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Come back when you’ve calmed down a bit.


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"It takes relaxation--and focus--to create and understand the balance in our lives."

-- Karl W. Palachuk



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What Readers Say . . .



Relax, Focus, Succeed was written for me… well… for anyone “like” me who’s ever had more to do or fires to put out than hands to pull out your own hair with. And since we’ve all been there at some point; this book will speak to you. Karl’s book reveals an escape from the ‘powering thorough’ that we do every day to get through a multitude of life without ever really ‘living’.


Relax, Focus, Succeed takes the reader down to the core of what makes us who we are and walks us through figuring out what we really want in life, how to maintain our center and create a well-balanced, happy, successful life. Karl is motivational and inspiring.

Hannah Welch
Marysville, CA
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I had the pleasure of attending a presentation by Karl Palachuk and found myself taking notes. His philosophy is that we need to slow down, take care of ourselves, and reprioritize our lives. I am guilty of being a workaholic and never feel like I'm accomplishing as much in a day as I should. But this is the first time I have ever given myself permission to take care of myself first--not to mention to enjoy my family and friends more.


And Karl was right, the work isn't going anywhere and the world won't stop spinning if I let it sit for awhile. This book is a true inspiration! I now schedule workouts into my schedule every day--something I never considered before. But I realized that I will be more productive in the long run if I'm taking care of myself. This is GREAT STUFF!

Stephanie Chandler
Sacramento, CA
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Karl has outdone himself in this book. I started reading this at a stop light and had to pull over and finish two chapters before halting my day and going home to finish the book. There are many practical and meaningful applications that are just helpful. I was pushing the limits of bad health and very bad overwork habits. This book has helped me tremendously. This book ranks with the quality of the E-myth.


You will pick this book up and have a hard time putting it down!

B. Vincent "Ben"
Auburn Hills, MI
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Dealing With Crises

by Karl W. Palachuk

Is everything a crisis?  Make a list of your current "crises" at work.


Who put these on your agenda and who decided they were crises?


I worked for a time as a manager of a technical support team at a major computer manufacturer.  My staff supported 7,000 desktop computers with a staff of 20 technicians.  This was accomplished through a system of priorities, which I have since adopted for my own business.


There are four levels of priority.  There is no "2.5" or "1.5" or "double-x crisis."  Just four options.  And the customer--the person with the problem--gets to choose from three of the four priority levels.


Priority 4 means that there is a problem.  It should be addressed as time permits or when you are in the area fixing something else.  Might be upgraded to Priority 3 over time.


Priority 3 means there is a problem that should be addressed soon.  Most problems are Priority 3. 


Priority 2 means there is a problem that needs immediate attention.  This is the highest priority that a user can assign to a problem.  It generally means that someone cannot get work done (their computer won't start, email doesn't work, etc.).


Finally, there are Priority 1 problems.  Priority level 1 is not assigned.  It just happens.  I like to tell people that P1 problems "assign themselves."  By this I mean that major systems are offline.  The entire network is down.  Or the Internet connection has failed.  Or, there's smoke coming from the back of the server.


When Priority 1 problems occur, the company is losing money.  People can't work.  That's a crisis.


Certain people want to insist that their problem is "Priority 1."  For example, when the boss's printer doesn't work.  I have to insist that this is a Priority 2.  It is urgent and I'll send someone right away.  But I might have three Priority 2 problems at once.  They are addressed in order of severity.


The core of this system is a simple three-tiered categorization that everyone understands.  Problems are either high, medium, low priority (2, 3, or 4).  A crisis is outside anything you would expect and it affects a large number of users (Priority 1).


At first, I was leery to delay responding to a client.  Then I realized that they know some things are lower-priority.  I'll get a call, rush out, and be told "Oh that's been a problem for months.  You didn't have to come out today."


Then, when I had a crisis at one customer and needed to cancel an appointment somewhere else, I always found them understanding.  In fact, they'd tell me "If our server goes down, I hope you'll be here to fix it."


People instinctively know the relative priority of problems.


And yet most of us get caught up believing that every task on our list is high priority--in fact that it's a crisis.


Most of the blame for this goes to bosses.  If a boss never says "this is high priority" or "this is low priority," the worker has to decide.  Workers share blame as well because we don't communicate.  We don't ask about relative priority.  And we tend to throw everything on the high-priority pile.


In my business, the distribution of problems looks something like this:


     P1 - Crisis          1%

     P2 - High Pri     15%

     P3 - Medium     74%

     P4 - Low Pri      10%


Most people, when asked to apply a simple scale, will put most of their problems in the middle.  Unaddressed problems will eventually move from P3 to P2 or P4 to P3.


I think most of us assume that this distribution is more like 80% high-priority and 20% crisis.  That's overwhelming.  If it were true, then you should be overwhelmed.


But it's not true.


Too many businesses create a culture in which "everything is a crisis."  How many times have you heard someone say "He put off everything until the last minute and then it's a crisis"?  He tends to be the boss and the crisis puts several employees in an unproductive tizzy.


When everything is a crisis, people feel undue stress.  People get sick or burned out.  The company pays for this when it has to constantly train new people to replace those it burned out.


And the boss never learns!  Why?  Because she sees a flurry of activity and a constant buzz of people rushing around to get things done.  It all gets done.  And the boss confuses activity with productivity.


All too often we believe that an office of stressed-out, overworked employees is a sign of success.  In fact, it's just a house of cards.  But the house never comes crashing down because we manage to replace the worn-out cards. 


It is an absurd, wasteful way to run a company.


I'm going to STOP now.  If you've had more than one job, you've seen all this before.  And right now you're about to tear into a fit of rage over the memory of a really bad experience.  . . . So we'll stop.


Got get yourself a cup of tea or decaf coffee.  Relax.  Maybe go for a walk.  Come back when you've calmed down a bit.

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Of Interest



This is one of the best books I have ever read, I have many on business motivation as well as many for your personal life and these seem to contradict each other. Karl shows you how to create the necessary balance in your life. I did not realize how much unnecessary stress I was causing myself until Karl pointed it out, this made an immediate impact in my life in all three areas Personal, Family and Business. I highly recommend this book especially for anyone trying to run their own business.

Bret Meche

Opelousas, LA
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The most important thing Karl's book did for me was to remind me of how important it is to relax in order to be successful. Too often we get so busy that we forget to take time to relax in order to focus our minds and thereby succeed. Karl's exercises throughout the book are very practical.

Sue Lynn Canfield
Roseville, CA
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I love the way Karl's book makes powerful and grounded statements. He is motivational, informative and hits the nail on the head. I recommend his book highly and I recommend it to my clients who are working toward more balance and relaxation in their lives.

Jenifer Novak Landers

Folsom, CA
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I will be rereading this book constantly until I get every habit fully ingrained in my head. I am off to buy a notebook for my "quite time".

Thank you Karl!

Brielle Beard
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I have read, and re-read this book from cover to cover. Its a fantastic book.
This book shows you how to do as the title says Relax, Focus and Succeed.


Brilliant book . . . highly recommended.

Chris Timm
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