Busy man with many hands

Do you have a minute, to achieve your own goals?

There’s always something that’s demanding your time. People and things that fill up your calendar. You’re busy, you’re in demand, and that makes you feel good. Is everything relevant though? Do you need to be in all those meetings? Could somebody else handle some of those? Does anything on your calendar for today, contribute to your end-of-year goal?

Project managers use critical path analysis all the time. It’s how they focus on what’s important, and make sure there’s no time wasted on activities that aren’t essential to moving forward. If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s worth taking 10 minutes out of your day to learn about it. It’ll save you a lot more time and effort than 10 minutes.  

Sure we’re not all project managers, but in essence it boils down to asking yourself “Is this next activity going to help achieve my end-of-year-goal?”  

Just because you can add value to something doesn’t mean that you should. You’ve got a goal, there’s steps/milestones you need to achieve. Look at your calendar, and all those other demands for your attention – only do them if they’re on your critical path for success.

Try it for a week and let me know if it helps you move the needle. 

Relax Post-It's

Breath deeply. Relax.

Yesterday I left the office at 4pm, walked 6km through a park in the shade on a very pleasant summers day. When I reached home my children were playing with their friends outside, once they were done I took them for a quick swim. It was really good soaking in the water and letting the tension flow out of my muscles. Today wasn’t much different. I came home in time to give my eldest a hug as he arrived back from school – then had a cup of tea as they went down to play. I joined them 30 minutes later in the playground. After dinner we danced to some music, read stories and slept upside down on the bed.

It’s been a really nice few days. Some times it’s just about enjoying what’s already there. Ignoring the stresses of life and recognizing that what you have is really, really, beautiful.

Exercise and your usual daily routine are great staples – but sometimes you need to eat fattening food, get lots of sleep and enjoy a few long walks with very little to think about. It’s the best way to ensure you’re mentally & emotionally healthy.

Take a deep breath.

Moscow ballet dancers

Watch the ballet. Save the world.

Earlier this year I attended Ballet under the Stars, I haven’t been to the ballet in years and it was definitely worthwhile! It was actually a dress rehearsal, but the organizers had very kindly agreed to allow children from MINDS to attend free of charge. It was a private viewing of the ballet mixed with really fun interaction from the Artistic Director (choreographer).

I’m pretty sure it didn’t cost the theater company anything, and was helpful for the performers to have an audience. It had tremendous value for the kids & their parents though, not to mention our team of volunteers (who were suitably impressed). Even though it was a great opportunity, there wasn’t any press coverage. They did it because it was a good thing to do. It was a small contribution to making the world a better place.

“The Marc Benioff approach of choosing one thing that you can work towards is a great way to ensure your business makes a positive difference in the communities it serves, while ensuring that you aren’t biting off more than you can chew. What one thing does your business do to help others?” – Richard Branson

Whether it’s Richard Branson who thinks that protecting our natural resources is a great entrepreneurial opportunity, or Marc Bernioff who is committed to creating equal opportunities for women in the workplace – one thing is clear. You can make a profit, get some good PR, and save the world at the same time. If you Google either of these two moguls you’ll see articles talking about their social work, but both are very distinct. They’ve focused on specific areas and are recognized as personalities that represent the cause. Whilst trying to save the world, they’re recognized as being evangelists for their particular cause. Which is much more news worthy than being known as “that guy that does alot of charity work”.

Rather than jumping at every opportunity, find one cause that you believe in and work towards it. It’ll help you develop expertise in an area, achieve more – and for the Machiavellian, might lead to some recognition & good PR opportunities.

What do you believe in?