Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
by David Allan -- also on CD! A great place to start.
First Things First
by Stephen R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill, and Rebecca R. Merrill
Maximum Success : Changing the 12 Behavior Patterns That Keep You From Getting Ahead
by James Waldroop Ph.D., Timothy Butler Ph.D.
Look for the authors above on Amazon.com, at book sales, or at your favorite web site. Amazon and others offer used books and tapes as well as new.
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Balance is the key to personal and professional success.
Knowing your goals and the path to achieve them is essential.
Being successful takes practice and dedication.
"Accepting that you need to change does not mean that there's anything wrong with you. In fact, it puts you in the rare group of people who are able to move to the next level."
-- Karl W. Palachuk
"Work is the means of living, but it is not living."
-- Josiah Gilbert Holland
"A problem only exists if there is a difference between what is actually happening and what you desire to be happening."
-- Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson
"It takes relaxation--and focus--to create and understand the balance in our lives."
-- Karl W. Palachuk
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.
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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!
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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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Hoorah! The first draft is done. Four chapter are ready for type-seetings. The Relax Focus Succeed book is on it's way!
Because of your feedback, I am posting a sample chapter online at http://www.relaxfocussucceed.com. This is a key chapter on Workaholism.
Please feel free to tell your friends about this free offer. After all, it's a blatant attempt to get people hooked so they'll buy the book!
Speaking of which, the book has been priced at $29.95. But you can save $10 right now by pre-ordering the book online. That makes it only $19.95! There's no better bargain in America. And there's no better investment than your personal and professional success.
'Nuf about that.
You might also notice that the entire RFS™ web site has been redesigned. It's more stream-lined than it was before.
This month's essay is on work flow. Are you overwhelmed? Have you convinced yourself that everything's going to be fine as soon as you catch up with the backlog on your desk?.
You know that's not true. So let's take a sip of reality and see what's really going on.
I welcome your feedback. Thanks.
A very strange thing happens to most of us when we get busy: we convince ourselves that there's a backlog of work, and that we can "catch up."
But we can't. There's no point in catching up.
We look at work like a series of piles. And we convince ourselves that, if we can just beat down this pile, then work won't be so hectic. It's as if something will change once we conquer the pile in front of us.
But intellectually, we know that's not the case. We know that our business will be open next week. We'll keep taking orders. Work will continue to flow in. Our pile will grow -- and shrink -- and grow.
Intellectually, we know the work never stops.
In fact, your organization probably has a business plan. (If not add that to your pile.) And the business plan probably projects that your business will grow this year, and next, and the year after. In fact, taken to it's logical conclusion, your business will grow until it takes over the world.
That's not a recipe for catching up.
Obviously, the answer is not to say "Let's stop growing." Growth is good. You need that business plan because you want some piece of your organization to look out five years and plan for new business, new technology, new challenges, new competitors, and so forth. You need that.
But you also need to realize that your work does not consist of a big pile that you have to work through.
What happens when you get to the bottom of the pile? Do you get a day off? Do you close the doors for a week? No. You turn to the next pile, which has grown tall while you were conquering the first.
I think we get this concept of "catching up" from our formal schooling. In junior high, high school, and college we divide work into terms. Each term we get a load of work. We can do it now or put it off. No matter what our style, we plough our way through until the work is done and the term is over. Then we take a week off and start over again.
At the end of every term, the pile is gone. One way or another, the work was either turned in or you settled for a zero. Either way, you caught up. There was literally no more work to be done.
And now that you're all grown up, wouldn't it be nice if you could go back to that system? Well you can't. Fiscal quarters, halves, and years never have nice clean endings. Projects last months or years. Large clients last "forever."
If You Can't Catch Up, What Do You Do?
Let's assume you agree with me that the work will never stop, and that you don't really want it to. Work goes on forever. That doesn't mean you have to be overwhelmed and stressed out all the time.
Here are a few things you can do.
First, change the way you think about work. It sounds so simple, but it's really amazing. Accept that the work will never stop. Accept that you'll always be busy. Internally, you need to know and understand that there's always going to be a flow of work onto and off of your desk.
Do you remember the subtitle to the movie Dr. Strangelove? "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb." Make your pile your "bomb." Learn it, know it, love it.
Once you accept that work flows in and work flows out, you will naturally begin thinking about the backlog problem differently. After all, you can only do so much. Once you stop thinking that you'll catch up, your attitude to working all the time will also change.
Second, take some time to think about your job. Do you handle the flow of work in the time expected? If so, great. The next question is, are you doing so in a reasonable amount of time? If not, how can you change this? Don't think in terms of one variable (work/don't work).
What else affects your ability to get work done? Are you organized enough? Do you have the right tools? Is this too much work flow for one person? Do you personally have to do all these chores?
The process of stopping to think about the work will naturally lead to new ideas about how to handle the workflow. If you sit quietly for fifteen minutes a day, for one week, and think about this issue, you will give yourself dozens of ideas about how to make changes to make the work flow more efficiently.
Third, set realistic limits. You can't work 80 hours a week and be a real human being with a life. If you can contain your work to the very reasonable limits of 40-50 hours a week, you'll have time to be off work, enjoying the life you've earned by working.
Once you accept that there are limits, you will communicate these to others: your boss, your staff, your co-workers.
And if there really is more workflow than you can handle in a reasonable amount of time, then there needs to be a permanent solution to that problem. Notice that, up til now I haven't referred to this as a problem. Learn to love the bomb.
Being busy and having a backlog of work is not a problem. It just is what it is. It becomes a problem when you know the work flow exceeds the amount of work that can reasonably be done under the current arrangement. If you refuse to make changes, then you have a problem.
If you pretend that the workload will take care of itself, then you have a problem. If you try to make yourself or someone else work all the time to overcome the backlog, then you have lots of problems.
You're not in school any more.
This is your life.
Stop pretending that everything's going to be better, slow down, and get back to "normal." Somehow, you've created this reality for yourself. This is your current definition of normal. If you want to change, you need to change your definition of normal and build a plan to make that happen.
Stop using phrases like "If I can just get through this big project."
"If you don't like where you are, change it! You're not a tree."
-- Jim Rohn
Beware: Many of the solutions you'll come up with will be rejected at first (by you). Why? Because they require you to give up control, accept that someone else can actually do this work, or threaten your ego around the belief that you ought to be able to do all this work yourself.
That's why it really is important to give this project fifteen minutes a day for a week. The more you revisit the issue, the more variables you'll be able to consider. And you'll find that you revisit some pretty obvious solutions that you rejected at first.
Again, you created the situation you're in. The first day you worked through lunch, you started down a path. Now you feel guilty leaving your desk. You created this situation. Now, with experience and information, you can create a better situation. Get started today.
### RFS ###
That's it for this issue.
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I welcome your feedback.
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.
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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
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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
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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!
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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.
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