Never Wrestle with Pigs

Screen-Shot-2012-09-18-at-6.40.13-PMGeorge Bernard Shaw once said,

Never wrestle with pigs.  You both get dirty and the pig likes it.

Unfortunately as humans we are quick to point fingers, are quick to judge, and quick to blame.  Add the instant actions of social media and this can at times spell misfortune.  Before the world of Facebook, Twitter and blogs, if someone was quick to find flaws, they would simply share it with the friends around them.  Now with a simple tweet, people can now quickly spread their thoughts and opinions across the world.

  • Sometimes it sparks creativity
  • Sometimes it cuts to close to the bone
  • Sometimes it can come across just wrong.

On a national level there has been so much bad news within the past few weeks.  From Boston to Oklahoma, tragedy has affected so many people.  As a nation, we pause, pray and quickly find ways we can help.  But, as a nation, we are too quickly to point fingers, are quick to judge and quick to blame.

I’m not throwing stones, if so I would be hypocritical.  At times, I have been quick to judge based on my own prejudice.  Add to that my bad case of a short attention span, and..well let’s just say I can’t count the times I have put my foot in my mouth.

Rather I would like to make a request: Stop.

  • The next time you read a tweet that irritates you; switch off twitter instead of blasting back a scathing reply.  Stop and think about it.
  • The next time you see a Facebook update that rubs you the wrong way; log off Facebook instead of un-friending someone.  Stop and think about it.

Basically stop, take a deep breath and think about what you are going to say.  As much as someone has the ability to write anything online, you have the ability to turn away and not participate.  Of course there are exceptions, but is a comment from one person about an event really shaking your life and foundation so much that you MUST say something about it?  Will what you say to that person change their perspective or just add fuel to the fire?

After all, we’re all human.  We all have opinions and we all make mistakes.

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Spinning Your Wheels

spin_classEver hear someone say they’re “busy.”  Whether it’s a coworker or friend, every time I hear the word busy, it usually comes out like this:

I’m so busy, I don’t have time to think.

or this:

I just don’t know what I’m going to do.  I’m just too busy.

Not to sound cynical, but if busy people would spend less time complaining and worrying about getting things done, they could actually be productive and…get things done.  Instead they have a mindset that keeps them spinning their wheels in mud.

That’s why there is a big difference between busy people and productive people.  Both types of people have the same amount of time in the day, but what’s the difference?  Here are few examples.

Busy People

Productive People

Busy People tend to complain they have no time to get things done

Productive People tend to get things done with little to no complaining

Busy People look to other people for sympathy and compassion

Productive People look to other people for help and advice

Busy People only see the negative in the projects they are working on

Productive People see the positive in the projects they are working on

Busy People never get finished

Productive People set milestones until the project is completed

When it comes down to it, there are two major factors between busy and productive people: Planning and Mindset

Planning

game-planBy nature, I’m not a details oriented person; however I don’t use that as an excuse.  In order to plan, I create a strong outline that is flexible, just in case I left a detail out of the plan.  This allows me to stay on track and if I ever drift too far away, I have can always go back to the plan.

In order to get things done efficiently, a game plan must be established.  Whatever works for you as far as planning, do it:

  • Write down a set of goals
  • Create a timeline
  • Outline a to-do list

If you’re not use to creating a plan, then the first step will be the hardest.  Just remember, the sooner you begin organizing and planning, the sooner you move away from being busy and begin the path to productivity.

Mindset

Success-MindsetBeing able to plan is a mindset.  Some people naturally fall into a planning mindset; while others find it difficult to plan.

For those who aren’t natural-born planners, setting a planning mindset can be difficult.  Here are some steps to get into the new mindset.

  1. Get past the first hurdle: After you pass the first task you planned out, review it.  What did you do right?  Where can you improve in planning? You may find that you over analyzed your plan or didn’t plan well enough.
  2. Keep planning: Remember practice makes perfect.  Each time you plan something out, the more you will improve.
  3. Don’t get discouraged: If you find yourself discouraged, think about the alternative; going back to no plan.  If you still find yourself discouraged, find someone who can help you plan.  Don’t seek sympathy, seek out support.

By retraining your brain, you will create a better environment around you and eventually the concept of planning will come second nature.

Moving from a busy believe system to a productive lifestyle isn’t easy, but it is rewarding.  It allows you to see things more clearly, which removes unnecessary stress in your life.  By removing unnecessary stress, you become a little happier in life, which makes you appreciate life a little more.

So, what steps do you take to plan out your day?  Are you a natural planner or do you have to work at it?

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