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What I Learned This Year From my Goals

Today is the last day of 2014!  I figure I’ll close out the year by stating a few things I learned/observed as I focused on my goals this year.

Listening to my family:

1- First off, I learned that people definitely value being listened to!  I could tell this from the reactions from my kids and husband as I did (and sometimes didn’t) listen well to them.  But also from my sister who had to have her thyroid removed earlier this year.  So many people did kind things for her and her family to help out, but she told me more than once that what she appreciated (and still appreciates) the most is when people take the time to listen to her talk about what she is experiencing.

2- I also learned however, that listening can be very difficult thing to do,  It doesn’t seem like it should be, but it requires being in complete control of our thoughts which takes a lot of self discipline!  It also requires some selflessness to channel our thoughts in the direction of another person’s interest rather than our own.  I still feel like I am struggling so much with this, but I plan to keep on practicing…even into 2015!

3- The final thing I observed is that listening is so much easier when people are talking about something I am interested in.  So, while it is necessary to sometimes let people talk about something on their mind, even if I am not personally interested, often what a person wants is to just talk.  In these cases I have found that I can actively look for common ground with the person and have a conversation about that.  For example, at dinner I have learned that rather letting everyone talk randomly about what is on their minds (which often ends up being senseless giggling or joking, or worse – arguing), instead to suggest a specific topic such as, “Let’s go around the table and everyone tell what they were doing at 11:00 am.”  Everyone gets a turn to talk, (there is less giggling and arguing), and I get to listen to things that I genuinely want to know.

Taking Better Care of My Health

1- If I eat junk, I crave more junk.  If I eat good food, I crave more good food…and the desire for junk food decreases significantly.

2- It takes a fair amount of fore-thought combined with self-discipline to go to bed early enough for a good night’s sleep.  It doesn’t seem like it should be so hard.  I’m so tired by the end of the day, going to sleep ought to be the easiest thing in the world…but I have definitely learned that if I want it to happen as early as it should, I have to be very conscientious about it.

3- I also learned that my 5 yr-old is an excellent exercise instructor! 🙂  One day she was adamant that she did not want me to use the TV to play an exercise DVD, and informed me that she would teach me instead.  She really got me moving (and herself too)!  And it was a fun activity for both of us.

Time Management:

1- I learned that I do not like being constantly busy.  I’ve been battling this idea all year, because part of me feels if I am not busy then I am being idle.  But I’m starting to think that maybe there is a difference between being “still” and being “idle.”  I think the key is balance – I do like to be (and need to be) busy most of the time, but allowing myself to be still sometimes too is something that I think is really beneficial.

2- I also don’t like never-ending to do lists.  If I write down everything on my mind to do, the list is very long and impossible to finish!  I’ve written so many lists like this, and recently I just quit doing it.  Instead, I’m making lists of what absolutely has to be done right away.  All of the other stuff I’m just trying to do as the opportunity arises.

3- And, finally I learned that the Rule of 3 works for me!  After reading the book “Getting Results the Agile Way” by J.D. Meier earlier this year, I’ve discovered that his suggestion of grouping goals into 3’s is great.  Not only did I find it less complicated to have 3 goals for the year instead of 5, but I’ve found it helpful in other ways too.  For example on Fast Sunday I always have more than one thing or person I want to fast for, so I have found that choosing three things to focus on each time feels just right.  In fact, whenever I really need to focus, 3 often seems to be the right number of things to focus on.

So that’s it for 2014!  I think I learned some good things from my efforts…however imperfect they may have been.  Tomorrow will be a new year and a fresh start.  And I can’t wait to share my 2015 goals in the coming week or so!

What did you learn from your goals this past year?

Procrastination Lessons

Happy Thankful Thursday everyone!  It has been so long since I’ve written a Thankful Thursday post.  I’m still practicing being grateful though, and with November 1st in just two days, it is a good time to focus on it even more!  Today I’m thankful that I’ve had this blog for one full year!  I love my blog, and I’m so glad I started writing it.  I’m also thankful for some lessons that I learned as a result of my own procrastination a  few weeks ago.  I’ve been wanting to share them, and today is the perfect day to do that!  So here goes….

Every year on the first day of school, after my family leaves the house I have to pause for a moment and enjoy the quiet.  I love my family, but I love quiet and stillness too – and I just don’t get a lot of that during the summer.

This year was no different.  The house was perfectly quiet and perfectly still for quite awhile because my youngest one slept in a bit that first day.  It was lovely…

…until the telephone rang.

My husband was calling to tell me that my daughter’s school had not received a record of her vaccinations and that she was not supposed to be in school without it.  However, he also said that the school’s phones were down, so I couldn’t just have the doctor’s office fax them over.  So I had to call the doctor’s office, get my little one ready, pick up the record, and drive them over to school.  Since I live 20 minutes away, and my daughter is not very fast when it comes to getting ready or at running errands, this was not a quick process.  When I got to the school I learned that my daughter had not been allowed to attend class and instead was sitting in the Principle’s office, just waiting for me to arrive.

You can imagine that I felt pretty bad.  Yes it would have been better for everyone if the phone had been working, but I had received a letter a few weeks before school started telling me they didn’t have those records and needed them before the first day.  I could have (and should have) taken care of it prior to the first day of school, making the non-working phones a non-issue, but I just put it off for one day, and then another and another.  Then the doctor’s office was closed for the weekend, and suddenly it was the first day of school.  Yeah – talk about mommy guilt.

But it was OK – my daughter got through it and so did the school officials.  Even though it was stressful in the moment, as far as I can tell, we were all able to move on from my mistake pretty quickly.

However – the next day I learned of another thing that I had procrastinated over the summer.  I won’t go into detail, because it would be difficult to explain everything adequately.  But I will say the consequence was a certain amount of confusion, embarrassment, and wasted money.  And it was all 100% my fault – once again due to my procrastination.

Especially at the height of confusion and frustration, I had a very difficult time forgiving myself.  If only I had someone else to blame or could just chalk it up to “that’s just the way things go sometimes.”  But no, it was my own doing (or rather, not doing).

That evening when I was home, my stress level reached it’s peak, and all I could do was cry.  Recently I’ve been making a bigger effort to turn to the scriptures when I feel unhappy or stressed, and so when I had a chance, this is what I chose to do.  I just started reading from where I was (Mosiah 26), not looking for anything in particular, but as I read I felt the message was personalized just for me.  Here is what I learned:

  1. The Lord will forgive us as many times as we choose to repent (Mosiah 26:30).  I was mad at myself because procrastinating important things is a habit for me, which means I’m guilty of it over and over and over again!  But I could see here, that the Lord wasn’t holding that against me, and that he would continue to forgive me.  In fact, I felt in my heart that He had already forgiven me of both of these instances!
  2. I am required to forgive everyone, including myself! (Mosiah 26:31).   To me forgiveness doesn’t mean going into denial and pretending a mistake wasn’t made.  But rather it means letting go of the anger, blame, and other negative thoughts and words that seem to always appear along with the mistake.  And I truly believe that when the Lord says that He requires us to forgive everyone, that He means ourselves as well.
  3. I should “give thanks in all things” (Mosiah 26:39).  Give thanks in ALL things?!  Here I was, feeling like this moment in my life was the worst thing ever, and I’m supposed give thanks!  Except luckily I was starting to feel a little better from my earlier reading, and so I was able to do it.  I said a silent prayer thanking my Heavenly Father for the experience and the lessons I was learning from it.  And guess what?  My stress nearly melted away!  I felt so much better!  I could see that while it was something that needed to be dealt with, it was really not the end of the world.
  4. Replace my fear with faith (Elder M. Russell Ballard).  At this point I had switched my reading over to talks from General Conference.  The talk I was reading was about missionary work, and again chosen simply because I was reading them in order.  But when I read the words, “…by replacing our fear with real faith,” I knew they applied to my situation too!  My anxiety was a result of fear – fear of embarrassment, fear of inconveniencing others, fear of wasting money that was in short supply – but I could choose to have faith instead!  At this point I realized that I was not alone; I did not have to solve the problem I had created all by myself, but instead could rely on the Lord to help me through it.

And now, about two months later, I can honestly say that He did help us.  Just about everything has been resolved; and the situation is behind us. But the lessons remain, and I’ve found myself using these strategies in other stressful situations as well.  After-all, as much as I would like the lesson to have been to never procrastinate or make any similar mistake again, I’m getting better, but I’m not there yet.

procrastination

{click here for image source}

What are some positive ways you have learned to cope with mistakes? 

From Paper to Electronic: Switching My Task Management System

Wow.  When I said I was going to take a break from writing on my blog, I didn’t mean this long!  I guess it happens, right?  It is definitely time for an update.  I have 3 goals that I’ve been focusing on for the year 2014.  It is three quarters of the way through the year and I now can say that the one goal that I have been the most consistently driven to work on has been “managing my time better.”

Except I don’t really think I am managing it any better!  Instead, my true focus has been on getting more organized about my work.  I guess I have been feeling that once I accomplished that, then the management would more naturally follow.  I’m not sure that everyone agrees with me, but I’m pressing on with my theory anyway.

So, with that in mind, my big focus lately has been in switching over from a paper system to an electronic one.  Following are the steps that I have taken so far to accomplish this.

Step 1

I convinced my husband to buy me a Kindle Fire.  It is the first “mobile device” I have ever owned.  I just have a simple trac phone pre-paid cell phone that we purchased for emergencies, and it is so ancient (7 years old, lol) that all it does is make phone calls and text (and even that is very cumbersome to do!).

I’ve seen people with their ipads and other things, and they looked very interesting, but I never felt like I could justify spending my own money on one.  But in July I became so fed up with my efforts to track what I need to do on paper, I finally decided that I wanted to try using a calendar on a “mobile device” to see if that would be any better.

But next came the tough task of convincing my husband that it would be a worthy purchase.  Since he doesn’t make or like “to do” lists, and the calendar on the fridge has always been good enough for him for appointments, making the case that I “needed” one for this purpose was a tough sell.  But finally he conceded and so step 1 to my efforts to get organized electronically was complete!  Horray!

Step 2

I downloaded a gazillion calendar and to do list apps.  Seriously.  I thought it would be so simple to find one!  I had no idea that there were so many or that I would find something that bothered me about every. single. one!  I spent so much time on this in the first few weeks that I was very afraid of my husband regretting the purchase.  After-all I wasn’t being more productive, but less!

Step 3

I finally chose Calengoo because it had so many options to customize and I could put my task list with my calendar.  Then I got to work putting in every repeating task that I could think of, and organizing them the best that I could.  I really liked it for about a month, but one day I woke up to a cluttered mess for my to do list.  I was just as overwhelmed by what I saw on my Kindle as I had been with my paper systems.  At first I tried to just “clean it up,” but then found myself looking at the other apps I had downloaded to see if, with the passing of time, I liked any of them better.

Step 4

I switched to Tick Tick, which is not a calendar, but simply a “To Do” list.  I realized that I did like this better after-all and that it had some useful features that I had missed when I looked at it the first time around.

Step 5

In my efforts to get organized once again, I felt the need to return to David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” system, which I have talked about before here and here.  His system is not very simple (at least it doesn’t feel so to me) and there is a learning curve that goes along with it.  This is why I keep abandoning it.  But I keep returning to it because of 1) the encouragement to capture everything that is incomplete in our life and put it into a trustworthy system and 2) the emphasis on writing things down in an “actionable” way.  So no more feeling like I’m missing something important or looking at a list full of stuff that I can’t do anything about at the moment!

Habit RPG

This is where I am now in the process, but I know that two of my sisters are wondering, “hey, which step is ‘Habit RPG?'”  Well, the answer is that I don’t know which step it is, but an explanation of it definitely belongs in this post.  Habit RPG is a fun little game that I found in my searching for the perfect “to do list” app.   Basically you record habits you are working on, daily tasks you need to complete, and to do’s.  Then you get rewarded with coins that you can use to upgrade your character when you complete tasks and you are deducted health if you don’t complete them.  The game has lots of levels so as you complete your stuff, then you level up and if you lose health, you face the possibility of dropping a level and losing some gear (a.k.a. “dying”).  This game can be played in groups and so my two sisters and their children as well as my children have formed a group.  We cannot see each other’s tasks, but I can see their characters and watch them as they level up and down and choose different gear and even pets.  We can also chat, which is fun!

But I am having a little trouble keeping up with two “to do” lists and sometimes I feel like trying to manage both is complicating my life.  So I don’t know where “Habit RPG” fits or even if I can make it work within an on-going system.  But my kids were disappointed when I said this to them last night.  They really like tracking their tasks on it, and they like the “group” aspect of it.  My daughter even said, “but Mom, you have a flying pig! You wouldn’t want to give up your flying pig!”  So with that kind of encouragement, I figure I’d better try a little longer to make it work 🙂 .

Final Thoughts

In writing this I realize that I’m in the middle of building a system, so I’m not really reporting any success.  In fact, what I am reporting is that I still don’t have it completely figured out.  But one thing that I do have figured out is that it is OK to spend time and energy working on this!  I know that a lot of people feel it is wasting time to read about task management and creating to do lists.  As I heard one person say, “why spend your time reading about ‘getting things done’ when you could be using that time to actually ‘get things done?'”  And my answer is that “I have so many different things that I’m responsible for, I could work the whole day through day after day with no breaks, and still easily miss something that is really important.”

For example:

  • I could spend my time washing the dishes and cleaning the house and still not have anything ready for dinner at the end of the day.
  • I could spend my time planning wonderful meals, shopping for, and preparing them, and leave no time to work in the garden.
  • I could spend my time working in the garden and trimming the bushes and fail to take my kids to the park or the library.
  • I could spend my time taking my kids to the park, library, pool, and other fun and interesting places, and then show up to church on Sunday without my lesson prepared.
  • I could spend my time preparing a wonderful lesson, or an event at church and meanwhile my house is getting overrun with clutter.
  • I could spend my time diligently decluttering my house every day and fail to do my Visiting Teaching for the month.
  • I could visit every sister on my Visiting Teaching route and then go over budget because I didn’t take the time to record my spending.

And the list goes on…but you get the point.  It doesn’t work for me to just roll up my sleeves and get to work because I have more to do on any given day than time to do it.  In my opinion it is necessary to spend time thinking about and planning work.  As David Allen says, “you have to think about your stuff more than you think, [but] you don’t have to think about your stuff as much as you’re afraid you might.”  Knowing what needs to be done is the very first step in deciding what to do!

So, for me, one thing that I have succeeded in doing over this past year is defining my work.  I’m more clear than ever on what is expected of me and what I expect of myself.  I’m also more clear on how much I can expect myself to accomplish in any given day.  And so, yes – I’m still in the process of figuring this out, but I am certain that I am on the right path and that my efforts are not wasted time.

Do you have a special system you use to track your tasks?

Simple Changes: Organizing My Dirty Dishes

Yes you read the title correctly!  And yes, I’m probably insane! 🙂  But this is a change that really is helping me be a little more motivated to tackle the continual mess in my kitchen.

A few years ago, when I was washing dishes with a friend of mine, she told me a story about someone organizing her dirty dishes for her.  A man and his wife were dinner-guests in her home, and afterwards they helped her with the clean-up.  The man told her that he was an “expert dish organizer” and proceeded to stack all of her dirty dishes together according to type and size.  I asked, “did it help?” and she said that it did; however she also said that she didn’t usually take the time herself to do it.  At the time of this conversation I was intrigued by the idea, but also never took the time to do it.

But recently my kitchen has been a disaster zone pretty much all the time!  As soon as I finally get everything cleaned up, it is practically time to prepare another meal.  And if I’m unable to do them right after a meal for some reason (or if I’m being rebellious and simply don’t!) then they really pile up in a hurry.

So, a few of weeks ago when I was feeling very overwhelmed at the mess, I decided to organize them.  I pulled everything out of the sink and started stacking like-dishes together.  Then I gathered everything that had been left on the table, stove, and the other counter and stacked them with everything else.  After that I wiped all of the now-cleared counters and stove off and swept the floor.  So, all I had to do was the dishes.  I simply picked up one pile at a time and rinsed them, then loaded them into the dishwasher (yes, I’m a “rinse the dishes before loading” person!).  It was great because I could look at my dishwasher to see what space I had there and then decide “I’m going to load the plates next, or the cups, or whatever.”  When I ran out of room, I switched to washing things that I usually hand-wash, and actually just left the other “dishwasher dishes” for later once this load was done.

It wasn’t faster, but it felt less stressful to me.  And so I’ve started doing this more regularly.  I’ve even been trying to teach my kids that instead of putting their dishes in the sink to go ahead and stack them neatly on the counter.  So, now I don’t feel so overwhelmed when I look at the mess (even if it does get big)!  If I’m in a hurry, I can do a quick cleanup of the table, stove, clear counter space, and sweep the floor.  Then later when I return, instead of being greeted by an entire kitchen to clean, I know I just need to start rinsing and loading a few dishes.

I was talking with my sister a couple of days ago about routines and systems.  I said something along the lines of “finding a system that would work.”  Her response was that most house-cleaning systems will work if we follow them.  The hard part is finding one that you like enough to actually follow.  I thought this was insightful.  And so I have to say that this system of organizing my dirty dishes is “working” because I like it.

What system works best for you for keeping up with dishes?  

Simple Changes: Get a Load of Laundry Ready at Night

This is Part Two of my “simple changes” series.  Last week I wrote about how I started exercising in the morning.  Shortly after putting that in place I read a blog post on andreadekker.com which triggered the idea of getting a load of laundry in the washing machine at night, but waiting until the morning to actually start it.  I never thought of this before!  It’s a very small detail, but I realized as soon as I read her post that it could be the perfect laundry solution for me.

I have tried so many different laundry routines over the years.  When I first got married, I was working full time so I did all (two or three loads) of our laundry at once in the laundry room of our apartments on Saturdays.  Later, after moving into a house and starting our family, I set up Monday as “Laundry Day.”  With each child the laundry grew, but I was still able to get it mostly done in that one day.

For some reason after moving into the house that we live in now, “Monday Laundry Day” completely fell apart.  I’m not sure if it’s because I lost my laundry room (it wasn’t perfect because we had to walk through it to go out our back door, but at least it was a room rather than a closet like I have now) or, if it’s just because my kids were growing and we were generating more clothes that needed to be washed.  I really don’t know.  But ever since we have lived here I have been completely unsuccessful at completing the laundry all in one day.

So, after accepting the fact that I needed to change the system, I started doing a load every day.  It was very similar to what I’m doing now, except that I was gathering the laundry and loading the washer in the morning.  It worked OK, but the problem was, that unless I woke up earlier, I could not start until after everyone had left the house.  This made it pretty late in the morning when the laundry was ready to be put away, and often at that point I had already moved onto other things, which led to me waiting until later to put it away.  And, once it gets put off for a little while, it is amazing how easy it is to put it off even more! 🙂

After that I decided that I would do it in the early afternoon/evening.  The idea was that I would fold it while watching the news with my husband.  I really thought this would be great, but it wasn’t.  I was good about getting it into the washer, but pulling it out was just too difficult with everything else going on at that time of day.

My new plan combines the best of both of these ideas.  I can gather it and load it anytime in the evening that seems right; then I can start the washer as soon as I wake up rather than waiting until everyone leaves.  This means my laundry is ready to put away an entire hour earlier making it possible to get it done before I have to start doing too many other things.

The best part is that it’s a forgiving system.  Laundry is like the dishes in that I can only procrastinate so long before it becomes a crisis.  So, even if I get behind (due to being super-busy, or super-tired, or just plain rebellious), I will spend the time necessary to catch up.  But the advantage of having a working system is that by pushing it to the ends of the day I free my precious day-time hours up for other things that I need/want to do.

Here is how my morning looks currently with my 2 “simple changes” that I’ve made so far.  Of course, it’s not perfect every day, but this is the general idea:

  • Wake up
  • Push “start” on washing machine
  • Wake up kids, fix breakfast, pack lunches, family prayer, etc.
  • Say goodbye to my family
  • Change laundry from washer to dryer
  • Eat a light snack (not too much since I’m exercising)
  • Exercise
  • Shower/get dressed
  • Eat breakfast (occasionally I’ll eat before showering instead of after)
  • Fold and put away laundry
  • Now I’m ready for the day!

What is your preferred system for doing the laundry?

 

Simple Changes: Exercise First Thing in the Morning

Recently I have been making very simple changes in the way I approach my day.  I haven’t been actively trying to do this, but the time just seems to be right for it.  First I discovered one thing I could do differently, then another and another.  I feel like I’m on a role!  Yea!  The original plan was to write one post briefly describing them all; but I like to explain details so much that I decided a post on each one would be better.  So be on the look-out over the next few weeks for my “Simple Changes” series!  

The first change I’ve made is to exercise first thing in the morning after my family leaves for school and work.  I know that this seems like an obvious time to choose exercise, but for me the choice has not always been so clear.  Those first moments of the day are “prime real estate” for me in the context of time.  My energy is up, my motivation is at it’s best, and anything that I assign to this spot is very likely to get done.  As the day progresses, however, my energy starts to drop, I start getting pulled into various directions making it harder to focus on one task, and it can be difficult to stay internally motivated as well.  The challenge for me has always been that there are so many things that practically beg to be placed in that prime spot of “first thing in the morning.”  You may remember my efforts to do the dishes first a few months ago – that’s only one example, and I could easily think of at least 10 more.

But for now, exercise has won that spot – and it has been great!  Here are the benefits:

1.  It actually happens.  One thing that I’ve noticed with many of my chores that “should” be done early, is that I will still get them done sometime even if I put them off a bit.  For example, the kitchen — If I don’t clean the kitchen early, then eventually I will start running out of clean dishes to use and space to prepare food.  The pressure of this will demand that I get the kitchen cleaned before too much time goes by.  Maybe the kitchen isn’t as neat and clutter-free throughout the day as it could be, but days and weeks will not pass without it happening at all.  Exercise, on the other hand is one thing that does not have such an immediate and stressful consequence if it doesn’t happen.  If I put if off, then I can easily go days and weeks without doing it.  So a big advantage to scheduling it first in the day is that I make sure that it happens.

2.  I get to start my day with something I like to do.  I actually enjoy exercising, which is why it’s so crazy that I haven’t been doing it consistently.  After spending an hour packing lunches (which I don’t enjoy), and putting out fires (i.e. “Mom, I can’t find my library book!”), and otherwise making sure the kids are ready to catch the bus on time — it’s nice to do something that is not only productive, but enjoyable too.

Actually, the “exercise instructors” on my DVD’s say it much better than I can.  For example, Chrissy Carter will say, “It’s hard to think about your ‘To Do’ list when you are balancing on one leg.”  And Leslie Sansone will say, “Don’t worry about the dishes in the sink!  You know what I always say, just ‘walk away’ from those dishes in the sink!”  It makes me smile to hear things like this when I’m exercising, because they are both so right!  It is a good thing to take a break from the demands of every day chores in order to take better care of my own health.

I’m glad to be exercising consistently again.  It feels good to move, stretch, and to get stronger!  Summer is quickly approaching, which means my family will be taking trips that will most likely require a fair amount of walking.  I’ll certainly be glad then for the time I’m spending now!

When is your best time of day to exercise?

 

Simplifying my Goals Using “The Rule of 3”

I just purchased a new time management book titled “Getting Results the Agile Way” by J.D. Meier.  Like many people who have written reviews for the book, I find “the rule of 3” to be helpful.  Although I admit that at first I didn’t.  I’ve tried making “top 3” and “top 5” lists before and have always been frustrated by them.  Usually I have way more than 3 or 5 things to do, and they all feel equally important, so it’s difficult to say upfront which 3 or 5 are the most important.

But this author’s recommendation is to think about the top 3 results you want by the end of the day, and he points out that there may could be many (or few) tasks to do that lead to those results.  He also says there are many other things a person would probably do in addition to working on the 3, but the point is to add focus and clarity to the day.  So this way of thinking changes the idea it a bit in my mind, and I’ve been trying it out.

The “rule of 3” applies to each day, week, month, and even year – so when I read this, I thought of my five goals for the year.  When I set them, I actually thought it was too many, but since I didn’t know what to eliminate, I kept all five.  But I continue to feel like it is a lot to think about, so I decided to eliminate two.  It was a difficult decision, but I went with my gut and eliminated “declutter my home and get organized,” and “be of good cheer more.”  Not that I can’t work on these things; I can.  But I think I will be better off focusing for now on the other three.  So now my goals look like this {notice that I also simplified the definitions by naming 3 main points to focus on for each!}:

1.  Take better care of my health.

  • Sleep right
  • Exercise regularly
  • Proper diet (including drinking enough water)

2.  Manage my time better

  • Procrastinate less
  • Be a little more organized in my approach to my work
  • Feel less overall stress about my work

3.  Listen to my family better.

  • Look at people when they are talking to me (as much as possible).
  • Try to understand and be respectful of their point of view (even if I don’t agree).
  • Answer them promptly when they ask a question.

I’m glad that I took the time to describe everything that I want to do in detail a few weeks ago.  It provided clarity that I wouldn’t have any other way.  But after writing that post I became somewhat overwhelmed by it all, and that is why I am equally glad to be able to simplify them!

I love Meier’s analogy of the buffet.  He says, “It’s all too easy to bite off more than you can chew.  Instead, first nail the three items you want to accomplish, and then bite off more.  Think of it as a buffet of results and you can keep going back – just don’t overflow your plate on each trip” (pg 32).

What strategies do you use in your work to keep from “biting off more than you can chew?”