Episode 020: The Greatest Productivity Tool Ever [podcast]

We are always searching for better productivity tools.  Something that will give us an edge.  Five strategies for practicing the greatest productivity tool ever invented.

(c) Ann Thompson

(c) Ann Thompson

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On Today’s Episode

Rhythm of Life – Losing the Battle for Sleep and Winning the War
Random Riffs – The Cat in the Hat Comes Back . . . Again
Feature Segment – The Greatest Productivity Tool Ever

Rhythm of Life – Losing the Battle of Sleep and Winning the War

This episode’s Rhythm of Life will discuss something I’m struggling with right now – Insomnia. I have suffered with insomnia for years, and have consulted every possible specialist for help.  Over time, and much work, it has gotten better, although not consistent.

But all of a sudden my insomnia has gotten worse.  And with so little reserves from so many years of not sleeping, I’m left exhausted.  It has immediately put me in analytic mode to find the cause and root it out.  I started working on a plan to get good sleep.

I talked in Episode 010 about the importance of sleep, and how lack of it affects everything – health, attitude, ability to think clearly.  Sleep is critical to every function in our body and mind.  And so I evaluated, made a plan, and made some adjustments.

I can’t make myself sleep, and you may not be able to easily fix what you are struggling with either.  But we can adjust our attitude, our actions, and our expectations for a better outcome.

Random Riffs – The Cat in the Hat Comes Back…Again

When I was a kid, I LOVED to read. As an adult, I still do, including kid’s books.

Why?  Truths expressed in honest simplicity.  Something we can cling to when life gets difficult and complex.

One of my favorite authors was and still is Dr. Seuss.  He wrote:

  • In rhyme
  • Crazy illustrations
  • Whimsical ideas that represent simple truths within a complex life.

Here's a quote from my favorite Dr. Seuss book, The Cat In the Hat, and a photo of my original book:

I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny. But we can have lots of good fun that is funny.

(c) Kathleen Thompson

(c) Kathleen Thompson

The next time something feels complex, out of control, or confusing, you might want to go back to the basics and read a kid’s book. After all, Robert Fulghum said that all he really needed to know he learned in kindergarten.

Feature Segment – The Greatest Productivity Tool Ever

In Episode 018, we made the case for getting “unbusy”, and consciously doing what’s really important to you.  Episode 019 provided tips on how to jump off the busyness bandwagon through clarifying, summarizing, evaluation, and commitment.  In this third segment, we will discuss the greatest productivity tool ever.
Want to know what it is?  The word “No”.

Here’s why.  The only way you’re going to get from where you are to where you have committed to be is to say “No” to many good things.
Many of us are people-pleasers.  We have a hard time saying no, for many reasons. Greg McKeown recommends we evaluate every opportunity by asking, ‘If you didn’t have it right now, would you pursue it yourself?’  If the answer is no, then don’t do it. The goal isn’t to say no to everything, but rather giving up good to get to the best.

There are strategies to clearly saying no without negatively impacting relationships.

Count the Cost – weigh what it takes to commit to something
Join For a Season – an opportunity can be a “yes” for a time, then a “no”.
Affirm the Other – thanks and respect, even while saying no
Speak With Confidence – Let your yes be yes, and your no be no.  Speak with clear confidence, even as you affirm the other person.
Keep it simple – Just say it simply, clearly, and respectfully.

You can see why learning how to say no well is such a productivity tool.  You’ll no longer do things you shouldn’t just because you're afraid to say no.  You won’t spend so much mental and emotional anguish trying to figure out what to say or how to say it.  And the more you learn to properly evaluate opportunities and say yes or no wisely, the more productive you will be.

Learn how to say no.  And others will know when you say yes that you really mean it.

Share how you've leveraged this productivity tool to get off the busyness bandwagon.

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