October 18, 2006

Curtis G. Schmitt coaches busy professionals and other creative doers to greater peace, passion, and productivity!

The Turn On to Life! Peaceful Productivity Blog includes articles and book reviews from Peaceful Productivity, the Turn On to Life! Ezine. Follow this blog to get the latest updates.

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  • Click the Article Archive Index button at the top of the page for a list of all articles and reviews.
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Article Archive Index

October 18, 2006

To read an article or listen to a podcast, simply click on the title below. To return to this index at any time, click on the Article Archive Index button at the top of this page.

For tips on navigating the Turn On to Life! Peaceful Productivity Blog, click on the About button at the top of this page.

Personal Growth Articles:

Island Inspiration: Reflections from Shelter Island

Book Reviews:

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
by Stephen R. Covey

Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking
by Malcolm Gladwell

Coach Anyone about Anything: How to Help People Succeed in Business and Life
by Germaine Porche and Jed Niederer

The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book
by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves

The Feeling Good Handbook
by David D. Burns

First Things First: To Live, to Love, to Learn, to Leave a Legacy
by Stephen R. Covey

Getting in the Gap: Making Conscious Contact with God through Meditation
by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

How to Want What You Have – Discovering the Magic and Grandeur of Ordinary Existence
by Timothy Miller

A Short Course in Kindness
by Margot Silk Forrest

Think and Grow Rich!
by Napoleon Hill

Until Today! – Daily Devotions for Spiritual Growth and Peace of Mind
by Iyanla Vanzant

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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