Overcoming Procrastination

“Tomorrow”: a mystical land where 99% of all human productivity, motivation and achievement is stored.”

For most of us, “Procrastination” is King

As we plunge into each day, it is easy to become derailed by trivial and non essential tasks. In fact, we often actively avoid the essential tasks out of fear and uncertainty, even though this makes us anxious. Brooding about unfulfilled tasks can lead to intrusive thoughts, while planning to complete them helps relieve those thoughts.

A physical To-Do list, whether on paper or digital, provides structure and magnetizes us to return to what matters most. But it needs to be carefully curated to prevent frustration and avoidance.

Avoiding the common traps of the To-Do list

Making a To-Do list should be easy: You just write down all the things you need to do, do them, and check them off your list as you go along, Right?

Wrong! Most of us fall into all kinds of traps with our To-Do lists. We allow wishful thinking to take over and put too many tasks on our lists.

We have lists all over the place, sometimes both, on paper and electronics. We put vague and unrealistic goals on our lists or we set up impossibly short time frames for completing our tasks.

Too often and too easily, our To-Do list will turn into “A Daily Failure List.” We put stuff on our To-Do list that we have no intention of doing.

Avoid the common traps of the To-Do list, so that it does not become a record of your failures: Restrict yourself to an “Humble To-Do List”.

The Humble To-Do List

Planned and executed wisely, the “Humble To-Do list” can be a goad to productivity.

On days when you have lots of things to do, a well thought To-Do list, breaking down large tasks into smaller ones, will help you set priorities thus avoiding procrastination. Put your list on paper. It is enormously satisfying to make a check mark with your pen against a finished task. On particularly harried days, draw empty boxes next to your tasks and check mark all completed tasks. Making a mark inside a box feels particularly emphatic. Writing down and checking off a task serves to “emblazon” it in your mind and offers positive reinforcement that is both visual and tactile.

For those of you who “think into their fingers and into the keyboard,” a digital To-Do list would make more sense. Whatever your preference, do not use both. Decide on a single, consistent system: paper or electronic, and use that system as the one and only place to record everything you need to do.

Group your personal and professional goals separately

Each day, most of us have personal goals along with professional ones. Keep your professional and personal goals on the same page or in the same file, but group them separately.

My suggestion is to keep four lists: one with life goals, along with yearly, weekly and daily lists. Life goals should flow into the yearly list, which should then flow into the weekly and daily lists. Say one of your life goals is to start a business: a yearly goal could be to write a business plan; a weekly goal could be to send emails to four business owners asking them if they would be willing to send their business plans to you; a daily goal could be to simply send one email.

Review your To-Do list daily

Spend 15 minutes each day reviewing what you have completed and planning your goals for the following day, plus two days beyond that. This will give you the chance to adjust your tasks and helps prevent last-minute crises.

A Daily To-Do list needs a strong dose of realism and specificity

It is important to add time estimates to your daily tasks. Estimating how long things take will not only help you plan your days more realistically, it will also help you take advantage of blocks of time that will open up unexpectedly.

Make sure to convert big, continuing tasks, like solving a client problem, into concrete, measurable action steps you can complete and cross off your list.

Keep your lists fairly short

Finally, keep your lists fairly short. It is so dispiriting when, at the end of the day, your To-Do list with fifteen items on it, or more, has only a few or maybe none at all checked off.

Better to pare down your To-Do list and make the goals on it less far-reaching.

One last word:

If you opt for the digital route, many To-Do apps are available, from Evernote, Astrid, Remember the Milk and Todoist, to name just a few. Personally, I prefer, use and recommend Evernote.

Most of these To-Do apps have the advantage of being able to sync across all your devices and calendars. Some apps even have options that let you share your To-Do items and have your friends egg you on to accomplish them. But therein lies a danger: You may not want to share all of your goals with everyone, especially the personal ones, and these could often accidentally end up on your shared lists.

Michel Ouellette JMD, ll.l., ll.m.

JMD Systemics,

A division of King Global earth and Environmental Sciences Corporation

Creative Thinking For The Overwhelmed Business Owner

Looking for a brighter future?

As a “Problem Solver” I work with Business Owners and Senior Corporate Executives to either grow their business or prepare them for the next stage of their lives.

As an “Organization Change Management Expert” I work with you and your team members, to analyze, optimize, and implement new processes, practices and realistic managerial projects and systems designed to improve the overall performance and bottom line results of your organization.

Michel Ouellette JMD, ll.l., ll.m.

JMD Systemics

Systemic Strategic Planning / Crisis and Reputation Management / Regulatory Compliance Management

Book Your “FREE” Consultation Now

Four Important Things To Do To Get Recognition While Branding And Marketing Yourself.

Your work is your greatest marketing tool.

People may ignore what you say, but they always pay attention to what you do. The more you make, the higher its quality, and the more willing you are to share it with the world, the more people will discover and spread the word about you.

1.- Help people

Be known for being generous. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it will get you noticed by the people you help and the people they know.

2.- Overdeliver

An adequate, an average job never get talked about. Nobody tells anybody else about the person who did a “just good enough” job on work they hired them to do. To get noticed, you must exceed expectations, not simply live up to them.

3.- Acknowledge everyone who mentions you

Everyone is worth your time when trying to grow your audience.

4.- Teach what you know

Teaching not only attracts an appreciative crowd and creates opportunities, but it also unlocks a deeper understanding of your subject matter for you in the process.

Michel Ouellette JMD, ll.l, ll.m

Michel Ouellette JMD ll.l., ll.m.

Systemic Strategic Planning / Crisis & Reputation Management

Michel is a former attorney, a Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense and Free Speech.

Follow Michel on:

Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, & Instagram

Book a Virtual Business / Situation Assessment Call with JMD

JMD Systemics

A division of King Global Earth and Environmental sciences Corporation

Email: jmd@jmdsystemics.com

Skype: jmdlive

Web: JMD Systemics.com

The 90 days “Extreme You” Challenge

Today is my second day of my 90 days “Extreme Me” Challenge.

“Why are you Doing this Challenge?” would you ask.

Let’s say that Christmas is 84 days away and the new year 89 days away.

The end of the year is always a really tough time for me personally. While I love the holiday season it can also be a really stressful and chaotic time especially this year.

The last three years have been very tough and stressful and demanding.

In 2016, shortly after being laid off, West Corporation shutting down its Omnipod division after losing the customer to the competition, I was diagnosed with advanced phase 3 colon cancer and was given 3 months to live if nothing was to be immediately done about it.

Accordingly, my knee surgery replacement was delayed and I immediately started radiation and chemotherapy. Then, this was surgery, removal of a major part of my rectum, wearing a bag and removal of the bag. While all prognostics were favorable for the next 6 months, having lost control of my anal sphincter, I was shitting in my pants and shitting the sheets on a regular basis.

Then, it was 2017 when I ended up to the Kingston General Hospital Intensive Care Unit on two occasions. The first one when I ended up fully dehydrated and the doctors had to perform what they did call “Dehydration Resuscitation” and a second time where surgery had to be urgently performed due to a severe cholangitis.

2018 was not a better year.

All year long I had to go to the hospital for follow ups and I was running out of money. Above everything else, I had to deal with a very chagrined and depressed life partner.

2019 was even worse.

On January 17th 2019, due to negligence and incompetence of my so-called surgeon, following a failed laparoscopic gallbladder removal, once again, between life and death, I was ending up in the Kingston General Hospital Intensive Care Unit only to be released from the hospital on April 27.

Yes, indeed, the last few years of my life were not the best of my life.

Following my release from the hospital last April, I had to deal with a major loss of income. Being physically impaired, no longer being able to manage dockings, I had to resign myself to sell my boat. I then had to deal with an N12 Notice and move from a very big house to a very small house. And, all of this while still having to deal with a still very chagrined and depressed life partner.

You are Still Wondering Why I’m Doing the Challenge?

Let’s say that I do not give up very easily. I am a huge fan of positivism and setting new big scary goals and I need, to turn my life around now.

Desperate times call for desperate solutions.

They say it takes 30 days to build a new habit. So, in times where things are getting very chaotic, giving myself 90 full days to reinvent myself can really help me stay on track and take me into the new year prepared to chase down my dreams.

The “Extreme Me” 90 days challenge is all about finishing the last 90 days of this year strong and starting a new life.

Tomorrow Starts Today

Tell me, what is your challenge?

JMD

 

Subscribe to “The Empower Yourself “Extreme You” 90 Days Facebook Challenge Page

to tell me more about you and learn more about the 90 Days “Extreme You Challenge” and how it could improve your life.

 

Michel Ouellette JMD, ll.l, ll.m

JMD Systemics

Systemic Strategic Planning / Crisis & Reputation Management

Skype: jmdlive

Web: JMD Systemics Bunkumless Services | JMD Systemics.com | JMD Systemics Online |

Michel Ouellette /  Joseph Michael Dennis, is a former attorney, a Trial Scientist, a Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense and Free Speech.

Follow JMDlive on:

Twitter, FacebookFightback, Pinterest, Tumblr & Instagram

Book a Virtual Business / Situation Assessment Call with JMD

 

The 90 Days « Extreme You » Challenge

Starting October 1st
A Radical Personal and Professional Transformation Project
Turning Your Life Around | How to Stay Relevant in a Fast-Changing World

When things are bad, it is the best time to reinvent yourself

Why waste valuable time?

What if you could instantly improve your life, step up, stand out and kick ass, bounce back from failures, speak your truth, embrace your quirks, and have a lot more fun along the way?

What if you could instantly change the focus of your company to be customer centered, operationally excellent, and results driven? What if that change organically grew from within?

What if it took only 90 days for you to see the results?

For years, I have been looking for ways to escape the vicissitudes of my life and to become Who I Always Wanted to Be, Who I Was Meant to Be.

For years, I always wanted to escape all the vaticinators of my life and stop believing in all their lies and egotistical and narcissistic aspirations. Unfortunately, for years, I have been living the dreams of my father, the dreams of my mother, the dreams of a malevolent society, the dreams of the churches, the priests, the false prophets of all confessions only to lose myself in all their lies, illusions and delusions.

I was not going anywhere and, today, I am still not going anywhere. Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa! I love a good challenge and it is now time to take personally charge of “My Life”. It is time to turn “My Life” around and be “The Person I Always Meant to Be and live “A Life of My Own”. Keep reading and see if you want to join me to share with me and the world the reason(s) why you wish to take the 90 Days “Extreme You” Challenge and tell me and the world everything about your roadblocks and progress.

It is “Now” time to do it. I have to do it!

Starting October 1st, I will be telling you more about the “Extreme You” 90 Days Challenge and I would love to share and hear from you. I would love to learn more about you, your personal concerns and challenges, about your own goals and dreams.

Subscribe to “The Empower Yourself “Extreme You” 90 Days Facebook Challenge Page to tell me more about you and learn more about the 90 Days “Extreme You Challenge” and how it could improve your life.

JMD

Michel Ouellette JMD, ll.l, ll.m

JMD Systemics

Systemic Strategic Planning / Crisis & Reputation Management

Office: 613.539.1793

Skype: jmdlive

Web:JMD Systemics Bunkumless Services| JMD Systemics.com| JMD Systemics Online|

Michel Ouellette /  Joseph Michael Dennis, is a former attorney, a Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense and Free Speech.

 

Follow JMDlive on:

Twitter, FacebookFightback, Pinterest, TumblrInstagram

Book a Virtual Business / Situation Assessment Call with JMD

The Eisenhower Decision Matrix

How to Distinguish Between Urgent and Important Tasks and Make Real Progress in Your Life

  “What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.”

Many spend all their time managing crises.

Their life is basically spent putting out one proverbial fire after another. At the end of the day they feel completely sapped and drained of energy, and yet cannot point to anything they accomplished of real significance. They confuse the urgent with the important.

The Difference Between Urgent and Important

An “Urgent” task is one that requires your immediate attention. These are the tasks that shout “Do It Now!” Urgent tasks put you in a reactive mode, a defensive, negative, hurried, and narrowly focused mindset.

An “Important” task is something that is to be done that contributes to your long-term mission, values, and goals. While they may sometimes be, typically, important tasks are not urgent. When you focus on important activities you operate in a responsive mode that helps you remain calm, rational, and open to new opportunities.

As a result of all these modern stimulus-producing technologies such as 24-hour News, Twitter, Facebook, social media and text messaging technologies process all information as equally urgent and pressing, you tend to believe that all urgent activities are important. These modern news and social media stimulus-producing technologies constantly assault you with information that only heighten your deeply engrained mindset that is: to believe that all urgent activities are also important.

As a result, you are experiencing “present shock”, a condition in which “you live in a continuous, always-on ‘Now!!’” and lose your sense of long-term narrative and direction. In such a state, it is easy to lose sight of the distinction between the truly important and the merely urgent and the consequences of this priority-blindness are both personal and societal. In your own lives, you suffer from burnout and stagnation and, on a societal level, we are unable to solve the truly important problems of our time.

The Eisenhower Decision Matrix

Dwight Eisenhower lived one of the most productive lives you can imagine.

Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, serving two terms from 1953 to 1961. During his time in office, he launched programs that directly led to the development of the Interstate Highway System, the launch of the internet (DARPA), the exploration of space (NASA), and the peaceful use of alternative energy sources (Atomic Energy Act).

Before becoming president, Eisenhower was a five-star general in the United States Army. He served as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II, and was responsible for planning and executing invasions of North Africa, France, and Germany. Along the way, he served as President of Columbia University, became the first Supreme Commander of NATO, and somehow found time to pursue hobbies like golfing and oil painting.

Eisenhower had this incredible ability to sustain his productivity for weeks, months and decades. His most famous productivity strategy is known as “The Eisenhower Box” or “The Eisenhower Matrix”, a simple decision-making tool that you can use right now to empower yourself and make real progress on your life.

The matrix consists of a square divided into four boxes, or quadrants, labeled as follow:

1) Urgent/Important;

2) Not Urgent/Important;

3) Urgent/Not Important, and

4) Not Urgent/Not Important.

Quadrant 1: “Urgent and Important” Tasks

“Tasks that are both urgent and important require our immediate attention and also work towards fulfilling our long-term goals and missions in life.”

This is the “Do It Now!” box

“Urgent and Important” tasks typically consist of crises, problems, or deadlines. A few specific examples of Urgent and Important tasks would be:

  • Certain emails such as a job offer, an email for a new business opportunity that requires immediate action, etc.;
  • A term paper deadline;
  • A Tax deadline;
  • A member of your family in an hospital ICU;
  • Your car engine giving out;
  • Household chores;
  • A heart attack and ending up in the hospital;
  • A call from your kid’s principal saying you need to come in for a meeting about his behavior.

With a bit of planning and organization, many of these Quadrant 1 tasks can be made more efficient or even eliminated outright. For example, instead of waiting until the last minute to work on your term paper, thus turning it into an urgent task, you could schedule your time so that you will be done with your paper a week in advance. Or, instead of waiting for something in your house to need fixing or fall apart, you can implement and follow a schedule of regular maintenance.

While you will never be able to completely eliminate urgent and important tasks, with a bit of imagination and proactivity you can significantly reduce them by spending more time in Quadrant 2.

Quadrant 2: “Not Urgent but Important” Tasks

Tasks that are “Not Urgent bur Important” are these activities that do not have a pressing deadline, but nonetheless help you achieve your important personal, school, and work goals as well as help you fulfill your overall mission in life.

This is the “Schedule It!” box.

The “Not Urgent but Important” tasks are typically centered around strengthening relationships, planning for the future, and improving yourself.

A few specific examples of Not Urgent but Important Tasks would be:

  • Weekly planning;
  • Long-term planning;
  • Exercising;
  • Family time;
  • Taking a class to improve a skill;
  • Spending time with a rewarding hobby;
  • Car and home maintenance;
  • Creating a budget and savings plan.

Always seek to spend most of your time on “Not Urgent but Important” activities. They are the ones that will provide you lasting happiness, fulfillment and success. Unfortunately for many, there are two key challenges that will tend to keep you from investing enough time and energy into these activities:

  • First: “You don’t know what’s truly important to you.” If you do not have any idea what values and goals matter most to you, you obviously will not know what things you should be spending your time on to reach those aims! Instead, you will latch on to whatever stimuli and to-dos are most urgent.
  • Second: “Present bias.” For most of us, we are all inclined to focus on whatever is most pressing at the moment. Doing so is our default mode. It is hard to get motivated to do something when there is not a deadline pending over our head. Departing from this fallback position takes willpower and self-discipline. Cultivate these qualities. They hat do not come naturally. Do whatever you have to do to develop this mental toughness and discipline that you may be lacking of.

Because “Not Urgent but Important” activities are not pressing for your attention, you typically keep them forever on the back-burner of your lives and tell yourselves, “I will get to those things “Someday”. You even put off figuring out what is most important in your life and life in general.

But “Someday” will never come.

If you are waiting to do the important thinks until your schedule clears up, trust me when I say that it will never happen, that you are daydreaming. Whatever happens in your life, you will always feel about as busy as you are now, and if anything, life just gets busier as you get older.

To overcome our inherent present-bias that prevents us from focusing on “Not urgent and Important” activities, you must live your lives intentionally and proactively. You cannot run your life in default mode. You have to consciously decide, “I am going to make time for these things”.

Quadrant 3: “Urgent and Not Important” Tasks

“Urgent and Not Important” tasks are activities that require your attention now, but do not help you achieve your goals or fulfill your mission in life. Most “Urgent and Not Important” tasks are interruptions originating from other people and often involve helping them meet their own goals and fulfill their own priorities.

This is the “Delegate Me!” box.

Here are some specific examples of “Urgent and Not Important”  activities:

  • Most phone calls;
  • Most text messages;
  • Most emails, those that are not “Urgent and Important”;
  • Co-worker who comes by your desk during your prime working time to ask a favor;
  • Request from a former employee to write a letter of recommendation on his behalf;
  • Your mom drops in unannounced and wants your help with a chore.

Many people spend most of their time on “Urgent and Not Important” tasks, while thinking they are working on “Urgent and Important” tasks.

While “Urgent and Important” tasks may be important to others, they are not important to you. They’re not necessarily bad, but they need to be balanced with your “Not Urgent but Important” activities. Otherwise, you will end up feeling like you are getting a lot done from day-to-day, while eventually realizing that you’re not actually making any progress in your own long-term goals. This is the perfect recipe for personal frustration and resentment towards others.

The solution to this problem is simple: Become more assertive and start to politely but firmly say “No!” to most requests.

Quadrant 4: “Not Urgent and Not Important” Tasks

“Not Urgent and Not Important” are these activities that, other than if they serve a specific professional or business purpose, unnecessary. These are the activities that are not helping you achieve or resolve anything. They are neither pressing nor do they help you achieve long-term goals or fulfill your mission in live. They are primarily, simply and utterly, mainly distractions.

This is the “Do Me later!”, the “Do Not Do It!” box.

Specific examples of such mostly useless tasks include:

  • Watching TV;
  • Mindlessly surfing the web;
  • Playing video games;
  • Scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram;
  • Gambling;
  • Shopping sprees.

If we were to conduct a time audit on ourselves, most of us would find that we spend an inordinate amount of time on “Not Urgent and Not Important” activities.

As a pragmatist, I do not think you need to eliminate “Not Urgent and Not Important” activities altogether from your life. After a particularly hectic and busy day, randomly browsing the internet or watching a favorite TV show for a half hour is exactly what my brain needs to decompress.

Instead of aiming to completely rid yourself of “Not Urgent and Not Important” tasks, try to only 5% or less of your waking hours on them.

Be Like Ike; Spend More Time on Important Tasks

In our present shock world, the ability to filter the signal from the noise, or distinguish between what is urgent and what is truly important, is an essential skill to develop. When faced with a decision, stop and ask yourself, “Am I doing this because it is important or am I doing it because it is merely urgent?”

As you will spend most of your time working on “Not Urgent but Important tasks”, you will feel a renewed sense of calm, control, and composure in your life. You will feel like you are making real progress. By investing your time in “Not Urgent but Important” planning/organizing activities, you will prevent and eliminate many of the crises and problems of “Urgent and Important” tasks, balance the requests of “Urgent and Not Important” tasks with your own needs, and truly enjoy the veg-outs of “Not Urgent and Not Important” activities, knowing that you have earned the rest. By making “Not Urgent but Important” tasks your top priority, no matter the emergency, annoyance, or deadline you will be hit with, you will have the mental, emotional, and physical wherewithal to respond positively, rather than react defensively.

JMD

Transition & Reputation Management

Office: 613.449.3278

Skype: jmdlive

Web: www.jmdsystemics.com

  1. J. Michael Dennis is a former attorney, a Trial Scientist, a Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense and Free Speech.

Follow JMDlive on:

Pinterest,  Twitter, Facebook, JMDlive.com, The Futurist Daily News, JMDsystemics.com, SSTM.solutions, Tumblr and Warrior For Common Sense

Book a FREE 15 minutes Skype Consultation with JMDlive

 

The Eisenhower Decision Matrix

How to Distinguish Between Urgent and Important Tasks and Make Real Progress in Your Life

“What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.”

Many spend all their time managing crises.

Their life is basically spent putting out one proverbial fire after another. At the end of the day they feel completely sapped and drained of energy, and yet cannot point to anything they accomplished of real significance. They confuse the urgent with the important.

The Difference Between Urgent and Important

An “Urgent” task is one that requires your immediate attention. These are the tasks that shout “Do It Now!” Urgent tasks put you in a reactive mode, a defensive, negative, hurried, and narrowly-focused mindset.

An “Important” task is something that is to be done that contributes to your long-term mission, values, and goals. While they may sometimes be, typically, important tasks are not urgent. When you focus on important activities you operate in a responsive mode that helps you remain calm, rational, and open to new opportunities.

As a result of all these modern stimulus-producing technologies such as 24-hour News, Twitter, Facebook, social media and text messaging technologies process all information as equally urgent and pressing, you tend to believe that all urgent activities are important. These modern news and social media stimulus-producing technologies constantly assault you with information that only heighten your deeply ingrained mindset that is: to believe that all urgent activities are also important.

As a result, you are experiencing “present shock”, a condition in which “you live in a continuous, always-on ‘Now!!’” and lose your sense of long-term narrative and direction. In such a state, it is easy to lose sight of the distinction between the truly important and the merely urgent and the consequences of this priority-blindness are both personal and societal. In your own lives, you suffer from burnout and stagnation and, on a societal level, we are unable to solve the truly important problems of our time.

The Eisenhower Decision Matrix

Dwight Eisenhower lived one of the most productive lives you can imagine.

Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, serving two terms from 1953 to 1961. During his time in office, he launched programs that directly led to the development of the Interstate Highway System, the launch of the internet (DARPA), the exploration of space (NASA), and the peaceful use of alternative energy sources (Atomic Energy Act).

Before becoming president, Eisenhower was a five-star general in the United States Army. He served as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II, and was responsible for planning and executing invasions of North Africa, France, and Germany. Along the way, he served as President of Columbia University, became the first Supreme Commander of NATO, and somehow found time to pursue hobbies like golfing and oil painting.

Eisenhower had this incredible ability to sustain his productivity for weeks, months and decades. His most famous productivity strategy is known as “The Eisenhower Box” or “The Eisenhower Matrix”, a simple decision-making tool that you can use right now to empower yourself and make real progress on your life.

The matrix consists of a square divided into four boxes, or quadrants, labeled as follow:

  1. Urgent/Important;

  2. Not Urgent/Important;

  3. Urgent/Not Important, and

  4. Not Urgent/Not Important.

Quadrant 1: “Urgent and Important” Tasks

Tasks that are both urgent and important require our immediate attention and also work towards fulfilling our long-term goals and missions in life.

This is the “Do It Now!” box.

“Urgent and Important” tasks typically consist of crises, problems, or deadlines.

A few specific examples of Urgent and Important tasks would be:

  • Certain emails such as a job offer, an email for a new business opportunity that requires immediate action, etc.;

  • A term paper deadline;

  • A Tax deadline;

  • A member of your family in an hospital ICU;

  • Your car engine giving out;

  • Household chores;

  • A heart attack and ending up in the hospital;

  • A call from your kid’s principal saying you need to come in for a meeting about his behavior.

With a bit of planning and organization, many of these Quadrant 1 tasks can be made more efficient or even eliminated outright. For example, instead of waiting until the last minute to work on your term paper, thus turning it into an urgent task, you could schedule your time so that you will be done with your paper a week in advance. Or, instead of waiting for something in your house to need fixing or fall apart, you can implement and follow a schedule of regular maintenance.

While you will never be able to completely eliminate urgent and important tasks, with a bit of imagination and pro-activity you can significantly reduce them by spending more time in Quadrant 2.

Quadrant 2: “Not Urgent but Important” Tasks

Tasks that are “Not Urgent bur Important” are these activities that do not have a pressing deadline, but nonetheless help you achieve your important personal, school, and work goals as well as help you fulfill your overall mission in life.

This is the “Schedule It!” box.

The “Not Urgent but Important” tasks are typically centered around strengthening relationships, planning for the future, and improving yourself.

A few specific examples of Not Urgent but Important Tasks would be:

  • Weekly planning;

  • Long-term planning;

  • Exercising;

  • Family time;

  • Taking a class to improve a skill;

  • Spending time with a rewarding hobby;

  • Car and home maintenance;

  • Creating a budget and savings plan.

Always seek to spend most of your time on “Not Urgent but Important” activities. They are the ones that will provide you lasting happiness, fulfillment and success. Unfortunately for many, there are two key challenges that will tend to keep you from investing enough time and energy into these activities:

  • First: “You don’t know what’s truly important to you.” If you do not have any idea what values and goals matter most to you, you obviously will not know what things you should be spending your time on to reach those aims! Instead, you will latch on to whatever stimuli and to-dos are most urgent.

  • Second: “Present bias.” For most of us, we are all inclined to focus on whatever is most pressing at the moment. Doing so is our default mode. It is hard to get motivated to do something when there is not a deadline pending over our head. Departing from this fallback position takes willpower and self-discipline. Cultivate these qualities. They hat do not come naturally. Do whatever you have to do to develop this mental toughness and discipline that you may be lacking of.

Because “Not Urgent but Important” activities are not pressing for your attention, you typically keep them forever on the back-burner of your lives and tell yourselves, “I will get to those things “Someday”. You even put off figuring out what is most important in your life and life in general.

But “Someday” will never come.

If you are waiting to do the important thinks until your schedule clears up, trust me when I say that it will never happen, that you are daydreaming. Whatever happens in your life, you will always feel about as busy as you are now, and if anything, life just gets busier as you get older.

To overcome our inherent present-bias that prevents us from focusing on “Not urgent and Important” activities, you must live your lives intentionally and proactively. You cannot run your life in default mode. You have to consciously decide, “I am going to make time for these things”.

Quadrant 3: “Urgent and Not Important” Tasks

“Urgent and Not Important” tasks are activities that require your attention now, but do not help you achieve your goals or fulfill your mission in life.

Most “Urgent and Not Important” tasks are interruptions originating from other people and often involve helping them meet their own goals and fulfill their own priorities.

This is the “Delegate Me!” box.

Here are some specific examples of “Urgent and Not Important” activities:

  • Most phone calls;

  • Most text messages;

  • Most emails, those that are not “Urgent and Important”;

  • Co-worker who comes by your desk during your prime working time to ask a favor;

  • Request from a former employee to write a letter of recommendation on his behalf;

  • Your mom drops in unannounced and wants your help with a chore.

Many people spend most of their time on “Urgent and Not Important” tasks, while thinking they are working on “Urgent and Important” tasks.

While “Urgent and Important” tasks may be important to others, they are not important to you. They’re not necessarily bad, but they need to be balanced with your “Not Urgent but Important” activities. Otherwise, you will end up feeling like you are getting a lot done from day-to-day, while eventually realizing that you’re not actually making any progress in your own long-term goals. This is the perfect recipe for personal frustration and resentment towards others.

The solution to this problem is simple: Become more assertive and start to politely but firmly say “No!” to most requests.

Quadrant 4: “Not Urgent and Not Important” Tasks

“Not Urgent and Not Important” are these activities that, other than if they serve a specific professional or business purpose, unnecessary. These are the activities that are not helping you achieve or resolve anything. They are neither pressing nor do they help you achieve long-term goals or fulfill your mission in live. They are primarily, simply and utterly, mainly distractions.

This is the “Do Me later!”, the “Do Not Do It!” box.

Specific examples of such mostly useless tasks include:

  • Watching TV;

  • Mindlessly surfing the web;

  • Playing video games;

  • Scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram;

  • Gambling;

  • Shopping sprees.

If we were to conduct a time audit on ourselves, most of us would find that we spend an inordinate amount of time on “Not Urgent and Not Important” activities.

As a pragmatist, I do not think you need to eliminate “Not Urgent and Not Important” activities altogether from your life. After a particularly hectic and busy day, randomly browsing the internet or watching a favorite TV show for a half hour is exactly what my brain needs to decompress.

Instead of aiming to completely rid yourself of “Not Urgent and Not Important” tasks, try to only 5% or less of your waking hours on them.

Be Like Ike Eisenhower:

Spend More Time on Important Tasks

In our present shock world, the ability to filter the signal from the noise, or distinguish between what is urgent and what is truly important, is an essential skill to develop. When faced with a decision, stop and ask yourself, “Am I doing this because it is important or am I doing it because it is merely urgent?”

As you will spend most of your time working on “Not Urgent but Important tasks”, you will feel a renewed sense of calm, control, and composure in your life. You will feel like you are making real progress. By investing your time in “Not Urgent but Important” planning/organizing activities, you will prevent and eliminate many of the crises and problems of “Urgent and Important” tasks, balance the requests of “Urgent and Not Important” tasks with your own needs, and truly enjoy the veg-outs of “Not Urgent and Not Important” activities, knowing that you have earned the rest. By making “Not Urgent but Important” tasks your top priority, no matter the emergency, annoyance, or deadline you will be hit with, you will have the mental, emotional, and physical wherewithal to respond positively, rather than react defensively.

JMD

JMD Systemics

Transition & Reputation Management

Office: 613.449.3278

Skype: jmdlive

Web: www.jmdsystemics.com

J. Michael Dennis is a former attorney, a Trial Scientist, a Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense and Free Speech.

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WHY WOULD I NEED A BUSINESS TRANSITION PLAN?

Is your future and the future of your family secured?

Why do I need a formal business transition plan?

A formal business transition plan puts your goals, priorities and strategies in place for a successful transition to face the future. Without a clearly defined plan, business owners are leaving their personal and financial future to chance.

I am not sure I am ready to transition out of my business.

How do I know when the time is right?
Transitioning out of your business is all about setting and reaching goals. Have you accomplished what you set out to do with your business? Do you have dreams of doing things other than running your current business? Answering these questions will tell you if the time is right to implement a formal business transition plan.

I know my business better than anyone else; why shouldn’t I handle my transition plan and process myself?
Business and personal transition are a complex and personally time consuming and challenging processes that are very difficult to handle by yourself and get it right. Most transition processes involve emotional, fiscal and risk management issues requiring a team of professionals familiar with these areas to take care of them.

Who are the experts on a transition team?
Depending on what phase you are currently in, any of the following professionals may be involved: Accountants, Certified Financial Planners, Lawyers, Business Consultants, Business Brokers, Bankers and so on. To achieve a successful transition plan, all the work required from all the professionals involved shall be coordinated by a Corporate Strategist Expert well familiarized in all the activity fields involved.

Why do I need a transition team?
Simple: you want to maximize your assets. You need experts in every area to help you get the most cash for yourself and your business. Using a transition team will cut down on the enormous amount of time you would otherwise have to spend planning, marketing, talking, negotiating and working to find a potential buyer or partner who might otherwise end up walking away. Unless you have been through a merger, acquisition or divestiture, transition planning and execution are unlike anything you have ever done before.

Why shouldn’t I hire an investment banker or any single professional to handle my transition process?

Other than SSTM, there is no national firm or individual that handles every aspect of a business or personal transition process. And if you have cost issues, you should do a comparison.

Where can I find these experts?
Even if you have an accountant, broker or financial advisor, they may not be uniquely qualified to assist you with the transition. You need experts focused on business transitioning. SSTM will work with you and your team of trusted advisors to identify and provide you with the best choices for each expert.

What information do I need to prepare for my transition?

  • Financial documents:

    • A minimum of five years of financial documents

    • Audited financials for three years

    • Pro-forma sales and cash flows for two years out

    • Three years of taxes

    • Company insurance documents

    • Personal financial information (account statements, complete copies of federal and state tax returns, estate documents)

  • Customer lists (shows history of longevity)

  • Vendor lists and relationships

  • Operational systems and procedures for everyone and every part of your business

  • Legal corporate documents

  • Contracts with vendors, suppliers, customers and clients

  • Intellectual property rights and assets

How long does it take to complete a successful transition process?
Typically, depending on your goals, expectations, the nature and size of your business a successful transition process may be completed inside a time-frame of SIX months to FIVE years.

What if I have already completed some parts of the process?
SSTM can become involved at any point of your transition. Our experts will review the work you have already completed, provide recommendations and take the necessary actions to keep or get you on the right track. Even if you have completed your transition, our certified financial planners can help with wealth management.

How do I get started?
The four phases of proper business transition planning are:

  1. Pre-Sale Phase

  2. Positioning for Sale

  3. Transaction Phase

  4. Wealth Management

Following the above Four Phases of a Successful Business Transition Plan, SSTM uses the following process to guide you through your transition:

  • Data gathering

  • Initial Expert Team Consultation

  • Selection of your team

  • Creation and Execution of the Transition Plan

  • Successful completion of the transaction

  • Wealth management system put in place for a secure financial future

SSTM, helping companies successfully complete business transitions.

JMD

J. Michael Dennis is a former attorney, a Trial Consultant, a Trial Scientist, Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense and Free Speech.

The magic number: $756,000.00

The real message is that people need to get more engaged in planning what they want their future to look like.

The magic number for retirement savings in Canada is $756,000 and, while that is the average amount Canadians believe they need to save for retirement, up to 90 per cent do not have a formal plan on how to get there.

A majority of Canadians, 53 per cent, are not sure whether they are saving enough during their work years. 37 per cent are not even thinking about retirement, pretexting they just cannot save.

This situation is even worse for women: only 22 per cent have a formal retirement plan or even have a good idea of how much income they will need, versus 32 per cent of men. By age fifty-five, 43 per cent of women and 27 per cent of men lack a retirement and transition plan. The real message buried in these statistics is that people need to get more engaged in planning what they want their future to look like.

There is no longer a magic age 65 or 55 when we are all going to quit work cold turkey and do something completely different. We are living longer, and a prosperous middle-class is realizing that retirement is about the journey, not the destination.

The same is to be said about all business owners. The average organization has undergone five enterprise changes in the past three years and 73 per cent of organizations expect more change initiatives in the next few years. Unfortunately, many organizations fail to implement change effectively. In fact, only a third of change efforts are clear successes, 16 per cent show mixed results, and half of them are clear failures.

Today, people of all ages, men and women, all business owners and all business organizations need to get more engaged in planning what they want their future to look like. The problem: most people are wearing to many hats and are overwhelmed with daily responsibilities and accountabilities with the result that by age 55 or 65 less and less people can afford to retire to enjoy what could have been their preferred future.

You are looking forward to maximize your assets, your business is growing fast and you need to adapt, you are thinking about retirement, SSTM, in collaboration with JMD Systemics and Succession Transition Strategies, helps you to succeed with the challenging process of business and personal transition.

Let us help you maximize your assets and secure the best possible future:

FOR YOU, YOUR WAY.

We Bring the Experts to the Table

JMD

J. Michael Dennis is a former attorney, a Trial Consultant, a Trial Scientist, Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense and Free Speech.

Follow JMDlive on Twitter, Facebook, JMDlive.com, The Futurist Daily News, JMDsystemics.com, SSTM.solutions, and Tumblr,