Fear & Anxiety – 3 Simple Remedies

September 25, 2006

Fear and anxiety are the enemy of healthy relationships, personal development, business growth, and physical health. They can sour any experience in life. They are what stop you before you even start. But there are powerful, yet simple remedies you can begin using immediately to overcome your worst anxiety and fears.

1. Move Your Body

Sustained physical activity like exercise increases blood flow, improves alertness and mental acuity, and reduces muscle tension. It increases serotonin levels (low serotonin levels have been linked to depression). It also tends to bring your focus to the present moment, away from any anxiety-producing thoughts about the past or future. And regular exercise improves self-esteem by giving you a feeling of progress, growth, and being in control.

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Time Management – Top 10 Time-Wasting Mistakes

September 18, 2006

“I wish I had more time!”

This is rapidly becoming the top complaint I hear from almost everyone I meet. Time seems to have replaced money as our most desired resource.

The good news is that you can reclaim hours a day from time-wasting habits and activities. Start by identifying which of the ten most common time management mistakes you make most often:

  1. Not setting clear, specific, time-bound goals–and then reviewing them regularly. You can’t hit a target if you don’t have a target to hit.
  2. Not having a plan or strategy to achieve your goals. As they say, any path is fine if you don’t know where you’re going.
  3. Ignoring important areas of your life simply because they are not in crisis. Neglect costs more time down the road than simple maintenance along the way.
  4. Letting short-term emergencies and instant gratification activities consume your time instead of investing some of it in longer-term activities like building relationships, long-range planning, and caring for your physical and mental health.
  5. Being disorganized. This might seem obvious, but many people don’t realize just how much time they waste looking for things.
  6. Not taking time for rest and rejuvenation. The wise woodcutter always takes time to sharpen his saw.
  7. Thinking that good time management will limit your creativity and freedom. Freedom must co-exist with structure. Life without structure is chaos.
  8. Not delegating–or simply refusing–low-value demands on your time.
  9. Forgetting to ask yourself, “Do I even want to spend my time doing this, and if so why?”
  10. Using a daily to-do list as your primary planning tool. To-do lists tend not to discriminate between the important and the unimportant. Even prioritized to-do lists don’t do more than emphasize the most urgent tasks. Important things like exercising, spending quality time with your family, or nurturing business relationships rarely ever make it onto the to-do list.

Don’t try to correct all your time management mistakes at once. Instead, start with the one you struggle with most often. Focus on changing that one, because that will give you the greatest initial benefit. Once you’re seeing progress there, move on to your second most common time management mistake. And so on.

Before you can expect the latest time management gadget or organizer to solve your time management problem, you must first identify and eliminate each one of these ten most common time management mistakes.

Copyright 2006 Curtis G. Schmitt

Listening 101 – Improve Your Listening Skills

September 18, 2006

Odds are your listening skills stink…

Granted, I don’t know you. So why would I say something so offensive? To shock you and get your attention, of course! Face it, if in fact you’re not a good listener, then I need to do something special to engage you, don’t I?

Not to mention, it’s probably true! (There I go trying to get your attention again…)

Before you get the impression that I think I’m better than you are, let me say…

As a listener, I have my good days and bad days.

The bad days are when I fall into my old habits, habits I developed because no one taught me how to listen. It’s on those days that I focus mainly on MY point, MY perspective, and MY agenda. It’s on those days that I wait to talk instead of actually listening. And it’s on those days that I feel discouraged because of unresolved disputes, bitter arguments, and biting comebacks.

The good days, however, are when each conversation deepens my understanding of the other person and strengthens my relationships. It’s on those days that disagreements are opportunities for growth and progress, that differences are celebrated instead of feared.

It’s on those good days that I follow a few simple listening guidelines which I’ll now share with you.

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Positive Mental Focus – Just How Important Is It?

September 12, 2006

I heard something the other day that I just can’t let go of. It’s an idea that’s stunning, yet so obvious, I can’t believe I haven’t come across it sooner…

Our thoughts are CURRENCY.

Let that sink in for a moment.

In other words, everything you think about you BUY.

We’ve all heard that what we focus on determines the results we get in life. That makes sense. If you want something badly enough, and you focus all your energy on getting it, you’ll very likely achieve it. Whereas if you don’t focus on getting it, you won’t.

But the currency metaphor takes this idea a bit further. It suggests that we even get the things we don’t want if we think about them long enough.

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