Seven Proven Tips for Prioritizing

awareness Feb 03, 2020

Do you know what it takes to prioritize?

Prioritizing things in life isn't the easiest thing to do. It takes careful thinking.

And it takes time.

When our schedules become loaded with deadlines and responsibilities, it’s completely natural to just want to keep chugging along.

But without taking time to take a step back and really make sure that we are focusing on the right things, we may not be serving our organization—or ourselves.

What brings the most value to your organization? Is it your effort, your leadership, your communication skills?

If you have trouble understanding what brings value to your organization, you may want to consider some tips for prioritizing that can help you better serve your organization.

Sometimes, we can become so focused on catching up with our workload, that we begin to forget the starting point for every single day.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” - Stephen Covey

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How fresh is your mind?

awareness Dec 18, 2019
Learn from the children

If you want to see a fresh mind, just look at a child on Christmas morning. With all that eagerness and joyful anticipation, the moments before the festivities begin are as delicious to a child as the actual event. What makes this possible?

A fresh mind doesn’t take anything for granted. A fresh mind seeks answers. A fresh mind is curious.

When we’re curious, we enjoy new experiences and look for challenges. We keep an open mind. We’re eager to learn something new. Curiosity is contagious. Watching children on Christmas morning, we remember our own youth and feel it a little too.

If you want to make other people pay attention to what you have to say, keep them curious. One way of doing that is to show yourself enjoying an experience. It doesn’t matter what age we are. When we see someone having fun, we want to have fun too.

Smell the roses

Recently a good friend shared a photo of her son’s curiosity. One evening her husband came...

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Unleash your creativity

Innovation and creativity are pretty big buzz words right now. Read any leadership book, and you’ll find stories of leaders like Steve Jobs using their creativity to transform not only their business, but also their industry.

While these stories are inspiring, they can also be overwhelming. We may see these innovations as something practiced by an elite few leaders, way beyond our reach.  

But we all have the ability to release our creativity. We just need to give ourselves permission.

Embracing creativity

In reading John C. Maxwell’s book, How Successful People Think, I was reminded how the key to being a successful leader is to embrace and explore creativity.

So, what does this mean? John C. Maxwell writes about first recognizing that your ideas matter and valuing these ideas. Creative people don’t have all the answers, but they are open to and explore the options, looking for new ways to connect ideas (not always their own). They don’t fear failure,...

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Life Is Not a Dress Rehearsal

Why Wait?

How much of your life have you spent waiting? Maybe you have important goals, but you've convinced yourself they won't be possible until something else happens first. You won't return to school until you can attend full-time. You won't apply for the job you really want until you're sure you will be selected.

John Kotter said, "Most people don't lead their own lives--they accept their lives." They wait for things to happen to them.

Do It Now

If you treat your life like a dress rehearsal, you will miss the main show. Instead, try the powerful approach recommended by John C. Maxwell in his book "Today Matters". Make your decisions now and focus on them every day.

Which Decisions?

We all know life consists of decisions and we want to make the best decisions we can. Did you ever consider that it is not only about making good decisions? It is also about knowing which decisions are the most important.

As leaders, we naturally think about finances and values. But as John C....

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Living with Gusto

awareness Aug 13, 2019

We start each and every day with a valuable resource.

We’re so used to relying on this resource that we hardly notice it’s there.

And when it dwindles, it can bring us to a complete stop.

But what is this resource?

It’s energy.

...but, in my eyes, it’s way more fun to call it gusto.

Losing our gusto can happen at the peak of success. It can happen when you’re enjoying the passion of a moment. Or it can happen when you’re in a period of transition or redefining your life goals.

It can even happen during routine moments of your everyday life.

We all know what it feels like to lose our gusto. But it happens. And when it happens, we lose control. We lose motivation. We lose energy. We can even lose our capacity to reach our full potential. (I go more into how to reach your full potential here.)

That is the worst thing that can happen.

In our Leadership Programs, we advise our clients that there is one way to beat losing your energy. And it's simple....

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Find the curious child inside you

awareness Jul 19, 2019

Have you ever asked yourself why in the world a round pizza comes in a square box?

Or why people say “heads up” when you should duck?

These types of questions often float through my mind—and I’m sure they float through yours too.

But why do we ask ourselves these questions? Why do we care?

The answer is simple: curiosity.

We’re all curious—some of us more than others. But what is it that makes us so inquisitive?

Is being curious a good thing?

Curiosity keeps our minds open. It allows us to enjoy new experiences, learn new things, look for challenges, and expand our minds.

Curiosity is actually a great thing! It lets us learn more.

It’s a thirst for knowledge.

Curiosity can be contagious—in fact, if you want to make other people pay attention, keeping them curious is one of the most effective ways to do it.

Keep them guessing.

Get them curious! Get them asking you questions, staying attentive, and always wanting to learn more.

Now,...

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The Season of Too Busy

awareness Dec 06, 2018
A hiker in the woods

A hiker came upon someone in the woods working feverishly to saw down a tree. “What are you doing?” asked the hiker.

“Can’t you see?” replied the man working in the woods. “I’m sawing down this tree.”

“You look tired! How long have you been at it?”

“Over five hours … and I am exhausted! This is hard work.”

“Why don’t you take a break for a few minutes and sharpen your saw? I’m sure the job will go faster with a sharp saw.”

“I don’t have time to sharpen the saw,” the man declared. “I’m too busy sawing!”

How sharp is your saw?

Have you ever behaved like the person with the saw? It's easy to become so involved in “doing” that you don't take the time to sharpen your saw.

This time of year is particularly busy. You may already be seeing the signs: bright lights on the outside of houses, glossed-over eyes on the people...

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Are You an Idea Digger?

awareness Nov 15, 2018
The Power of Thinking

As John Maxwell reminds us in “No Limits”, success has as much to do with thinking as it does with acting. We are all given opportunities and challenges. We all face difficult choices or moments when we aren’t sure what to do next.

That’s why we need to develop our thinking capacity. It’s not enough to come up with ideas, we need to deepen those ideas. We need to become what John Maxwell calls an “idea digger”. It doesn’t happen with one shovel full of dirt. We need to keep going deeper into the ground. This kind of thinking takes real muscle and it’s worth every bit of the effort.

For over 18 months, the UpCloseTeam has been working in Fort McMurray, helping local businesses revitalize. As much as doing, this has involved a lot of thinking. We’ve put John Maxwell’s ideas on how to become an idea digger to the full test. The results have been good for the whole community.

Five Steps for Deepening...
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Seven Proven Tips for Prioritizing

awareness Oct 24, 2018

Prioritizing takes careful thinking and thinking takes time. When our schedule becomes loaded with deadlines, it’s natural to want to keep chugging along. But if we don’t stop to ask ourselves whether we’re focusing on the right things, we may not be serving our organization or ourselves.

We can become so focused on catching up with our workload, we can forget the starting point for every single day. Stephen Covey said, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

Scheduling priorities is on ongoing activity that takes effort and focus. Here are seven proven tips to help keep you on track:

1. Go over your priorities at the start of each day. Strong leaders understand how important this is. That’s what keeps them both focused and calm. Before they do anything else, they turn their attention to what is most important and they carry that confidence throughout the day.

2. Concentrate on things only you...

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Living with Gusto

awareness Aug 15, 2018

Each of us starts the day with a valuable resource within ourselves. We're so used to relying on it, we hardly recognize it's there. But when that resource dwindles, we can be brought to a complete halt. The resource I'm talking about is energy, but it's more fun to call it gusto.

It can happen at the peak of success, when you're going all out and enjoying the passion of the moment. It can also happen when you're in a period of transition and redefining your life goals. It can even happen during routine moments of ordinary life.

Managing your Energy

We all know what it feels like to run out of gusto. Everyone has those days some of the time. We have to push harder to get things done and our capacity for handling challenges is not as strong. It's not that we don't know how, but our energy levels are low.

John C. Maxwell recognizes this challenge and he knows how important it is. Like he says, "it's more important to manage your energy than to manage your time." In his book, "No...

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