Thursday, January 24, 2013

How To Be More Productive (Book - "Extreme Productivity" by Robert C. Pozen)

Every day we are bombarded with meetings, get tons of email and face deadlines.  There are ways to help stay focused, so we can be more productive.

First and foremost you must know your GOALS. If you haven't already, write down your long term goals, yearly goals and then monthly & weekly goals. Breaking them down to the smaller element, helps you organize and identify your work.

· Prioritize your work

· Spend the most time on the most important tasks & goals

· Don't watch the clock, manage the clock

When you prioritize your responses to emails, or which meetings you attend, you in essence spend your efforts in the most critical places first. This will help you achieve your goals.

Many have used the 80/20 rule. Spend the first 20% of your time getting rid of the smaller stuff, or at least identifying them. Then spend the 80% of your time working on the most important tasks that are prevalent to your goals. 
Robert Pozen (lecturer at Harvard Business School)  uses the 80/20 a little differently.  He says you probably have to respond to only 20% of emails, and could disregard the other 80%.  Either way, 80/20 sounds like a good way to sort.

We all love to track. We watch the clock and think we spent so much time on something we must have accomplished a good days work. Not always so. If we waste our time working on reports that are not needed, or we spend too much time 'socializing' which sometimes is referred to as building bridges, then we have not always spent our time wisely.

Ask yourself the hard questions –

Will this task help me achieve my goal? Will this task make a difference?
If not then stay away and focus your time elsewhere. 

To be productive a person needs to manage their time, not be overwhelmed by tasks.  

Keep the perspective.  Step back and ask yourself the right questions. 

 Most important, always move forward.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

CLASSIC READS - Some Things Never Change

Today more people can communicate their thoughts into words and those words can easily end up in books.  It is a liberating time, a cycle of change and freedom.  In many ways it is times like this, with so much change, that we need our classic reads.
The past few years have been dynamic for authors. There are more writers being published via eBooks and print on demand (POD).  Exposure of existing authors is heightened with the rampant growth of social media and marketing via author platforms. 

The classics help our society remember what we are gauging our future against. 

Classics are a reference to excellence that we can use as a measure of our own success today and in the future. 

The classics prevail over time and language, with truth exposed in the characters and story.  Some basic human truths make a story appeal over centuries.  No matter the date written, the human spirit is visible in a classic, and is readily identified. 

There are obvious classics which we have probably all read from Homer’s Iliad to Stephen King’s The Stand.  Some classic writers that quickly come to mind are listed below, trying to find at least one author per letter.  There are many more: 

 Agatha Christie
H.P. Lovecraft
John Steinbeck
Sidney Sheldon
 Arthur Conan Doyle
Harper Lee
Jules Verne
Stephen King
 Bram Stoker
Henry David Thoreau
Kurt Vonnegut
Thomas Hardy
 C.S. Lewis
Herman Melville
Leo Tolstoy
Truman Capote
 Charles Dickens
Mark Twain
Udall, Brady
 Dan Brown
Ian McEwan
Mary Shelly
Ursula Markus
 Dante Alighieri
Isaac Asimov
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Uzma Sadaf
 Edgar Allan Poe
J.D. Salinger
Oscar Wilde
Victor Hugo
 Emily Bronte
J.K. Rowling
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Virginia Woolf
 Emily Dickinson
J.R.R. Tolkien
Philip Pullman
William Blake
 Ernest Hemingway
Jack London
William Faulkner
 F. Scott Fitzgerald
James Joyce
Quinn, Spencer
William Shakespeare
 Franz Kafka
Jane Austen
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Xavier, Francis
 George Eliot
John Grisham
Ray Bradbury
Yann Martel
 George Orwell
John Irving
Robert Louis Stevenson
 H. G. Wells
John Milton
Rudyard Kipling

I had difficulty finding a classic author for the letter Z.  I humbly hope someday my name may be used to fill in this gap, not presuming classic status on my part. 
Please in the coming year look for my book debut…  


Happy reading and writing to us all! 
Best of luck in your 2013 endeavors.

Enjoy the clip from the 2009 Wuthering Heights - one of the best versions on screen.  The rest of the clips that follow can be found on YouTube - find listed in my channel.

View CR2013Banner.jpg in slide show


Visit the hoppers!

Participants in the Classic Reads blog hop (#NewClassicReads).

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

8 Simple Steps to Help YOU Write

The New Year has begun, now two days into it, and already I feel behind. I want to write at least 1000 words a day, but so far I have been doing housework, shopping and organizing. Sometimes I think I sabotage myself by noticing all the things around me that need to be done. It’s only the second day but my mind keeps telling me to get it right from the start. This is a new year with a lot of projects mulling in my head, and I want to make a good effort. I will use a schedule just so I don’t get into the bad habit of wasting time. So here goes:

· Write every weekday from 7 am until 1000 word goal is attained or noon, whichever comes last. I will test the waters to see if I can attain that in the allotted time. If I need more time I will adjust. If I am on a roll I will allow myself to continue. Writing new material more frequently is a major goal I have for this year. I am trying not to define it too rigidly but I need to discipline my writing time.
· Monday Wednesday & Friday afternoons are reserved to write blogs & catch up on social media.
This blog will be written on Wednesdays - my other site will have posts on Mondays & Fridays.
· On all other days I will edit my current book manuscripts in the afternoon - taking one chapter per day.  So on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sundays, and any other time I can spare in between, I will be editing.
I hope my husband understands I have no time allotted for cooking or cleaning. I will try hard to get groceries and do laundry. It won’t be easy and unfortunately I am one who gets distracted easily. I hope the schedule will work because I really want to forge ahead with full steam this year. In order to help myself I will be taking the following steps.
8 Simple Steps to Help YOU Write

1. Do not open email until the writing is finished.
2. Do not go on the internet until the writing is finished.
3. Do not go on the phone or text until the writing is finished.
4. Utilize story boards and outlines to help the story stay focused.
5. When stuck and waiting for the right idea – jump ahead and work on another part and revisit the scene later after time to incubate.
6. Do not stop to research a point– instead make a note and jump over that spot to the next lines. Later go back and research and revise as needed. Use the NaNoWriMo approach –keep moving forward and then revise and update the ideas later during the rewrite and when there is time to delve into the research. Use the editing time allotted.
7. Remind myself that good work takes time to develop.
8. Keep a positive attitude.
Happy writing to all!


Look for my post on Friday Jan 4th at my other blog site.