Forgive Your Way to Productivity & Success

December 4, 2012

I just watched this very exciting video that reveals a benefit of Integrity Day that I’ve sensed but up until now haven’t been able to articulate.

The video describes research into what makes an otherwise honest person cheat. One insight to come out of this research was the value of a “clean slate” in getting a person to behave more honestly. Think of Catholic confession, as an example.

What they found was this:

Honest people have a tendency to rationalize small opportunities to cheat: having a cookie when you’re dieting, or taking a box of pencils from work. But as this cheating accumulates, there comes a “what the hell” turning point. At this point, the person sees themselves as a cheater, so they figure they might as well embrace it and enjoy it.

But if you give that person the opportunity to say what they did and ask for forgiveness, it negates the “what the hell” effect. They see themselves as a good person again, and they don’t want to cheat.

This is exactly what happens during each hourly check-in call on an Integrity Day.

At the beginning of the Integrity Day, you declare your intention: I’m going to focus on Project A for the next hour. You work hard, and when you check in at the end of the hour, you report on your success and everyone cheers you on.

But, if you’re human like me, you will have some hours when you don’t. When you procrastinate. When you cheat. You get on Facebook, or email, or you go get a cup of coffee and chat with a co-worker. Your actions are out of integrity with your declared intention.

But what happens?

You get on the check-in call at the end of the hour, and you say, “I didn’t do what I intended.” And the group cheers you on. We cheer you on anyway. Why? Because we’re human too. We’ve all been there. And we intuitively know that shame is not the pathway to success.

So in addition to accountability and community, one of the benefits of Integrity Day are those hourly opportunities for a clean slate.

I would love to hear from those of you who’ve experienced the benefit of this clean slate theory in the context of productivity, whether in an Integrity Day or in some other situation.

And if you’d like to come join an inspiring group of “creative doers” in an Integrity Day, you can check out this month’s schedule here:
http://www.turnontolife.com/integrity_schedule.html


How to Make Integrity Day More Valuable

June 5, 2012

A client and frequent Integrity Day participant (you may recognize his voice) recently shared with me an insight he had about how he gets the most value out of his Integrity Days.

You can listen to him explain in his own words (the audio clip is about 1 minute long):

Another way to increase the value of your Integrity Day is to complete the Pre-Call Exercise worksheet before the first call.

My mission is to help you take your productivity to the next level! To help you SOAR!

I hope to see you in an Integrity Day soon! Click here for the full June schedule of Integrity Days.

Peace & Passion,
Curtis


The Curtis Factor: Your Productivity-Related Questions Answered Now!

December 29, 2011

Click here to submit your most burning productivity-related questions to me here and I will answer them with practical, actionable advice for free:

The Curtis Factor: Your Productivity-Related Questions Answered Now!.


A 21-Day Meditation Challenge

November 17, 2011

Another great free resource—this time to help you deepen your Practice of Presence (one of the 4 practices of Peaceful Productivity Now)…

The Chopra Center is offering 21 days of free guided meditations, starting on Dec. 1st. Click here to sign up.

I’m two-thirds of the way through my own 100 Days of Peace meditation challenge, so I won’t be participating per se, but I will be with you in spirit. Enjoy!

Peace & Passion,
Curtis

P.S. Check out Insight Timer, a really cool little app that helps you track and time your meditations. It even shows you who else is meditating with you all around the world. If you see me on there (usually 6:30 to 7:15 AM ET), make sure to friend me!


A Letter From A Friend

November 11, 2011

The link below is a post by a friend and client who took my year-long Peaceful Productivity Now group coaching program.

Of all the people I’ve worked with, she is one of “my” biggest “success stories.” Of course, she did the heavy lifting, and I am honored to have played my part in her growth.

I share this letter in the hope that it inspires you as an example of what kind of transformation is possible in a person’s life.

[Her post was an email response to a note I sent checking in with her because I hadn’t heard from her in some time.]

Read her inspiring post:

A Letter To A Friend.


Miracles, All Miracles

September 6, 2011

This line from A Course in Miracles has fascinated me since I first encountered it:

Each decision that you make is one between a grievance and a miracle.

That statement is quite confrontational when you really look at it. There’s no middle ground. Kind of like life’s version of “love me or leave me.” Now, whether or not that’s true that there’s no middle ground, I’m not here to debate. What I’m interested in most is the degree of insight this perspective provides on the choices we make—specifically, how conscious and intentional are those choices, and how do they combine to create our own personal versions of heaven and hell?

The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n.
—Milton, Paradise Lost

Let’s begin by drilling down into what this “miracle or grievance” idea is saying.

Essentially, it’s saying that in each moment, you are choosing whether to appreciate life for what it is OR resent it for what it’s not.

But what of moments that blend things we appreciate with things we resent? Does appreciating those moments mean we must resign ourselves to accepting things we don’t like? If so, then how do we grow, learn, and progress?

Acceptance is very simply a gracious acknowledgement of what is. It does not mean resigning, condoning, or endorsing. And until you can acknowledge a situation as it is, your power to change it is handicapped.

When you don’t accept something, you’re denying what is, and denial does not lead to change or growth. When you deny what is, you stop perceiving the world. You’re like the child with his fingers in his ears, repeating, “I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you.” This limits your options and your ability to respond and create change. The ability to perceive a situation—especially the parts of the situation you want to change—gives you the most power to influence the situation and create the very change you want. Only through acceptance can we harness our real personal power to create and take action.
Peaceful Productivity Now, p. 61

But as valuable as it is to learn acceptance as a precursor to effective change, that’s not even the most important part of this conversation. There’s another reason why consciousness and intentionality of choice is so fundamental that it means the difference between experiencing life as heaven or hell.

Our choices are how we consciously interact with the world. We interact with the world in many unconscious ways, too. But if we are able to rise above the level of instinct and reaction in any given moment, it is only because we’ve evolved the ability to choose.

The most direct way we can participate in and converse with life is through the choices we make. How conscious and effective our choices are determines the quality of that conversation.
Peaceful Productivity Now, p. 72

Is your conversation with life a miraculous collaboration, or is it a grievance-filled argument?

Now, here’s where things gets tricky.

Let’s say you just happen to be choosing a grievance in some given moment. A coworker stole your idea and presented it to the boss. You find a fresh dent in your car in the parking lot at the supermarket. Your best friend forgets your birthday. Et cetera.

You feel betrayed, pissed, hurt. That’s what NOW is for you—one big honking grievance.

You become aware you’re feeling this way, and you think, “I should find the miracle. I shouldn’t be focusing on the grievance.”

Hm. Do you see what just happened? Look for it…

That thought was another grievance. You made yourself wrong for feeling betrayed, pissed, or hurt. Making yourself wrong doesn’t get you to miracles. So where do you go when you’ve chosen a grievance? You don’t go anywhere. Stay with the grievance because…

The grievance is the miracle.

WTF?

Both miracle and grievance are perspectives; they are mental concepts we layer on top of our experiences. In other words, a miracle and a grievance are simply different interpretations of an experience.

Therefore, even an experience of intense physical or emotional pain can be interpreted as a miracle, just as an experience of tremendous good fortune can be experienced as a grievance.

But let’s avoid platitudes and address directly the burning question on your mind: What is the miracle of intense pain?

Very simply put: Depth of feeling. Pain is a strong feeling that wakes us up from the numbness of ego. In other words, pain snaps us back to the present. Any intense feeling can do this, including feelings like love, joy, and gratitude. But if we were to live in a space of love 100% of the time, we would certainly go numb to it. That is how our bodies and brains are built. We need contrasting experiences.

So grievance provides contrast. That is its miracle. Because life is contrast. Light does not exist without dark, nor does hot without cold, trust without betrayal, or connection without separation.

The miracle of grievance is that miracles could not exist without grievances. And yet, if even grievances can be interpreted as miracles in this way, then yet another interpretation is possible: It’s all miracles.

What a beautiful paradox…

I invite you to share your grievances and miracles.


Conscious living means conscious choosing

Read Peaceful Productivity Now and learn how to:

  • Respond consciously and intentionally to life, no matter how it shows up
  • Recognize the gifts and miracles that surround you in every moment
  • Connect to your “Big Yes” in life so that your choices become filled with even more meaning and passion
  • Transcend the “lie of time management”
  • And much more…

Click here to start experiencing the miracle of Peaceful Productivity NOW!



Time Management is a Lie

August 25, 2011

We see and hear the words “time management” everywhere we go. But time management is a misnomer. To be blunt, it’s total B.S.

Time management would tell us that our productivity is measured by the results we get in a given time period. But if that’s true, how is it that a salesperson, for example, can make the same exact number of sales on two different days (the same amount of results in the same amount of time), yet feel extremely productive one day and totally unproductive the next?

The answer is only found when we stop believing the lie of so-called “time management.”

What exactly is the lie of time management? The lie is that we can increase our productivity by shortening the time it takes to produce a specific result. There are two flaws in this logic.

First, time is not a variable in the equation of productivity. You can choose to do something in a way that takes less clock time than the alternative, but time did not change; your choice changed. You chose a different process, and the duration of that process was less.

If you’re not quite understanding this important distinction, then think of a clock like a ruler. You can cut an object shorter in length, but the ruler did not change. Those whose job it is to make things smaller don’t focus on “ruler management,” do they? Choice, not time, is the relevant variable.

Second, this traditional objective understanding of productivity, though useful in evaluating the efficiency of assembly lines, doesn’t address your subjective feeling of productivity.

Validate this from your own experience: Think of a specific time when you were very busy and felt frustrated because you “didn’t have the time” to focus on what you really wanted to do. All of the results of that busy-ness didn’t make you feel productive, did they? Now think back to a time when you finally followed through on something important that you’d wanted to do for several weeks or even months. That one result made you feel very productive, didn’t it?

How is that possible? Many results = not productive. One result = productive. That doesn’t make sense in the traditional paradigm of “time management.”

In my experience helping people with their productivity challenges, I’ve never found the time-centered concept of productivity to describe accurately anyone’s actual experience of productivity. When a concept does not fit actual experience, it’s time for a new concept. So let’s redefine productivity to make it more meaningful and useful to us.

PRODUCTIVITY: The feeling you get from making progress on the things that are most important to you

Results by themselves never create a feeling of productivity. It’s your relationship to those results—how important they are to you—that determines how productive you feel. When you feel unproductive, it’s not that you didn’t produce results, it’s that you didn’t produce the results that were most important to you.

This begs a question that many people under the spell of “time management” forget to ask themselves: “What’s important to me?”

You may be thinking, “Of course I know what’s important to me.” But do you? Do you really know what’s most important to you? Do you know why it’s so important? And maybe most sobering of all, can you explain—if it is indeed so important to you—why you so often choose to focus on things that are less important?

Anytime you feel busy, but not productive, you’re neglecting what’s most important to you and focusing on what isn’t. This all too common “busy, not productive” feeling is a natural consequence of focusing on how much you can do and how fast you can do it.

So instead of trying to “manage time,” focus on making more effective choices:

  1. Identify what’s most important to you, and then…
  2. Choose as often as possible to focus on what’s most important to you, while you…
  3. Work to understand and overcome the obstacles that prevent or distract you from focusing on what’s most important to you.

Each of these steps can be challenging; they are skills that must be developed. But the good news is, they are just skills—learnable skills that you can master.

And yes, on a balance sheet or annual report, objective results matter. But in your personal experience of life, your relationship to the results you produce, not simply the results themselves, determines how productive you feel. When you understand that difference, and you learn to view productivity as a feeling, you open yourself to real and lasting solutions to your so-called “time management” problems.

(Adapted from Peaceful Productivity Now by Curtis G. Schmitt.)


Want to master the process of making powerful and effective choices?

Click here to download a free 10-page excerpt from Peaceful Productivity Now: The Busy Person’s Guide to Getting Things Done & Loving Life.

In just the first 10 pages, you’ll discover:

  • The source of your personal power
  • The most useful and effective way to understand time
  • The two different “types” of time, and why one causes stress but the other doesn’t
  • What you’re actually managing when you think you’re “managing time”
  • And, most importantly, how to once and for all solve your “time-related” problems

You can continue to scapegoat “time” as the source of your stress, or you can learn how to…

Transform Stressful Productivity into PEACEFUL Productivity NOW!