) but I have never bothered to make the move since it seemed to have several shortcomings compared to Outlook. But since I liked it’s time and task management features better than those in Outlook, I ended up using both tools.

Enter Evernote. After getting it and reading all I could find about it including taking in some online training, I realized that it could function quite well as a task manager. And the ability to so easily move documents- including emails added with a click from Outlook- from a task folder to an information folder made it a pleasure to use and instantly increased my efficiency. No more keeping emails in the email client as to do items- and usually forgetting about them.

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